A key element to Christmas Day is the food. Gathering around with family and friends to share a delicious meal together at the end of the year is a tradition that’s been around forever. Even if you’re looking for a non-traditional way to celebrate Christmas, sharing a meal together should always be part of it.
For the host of the dinner, it can be quite a stressful experience. It can be tricky to plan a menu that caters to everyone’s diverse tastes and dietary restrictions. So that’s why Backyard Boss has come to the rescue to give you 75 ideas for recipes for Christmas day dishes.
This time of the year is really the time to shine for turkeys. Especially ones you put in the oven. You can never go wrong when a turkey is on the menu. You could also deep fry your Christmas turkey for a bit of added excitement to this traditional Christmas dish.
2. Christmas Ham
In my household there’s always a debate around whether to put turkey or Christmas ham on the menu. The solution? Invite a bunch of people over for Christmas dinner so you have an excuse to cook both! I prefer my Christmas ham to be maple-glazed for a sweet coating over the juicy meat.
3. Roast Chicken
A turkey is a big bird that feeds a lot of people. For smaller Christmas dinners consider cooking a chicken instead. They’re easier to cook, don’t take as long, and in my humble opinion, taste better. The best part is that you can add a bunch of potatoes and vegetables to the roasting tray for a full meal in the oven.
4. Slow-Cooked Leg Of Lamb
Lamb isn’t for everyone, but lamb lovers will tell you there’s nothing better than a slow-cooked leg of lamb. Marinate the lamb in lemon juice and herbs and spices to tenderize the meat before roasting. Add fresh rosemary and garlic cloves to the base of the tray and place the leg right on top. These simple additions will elevate the flavor of the lamb.
5. Roasted Prime Rib
Let’s be honest, any roasted meat dish would go well with Christmas dinner, and roasted prime rib is no different. Prime rib is considered by many as the best cut of beef in the world, thanks to its succulent texture and superior flavor. Remember that roast meat continues to cook after you’ve taken it out of the oven, so remember to pull it out before it’s done.
6. Pork Roast With Crackling
Crackling is the crunchy mixture of pork skin and fat after it’s been fried. Turns out it’s an excellent crunchy accompaniment to the tender pork itself. Roasting pork is relatively easy, but be careful not to overcook it otherwise the flesh turns out dry.
7. Rack Of Lamb With Rosemary
A rack of lamb is the equivalent of beef prime rib. It’s regarded as a premium cut of meat and contains loin meat with rib bones still attached. My favorite way of cooking a rack of lamb is with a garlic/rosemary/parmesan crust added before going into the oven. Serve with roasted vegetables and homemade gravy.
8. Baked Salmon
For the pescatarians in the family, try baked salmon as your Christmas dish. Bake it in a honey garlic butter glaze. Top with a holiday “tapenade” of dried cranberries and almonds and garnish with a healthy handful of pomegranate for extra Christmas flair.
9. Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Looking for something different from the usual maple-glazed Christmas ham? Why not glaze your ham with brown sugar instead? Making a brown sugar glaze is as easy as can be and once that’s done, you can roast your ham as you would any glazed ham.
10. Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
A juicy turkey breast is a rare thing. So if you can consistently pull off this elusive feat you’ll be crowned as Christmas dinner royalty! The trick is to do it in a slow cooker. This means you have about 3 minutes of work to do before the slow cooker takes the next 5-6 hours to do the rest. Don’t forget to use the juice in the bottom of the pot to make an amazing gravy.
11. Vegetarian Lasagna
Vegetarian lasagna is so good that even meat-eaters won’t notice their favorite ingredient is missing. This dish is fully customizable so you can use any roastable vegetables you have on hand. For added flair, make the last layer of the lasagna a spinach and ricotta layer for a delicious surprise.
12. Crispy Pork Belly
Nothing like a pork belly roast for a dish that’s equal parts crunchy and succulent at the same time. The trick for the crunchiest crackling is to prick hundreds of holes in the fat before roasting and cover with salt while roasting. As for the flesh, it will continue to cook once you take it out of the oven so be sure to remove it before you think it’s done.
13. DIY Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is an important side dish to any Christmas dinner. Store-bought is fine, but you’ll never go back once you realize how easy it is to make your own cranberry sauce that’s 10x more delicious. The great thing about making your own is that you can customize it to your own taste. So your cranberry sauce doesn’t have to be sickly sweet. Instead, you can aim for a fine balance between salty and sweet.
