Quick + Easy Christmas Dinner Menu

Spend more time enjoying the holiday and less time cooking with this Christmas dinner menu of quick and easy apps, mains, sides and desserts.

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Photo By: Armando Rafael ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

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Photo By: Greg Gayne ©2015, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Greg Gayne ©2015, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Holiday Salad

Giada De Laurentiis' holiday salad will brighten up your table with fresh, crisp apples and endive, nutty Gruyère cheese, and a burst of color and texture from dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds. A little summer flavor sneaks in with defrosted corn kernels, too.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Salad

Hummus Dip

No holiday cocktail hour is complete without a classic hummus recipe, but this 10-minute version, with Asian sesame oil and cumin, has extra nutty flavor and spice.

Get the Recipe: Hummus Dip

Grande Spuntino

Entice predinner nibblers with a bountiful board of antipasto options. Serve a selection of seasonal fruits, cured meats (like bresaola and prosciutto), and cubes of cheese possessing varying textures, colors and flavors from mild to sharp.

Get the Recipe: Grande Spuntino

Olive and Nut Tartines

For flavorful apps in a flash, pile crusty baguette croutes with a zesty lemon-olive topping and sprinkle them with chopped pistachios or toasted almonds.  

Get the Recipe: Olive and Nut Tartines

Four-Cheese Baked Penne

This four-cheese baked penne can be made ahead of time, meaning less time in the kitchen on Christmas.

Get the Recipe: Four Cheese Baked Penne

Miso-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Put an Asian twist on typical holiday fare with miso-roasted Brussels sprouts. The salty, caramelized vegetables get a sprinkle of sesame seeds at the end for a bonus nutty crunch.

Get the Recipe: Miso-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Onion Tart

Commonly known as tarte flambee or flammekueche, this classic Alsatian app tops bread or pizza dough with creme fraiche, thinly sliced onions and smoked lardons. And just like a wood-fired pizza, the thin crust browns quickly in the oven, so make sure to keep a keen eye on its progress.

Get the Recipe: Onion Tart

Crostini with Spiced Chevre

Jazz up a log of chevre by coating it with cardamom, coriander and fennel seeds. Slice and place the cheese rounds on balsamic-drizzled whole-wheat toasts and serve them warm from the oven.

Get the Recipe: Crostini with Spiced Chevre

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It isn't a Christmas party until mashed potatoes are swimming in butter. The secrets to the nutty, smooth flavor of Tia Mowry's recipe are slow-cooked garlic confit and already-buttery Yukon gold potatoes.

Get the Recipe: Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sliced Orange Salad with Ricotta Salata

This refreshing salad can be tossed together in 15 minutes for an easy, last-minute appetizer. Rosemary-sauteed olives and a fresh orange juice vinaigrette will certainly perk up palates before the big Christmas feast.

Get the Recipe: Sliced Orange Salad with Sauteed Olives and Ricotta Salata

Oven Roasted Broccoli

Alton adds texture to garlic-roasted broccoli with toasted panko breadcrumbs and a final toss of finely grated Parmesan.

Get the Recipe: Oven Roasted Broccoli

Fast Mashed Potatoes for Desperate Times

This recipe provides the perfect single serving of classic mashed potatoes to comfort you after a rough day or just because you want some. It can also be multiplied as needed to provide a quick, satisfying side for a holiday meal.

Get the Recipe: Fast Mashed Potatoes for Desperate Times

Roasted Cauliflower

This cauliflower (one of Michael Symon's favorite go-to sides) gains savory notes from white anchovies and capers; its crunchy texture comes from toasted pine nuts.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower

Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Sunny keeps her Brussels sprouts delectably simple by sauteing them in a skillet with bacon fat, butter and onions.

Get the Recipe: Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Hanger Steaks with Ginger-Cranberry Sauce

Why should turkey hog all the cranberry-flavored fun? Hanger steaks sear super quickly and make for a festive main dish when served with this fruity sauce. Whirl cranberries, ginger and orange juice in a food processor and watch dinner come together in no time.

Get the Recipe: Hanger Steaks with Ginger-Cranberry Sauce

Martini Pork Chops

Chuck's speedy, skillet-seared pork chops borrow dry vermouth from the classic cocktail and turn it into a rich pan sauce. 

Get the Recipe: Martini Pork Chops

Pineapple-Glazed Shrimp

If you're searching for a quick-cooking protein in a pinch, shrimp is a guaranteed winner. These plump beauties are spiced with garam masala and swathed in a thick pineapple glaze for a sweet and savory contrast.

Get the Recipe: Pineapple-Glazed Shrimp

Lamb with Chianti Vinaigrette

Use a grill pan to cook these loin chops to a juicy medium-rare. While they're grilling, pull together the red wine and rosemary reduction and in 25 minutes you'll be ready to serve a festive lamb feast.

Get the Recipe: Lamb with Chianti Vinaigrette

Pasta Alla Gricia

Everyone's familiar with pasta alla carbonara, but this classic Italian dish is even easier because it skips the raw egg entirely. For the most-authentic flavor, toss your choice of pasta with guanciale (cured pig cheeks) and freshly grated pecorino.

Get the Recipe: Pasta Alla Gricia

Sticky Maple Bourbon Chicken

The thick, sticky glaze in this recipe works with just about any meat and can be customized with the sweetener of your choice. In this version, maple syrup blends especially well with a shot of bourbon and livens up chicken breasts in just 20 minutes flat.

Get the Recipe: Sticky Maple Bourbon Chicken

Stove Top Roasted Pears with Dulce de Leche

Alex's warm winter dessert recipe calls for pears to be cooked until fork-tender in a buttery cider and molasses sauce. Whole milk, sugar and a bit of stirring result in a thick golden caramel that's perfect for spooning over top.

Get the Recipe: Stove Top Roasted Pears with Dulce de Leche

Lemon Tiramisu

Revamp traditional tiramisu with a citrusy twist by dipping ladyfingers in limoncello instead of espresso. Shave lemon-infused white chocolate over the top and savor the fact that you can eat this treat immediately, unlike the classic refrigerated version.

Get the Recipe: Villa Maria's Lemon Tiramisu

Chocolate Tart

Assembling this gooey tart is a cinch thanks to a prebaked pastry shell. When you need a last-minute treat, fill the shell with a thick, bittersweet chocolate custard that's whisked together on the stove top.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Tart

Hot Chocolate Bar

Warm, sippable sweets are an easy stand-in for a holiday dessert course. Giada preps this crowd-pleasing bar by making homemade hot cocoa and setting out a variety of garnishes for guests to choose from, like mini marshmallows, cinnamon-sugar and espresso shots.

Get the Recipe: Hot Chocolate Bar

Winter Pears

Scavenging the pantry for a quick-fix dessert? Turn to the fruit bin and toss sliced pears in superfine sugar and balsamic for a savory-sweet pairing. Serve them with crushed biscotti and scoops of mascarpone or cinnamon gelato and no one will ever know you scrambled.

Get the Recipe: Winter Pears