Alternative Christmas Meal Ideas

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, at no cost to you.

Alternative Christmas Meal Ideas (2)It’s crazy how time seems to run at warp speed during the holiday season and before you know it, it’s already Christmas day! Between shopping on Boxing Day, creating a Christmas dinner menu, and decorating your Christmas tree, there’s no better time to get started than now. Luckily, we’re here to help with one of those — here, we share alternative Christmas meal ideas to help you break free from the usual holiday dinner for an experience your family members won’t forget.  

Why Look for Alternative Christmas Dinner Ideas? 

You’ve already done it every year — the main dish is either your traditional turkey or you may have even served the classic beef Wellington, while your Christmas dessert is Christmas cookies. When you want to serve something new to your holiday table, consider these non-traditional Christmas dinner ideas that will knock that Christmas ham and pork roast out of there! Whether you’re looking for something a little different or this is your first time hosting a Christmas feast, below are some of the best alternative Christmas dinner recipes everyone in the family will love.   

Alternative Christmas Meal Ideas

Ready to ditch those over-used and boring classic recipes? Below are some of the best nontraditional Christmas dinner ideas for you to try. 

1. Chicken Cacciatore

When you’re tired of the usual roast chicken, you can always try this easy and tasty alternative. With crispy chicken thighs, noodles, and a gorgeous white wine sauce, it’s sure to please everyone. One of the best things in life is in this recipe.  

2. Slow Cooker Green Beans

When you want to share the spirit of Christmas with a meal, you can’t go wrong with this dish. With its festive red and green colors, you can get the kids excited and they’ll surely love the fact that it has bacon! Here’s the easy recipe for your reference. 

3. Shaved Brussels Sprouts

While it might sound a bit strange to serve Brussels sprouts for Christmas Eve, it’s actually quite delicious since it comes with a brown butter vinaigrette, pecorino, and walnuts. When you want to deliver a big flavor but want to serve a vegetarian feast, then this is a great choice. Here’s where you can find this recipe.   

4. Porchetta-Spiced Roast Chicken

When you’re tired of the usual roast pork, you might want to mix it up a bit by substituting chicken. Using a beautiful combination of black pepper, fennel seeds, chile flakes, rosemary, oregano, and garlic. When you want good food, check out this recipe

5. Honey-Chipotle Glazed Turkey

If your family is a fan of turkey but want something new for your Christmas turkey, then give this spicy twist a try! Using a range of aromatic herbs, it’s a wonderful addition to your Christmas menu and even comes with a delicious adobo sauce. Here’s the recipe for your new favorite Christmas dish.   

6. Cranberry Martini

Instead of making the usual cranberry sauce, try using this great fruit as a beverage for a change. You can also add a twist of lime to your glass for a green and red flair that your dinner guests will surely love. Here’s the recipe you can count on this festive season! 

7. Instant Pot Short Ribs 

When you want to host an intimate dinner for Christmas, then putting short ribs in your instant pot can make cooking a breeze. With a crunchy seaweed breadcrumb for your topping, you’ll get a meal that’s both special and comforting. This roasted seaweed delight can be found here

8. Garlic Green Beans

Sometimes, the simplest meals are the best, which is definitely the case with these easy and quick green beans. They won’t steal the spotlight from your main course but have just enough flavor delivered from its fresh garlic cloves. Get the recipe for this magical dish here

9. Sour Cream & Chives Cauliflower Purée

This meal takes your favorite flavor in potato chips — sour cream and chives — and combines it with a blissfully silky and buttery alternative version of mashed potatoes. But it gets better; they’re not smashed or mashed since they’re blended! Get the recipe for your next party hit here.  

10. Rack of Lamb

When you want a homey and familiar alternative to your turkey or pot roast this Christmas, then look no further. This recipe only takes 30 minutes to cook, which will save you plenty of time during the night’s festivities. Here’s the recipe for this special meal to serve your family. 

11. Wild Rice Salad 

If you want an option that doesn’t revolve around proteins then this bowl of greens could be a great option. With sweet potatoes, aged cheddar, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, arugula, and balsamic vinegar, it’s sure to bring a party to your mouth! Check out the recipe for this mix here

12. Thanksgiving Salad

Despite its name, this salad isn’t just great for Turkey Day but can be served for Christmas too! Full of blue cheese, pickled apples, smoked almonds, and a great dressing, it provides a fresh and tasty take on your usual Christmas meal. Here’s how you can serve it in your home. 

13. Mashed Sweet Potatoes

For a fun and healthier twist on your usual mashed potatoes, try substituting it with sweet potatoes instead or you can even come up with a sweet potato casserole. They won’t just add a pop of color to your dining table but they’ll also share the comfort of the season with your whole family. Get the recipe for these mashed potatoes here

14. Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

When you want to combine your homemade stuffing with something a bit different from the usual turkey, why not try this? It’s kind of like a chicken pot pie but for the Christmas season and the best part is that it will feed a lot of hungry tummies! Here’s the recipe for this magical meal. 

15. Candied Sweet Potatoes

The combination of a bourbon and spiced maple glaze is all you need to elevate your sweet potatoes and give them a caramelized flavor. It’s the perfect side dish for your pork, beef, turkey, and any other protein for the holidays! Check out this simple and easy recipe

16. Air Fryer Turkey Breast

Having the family over for your Christmas dinner? One main course won’t be enough, so this second meal should complete your holiday feast! Using just an air fryer, there’s nothing easier than this, and will shave precious hours from your cooking time. Get the recipe for this yummy alternative here

17. Shrimp Cocktail

There’s nothing better than perfectly chilled shrimp cocktails when you’re looking for a special treat that will make your guests feel welcome. This crowd-pleasing and delicious holiday meal isn’t just impressive but is also budget-friendly, so what are you waiting for? Get the recipe for this party starter here

18. Bacon-Wrapped Turkey

When you want to make a big statement during this holiday season, then this show-stopping option might just be what you need to introduce something that’s new to the table. Sure, it’s still turkey, but it’s turkey wrapped in bacon and that’s not something you see every Christmas. For a salty and smokey bird, get the recipe here

19. Cauliflower Gratin

A new twist on the classic gratin is made from cauliflower, a healthier alternative to the usual potatoes. But you’ll be surprised how much flavor it packs with crunchy toppings and tasty gruyere cheese. Get this recipe now! 


With so many main courses and appetizers to choose from, you’ll never have to go back to boring old recipes again. Now you can serve something new each year on Christmas without worrying that your food will be dull and boring. Whether you’re hosting an intimate family feast or inviting all your friends over for a Christmas party, these recipes will be all you need to ensure that everyone has a fantastic time!