Christmas is one of the best times of the year not only for the celebrations, spending quality time with family but also because of the mountains of delicious food that gets eaten for the entire festive period.
Over the years we’ve accumulated endless recipes of some of our favorite Christmas treats that get enjoyed all across December, at festive dinner parties, drinks with friends, and obviously on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Festive Christmas Recipes
The holidays bring tons of events, family gatherings, and just cold days when tasty food is a must. So, giving you some tasty ideas to fill in your menu is of course something we wanted to do. Below are some of our favorite meals perfect for sharing this year around the holidays.
Alongside these meals, you may also want to take a look at our list of great Thanksgiving side dishes that work great alongside Christmas meals too. Plus we have some delicious sweet and savory brunch ideas that are great for Christmas morning.
The most common center dishes on the Christmas table are often the turkey or a roast ham but after stuffing ourselves after Thanksgiving we like to switch it up and opt for a succulent maple-glazed ham on Christmas Day.
The key to creating this masterpiece is trusting the process and sticking to the recipe, we didn’t think all these ingredients would work together either but it’s now become a firm favorite amongst our family and friends, even so much so that we sometimes put in the effort to make this for dinner parties throughout the year.
You’ll need a ham joint (whatever size to serve all your guests), all-spiced cinnamon, sugar, mustard, maple (or honey if you don’t have any), oranges, and cloves for the studding of the ham.
Every 20 minutes or so, you’ll need to take the ham out of the oven and spoon over the rich glaze.
We recommend basting the exterior with a brush when it’s been removed from the oven to cool down as the glaze will cool and go sticky on the ham creating the perfect consistency.
Remember not to waste the sauce collected at the bottom of the roasting pan from the ham and use it to make an incredible sauce to smother the rest of your dinner with.
While this isn't just for the holidays, it is a perfect Christmas meal. It's simple, delicious, and ready faster than a traditional turkey. That makes it a great choice for adding to your menu, especially if only serving 2 to 4 rather than a crowd.
We all know gingerbread cookies are a staple at Christmas time, but sometimes you just want to swap the festive spice for a bit of sweetness and this reindeer cookie recipe is the way to do so.
Let’s put our hands up here and admit that this recipe is not completely homemade, but really, with all the Christmas parties, shopping, and well-needed rest during the festive period, who always has the time to make cookies from scratch?
This recipe can easily be whipped up in 25 minutes and will go down a right treat with any Children in the family.
We use Pillsbury sugar cookie dough but you can whatever cookie dough you can get your hands on and then get a handful of your favorite chocolates or candy to make the facial features of your reindeer, we love to use pretzels for ears to add a bit of saltiness to such a sickly sweet recipe.
You can even sprinkle them with icing sugar to make the reindeer look like they’ve been prancing through the snow.
Now, mac n cheese is not traditionally a festive dish but it just somehow seems to work so great alongside our regular side dishes on Christmas Day.
The day is truly about indulging and if we can’t pile our plates with meats, veggies, AND macaroni cheese then when can we?
Make sure to use all your favorite cheeses (make sure you shred them yourself) to make this recipe your own and don’t bake it in the oven until you’re preparing the rest of your dinner at Christmas otherwise you’ll lose all the creamy goodness.
Another classic side dish is my favorite cheesy potato dish. Layers of potatoes, cheese, a rich sauce, and you have a delicious side dish that everyone will crave. Add this as a side, or layer with ham for a casserole using up leftovers after the holiday meal.
A Christmas breakfast is almost as good as the main dinner on Christmas Day and the best part is that you can eat everything that you normally wouldn't, along with being guilt-free.
The recipes serve around 6 people depending on how ravenous you are on Christmas morning but there should be enough to go around the whole family.
This recipe does require a fair bit of time, making up some of the components the night before so you can easily put it together in the morning without missing out on all of the present opening action.
The eggnog french toast is topped with a maple pecan topping for extra sweetness and an added crunch.
Try to use bread that is as thick as possible otherwise, if you go too thin the breed will become too soggy, we recommend using a thick loaf of brioche.
This cranberry apple cider is Christmas in a mug and is a great one to serve to all the adults in your party whilst singing along to some carols around the festive season.
You can also make this recipe non-alcoholic if you wish just in case you’ve got guests who need to travel afterward.
It’s full of flavor and can be served both hot and cold and should always be done so in a glass mug so you can see the rich coloring of the cranberries.
You’ll be able to make it up in less than 45 minutes so it's ideal for setting on the stove to simmer whilst you prepare the rest of your festive goodies.
If you’ve got lots of people joining you around the Christmas period then why double the recipe to make sure there’s enough for people to have a second serving.
These candied carrots are the 2nd of 3 side dish recipes we’ve recommended for you today and are perfectly paired alongside a rich roast ham or a succulent Turkey on Christmas Day.
It can be quite difficult to get the kids to eat their veggies on their plate, but we’ve found that these caramelized carrots are an absolute winner and there are never any leftovers afterward.
The recipe is just the right combination of sweet and savory brought out by the fresh parsley, thyme, and the brown sugar used.
You can use any type of carrots you’d like for this recipe, we just like to use baby carrots as they’re small enough to put in a serving bowl.
However, if you’re going to use large whole carrots it is best to cut them in half so they cook more evenly throughout.
