This article is part of the “Holiday Recipes Series,” which comprises of 5 articles. Read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 for more information.

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 menu items are sure to impress your loves ones.

Black Girl Wat Meme

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.

Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes

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 super food 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.

Dark Chocolate Bars

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:

1. Easy Christmas Appetizer: Prosciutto Wrapped Produce

Prosciutto Wrapped Pears

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 or 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

Ingredients: 

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

Directions:

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

2. Easy Christmas Dessert: Superfood Christmas Bark

Christmas Chocolate Barks

DIY chocolate bark screams Christmas. 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

Ingredients:

  • 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 

 Directions:

  1. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. 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 remaining half of the superfood ingredients and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Break into bite size pieces before serving.

3. Easy Christmas Dinner Entree for Vegetarians: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn Stuffed With Quinoa

This simple and nutritious vegetarian dinner not only tastes delicious, but it 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 definitely 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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Preheat 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.
  2. 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 quinoa is cooked.
  3. Remove lid and stir in cranberries, salt and pepper to taste. Divide mixture among acorn squash halves.

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

Roasted Turkey

Nothing says easy 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

Ingredients:

  • 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 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 500° F. 
  2. Season turkey with salt and pepper and rub with the juice of one lemon. Place turkey in a roasting pan.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. Discard herbs and transfer vegetables and turkey to serving plates. 

5. Easy Christmas Cocktail: Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktails

Pomegranate Cocktail

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

Ingredients: 

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

Directions: 

  1. Pour pomegranate juice into two champagne flutes followed by sparkling wine. 
  2. 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 healthy 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! 

Proud Joey Meme

Read more from our “Holiday Recipes Series”: