30 Christmas Lunch Ideas That Won’t Ruin Your Appetite for Dinner
Christmas morning is such a whirlwind. Between opening presents from Santa, attending church services, and preparing for the big Christmas dinner, it’s easy to overlook one thing: lunch. Your family still needs to eat lunch on Christmas Day, especially if all they’ve had is candy from their stockings. We know: You want to save room for the gorgeous Christmas feast you’re going to eat that night. But the last thing Mama needs is a bunch of hangry family members showing up for dinner. To hold the family over and keep you sane, we pulled together some of our favorite ideas for Christmas lunch. These festive recipes are either super quick or make-ahead to help you out after a hectic morning and before the day’s main culinary event at dinner. With these Christmas lunch recipes, you won’t miss a second of the holiday with your family.
Ham and Noodle Casserole
Recipe: Ham and Noodle Casserole
Have this classic casserole waiting in your freezer for Christmas lunch so you won’t skip a beat in your dinner prep.
Recipe: Christmas Salad
This colorful salad will add plenty of Christmas cheer to the lunch spread.
Spicy Sausage-and-Cheddar Kolaches
Our savory twist on the classic Czech pastry is the perfect lunch bite with a simple green or fruit salad.
Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread
Recipe: Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread
Make Christmas lunch a festive snack lunch that everyone can pick on before the main dinner event with this cheeky pull-apart bread recipe.
Shrimp and Grits Casserole
Recipe: Shrimp and Grits Casserole
Whether your crew wakes up in time for breakfast, brunch, or late lunch, this shrimp and grits casserole will satisfy them.
Recipe: Ham Biscuits
Ham biscuits are a timeless, any-time-of-day party food.
Homemade Baked Lasagna
Recipe: Homemade Baked Lasagna
Lasagna is a popular dish to serve around the holidays, and what better time to serve a comforting, easy lasagna than at Christmas lunch?
Orange-Basil Baked Brie
Recipe: Orange-Basil Baked Brie
Seasonal baked brie is invited to every holiday gathering at our house.
Roasted Beet-and-Citrus Salad with Honey-Orange Vinaigrette
Light, fresh, and beautiful enough for your Christmas lunch Instagram.
Christmas Morning Strata
Recipe: Christmas Morning Strata
When in doubt, a hearty breakfast casserole with a handful of ingredients is a surefire way to have a happy crowd.
Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches
Recipe: Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches
Prep these easy slow-cooker sandwiches the day before so you can throw them together for lunch and not miss a second of Christmas Day with your family.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup with Bacon
A cup of warm soup is comforting for a cold Christmas Day but won’t fill the family up too much before dinner.
Fresh Fruit Salad
Recipe: Fresh Fruit Salad
This is our go-to fruit salad recipe, but for a festive spin, use only green and red fruit.
Cheese Puffs with Ham Salad
Recipe: Cheese Puffs with Ham Salad
Have the cheese puffs ready in the freezer to put together this presentable but easy old-school luncheon recipe.
Christmas Tree Spinach Dip Breadsticks
Start Christmas lunch with a festive twist on classic spinach dip.
Salmon Bagel Sandwiches
Recipe: Salmon Bagel Sandwiches
This isn’t your average lox bagel. Made with savory slow-cooked salmon and a fresh herbed cream cheese, your family will love these pretty bagel sandwiches.
Apple, Celery, and Romaine Salad with Pancetta and Blue Cheese
Every holiday meal could use a pretty seasonal salad to start.
Recipe: Italian Casserole
This cozy casserole is the ideal make-ahead dish to have on hands throughout the holidays.
Turkey, Apple, and Brie Sandwich
Recipe: Turkey, Apple, and Brie Sandwich
These quick, flavorful sandwiches are easy to put together while you work on dinner dishes.
Roasted Fennel-and-Prosciutto Flatbread
This beautiful flatbread starts with store-bought pizza dough, but the fresh toppings keep it light.
Recipe: Biscuits-and-Gravy Skillet
We’d enjoy this comforting one-dish meal any time of day.
Clementine-and-Collard Greens Salad
This winter salad showcases the best of the season and is the perfect blend of light but filling.
Black Pepper-Goat Cheese Log
Recipe: Black Pepper-Goat Cheese Log
Set out a timeless cheese log and a simple salad or additional appetizer, and everyone can snack until dinner time.
Chicken Salad Swiss Cheese Puffs
Recipe: Chicken Salad Swiss Cheese Puffs
It’s not a list of lunch recipes without at least one twist on old-school chicken salad, and these mini swiss puffs are festive enough for a holiday.
Winter Vegetables and Gnocchi
Recipe: Winter Vegetables and Gnocchi
This quick, seasonal pasta recipe is on the table in 30 minutes and will satisfy everyone at the table.
Recipe: Beef Stew
You’re going to be way too exhausted to cook the day after Christmas, so make a big batch of beef stew the day before and eat it for lunch Christmas Day and have leftovers the next night for dinner.
Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches
Recipe: Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches
This Southern favorite open-faced sandwich is a crowd-pleaser for even the crankiest Christmas crowd.
Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey
Recipe: Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey
Use whatever citrus fruit you grab at the grocery store in this colorful, fresh salad.
Croissant Breakfast Casserole
Recipe: Croissant Breakfast Casserole
This is our Test Kitchen’s new favorite way to make brunch ahead for a crowd.
French Onion Puff Pastry Bites
Recipe: French Onion Puff Pastry Bites
These fluffy bites are filled with dreamy caramelized onions.