21 Perfect Christmas Dinner Recipe Ideas from Appetizers to Desserts

Hosting Christmas dinner this year? You can panic, scour the internet for holiday kitchen tips, and embark on a house-cleaning frenzy — or you can take comfort in the simple fact that good food creates full bellies and happy people, and that’s the only goal you need to meet. Kick back with a plate of Christmas cookies and a mug of hot chocolate; here are 21 comforting recipes from appetizers to desserts that will take the headache out of building your dream holiday dinner menu.

Bacon Pastry Twists With Beer Cheese Dip: When every guest is cradling a cocktail in one hand, an easy-to-grab appetizer is essential. These flaky, cheesy bacon twists are both easy and delicious to dunk in a three-cheese beer dip. (via Brit + Co)
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Bites: A red-and-green holiday treat without sugary sprinkles? Count us in. These phyllo shells are filled with whipped pesto cream cheese and topped with basil and sun-dried tomatoes. (via Well Plated by Erin)
Sesame Shrimp Pastry Puffs: The seafood lover in your home will be elated to munch on these sweet and umami-rich (thanks to oyster sauce) sesame shrimp, blanketed in buttery puff pastry. (via Brit + Co)
Holiday Crostini Trio: Spread avocado, mascarpone, and provolone onto toasted baguette slices, and top away for three versatile crostini that will please any palate. (via The Baking Fairy)
Honey Almond Baked Brie: Guests will gather around this gooey, sweet, and salty baked brie like it’s a fireplace on a cold day. (via The Seasoned Mom)
Cheesy Sweet Potato Gratin: This savory combination of sage, Gruyère cheese, and heavy cream is here to make sweet potato casserole even more indulgent. (via Brit + Co)
Romanesco Christmas Trees With Parmesan Snow: Turn romanesco into snow-capped trees with just six ingredients in this healthy yet cheesy dish. (via Brit + Co)
Cornmeal Biscuits With Cheddar, Chives, and JalapeñosThese slightly spicy biscuits are ideal for soaking up all that gravy goodness. (via Brit + Co)
Crispy Leaf Potatoes With Rosemary, Butter, and Salt: If ever there were a bulletproof case for buying a mandoline slicer, it’s these potatoes, which are sliced chip-thin, layered upright in a baking dish, and gloriously bathed in salty rosemary butter. (via Rasamalaysia)
5-Ingredient Christmas Salad: A complicated salad is the last thing you need to worry about when cooking Christmas dinner. This palate-cleansing dish is simply butter lettuce, pomegranate seeds, and a white wine vinaigrette. (via My Kitchen Love)
Roast Chicken With Carrots: For a holiday dinner or otherwise, every home cook needs a roast chicken recipe in their back pocket. Start with this step-by-step recipe, which shows you how to stuff, truss, roast, and baste the bird until juicy and golden brown. (via Simply Recipes
Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin With Apple and Rice Stuffing: This dish combines a classic holiday side with a crowd-pleasing main, and it’s wrapped in prosciutto for a showstopping finish. (via Well Plated by Erin)
Four-Cheese White Lasagna: This vegetarian lasagna-ravioli hybrid is made a little unconventionally; instead of neatly layering pasta sheets and cheese, fold a little bit of cheese into each individual pasta sheet, then layer haphazardly for a rustic look. (via Simply Recipes)

Roast Beef Tenderloin With Mushrooms and White Wine Cream Sauce: This melt-in-your-mouth special treat is cooked in one pan in under an hour. Sauté mushrooms in an oven-safe skillet, put the beef on top, roast, rest, and make a cheesy, herby cream sauce with the pan drippings. (via Half Baked Harvest)

Turkey Roulade With Apple Cranberry Stuffing in a Bacon Weave: This dish is all about texture, from the crispy bacon coat to the tender turkey in the middle and soft stuffing interior. (via Boulder Locavore)
Easy Spiced Hot Fruit Bake: Hear that? That’s a scoop of ice cream begging to top this sweet tray of apple, pear, cranberry, pineapple, and gluten-free crumble. (via Cotter Crunch)
Jacques Torres’ Chocolate Chip Cookies: No surprise here: the secret to Torres’ high-quality chocolate chip cookies is high quality ingredients, like butter, flour, and chocolate. Letting the dough age for 24 hours and sprinkling it with sea salt at the end doesn’t hurt either — and it will yield a cookie that knocks the socks off of your guests. (via Brit + Co)
Dulce de Leche Cream-Filled Churro Donuts: These six-ingredient donuts, made with biscuit dough, have a cinnamony exterior and a rich dulce de leche filling that pairs wonderfully with Mexican hot chocolate. (via Brit + Co)
Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa: Give your oven and your plates a break with this easy, dairy-free hot chocolate. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, and let the gadget do the rest for you. (via Brit + Co)
Champagne Ice CreamThis egg-free, celebration-worthy ice cream gets its creaminess from cream cheese and, better yet, its booziness from sparkling wine. (via Brit + Co)
Cinnamon Roll Pecan Pie: We call this pie holiday crack for a reason (or two): the pie crust is made of mini cinnamon rolls, and the pecan filling is buttery on the verge of illegal. (via Brit + Co)
SOURCE: Brit + Co, by Sara Cagle