Linen Chest 3-Course Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu for a Successful Festive Meal

Looking for the best Christmas dinner ideas? Searching for easy Christmas recipes that will exceed your family and friends’ expectations? We’ve compiled an awesome 3 course Christmas dinner menu including easy appetizers, a main course, side dishes like mashed potatoes and sauteed mushrooms as well as a dessert.

You can of course vary what your family has each year, and set traditions of your own, but it’s always nice to enjoy the same kinds of foods that your family has come to look forward to as the holiday season rolls around once again.

Read on to learn how to make the most delicious dinner for that special day!

Easiest Holiday Smoked Salmon Appetizers

Ingredients

  •         1/2 lb smoked salmon wild & sliced
  •         3/4 lb mascarpone cheese
  •         1/3 c chives
  •         1/3 c fresh dill
  •         Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Spread the slices of smoked salmon on a cookie sheet or cutting board.

2. Spoon a dollop of the mascarpone cheese on top and a sprinkling of chives and dill.

3. Gently roll up each salmon slice to envelop the cheese. Repeat with the remaining salmon and place on a serving tray.

4. Finish with a nice sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with the fresh dill and chives.

Turkey Roast

Ingredients

  •         1 cup (50 g) diced country bread
  •         ¼ cup (60 ml) milk
  •         1 egg
  •         1 lb (450 g) Toulouse sausage meat, casing removed (about 4 sausages)
  •         3 tbsp (30 g) dried cranberries, finely chopped
  •         1 garlic clove, chopped
  •         1 boneless turkey roast, about 4 lb (1.8 kg), with or without the skin, untied (two breast halves)
  •         1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

Sauce

  •         1 onion, finely chopped
  •         4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  •         3 tbsp (40 g) butter
  •         2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  •         4 cups (1 litre) chicken broth
  •         ½ cup (125 ml) sherry

Garnish

  •         3 tbsp (25 g) pistachios, finely chopped
  •         2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  •         1 tbsp (15 ml) honey

Preparation

1. In a bowl, combine the bread, milk and egg with your hands. Add the sausage meat, cranberries and garlic. Season with pepper and mix thoroughly. Set the stuffing aside.

2. With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

3. On a work surface, open the turkey roast and lay it flat, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing in the middle of the breast. Close the roast over the stuffing. Slide several strands of butcher’s twine under the meat, letting them extend out on each side. Tie the roast and cut the excess twine.

4. Place the roast in a large baking dish. Rub with the oil and season with salt and pepper.

5. Roast for 2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the centre of the stuffing reads 165°F (74°C). If needed, add a bit of water to the pan to avoid burning the drippings. Keep the pan drippings aside for the sauce. Let the roast rest while making the sauce.

Sauce

1.In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the onion and garlic in the butter. Sprinkle with the flour and mix thoroughly. Add the broth, sherry and reserved drippings. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Simmer over high heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a bowl, combine the pistachios and parsley. Remove the twine from the roast and brush with the honey. Sprinkle the pistachio mixture on top of the roast. Slice the meat when ready to serve.

Side Dishes

At Christmas there are so many side dishes to complement your chosen meat dish. You can pair your turkey roast with some of these amazing side dish recipe ideas: 

Christmas Cake

Ingredients:

FAST SOAKED FRUIT

  •         300g / 10 oz raisins
  •         150g / 5 oz diced dried apricots , chopped 8 mm / 1/3″
  •         75g / 2.5 oz mixed peel , diced 5mm / 1/5
  •         150g / 5 oz glace cherries , chopped 8 mm / 1/3″
  •         180g / 6 oz dates , diced 5mm / 1/5″
  •         1 cup + 2 tbsp apple juice, OR 1/3 brandy + 2/3 juice (Note 2)

CAKE:

  •         115g / 8 tbsp unsalted butter , softened (1 US stick)
  •         1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar , packed (Note 3)
  •         1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola, peanut, grapeseed)
  •         3 tbsp molasses or golden syrup (Note 4)
  •         1/2 tsp salt
  •         1/2 tsp all spice
  •         1/2 tsp cinnamon
  •         1/2 tsp nutmeg
  •         3 eggs
  •         1/2 tsp baking powder
  •         1 2/3 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
  •         3/4 cup walnuts , chopped (optional)

FOR SERVING (OPTIONAL)

  •         500ml / 1 pint pouring custard , homemade or store bought (Note 5)

WHITE CHRISTMAS CAKE DECORATION, AS PICTURED (OPTIONAL)

  •         250g / 8 oz “ready to roll” marzipan
  •         250g / 8 oz “ready to roll” white fondant
  •         Cherries dusted with icing sugar

OTHER DECORATING OPTIONS (OPTIONAL)

Cherries or other fruit dusted with icing sugar (on plain cake, looks very pretty!)

