Try One of Our 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. Whether an opulent dinner or a sweet brunch, these Christmas menus are your new textbook for holiday meals.
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 your best 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.
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.
Sweet Christmas Brunch Menu
Recipe: Pomegranate Mimosas
Recipe: Our Best Ambrosia Ever
Recipe: Cinnamon Roll Strata
Serve a sweet and colorful Christmas brunch that can be made in advance. Here’s your Test Kitchen-approved game plan: Two days before brunch, make the yogurt mixture for the ambrosia; cover and chill. The next day, prepare the mimosas (without the sparkling wine) and the strata (through Step 3), and chill. Then, slice the oranges and pineapple, and chill in an airtight container. Done, done, and done!
Savory Christmas Brunch Menu
Recipe: Bourbon Bloody Marys
Recipe: Eggs Benedict Casserole
If you always order savory at brunch, we’ve made a Christmas brunch menu you’ll love. We recreated classic eggs Benedict to a big-batch form for the whole family. Plus, hollandaise sauce has never been easier than with this recipe. To make this menu ahead, follow our Test Kitchen’s plan: The day before brunch, assemble and chill the casserole (do not bake) and Bloody Mary mixer (without bourbon). Then, prepare the bacon and vinaigrette for the salad, and chill in separate airtight containers. Make the croutons, and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
A Fun & Festive Cocktail Supper
Recipe: Perfect Beef Tenderloin
Recipe: Homemade Hot Mustard
Recipe: Horseradish Sauce
Recipe: Montgomery Punch
Recipe: Cheese Dreams
Recipe: Asparagus with Curry Dip
Recipe: Lump Crab Mornay
Recipe: Roquefort-Cognac Cheese Spread
Recipe: Buttery Toasted Pecans
Recipe: Pecan Bourbon Balls
Southern food and entertaining legend Julia Reed created this easy but elegant menu for a cocktail supper throwback that’s an ode to her mother and grandmother. “It’s the most forgiving of formats— for the guests as well as the hosts. the menu items are designed to be eaten easily and relatively neatly with your hands, which means that the real progress of a party—visiting, drinking, flirting, meeting new people, or making a quick escape—is not hindered by the pesky tasks of fixing a plate, juggling utensils, and finding a place to perch. As the host, your job is simple: keep the bar and the table replenished, and everything else— dancing, impromptu caroling, illicit sessions under real or imagined mistletoe—takes care of itself.”
Traditional Holiday Dinner
Recipe: Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Recipe: Herbs-and-Greens Salad
Recipe: Wild Rice with Mushrooms
Recipe: Sour Cream Pocketbook Rolls
Recipe: Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake
This beautiful menu gives you everything you could need in a holiday supper—a yummy appetizer to tide everyone over, a light salad that won’t spoil their appetites, a filling and photo-worthy main dish, a healthy starch side, soft rolls to soak everything up, and a decadent but gorgeous dessert.
Recipe: Creamy Egg Strata
Recipe: Brown Sugar Bacon
Recipe: Citrus Salad
Recipe: Hot Cider Nog
This fun brunch spread finds the perfect balance of sweet and savory. A tip straight from Test Kitchen Professional Pam Lolley: “The butter you spread on the rolled-out cinnamon roll dough should be very soft so that the dough won’t tear. Resist the temptation to soften butter in the microwave—it can melt too quickly and unevenly. The best way to soften butter is to let it sit at room temperature.”
A Festive Feast
Recipe: Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
Recipe: Baked Brie Bites
Recipe: Pan Gravy with Sherry
Recipe: Cornmeal Popovers
The best part about this gorgeous dinner is that every aspect can be prepped in advance. You won’t find a more impressive way to feed a crowd during the holidays than this standing rib roast. Start with a fizzy, fruity cocktail in a pretty punch bowl and end by sopping up an incredible pan gravy with featherlight popovers.
Recipe: Sausage-Stuffed Honey Buns
Recipe: Ambrosia Breakfast
Recipe: Pecan-Chewy Pie
North Carolina Chef Vivian Howard invited us to her family farmhouse for a holiday brunch feast that will satisfy those craving something sweet or savory. A new take on egg casserole, sticky buns, a not-your-mama’s ambrosia recipe, and classic grits and greens star in this meal. To finish it off, the Howards go all out: “My mom never made just one pie, so this recipe is for two,” she said. You can also prepare it in your 13x9 pan and cut into bars for a more portable option.
The Holiday Hunt
Recipe: Hot Bourbon-Orange Tea Toddy
Recipe: Spiced Wine
This Louisiana-inspired meal is full of rich ingredients that celebrate the season’s best ingredients. Welcome family with soothing drinks that will make them feel right at home. Cozy braised cabbage is made irresistible with apple and bacon, and colorful roasted carrots in a sweet glaze are unforgettable. Finish the meal with a Cajun classic spice cake (aka Gâteau au Sirop), which gets much of its sweet favor from a Southern staple, cane syrup.
The Baker’s Brunch
Recipe: Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe: Apple-Pecan Streusel Muffins
Recipe: Cream Cheese Pastries
Recipe: Holiday Ham with Apricot Glaze
Recipe: Mini Chocolate Chess Tarts
Our Test Kitchen baking extraordinaire Pam Lolley has been making Christmas brunches for decades, so you can trust that each of these recipes will become family traditions. Pam started her make-ahead Christmas brunch tradition when she was pregnant with her third child and wanted a stress-free way to feed a crowd. Today, she preps all of it in advance, from the glazed ham to the grits casserole—except for the muffins, which she saves as a special activity to share with her grandkids. “Cooking with them during the holidays is my Christmas present.”
Offer Guests Opulence
Recipe: Sweet Potato Spoonbread
Recipe: Glazed Turnips and Parsnips
Recipe: Carrot-Cauliflower Salad
Recipe: Collard Greens Gratin
Recipe: Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle
A stunning standing rib roast is the star of the show surrounded by beautiful, seasonal side dishes. Swap your usual mashed potatoes or buttermilk spoonbread for a fresh sweet potato riff, and trade cheesy broccoli casserole for a collard greens gratin that will become a family mainstay. Really wow guests when you bring out our oh-so-festive trifle. Make the trifle the day before you serve it—not only will it taste better, but it will save you time on Christmas.