Christmas is a time for family, friends, and traditions. But it's also a time when everyone stresses out about what to make for dinner. Whether you're hosting or attending a Christmas Eve dinner party, we've got you covered with these delicious ideas that are sure to impress your guests and keep the kitchen stress-free.
Amazing Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas
Grill a Steak
You don't need to go out and spend a lot of money on steak for your Christmas Eve dinner. Instead, get your butcher to cut steaks from the best part of the animal. They'll be more tender and flavorful, and you can use cheaper cuts that are still very good.
Cooking a steak on the grill is easy once you know how to do it: just make sure you have a high-quality cut of meat (ideally in prime condition), season it well with salt and pepper before cooking, then cook over high heat until medium rare or rare depending on how you like it done.
Make a Soup
You can make the soup ahead of time and reheat it. Soup is also a good option if you are hosting a large group. You can make several different types of soup, or just one type and have that as your main dish on Christmas Eve. If you're vegetarian, soup is an easy choice. And don't forget about slow cookers!
Roast a Chicken
Roasting a chicken is simple, but it takes some advanced prep. First, you'll want to buy the biggest chicken you can find—usually called a roaster or "fryer"—and then season it with salt and pepper. Next, stuff the bird with garlic cloves, rosemary, and thyme sprigs. Tie up the legs of the bird together with kitchen twine and roast it at 375°F for about an hour and a half until it's cooked through (you can check by inserting a thermometer into its thigh).
Once finished cooking, let your roast cool before pulling off all its meat from both breasts and thighs, along with any extra pieces that may have stuck while cooking.
Next comes gravy! Start by placing all those leftover bones in a saucepan along with 3 cups of water; bring this mixture to boil on medium heat until most of the liquid evaporates into browned bits known as fond. Add flour slowly while whisking vigorously until thickened; season according, add salt if desired.
Put out Charcuterie and Cheese
If you want to host a casual, festive Christmas Eve dinner, set out some charcuterie and cheese along with crackers and bread. Include some cured meats like salami or prosciutto for an extra boost of flavor. Nuts and dried fruit are also great additions to serve with your cheese plate.
Make Pasta With Brown Butter Sauce
Make pasta with brown butter sauce. Brown butter is a great way to add a rich, nutty flavor to any dish, and this recipe lets you do it while also making your kitchen smell like heaven. You can use any type of pasta here—spaghetti or penne are great options—and you can even add other ingredients to the sauce, like mushrooms or spinach.
If you want to make this ahead of time and reheat it when you're ready for dinner (which we recommend), just keep in mind that overcooking will result in an unappealing texture for your noodles; if possible, don't microwave them!
Make Baked Mac and Cheese
Make baked mac and cheese with a variety of cheeses. You can go with sharp cheddar, mozzarella, or Parmesan for a sharper flavor. Bacon will add some smokiness to your dish, and if you're looking for a little bit of kick, try adding hot sauce as well! Bake it in the oven or let it simmer on the stovetop in a slow cooker for about an hour.
Make Shrimp Cocktail
This year, you'll have plenty of time to prepare a delicious shrimp cocktail for your guests. Shrimp cocktail is an easy appetizer that can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. You can use frozen raw or flash-frozen shrimp, which will thaw while they're in the refrigerator—just make sure to give them some time to do so (at least two hours).
When making homemade cocktail sauce, we like using lemon juice and horseradish as our base flavors; these ingredients are versatile enough to pair well with almost any dish, as well as provide an interesting contrast between sweet and spicy tastes.
Make a Taco Bar
A taco bar is a fun way to present a variety of different options and allow your guests to try something new. You can make your tacos and fillings or buy everything pre-made from the grocery store. Make sure you have all the ingredients, including:
• Tortillas (corn or flour)
• Refried beans (with lard if possible)
• Ground beef for taco meat, chopped into small pieces
• Hot sauce for topping tacos, such as Tabasco or Cholula brand salsa verde
You also need additional toppings that can be eaten on their own as well as on top of tacos. Some suggestions include:
These are just some of the ideas to consider when planning your Christmas Eve dinner. There are so many other options, and you can always come up with new ones! Just remember that the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself.