Christmas Dinner Meals

Here are some of the best unique, special, and also traditional Christmas dinner meals ideas for 2 to 20 guests. So, plan to make this festive Christmas holiday an event to remember with our loads of recipes along with time-saving tips and make ahead ideas. Also, this is a part of our Food Guides category and is listed in our Holiday Dinner Suggestions article.

Christmas Dinner Meals Plan: Recipe Ideas for Planning

To begin with, Christmas is a time we gather with family and loved ones. So it’s important to plan what you’re going to have for this festive, creative time. Also, here are some thoughts for how you can plan that Christmas meal.

So, the best way to begin this special plan is to decide on one more key areas. Then, we’ll move on to sides that will go with that entrée. After that, there are a lot of other things that we’ll go over. So, let’s choose the key focus item now.

1. Choose the Hearty Main Course

Traditional Ham or Turkey for Christmas Dinner Meals Ideas as Main Courses

Occasionally, your dinner meal plans for Christmas might be a meat selection like turkey or the traditional ham as the main course. So, if getting turkey, see our smart article on “What Size Turkey Chart & Guide“. Also, you might be looking for something non-traditional like seafood, roast chicken, roast, or prime rib.

So, keep reading for some specific options in more detail, including many of their recipes, as well as what else goes well with them.

Nontraditional Christmas Dinner Meals Ideas for Main Courses

Sometimes, you might want to think about less traditional main course ideas for Christmas. With that in mind, you can look for something else besides ham or turkey. So, consider something non-traditional like seafood, roast chicken, roast, or prime rib.

Turkey As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea
Turkey As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea
London Broil As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea
London Broil As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea
Rotisserie or Roasted Chicken As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea
Rotisserie or Roasted Chicken As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea

So, keep reading for some specific options in more detail, including many of their recipes, as well as what else goes well with them.

Christmas Dinner Meals Ideas of Seafood

Also, the non-traditional options are as varied as you want to make them. So, here are a few fun seafood ideas. Fish, shrimp, and crab are easy to get in time for Christmas. And, even if you have a full meal planned for turkey or ham, if it’s a large crowd, consider adding in some different items.

Crab Cakes As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea
Crab Cakes As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea
Fried Fish As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea
Fried Fish As a Christmas Dinner Meals Idea

10 Best Christmas Dinner Meals Main Course Ideas

Overall, it’s now time to decide the main course(s) for your key recipes. Some are easy to make but all look great on the holiday dinner table. So, here’s a complete simple list of main selections, appropriate for Christmas.

In order to choose their appropriately paired items, you’ll first need to first decide your meal’s feature item. So, here are some choices.

  1. Ham
  2. Turkey
  3. Roast Chicken
  4. Crab Cakes
  5. Fried Fish
  6. Shrimp: Shrimp Recipes by Sizzlefish.com
  7. Salmon
  8. Roast
  9. Prime Rib
  10. Steak

2. Choose the Christmas Side Dishes

Secondly, you can choose anything you want to match up with your own selected featured focus. Look at the all the Christmas sides options in our article “Darn Good Christmas Sides Ideas for 2 to 20“. So, usually, it’s about several of these other items as shown here, along with a salad, bread, and dessert. We will cover the salads, breads, and desserts later.

Whole Cranberry Sauce As 1 of Many Darn Good Christmas Sides Ideas
Whole Cranberry Sauce As a Side for Christmas
Macaroni and Cheese As a Traditional Side for Christmas
Macaroni and Cheese As a Traditional Side for Christmas
Sweet Potato Casserole As a Traditional Side for Christmas
Sweet Potato Casserole As a Traditional Side for Christmas

Festive and Casual Christmas Dinner Meals Appetizers

Deviled Eggs As a Christmas Appetizer
Deviled Eggs As a Christmas Appetizer
Crostini and Dip As a Christmas Appetizer
Crostini and Dip As a Christmas Appetizer
Liver Pate and Club Crackers As a Christmas Appetizer
Liver Pate and Club Crackers As a Christmas Appetizer

Christmas Dinner Meals Salads, Breads, and Desserts

Cauliflower Broccoli Salad for Christmas
Cauliflower Broccoli Salad for Christmas
Creamy Pineapple Lime Jello Salad for Christmas
Creamy Pineapple Lime Jello Salad for Christmas
Cucumber Tomato Salad for Christmas
Cucumber Tomato Salad for Christmas

Christmas Desserts & Snacks

Pecan Pie As a Christmas Dessert
Pecan Pie As a Christmas Dessert
Cheesecake As a Christmas Dessert
Cheesecake As a Christmas Dessert
Strawberry Yogurt Granola Dessert for Christmas
Strawberry Yogurt Granola Dessert for Christmas

Christmas Breads

Yeast Dinner Rolls for Christmas
Yeast Dinner Rolls for Christmas
French Bread and Seasoned Olive Oil Dip for Christmas
French Bread and Seasoned Olive Oil Dip for Christmas
Kings Hawaiian Rolls for Christmas
Kings Hawaiian Rolls for Christmas

Christmas Dinner Meals Planning for Family and Guest Size: 2, 3, 4 to 20

This section is devoted to serving a variety of the gathering sizes and also references the buffet concept. So, here are some great thoughts of Christmas dinner meals for families and guests of all sizes (not weight references; LoL).

