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Christmas Dinner ideas from salads to steak

Whipping up Christmas dinner for your pod this year? You can scour the internet for holiday kitchen tips and embark on a house-cleaning frenzy — or you can take comfort in the simple fact that good food creates full bellies and happy people, and that's the only goal you need to meet. Kick back with a plate of Christmas cookies and a mug of hot chocolate; here are 21 comforting Christmas dinner ideas and recipes from appetizers to desserts that will take the headache out of building your dream holiday dinner menu.

Christmas Food Ideas Starting with Appetizers

Bacon Pastry Twists With Beer Cheese Dip

Bacon Pastry Twists With Beer Cheese Dip

While cradling a cocktail in one hand, an easy-to-grab appetizer is essential. These flaky, cheesy bacon twists are both easy and delicious to dunk in a three-cheese beer dip. (via Brit + Co)

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Bites

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Bites

A red-and-green holiday treat without sugary sprinkles? Count us in. These phyllo shells are filled with whipped pesto cream cheese and topped with basil and sun-dried tomatoes for some yummy Christmas food. (via Well Plated by Erin)

Sesame Shrimp Pastry Puffs

Sesame Shrimp Pastry Puffs

The seafood lover in your home will be elated to munch on these sweet and umami-rich (thanks to oyster sauce) sesame shrimp, blanketed in buttery puff pastry. You'll definitely want to add this dish to your best Christmas recipes list. (via Brit + Co)

Holiday Crostini Trio

Holiday Crostini Trio

Spread avocado, mascarpone, and provolone onto toasted baguette slices for a tasty appetizer, and top away for three versatile holiday food ideas that will please any palate at your holiday party. (via The Baking Fairy)

Honey Almond Baked Brie Christmas Dinner Idea

Honey Almond Baked Brie

Add this this gooey, sweet, and salty baked brie to your Christmas dinner menu and guests will gather around it like it's a fireplace on a cold day. (via The Seasoned Mom)

Holiday Recipes for Side Dishes

Cheesy Sweet Potato Gratin

Cheesy Sweet Potato Gratin

This savory combination of sage, Gruyère cheese, and heavy cream is here to make sweet potato casserole even more indulgent. (via Brit + Co)

Romanesco Christmas Trees With Parmesan Snow

Romanesco Christmas Trees With Parmesan Snow

Turn romanesco into snow-capped trees with just six ingredients in this healthy yet cheesy dish for your next party. (via Brit + Co)

Cornmeal Biscuits With Cheddar, Chives, and Jalape\u00f1os

Cornmeal Biscuits With Cheddar, Chives, and Jalapeños

These slightly spicy biscuits are ideal for soaking up all that gravy goodness. (via Brit + Co)

Crispy Leaf Potatoes With Rosemary, Butter, and Salt

Crispy Leaf Potatoes With Rosemary, Butter, and Salt

If ever there were a bulletproof case for buying a mandoline slicer, it's these potatoes, which are sliced chip-thin, layered upright in a baking dish, and gloriously bathed in salty rosemary butter. (via Rasamalaysia)

5-Ingredient Christmas Salad Dinner Idea

5-Ingredient Christmas Salad

A complicated salad is the last thing you need to worry about when picking out Christmas dinner recipes. This palate-cleansing dish is simply butter lettuce, pomegranate seeds, and a white wine vinaigrette. (via My Kitchen Love)

Main Dishes to Enjoy With Family

Roast Chicken With Carrots

Roast Chicken With Carrots

For a Christmas meal or otherwise, every home cook needs a roast chicken recipe in their back pocket. Start with this step-by-step recipe, which shows you how to stuff, truss, roast, and baste the bird until juicy and golden brown. (via Simply Recipes)

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin With Apple and Rice Stuffing

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin With Apple and Rice Stuffing

This dish combines a classic holiday side with a crowd-pleasing main, and it's wrapped in prosciutto for a show-stopping finish. (via Well Plated by Erin)

Four-Cheese White Lasagna

Four-Cheese White Lasagna

This vegetarian lasagna-ravioli hybrid is made a little unconventionally, making it a great Christmas meal idea. Instead of neatly layering pasta sheets and cheese, fold a little bit of cheese into each individual pasta sheet, then layer haphazardly for a rustic look. (via Simply Recipes)

Roast Beef Tenderloin With Mushrooms and White Wine Cream Sauce

Roast Beef Tenderloin With Mushrooms and White Wine Cream Sauce

This melt-in-your-mouth holiday meal is cooked in one pan in under an hour. Sauté mushrooms in an oven-safe skillet, put the beef on top, roast, rest, and make a cheesy, herby cream sauce with the pan drippings. (via Half Baked Harvest)

Turkey Roulade With Apple Cranberry Stuffing in a Bacon Weave

Turkey Roulade With Apple Cranberry Stuffing in a Bacon Weave

This dish is all about texture, from the crispy bacon coat to the tender turkey in the middle and soft stuffing interior. (via Boulder Locavore)

Dessert Christmas Recipes that are Delicioso

Easy Spiced Hot Fruit Bake

Easy Spiced Hot Fruit Bake

Hear that? That's a scoop of ice cream begging to top this sweet tray of apple, pear, cranberry, pineapple, and gluten-free dessert. (via Cotter Crunch)

Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies

No surprise here: the secret to Torres' high-quality chocolate chip cookies is high quality ingredients, like butter, flour, and chocolate. Letting the dough age for 24 hours and sprinkling it with sea salt at the end doesn't hurt either. (via Brit + Co)

Dulce de Leche Cream-Filled Churro Donuts

Dulce de Leche Cream-Filled Churro Donuts

These six-ingredient donuts, made with biscuit dough, have a cinnamony exterior and a rich dulce de leche filling that pairs wonderfully with Mexican hot chocolate. (via Brit + Co)

Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa Christmas Dessert Idea

Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa Christmas Dessert Idea

Give your oven and your plates a break and add this dairy-free hot chocolate to your easy Christmas dinner menu, or enjoy with Christmas waffles! Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, and let the gadget do the rest for you. (via Brit + Co)

Champagne Ice Cream

Champagne Ice Cream

This egg-free, celebration-worthy holiday dinner idea gets its creaminess from cream cheese and, better yet, its booziness from sparkling wine. (via Brit + Co)

Cinnamon Roll Pecan Pie

Cinnamon Roll Pecan Pie

We call this pie holiday crack for a reason (or two): the pie crust is made of mini cinnamon rolls and the pecan filling is buttery on the verge of illegal, which definitely makes it one of our favorite holiday dishes. (via Brit + Co)

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Additional reporting by Justina Huddleston and Paige Johnson

The creator of this guide has not included ingredients