Happiest Christmas Menus Ever
Plan a get-together for any occasion with these combinations of our favorite holiday foods.
The holidays are here, brimming with opportunities to gather around the table with loved ones and enjoy a delicious meal. To get a jumpstart on your holiday planning, check out this selection of creative and appealing holiday menus, where you will find ideas for cozy and casual meals, or formal and fancy traditional spreads. And because we enjoy a celebration meal anytime of day, we have included some holiday menus for breakfast or brunch. Holidays are busy, so to help you make the most of your time, within the menu ideas you will find helpful tips on which recipes can be made ahead and how to store them until time to bake and serve.
The Cocktail Party: A Festive Party for 10
Recipe: Crispy Pork Meatballs
Recipe: Spinach-and-Artichoke Bites
Recipe: Spiced Orange-Bourbon Punch
Recipe: Cranberry Sangría Punch
Recipe: DIY Deviled Egg Bar
Recipe: Fizzy Cider Punch
This festive party for 10 features yourbest friends, sparkly and fun decor, and a menu that's full of finger foods and big-batch drinks. Toast the season with a menu of sophisticated (but easy!) appetizers and crowd-pleasing punches.
Christmas Eve With All The Trimmings
Recipe: Herbed Potato Stacks
Recipe: Buttermilk Fantail Rolls
Recipe: Beet, Fennel, and Apple Salad
This elegant sit-down dinner is everything you want in a celebratory meal—and it's easy on the cook too. This sophisticated menu is satisfying without being too heavy. Bring together close family to enjoy beef tenderloin and seasonal sides.
A Merry Make-Ahead Brunch
Recipe: Sausage-and-Cheese Grits Quiche
Recipe: Country Ham Hash
Recipe: Christmas Sunrise
Recipe: Citrus Salad with Granola
Recipe: Sweet-and-Spicy Sheet Pan Bacon
Here's our gift to you: A memorable menu that won't steal any time away from family on December 25. Invite family and freinds over to enjoy a "help yourself" buffet of sweet and savory dishes. This entire brunch menu can be made or prepped in advance. Double recipes for a crowd, as needed.
Recipe: Gentlemen’s Casserole
Recipe: Gruyère Cheese Sauce
Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Recipe: Winter Fruit Compote
This menu is mostly make-ahead―so like us, you can relax and enjoy the beginning of the holiday.
You don’t have to sit at the dining room table to break out your best. Take a casual approach, and serve the meal fireside using your special china and silver.
Cozy Christmas Dinner
Recipe: Goat Cheese-Pesto Crostini
Recipe: Pork Loin Roast With Carolina Apple Compote (pictured)
Recipe: Bacon-Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts (pictured)
Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto (pictured)
Recipe: Home-Style Butterbeans
Recipe: Christmas Shortbread Cookies
These dishes create unexpected twists without being too fancy. Best of all, you can pull off this fabulous menu for 6 to 8 with plenty of time left to share with family and friends.
Casual Holiday Gathering
Recipe: Holiday Roast With Gravy
Recipe: Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Sugared Cranberries and Mint
This mouthwatering plate of holiday favorites may look fancy, but it's easy enough for even the novice cook to pull together with success.
Cajun Christmas Eve
Recipe: Cajun Green Bean Stir-fry
Recipe: Cajun Bread Knots
Recipe: Satsuma Salad
Recipe: Shrimp and Andouille Sausage With Asiago Grits (pictured)
Recipe: Asiago Grits
This marvelous meal is full of spicy Louisiana flair. Gather family, invite friends, kick back, and relax—Cajun style.
Casual Christmas Eve
Recipe: Citrus Batida
Recipe: Slow-Roasted Pork
Recipe: Caribbean Rice and Peas
Recipe: Winter Fruit-and-Cucumber Salad
Recipe: Rutabaga-Carrot Mash
Recipe: Sweet Potato Crème Brûlée
Serve Caribbean- and African-inspired dishes before Santa arrives this year. Each recipe is perfect to serve buffet style and easy to eat with a fork while balancing a plate on your lap. So fill your plate, find a comfy chair, and be joyful.
