What's for Dinner? 24 Recipes to Make in December
Everyone is busy as the year comes to a close. Take the guesswork out of preparing a delicious, family-friendly dinner with our quick (less than an hour!) recipes that are perfect for winter.
In the midst of baking gingerbread cookies, making chocolate fudge, and pouring glasses of eggnog galore, you're still probably asking yourself the very same question: "What's for dinner tonight?" The answer? Comfort foods that will help us stay warm as the temperatures drop, such as the Pepper-Crusted Lamb with Roasted Vegetables that's pictured here—it's simple enough to prepare any night of the week, but special enough for a holiday gathering; simply put, it's the back-pocket recipe you need for December. You'll find that the rest of our recipes serve at least four people and come together in less than one hour, so they're manageable any night of the week. And, as always, Mondays are meatless.
There are a number of very special holidays to celebrate this month. In addition to dinner recipes for Hanukkah, we're also sharing meal ideas for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve. They'll feed a crowd and take just about an hour to prepare, which means that you can make the most of your time with loved ones. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a long-standing tradition among Italians; this One-Pot Seafood Orzo Risotto is a fabulous weeknight meal that just so happens to feel a little bit extraordinary for December 24th.
With holiday parties happening practically every weekend, we also have several healthy feel-good meals to balance things out during the week. Our Ginger-Lemongrass Broth with Noodles, Silken Tofu, and Broccoli is delicious to slurp on during a chilly night. Another healthy dinner recipe is this easy Roasted-Vegetable Couscous Bowl, which is cooked on a sheet pan (always a fan-favorite method!).
Of course, there's plenty of classic, hearty dinner recipes for December, too. Our Instant Pot Turkey Chili is simple to prepare and makes great leftovers; we bet you'll love it so much that you'll also want to make it for football Sunday. Another winner is our Lemon-and-Parsley Risotto, which is the perfect foundational recipe if you've never tried your hand at risotto before (and even if you have, its simplicity is charming as always).
Make these family-friendly dinner recipes all month long.
Ginger-Lemongrass Broth with Noodles, Silken Tofu, and Broccoli
Roasted Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes and Apples
From the seasonal fruit and vegetable pairings to the roasted pork chops, everything about this meal is perfect for cold weather. Searing the pork chops before roasting them creates a golden brown, savory crust.
Chicken Saltimbocca with Sage
Pounding the chicken breasts thinly promises even cooking and wrapping them in prosciutto (with two sage leaves tucked in) forms a flavor blanket that crisps in the pan. Serve with steamed squash and shallow-fried sage leaves—it's a brilliant way to use up a big bunch of the herb.
Caribbean Fish-and-Pumpkin Stew
Our satisfying stew is ready in less than an hour—and about half that time is hands-off simmering. We fast-tracked this low-and-slow classic made with bold ingredients and lean proteins like cod and squash.
Ginger-Peanut Turkey Stir-Fry
Broccoli, Lemon, and Gouda Pizzas
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
A big pot of chili is filling, warm, and perfect for feeding the family when the weather is cold. Using ground turkey makes it slightly healthier than the traditional beef version.
Beet-and-Dill-Roasted Wild Salmon
Pork-Meatball Skillet Bake
A one-skillet dinner not only makes for easy clean-up, but simple prep and presentation, too. Pork meatballs are hand-rolled, then baked with peppers, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and crusty Italian bread.
Spicy Shrimp Fajitas with Grilled Pineapple Pico
Beef and Broccoli with Black-Bean Garlic Sauce
Crispy Chicken Cutlets
Vegetable and Black-Bean Fried Rice
Rice and beans are an old standby. Here, they're amped up with cremini mushrooms, red bell pepper, scallions, and hot sauce for a spectacular meatless meal.
Rice-and-Bean Salad Bowl with Tahini Sauce
Pasta with Preserved Lemon and Anchovies
After the Christmas festivities have passed (and you've consumed a few too many cookies), make this no-fuss pasta.
One-Pot Seafood Orzo Risotto
In honor of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is traditionally celebrated by Italians on Christmas Eve, make this seafood risotto. Squid, halibut, small clams, and shrimp are piled high atop orzo.
Marinated Beef Tenderloin
Roasted-Vegetable Couscous Bowl
Eggplant, Pistachio, and Pomegranate Pizza
Stir-Fried Sweet-and-Sour Shrimp
Apricot jam and fresh pineapple bring fruity flavor to this savory recipe that comes together in just 20 minutes. Garlic, ginger, scallions, and bell pepper cut the sweetness.
Fish Stew with Herbed Toasts
If you're having a quiet dinner in on New Year's Eve, this simple riff on a classic French bouillabaisse is a fabulous dinner option. The best part is it that comes together in just half an hour, so there's plenty of time for dinner and celebrations before the ball drops.