18 Easy Christmas Recipes
Cooking up a Christmas feast shouldn’t involve a lot of time or stress. These holiday-ready main dishes look impressive, but they’re actually quite simple to make. There’s something to suit every size and type of celebration, whether you’re looking for something casual or upscale, or a dish to feed a big crowd or a smaller family gathering. Try the juicy roast beef, with a crust of crushed peppercorns and a spicy horseradish sauce, which serves eight and takes just 10 minutes of hands-on time. A tarragon-and-garlic-rubbed lamb roasts to medium-rare perfection in only 30 minutes. Or serve something unexpected, like one-pan roasted tilapia with potatoes and lemon (if only one pan gets dirty, there’s just one pan to clean up post-meal). And who says turkey is only for Thanksgiving? Trot out that bird again but give it a citrusy winter spin with a zingy lemon-herb mixture stuffed under the skin. Don’t worry, we also have options for vegetarians: a creamy, seasonal lasagna that features sweet butternut squash and kale, and a cheesy eggplant roll-up casserole that’s gluten-free, too. Browse through our dinner recipes and you’re certain to find something for everyone.
Glazed Ham With Coriander and Fennel
A bone-in glazed ham will be the star of any Christmas table, but this one is extra special. The unusual glaze combines apricot preserves with crushed fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and black peppercorns, creating a sweet, spiced flavor that balances out the salty meat. All you have to do is brush the glaze over the ham a couple of times as it bakes, which takes about 20 minutes (make sure you buy a pre-cooked ham!). When it’s fully heated through, just slice and serve with more of the glaze mixture on the side for an additional flavor boost.
Get the recipe: Glazed Ham With Coriander and Fennel
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin With Cherries
Everything tastes better wrapped in bacon, right? Especially when it’s a whole pork loin (pig on pig—how appropriate). You’ll spread a mixture of dried cherries, fresh parsley, and mustard over the pork before laying strips of bacon over the whole thing. As the bacon cooks, it releases its fat, which hydrates the cherries and keeps the pork succulent and moist. For the final touch, you’ll brush a vinegary currant glaze over the bacon, which will crisp up in the oven. Each slice is a meal in itself—a crispy, sweet bacon crust, followed by a layer of tangy fruit, and finally the tender, juicy pork.
Get the recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin With Cherries
Striped Bass With Shallot Vinaigrette
Mix up your traditional Christmas dinner with this light meal that’s as easy as it is delicious: The sautéed spinach and flaky bass are done in just 30 minutes. The flavor-packed vinaigrette is the secret to this dish; you’ll gently fry the sliced shallots, then combine them with capers and red wine vinegar. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the fish before serving for a zingy, piquant punch. Wilted spinach is a simple and satisfying accompaniment to the fish, but feel free to round out the meal with additional sides if you’re looking to indulge over the holidays. If you can’t find sea bass or aren’t a fan, halibut makes a great substitution.
Get the recipe: Striped Bass With Shallot Vinaigrette
Roast Beef With Slow-Cooked Tomatoes and Garlic
Cooking a whole roast may sound intimidating, but this recipe is completely stress-free and foolproof. It’s a simple and festive one-pan dish that takes almost no time to prepare; all the work happens in the oven. In fact, there isn’t even any chopping involved. Just season the beef, then top with a mixture of tomatoes, whole garlic cloves, fresh thyme, and olive oil. Roast for about an hour for medium-rare, then let the meat rest before slicing and serving with the meltingly tender tomatoes and garlic. It’s elegant and impressive, and no one at your Christmas table will know just how easy it was.
Get the recipe: Roast Beef With Slow-Cooked Tomatoes and Garlic
Lamb Chops With Chickpea and Carrot Sauté
Curry powder adds some kick to roasted lamb chops, while the lemon juice–and-dill-flavored carrots and chickpeas make a perfect side.
Get the recipe: Lamb Chops With Chickpea and Carrot Sauté
Roast Chicken and Vegetables
The classic lemon-and-herb–roasted chicken with carrots and potatoes is a staple of special family meals.
