74 Recipes Perfect for an Easy Christmas Dinner
For a simple holiday spread, check out these easy Christmas dinner ideas. Find tasty recipes for mains, sides and apps.
My family first tasted this rich, homemade lasagna recipe at a friend’s on Christmas Eve. We were so impressed that we took this easy Christmas dinner idea and made it our tradition at home. This classic lasagna recipe is requested often by my sister’s Italian in-laws—I consider that the highest compliment! —Lorri Foockle, Granville, Illinois
Get more Italian Christmas dinner ideas.
Garlic Herbed Beef TenderloinYou don’t need much seasoning to add flavor to this beef tenderloin recipe. The mild blending of rosemary, basil and garlic does the trick. The best part: It’s a surprisngly easy Christmas dinner! —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington
Spiral Ham with Cranberry GlazeThe sweet, tangy glaze that complements this ham looks so pretty, and the cranberry flavor pairs well with the meat. It’s been a tradition in my home for as long as I can remember. —Pattie Prescott, Manchester, New Hampshire
Get more Christmas ham recipe inspiration from our Test Kitchen.
Orange Pomegranate SalmonA colorful, festive salmon dish makes an impressive addition to your holiday table—and it is as delicious as it is beautiful. What will no one guess? How easy it is to cook. I serve this with roasted baby potatoes and asparagus for a showstopping meal that is wonderful for special occasions. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
Make this a part of your Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Mashed Red PotatoesThese simple-yet-satisfying chunky mashed potatoes are rich enough to stand on their own—but a big pat of butter on top sure never hurts. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Quick Green Beans with BaconGreen beans with bacon and onions makes such an easy side dish. Fresh beans lend a crisp, bright flavor to any meal. They're best when served hot. —Mari Anne Warren, Milton, Wisconsin
Cranberry-Lime SangriaTart, light and fruity, this party-worthy sangria is a hit any time of the year. —Katy Joosten, Little Chute, Wisconsin
Crisp Caraway TwistsThese appetizers are always a hit when I serve them on holidays or special occasions. The flaky cheese-filled twists (made with convenient puff pastry) bake to a crispy golden brown. When our big family gets together, I make two batches. —Dorothy Smith, El Dorado, Arkansas
Cranberry Fluff SaladIt wasn’t Thanksgiving without my grandmother’s cool and tangy cranberry fluff. With only four ingredients, it’s a cinch to make. Now my siblings and I carry on her tradition. —Leah Nicholes, San Diego, California
Herbed Roast Turkey BreastWhen learning how to cook turkey breast for my first formal dinner party as a newlywed, I came across this particular recipe. It was such a success that this turkey breast recipe has become a standby on all my entertaining menus. —Lisa Mahon Fluegeman, Cincinnati, Ohio
Maple-Ginger Glazed CarrotsI first made this dish for my family and friends one Thanksgiving. Not only are the carrots lovely on the table, they taste terrific, too! —Jeannette Sabo, Lexington Park, Maryland
Moist Cranberry Pork RoastI love to serve this tender, flavorful pork to guests. You don’t have to toil away in the kitchen to prepare it, yet it tastes like a gourmet meal. —Kimberley Scasny, Douglasville, Georgia
Parmesan-Bacon Bubble BreadWhen I needed to put some leftover bread dough to good use, I started with a recipe I often use for bubble bread and substituted savory ingredients for the sweet. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
Pomegranate Ginger SpritzerConveniently, a pitcher of this non-alcoholic beverage can be made hours before holiday guests arrive. Add the club soda just before serving. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Peppery Roast BeefWith its spicy coating and creamy horseradish sauce, this tender roast is sure to be the star of any meal, whether it’s a sit-down dinner or serve-yourself potluck.—Maureen Brand, Somers, Iowa
Pear and Gorgonzola SaladThis pear and gorgonzola salad is quick and easy. When I have leftover cooked chicken, I often add it to the recipe to make a main dish salad. —Candace McMenamin, Lexington, South Carolina
Check out more Christmas salads to round out your feast.
Easy BiscuitsWhip up this buttery, easy biscuit recipe to serve with breakfast or dinner. The dough is very simple to work with, so there's no need to roll with a rolling pin; just pat to the right thickness. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Also check out our southern Christmas dinner menu ideas.
