23 Tastiest Christmas Meals You Couldn't Even Imagine
Christmas and New Year’s Eve are coming very soon. This means that it’s time to leave all the diets for the next year and indulge in the endless circle of delicious Christmas dishes and drinks. Christmas food is something special for us; it helps create the spirit of Christmas, and it will definitely become an object for compliments from your friends. These days there are lots of catering services that offer to serve you a whole Christmas table, so that you can finally have a rest or walk around a shopping mall looking for presents. However, we are not fans of this kind of services. We strongly believe that cooking Christmas food brings Christmas atmosphere in the house. And there can never be enough of Christmas atmosphere at the end of December.
Here we have collected our favorite Christmas dishes. Most of them we cooked ourselves numerous times, some of them were brought to us by our dear friends, also cooking addicts. Some of these dishes may seem somewhat extravagant for cooking rookies, but most of them are quite easy to cook. Now, stay tuned, we are setting off for a Christmas gastronomic journey!
Some people sniff at the very idea of appetizers. They consider them snacks that fill up already limited space in your stomach and prevent you from eating enough of “real food.” We look skeptically at those people, since know how delicious appetizers may be. Besides, it is not obligatory to fill yourself up with appetizers before the main course is served. We treat Christmas appetizers as a way to keep your guests entertained while you are giving the final touch to the sides and mains. Besides, you can finish with appetizers a day before the Christmas party and store them in a fridge.
Crispy Ham and Cheese Balls
We all love crispy cheese balls, don’t we? They are just delicious! Bring this simple recipe to a next level – add some ham or bacon, and your guests will be pleasantly surprised. Just don’t forget to warn your vegetarian friends that these are not traditional cheese balls.
As a healthier substitute for those tasty ham and cheese balls, we would recommend you to try spinach balls. They are as delicious as they look. And a great bonus is that you can cook them well in advance and keep in your freezer for up to 3 months. Just microwave them before serving, and your guests will be thrilled by this appetizer!
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Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
These white mushrooms stuffed with a mix of Parmesan, mascarpone, and Italian sausage and baked to a crisp will become a hit on your Christmas table. These bite-size appetizers are simply delicious, and cooking them is not hard at all. Your friends will definitely enjoy them!
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Apple, Cheddar and Prosciutto crostinis
This Italian appetizer will definitely take the breath away even from the most demanding guests at your Christmas party. Italians know how to please their guests with food. In this appetizer, everything is simple yet delicious. Italian toasty bread, cheddar, Granny Smith apples and a piece of salty prosciutto (Italian cured ham) make an ideal combination of tastes.
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Vitamins are what we all miss in the cold winters. With this dish you can fill up your guests with enough vitamins and valuable nutrients to go on until the New Year’s Eve. There are just you and your fantasy when cooking a vegetable tart. Improvise and pick those veggies you can think of – it is going to be delicious anyway. Sprinkle your tart with cheese before serving to make it even more delicious.
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Christmas side dishes
Filling your guests with appetizers is not the best example of a hospitable Christmas host. They will be kind of full but not satisfied (of course, we may be hanging out with different types of people, but still, be realistic.) And eating a main course without a side dish is not our style either. We tried to avoid here those kinds of sides that you tend to eat every day. Christmas is a special day, so you and your guests deserve to try something special for it. So, here are some of our favorite sides for your Christmas table.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Mushrooms
Don’t they look beautiful? Even if you have been scared of Brussels sprouts for your whole life, this recipe will definitely be to your taste. This side is healthy and delicious. It will go well with meat or as a main course for those of your guests who ate enough of your delicious appetizers (if you let your guests get full with appetizers, it means you are not cooking your sides and mains fast enough!) If you want to make this dish even healthier, then roast Brussels sprouts without bacon. They will lose the bacon flavor and some crisp, but nutritional value of the dish will soar!
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Crispy Roasted Potato Cubes with Garlic
What can be easier and tastier than finely roasted potato cubes with garlic? Make sure your potato cubes get enough of crisp yet remain soft and fluffy inside. We know, there is nothing fancy in this dish, but show me a person from our culture who is not enjoying it! If you have planned entertainment, involving conversations, after your Christmas dinner, you might want to avoid much garlic as a seasoning. Or simply go with a chewing gum for every guest.
Cheddar Potato Casserole
Unless you are a huge Irish family gathering once a year for Christmas, try to avoid a situation when all of your side dishes on the table are made of potatoes. Potato casserole sprinkled with melted cheddar is a fantastic meal. It has everything in it: baked potatoes, melted cheese crisp and delicious seasoning. Your guests will definitely enjoy it. However, don’t keep it in the oven for too long – you don’t want your potatoes get burned and missing their natural
Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Cheese
Is there enough of melted cheese on your Christmas table? If not, then this side dish will compensate for all the cheese you haven’t indulged in during the year. How can you turn an absolutely healthy course into a fantastic creamy and cheesy dish? Add some milk, few kinds of cheeses (as a rule of thumb, the amount of cheese in the dish should not be larger than the amount of other ingredients), and put it in the oven. Your guests will be surprised that cauliflower and Brussels sprouts can taste that good.
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Caramelized Butternut Squash
Squash is an extremely healthy product, probably one of the healthiest over your Christmas table. At the same time, it is tasty and nourishing. Cut your butternut squash into even cubes, dip them in melted butter and brown sugar, put on a baking tray and bake them in the oven until the cubes get tender and the glaze becomes to caramelize. This course goes well with any kind of meat.
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Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan
We certainly love this heaven born combination of potatoes and cheese, and we love it in all forms. Mashed potatoes taste great, right? Then try to bake them with cheese! Definitely, it takes more time and effort (and dirty dishes to do afterwards), but the result is inspiring. Mashed potatoes get a tasty crisp, and yes, you can put as much cheese in the dish as you can. You can also sprinkle mashed potatoes with breadcrumbs before putting the tray in the oven. It will give extra taste to the dish (and extra calories, too!)
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Roasted Asparagus with Mushrooms
This is a side dish that your vegetarian friends will adore you for. It’s very basic (what can be easier than roasting asparagus and mushrooms?) yet delicious. Besides, it will leave enough space in your guests’ stomachs for the main course. You can sprinkle asparagus with a bit of lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese. Just don’t add too much lemon; you don’t want your guests to crinkle while eating your roasted asparagus. A few drops of soy sauce will also add some extra flavor to the dish.
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Christmas main courses
And finally we are here – at the section of main courses. Main course is what your guests will remember most on the Christmas table. You don’t want your guests to remember the dinner by the roasted asparagus or the cheese balls, do you? No one wants that. So get yourself comfortable and choose the main course you love most. We love them all on our list; but be realistic – cooking all of them will take all of your time until the very day of Christmas.
Glazed Ham with Coriander and Fennel
There are dozens of tested recipes to cook delicious ham for the Christmas table. But we prefer this one for the taste and flavor that only coriander and fennel can provide. Combined with a crispy and slightly sweet taste of glaze, ham will become a hit among your friends. It is important to choose the right piece of meat for this meal. It should be bone-in and not too fat. Actually, if there are no ideal looking pieces of meat around, don’t worry. If it’s cooked right, it will taste awesome.
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Roast Beef with Slow-cooked Tomatoes and Garlic
Roast beef is a course that has been known for centuries. It was cooked for the kings and queens years and years ago with numerous outlandish spices and seasonings. Here we offer you a simple yet delicious way to cook roast beef. Roasted with tomatoes, beef gets some hearty and delicious gravy, and garlic makes the meat spicy and rich in flavor. Keep the meat in the oven for 1 hour at 350° F for medium-rare or check the meat for your desired level of doneness after 45 minutes in the oven.
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Roasted Tarragon Lamb
Just as our previous examples of the main courses, this one is not difficult to cook, but it will certainly get the desired level of appreciation among your guests. Tender roasted lamb, seasoned with tarragon, garlic, and onion is a great muster of a typical Christmas main course. Our family uses this recipe for as long as I remember myself, and the dish tastes as good as twenty years ago. We keep the recipe very simple, but you can definitely add some of your favorite spices, like oregano or dry basil.
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Roast Turkey with Sage and Lemon
Well, some might say that a roast turkey is a king of the table at a different party. But we tend to leave these biases aside. Who will argue with the fact that a fatty and spicy turkey will chase any Christmas table? Just use different spices on your Christmas turkey and it will get a totally different taste and flavor. We would recommend you to roast your Christmas turkey with sage and lemon for a change. As for the stuffing, it is completely up to you. You may try apple, bread, rice, cornbread, mushroom or even oyster (actually, we haven’t tried this one, but it sounds too fancy not to be on the list!)
