Christmas Dinner Party Ideas

Host a Christmas dinner party with a delicious meal and elegant table setting. These holiday menu ideas include something for everyone from beef to seafood to pasta, and more. 

Christmas table setting with tree in background.

It’s time to set a lovely Christmas tablescape, mix up some festive cocktails, and eat, drink and be merry!

Host Christmas Dinner

If you’re hosting Christmas dinner you’ve come to the right place. I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes to help you celebrate.

I’ve chosen each dish for different reasons. Some have a few more steps involved than what I typically make throughout the year, while others incorporate seasonal ingredients. Some are traditional for the holidays and some are fantastic for feeding a crowd.

This dinner party plan is excellent for New Years Eve too! 

Christmas table setting with fireplace mantel in the background.

Christmas Dinner Menu

Hosting Christmas dinner can be daunting and that’s why I put together these easy ideas to follow. They are festive enough to wow your family and friends, and the recipes are fantastic!

Start off with 1 or 2 light Christmas appetizers to hold guests over while dinner finishes cooking.

green salad with butternut squash cubes.

Salads

This butternut squash and baby kale salad is seasonal and tastes amazing! This is special enough for Christmas dinner as it’s got bacon, roasted butternut squash, nuts and warm bacon dressing.

  • Another seasonal salad is green salad with oranges. I use 3 types of citrus but you can stick with a single type if you like.
  • Apples are also terrific at Christmas time. Make kale and apple salad with walnuts and an easy vinaigrette.
  • If you have fresh figs in your area, try this fig salad with baby spinach and crispy pancetta. Try it with grilled haloumi cheese or simply top it with goat cheese.
beef roast with carrots and potatoes, on dinner table.

Entrees

A delicious Christmas dinner includes bone-in ribeye roast with red wine barbecue sauce (grab the recipe at bottom). Can I just tell you how good the sauce is!

  • For a traditional Southern main dish, bake a yummy spiral sliced ham. The peach glaze has just 3 ingredients and can be substituted with orange flavors instead.
  • Make dinner a surf and turf by adding these fantastic baked scallops. Or, give each guest a compote dish filled with cold marinated shrimp.
  • Serve one of the seafood dishes above and pair it with homemade fettuccine alfredo.
  • Even if you’re not Italian you can enjoy spaghetti & meat sauce on Christmas. It’s great for serving a crowd, and you make it in the slow cooker all day.
mac and cheese in individual white bowl on white dinner plate.

Sides

Another way to add surf to your turf is with lobster macaroni and cheese. It’s got bacon, lobster, three cheeses and a white wine cream sauce. It’s total holiday decadence!

  • If you want to forego the fancy dish, opt in for my creamy holiday macaroni and cheese. It’s what I reach for year after year for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
  • I’m partial to this broccoli casserole because it’s green, it’s cheesy, it’s crunchy, and it’s delicious!
  • I like serving this dressed up version of rice. It’s an easy wild rice pilaf with nuts and dried fruit, and the base is packaged rice with seasoning.
  • When it comes to heavy holiday meals, it’s all about balance. Keep it light with marinated green bean salad with colorful bell peppers.
  • Don’t let holiday season pass you by without making streusel topped sweet potato casserole. It’s light and fluffy with mini marshmallows and crunchy streusel on top.
pecan pie with two slices on white plates, with coffee.

Dessert

For dessert make my decadent Kahlua pecan pie. The custard-like center is filled with yummy pecans, and the secret is to chop them rather than leaving them in halves.

PARTY TIP: If you’re already drinking red wine with dinner, it makes a natural pairing with a chocolate dessert.

Christmas table setting centerpiece runner of greenery and white candles.

Set the Table

Decorate a table for a Christmas dinner party with natural greenery, pinecones, candles and berries. Use black and white accents and incorporate a single color if you like. It’s a base that can be updated year after year; simply add one color of your choice.

  • A wide black and white stripe ribbon stretches the full length of the table to add pizzazz to the greenery. It’s a budget friendly alternative to a table runner.
  • As an alternative to a traditional floral centerpiece, create a natural garland-style runner with greenery. A mix of silver dollar eucalyptus from the store, and evergreen tree trimmings from the yard are placed in an overlapping pattern down the center of the table.
  • Tuck in candles, pine cones, antlers, and decorative bird’s nests.
  • The final touch is a single white rose placed in votive holders interspersed throughout the runner.

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Cooked beef roast on platter with carrots and potatoes.

Christmas Dinner Ribeye Roast with Red Wine Sauce

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours

Elegant Christmas dinner party ribeye roast with red wine barbecue sauce. Served with carrots and potatoes for a satisfying holiday meal.

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds Choice Bone-In Ribeye Roast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable Oil
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 5 large russet potatoes, diced

Red Wine BBQ Sauce

  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) red wine (I recommend Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce (or your favorite)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500˚.
  2. Pat roast dry with paper towels,and rub the surface with oil.
  3. Combine salt, pepper, paprika and rosemary in a small bowl. Rub 7 tablespoons of salt mixture thoroughly over the surface of the roast. Place roast in a roasting pan and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss onions, celery, carrots and potatoes with remaining salt mixture. Remove roast from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350˚. Place vegetables around roast. Return to the oven and cook for 2-2 1⁄2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 130°. Remove the roast and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
  5. In a medium saucepan, bring wine to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, continue cooking until reduced by half. Whisk in barbecue sauce, continue to cook until desired consistency. Serve in a bowl to spoon over beef.

Did you make this recipe?

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