11 Best Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas to Dazzle All Your Guests

Every holiday dinner needs a thoughtful menu.

slow cooker herbed chicken christmas dinner menu
Ryan Liebe

'Tis the season for creative DIY presents, tree decorating, and the ever-stressful planning and prepping of your holiday meal. Avoid the yearly drama with these carefully-cultivated Christmas dinner menu ideas, which come complete with every type of recipe imaginable. Whether you're intrigued by an original, Tex-Mex-inspired Christmas feast (featuring beer-braised chicken, buttermilk and Hatch Chile grits, and Texas-style pimento cheese, no less!) or would rather stick with the classics (think: a glazed rack of lamb or a sweet spiced ham), there's something on our list of Christmas dinner menu ideas that both you and your family will love. In the mood for a dessert-heavy spread? Not to worry: We've got you covered in that department too. After all, you didn't do all that Christmas baking for nothing. Our apple-cheddar crumble pie makes for a heavenly addition to any Southern menu, while a chocolate bourban pecan pie or mini brown sugar tart is sure to please just about any palate. Of course, it's not a true Christmas dinner without a few Christmas party decorations, some gorgeous Christmas place settings, and a festive cocktail or two to top it all off. Check out our ideas, and get ready to be crowned hostess of the year!

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1 Showstopper Christmas Menu
impressive christmas menu
Brian Woodcock

You didn't come to play! These unbelievably impressive Christmas dinner menu ideas aren't just delicious; they look the part too. Featuring exciting ingredients and creative twists, they're just the thing you need to make your guests say "wow"—and mean it.


Caramelized Onion Dip with Crispy Shallots

Main Course:

Spice-Rubbed Turkey Wrapped in Prosciutto

Side Dish:

Pimento-Cheese Potato Gratin

Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Red Onions

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin

Creamed Pearl Onions


Gingerbread Cheesecake with Pecan Graham Crust

Persimmon Crème Brûleé


Pomegranate-Champagne Cocktails

2 Vegetarian Christmas Menu
vegetarian christmas menu ideas
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Got a few vegetarians coming over this year? Make them feel right at home with our very best vegetarian Christmas menu ideas. Trust us: You won't notice a difference. Here, bucatini acts as a satisfying, meatless entrée.

Main Course:

Bucatini with Winter Pesto and Sweet Potatoes

Side Dish:

Marinated Mushroom and Charred Broccolini Salad

Green Bean Salad with Red Onions

Pumpkin Cheese Bread

Coriander-Roasted Carrots


Candy Cane Cake

3 Herb-Infused Christmas Menu
herb infused christmas menu
Brian Woodcock

Here's a menu that incorporates the delicious taste of fresh herbs in all of its elements. From a fennel-scented panzanella to an herbed goat cheese dip, every dish here is flavorful and sweet-scented.


Herbed Goat Cheese Dip

Main Course:

Cider-Braised Chicken-and-Fennel Panzanella

Herbed Chicken with Beets and Brussels

Side Dish:

Green Salad With Roasted Carrots and Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Creamy Bibb and Herb Salad


Orange Thyme Old Fashioned

4 Make Ahead Christmas Menu
make ahead christmas menu
Brian Woodcock

Yes, you really can make everything on this menu ahead of time—including the desserts. Leave the ice cream in the freezer until you're ready to enjoy it, give yourself enough time to heat up the pasta, and you've got yourself a delicious, time-savvy meal.

Main Course:

Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts Linguini

Side Dish:

Farro and Acorn Squash Salad

Spiced Apricot, Golden Raisin, and Cranberry Compote


Pretzel-Chocolate-Pecan Slab Pie

Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk No-Churn Ice Cream

5 Slow Cooker Christmas Menu
slow cooker christmas menu ideas
Ryan Liebe

There's nothing easier than being able to set your slow cooker—then forget it while you plan the rest of your Christmas festivities. Each and every one of these recipes lets you do exactly that!

Main Course:

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken

Side Dish:

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Butternut Squash Soup


Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake


Slow Cooker Apple Cider

6 A Tex-Mex-Inspired Christmas Feast
Buff Strickland

An array of hearty dishes displayed in festive hodgepodge servingware makes this Tex-Mex meal perfect for Christmas at the ranch.

Main Course:

Beer-Braised Chicken and Jalapeno Ranch Coleslaw Tacos

Side Dishes:

Buttermilk and Hatch Chile Grits

Oven Avocado Fries

Black Pepper and Bacon Pinto Beans

Texas-Style Pimento Cheese


Skillet S'mores


Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate

Grapefruit Ranch Water

7 A Classic Christmas Dinner Spread
classic christmas dinner spread
Aimee Herring

This sumptuous spread—rack of lamb, fennel salad, onion pie, and more—gives reason to rejoice.

Main Course:
Cherry-and-Port-Glazed Rack of Lamb Recipe

Side Dishes:
Fennel, Orange, and Olive Salad

Onion Pie

Baked Potatoes with Bacon Butter

Pumpkin Cream Tarts with Candied Cranberries

Pomegranate-Apple Cocktails

8 A Casual Cocktail Buffet
casual cocktail christmas dinner buffet
Andrew Purcell

Fete a crowd—sans stress—with this satisfying, make-ahead fare: sweet-and-spicy ham, mini cheesecakes, and more.

Lemon Goat-Cheese Dip

Main Course:
Sweet-and-Spicy Cola-Glazed Ham

Side Dish:
Cheddar Biscuits

Orange Carrots with Yogurt Parsley Dressing

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple-Bacon Drizzle

Mini Brown-Sugar Cheesecakes

Sparkling Winter Sangria

9 Budget-Friendly Dinner Party
budget-friendly christmas dinner party
Anson Smart

Hosting your friends and family for the holidays doesn't have to break the bank. This delicious, crowd-pleasing party menu is simple, fun, and easy on your wallet.

Roasted Winter Squash Soup

Pigs in Blankets

Pulled Pork in Biscuits

Smoky Popcorn

Spicy Rosemary Peanuts

Mini Bread Puddings

Trio of Cocktails:
Cranberry Cava Cocktail

Tropical Bourbon Punch

Warm Bourbon Cider

10 A New England Christmas
new england christmas dinner
Miki Duisterhof

A classic menu that's the perfect accompaniment to a snowy, New England country Christmas.

Main Course:
Cider-Brined Pork Roast with Onions and Apples

Side Dishes:
Oven Roasted Mushroom Stew

Sweet Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

Pumpkin and Cauliflower Casserole

Apple-Cheddar Crumble Pie

Block Island Fog

11 Southern Holiday Menu
southern christmas dinner menu
Dasha Wright

Get a dose of Southern holiday cheer with this Christmas dinner menu of traditional southern staples.

Main Course:
Maple-Orange Glazed Ham

Side Dishes:
Potato Clover Rolls

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Pimento-Cheese Gratin

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Low Country Pousse-Rapiere

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