There’s a lot that goes into planning the ultimate Christmas menu. And the hardest part is. of course, cooking it all. Not to mention all the other tasks that you have to complete before and on the festive day. That’s why we’re here to make one of these tasks a bit easier for you. And that task is choosing the recipes. With these tasty and easy ideas, you’ll have all the info and inspo you need to put together the best easy Christmas dinner menu.
- Duck with Orange Hazelnut Stuffing
This is a recipe that will become a Christmas menu tradition as soon as you try it. The zesty stuffing with its nice nutty crunch complements the slices of moist duck, while the hint of orange in the gravy sets it apart.
- 2 domestic ducklings (4 to 5 pounds each)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 4 cups coarse soft bread crumbs
- 2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
- 2 cups chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup orange marmalade
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Sprinkle the inside of ducks with salt; prick skin lightly several times, being careful not to cut into the meat. Rub skin grated orange zest and sprinkle with seasoned salt; set aside. Combine the first 15 stuffing ingredients; spoon into ducks. If desired, secure legs with baker's twine.
- Place the breast side up on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan; pour enough water below the rack to thinly cover the bottom of the pan. Bake, uncovered, until a thermometer reads 180° in the thickest part of the thigh and 165° for stuffing, 2 to 2-1/2 hours, rotating pan halfway through and tenting with foil if needed to prevent overbrowning.
- For gravy, combine 3 tablespoons of pan drippings, flour, salt and pepper in a saucepan; stir until smooth. Heat until bubbly, stirring constantly. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add marmalade; stir until smooth.
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin
If you’re going to have vegetarians at your Christmas table, then you just have to make this broccoli and cauliflower gratin as their main.
- 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 large head broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 c. whole milk
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 oz. Gruyère, grated (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Arrange cauliflower and broccoli in the prepared dish.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes (do not let it darken). Slowly whisk in milk. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg and 1 1/4 cups cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil; bake until vegetables are tender and the top is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
This might be the best Christmas cocktail you’ve ever tried and it’s very easy to make. Not to mention how beautiful and colorful it looks.
- 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
- 1 c. whole fresh cranberries
- 1 c. green grapes, halved
- 1 c. pomegranate seeds
- 1 c. sparkling grape juice
- 1 (750-ml.) bottle Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava
- In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine apples, cranberries, grapes, and pomegranate seeds. Pour over sparkling grape juice and Champagne and stir well to serve.
- Butternut Squash and Feta Tartlets
The perfect bite for when everyone starts opening their presents.
Easiest Ever Pastry Dough
- 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 c. cold unsalted butter, cut up (1 stick)
- 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
- 1 tbsp. ice-cold water, plus 1 to 2 teaspoon more if necessary
Butternut Squash and Feta Tartlets
- 1 c. diced roasted butternut squash
- 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Make Easiest Ever Pastry Dough: In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add vinegar and 1 tablespoon ice-cold water, pulsing until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add remaining water, 1 teaspoon at a time). Do not overmix.
- Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
- Make Butternut Squash and Feta Tartlets: Heat oven to 400°F. Roll pastry dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to ⅛ inch thick. Remove the top piece of parchment. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds.
- Invert a mini muffin pan and lightly grease outside of bottoms and sides. Drape dough rounds over muffin cups to mold into cup shapes.
- Bake until cups are golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack; then carefully remove cups from the pan.
- In a small bowl, combine squash, feta, parsley, and olive oil. To serve, fill cups with squash mixture.
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Ganache Tart
You just can’t go wrong with a chocolate tart. The crunchy bits in this clever crust perfectly complement the silky, chocolate center.
- 1 c. shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 c. salted gluten-free pretzels, crushed into small pieces
- 1/2 c. rice flour
- 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 6 oz. vegan dark chocolate, finely chopped
- Pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease 9" tart pan with removable bottom.
- In a large bowl, combine shredded coconut, pretzels, rice flour, coconut oil, sugar, and cocoa. Transfer to the prepared tart pan. With hands, firmly press mixture into bottom and up side of pan in even layer; place on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely on the wire rack.
- In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk on medium until just bubbling at edges, whisking occasionally. Place chocolate and pinch salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour hot coconut milk over chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently whisk until smooth. Pour into the tart shell. Refrigerate, uncovered, 2 hours or until set. To serve, top with pomegranate seeds, if desired. Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Once set, cover with plastic and keep refrigerated.
In conclusion: Just pick out your favorite dinner ideas, write out your Christmas menu and enjoy the rest of the holiday season stress-free and so ready to feast.