Honey-Maple Glazed HamMy graham cracker-crusted ham gets a double coating of a simple honey-maple glaze. The first half melts into the ham while the second half forms a sweet caramelized topping. —Alan Sproles, Knoxville, Tennessee
Special Creamed CornThis corn has earned a permanent place on our special-occasion menus. While my whole family loves it, my son would be especially disappointed if I forgot to include our corn dish. —Deb Hauptmann, Mohnton, Pennsylvania
Thyme Green Beans with AlmondsThyme is a lovely addition to this classic vegetable side dish. The recipe is a snap to make for family, yet special enough to serve guests. —Kenna Baber, Rochester, Minnesota
Chicken Cordon BleuThe addition of bacon in this version of cordon bleu makes it one of my favorite comforting recipes. I've made it for both friends and family, and everyone's a fan. —Jim Wick, Orlando, Florida
Orange Pomegranate Salad with HoneyI discovered this fragrant salad in a cooking class. If you can, try to find orange flower water (also called orange blossom water), which perks up the orange segments. But orange juice adds a nice zip, too! —Carol Richardson Marty, Lynwood, Washington
Mashed Cauliflower with ParmesanI couldn’t shake my mashed potato habit—until I tried mashed cauliflower with a similar consistency. I started making my own, and my family loves it. —Meredith Howard, Franklin, Kentucky
Caprese SaladMy husband and I love Caprese salad, but not the high prices we pay for it in restaurants. Here, we created our own version which tastes incredibly close, if not better, than any restaurant version we’ve tried. —Melissa Pearson, Sandy, Utah
Maple-Glazed Pork TenderloinMy husband and I think this roasted pork tenderloin tastes like a fancy restaurant dish, but it couldn’t be simpler to make at home. The maple-mustard glaze makes it extra special. It’s a modification of a recipe we first tasted at a friend’s house. —Colleen Mercier, Salmon Arm, British Columbia.
Christmas Morning PopoversPopovers have been a Christmas morning tradition in my family for 30 years. I get up early to make the popovers, then wake the family to begin opening gifts. When the popovers are ready, I serve them with lots of butter and assorted jams. My father-in-law began the tradition. —Sue A. Jurack
Green Bean BundlesI found this recipe in a rural newspaper years ago and have made it often. The bean bundles are excellent with chicken or beef. Sometimes I'll arrange them around a mound of wild rice to make an appetizing side dish. —Virginia Stadler, Nokesville, Virginia
Maple Bourbon SalmonThis flavorful maple bourbon salmon feels fancy for a holiday but is so simple to make! —Diane Higgins, Tampa, Florida
Check out more fish recipes to enjoy on Christmas and Christmas Eve.
Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato CasseroleMy family likes the marshmallow topping, but you can also vary it if you prefer a crunchier texture.
Sheet-Pan Pork SupperI created this pork tenderloin sheet-pan dinner to suit our family’s needs. It’s so quick and easy to clean up since you use one pan for everything! Use any variety of small potatoes—fingerlings or other colored potatoes are a fun and delicious option. —Debbie Johnson, Centertown, Missouri
Festive Cranberry Fruit SaladThis fruit salad is a tradition on my Christmas table. It goes together quickly, which is a plus on such a busy day. —Rousheen Arel Wolf, Delta Junction, Alaska
Slow-Cooker Beef TenderloinI created this slow-cooker beef tenderloin recipe when I was having guests over. It tastes incredible with little effort. —Amanda Wentz, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Old-Fashioned Fruit CompoteA perfect partner for your Christmas goose, this warm and fruity side dish can simmer while you prepare the rest of your menu, or make it a day ahead and reheat before serving. —Shirley A. Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Cranberry CornbreadDuring the holidays, I make several pans of this sweet cakelike cornbread for family and friends. Whole blueberries—coated in flour—can be used in place of the cranberries. —Sylvia Gidwani, Milford, New Jersey
Citrus Fennel SaladI guarantee guests will love the taste of this unique salad. The pleasant orange flavor pairs well with tender pieces of fennel. —Marion Karlin, Waterloo, Iowa
Cranberry Orange MimosasMimosas are just so elegant for Sunday brunch. My recipe uses tart cranberries to balance the sweetness of champagne and orange juice. —Shannon Stephens, Lake in the Hills, Illinois
Scallion and Cheddar Cathead BiscuitsSoutherners are known for giving their recipes colorful names. This one got its name because each extra-large drop biscuit is as big as a cat’s head. The treats are crisp and golden outside, soft and pillowy inside, and filled with scallions, cheddar cheese and just the right amount of black pepper. These cathead biscuits are quick to fix and simple to make—you don’t even have to roll out the dough. —Cheryl Day, Back in the Day Bakery
Decadent Spinach-Stuffed ShellsI created this comforting stuffed shells dish to serve on Christmas Eve, but it’s so good we enjoy it all year long. It can easily be assembled and frozen to bake at a later date. If you have any leftover cheese mixture, it can be served as a dip, either cold or spooned into ramekins and baked until browned. If you don’t like roasted red peppers, feel free to substitute chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the filling and any other pasta sauce. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO
Green Bean CasseroleThis easy green bean casserole recipe has always been one of my favorite dishes. You can make it before any guests arrive and refrigerate it until it’s ready to bake. —Anna Baker, Blaine, Washington
Ranch Pork RoastOur Test Kitchen created this simple Savory Pork Roast with a mild rub that’s perfect for new cooks. It’s easy enough to make any time of year, but it’s an especially easy Christmas dinner idea!
Spiced Acorn SquashWorking full time, I found I didn't always have time to cook the meals my family loved, so I re-created many of those dishes in the slow cooker. This treatment for squash is one of our favorites. —Carol Greco, Centereach, New York
Rice DressingThis yummy rice mixture is a delightful change from our traditional corn bread dressing. To make it a meal in itself, I sometimes add finely chopped cooked chicken and a little more broth. —Linda Emery, Bearden, Arkansas
Five Spice Plum-Glazed HamBaked ham is one of my favorite dishes, and this plum-baked ham recipe adds something a little bit different to the classic. The plum goes really well with the ham and the Asian spices! —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
Cranberry-Sesame Spinach SaladFor a feast or any occasion, we love this snappy fall salad that balances sweet and sour with good crunch from almonds and sesame seeds. —Stephanie Smoley, Rochester, Minnesota
Puff Pastry Chicken PotpieWhen my wife is craving comfort food, I whip up this chicken pot pie with puff pastry. This addition makes it seem a little fancier than a weeknight potpie; I think it’s a great easy Christmas dinner idea. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
Holiday Potato BakeI have made this at Thanksgiving and Christmas for the past several years. My family requests this dish all the time, even when it's not a holiday! —Vickie West, Long Beach, California
Balsamic Purple PotatoesI volunteered at a local organic farm in exchange for fresh produce, and I was given purple potatoes. I wanted to cook something new and use herbs from our garden. Coming from the Midwest, adding vinegar to potato recipes has always been a hit, especially with fries! —Kristin Schultz, Manor, Texas
Buttery Herb Roasted ChickenRoasting chicken is always such a comforting thing, especially when you can pick the herbs right from your garden and pair them with some fresh citrus to smear across the bird! My family can’t get enough of this herb-roasted chicken recipe. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
Fennel Spinach SauteSpinach and fennel are two of my favorite veggies, so I'm always looking for new ways to use them. This is an amazing side dish, but if you slice the fennel a bit smaller, it also makes a great stuffing for chicken breasts or beef tenderloin. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
New England Lamb BakeThis dish is hearty and perfect for warming up on a chilly winter evening. The aroma is almost as delightful as the dish itself. —Frank Grady, Fort Kent, Maine
Cran-Raspberry Gelatin SaladJust like Grandma’s, this pretty gelatin salad has full berry flavor without being too tart. It’s perfect for any holiday dinner. —Rosemary Burch, Phoenix, Arizona
Get more retro gelatin salads for your Christmas spread!
Slow-Cooked Cherry Pork ChopsI mixed and matched several recipes to come up with this one. I'm always happy to adapt recipes for my slow cooker. It's so easy to prepare a meal that way. —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
Slow-Cooked Green BeansI spent hours in search of sides for a cooking demo to present to women from my church. These easy green beans became my star attraction. —Alice White, Willow Spring, North Carolina
No-Fuss RollsWith only 4 ingredients, these delicious rolls are ready in no time. They’re fantastic with herb butter or jam. —Glenda Trail, Manchester, Tennessee
Easy and Elegant HamI fix this moist, tender ham to serve my large family. It can be readied quickly in the morning, frees up my oven, tastes outstanding and can feed a crowd. Covered with colorful pineapple slices, cherries and orange glaze, its showstopping appearance appeals to both children and adults. —Denise DiPace, Medford, New Jersey
Black-Eyed Peas & HamEvery New Year’s Day we have these slow-cooked black-eyed peas to bring good luck for the coming year. —Dawn Legler, Fort Morgan, Colorado
Pressure-Cooker Beef Brisket in BeerOne bite of this super tender brisket and your family will be hooked! The rich gravy is perfect for spooning over a side of creamy mashed potatoes. —Eunice Stoen, Decorah, Iowa
Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked BeansWhen I have a hungry family to feed, these tasty beans with spinach, tomatoes and carrots are a go-to dish. This veggie delight is frequently on our menu. —Jennifer Reid, Farmington, Maine
Cranberry Sauce MeatballsMy friends look forward to enjoying these cranberry sauce meatballs at our holiday gatherings. There are never any leftovers! Using packaged meatballs helps save time in the kitchen and they are just as tasty as homemade. The sauce is tangy yet sweet, and the festive color is perfect for any holiday party. —Amy Scamerhorn, Indianapolis, Indiana
Slow-Cooker Turkey BreastTry this wonderfully flavored, easy-to-fix slow-cooker turkey breast when you’re craving something delicious. It’s a very easy Christmas dinner idea for smaller families. —Maria Juco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Cider Baked SquashI’m a freelance writer who sometimes needs a break from a long session of working on a story. That’s when I escape to the kitchen to whip up something that’s good to eat, yet easy to prepare. This is one of my favorites!
Air-Fryer Roasted Salmon with Sauteed Balsamic SpinachThis air-fryer salmon recipe is my favorite. The dish is healthy, affordable, fast and delicious. —Susan Hall, Sparks, Maryland
Creamy Turkey GravyWith my easy recipe, even someone who has never made homemade gravy before can be assured of success. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas.
Applesauce Sweet PotatoesDuring the holidays, using a slow cooker not only frees up oven space, but time, too! Sweet potatoes are a must on our family menu, and this no-fuss version will have everyone thinking you spent hours in the kitchen. —Pamela Allen, Marysville, Ohio
Mile-High Chicken PotpieClassic chicken potpie gets extra homey when it’s loaded with a creamy filling and baked tall in a springform pan. This deep-dish marvel is perfect for Sunday dinners. —Shannon Roum, Food Stylist, Taste of Home magazine
Sparkling Red Wine SangriaSangria is a Spanish drink of wine mixed with spices, cut fruit, and fruit juice, sherry or brandy. It’s best to mix this and let it sit for an hour or more before serving so all the flavors of the fruit and wine blend together. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Air-Fryer Onion Crescent RollsFrench fried onions aren’t just for green bean casserole. Sprinkle them onto crescent roll dough before rolling up and you’ll end up with a crunchy treat inside flaky pastry. —Barbara Nowakowski, North Tonawanda, New York
Brown Sugar Pineapple HamThis pineapple ham glaze is straightforward and simple—just what you're looking for in a holiday main dish. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Savory Roasted ChickenWhen you want an impressive centerpiece for Sunday dinner or a special-occasion meal, you can’t go wrong with this golden chicken. The moist, tender meat is enhanced with a hint of orange, savory and thyme. -Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Stuffing from the Slow CookerIf you’re hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner this year, add this simple slow-cooked stuffing to your menu to ease entertaining. The recipe comes in handy when you run out of oven space at large family gatherings. I use this Crock Pot dressing recipe often. —Donald Seiler, Macon, Mississippi
Beef Tenderloin RoastThis beef tenderloin roast is a simple way to dress up dinner. Prepare the rest of your meal while it bakes in the oven. —Judith LaBrozzi, Canton, Ohio
Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels SproutsI love creating dishes with few ingredients and easy steps, like squash with Brussels sprouts. Maple syrup adds a slight sweetness, and pecans give it a toasty crunch. —Angela LeMoine, Howell, New Jersey
Slow-Cooker Bacon Mac & CheeseI’m all about easy slow-cooker meals. Using more cheese than ever, I developed an addictive spin on this casserole favorite. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York
Oven-Baked BrisketTexans like brisket cooked on the smoker, but this recipe offers convenient prep in the oven. Sometimes I make extra sauce to serve on the side. Round out the meal with potato salad and slaw. —Katie Ferrier, Houston, TX
Up Next: Put your air fryer to good use this holiday season with our air-fryer Christmas recipes.