15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

Dec 12, 2022, 11:03 AM | Updated: Apr 14, 2023, 12:20 pm

happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

Photo: Adobe Stock

This article about Christmas dinner ideas is sponsored by Maceys. Happy shopping!

Here are a few tips to make planning Christmas dinner easy

Holidays can be stressful, especially if you are planning dinner. We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. 

Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted below to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare. Figure out how many people are coming and consider any dietary restrictions those people might have, such as vegetarian, gluten-free, or nut allergies. You want to ensure that everyone has enough to eat to feel full!

Concept of Christmas or New Year dinner. Top view

Photo: Adobe Stock

In your planning, try to include dishes that will look colorful and vibrant. When you have a full spectrum of colors represented on your table spread, you’re likely to include several different nutrients in the meal. It also delights the eye to see colorful food paired with your Christmas decor. 

You can also cook some food ahead of time and freeze it or store it in the pantry. This will save you time on the day of cooking just a few dishes instead of all. You can also delegate some dishes to other guests or family members to distribute some of the load. 

Lastly, don’t overdo it! You can buy premade dishes to save time, and no one has to know. 

Christmas dinner ideas roundup: Main dishes

Family and friends at Christmas dinner

Photo: Adobe Stock

Pineapple glazed ham 

Nothing beats the classic holiday ham, and this recipe dresses it up with pineapple and maraschino cherries, reminiscent of the retro 1950s. This would pair well with a vintage-themed holiday gathering where you can throw back to the classics. 


Steaks can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. This hanger steak with charred scallions recipe elevates the dish with greens and walnuts to blend a flavor profile that is both delicious and satisfying. 

Seafood medley

You can also get creative with various seafood options for your seafood meal. A shrimp cocktail makes a great appetizer while guests wait for dinner, with clam chowder serving as a great starter dish. For the main dish, opt for something more filling and dripped with clarified butter like lobster, salmon, or scallops.  

Vegetarian options

Make sure to satisfy the vegetarians on your guest list, too! Filling options include quiches, lasagnas, or shepherd’s pie that can be filled with a medley of vegetables. Browse some different vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas from delish. 

Christmas dinner ideas roundup: Side dishes

Christmas themed dinner table

Photo: Adobe Stock

Asian pear salad

This unique salad recipe from Bon Appetit combines Asian pears with peanut dressing to create a crunchy, flavorful salad. Adding fruit to your salad is a great way to add color and flavor to your dish. 

Classic Caesar

There’s something to be said about a basic dish that satisfies the appetite. To save time, you can purchase premade salad kits or make your own caesar salad from scratch. That involves toasting bread, making the dressing, and adding your own spin with anchovies or chicken. This is an easy salad to remove the meat from if you’re serving vegetarians! 

Rice with mushrooms

Rice dishes don’t have to be too complicated to pack a powerful flavor. This mushroom rice dish beats a pre-made package and doesn’t add too much time in the kitchen (but we won’t tell anyone if you buy one to save time). 

Potato gratin 

Creamy, cheesy, and flavorful, these potatoes au gratin will please everyone at the table. You might want to double this batch to satisfy the urge for seconds. 

Garlic bread

This recipe for garlic bread features two different methods depending on your preference: toasting it under the broil makes it nice and crispy, or wrapping it in tinfoil to produce a soft, chewy appetizer. 

Roasted carrots

Depending on your color palette, you might consider swapping carrots for Brussels sprouts, eggplant, cauliflower, or other roasted veggies to add variety to your spread. But this simple roasted carrot dish is both healthy and easy to make.  

Christmas dinner ideas roundup: Dessert 

Party table with glasses of sparkling cider

Photo: Adobe Stock


Making cheesecake from scratch is definitely one of the more challenging desserts, so we recommend you try making it once before the big day so you can practice before making it for hungry dinner guests. 

Or, save hours by buying one premade and topping it with fresh fruit, jam, or a chocolate reduction. 


Mmm… pie. There are so many different flavors to try out here. Though pumpkin, pecan, and fruit-filled flavors are usually represented at most gatherings, you can branch out and try to make a banana cream pie or fresh fruit tart to mix it up! Pie is also a great dish to delegate to a guest to take some of the load off your plate. 

Whatever flavor you land on, don’t forget the ice cream

Bread pudding

This dessert is incredibly easy to make and customize to fit your own tastes and preferences. You might also choose to make it from any leftover bread after the holidays are over. Spice it up with your own blend of cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla, and top it off with some fresh whipped cream for a  big crowd-pleaser.

Related articles: 

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15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas