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50 Delicious Christmas Eve Dinners So Easy They'll Cook Themselves

Streamline your holiday menu with these celebratory recipes.

Aside from unwrapping your presents and watching your loved ones rip theirs apart with delight, the next best thing to Christmas gifts is Christmas dinner. Because your whole family is coming into town, you already know you want to impress them with an impressive spread, but you've probably already exhausted the recipes in all of your cookbooks and just don't have the time to search Pinterest for Christmas dinner ideas. We get it: You need easy and delicious meals that you can whip up fast so you can spend more time with your family than in the kitchen.

To help you streamline your holiday menu, we've gathered 50 of our favorite Christmas dinner recipes that we think will be a hit this holiday season. There are casseroles that make it easy to make a crowd-sized side quickly, hearty main course stunners that go way beyond your traditional turkey or ham, and indulgent ways to enjoy vegetables. And yes, they're all so easy, they'll practically cook themselves into a scrumptious spread. Try these easy Christmas dinner recipes for a merry holiday!

1

Tastiest Sunday Roast Chicken

Healthy sunday roast chicken
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Yes, you can make this dish any day of the week, and it happens to make for the perfect Christmas dinner. The key to this roasted chicken is seasoning it long before you start cooking so that it will create a juicier roast.

Get our recipe for Sunday Roast Chicken.

2

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Vegan roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When in doubt, deciding to make mashed potatoes is never a bad idea, as it's an easy crowd-pleaser that pairs well with any classic main course on Christmas. You can customize the creamy side dish however you like, whether you add garlic, freshly chopped chives, bacon, sautéed spinach, roasted onions, or even peppers.

Get our recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

3

Green Bean Casserole

Vegetarian green bean casserole
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This green bean casserole stays true to the classic side dish recipe you most likely know and love already, but instead, we swap in fresh ingredients you won't find in the original soup label recipe. This is one throwback side dish that never goes out of style.

Get our recipe for a Green Bean Casserole.

4

Southern-Style Biscuits

Low-calorie flaky southern biscuits
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

A warm, perfectly flaky, biscuit is a necessity at your Christmas dinner table. And you'll want to try our Easy Homemade Gravy Recipe alongside these pillowy delights, too. Topped with warm butter and savory gravy, these biscuits just might steal the show this year.

Get our recipe for Southern-Style Biscuits.

5

Eggnog

sprinkled nutmeg and cinnamon on two cups of eggnog next to cookies
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Yes, we already have dessert on the brain, and there is nothing quite like sipping on some eggnog while sitting by the Christmas tree. Plus, this recipe is super simple to make, thanks to your secret weapon: a crockpot!

Get our recipe for Eggnog.

6

Cranberry Orange Relish

healthy orange cranberry relish
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Perhaps it's the color of cranberry that makes it the perfect addition to a Christmas feast, but this cranberry orange relish is a must. And you just might catch some of your guests coming back for more helpings by the spoonful—we won't judge.

Get our recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish.

7

Stuffed Tomatoes

Vegetarian stuffed tomatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This side dish works well with any meat or main course, as it's a juicy piece of warm tomato stuffed with feta cheese and bread crumbs. Pop these out of the oven, and get ready to wow your guests. Plus, they're hearty enough to be a vegetarian main course for those guests who don't eat meat.

Get our recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes.

8

Apple-Sausage Stuffing

Healthy apple-sausage stuffing
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Don't think about turning to the usual boxed mix—instead, try this homemade version made with delicious mix-ins like apple, sausage, onion, garlic, and sage. It's a savory stuffing that'll pair well with your turkey.

Get our recipe for an Apple-Sausage Stuffing.

9

90-Minute Roasted Turkey

Paleo 90 minute roasted turkey with orange cranberry relish
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

While chicken is thought to be the main course at a Christmas dinner, there is nothing wrong with having a turkey instead. You don't just have to restrict the bird to only being served up on Thanksgiving! And this recipe only takes 90 minutes, so you won't have to spend all day in the kitchen, which is great if you have some last-minute gift wrapping to get done.

Get our recipe for 90-Minute Roasted Turkey.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

10

Mac and Cheese

Copycat Cracker Barrel mac and cheese in a skillet
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

It's hard to ever resist mac and cheese, and Christmas is the perfect time of year to indulge in the dreamy, creamy dish. This classic mac and cheese is inspired by Cracker Barrel's famous version, so you know you're in for a true treat with dinner. This is guaranteed to please children and adults alike—it's a comfort food classic!

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese.

11

Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin Recipe

Vegetarian yukon gold & sweet potato gratin
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Potatoes au gratin often gets a bad rep, but here, the dish gets a makeover. This version is made with both Yukon gold potatoes and sweet potatoes for a dish that brings a ton of flavor thanks to the two types of potatoes.

Get our recipe for Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin.

12

Pumpkin-Potato Mash

Pumpkin potato mash in a large bowl with chives, oil, and salt.
Blaine Moats

If you're wanting to really spice up the traditional mashed potato dish, then going the pumpkin route is it. This pumpkin-potato mash is a creative and tasty dish you can make with leftover canned pumpkin you have in your pantry, most likely leftover from earlier in the holiday season.

Get our recipe for Pumpkin-Potato Mash.

13

Cranberry Mustard Mini Tuna Melt

Cranberry mustard mini tuna melts
Waterbury Publicatons, Inc.

These tuna melts will steal the show at your Christmas dinner. Not only are they beautiful and unique, but they incorporate such different savory flavors into a dish that's a fun way to use up the rest of your cranberries!

Get our recipe for Cranberry Mustard Mini Tuna Melts.

14

Flakiest and Crispiest Apple Turnover

Low-calorie crispy apple turnover
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

An apple turnover is a light, yet oh so delicious treat that will serve as a lovely after-dinner treat that is something different than the usual mounds of cookies you're used to getting during the holiday season.

Get our recipe for Apple Turnovers.

15

Caprese Tomato Tower Salad

Vegetarian caprese tomato towers
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Need something quick to chop up for an appetizer? This Caprese salad takes minimal work and tastes absolutely delicious. Plus, making them into a tower is an easy way to impress your crowd with some holiday appetizers that happen to go with the color scheme of the night.

Get our recipe for Caprese Tomato Tower Salad.

16

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low-calorie chocolate chip cookies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Is there anything more classic than a chocolate chip cookie? This classic recipe whips up classic cookies Santa would completely approve of.

Get our recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.

17

Sweet Potato Toast

sweet potato toasts on blue plate with butter
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Say goodbye to basic sweet potatoes here! By making this toast, your guests can customize the toppings they want to dress their toast in for a creative appetizer idea to tide them over before dinner.

Get our recipe for Sweet Potato Toast.

18

Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When you have little time left to whip up a dessert, this beginner-friendly pie will be your go-to. All you have to do is mix, pour, bake, and serve. When in doubt, turn to the key lime pie!

Get our recipe for a Key Lime Pie.

19

Classic Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

Paleo her roast chicken with root veggies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This roast chicken recipe produces a bird so moist, no other main course will do. Plus, it's simple enough to make on a weeknight, but still impressive enough to whip up if you're hosting a holiday dinner party, too.

Get our recipe for Classic Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables.

20

Crispy Rosemary Potatoes

Gluten-free crispy rosemary potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The great thing about a roasted potato recipe is that it really is one of the easiest ways to cook up spuds. You just have to chop a few potatoes, toss them with olive oil, rosemary, and a little salt and pepper, and then cook them on a baking sheet. You won't have to spend too much time making this dish!

Get our recipe for Crispy Rosemary Potatoes.

21

Triple Coconut Cream Pie

triple coconut cream pie on a white table with a slice missing
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

This dessert recipe will satisfy any sweet tooth, and it will have every coconut fan savoring every delicious bite.

Get our recipe for Triple Coconut Cream Pie.

22

Butternut Squash Soup

Healthy butternut squash soup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Butternut squash soup is the warm, delicious, flavorful dish that serves as the perfect way to kickstart any big meal.

Get our recipe for a Butternut Squash Soup.

23

Meatloaf

Spreading ketchup on the cooked meatloaf.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Meatloaf is just one of those staple comfort foods people crave in the colder months, and slicing some on Christmas will make it an instant classic. And our version might taste familiar, as it's inspired by Cracker Barrel's legendary recipe.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf.

24

Fudgy Brownies

Low-calorie fudgy brownies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

In our recipe, we still use all the classic brownie ingredients—just less of them—so you end up with fudgier treats. You'll still end up with the tastiest, perfectly fudgy brownie, though! We think they'll pair well with Santa's drinks of choice: a glass of milk.

Get our recipe for the Best Fudgy Brownies.

