Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas

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As you plan your Christmas menus, I wanted to share lots of delicious recipes for Christmas Eve dinner ideas. These are easy to make and delicious!

It’s always nice to have something new to add to the holiday menu. These recipes are keepers that may very well become a holiday tradition on your table.

Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas
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Three Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas

I love cooking special dinners for my family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some of my menus are yearly traditions, such as Italian food on Christmas Eve, but I am always looking for ways to add creativity to my dinners.

Today I am sharing three fun ideas for Christmas Eve Dinner and I hope you will try them!

Christmas Salad with Persimmons and Pecans

Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas

This Christmas salad is a perfect blend of sweet and savory and is packed with fruits and veggies. I cut the persimmons horizontally so that you can see the festive star but of course, you can cut yours however you like.

I love the little burst of sweetness and sourness that the pomegranate seeds give as well as the tartness from the green apples. The sugared pecans are one of my favorite things to add to a salad and I love the way the parmesan cheese adds a salt component.

I add edamame to all of my salads, it’s a great way to sneak an extra serving of green vegetables into your day and the taste is so mild, it doesn’t detract from any type of salad. I also serve this salad as a meal by adding sliced chicken. So many options!

Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas

You will want to bookmark this recipe if for nothing else, the Balsamic Fig Dressing recipe. Oh, my gosh, this salad dressing is amazing!

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The star in the persimmon is such a wonderful surprise that so many aren’t even aware of. If you cut the persimmons as ween below, you can feature the lovely star in your salads.

Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas

How to Make the Christmas Salad

The steps to make this salad are all described in the recipe but look how easy this is. I can tell you that sugar-coating pecans on the stovetop is one of the best ways to make an unbelievable salad. Even if you don’t make this recipe, you have to make these nuts. And you can use almonds, walnuts, or pecans.

This salad tastes great and it looks amazing.

Yield: 4 Servings

Christmas Salad

Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas

This Christmas salad is packed with fruits veggies and is a perfect addition to any holiday table. You can add sliced chicken to make it a meal!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 Bag Spring Greens
  • 2 Green Apples, cored and diced (peel on)
  • 3 Persimmons, sliced horizontally so that you see the star, peel removed
  • 1 Cup Ready to Eat Edamame
  • 1/2 Cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Sugared Pecans (recipe below)
  • 1/4 Cup Shaved Parmesan (optional)
  • Balsamic Fig Dressing
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbl Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbl Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tsp Fig Jam
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt with Herbs de Provence
  • Sugared Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Shelled Pecan Halves
  • 2 Tbl Granulated Sugar


  • Salad Assembly
  1. Add spring greens to a large salad bowl
  2. Sprinkle diced green apple onto greens
  3. Sprinkle edamame onto greens
  4. Layer persimmon slices onto greens
  5. Sprinkle sugared pecans onto greens (optional)
  6. Sprinkle shaved parmesan onto greens (optional)
  7. Salad can be prepared ahead, covered and chilled until ready to serve (same day)
  8. When ready to serve, dress with the Balsamic Fig dressing to taste
  • Sugared Pecans
  1. Add pecans to a frying pan over medium heat
  2. Add sugar to the pan and stir
  3. Once the sugar begins to melt, reduce the heat to low and stir constantly. Do not leave the mixture unattended as sugar burns quickly if not tended
  4. Once the sugar is completely melted and the nuts are coated, turn the heat off and remove the coated nuts to parchment paper or foil to cool. If you leave them in the pan, they will harden and stick to the pan
  • Balsamic Fig Dressing
  1. Whisk together oil and vinegar
  2. Add garlic and whisk until blended
  3. Add Dijon mustard, whisk until blended
  4. Add salt and herbs, whisk until blended
  5. Add fig jam, whisk until blended
  6. Adjust to taste
  7. Dressing saves up to a week

Spiced Apple Cider

Have you ever made Spiced Apple Cider? It’s warm, sweet, and so delicious! It’s also a perfect beverage to serve in the evening when your family is gathering by the fire to enjoy Christmas Eve. (Or anytime, actually!)

It’s also really easy to make spiced cider and your house will smell amazing while cooking.

Spiced Apple cider

The ingredients are minimal and include apple cider, fresh cranberries, oranges, cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spice, and ginger.

Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas - Spiced Cider

All you do is add everything to a pan and simmer for about thirty minutes. How easy is that?

Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas - Spiced Cider

And speaking of a pan, how wonderful is this pan? I absolutely adore it and it’s so fun to use. The link is below.

Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas - Spiced Cider.
Yield: 6 cups

Christmas Spiced Apple Cider

Spiced Apple Cider

This Christmas Spiced Apple Cider is so comforting and sweet. It is delicious,

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 6 cups of apple 2ider
  • One orange, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger


  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Serve while warm.

Pear Bread

Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas

I adapted this recipe from my beloved banana bread recipe. I am lucky enough to receive Harry & David pears at Christmas and one year gave this adaptation a try.

To say it was a huge hit is an understatement. It is wonderful for breakfast, toasted with a little butter, or warmed for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. It is also incredible, warmed, and crumbled-over vanilla ice cream with a little caramel drizzle for dessert.

Yield: 1 Loaf

The Very Best Pear Bread Recipe

The Very Best Pear Bread Recipe

A slice for breakfast with your coffee, as you dash out the door, or as an afternoon snack, this pear bread will quickly become a family favorite

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes


  • 5 pears, peeled and diced (½”-¾”-ish)
  • 2 TBL butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 TBL ½ and ½


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare a loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Peel and dice the pears.
  4. Using a saute pan large enough to hold all of the diced pears, melt the butter. Add vanilla and cinnamon, thoroughly combine
  5. Add the peeled and diced pears to the butter, vanilla, and cinnamon mixture. Cook until pears are softened and the pear juice has added liquid to the pan. Depending on how ripe your pears are, this can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as 20 minutes. Put a lid on the pears as they cook to capture all of the juice
  6. Once pears are browned, softened and juicy in the butter mixture, set aside to cool.
  7. In a large bowl, blend together the brown sugar and 2 eggs. Make sure there are no lumps from the brown sugar.
  8. Add the cooled pears and juicy butter mixture to the bowl with the brown sugar and eggs. Thoroughly combine.
  9. Add flour, baking soda, and half and half to the mixture and combine thoroughly. The mixture will be quite wet.
  10. Pour the mixture into a prepared loaf pan.
  11. Place the loaf pan onto a cookie sheet in case of seepage and place it on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
  12. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for another 40-45 minutes or until the knife comes out clean.


Depending on how ripe or unripe your pears are, step 4 can take as little as 10 minutes or over 20 minutes. I have used jarred pears before and they work beautifully!

Make sure to cool the pear, butter, and juice mixture before adding to the brown sugar and egg mixture so that the warm pear mixture doesn't cook your eggs!

More Christmas Recipes

For dessert, these adorable Rose Apple Tartlets are so much fun to make and eat!

Yield: 12 small tartlets

Rose Caramel Apple Tartlet

Homemade apple rose tartlets with caramel.

These caramel apple tartlets with apple roses are sure to be a show-stopper at any gathering or celebration. The luscious caramelized apple filling, complemented by the visual beauty of apple roses, makes for a dessert that is as delightful to look at as it is to savor.

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes


  • For the Pastry Crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons ice water
  • For the Caramelized Apple Filling:
  • 3-4 medium-sized apples (Honeycrisp or Granny Smith work well), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the Apple Roses:
  • 2-3 medium-sized red apples (Honeycrisp or Gala work well)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons apricot preserves or apple jelly
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • For the Caramelized Drizzle:
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce or powdered sugar


Prepare the Pastry Crust:

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Gradually add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
  3. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the Caramelized Apple Filling:

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Stir until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  2. Add the thinly sliced apples to the skillet and toss them gently to coat them evenly with the caramel sauce.
  3. Cook the apples for 5-7 minutes, or until they are slightly softened and caramelized. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside to cool.

Prepare the Apples:

  1. Wash the apples thoroughly and slice them in half. Remove the core and seeds from each half.
  2. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer, cut very thin slices of apple. The slices should be about 1/8 inch thick.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the lemon juice, apricot preserves (or apple jelly), and water. Heat the mixture in the microwave for about 30 seconds until it becomes slightly warm and runny.
  4. Place the apple slices in the bowl with the preserves mixture and toss gently to coat the slices. This step helps prevent the apples from browning and adds a hint of sweetness and flavor.
  5. To make the apple slices more pliable and easier to work with, you can microwave them for about 20-30 seconds. This step is optional but can be helpful, especially if your apple slices are thicker.
  6. Take one apple slice and lay it flat on your work surface.
  7. Starting at one end, gently roll the slice up into a tight spiral, creating the center of the rose.
  8. Continue adding more apple slices, one at a time, around the center, ensuring each new slice overlaps the previous one slightly. The curved edge of the apple slice should be facing up to resemble rose petals.
  9. If necessary, you can dab a little extra preserves mixture or water on the end of the last apple slice to help it stick to the rest of the rose.

Assemble the Individual Caramel Apple Tartlets:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly grease a muffin tin or use individual tartlet pans.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled pastry dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out circles or squares slightly larger than the size of each muffin cup or tartlet pan.
  3. Gently press the pastry circles or squares into each cup or tartlet pan, ensuring the bottom and sides are well-covered.
  4. Pre-bake the pastry shells in the oven for 12 minutes. Let cool.

Fill the Tartlets:

  1. Spoon a small amount of the caramelized apple filling into each pastry-lined cup or tartlet pan, filling them about two-thirds full.
  2. Add the Apple Roses:
  3. Place one or more apple roses on top of the caramelized apple filling in each tartlet.

Bake the Caramel Apple Tartlets:

  1. Bake the tartlets in the preheated oven for 20-35 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden brown and the apples are tender. The baking time varies based on the muffin tin you use.
  2. Allow the tartlets to cool slightly before serving. Drizzle each tartlet with a spoonful of caramel sauce or powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness and indulgence.


These individual caramel apple tartlets with apple roses are best served warm. Enjoy the delightful combination of caramelized apples, flaky pastry, and the beauty of apple roses in every delectable bite!

Here is a fabulous chiekcn recipe for Christmas Eve Dinner!

Yield: 2 servings

The Best Grilled Chicken with Pistachio Avocado Sauce

Dinner with Friends Main Entree Sea Bass and Chicken

This is the best Grilled Chicken with Pistachio Avocado Sauce – marinated in soy sauce, honey, and garlic and grilled to juicy, golden-brown perfection. Then topped with an amazing green pistachio and avocado sauce. So easy!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 TBL cilantro
  • fresh lime, squeezed
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup packed parsley and cilantro leaves (combined)
  • 1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of one lime (or two – get lots of limey goodness in there!)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (you can sub other nuts)


    1. Cut the chicken into chunks. Place in a large ziplock plastic bag or bowl.
    2. Pour the soy sauce, honey, water, and garlic into a bowl. Whisk until incorporated. Set aside about 3/4 cup of the sauce for brushing the chicken later.
    3. Pour the remaining sauce into the bag or bowl with the chicken. Seal or cover the mixture and refrigerate as long as you can – 4 hours is a good minimum but you can go as long as overnight.
    4. When you’re ready to grill, preheat the grill on medium-high for 5-10 minutes and oil the grates. Meanwhile, drain off the marinade and place the chicken pieces on skewers. Place the chicken on the hot grill, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Brush with reserved sauce and flip. Repeat this process until you see that the chicken is browned to your liking and fully
    5. Serve with cilantro, lime, Magic Green Sauce, or any other dipping sauces you like. We also like this with a salad and some naan or rice.
    6. To make the five-minute green sauce, pulse all remaining ingredients – except pistachios – in a food processor until incorporated.
    7. Add pistachios and pulse until mostly smooth (depends on what consistency you want).
    8. Serve as a dip, spread, or sauce — or add additional water or oil to thin the sauce for use as a dressing or a marinade.

Nothing is better than Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese. I love these recipes so much!

Yield: 12 servings

Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque with Grilled Cheese Sticks

Dinner with Friends Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese

This Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque Soup and Grilled Cheese Sticks is one of the best soup recipes I have ever tasted. It is delicious.

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 Cups finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 Cups Chicken Stock/Broth
  • 1 28oz can and 1 14.5 oz can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 4 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 loaf of Texas Toast
  • 1 brick gruyere cheese, sliced thinly
  • 1 brick sharp white cheddar cheese, sliced thinly
  • 1 brick mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon butter


Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque

  1. Place olive oil and butter in saucepan over low to medium heat. When oil and butter are combined and bubbly add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and beginning to brown. Remove from heat. 
  2. In stock pot on low to medium heat, add chicken stock/broth, both cans of tomatoes (do not drain). Stir to combine. Add onions, garlic and oil.
  3. Add half and half and basil to pot, stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once combined and cooked through, remove from heat.
  4. Transfer soup to blender. Pulse until smooth.
  5. Return to pot. Soup can be made ahead and refrigerated. When ready to serve, warm slowly before serving.

Grilled Cheese Sticks

  1. Cut away crusts from bread. To assemble each sandwich, use two pieces of bread. Layer slices of gruyere on top of the bread. On top of the gruyere, layer the sharp white cheddar cheese slices. On top of the cheddar cheese, layer the mozzarella slices. 
  2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add 1 TBL of olive oil and 1 TBL of butter. Once the olive oil and butter is combined and bubbly.
  3. Carefully transfer the bread layered with cheese into the pan, bread side down. Place the second piece of bread on top of cheese. 
  4. When the bread is golden brown, carefully flip the sandwich to brown the second piece of bread.
  5. Once both sides of the bread are browned, transfer the sandwich to a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper.
  6. Place in oven heated to 300 degrees. Bake sandwich for 10-12 minutes until cheeses are melted.
  7. Cut sandwiches in half and serve with soup.

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Recipes for Christmas Eve dinner including a persimmon salad and spiced apple cider.

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  1. Leslie, Thank you for these amazing recipes! I can’t wait to make all of them. I think a cookbook should be next for you. I would be your #1 taster! Happy Holidays. xx

  2. Hi Leslie!
    Would you kindly provide the link to your Beloved Banana Bread recipe? I searched but could find it. Thanks!
    Merry Christmas!

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