14. Roasted Cauliflower
There’s usually at least one vegetarian at the table for Christmas dinner. Show them that you care by making a main dish specially for them! Cut the cauliflower into quarters and boil (or steam) for a few minutes. Coat the cauliflower in oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper and roast in the oven until crispy on the outside. This is a great alternative to roasted meat mains.
15. Crunchy Roast Potatoes
I don’t know about you, but to me, no roasted meal is complete without roasted potatoes, the crunchier the better. To get your potatoes nice and crunchy you need to parboil them first. Then lightly coat them in semolina. Then make sure you use an oil with a high smoke point and that the oil and the pan are hot before you add the potatoes. Other than that, roast as normal for the crunchiest roasted potatoes that you ever crunched on.
16. Roast Duck With Apple Cider Drizzle
Duck is similar to lamb in the sense that you either love it or hate it. The positives of roasting duck is that duck meat is much more flavorful than chicken or turkey, meaning you can add fewer herbs, spices, and sauces. It’s also more fatty, meaning less chance of the meat drying out while cooking. For duck lovers, drizzle your duck in apple cider sauce for Christmas-themed sauce.
17. Baked Mac And Cheese
A side dish so good it could be a main! Mac and cheese ticks all the boxes, quick and easy to make, delicious, and filling. Add a breadcrumb topping for crunch. Don’t forget plenty of mozzarella in that white sauce. Seriously, why do we need anything else at Christmas dinner?
18. Sweet Potato Bake
Sweet potatoes don’t really get crunchy when you roast them, so use that to your advantage and make a delectable sweet potato bake. Add rosemary, garlic, and salt and pepper to a roasting tray to bring out the flavors of the sliced sweet potato. Instead of going crispy, the edges will caramelize and become somewhat chewy, which is the best part.
19. Stuffed Jacket Potatoes
Otherwise known as twice-baked potatoes, this dish is basically mashed potatoes and baked potatoes in one dish. First the potatoes are baked as normal. The inner flesh is then scooped out, leaving the skins intact. Mash the flesh with your selected additives. My favorite is chives, bacon, and cream cheese. Then put this mixture back into the potato skins and bake them again. Amazing.
Ratatouille is a French vegetable stew made famous by an animated movie of the same name. The secret to making an amazing ratatouille is to sauté each vegetable separately before braising them all together. This delicious dish comes packed with Mediterranean flavors and it’s vegan too!
21. Potato Au Gratin
Otherwise known as potatoes Dauphinoise, this French dish will have everyone at the Christmas table going back for more. It’s a decadent dish made with layers of thinly sliced potatoes, cream, butter, and cheese with a little bit of thyme. Need I say more?
22. Potato Rosti
This Swish dish is the perfect side dish for any roasted meal. They are made with shredded potatoes that are pan fried in a medium-sized skillet until crispy, and then cut into wedges and served as a side. Think hash browns, but larger servings and served at Christmas dinner instead of breakfast.
The unassuming hero of holiday dinners. Stuffing is made from a collection of herbs and spices, chopped vegetables, and some sort of starch like breadcrumbs. Try using cornbread for something a bit different. It’s usually cooked inside the cavity of a bird, but it can be cooked on the stovetop.
24. Christmas Cornbread
Who doesn’t love a side of cornbread with their Christmas dinner? Cornbread is sweet with just the right amount of savory and moist enough to be enjoyed on its own. Although even better when paired with a roasted meal and dipped in gravy.
25. Green Bean Casserole
This dish is a classic Thanksgiving dish, but there are no rules that say you can’t have it for Christmas too. Tender green beans cooked in a creamy mushroom sauce are topped with crispy brown onions coated in breadcrumbs. Sounds pretty good right? If you weren’t convinced already, this is the perfect dish to make ahead of time to save time and stress on Christmas day.
26. Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes
Remember those crispy roasted potatoes in the list above? Well, another trick to getting the crispiest roasted potatoes is to roast them in duck fat. Duck fat has its own flavor that will be imparted to the potatoes for a seriously decadent dish. Remember to heat the oil before you add the potatoes for the most crunch.