This holiday season, I’ll be serving up a Very, Merry Christmas Dinner for the whole family, with a classic menu that’s bound to delight everyone at the table, naughty or nice.
Growing up in Wisconsin, Christmas dinner with family always included a juicy baked ham, a seemingly infinite array of side dishes, and a sweets table that groaned from the weight of all my mom’s cookies and desserts.
My mom made her cranberry cider, my grandma baked her famous crescent rolls, and there were always gallons of chocolate milk for the kids. I have to laugh; there are so many chocolate mustaches in our Christmas dinner pictures!
This year, I felt like I wanted to branch out a bit from the traditional holiday dinner I’ve had for so many years. All around the world, everyone’s Christmas dinner menu is different, after all, so why not explore some fun new options, and make some fresh traditions for my family?
If you’re wondering how to cook Christmas dinner, I think you’ll be happy with my new (to me, anyways) holiday menu. I kept some of my favorite things, but switched up the main event and learned how to make the most delicious Prime Rib ever.
Whether you’re celebrating with friends, having Christmas dinner with family, or celebrating a very, merry mixture of both, maybe my Christmas dinner ideas will inspire you to update your own traditions.
Let’s take a look at the festivities, shall we?
To my mind, very special holidays call for very special roasts, and Prime Rib is just that.
The oven does most of the work for you; all you need is a trusted butcher and some patience.
Mustard Cream Sauce is perfect with, well, everything on the plate.
I mean, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some sort of potato, at least not in my house. Cheesy, creamy Scalloped Potatoes are the perfect accompaniment for prime rib, and stay piping hot in the casserole.
Fresh green beans are cooked with smoky bits of bacon for a side dish that’s easy to whip up on the stove while everything else is in the oven. Make a double recipe; they’re even better the next day.
These lovely, soft yeast dinner rolls some together with ease and will delight young and old and everyone in between. Besides, you might need the rolls for prime rib sliders the next day…
A little nosh keeps the hunger at bay, so I’ll be making my Easy Deviled Eggs for the early-birds. They’ll probably be gone before everyone gets here, so I’ll also make Mini Cheese Balls with crackers for the stragglers to munch on.
Mexican Christmas Punch, a fruity punch made with guava, cinnamon, sugar cane, tamarind, and hibiscus flowers, can be made with or without tequila and is absolutely delicious either way.
Maybe Prime Rib is customary at your house, and you want to switch it up and try my family’s favorite recipe for Baked Ham. Or Roast Rack of Lamb is calling your name–I can’t think of anything better!
Today, I found out there are a few pescatarians coming to dinner. For them, I’ll be making a side of Baked Salmon, covering the fish with herbs, wrapping it in foil, and serving it whole on a gorgeous platter.
A beautiful recipe I learned in culinary school, Duchess Potatoes, are begging to be made for Christmas, and look so pretty on the plate. Rosemary Roasted Potatoes are another option; they fill the house with delicious rosemary and garlic.
If your group simply can’t survive without mashed spuds, though, I have several to choose from: The Best Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Boursin Mashed Potatoes, to name just a few. Want to make them ahead of time? Try my recipe for Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes.
Christmas Cookies & Chocolate Desserts
Christmas cookies may be the best gift of all. I’ve been stockpiling all my favorite recipes for years, waiting to bring them out come December. From glittery green and red sugar sprinkled Spritz Cookies to pretty white Mexican Wedding Cookies, I love them all.
Linzer Cookies, Gingerbread Man (or woman!) Cookies, Cherry Almond Biscotti, or Christmas Crack; there’s a cookie for every elf, caroler, gift-wrapper, teacher, tutor, and personal trainer in your life.
For the chocolate lovers, I’ll make a Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake to bake throughout dinner and serve up by the gooey spoonful. It’s hauntingly good.
Or my grandma’s Frosty Chocolate Cheesecake pulled out of the freezer to ooohs and ahhhs.
Christmas Breakfast Ideas:
Whether you celebrate with dinner the night before Christmas or on the day itself, you’ll still need a bite to eat on Christmas morning.
For brunch, I’ll make an easy Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole with Sausage, a couple dozen Mini Spinach Quiche, a batch of Coffee Cake Muffins, and something that is near and dear to my Wisconsin heart: a Danish Kringle. With lots of hot coffee, of course, and…just maybe some chocolate milk!
This holiday season, I hope that your travel plans go off without a hitch, your stockings are bursting with treats, and that your sidewalk always gets shoveled.
May you and yours have a very, merry Christmas and a peaceful and New Year.