45+ Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas

Christmas is almost here — do you have your Christmas Eve dinner ideas nailed down? These Christmas Eve recipes will give you all the inspiration you need for the perfect meal to celebrate. Here are the best drink recipes, savory and sweet recipes from around the web.

Herb crusted apple pan seared pork tenderloin is the perfect fancy but easy dish you can make at home. You'll be surprised how quickly this decadent pan seared pork tenderloin comes together. The entire tenderloin is seared, baked and then topped with a sauce of apple chunks and herbs. Serve over a bed of Yukon gold potatoes and you'll feel like you're having a steakhouse dinner right at home.?

Best Recipes For Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas will be here so soon — are you ready? It's my favorite time of the year, and I love to make it feel special for everyone.

One of my favorite dinners to plan is Christmas Eve dinner. We're planning to get together with family this year, and I wanted to share some of my recipe inspiration for our dinner.

(Second only to Christmas Eve dinner is Christmas morning breakfast — head to that post to get some brunchy inspo too!)

Here's how to plan the ultimate meal for Christmas Eve with some delicious recipes. Scroll down to the bottom for the list of recipes or keep reading for my best planning tips.

honey being drizzled onto a plate of Cranberry Prosciutto Crostini with Goat Cheese

What to Serve on Christmas Eve

Here's my recipe for the perfect combination of Christmas Eve dinner recipes:

1-3 appetizers + 1-2 main dish options + 2-3 side dishes (make sure at least one is a veggie) + 1 bread + 1 dessert + 1-2 drink options

It really comes down to how many people are partaking, but if there's a big crowd, you might want to stick to big-batch recipes like a make-ahead chicken enchilada casserole instead of standing at the stove making dinner all night.

For most parties, you should follow the one pound rule, meaning that you should serve approximately 1 pound of food for every adult and ½ pound of food for every child.

If you've been invited to a Christmas dinner or party, don't forget to bring your host or hostess a gift to show your appreciation!

Once you know how many of each type of dish you need, it's much easier to plan the meal.

Bowls of chips and salsa on a table in front of a lit Christmas tree.

Christmas Eve Dinner Themes

A theme is a great way to tie everything together.

You can absolutely go traditional — that totally counts as a theme! This would be a classic main dish like pork tenderloin and sides like oven roasted green beans.

Many years, my family does a Mexican Christmas Dinner — it's a New Mexican tradition we still enjoy even though we're in Arizona now. We start with chips and guacamole then enjoy a dinner of enchiladas with homemade sauce.

Another fun idea is a Christmas wine party. Wine tasting is a fun activity you could do on Christmas Eve with your family, paired with a bunch of appetizers for a snacky dinner.

There's also nothing wrong with having a DIY pizza night! Setting your own traditions is what the holidays are all about, right? You can make your own pizza dough and sauce and then let everyone decorate their 'zas with toppings to their heart's content.

Glass of sangria made with lime, orange and cranberry.

Christmas Eve Drinks

Beer, wine and soda are always safe bets to serve, too.

A big batch, make-ahead drink is your friend on Christmas Eve to serve a big party or a small one. You could make a cranberry sangria or a non-alcoholic Christmas punch.

Make extra and stash it in the fridge (or a cooler) so you can add more to the pitcher or punch bowl when it gets low.

For the coffee drinkers, I suggest brewing a pot of coffee to enjoy after dinner. If booze is your thing, you can make traditional Irish coffee or even have boozy options like Irish cream or coffee liqueur for folks to mix in.

Christmas Eve Dinner Recipes

Now, let's get into the dinner ideas! Here they are broken down by type of dish:

I'd love to hear what your favorite Christmas Eve dishes are! Leave a comment below!

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