A big family meal may be the focus on Christmas Day, but the night before is all about preparing for a day of eating and celebrating. Whether you’re doing the Feast of Seven Fishes or just tucking in to comfort food, these festive dinner ideas for Christmas Eve will make your night extra special.
From ham and roast beef to hearty vegetarian pasta and savory vegetable hash, we’ve got you covered for your holiday feast. You’ll also find plenty of easy appetizers, winter sides, and Christmas dessert recipes that are sure to impress your guests.
We know it’s hard to put any effort into cooking on a Friday night, but we promise these Christmas Eve recipes are worth the extra effort. And with most of them taking an hour or less to prepare, you’ll have plenty of time to spend on other tasks, like wrapping presents and snuggling up in front of the tree with a glass of wine.
For a classic meat loaf recipe that’s perfect for a low-effort dinner, try this flavorful version that’s stuffed with cranberries and pecans for an added holiday touch. Serve it with a side salad and some mashed potatoes for the perfect homey and comforting meal.
A simple roasted chicken dish is another quick and easy option to add to your Christmas Eve menu, especially when it’s paired with a deliciously sweet and citrusy balsamic sauce. You can even use store-bought rotisserie chicken for this recipe to save time.
While it’s not a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dish, we think it would be perfectly acceptable to enjoy this rich seafood chowder on the night before the big day. This one is bursting with flavors from clams, shrimp, and crabmeat, and it’s the perfect way to keep your family warm during the holidays.
These fun reindeer-shaped pancakes from Siempre Navidad are a great way to get the kids involved in a special breakfast for Christmas Eve and will make a great photo op. To make this adorable Christmas recipe, just spread a big round pancake for Rudolf’s head, and then use smaller ones to form his ears and nose.
If you’re going out for a set Christmas Eve dinner in NYC, Narcissa is one of the best places to go for an affordable and delicious dinner. Their $79 prix fixe dinner includes an appetizer, main course, and dessert.
While you won’t be able to take part in their Feast of the Seven Fishes, this restaurant serves up an equally impressive dinner with oxtail tagliatelle, lobster risotto, and other dishes that are bound to please.
Christmas is not always picture-perfect, but it’s important to remember that this holiday is about spending time with your loved ones. If you’re having a tough Christmas Eve, try these comforting recipes that are guaranteed to lift your spirits. This creamy mac and cheese is a favorite of our editor’s, and you can make it ahead of time so it’s ready when the family gets in from shopping.