Small Christmas Dinner Ideas for the most awaited day of the year; delicious homemade food to cater for all tastes and ages. From spectacular, but easy to make appetizers to heart-warming mains, scrumptious sides and finger-licking desserts, there is a bit for everyone to enjoy.
I have always cooked for a small family, so for me cooking in smaller amounts comes naturally. But this year has been such an unusual one, and sadly, many won't have the luxury of gathering all the loved ones around the Christmas table. Nevermind host large parties for all the friends to attend.
And while it's without a shadow of a doubt a hard time, we can still make the most of it but keeping the hope alive and having a cheerful day enjoying delicious Christmas food. And hopefully a bigger, better one next year.
Here are a few of my favourite Christmas recipes that are quick and easy to make, and budget friendly too. No need to waste a lot of food by cooking ridiculous amounts of large dishes, this small Christmas menu is all you need.
Christmas Appetizers /Starters
Who doesn't like some mess-free, delicious finger food to open up for appetite for the festive main dishes? I certainly do. Here are a few ideas for your Christmas starters:
- Easy Brie and Cranberry Bites - these beauties are so simple to make, but absolutely delicious. You only need 4 main ingredients: puff pastry, brie, cranberry sauce and rosemary. And boy, what a treat!
- Sandwich Cake Recipe - inspired by the Swedish Smorgastarta, this beautifully-layered sandwich cake with smoked salmon and cream cheese looks as good as it tastes.
- Mini Toad in the Hole Canapés - inspired by the classic British dish, these bites are beautifully golden and so yummy. I can guarantee you they will go down a treat with little and big ones.
- Quick Chicken Liver Pâté (No Alcohol) - it’s an excellent appetizer for parties and gatherings, especially at Christmas and New Year, and it’s sure to impress the guests. Healthy, quick, and super delicious, my liver pate might be made without brandy, but it’s the best you can possibly get.
- Pan-Fried King Scallops with Chinese Brown Sauce - seafood is always a good treat over the festive season, and these scallops make a quick and easy appetizer that is posh enough to be served on this special day. They are cooked to perfection, then dipped into a delicious sauce to create a fantastic dish.
- Homemade Smoked Salmon Pâté -forget about the overpriced, and not quite so nice store-bought pate, this homemade version is the real deal. The prep is minimal, and you have it on the table in seconds.
- Smoked Salmon Blini Canapés - smoked salmon again, but who can blame me? It's so delicious, and it goes down a treat on such a special occasion. Making your own blini is a lot easier than you think.
- Smoked Mackerel Pâté - no need for expensive ingredients, this is so much better than any ready-made pâté that comes in a tiny jar and costs quite a bit. Best served with a nice slice of bread, toast or bruschetta.
- Green Bean Bundles - wrapped in delicious bacon, and drizzled with a fantastic soy sauce, brown sugar and butter sauce, the perfect appetizer for your the big day. It’s quick to make, but big on flavours, and a huge hit with everyone.
- Stuffed Turkey Breast Roll- beautifully moist, and easy to put together, and as an added bonus, it’s low carb, high protein, gluten free and low in calories (only 473 calories the whole roll).
- Mushroom Pate - a quick and easy homemade recipe that is bursting with fantastic flavours. It has a creamy texture and a delicious hint of garlic, and can be stored in the fridge for a good few days.
- Crab Cakes with Tartar Sauce - a fantastic starter that requires minimal prep, but it's big on flavours, and it goes down well with any gatherings.
- Baked Scotch Eggs - boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat, then coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, and baked to perfection until golden.
- Mini Yorkshire Pudding Canapés - these bites are made with roast beef and horseradish sauce, and are the very best appetizer of the British cuisine. Perfect for your Christmas dinner menu, or any other celebration.
- Chicken Kiev Balls - these delicious bites are a great variation of the classic Kiev recipe. A delicious crowd pleaser, this recipe is super easy to make with a few simple ingredients.
Christmas Main Course
A huge roast turkey might have been the centerpiece of the Christmas dinner, but for a small gathering, there is no need to have such a waste. Instead, we can focus on smaller mains to keep everyone happy.
- Roast Turkey Crown - juicy, melting in your mouth, and a nice crispy skin, this turkey crown is a great option if you are not cooking for a large number of people, and don’t need a whole turkey. Plus, it’s so easy to make, and ready in about 2 hours.
- Roasted Turkey Drumsticks - if you don't have a large family, these delicious roasted turkey drumsticks are the perfect alternative - they are super easy to cook, and so moist.
- Roasted Pork Belly - it's a delicious alternative to the Christmas roast turkey, and it's super easy to make
- Easy Roast Beef Recipe - the very best roast for your Christmas dinner menu, this is the only roast beef recipe you need for the most awaited celebration of the year.
- Roast Pork with Crackling - It's a very easy recipe, and you can get succulent pork and amazingly crisp crackling without effort and very little prep. No need to roast the crackling separately to crisp it up, it can roast at the same time with the rest of the meat.
- Whole Roast Chicken - if you cannot get any turkey crown, the good old chicken is the next best thing. And perfect for a small family too. It won't take that long to cook either, it all depends on the size of it.
- Salmon Wellington - or Salmon en Croute, a gourmet dish with a festive touch. Take your dinner to the very next level, and impress your family this Christmas with this restaurant-style salmon recipe.
- Traditional Toad in the Hole Recipe - a comfort food no matter the season, it is usually served with gravy and vegetables for the perfect family meal. So easy, and delicious, and made with a few simple ingredients!
- Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Romanian Sarmale) - this dish might not be seen as a traditional Christmas dish in other parts of the world, but it's the Romanian national dish, and what every single household in Romania has not the table for Christmas. They are absolutely delicious, and a lot easier to make than they look. Guess what's on my menu for Christmas?
Christmas Side Dishes
There is so much to choose from here, and I have so many of them that are of my favourite list. You can cook smaller amounts to avoid waste, no need to go for the ready-made version.
- Crispy Roast Potatoes - I can't think of roast without some golden roasties. It's the perfect side for absolutely every occasion. If it was for me, I would have them every single day. Getting the perfect roasties might be a bit tricky, but it's certainly doable with these easy step-by-step instructions.
- Pan-Fried Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Parmesan - brussels sprouts have become the classic veggie to have at Christmas. But they don't have to be bland and boring, add a few delicious ingredients and you get a fabulous side.
- Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes - a spectacular side dish no matter the occasion, these scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin are the perfect dish for Christmas. That is what a call homemade heaven food.
- Sausage Stuffing Balls - the ultimate stuffing for the big day, these delicious balls require minimum prep and are guaranteed to be a big hit with everyone. Even fussy little ones will give them a go, they are that good.
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice - a sauce that cannot miss from your Christmas dinner. Ready in just 10 minutes from scratch if you use fresh cranberries, or 20 minutes if you use frozen ones. So easy, and so flavourful, with only 3 ingredients.
- Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Sweet Potatoes - give your veggies a festive touch and add some bacon goodness to them. Super easy to make, and super flavourful, this dish has a festive touch. Only one tray needed, to save you time and effort. A family-favourite side.
- Crispy Roasted Garlic Parmesan Crusted Potatoes - a great nice twist on the classic roasties, these golden brown fluffy baby potatoes with an epic parmesan and garlic crust make one amazing side for any roast.
- Celeriac Slaw - a delicious alternative to the classic coleslaw made with cabbage, this is a light and healthy side dish for you Christmas roast.
- Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing - a classic side dish at Christmas, this bread stuffing can either be used on the side or to stuff the turkey. Quick, easy and so delicious!
- Soy Honey Glazed Baby Carrots - that's always a favourite with kids, its sweetness pairs well with any roast and it's sure to impress anyone. They are ready in about 15 minutes.
- Garlic Butter Baby Potatoes - this dish is simplicity in itself, and it’s ready in well under 30 minutes. A great addition to your Christmas dinner menu too.
- Sage and Onion Stuffing Balls - a delicious vegetarian stuffing recipe that is a lot easier to make, and a lot tastier than the package version. And you only need a few simple ingredients to make them.
- Brussel Sprouts Casserole with Chicken - another way of transforming the good old sprouts into a spectacular side dish. The chicken adds some goodness and texture, and the sauce adds the finishing touch to an already delicious side.
- Last-Minute Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic - this simple recipe can be made with either fresh or frozen green beans. It is vegetarian friendly, but it can be made vegan by swapping butter for vegetable oil. Healthy, nutritious and delicious, a fantastic side for every occasion.
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan - the best side dish you could possibly ask for. Velvety, smooth, seasoned to perfection, comfort food at its best!
- Brussel Sprout Slaw - made with with carrots and spring onions, a good helping of mayo, and a touch of lemon juice, a delicious side dish for every occasion.
- Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce - a quick and easy recipe that makes a fantastic side dish or a vegetarian alternative to a traditional roast join, or it can be served as a side.
- Cheese, Ham and Broccoli Casserole - the ham can be replaced with turkey, chicken or beef, or omitted, for a vegetarian version.
When it comes to Christmas, the homemade treats are the absolute best. They are fun to make, and kids can give a helping hand too. I have put together a collection of Easy Christmas Treats For Kids that has many of the classic festive recipes.
Alongside these treats, there are a few other desserts that can top the list when it comes to a homemade festive and not so festive desserts.
- Easy Christmas Cake Recipe - a classic dessert for Christmas, this cake is the absolute best. Rich, boozy, full of flavour, just the way a scrumptious dessert should be. And it's ready in a lot less time than you think.
- Christmas Yule Log Cake - another classic dessert that goes down a treat with the whole family. And particularly with chocoholics.
- Gingerbread Cake - a delicious traybake dessert with a touch of earthy spices and treacle. It's moist and light, and so flavourful, a perfect sweet treat the Christmas season.
- Orange Drizzle Cake - beautifully moist and jam-packed with a delicious zesty flavour. If you like the classic lemon drizzle cake, you will definitely love this quick and easy to make variation too.
- Turkish Baklava Recipe - overly indulgent, sweet, rich, my version of baklava is well simplified and fail-proof. It might not be the quickest dessert to make for a party, but it’s surely worth the effort and every single calorie.
- Romanian Sweet Bread - Cozonac - our traditional Christmas dessert is similar in texture and taste with the Italian. It might need double proving, but the effort is well worth it!
- Mincemeat Loaf Cake - if you happen to have some mincemeat left in a jar and a few dried fruit, you can put them to great use in this moist and flavourful cake that tastes exactly like Christmas.
- Baileys Truffles - boozy and so delicious, these truffles are ready in no time with a few simple ingredients. They are also great as an edible gift for family and friends.
- Baileys Brownies with Black Cocoa - forget about regular brownies, these boozy brownies are the very best you can get!
These are a few dishes that can make the festive dinner an enjoyable one in these hard times we are living. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
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