Looking for the best Christmas recipes? Whether it’s for Christmas dinner or a cookie plate, these delicious options will please everyone!
Entertaining is at the heart of Christmas, and there are so many tasty opportunities to consider! Maybe you’re hosting Christmas Eve dinner, or a cozy holiday brunch. Maybe you’re hosting a holiday party that needs lots of appetizers and wintery drinks. Or maybe you’re just looking for recipes for your cookie tray.
Whatever the case, we’ve got lots of resources for the very best Christmas recipes for any part of the meal: main dishes, sides, treats, and drinks. And don’t forget the best Christmas tradition of all, in our minds: Christmas pizza! Let the cooking begin.
And now…the best Christmas recipes for the holiday!
Another great Christmas dinner recipe: Christmas lasagna! This lasagna is completely festive, decked out in red and green. The tomato sauce has just the right zing and garlic nuance, and the spinach ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. It’s scented with fresh thyme and a little lemon zest, which takes it to over the top status. There’s no one who will turn down a piece! At least, who we’ve met.
This vegan shepherd’s pie is the dinner recipe version of wearing a fuzzy sweater and drinking hot mulled cider! It’s cozy comfort food to the max! Imagine: a creamy gravy filled with tender vegetables, lentils and scented with fennel and sage. Then a fluffy layer of Yukon gold potatoes, topped with fresh rosemary. It’s layered together in a baking dish and then baked until golden.
First up in our Christmas recipes: Christmas pizza! This is our favorite Christmas tradition around here: a tree shaped dough brushed with pesto and topped with veggie ornaments. The flavor is fantastic, and there's no one who will turn this one down! Top with any veggies you like: feel free to get creative.
This pesto salmon is ready for Christmas bathed in a bright green sauce! Pesto goes hand in hand with tender baked fish to make a stunning dinner. Because really: what isn’t better with a little pesto on top? The savory, garlicky sauce makes the flaky fish pop: you’ll already be taking your second bite before finishing the first. Add pomegranate seeds for a pop of red.
Another cozy Christmas recipe, and probably our top fan favorite, is this thick and creamy wild rice soup! It's almost impossibly creamy, packed with flavor and full of tender veggies and hearty rice. White beans and cashews bring a creamy body and loads of plant-based protein. Everyone who tastes it asks for the recipe—it’s that good.
This meatloaf has been gaining fans for years and years: and they're people of all diets! Our meat-loving families ask us to make it, and we've heard countless people say: "Wait, there's no meat in this?" The texture and flavor are strikingly similar to meat. Slice it up and serve it with some of our sides below, and you'll have some very happy guests!
This pot pie is a cozy Christmas recipe that will literally wow your guests! The interior is full of root vegetables: carrots, potatoes, and peas, mixed with a gooey vegetarian gravy flavored with pesto and Parmesan. And it's topped with a flaky, golden pastry crust. It's truly a stunner! Make up 2 pies to serve a crowd.
This one is a Christmas recipe...because our family eats it on Christmas Eve! The red and green colors evoke the spirit of the season, but we eat it for the flavor. It's homey and comforting, featuring tangy artichokes and hearty lentils with a garlicky tomato base. Dark leafy green kale brings in nutrients and soaks up the flavor-packed broth. To make it a meal, serve with crusty artisan bread and garnish with Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.
Welcome to your new favorite Christmas dinner: Butternut Squash Lasagna with Sage! The flavors are impeccable: creamy ricotta, punchy Pecorino, and fresh sage envelop the sweet squash in a cozy embrace. In fact, an embrace is just what it feels like when you take a bite! It’s a bit of prep work, but we’ve simplified a few steps so you don’t need a nap once you throw it in the oven.
This sweet acorn squash is roasted until tender, then it’s draped in a toasted pecan rice stuffing that makes your kitchen smell like a holiday paradise! You know that scent of onions, celery and leeks cooking in butter? Well, this recipe delivers it in spades.
Here's a finger food idea that's great for a Christmas tray: a good pinwheels recipe! And these tortilla roll ups are perfect. They’re full of Italian-style flavors: mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and a blend of spices. They look totally stunning on a platter: perfectly red and green! And better yet: we’ve figured out all the tricks to making a beautiful roll up.
Here's a Christmas recipe that's beyond easy. Baked Brie! There could not be an easier appetizer recipe, folks. But often, we forget about these simple entertaining tricks. So here’s what you need to know about making a melty, delicious pile of brie. The great part? The toppings are versatile depending on your preferences, and you can make a beautiful platter with little effort. Here’s what to do!
Here’s a rich and delicious side dish that will have everyone talking about it: this perfect Brussels Sprout Casserole! Because what’s better than making Brussels that taste like mac and cheese? Bake up those tender sprouts with a rich and creamy white cheddar cheese sauce, then top it with crunchy breadcrumbs toasted until they’re golden brown. It’s truly sublime.
Here’s a dreamy Christmas salad if there ever was one: this brilliant Pear Salad! It’s a study in contrasts: fresh, juicy pear against funky gorgonzola cheese; bright pomegranate against savory shallot. Throw in some toasted pecans and cover it in tangy poppy seed dressing, and well: it’s absolutely irresistible.
Here’s a simple Christmas side dish that’s always satisfying: roasted red potatoes! These spuds come out crispy and savory, seasoned with garlic powder and salt. A bit of Parmesan cheese gives them even crispier roasty bits. Bake up a sheet pan of these little spuds, and each bite is a little bit of heaven!
Let's move onto Christmas recipes that work as side dishes...in our family, there's always mashed potatoes! These creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes are scented with the sweet aromatic flavor of roasted garlic. It’s milder and more luxurious than the typical pungent bite of the raw stuff. Mix it together with creamy Yukon gold potatoes and a bit of Parmesan cheese, and it’s truly something magical.
How about turning this bright orange root vegetable into a baked good? Try these Sweet Potato Muffins! Adding mashed sweet potato to baked goods makes them deliciously moist. These tall, fluffy muffins are perfectly cinnamon spiced and the ideal side dish for Christmas.
Here’s a fantastic Christmas side dish that’s about as quintessentially cozy as they come: Mashed Butternut Squash! The flavor is bold and sweet, with a nutty undertone. Sage, butter, and Parmesan cheese make the baked butternut squash sing! Mash it with a potato masher or even better: whip it for a light and fluffy Butternut Squash Puree. Paired with a savory protein, it adds a pop of sweet to every bite.
The perfect Christmas side dish, in our minds, is these Brussels sprouts! They’re impossibly crispy, baked until they’re caramelized and the outside layers flake off into darkened crunchy chips. Then they’re draped in a tangy maple balsamic glaze that heightens the flavors to their peak. One bite of these, and everyone around the table will be asking how you did it.
Here's one of our favorite Christmas recipes: the perfect pomegranate salad! Crunchy pomegranate seeds make a beautiful confetti over the top of leafy greens. Add tart green apple slices, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta crumbles, and it’s a true symphony of flavor! Pick from a few different dressing choices: our favorites are apple cider vinegar dressing or pomegranate vinaigrette.
Here's an elegant Christmas side dish recipe that goes with just about anything: roasted green beans! It’s a simple side dish but the flavors are complex. The beans become tender and slightly browned during roasting, and the contrast with the zesty lemon and crunchy nuts is spot on.
This salad is something special, a hearty and healthy salad perfect for Christmas! It stars our favorite squash: the delicata, brilliantly sweet with edible skin (no peeling necessary!). Roast up that squash in just 20 minutes, and in the meantime prep those refreshing pomegranate seeds, crunchy pistachios, and tangy honey mustard dressing.
This beet salad is the perfect Christmas side dish, a fresh, crisp counterpoint to savory main dishes! Plus, the vibe is red and green. Sweet roasted beets are paired with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Top with thinly sliced shallots and pistachios, and it's a showy centerpiece for entertaining.