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Cookies and pies
What kind of Christmas table is it, if it lacks a Christmas pie and a full bowl of Christmas cookies? Definitely, by the time you serve your pie, your guests will have eaten 3 courses already and they may be somewhat exhausted. Not a problem, entertain them with something else than food for an hour and let them free up some room for a delicious dessert. Here we have collected a few of our favorite cakes, pies and cookies that will certainly decorate your Christmas table. Take a look, and we hope you will enjoy them.
Mince Pie with Cranberries
However you slice it, a mince pie is a must on a traditional Christmas table. It has been known for seven centuries in Britain, and its recipe was brought to Europe by the crusaders. There are so many recipes of this dish, but we would recommend you try our favorite – with cranberries. Cranberries give it a sour and fruity flavor which will not leave your guests aloof. You can either prepare pastry by yourself (get ready for a culinary mess) or buy ready-made pastry for mince pie at any decent supermarket. Put a pastry star on top of your pies, slide them in the oven and wait until cooked. We prefer small mince pies served to every guest rather than a large pie that you have to cut in pieces before serving.
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Traditional Apple Pie
What kind of holiday is this, if you don’t serve at least one apple pie for your guests! We have been all raised by the strict rule that regardless of how much food you have eaten before, you just have to eat a slice of the grandma’s apple pie. Grandmas tend to pass away, but the traditions stick with their grateful grandchildren. We even had a joke about an extra stomach used specifically for digesting apple pies. But enough of child memories now. An apple pie is not hard to cook and it doesn’t require sophisticated ingredients. Stick to any of the numerous recipes on the web and enjoy your Christmas.
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Sweet tea, pecan pie and homemade wine symbolize home comfort for Zac Brown, and we totally agree with him. Bring some of the southern traditions into your house with the pecan pie. Traditional for the southern US states, we don’t eat this kind of pie too often. And it’s definitely worth a place on your Christmas table. Made with corn syrup and topped with pecan nuts, pecan pie is a great holiday dish. You can serve it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
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This is a very simple, yet rewarding cake. We realize how much meat and potatoes you have to bake in your oven, so we recommend you to try this chocolate-mint cake you don’t need to bake. Simply layer up chocolate cookies and whipped cream with a spoon of peppermint extract and put this beauty in the fridge for 24 hours. Cookies will soak, and the cake will become soft and fresh. You can opt for any other ingredient other than peppermint (vanilla, lemon juice, Nutella, espresso, etc.)
Grain-Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake
For those of your guests who feel guilty about eating chocolate, we have prepared a dish that could become a nice compromise – a grain-free chocolate zucchini cake. First, because it’s grain-free, it doesn’t have as many calories as its traditional counterpart. Second, zucchini don’t only give it a special taste; they fill up the cake with extra vitamins and nutrients. Get this cake on the table and surprise your guests. We bet they haven’t tried it before!
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Chocolate Chip Cookies
Naturally, chocolate chip cookies are now sold at every store in the world and you can buy as many of them as you want without spending your precious time on cooking. Once born as a result of a cook’s flawed recipe of chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies have now become a hit around the world. And, of course, home-made cookies cannot be compared to those you can buy at a store. Fresh-baked, soft, right from the over, they will be a real treat for your guests. Make them Christmas-themed for more fun.
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German Chocolate Cake
German chocolate cake was brought to the United States in the late 18th century by the German immigrants who inherited it from their royal ancestors. Once a secret of the German court, this cake soon became a fine dessert favored all over Europe. Now it’s popular in the United States, too. But be careful, it’s high in calories, so if you decide to finish your Christmas dinner with, some of your guests may be too full to continue and too polite to decline. Take a good look at your friends and don’t overstuff them with your cookings!
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We hope that all of the dishes prepared by us for you in this list were really helpful, and you will not run into trouble of an empty Christmas table (this situation chills us in the most dreadful nightmares.) Do not lay cooking off to the last day and try to cook a cake or a pie and appetizers at least one day in advance. They will remain as tasty as before, but you will get that extra time that you need on the Christmas Eve to cook fresh meat, mix a few salads, make sides, and decorate the house. And definitely, ask your guests to come over early and help you out with all the preparations. It will give you that friendly Christmas feeling that we all are craving for at the end of December. Cooking alone is not as fun as cooking together with your dearest friends. Eat healthy, drink responsibly and stay tuned for more delicious food on our web-site.