Drippy white glaze (directions below)

Instructions

FAST SOAKED FRUIT:

1. Place dried fruit and juice/brandy in a large microwavable container. Microwave 1 1/2 minutes on high or until hot.

2. Stir to coat all fruit in liquid. Cover then set aside for 1 hour (to plump up/soak and cool).

CAKE:

1. Preheat oven to 160°C / 320°F (140°C fan). Grease and line a 21 – 22 cm / 8 – 9″ round cake pan with baking paper (parchment paper) (7 cm / 2.75″ tall).

2. Using an electric beater, beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute on speed 5).

3. Add oil and molasses, beat until combined.

4. Add salt, spices and baking powder – beat until incorporated.

5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated

6. Stir in the flour.

7. When mostly incorporated, stir in the fruit mix (including all the extra liquid in bowl) and walnuts (if using).

8. Pour into cake pan, cover with foil and bake for 3 hours 15 minutes, removing foil the last 45 minutes. Skewer inserted into middle should come out clean with no batter on it.

9. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Cool completely before serving.

10. Cake is moist and so full flavoured, it can be eaten plain. But see below for decorating and serving ideas (traditionally served with pouring custard).

11. Cutting: Either cut into thin wedges, or cut cake into thin strips (2cm / 0.75″ or so), then cut those strips into serving size pieces.

 What’s A Good Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu?

Holiday traditions differ from country to country, and what one Canadian family might eat on the 25th of December may not be the same as their counterparts in America or the United Kingdom. However, there are lots of similarities when it comes to one of the most special meals of the year you can experience with family and friends.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular foods served for Christmas recipes:

Christmas Appetizers:

  •         Smoked salmon – delicious smoked fish wrapped with cream cheese and a sprinkle of chives
  •         Baked brie – served warm with some crusty bread, this is great for everyone to dip in
  •         Shrimp cocktail – a Christmas classic served with lettuce and Thousand Island pink dressing
  •         Devilled eggs – a savoury classic that goes down well with guests at Christmas dinner

Christmas Dinner:

  •         Turkey – the classic roast associated with Christmas and for good reason
  •         Beef – can be served as an extra special Beef Wellington
  •         Ham – after turkey at Thanksgiving, many homes choose a roast ham instead
  •         Pork – goes well with a variety of potato-based side dishes
  •         Lamb – unconventional however a leg of lamb on Christmas day is a welcomed treat

Christmas Sides:

  •         Brussel sprouts – love them or hate them, cooked right they are delicious
  •         Swede – served mashed or cubed, these bring a savoury flavour to the table
  •         Carrot – roasted in honey, these make a delicious side order
  •         Mashed potatoes – use plenty of butter and milk for extra creaminess
  •         Stuffing – whether it’s sage and onion or cranberry, it always goes well with meat
  •         Broccoli – a firm favourite, broccoli can be boiled or simply charred in a pan
  •         Pumpkin – a flavour of the season, add some butter and cream for a tasty treat

Christmas Desserts:

  •         Trifle – layers of custard, fruit, sponge and cream come together in this holiday favourite
  •         Baked Alaska – sponge and meringue give the perfect balance for a Christmas dessert
  •         Yule log – whether chocolate or vanilla, a yule log is always a spectacle on the table
  •         Christmas cookies – funny and cute, these are the perfect bitesize treat for the holidays
  •         Christmas cake – filled with soaked fruit and sponge, there’s no flavour like a Christmas cake

For more delicious holiday recipes head over to LC Living and get your Christmas off to a great start!

Uncategorized Oct 31, 2022

author

Sophie Charbonneau-Saulnier

Sophie is the copywriter-translator at Linen Chest. She may have a bid of a nerdy side, but her sense of curiosity is exactly what helps her keep up with all the latest lifestyle topics and home trends. When she isn’t reading in her free time, you will probably find her testing out new recipes, gardening or hosting a game night with family and friends.

View all articles by Sophie Charbonneau-Saulnier