25

Quinoa Pilaf

vegan quinoa salad in ceramic bowl
Shutterstock

In this vegan-friendly quinoa pilaf recipe, salty, sweet, and tangy all join forces for a side that'll serve as a nice contrast with the rest of your Christmas feast dishes. This could also be a great swap for stuffing if you want to try something different, too!

Get our recipe for a Quinoa Pilaf.

26

Crispy Coconut Shrimp

Healthy coconut shrimp
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

In our coconut shrimp recipe, you won't find a frying pan in sight. The breaded crustaceans are baked in the oven for a dish that works great as a quick and easy appetizer.

Get our recipe for Crispy Coconut Shrimp.

27

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthy oatmeal–chocolate chip cookies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The oatmeal chocolate chip cookie is a truly underrated gem: it's a perfectly chewy cookie comprised of baked oats and a surprising jolt of chocolaty goodness. Santa won't mind if you munch on a few of these before he shows up.

Get our recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

28

Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates

healthy stuffed dates
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sweet, salty, smoky, creamy: In a single bite, these tiny delights give you a ton of flavor and make for a stellar appetizer for your guests to enjoy before it's time for the main course.

Get our recipe for Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates.

29

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Healthy shrimp fra diavolo
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Mixing pasta and seafood never goes out of style, and here, you just need crushed tomatoes, white wine, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to add major flavor to this pasta dish. It will surely wow your guests during your Christmas feast.

Get our recipe for Shrimp Fra Diavolo.

30

Brussels Sprouts Garnished With Bacon and Almonds

Healthy brussels and bacon
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

It's no secret bacon makes everything better, and here, it's paired with Brussels sprouts and almonds for a greens-based side dish with a savory kick. Plus, it's a versatile side dish that will complement any main dish nicely.

Get our recipe for Brussels Sprouts Garnished With Bacon and Almonds.

31

Miso-Glazed Scallops

Clean lean miso marinated scallops
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Miso is a great way to enhance flavors in any dish, and once you try out this glaze on some scallops, there's a good chance your Christmas dinner guests are going to want to put the stuff on everything.

Get our recipe for Miso-Glazed Scallops.

32

Spaghetti With Spicy Tomato Sauce and Bacon Recipe

Healthy spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Pasta as a main course on Christmas? Yes, please! And our spaghetti dish is anything but ordinary, as it features a spicy tomato sauce and some bacon. It's everything you could've ever wished for in a pasta dish.

Get our recipe for Spaghetti With Spicy Tomato Sauce and Bacon Recipe.

33

Banana Bread

Banana bread
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

What better way to finish off a hearty meal that with a warm slice of banana bread, right out of the oven? Serve up after dinner while sipping on coffee and tea as all the little ones at your gathering unwrap their gifts.

Get our recipe for Banana Bread.

34

Crispiest Stuffed Chicken

Paleo stuffed chicken
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Now, this is a way for your dinner guests to feel like they're in an actual restaurant. Here, crispy stuffed chicken breast is filled with veggies and pine nuts for an upscale meal that's surprisingly easy to perfect.

Get our recipe for the Crispiest Stuffed Chicken.

35

Warm Goat Cheese Salad

Vegetarian warm goat cheese salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This is one salad that will have everyone talking, and for all the right reasons! With baked goat cheese croutons and sweet, crisp pears, this salad will be a truly refreshing dish to have alongside your main courses.

Get our recipe for a Warm Goat Cheese Salad.

36

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Healthy grilled ratatouille salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This recipe is by no means a traditional ratatouille, but it takes inspiration from the variety of vegetables that make up the popular dish from France. You can customize this and serve up any veggies you have on hand, and it will make for a dish that brings a pop of color to the festive evening.

Get our recipe for a Grilled Ratatouille Salad.

37

Chicken and Dumplings

Healthy chicken and dumplings
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Nothing screams comfort quite like chicken and dumplings. This recipe features root vegetables, savory broth, shredded chicken, a roux to thicken the soup base, and, you guessed it, fluffy dumplings. Everyone coming in from the cold will be so happy you decided to make this dish this Christmas.

Get our recipe for Chicken and Dumplings.

38

Spicy Grilled Calamari Salad

Healthy grilled calamari salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Calamari is often breaded and deep-fried, but here, we're letting the squid have its time to shine in its more natural state. This salad is packed with peanuts, tomatoes, and a bit of spice, for a lighter salad appetizer.

Get our recipe for Spicy Grilled Calamari Salad.

