The 30 Best Christmas Dinners for Any Couple to Enjoy


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Mike Garten

Christmas celebrations can look different for everyone: While some people have huge parties with large families, others book a vacation, spend time with friends or plan a festive night with just one other person (just to name a few!). Whatever your holiday tradition may be, one thing always remains important — the food. From Christmas cookies and sweets to crowd-pleasing Christmas appetizers, festive side dishes and breakfast bakes, the holidays are a time to cook up something special and celebratory.

If you’re cooking for two, you may still want to cook up a Christmas feast featuring a whole holiday ham, turkey or prime rib, and enjoy leftovers for the next few days. That is a fantastic option, but sometimes you don’t want to risk wasting any food at all. Or, you don’t want to spend a lot of money or deal with putting in more labor than you have to. No fear! You can still whip up a wonderful spread for two that feels just as jolly as cooking for a crowd. These scaled-down mains and entrees are still festive and fancy, yet only yield two or four servings. Whether you’re looking for a one-course version for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, needing a vegetarian option, craving comforting bowls of pasta or want to serve up some healthier Christmas dishes, we’ve got you covered.

Now go ahead and pour yourself a Christmas cocktail, choose one of these easy Christmas dinners to cook up…and have yourself a merry little Christmas!

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2

Pesto Linguine with Clams

3

Spinach-Artichoke Chicken

Plan on this dish and you can avoid having to make any last-minute trips to the grocery store. (Just be sure to buy a container or two of Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin!)

Get the Spinach-Artichoke Chicken recipe.

4

Beef Bourguignon Meatloaf

While the traditional version of this French stew typically takes at least three hours to cook from start to finish, this scaled-down variation is ready in just one. And, it gives you an excuse to crack open a really great bottle of pinot noir. (Merry Christmas, indeed!)

Get the Beef Bourguignon Meatloaf recipe.

5

Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken

Start with a ball of store-bought pizza dough and this cozy vegetarian main takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Oyster and shiitake mushrooms plus three types of cheeses make for a fantastic topping, but feel free to get creative and try something else. (Or divide the dough in half, so you each can top your own pie!)

Get the Cheesy Mushroom Pizza recipe.

7

Orange-Ginger Roast Chicken with Fennel and Radicchio Salad

8

New York Strip Steak and Hasselback Potatoes

9

Penne with Spicy Anchovy Marinara

Have a tradition of ordering Chinese takeout on Christmas? Try cooking this homemade version instead.

Get the Beef and Broccoli recipe.

11

Good Housekeeping Dishes For Two: 125 Easy Small-Batch Recipes for Weeknight Meals & Special Celebrations

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Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops with Spinach Mashed Potatoes

13

Chicken Roulade with Marinated Tomatoes

Chicken breasts are transformed into a celebratory-worthy dish with the addition of spinach and Parmesan. Rolling the chicken makes for a pretty presentation. Plus, it means you’ll get a taste of the cheesy, garlicky spinach filling with every bite.

Get the Chicken Roulade with Marinated Tomatoes recipe.

14

Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast

Roasting up an entire bird for two may feel overzealous, so a succulent breast is much more manageable. Stuffing it and wrapping it in all of its bacon glory still ups the wow factor.

Get the Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast recipe.

Salmon makes for a celebratory main, especially when you add a sweet soy glaze to the equation. This recipe makes enough for four, but all you need to do is choose a smaller piece of salmon if you’re committed to avoiding leftovers.

Get the Honey Glazed Salmon recipe.

Lamb feels luxe and special for a Christmas dinner, but couples may be surprised at how easy it is to roast at home — and how many delicious leftovers they’ll enjoy during the holiday week. A petite lamb top round is rubbed with garlic, rosemary, and thyme and roasted atop a bed of grape tomatoes.

Get the Roast Lamb recipe.

17

Salad of the Seven Fishes

While this recipe only yields four servings, it also includes freezing and thawing directions, so you can have two celebratory dinners ready to go in just 30 minutes.

Get the Chicken Pot Pie recipe.

19

Ham, Cheddar, and Red Onion Bread Pudding

It’s the one soup that feels like a really warm hug on a cold wintry night, but the tried-and-true process to brewing a pot of this soup means many home cooks save it for special occasions. (Good news: Christmas falls into the “special occasions” category.)

Get the French Onion Soup recipe.

21

Sheet-Pan Balsamic Steak and Potatoes

22

Creamy Fettuccine with Leeks and Ham

23

Oven-Roasted Salmon with Charred Lemon Vinaigrette

There is something about dining on mussels that feels decadent and festive for the holidays. Aim for about one pound of mussels per person (the cooking time stays the same if you halve this recipe) and do not forget some crunchy bread for dipping.

Get the White Wine Mussels recipe.

Eggplant parmesan is wonderful, but stuffed eggplant parm will take your vegetarian-friendly Christmas dinner to the next level.

Get the Stuffed Eggplant Parm recipe.

26

Curry-Poached Salmon with Peppers

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Wild-Salmon Cakes with Quinoa Salad

28

Pomegranate-Honey Glazed Chicken and Squash

Half moons of acorn squash dressed in a glaze and generous dusting of feta cheese become super crispy in the oven. Pomegranate juice and honey will bubble across the chicken while the squash crisps up.

Get the Pomegranate-Honey Glazed Chicken and Squash recipe.

29

Almond-Crusted Creole Salmon

This delicately plated salmon may look like it requires a ton of prep work, but the reality is that you simply rub it with spices — and let the oven do the rest! A side of green beans can roast on the bottom rack.

Get the Almond-Crusted Creole Salmon recipe.

30

Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata

Topped with a delightful combination of mint, lemon, and garlic, these fancy-looking lamb chops deliver on flavor in a big way. Bonus: The recipe only requires a few ingredients, leaving you with a short-and-sweet shopping list. Go ahead and pair them with whichever Christmas side dishes you’d like.

Get the Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata recipe.

31

Garlic-Thyme Pork Chops

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