As the holiday season approaches, many people are starting to plan their Christmas dinner. Here’s how we can go about choosing the Christmas dishes for a sit down dinner and to ensure everyone enjoys.

Play with a Theme

It is always fun for guests to enter a house with a special theme. A Christmas theme like white Christmas or a crazy theme like Mad hatter’s party is always fun. Sometimes, the theme can be brought onto the table deco and into the dishes like a white Christmas Log cake or a Christmas Turkey with a top hat!

Incorporate Seasonal Flavors

To some of us, Christmas isn’t Christmas if some seasonal flavors are not included. The mere aroma of such flavors or colours just ignites the joy of Christmas. From cinnamon and nutmeg to turkey, cranberries, brussel sprouts and gingerbread, there are so many delicious ingredients that are synonymous with the holiday season. When designing your menu, be sure to incorporate these flavors into your dishes. These flavors will not only add a festive touch to your meal, but they will also enhance the overall taste.

Consider Dietary Restrictions

When planning a Christmas dinner, it’s important to consider any dietary restrictions your guests may have. This could include allergens, intolerances, or dietary preferences such as vegetarian or vegan. Make sure to have a variety of options available to accommodate these restrictions. You can also ask your guests beforehand if they have any dietary requirements, so you can plan accordingly. This will ensure that everyone can enjoy the meal without any worries.


Planning the flow of dishes

Aperitif and Hors d’oeuvres

As Christmas dinners tend to be a good 3-4 hours affair with friends and families arriving at different times or perhaps a gathering of people who are meeting for the first time, it is always good to have an aperitif( welcome drinks)  and handy appetizer for everyone to sit or stand around at different parts of the house to drink and converse while waiting for the main course at the table. Simple cocktails with and without alcohol plus bite sized hors d’oeuvres like mini beef sliders are great.


Now that everyone is seated at the table, serve a minimum of 2 appetizers like crab cakes, gambas al ajillo (Spanish Garlic prawns) or a vegetarian stuffed mushroom capsicum. A basket of mini bread can be placed at the table as accompaniment. Depending on how hungry your guests are, this could take between 10 min to 30 min.

Main course

An array of main dishes consisting of holiday recipes like Beef wellington, Turkey, Salmon coulibiac, Pork tenderloin roulade, Honey baked ham, Lamb shank with accompaniment of side dishes like fennel apple salads, brussel sprouts, potato gratin, salmon spinach quiche, and roasted seasonal vegetables can be served. Serve the main dishes one by one in small portions so every dish is given special attention to. This also allows guests to take a break between dishes to sip some wine or join another guests at the other end of the table for another conversation. Side dishes can be placed at the center of the table for guests to pass around. Make sure to incorporate Christmas sauces like cranberry or red wine sauce which pairs well with the main dishes.

Sometimes, when the group is too big, incorporating a little bit of carb dishes is also good. A fantastic carb dish and a crowd favourite is a chicken chorizo paella or just some easy pasta for the Italian in us.

While traditional Christmas dishes are always a hit, don’t be afraid to mix things up and add some variety to your menu. Consider incorporating dishes from different cultures or experimenting with new recipes. This will add an element of surprise and excitement to your meal.

Finally, Dessert

No Christmas dinner is complete without a delicious dessert. We love log cakes but consider now also a bread and butter pudding or a famous Galette des Rois for the French in us to choose the King for the family. You can even make it a fun activity by having a dessert competition or a cookie decorating station for your guests.

By following these tips, you can design a Christmas feast that will be both delicious and memorable. Remember to have fun and enjoy the process of creating a festive and flavorful menu for your loved ones. Happy holidays!