39

Cheesecake

Biting into a slice of pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Cheesecake is often a decadent dessert option, and Christmas is the perfect time to indulge in whatever it is your heart desires. Our recipe is not only quick and easy to make, but it also happens to be pumpkin, too! Think of it as a cross between traditional cheesecake and an extra creamy pumpkin pie.

Get our recipe for a Pumpkin Cheesecake.

40

Gingerbread Cookies

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This. Not That!

It's Christmas, and we can't think of a better time to indulge in traditional gingerbread cookies. Leave some out for Santa, or send your holiday guests home with a few for the car ride home.

Get our recipe for Gingerbread Cookies.

41

Veggie Pot Pie With Garlic Asiago Crust

veggie pot pie with garlic asiago crust
Courtesy of Brazi Bites

Your holiday ham centerpiece may steal the show, but this cheesy veggie pot pie is what your guests will want seconds of. Brazi Bites, a pull-apart Brazilian cheese bread, makes up the pot pie-like topping, while the filling is stuffed with a medley of mushrooms, celery, carrots, and thyme.

Get the recipe from Brazi Bites.

42

Mushroom Wellington With Rosemary and Pecans

vegan mushroom wellington
Courtesy of Feasting At Home

If you're craving a vegan entree this year, look no further than this hearty mushroom Wellington. The tender veggie is ensconced in a golden, flaky crust and brightened up with fresh rosemary and toasted pecans. We can't wait to dig in!

Get the recipe from Feasting at Home.

43

French Onion Noodle Casserole

french onion noodle casserole
Courtesy of The Cozy Cook

We couldn't think of a better idea than to transform our favorite soup into a thick and hearty casserole. This French onion deep dish is brightened up with flavorful egg noodles, caramelized onions, a crispy fried onion topping, and mozzarella cheese, of course!

Get the recipe from The Cozy Cook.

44

Corn Stuffing Balls

corn stuffing balls
Courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything

Rather than recreating your famous stuffed turkey for Christmas day, opt for serving the stuffing on the side instead. These rounded out chunks come packed with flaky croutons, cream-style corn, and celery, while butter and egg yolks add richness and help keep the spheres intact.

Get the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

45

Easy Lemon Chicken Potato Casserole

lemon chicken potato casserole
Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

Scoop out a perfect bite of this casserole, and you'll find layers of tender potatoes and citrusy chicken all melded with a cream-based sauce that you'll crave all year. Not only does it require minimal prep time, but you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen to whip up this recipe in a flash.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

46

Cranberry Honey Glazed Salmon

cranberry honey glazed salmon
Courtesy of Mommy's Home Cooking

Add some heart-healthy omega-3s to your Christmas table with this zesty salmon entree. The glaze is crafted with tart cranberries, soy sauce, and bourbon for an unexpectedly delightful holiday twist on your favorite fish.

Get the recipe from Mommy's Home Cooking.

47

Instant Pot Cream of Chicken Soup

instant pot cream of chicken soup
Courtesy of Paint The Kitchen Red

Start your holiday meal with this cream of chicken soup that's cooked up quickly in your Instant Pot. All you have to do is toss the poultry, veggies, liquids, spices, and butter into the machine and let it stew. The soup comes together in just about 30 minutes!

Get the recipe from Paint the Kitchen Red.

48

Cauliflower Gratin With Garlic and Sage

cauliflower gratin with garlic and sage
Courtesy of Feasting At Home

This cauliflower gratin is cheesy and creamy, and it pairs perfectly with whatever you choose for your main dish. The low-carb cruciferous veggie is made indulgent with a rich sage bechamel sauce and a crunchy breadcrumb topping.

Get the recipe from Feasting at Home.

49

Roasted Parsnip Apple Soup With Toasted Hazelnuts

parsnip soup with hazelnuts
Courtesy of Feasting at Home

For a scrumptious side that's as easy as it is impressive, try your hand at this winter veggie soup. It's packed with parsnips, hazelnuts, and apples for a hearty and delicious sip. Plus, it's versatile enough to pair with any protein you choose to whip up for dinner.

Get the recipe from Feasting at Home.

50

Fennel, Celery, and Pomegranate Salad

fennel, celery and pomegranate salad
Courtesy of Inspiralized

Scurrying for a light side to pair with all these indulgent dishes? Why not opt for a salad tossed with fennel, celery, and juicy pomegranate? It's a festive red and green salad guests will love.

Get the recipe from Inspiralized.

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