These dipped pretzel rods are a fun recipe to make with all the family in the run up to Christmas - but be warned, it does get quite messy!
One of the best things about this recipe is that as long as you store them in an airtight container they can last up to 3 weeks, so ideal for making ahead of time during the busy festive period so you can help yourself whenever you want or even offer them to any guests.
These pretzel rods also make a cute homemade Christmas gift for someone, especially if paired with some other sweet treats like our Christmas Reindeer Cookies we recommended above.
If you are going to give these sweet treats to someone then let the receiver know that they’ll need to be stored in an airtight container until they can be opened.
As we said, it does get pretty messy, so ensure to lay out plenty of parchment paper and have the hand towels at the ready.
We know how stressful it can be when you’re hosting Christmas for all your family and you’re trying to cater the food to suit everyone’s tastes.
You have to be realistic about what kind of food and how much you can make the day before or on the day whilst still enjoying the festive atmosphere yourself.
This chocolate cheesecake with ganache topping is ideal as you can make it the day before and then stick it in the refrigerator and then serve it whenever your guests are ready to indulge again.
It will take just under 2 hours to make but we promise it’s worth it and it serves a whopping 12 servings, so your guests can even take some home.
If you think the ganache might be too rich or you’re trying to make it slightly healthier then you could always replace it with some red berries or whipping cream.
Green beans are a necessity at Christmas, or at least it is in our families. This cheesy green bean casserole is made every year regardless of who’s hosting and always receives raving reviews from friends whenever we make it as a side dish for dinner parties.
You can use both fresh green beans or a can of green beans for the recipe, whatever works best for you, and also feel free to make your own mushroom soup if you feel a store-bought soup cannot do the recipe justice.
It’s the perfect dish to make the night before Santa comes as it can be easily reheated in the oven to get that gooey yet crispy consistency of the cheese and the onions all mixed.
If you are pre-making this recipe, then don’t cook it when you’re mixing all the ingredients, store it in the refrigerator or the freezer and then bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how you stored it.
It’s not Christmas if you haven’t bought or been gifted about 5 bottles of Baileys, especially if you have Irish relatives or friends (we’re not complaining though).
Irish ancestry or not, this Bailey’s cream chocolate poke cake is an absolute treat and pairs beautifully with, yep you guessed it, an ice-cold glass of Baileys.
This recipe contains alcohol so you’ll need to keep it stored out of reach of any children, even though there is not much alcohol per portion we wouldn’t recommend it as there is both Bailey’s in the cake and the whipping topping as well.
There are ways to try and reduce the alcohol levels in the cake by reducing it down but it will take significantly longer.
It’s probably best to make up a non-alcoholic cake for the kids to enjoy themselves and leave this boozy poke cake for the adults.
We always use the original Irish cream Baileys but you can switch it up and use any of their other flavors to mix with your recipe, their vanilla cinnamon flavor would be an excellent addition to this well-loved recipe.
It can be difficult at Christmas time to get your kids to eat anything but chocolate or candy, so we try to implement some fun creations like these fruit grinch kabobs to make sure they’re getting some good nutrients into their body (even if they do smother them with more chocolate)
These kabobs are super fun and so easy to make, especially as a Christmas movie snack choice - we recommend The Grinch.
You can make these a day or two before if you wish, but as they’re so quick to make we end up preparing them on the day so the fruit is as fresh as possible.
If you are going to pre-make them, coat the banana in some lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
We find that making these with the kids also encourages them to eat more fruit as they love getting away with eating the strawberries as we make them instead of arranging them on the kebab stick.
Nothing beats a truffle, but when you coat it in white chocolate and top it with a bit of crushed peppermint, it really takes it up a few notches. These are fast, easy, and perfect for sharing with friends and family and definitely make a good gift idea too!
While you can make these any day of the year, using a few holiday sprinkles or candies turns them into a great Christmas treat. They have just enough sweetness to offset using semi-sweet or dark chocolate, and nobody can resist the combination of chocolate and strawberries.
These are a MUST on all holiday tables! A great addition to your dessert tray. Everyone reaches for them and they are perfect for sharing or gifting as a tasty holiday gift that is edible.
It doesn't get any easier than this! A bit of melting chocolate and some candy sprinkles and you have a perfect holiday treat that everyone will enjoy. Plus, you can make this with any of the fun holiday-flavored Oreo cookies!
Another very similar treat is the Oreo pop! A little melting chocolate, some sprinkles, and a lollipop stick are all you need. This makes it a bit less messy for the kids, and super easy to turn into a holiday bouquet of treats for gifting.
Another tasty and easy Oreo dessert is this recipe for Oreo cheesecake truffles. They are so delicious and pair great with either white chocolate or milk chocolate coating. Add some sprinkles or crushed peppermint for a holiday look and flavor!
If you want to impress, this is the cake that will do it! It takes a bit of extra effort to assemble, but the result is incredible and the moist cake with sweet berries and a chantilly frosting turns it into a decadent treat that can be the stand-out recipe on your Christmas dessert table.
If you love eggnog, then this is going to become a new favorite. Citrus pairs great alongside the richness of eggnog to create a cake with frosting that is to die for! A truly decadent and yet easy to make option that everyone will beg you to make every year.
- 1 (14 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 8 oz tub Cool Whip
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup crushed pineapple
- Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and stir until combined well.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Can also use jelly cranberry sauce if preferred.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 1g