Casual Christmas Dinner Meals Plan for 2-5 People

Altogether, you can have a wonderful festive menu for a small amount of people. The notion here is to reduce the number of food items yet still remain in the Christmas spirit. So, personalize it. For example, make some food choices based on whoever’s coming. Then, you just have to ensure you set the servings quantity correctly so you don’t run out.

So, these are several good menu ideas for a traditional holiday dinner for 2 to 5 people:

  1. First Choice Ham: Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, dinner rolls and/or cornbread muffins, simple lettuce salad, pecan pie
  2. Ham: Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Dressing/Stuffing with gravy, whole cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, cucumber salad, cheesecake
  3. Ham: Green Bean Casserole, Potato Salad, crescent rolls, cantaloupe salad, pecan pie
  4. First Choice Turkey: Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, dinner rolls, simple lettuce salad, pecan pie
  5. Turkey: Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Dressing/Stuffing with gravy, crescent rolls, cucumber salad, cheesecake
  6. Turkey: Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Dressing/Stuffing, whole cranberry sauce, homemade yeast rolls, cantaloupe salad, pecan pie

Christmas Dinner Meals Plan for 6-12 People

Moreover, if you have 6 to 12 people for dinner, you can make an incredible meal of Christmas dinner recipes with lots of variety. So, look at each recipe servings amount and decide how to adjust it. But, if it calls for serving 6, and you have 10 people, decide if you have enough of a variety of other items to take its place. However, some might be very popularly loved so you might have to increase the servings amount. Furthermore, if the recipe is on our site, we have a popular built-in <Resizer> available on all of them.

Here’s an overall guide of how to plan out this medium-sized dinner menu.

  • Main Course: 1 or 2 selections
  • Sides: 4-5 choices
  • Salads: 1-2
  • Breads: 1
  • Desserts: 2-3

Christmas Dinner Meals Plan for 12-20 People

When having more than 12 people, that calls for a lot of food and a lot of planning. The great thing is this is the time many will choose to have two main courses, e.g., ham and turkey. Or, you can choose any other featured items, of course. Also, you could just simply double up on the size of the one featured item.

For the most part, for sides, breads, desserts, and salads, you have a ton of flexibility. Also, to make it easier, you can make larger quantities of the easier to prepare foods, like the green been casserole.

This is where your plan can also cover some things to purchase pre-made in large quantities like rolls from the bakery. Subsequently, even the mashed taters are routinely available pre-made. However, if time doesn’t permit, you’ve got all those traditional pies available from the bakery as well. For that reason, those are huge time savers.

Here are some menu ideas overall.

  • Main Course: 2-3 selections
  • Sides: 5-6 choices
  • Salads: 2-3
  • Breads: 1-2
  • Desserts: 2-4

How do you serve so many people? With this in mind, you serve your younger kids and everyone else can serve themselves if you have it laid out like a buffet. Read on for a full buffet or a partial one, another great idea and stress reliever.

Light Christmas Dinner Meals Ideas

Casual and Simple Christmas Dinner Meals Ideas

Light dinners are usually for a small gathering, although not always. Also, this is a great idea if you’re looking to avoid a heavy holiday meal. So, here are some menu ideas for a more casual and simpler, lighter holiday dinner.

Chef Salad Dinner for Christmas
Chef Salad Dinner for Christmas
Crab Cakes Dinner for Christmas
Crab Cakes Dinner for Christmas
Salmon Dinner Plate for Christmas
Salmon Dinner Plate for Christmas

Storing and Re-using Leftover Ideas – Fast and Easy

Meanwhile, after this fun day has finished, you will be deciding what to keep and save for leftovers. For example, many cooked meats can usually be stored in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days. Also, they can stay about 3 to 6 months in the freezer. However, cooked seafood is usually good for about 1-2 days in the fridge and about 2-3 months in the freezer. Finally, veggies and pasta are good for usually up to about 5 days in the fridge.

Additionally, you can re-use ham and turkey in many ways if you want something different. So, here are some examples.

Turkey Salad for Christmas Leftovers
Turkey Salad for Christmas Leftovers

Ham Leftovers Solutions

We have a good amount of “Leftover Ham Ideas“. Check it out and plan a little ahead for using some of these ideas. It will save you money, will reduce food waste, and give you some great tasting ham alternate meals.

Turkey Leftovers Solutions

  • Grilled turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich
  • Turkey submarine sandwich
  • Turkey salad sandwich
  • Diced and added into making a Cobb-like salad
  • Finally, chopped up and make a turkey soup or cabbage soup with chicken broth

Related to Events & Holidays

Conclusion

Overall, you can now plan out your major festive dinner ideas for Christmas. Moreover, you can now start your list and check out the linked recipes or use your own. Likewise, decide what to make and what to get. Also, you have an idea of what can be made in advance to save time. NetMums also has a good article on planning your Christmas or Christmas Eve Dinner.

Hopefully, it’s going to be easier than you thought. So, share your time-saving or planning thoughts. Before you go, leave a comment below.

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