In my family, we always gather together to enjoy dinner on Christmas Eve (Mexican food is always on the docket). All my siblings gather and we have a fun night with games and good food.
Christmas day is a little different – usually fewer people, but always a traditional Christmas dinner with meat (usually ham or steak), potatoes, rolls and more. I know everyone does things different, but today I’ve gathered together some of our traditional holiday recipes along with helpful dinner planning tips to help you out this season.
Here are some of our top tips:
PLAN YOUR MENU IN ADVANCE:
How many courses do you want to serve?
Decide how many dishes in each course you’ll need?
You can mix store bought with homemade items
Think about what dishes can be made ahead of time. What can be cooked on the stove or crock pot, and how many dishes can you realistically cook in the oven?
Decide what dishes you would let guests bring should they offer.
Don’t try NEW recipes the day of. Practice making them a couple of weeks before to work out any kinks.
Things to do ahead of time
Go shopping early: I once tried to buy ice the day before a holiday and had to go to 5, F-I-V-E, places! Use your menu as a shopping guide (be sure to print our the recipes in advance to help out with this). Also, be sure to check your spice rack, and other ingredients you normally have on hand. You don’t want to find an empty container during the middle of a recipe.
Plan a cooking schedule: Work backwards from your intended serving time. Make sure you are realistic about how long each dish will take to prepare and cook.
What order do the items need to be cooked?
Can anything go in the oven at the same time?
What can be cooked on the stove top? Crock pot?
What can be made ahead of time? Will it need to be reheated?
Do as much prep work ahead of time as you can. Chop any produce that will be used. Don’t forget to thaw your meat (some larger cuts take several days to thaw in the fridge). Gather all your table setting items, dishes, tablecloths, centerpieces in one place. If you can, go the extra step and set up your table the day before.
more christmas dinner tips
For easier clean up use disposable baking dishes, or line pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil when possible.
Ways to keep your food warm: crock pot set to low/warm, chafing dish, insulated cooler with a hot pad.
Have a designated space for children to play in. If you can, have a spot set aside to accommodate babies and toddlers. A room with a pack n play for naps and a place to change diapers is very helpful for guests.
Try not to stress when something doesn’t go right. Just remember the REASON for the party, whether it be religious or not, time with family and friends is a blessing. Also, having a secret stash of your favorite chocolate won’t hurt :o)
Here are some of our favorite Christmas Dinner dishes!Each of our recipes has helpful information such as different cooking methods, making ahead of time, variations, and storage methods. Also, there are links to similar recipes. If something listed here doesn’t wet your appetite, I know you’ll be able to find a recipe perfect for your Christmas dinner.
Christmas Ham Dinner
We know that Ham is a staple at many Christmas dinners, so we wanted to share with you the complete menu including appetizers, sides, salads, desserts and more to complete the ideal Christmas ham dinner. We are including a few of each course for you to pick and choose from, including 2 ham recipes and a festive Christmas Tree Veggie Platter 😉
Brown Sugar Ham Recipe
This crock pot ham is made entirely in the slow cooker, which makes for quick prep time and minimal effort. With a deliciously sweet brown sugar glaze, it's our favorite way to make a holiday ham!
This is the BEST Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe, and the ultimate dip for any get together! Filled with spinach, artichoke hearts, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, and mayo - this easy spinach artichoke dip is sooo cheesy and flavorful, served perfectly with chips, bread pieces or veggies.
If you need a go-to side dish, these Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots are perfect for you! The tastiest candied carrots recipe!! Even better, it takes less than 10 minutes to make and only requires 4 ingredients!
Just pick from these popular recipes to make your complete Christmas ham dinner menu!
MORE CHRISTMAS Main Dishes
Christmas Ham is a delicious and popular holiday dish, but really anything your family loves can be used. Just plan to serve 8-12 oz per person. Here are some other common main dishes served for Christmas Eve or day dinner.
Pot Roast Recipe
This Crock Pot Roast Recipe is one of our favorite Sunday dinners. It takes only 3 minutes of prep time and then the slow cooker does the rest! The chuck roast ends up being SO tender and full of flavor from the brown gravy, Italian, and ranch dressing mix!
This is Our All-Time Favorite Steak marinade! It requires only four ingredients, and makes our steak taste SO amazing! Everyone always asks for this Easy Steak Marinade recipe because it's just that good!!
When a soup or salad precedes a meal plan for about 1 cup per person.
Waldorf Salad Recipe
Everyone loves this Waldorf salad that is filled with grapes, apples, celery, walnuts, cheese and chicken. Toss it in a homemade poppyseed dressing and this salad is perfect for any lunch, dinner or appetizer.
Filled with mozzarella cheese, and cherry tomatoes, seasoned with basil, and covered in a light balsamic vinaigrette, this asparagus salad is bursting with flavor! Best of all, it comes together in less than 10 minutes!
This cold tortellini salad is the ultimate side dish for bbq and potlucks! With tortellini, spinach, tomatoes, olives, and parmesan tossed in Italian dressing, this Tortellini Spinach Salad is packed with all the best flavors!
Our all-time favorite version of one of the most classic soup recipes - Chicken and Dumplings! This simple, delicious soup is filled with chunks of chicken and pieces of biscuit, along with your favorite veggies!