Easygoing Southern Dinner
Recipe: Cheese Straws
Recipe: Squash-and-Mushroom Hominy
Recipe: Hot Slaw à la Greyhound Grill
Recipe: Sweet Potato-Buttermilk Pie
Recipe: Hot-Spiced Bourbon Balls
Matt and Ted Lee adapted this tempting holiday menu for 6 from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook (W.W. Norton, $35), their critically acclaimed collection of regional recipes and witty commentary (not to be missed by any food lover). This merry menu creates an easygoing style but reflects Ted and Matt's serious food knack for updating Southern classics without loosing a lick of their delectable essence.
Recipe: Citrus Salad
Recipe: Ragoût of Mushrooms With Creamy Polenta (pictured)
Recipe: Creamy Polenta
Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Let these outstanding recipes, along with the warmth and laughter of these friends, resonate with you and your family.
Ragoût of Mushrooms With Creamy Polenta is a hearty meatless main course. Don’t let polenta scare you―it’s just the Italian version of grits.
Traditional Family Dinner
Easy, Cozy Brunch
Fun Holiday Luncheon
Fresh and Elegant Holiday Dinner
Recipe: Cherry-Pecan Brie
Recipe: Tossed Greens-and-Grapes Salad
Recipe: Crispy Potatoes with Fennel
Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
Recipe: Easy Asiago-Olive Rolls
Recipe: Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake
This beef tenderloin menu inspires the creative cook in you while pleasing guests who love a traditional meal. From the start to its grand finish—Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake—this Christmas celebration will be one for the memory book.
Splendid Holiday Feast
Recipe: Quick Winter Pickled Veggies
Recipe: Deviled Ham Terrine
Recipe: Fennel-Crusted Rib Roast
Recipe: Roasted Asparagus
Test Kitchen pro Marian Cooper Cairns developed this mostly make-ahead menu that mixes traditional recipes with updated Southern classics.
Tradition with a Twist
Recipe: Whiskey Sour
Recipe: Crab Crostini
Recipe: Cornbread Yeast Rolls
Recipe: Sautéed Green Beans
Recipe: Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Smoky Cranberry-Apple Sauce
Put the spark back in your turkey dinner with fresh recipes we promise will mingle beautifully with your family’s time-honored dishes.
Glamorous Cocktail Party
Menu: Glamorous Cocktail Party
Crowd-pleasing small bites and sparkling drinks make for a festive-yet-relaxed holiday féte. (We'll clink to that.)
Red Velvet Dessert Buffet
This wondrous, Wonka-esque dessert buffet celebrates one of the South's most iconic flavors in creative new ways. And yes, you're going to need a bigger dessert plate.
Merry Morning Christmas Brunch Menu
With a little help and advance prep work, these recipes deliver awesome flavor while you relax and reconnect with family and friends.
Grand and Gracious Traditional Dinner
Recipe: Baby Blue Salad
Recipe: Sweet Onion Pudding (pictured)
Recipe: Simple Roasted Asparagus (pictured)
Recipe: Refrigerator Yeast Rolls (pictured)
This menu for 8 is a beautiful balance of delicacies―some to make ahead and others that you can prepare immediately before the meal.
Delightful Dinner for Company
Recipe: Sparkling Cranberry Cocktails
Recipe: Beluga Lentil Toasts
Recipe: Chestnut Soup
Recipe: Wild Rice Salad
Recipe: Individual Pear Tartlets
Cookbook author Katherine Cobbs shared her tried-and-true recipes for creating a memorable holiday meal that puts a new spin on classics.
Wintry Feast Menu
Menu: Wintry Feast
This hearty midwinter's meal showcases the bounty of the season and pairs especially well with a crackling fire.