56 Last Minute Christmas Dinner Ideas

Did you wait too long to plan a Christmas/Holiday dinner? You don’t have to resort to takeout or delivery, these recipes can all be done in a few hours and taste just as good as turkey.

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Our Best Last Minute Christmas Dinner Ideas

Beef Tenderloin with a Giant Sauce Board

Like the best steak of your life: melt-in-your-mouth buttery, extremely juicy, and deliciously beefy and satisfying.

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A Hot Pot Christmas Dinner | www.iamafoodblog.com

A Hot Pot Christmas Dinner

The absolute best version of Chinese food for Christmas made even better because it’s at home, no pants needed.

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Christmas Paella | www.iamafoodblog.com

Christmas Paella

The first time we had paella was in London at Christmas, it was so fun. What’s more festive than gathering around a giant paella?

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Real Deal Swedish Meatballs | www.iamafoodblog.com

Real Deal Swedish Meatballs

And the same goes for Swedish meatballs, doesn’t it always seem like the nordic countries know how to do Christmas right?

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Cinnamon Rolls | www.iamafoodblog.com

Cinnamon Rolls

Whatever you do for your mains and sides, cinnamon rolls are the ultimate dessert for your Christmas dinner.

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A Full Gravy Board for Christmas Dinner | www.iamafoodblog.com

A Full Gravy Board for Christmas

Because if gravy is the best part of christmas dinner for you, then why not 6 different ones? You can make all these at the same time and have a full smorgasbord.

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Super Juicy Crock Pot Turkey Breast Christmas Dinner | www.iamafoodblog.com

Super Juicy Crock Pot Turkey Breast Christmas Dinner

A turkey that cooks itself perfectly feels a little bit like the future, but a utopian future instead of the weird dystopian one we live in now.

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Perfect Christmas Roast Potatoes | www.iamafoodblog.com

Perfect Christmas Roast Potatoes

What makes these Christmas potatoes? Nothing, but they’re definitely perfect, just like your Christmas will be.

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | www.iamafoodblog.com

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The question is, do you start with these amazingly soft and crisp chocolate chip cookies, or end with them? Why not both?

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Honey Baked Ham | www.iamafoodblog.com

Honey Baked Ham

Honey baked ham like you’ve never had it with the flavors of Chinese bbq char siu honey glaze.

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Instant Pot Turkey Christmas Dinner | www.iamafoodblog.com

Instant Pot Turkey Christmas Dinner

Pressure cooking is the way to go: juicy, perfect turkey every time, in only 20 minutes.

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Christmas Chicken Shawarma | www.iamafoodblog.com

Christmas Chicken Shawarma

If you’re bored of turkey, this is a crazy flavor bomb that will make you forget all about plain turkey.

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A Korean BBQ Christmas Dinner | www.iamafoodblog.com

A Korean BBQ Christmas Dinner

Or go really crazy with a smoky, hyper-flavorful and happily cheerful DIY Christmas Korean BBQ.

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Foolproof Spatchcock Turkey | www.iamafoodblog.com

Foolproof Spatchcock Turkey

But if you’re dead-set on a full turkey, do yourself a favor and spatchcock it for the best whole turkey ever. You can even buy it in parts and put it together like a puzzle.

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Hainanese Chicken Christmas Dinner | www.iamafoodblog.com

Hainanese Chicken Christmas Dinner

Hainanese chicken and rice is like the ultimate Chinese version of the classic turkey and mashed potatoes Christmas dinner.

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The Ultimate Charcuterie Board | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Ultimate Charcuterie Board

The prettiest appetizer, but so over the top you could do it as the main too. A little bit of luxury in a year that definitely needs it.

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Air Fryer Parm and Thyme Wedge Fries | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Idea: Air Fryer Parm and Thyme Wedge Fries

These air fryer wedge fries taste like an adult version of the frozen wedge fries you might have had as a kid, and what’s better than nostalgic food done right?

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Parmesan Garlic Knots | www.iamafoodblog.com

Instead of dinner rolls: Parmesan Garlic Knots

Like garlic bread and dinner rolls had a baby who turned out to be Yao Ming. So good and so easy, you’ll never go back to plain dinner rolls.

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Air Fryer Roasted Brussels Sprouts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Air Fryer Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Fun fact: If you hated brussels sprouts as a kid, it was a different (worse) varietal. Today’s brussels sprouts are so good, especially when cooked right, like in the air fryer.

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Air Fryer Chicken Breasts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

And while you have the air fryer out, try these juicy perfect-every-time chicken breasts too.

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Velveeta Mac and Cheese | www.iamafoodblog.com

Velveeta Mac and Cheese

The most perfect looking mac and cheese ever is also the tastiest. You’ll never look at Velveeta the same way again.

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Traditional Soft German Pretzels | www.iamafoodblog.com

Traditional Soft German Pretzels

Whenever we get a chance to, we try to visit German christmas markets, and the best part of them are soft pretzels. We can’t have markets this year, but we can still have pretzels!

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Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) | www.iamafoodblog.com

Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu)

Go a little crazy for your Christmas dinner main with this super easy Chinese BBQ pork, served up with bao, rice, or on its own.

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Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs | www.iamafoodblog.com

Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs

Imagine a huge pile of juicy flavorful lemon pepper chicken thighs in the blink of an eye. Way easier and more cost effective than turkey.

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Baked Garlic Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs | www.iamafoodblog.com

Baked Garlic Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

And if you don’t have an air fryer, these baked garlic honey mustard chicken thighs are just the thing.

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A Tomahawk Steak for Your Christmas Dinner | www.iamafoodblog.com

A Tomahawk Steak for Your Christmas Dinner

But if money is no object, nothing says celebration like a giant tomahawk steak whether traditionally with just salt and pepper, or Vietnamese salad roll like we did here.

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Christmas Barbacoa | www.iamafoodblog.com

Christmas Barbacoa

If you’ve never had barbacoa as a festive meal, you’re missing out: soft and tender beef coated in a savory red chile sauce, perfect with tacos or Mexican rice.

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Takoyaki Dinner Party | www.iamafoodblog.com

Takoyaki Dinner Party

The best festive dinners are slow, lingering, communal dinners, like these Japanese octopus balls which are so fun to make and eat.

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Full English Breakfast | www.iamafoodblog.com

Full English Breakfast

Fun fact: many people have their Christmas dinners on Christmas morning, and if you are one of those people, a Full English is the best “Christmas Dinner” ever.

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Salted Egg Yolk Fried Chicken | www.iamafoodblog.com

Salted Egg Yolk Fried Chicken

And even more people have fried chicken for their Christmas dinners. Take it to the next level with these Chinese cured egg yolk fried chicken nuggets.

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Side Idea: Sour Cream and Onion Pasta Salad | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Idea: Sour Cream and Onion Pasta Salad

Regular pasta salad can be great, but this sour cream and onion pasta salad based on everyone’s favorite chip flavor is phenomenal.

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Salt and Pepper Shrimp | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Idea: Salt and Pepper Shrimp

You know this one: the delicious salty peppery shrimp you get from great Cantonese restaurants, now at home, for Christmas.

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Shrimp Risotto Balls | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Idea: Shrimp Risotto Balls

While you’re on the shrimp train, these shrimp and risosto arancini are super festive and crazy delicious.

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Chinese Cucumber Avocado Salad | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Idea: Chinese Cucumber Avocado Salad

For people who hate leafy greens, this hearty salad is all buttery avocados, cool cucumbers, and lots of umami, soy, and black vinegar.

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Vietnamese Salt and Garlic Prawns | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Idea: Vietnamese Salt and Garlic Prawns

Crispy roasted prawns loaded up with salt, garlic, and chiles. A flavor bomb of a side dish.

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Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Idea: Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Perfect mashed potatoes, every time, as fast as possible. You’ll never go back to making mashed potatoes any other way after reading this.

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Gochujang Honey Roast Chicken Dinner | www.iamafoodblog.com

Gochujang Honey Roast Chicken Dinner

Slightly spicy, slightly sweet Korean inspired chicken with creamy crispy roast potatoes

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The Potato Snack: 64° Eggs, 72° Potatoes, Toast | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Potato Snack: 64° Eggs, 72° Potatoes, Toast

A tiny touch of fine dining at home when you want to bring the extra fancy: perfect eggs, perfect potatoes.

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Christmas Turkey Pot Pie | www.iamafoodblog.com

Christmas Turkey Pot Pie

A creamy and light Christmas-y take on shepherd’s pie with turkey and white sauce and everything nice.

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Potato Sliders | www.iamafoodblog.com

Rolls: Potato Sliders

Definitively, the best bread is potato bread, especially during the holidays. You can use these buns to make tiny Shake Shack burgers even.

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Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad | www.iamafoodblog.com

Salad Idea: Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad

The best parts of a fully loaded baked potato and classic potato salad, together at last. Rich and bacon-y and creamy and fluffy, all at the same time.

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Roasted Potatoes with Burrata | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Idea: Roasted Potatoes with Burrata

The crispy edges and fluffy insides of the roasted potatoes pair perfectly with the creamy burrata.

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Mini Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders | www.iamafoodblog.com

Mini Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders

There’s nothing better than taking a tray of these tiny slider buns fresh out of the oven to start your dinner.

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Rolls: No Fail Fluffy Dinner Rolls | www.iamafoodblog.com

Rolls: No Fail Fluffy Dinner Rolls

But if you have to have the classics, these no-fail extra fluffy dinner rolls are just what you need.

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Chicken Pot Pie Bow Ties | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Ideas: Chicken Pot Pie Bow Ties

Pasta salad like you’ve never had: chicken pot pie pasta salad, done up in the instant pot in under 20 minutes.

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Creamy Lobster Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com

Creamy Lobster Pasta

Why stop at a simple pasta salad though, when you can go all out with this creamy lobster pasta. It seems expensive and decadent, but all you need is one lobster to make this pasta.

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Mint Snowman Marshmallows | www.iamafoodblog.com

Dessert: Mint Snowman Marshmallows

These mint snowman marshmallows are the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas morning hot chocolate.

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Mini Gingerbread Houses | www.iamafoodblog.com

Mini Gingerbread Houses

And so are these tiny gingerbread houses, although you’ll need to order a special mold for them unless you’re really good with a knife.

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Honeynut Squash | www.iamafoodblog.com

Side Idea: Honeynut Squash

Honeynut squashes are the cuter, tastier, easier to make version of butternut squash. Just roast these and enjoy their sweet squashiness, no worrying about peels or tough fibers.

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Mushroom Herb Challah Stuffing | www.iamafoodblog.com

Mushroom Herb Challah Stuffing

Stuffing done right with challah bread, sauteed mushrooms, and lots of thyme and rosemary. This stuffing will make your house smell like Christmas all by itself.

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Creamy Spicy Hatch Green Chile Mac and Cheese | www.iamafoodblog.com

Creamy Spicy Hatch Green Chile Mac and Cheese

The Velveeta mac up top might be the classic, but this green chile one is our best mac and cheese: a love letter to the Southwest.

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Mac and Kimcheese Dolsot Bibim-mac | www.iamafoodblog.com

Mac and Kimcheese Dolsot Bibim-mac

And this one is our love letter to kimchi and Korean stone bowls. You’ll need to order a stone bowl for this one, but it’s 100% worth it for those crispy bits of pasta and cheese.

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Japanese Cotton Cheesecake | www.iamafoodblog.com

Dessert Idea: Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

People line up for hours for these in the cold and rain, but you can have it right in front of a cozy fire at home instead.

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Baked Tonkatsu Christmas Dinner | www.iamafoodblog.com

Baked Tonkatsu Christmas Dinner

Shatteringly crispy breaded pork with rice and cabbage and sesame dressing might not sound like a traditional Christmas dinner, but it could the best one you’ve ever tried.

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Danish Aebleskiver Pancake Balls | www.iamafoodblog.com

Danish Aebleskiver Pancake Balls

Cereal pancake balls were a thing earlier this strange year. Ring in a more hopeful 2021 with these classic Danish pancake balls that are way easier and tastier to make.

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Basque Cheesecake | www.iamafoodblog.com

Basque Cheesecake

This Basque Cheesecake looks like this year feels, but tastes like heaven underneath that slightly bitter burnt crust. The perfect way to say goodbye to 2020

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