Always part of our favorite Christmas recipes: mashed sweet potatoes! Serve them savory instead of sweet and they'll be a hit with everyone. Here they're combined with Yukon gold potatoes and garlic, and mashed together into a savory sweet puree. Top with chives and serve warm.
This one is a Christmas recipe...because it's based on my Grandma's salad that we eat on Christmas eve. Here’s a spinach recipe to impress, full of texture and flavor contrasts. Covered in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, the highlight is the crunchy smoky pecans, almost bacon-like glazed with maple syrup and soy sauce. Add hard boiled eggs or a crisp-tart apple, and you’ve got a stunning side salad that will make everyone ooo and ahhh.
Let's move onto Christmas dessert recipes, shall we? The crown jewel of our collection is this Christmas cranberry pudding. My grandma makes this cranberry pudding every year. The spongy cranberry pudding is made perfect with a creamy, dreamy butter sauce poured over the top. It's the richest, most celebratory Christmas dessert you've ever had!
Here’s a holiday cookie we just can’t say no to. These Hot Chocolate Cookies taste just like the holiday drink! The cookie batter channels just the right flavor of the liquid chocolate: it’s textured with sugar crystals and studded with chocolate chunks. The best part? A marshmallow center ties it all together, forming a melty lake of gooey bliss. These are divine.
A top Christmas recipe for the holidays is Chocolate Bark! This one is sweet and salty with a confetti of colorful ingredients and absolutely irresistible. It’s the best fun treat that makes a great gift: perfect for holiday cookie trays! Here’s how to get a smooth, shiny sheen on the chocolate and just the right crisp crunch when you bite into it.
These gingerbread cookies are beautifully spiced and soft: just like the favorite gingerbread of my childhood! Almond butter stands in for much of the butter, and a bit of applesauce helps keep them soft. This cookie is finished with turbinado sugar instead of icing, which looks like natural glitter (it’s much easier than icing!).
Here's a healthy spin on the classic that’s so good, we’ve called it “the best”. And we think you’ll agree! These almond thumbprint cookies are made with almond flour, homemade berry jam, and sweetened with maple syrup. If you’d like, add our easy powdered sugar glaze, which takes them from good to amazing!
These almond snowball cookies are spiced Christmas cookies with a twist: they’re made with almond flour and cozy chai spices! The cardamom is the star of the show here; it’s what gives chai spice its familiar zing. Even though they’re made entirely of almonds, these cookies are light and crumbly.
These peanut butter cups are seriously delicious, perfect on a cookie tray or as handmade Christmas treats. How to make perfect homemade peanut butter cups? Basically, take tempered chocolate and let it harden around a peanut butter filling in a mini muffin tin. The filling is absolutely amazing, with sweet with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla extract.
When it comes to classic Christmas recipes, this one takes the cake: Linzer cookies! This classic Austrian sandwich cookie is a delight: buttery almond shortbread sandwiches a layer of fruity preserves, making a treat that’s nuanced and just sweet enough. A fun cutout window in the sandwich shows the jam peaking through.
Essentially peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate, they’re little bites of heaven. Instead of the traditional butter and sugar, this recipe uses Medjool dates: large, sweet dates that are used to make natural sweets like Larabars and raw brownies. Add a little peanut butter, and voila — instant buckeye filling!
Looking for a memorable signature drink for the holidays? This Christmas martini recipe is where it’s at: sweet tart, drinkable and beautifully festive! It’s easy to mix up and the color is beautifully brilliant from the cranberry juice. Here’s everything you need to know about this stunning holiday drink!
Here's a stellar Christmas recipe: the Christmas Margarita! Why not bring everyone’s favorite drink to your holiday festivities? This one keeps all the character of a classic margarita and adds cranberry juice for a vibrant color and sweet tart nuance. With a garnish of fresh cranberries and rosemary, it’s holiday perfection.
