Season’s Greetings, Season’s Eatings: Top 5 Christmas Dinner Recipes

Putting together a festive Christmas dinner menu shouldn’t take up all of your time and energy during the holiday season. You have better things to do, like going to holiday parties, hosting guests, and finding the perfect gifts for loved ones. When it’s time to prepare a meal, just turn to these favorite Christmas dinner recipes for a delicious menu that will have everyone enjoying every last bite.

Edible Antipasto Holiday Wreath

Kick off your meal with a gorgeous and festive edible wreath with all sorts of goodies inside. The cheesy spread is decked out with delicious ingredients in festive colors, including a gorgeous red pepper and basil topping. Serve it with your favorite crackers or on bread to satisfy those growling stomachs before it’s time for the meal.

What You Need

  • 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup chopped pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup grated three cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup chopped black olives
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 6 Tbsp. chopped roasted red peppers, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Fresh basil leaves

Make It

  • MIX first 5 ingredients and 2 Tbsp. peppers until well blended. Shape into 16-inch log; wrap in plastic wrap.
  • REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Form into wreath shape on large plate.
  • TOP with remaining peppers and parsley. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve with crackers.

Fabulous Roasted Pork

You don’t have to slave over a hot stove for hours to prepare Christmas dinner recipes, as this simple pork recipe demonstrates. Just 20 minutes of preparation will have the pork ready to go in the oven, where it cooks for just over an hour. This leaves you plenty of time to prepare the Christmas side dishes to create a gorgeous spread.

What You Need

  • 1 boneless pork roast (3 lb.)
  • 3/4 cup Catalina Dressing, divided
  • 2 lb. baking potatoes (about 4), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 beets (1 lb.), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 onions (1 lb.), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 carrots (1 lb.), cut into 2-inch chunks

Make It

  • HEAT oven to 350°F.
  • PLACE meat in roasting pan sprayed with cooking spray; brush with 1/2 cup dressing. Toss potatoes and beets with 2 Tbsp. of the remaining dressing; spoon around meat. Bake 15 min.
  • TOSS onions and carrots with remaining dressing. Add to ingredients in roasting pan.
  • BAKE 1 hour or until meat is done (145°F), basting occasionally with pan juices. Remove from oven; let stand 10 min. Slice meat. Serve with vegetables.

Double-Baked, Double-Delicious Sweet Potatoes

The bright color and delicious flavors in these sweet potatoes are the perfect addition to your traditional Christmas dinner. Mashing the sweet potato flesh with a bit of cream cheese and brown sugar makes it that much more delicious, and everyone will love the creamy texture, too.

What You Need

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (1-1/2 lb.)
  • 2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) Neufchatel cheese, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. fat-free milk
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Make It

  • HEAT oven to 425ºF.
  • CUT potatoes lengthwise in half; place, cut-sides down, in foil-lined 15x10x1-inch pan. Bake 30 to 35 min. or until tender.
  • SCOOP out centers of potatoes into bowl, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Add Neufchatel, milk, sugar and cinnamon to potato flesh; mash until well blended.
  • FILL shells with potato mixture; top with nuts. Bake 8 min. or until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted.

Cranberry-Pear Side Salad

Put a festive tossed salad on the table with the help of this easy recipe featuring pears, which are in season at this time of year. With just five ingredients, putting this salad together will hardly take any of your time. The red and green in the salad will look great on the table, and the taste is just as good!

What You Need

  • 3 fresh pears (1 lb.), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing, divided
  • 6 cups torn mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Make It

  • TOSS pears with 1/4 cup dressing. Let stand 15 min.
  • COMBINE greens, nuts and cranberries in large bowl.
  • ADD pear mixture and remaining dressing; toss lightly. Serve immediately.

Creamy Chocolate-Mint Pie

Chocolate and mint are one of the winning combinations of the Christmas season, and they’re both featured in this decadent dessert. It’s kind of like a cheesecake and French silk pie, all put together with layers of peppermint goodness in between. Plus, like many other Christmas desserts, you can make it the day before your dinner.

What You Need

  • 45 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. cold milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely crushed candy canes
  • 1 tub (12 oz.) whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 2 pkg. (3.9 oz. each) chocolate instant pudding
  • 1/4 cup coarsely crushed candy canes

Make It

  • MIX wafer crumbs, butter and 2 Tbsp. sugar; press onto bottom of 13×9-inch dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • BEAT cream cheese, remaining sugar and 2 Tbsp. milk in medium bowl until blended. Stir in finely crushed candy canes. Add 1-1/4 cups whipped topping; mix well. Spread over crust.
  • BEAT pudding mixes and remaining milk with whisk 2 min.; pour over cream cheese layer. Let stand 5 min. or until thickened. Cover with remaining whipped topping.
  • REFRIGERATE 4 hours. Top with coarsely crushed candy canes just before serving.
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