20 Festive Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas

whole Cornish Game Hen on a plate with Thanksgiving sides
Photo: Viet Pham

Looking for the best holiday dinner recipes on the internet? Your search ends here. From classic roasts (it doesn't get much more traditional than Chef John's Roast Christmas Goose or a juicy Perfect Turkey) to special occasion pastas and casseroles (you'll love the seasonal flavors in this Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage, and this is truly the World's Best Lasagna), you're sure to find a new favorite in this collection of our 20 best Christmas Eve dinner ideas.

01 of 21

Chef John's Perfect Prime Rib

sliced prime rib on a wooden carving board
Scott

Perfectly pink prime rib will never go out of style, especially on special occasions. Plus, with just five ingredients, it couldn't be simpler (but you do need to follow Chef John's formula to a T).

02 of 21

Perfect Turkey

a golden brown roast turkey on a white dish with fall leaf and cranberry decor
Cynthia Taylor

Nothing feels quite as at home on a holiday table as a brown, juicy turkey. This recipe was written specifically for an 18-pound bird, but you can adjust the measurements to fit your needs.

03 of 21

World's Best Lasagna

serving of World's Best Lasagna on a white plate with a fork
TheWickedNoodle

We're not exaggerating when we say this lasagna is the best on the planet. It's a labor of love, but so worth it.

04 of 21

Honey Glazed Ham

Baked glazed ham on a white plate
annie

"Better than the famous honey baked ham at the store," user Kim Kebabjian DeWall says of this top-rated recipe. "I have some good tips! I used an ordinary Kirkland spiral ham from Costco ... about 8 pounds. I think buying a spiral ham is key because all the glaze can get into the slices."

05 of 21

Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary

Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary
Viet Pham

Looking for a classy Christmas Eve dinner idea? These traitional Cornish game hens certainly fit the bill.

06 of 21

Maple Salmon

Maple Salmon
Dianne

This incredibly popular salmon recipe is beloved for a reason: It's easy and delicious. You only need about an hour to put this Christmas Eve dinner together.

07 of 21

Oven Pot Roast

closeup of a shallow bowl filled with pot roast and carrots on mashed potatoes, garnished with parsley
Chef John's Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast. Chef John

Who doesn't love a good rump roast? Tip: This recipe makes excellent gravy.

08 of 21

Easy Meatloaf

Easy Meatloaf on a white plate

This Easy Meatloaf is holiday comfort food incarnate. For the ultimate classic dinner, serve with Basic Mashed Potatoes.

09 of 21

Chef John's Roast Christmas Goose

top-down view of a beautifully bronzed roast goose on a decorative platter with kale and miniature apples
Chef John

Here's a gorgeous, traditional Christmas roast that's shockingly easy to prepare.

10 of 21

Juicy Roasted Chicken

Juicy Roasted Chicken

If you want to skip the turkey or ham this year, this beautiful Juicy Roasted Chicken is a tasty (and affordable) option.

11 of 21

Fabulous Beef Tenderloin

beef tenderloin sliced on white plate
Beth Hein

"This beef tenderloin will melt in your mouth. We've had it for both of our Christmas dinners this year (2 families) and got RAVE reviews from everyone," says user Debbie Wright. "Hard to believe it's so easy to prepare!"

12 of 21

Chef John's Coq Au Vin

chicken and mushrooms on a bed of mashed potatoes
Photo by Chef John. Chef John

You can't go wrong with this classic French recipe. Though you may be tempted to opt for chicken breasts, please don't — they just won't work with the braise like thighs will, according to Chef John.

13 of 21

Balsamic Roasted Pork Loin

Balsamic Roasted Pork Loin
Bibi

This pork loin is a real crowdpleaser. This simple meal requires only four easy-to-find ingredients.

14 of 21

Beef Wellington

a slice of pastry-wrapped medium rare beef tenderloin on a plate with asparagus and mixed vegetables
Nonya Biz

"This is a very easy recipe that I learned when I was living in England," says user Normala. "Note that Beef Wellington should always be served with the center slightly pink. Enjoy!"

15 of 21

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Recipe

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage
Allrecipes Magazine

This quick holiday pasta is full of seasonal flavors like butternut squash and sage.

16 of 21

Hearty Vegetable Lasagna

vegetable lasagna on a white plate
*Sherri*

Satisfy the vegetarians at your table with this hearty and (surprisingly simple) veggie-packed lasagna.

17 of 21

Christmas Eve Manicotti

cooked manicotti in casserole dish
Deb C

Developed with Christmas Eve in mind, this classic manicotti will please even the pickiest of eaters.

18 of 21

Lobster Tails Steamed in Beer

top-down view of bright red split lobster tails with a lemon wedge, a ramekin of melted butter, and steamed vegetables on the side
Denise

"Wow! Wow! Wow! What a great recipe," raves user JDVMD. "And so simple and quick. I used a whole bottle of Michelob Lite because I did four lobster tailes and added about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh minced garlic. Couldn't believe at how quick this came together."

19 of 21

Blackened Salmon Fillets

Blackened Salmon Fillets
*Sherri*

This Cajun-style salmon is perfect for the spicy food lovers in your life.

20 of 21

Butcher's Steak (Hanger Steak)

Butcher's Steak (Hanger Steak)
Photo by Chef John.

Who doesn't love a classic steak? Tip from Chef John: Make sure to take the time to trim it well.

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