Mulled apple cider hits the top of our holiday drinks, and is one of the best Christmas drink recipes out there. Simmering it on the stove makes your house smell like a Christmas wonderland, with the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and star anise. It looks beautiful garnished with orange and cranberries.
Need a festive Christmas drink? Try this Gingerbread Martini! This creamy cocktail is absolutely irresistible: just sweet enough and packed with cozy cinnamon, allspice and ginger from gingerbread syrup. It tastes like a cookie, but even better: with a little intrigue on the finish. It’s only 3 ingredients and the perfect festive cocktail for holiday entertaining.
What's better for Christmas than a cup of the very best homemade hot chocolate? It’s creamy, rich, chocolaty, and tastes like a dream with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla on the finish. All you need are a few ingredients, and you might already have them on hand. You can make it spiked or serve it straight up!
This cozy-spiced Christmas coffee is where it’s at! Mix up a homemade gingerbread syrup with brown sugar and whole spices: it infuses the best hints of cinnamon, ginger and cloves. You can serve it at Christmas breakfast or brunch, or even spike it with Baileys Irish Cream for a treat on Christmas Eve.
Need a great punch recipe for the holidays? Try this Christmas Punch! The flavor is fruity and delicious, with a little sparkle from ginger ale. You can make it with rum for a punch with alcohol, or omit it for non alcoholic. Either way, it tastes incredible! The best part? Garnish it up with sliced citrus, rosemary branches and cranberries. It couldn’t be more festive or beautiful.
More Christmas inspiration
We’ve got lots more lists of great ideas for Christmas entertaining! If you didn’t see something that fits your fancy, pick from one of the following:
Preheat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boil the noodles*: Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the noodles until just before al dente, according to the package instructions, stirring often. Drain the noodles, then drizzle a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. Lay the noodles flat onto the sheet, then turn them over so they become coated with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Prepare the tomato sauce (or skip with purchased marinara):Mince the garlic. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring frequently. Once the garlic is fragrant after about 1 or 2 minutes, turn down the heat and carefully add the tomatoes (avoid any momentary spitting), tomato sauce, basil, tarragon or oregano, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Remove ¼ cup of the sauce and stir it with the cornstarch, then add it back to the pan (this helps to thicken the sauce). Simmer on low heat while making the remainder of the recipe, at least 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove the pan from the heat.
Wilt the spinach: In a large skillet, mound the greens and ¼ cup water in the skillet and cook, stirring often, until completely wilted and reduced, about 3 minutes (the greens significantly reduce when cooking; if necessary, sauté in batches.) Sprinkle with 2 pinches of kosher salt and stir, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled, use your hands to squeeze out all excess liquid and discard. Roughly chop the spinach.
Prepare the cheese filling: Destem the thyme, then roughly chop the leaves. Add 1 ½ tablespoons thyme to a medium bowl and reserve about ½ tablespoon for topping the lasagna. To the bowl, add the lemon zest, nutmeg, ricotta cheese, ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine.
Layer the lasagna: In a 9” x 13” baking dish, spread ½ cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then top with 1 layer of noodles, half of the cheese mixture (in dollops then spread it out), half of the greens, and about 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Repeat again: 1 layer of noodles (you may need to cut a noodle in half for the side, depending on your pan), the remaining cheese mixture, the remaining greens, and 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Finally, top with noodles (again, you may need to cut a noodle in half for the top layer), then the remaining 1 ½ cups of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the entire top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, and ½ tablespoon thyme.
Bake the lasagna: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving (this allows the lasagna to set). Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and reheated in a 375°F oven.
*If you use fresh lasagna noodles, they don’t need to be boiled.
**You can also substitute ¾ cup frozen spinach. Defrost it and squeeze of excess liquid: you can skip the cooking step.
Keywords: Christmas Recipes
A few more appetizer & cookie recipes…
Want more ideas? There are lots of ideas in the recipe collections above, but here are a few more appetizer ideas and cookie recipes that would be perfect for Christmas: