christmas dinner ideas
Are you ready to try other foods besides turkey this Christmas?
christmas dinner ideas
Are you ready to try other foods besides turkey this Christmas?

This article is part of the “Holiday Recipes Series.” Click here to learn more.

The holiday season is all about togetherness, and nothing brings people closer than a comforting meal. These festive Christmas dinner ideas are made with a healthy twist but do not lack timeless, tried-and-true favorites. Whether you are hosting the whole family or cooking for two, these Christmas Dinner Ideas are sure to impress your loved ones.

Your healthy and festive Christmas menu checklist:

Seasonal produce: Colorful in-season produce is a must for adding flair to your holiday spread while also upping your nutrition to include fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Late fall and winter produce include Brussels sprouts, cranberries, green beans, parsnips, potatoes, and various kinds of winter squash like acorn squash and pumpkin.

christmas dinner ideas
Use seasonal produce!

Protein: Protein is often the hero of Christmas dinner. It’s a chance to serve something outside the box that you would not typically have on a regular weeknight. Try unique and decadent options like lobster, prime rib, scallops, or trout. Lobster is a good source of vitamin B12, while prime rib provides bioavailable heme iron.

Carbohydrates: Focus on whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and farro to accompany your healthy Christmas dinner ideas. If you want to go the grain-free and naturally gluten-free route, you can also swap grains for starchy root vegetables like sweet potato or winter squash.

Healthy baking essentials: The Christmas season is incomplete without baked goods. Stock up on better-for-you flours like whole-wheat and brown rice as well as some naturally gluten-free options, including coconut and almond. Dark chocolate chips and superfood ingredients like goji berries and hemp seeds are also great staples to have on hand; they’re perfect for making cookies or homemade chocolate bark.

christmas dinner ideas
Remember to have healthy baking essentials!

Festive beverages: Keep sparkling wine and 100 percent fruit juice on hand to whip up some simple and festive cocktails or mocktails. This resulting combination is lower in calories than your typical alcoholic libation but does not skimp on either taste or holiday flair.

And without further ado, here are some awesome and healthy Christmas dinner ideas that are bound to make your whole family (or entourage of friends) happy:

Easy Christmas Appetizer: Prosciutto Wrapped Produce

christmas dinner ideas
For our prosciutto fans out there!

This first Christmas dinner idea is an appetizer. When serving a healthier appetizer, you want to pair protein with produce, making for a snack that has some serious staying power. Produce like fruits and vegetables are low in calories but rich in water and fiber, which help you feel full. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, so it also contributes to fullness.

A protein and produce appetizer is great for warding off hunger without ruining your appetite for the main course (or dessert). Prosciutto-wrapped pears not only look elegant, but they also follow this rule of thumb AND marry savory and sweet for the perfect bite. Plus, pears are in season, which means they are not only at their peak taste-wise but are also the most affordable. 

Prosciutto Wrapped Pears

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 20 minutes


  • 2 medium pears
  • 16 slices of prosciutto, cut into strips
  • 6 oz. goat cheese, sliced into 2-inch thin slices


Top each pear slice with cheese and wrap with prosciutto. Place each prosciutto-wrapped pear in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until the prosciutto is golden and the cheese has slightly melted. Repeat with remaining pieces and place on a serving tray. Secure each with a toothpick (optional).

Easy Christmas Dessert: Superfood Christmas Bark

christmas dinner ideas
Don’t forget to try out something sweet!

No Christmas dinner idea screams Christmas more than DIY chocolate bark. This recipe is made with dark chocolate chips, which are lower in sugar than the milk variety and higher in antioxidants. Superfood ingredients like goji berries and hemp seeds make this a “dessert with benefits” to accompany your healthier holiday meal. Plus, it also makes a great hostess gift. 

Superfood Christmas Bark

  • Serves: 16
  • Prep time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes wait time
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes


  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate arils 
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tbsp goji berries 
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds 


Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside. Use the double boiler method to melt chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in half the superfood ingredients. Pour chocolate onto the baking sheet and spread with a spatula if needed. Top with the remaining half of the superfood ingredients and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Break into bite-size pieces before serving.

Easy Christmas Dinner Entree for Vegetarians: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

christmas dinner ideas
This is a healthy option!

This Christmas dinner idea is a simple and nutritious vegetarian dinner that not only tastes delicious but looks elevated and is sure to impress your guests. It is made with all plant-based ingredients including in-season acorn squash and high-protein, whole-grain quinoa. This recipe is one of the healthiest Christmas dinner ideas!

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • Serves: 2
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 65 minutes


  • 2 medium acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place acorn squash halves with the cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked and tender. Add oil to a large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Then add onion and garlic and sauté until cooked and translucent. And finally, add quinoa, broth, and thyme to the skillet and cover with a lid. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the broth is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. Remove the lid and stir in cranberries, salt, and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture among acorn squash halves.

Easy Christmas Dinner Entree for Meat Eaters: One-Pan Roasted Turkey and Root Vegetables

christmas dinner ideas
Let’s not forget about the turkey!

Nothing says easy Christmas dinner idea like a one-pan dinner. This meal checks your protein and veggie boxes, is easy to make, and only requires a handful of ingredients. The best part is that there is barely any cleanup involved!

One-Pan Roasted Turkey and Root Vegetables

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Total time: 3 hours 10 minutes


  • 12 lbs. turkey, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • Thyme sprigs
  • 4 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • Rosemary sprigs 


Preheat the oven to 500° F. Season turkey with salt and pepper and rub with the juice of one lemon. Place turkey in a roasting pan. In a large mixing bowl, toss vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper and transfer to the roasting pan and cover the bottom. Arrange thyme and rosemary over the vegetables and arrange turkey over the herbs and vegetables. Roast turkey for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F and roast for another hour or until a thermometer inserted into each turkey breast reads 150° F, and each leg, thigh, and wing reads 160° F. Discard herbs and transfer vegetables and turkey to serving plates. 

Easy Christmas Cocktail: Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktails

christmas dinner ideas
Let’s not forget about the drinks!

Cheers to the most wonderful time of the year with these four-ingredient sparkling pomegranate cocktails. Not only do these look festive, but they are lower in sugar than your traditional cocktails since they are made with 100% no-sugar-added pomegranate juice, which is also a rich source of antioxidants. 

Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktails

  • Serves: 2
  • Prep time: 5 minutes


  • 1/2 cup 100% no sugar added pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup sparkling wine
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate arils
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary


Pour pomegranate juice into two champagne flutes followed by sparkling wine. Add pomegranate arils and rosemary sprigs. 

Your healthy and festive Christmas menu checklist:

In summary, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year – to get creative with all kinds of drinks, confections, and nutritiously delicious Christmas dinner ideas! That’s right – you can get eat healthily and have a great time with friends or family. What better reason to celebrate? Let us know which recipes are your favorite in the comment section! 

What are the top 10 Christmas dinner foods?

Turkey with a maple-bourbon brine.
Roast beef with a tarragon crust.
Traditional Bread Stuffing
Bacon-topped Brussels sprouts with pecans.
Tourtière from Pillsbury.
Rosemary-Onion Roasted Potatoes
Salmon with a lemon-pepper crust.
Delicious apple pie.

What is a typical menu for Christmas dinner?

Christmas dinner is typically served with a roast turkey, turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pies like apple or pumpkin. This menu is remarkably similar to Thanksgiving’s. Ham, roast beef, or lasagna are among the more popular non-traditional main dishes.

How many sides should you have for Christmas dinner?

Choose three or four side dishes for Christmas dinner that can satisfy a variety of palates. Typically, one kind of starch or potato, bread, and one or two vegetables assist finish the main course.

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