This year has been truly strange and difficult for most of us. Holiday gatherings are probably not going to be like the ones we had before due to restrictions brought by the pandemic, but this should not stop you from having a really stupendous Christmas dinner!
Whether you’re lucky enough to be feasting with family and friends, or having an intimate yuletide meal with a loved one, even if you’re going solo this year, let’s make your holiday buffet a truly memorable one. Here are 10 awesomely festive recipes that can make your 2020 Christmas dinner your best ever.
Top 10 Festive Christmas Dinner Recipes for 2020
Are you looking to impress a special someone with a nice romantic holiday dinner? Make it light, tasty and non-traditional. Salmon is always a safe choice when it comes to fish, but give it an Asian twist with a honey soy glaze. The red bell peppers and green onion not only tempers the sweet-salty combo with complementing fruity, fragrant and grassy flavors, they also lend some nice Christmas-y colors to the dish.
If you’re planning to prepare a meal for one next week for any reason, it’s best to go with something easy and hassle free so that you can savor your meal without any stress. Mashed taters are a Christmas staple, but spice up this otherwise ordinary fare by upgrading it with baby spinach. It’ll add a good dose of color and vitamins too! Substitute ham with a balsamic-glazed pork chop which also gives you a nice strip of fat with a juicy slice of meat with a similar sweet-sour flavor.
Vegetarians always get ribbed for having bland, tasteless food. This is simply not true! These veggie balls, which somewhat resemble falafels, use onions, carrots, potatoes, pinto beans, chickpeas which are some of the most flavorful ingredients in the plant kingdom. It also uses a combination of spices including coriander, lending it a very Indian-inspired flavor profile. These mini flavor bombs do well eaten as is but can also be paired with meats like chicken or turkey.
Turkey is often the centerpiece of holiday dinners. Since it is typically cooked as a big hunk of meat that needs to be cooked in the oven, it can be challenging to get right. But surely if you closely follow the instructions of this recipe which, by the way, is from one of the UK’s most well-known chefs, you can’t go wrong. Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas turkey uses aromatics like garlic, bay leaves and parsley to add a touch of herb-y savory fragrance while the bacon and butter bring a hearty, fatty flavor to the bird’s lean meat.
If you want to show off your culinary skills and make your guests feel elegant, here’s a dish that’s sure to impress discriminating palates. Intimidating as it may sound, sous vide merely involves vacuum sealing your duck meat then slow-cooking it at a low temperature for a few hours. The mild yet distinct flavor of the duck breast meat serves as a lean canvas for the orange chocolate sauce to shine.
Christmas dinners tend to be quite tame and sometimes a bit awkward. Liven up your meal with this left-field offering that’s sure to make your guest’s taste buds tingle! This exotic dish uses a slew of spices and aromatics so even if you dial down on the chili, it will still wake your appetite up with a kick. Serve with a side of green olives, red bell peppers, corn, and green beans to make it healthier and even more Christmas-y.
There’s always that one vegan guy that shows up at a Christmas dinner despite knowing that meat will be served. No need to make them feel unwelcome, after all, it is the time for love and cheer. Cauliflower is an excellent filling substitute for protein in most dishes and all you need is a balsamic glaze to give it a tad more flavor. Throw in some red onions, cherry tomatoes and green beans… believe us, the aroma that ensues after you pop it out of the oven will be irresistible even to avid meat eaters.
Prime rib is always a good meat choice if you want to elevate your Christmas menu and although it’s already good by itself, take it up a notch with a sweet and tangy Madeira glaze. The recipe also calls for red onions, carrots, potatoes as a colorful bed on which the prime rib will roast on. This will create a wonderfully flavorful jus that you can use to moisten the meat and potatoes with.
Seafood should totally be included in Christmas dinners because it's cheap, tasty, and easy to cook. A cioppino is basically an Italian-American stew that uses a variety of seafood, so if you’re sure none of your guests have allergies, go ahead and break out the largest pot you have. This is actually very easy to make, you basically just make a tomato-based broth and chuck in your seafood of choice and you have a hot, flavorful stew in just around 30 minutes.
Who doesn’t love a good paella. There’s something for everybody in this authentic Spanish recipe: chicken, chorizo, shrimp, rice, vegetables, and a whole load of other delicious ingredients. Cooking paella is kind of tricky though, since you’re practically cooking rice and other ingredients at the same time on a huge plate, so you might want to do a few practice runs before the big day. But if you manage to pull it off, you’ll have an amazingly colorful, Instagram-worthy dish that will likely impress all of your guests.