Get the recipe: Roast Chicken and Vegetables
Cinnamon and chili powder give this pork tenderloin recipe its Yucatecan flair; sweet prunes balance out the heat.
Get the recipe: Yucatán-Style Pork
Peppered Roast Beef With Horseradish Sauce
Mixed-color peppercorns add a crunchy outer layer to tender beef and visual interest to the plate.
Get the recipe: Peppered Roast Beef With Horseradish Sauce
Roasted Tarragon Lamb With Butter Beans
A quick roast—just 30 minutes—yields juicy, herb-rubbed lamb, while the simple butter bean–and–red onion side is ready in less than 10 minutes.
Get the recipe: Roasted Tarragon Lamb With Butter Beans
Roast Turkey With Garlic, Sage, and Lemon
Turkey (again!), yes, but not your typical bird. It’s reinvented for December with a citrusy herb mixture that’s stuffed under its skin.
Get the recipe: Roast Turkey With Garlic, Sage, and Lemon
Mustard-Crusted Pork Roast With Shallots and Wine Sauce
Serve bone-in rib roast with a rich white wine sauce made from pan drippings, sour cream, and chives.
Get the recipe: Mustard-Crusted Pork Roast With Shallots and Wine Sauce
Smoky Fish Chowder
A hearty fish stew would fit nicely into a traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve.
Get the recipe: Smoky Fish Chowder
Roasted Leg of Lamb With Carrots and Honey-Mint Sauce
Your standard lamb/mint jelly combination gets an upgrade, thanks to a delectable sauce that combines honey and mint.
Get the recipe: Roasted Leg of Lamb With Carrots and Honey-Mint Sauce
Balsamic-Glazed Pork With Lentils
Brown sugar and balsamic vinegar make the glaze for this tenderloin, which is easy enough for an everyday meal but singular enough for a party.
Get the recipe: Balsamic-Glazed Pork With Lentils
Roasted Tilapia, Potatoes, and Lemons
Kalamata olives and baby potatoes are tasty complements to roasted tilapia seasoned with paprika and lemon.
Get the recipe: Roasted Tilapia, Potatoes, and Lemons
Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna
Satisfy the vegetarians at Christmas dinner with a seasonal take on lasagna. Use sweet butternut squash and kale (that means it’s healthy, right?) as the building blocks in this creamy, cheesy dish made with grated Gruyère, which adds a rich nuttiness. You’ll need to whip up a quick béchamel sauce (don’t worry, it’s easy), which replaces the classic red sauce in this recipe. No-cook lasagna noodles cut down on prep time, and the squash and kale cook to tender perfection in the casserole. To get that golden brown, caramelized top, broil the lasagna for a few minutes at the end of the cooking time.
Get the recipe: Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna
Roasted Salmon With Creamy Horseradish Sauce
It doesn’t get any easier than this 30-minute main dish that feeds a dozen hungry guests. There’s very little prep involved; just season the salmon fillet with ground coriander and crushed fennel seeds, then roast until opaque, about 20 minutes. While the fish is cooking, you’ll make the no-cook sauce. Combine horseradish and grated cucumber (make sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible so as not to dilute your sauce) with crème fraîche. Season with salt and pepper, and it’s ready to go. When the fish is done, top it with a bit of sauce and a generous sprinkle of chopped tarragon. Pass more of the sauce on the side, and you’ll have an impressive holiday meal with very little effort.
Get the recipe: Roasted Salmon With Creamy Horseradish Sauce
Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini
If you’re looking for a holiday-worthy main that’s both meat- and gluten-free, this eggplant rollatini fits the bill. It brings together all the familiar flavors of eggplant Parmesan, but without the mess of frying. There’s no pasta involved; instead, you’ll use slices of cooked eggplant to hold a filling made from ricotta, mozzarella, and oregano. Layer the eggplant rolls into a baking dish with your favorite marinara and top it off with more mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until bubbling and gooey, then reveal your masterpiece to your dinner guests. It’s so cheesy, hearty, and comforting, even the meat eaters at your table will be jealous.
Get the recipe: Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini