A Very Merry Christmas Dinner

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Craft your perfect Christmas dinner from our best holiday recipes. Whether you’re hosting a casual buffet or a formal sit-down dinner, we’ve got plenty of ideas to help you feed the ones you love the most.

A Christmas table with prime rib, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and rolls.


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.

This year, I wanted to pull out all of the stops. 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.

Prime Rib with Mustard Cream Sauce

Prime Rib makes a mouth-watering, show-stopping centerpiece for any holiday gathering. If you’ve never attempted Prime Rib, fear not! All the information you need is there, broken-down and clearly explained, so you can approach this indulgent cut of meat with confidence, even as a beginner.

A platter of sliced prime rib.


Prime Rib with Mustard Cream Sauce

Learn how to cook the perfect Prime Rib with step-by-step instructions and photos. This prime rib recipe will be the star of your holiday table, and it's even better with a drizzle of mustard cream sauce.
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Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin surrounded by roasted fennel and onions.


Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

This fabulous Bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin with roasted fennel is the sheet pan dinner of your dreams. The pork is tender, the bacon is salty, and the fennel soaks up the juices from both! It's also fancy enough for "company" and ready in an hour.
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A rotisserie chicken on a white plate with slices of lemon.


How to Make Rotisserie Chicken

Learn how to make rotisserie chicken at home with my super simple spice rub (4 ingredients plus salt & pepper). Or, recreate that same delicious flavor for your next oven-roasted chicken! 
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Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are creamy, cheesy, and delicious in every bite, a rich side dish that is perfect for a celebration. Layers and layers of thinly sliced potatoes swim in a homemade cheese sauce, then baked until golden brown and crunchy on top. These are great for dinner and brunch alike!

A baking dish full of scalloped potatoes.


Scalloped Potatoes

At dinners and parties throughout the Midwest, Scalloped Potatoes are always the first thing to disappear. This recipe uses a quick, made-from-scratch cheese sauce that's layered with plenty of potatoes.
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More perfect potato recipes

A pile of cheesy potato casserole on a plate.


Cheesy Potato Casserole

Cheesy Potato Casserole is a cornerstone holiday recipe in the Midwest. This version has from-scratch cream of chicken soup and a crunchy cornflake topping.
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Roasted rosemary potatoes on a baking sheet.


Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Oven-crisp Rosemary Roasted Potatoes are an easy, delicious side dish that goes with everything from quick family suppers to holiday feasts.
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Green Beans with Bacon

Everything is better with bacon, and green beans are no exception. Blanch the green beans to keep them bright green and tender crisp, then toss with chewy (or crispy) bacon and a touch of brown sugar for sweetness. It’s a vegetable side dish people go crazy for!

A platter full of green beans and bacon.


Green Beans and Bacon

This simple recipe for Green Beans and Bacon is an easy, tasty side dish. Blanch fresh green beans ahead of time, then toss with cooked bacon and a touch of brown sugar. It's sweet, salty, and totally satisfying.
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More tasty vegetable recipes

Slow cooker green bean casserole on a patterned platter.


Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

This Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole is a great mix of convenience and from-scratch cooking and won't take up any oven space.
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A pan of vegetable casserole with Velveeta and cracker crumbs.


Vegetable Casserole

Vegetable Casserole, just like mom used to make! Made with frozen veggies, Velveeta, and buttery cracker crumbs, it's always the first side dish to disappear.
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Soft Dinner Rolls

These soft, yeasty dinner rolls are perfect in every way: The size, shape, and texture you want, and so delicious slathered with butter. They are perfect for impromptu sandwiches or just enjoyed on the side of Prime Rib or whatever main dish you serve.

Soft yeast dinner rolls on a baking sheet.


Soft Yeast Dinner Rolls

When nothing but homemade bread will do, try these easy Soft Yeast Dinner Rolls. They are perfect at your holiday table, on the side of Sunday Supper, piled with any kind of meat, or served simply with a bowl of soup.
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More scrumptious bread recipes

A basket of homemade crescent rolls.


Homemade Crescent Rolls

Pillowy soft with a sweet, buttery taste, these Homemade Crescent Rolls are perfect for all the holidays or a weekend baking project.
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Cranberry Apple Cider

A staple at the holidays, this Cranberry Apple Cider is the perfect winter warm-up for entertaining. Keep a big crockpot of cider next to mugs and a ladle, and guests can help themselves. It keeps tummies warm and adds a delicious aroma to your house, too. Stash a bottle of something on the side for the 21+ crowd, if desired.

Slow cooker cranberry apple cider in a clear mug.


Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider is simple to make, sweet, and delicious. This welcoming, spiced hot beverage makes the whole house smell amazing, too.
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More Christmas cocktails

A brandy old fashioned in a clear glass.


Brandy Old Fashioned

From Friday fish fries to supper clubs, the Wisconsin drink of choice is a Brandy Old Fashioned. Here's the authentic recipe for the Wisconsin twist on this famous classic cocktail.
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A white Russian cocktail with a bottle of Kahlua in the background.


White Russian

The classic White Russian cocktail is made with vodka, Kahlúa, and cream. It's simple, delicious, and tastes a little bit like iced coffee.
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Cranberry Wreath Cake

This stunning Cranberry Wreath Cake is elevated with a ring of rosemary and sugared cranberries atop a decadent chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream. It’s a festive display for your Christmas table that tastes as good as it looks!

A cranberry wreath cake on a granite cake platter with a small plate of sugared cranberries next to it.


Cranberry Wreath Cake

Cranberry Wreath Cake is a luscious chocolate cake covered in sweet vanilla buttercream and is perfect for the holidays or any winter celebration. A crown of fresh rosemary and sugared cranberries makes a stunning finishing touch.
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More delicious desserts


Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake)

It's officially Christmas when Buche de Noel appears, thickly frosted in chocolate ganache bark and dotted with tiny meringue mushrooms. If making a Yule Log cake seems too elaborate, don't worry; all the steps are broken down into one easy-to-manage project.
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Frosted sugar cookies decorated for Christmas on a baking rack.


Christmas Sugar Cookies

These frosted Christmas Sugar Cookies are my grandma’s best recipe, so buttery and sweet! A family favorite. No Christmas is complete without them.
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A Christmas table with prime rib, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and rolls.

Millions of Americans suffer from food insecurity every day, but you can help. Here are the best food donations to buy (and the ones to avoid) plus a section on specific food donations for the holidays.

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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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  1. Once again, you developed an outstanding selection of ideas/recipes! The pictures as well as step by step recipes are very helpful. The difficult part is narrowing choices. Happy holidays. Thanks again.

  2. I haven’t used any of these recipes yet but I will be using some of these recipes for Christmas dinner I’m always looking for a new recipe I get tired of cooking the same Christmas dinner year after year