20 Holiday Menus That Will Help You Celebrate Everything, From Hanukkah Dinner to Christmas Brunch and Everything in Between


Get inspiration and ideas for your Christmas or Hanukkah gathering from our selection of menus that feature traditional and new dishes for cocktails, buffets, brunches, and dinner parties alike.

02 of 20

Tree-Trimming Buffet


It wouldn't be Christmas without family traditions and decorations. And, at this family celebration in Central Tennessee, oyster pie, country ham, and biscuits are an essential part of the holiday. But these time-honored elements always have room to evolve so the favorite foods are part of a casual open house that allows entertaining in a leisurely way before the Christmas crunch really sets in. It also means plenty of help trimming the tree.

Serves 10 to 12


Maestro's Old Fashioned


Wild Mushroom Pâté


Baked Country Ham

Oyster Pie


Beaten Biscuits


Green Bean and Butter Bean Salad

Citrus Salad


Salli's Cranberry Tartlets

Chewy Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies

03 of 20

Classic Holiday Cocktail Party


Stock your pantry and make the hors d'oeuvres ahead of time so you can pull off this festive affair in only an hour or two. Our easy-for-the-hostess menu is ideal for an impromptu party with friends. Start with one idea, such as a signature drink, and build on it. Cheese balls are a retro nod; one base recipe and some add-ins later, you have three enticing variations.

We've updated bacon-wrapped dates with tart apricots and salty pistachios and stirred up a beautiful orange punch. Savory lemon-parsley gougères and crisp radishes with salt and olive oil for dipping round out the flavor-texture canvas. Have best-quality breadsticks, olives, and nuts ready to supplement the menu in case your guest list grows at the last minute.

Serves 8 to 10


Green Apple Martini

Blood-Orange Punch


Cheese Balls Three Ways

Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Lemon-Parsley Gougeres

04 of 20

Standing Rib Roast Menu


Crispy roast potatoes accompany a standing rib roast for what might be the most traditional and most spectacular of Christmas menus. Easy sides, sautéed peas and a crisp winter salad, round out the main course. A chocolate yule log for dessert finishes the meal in grand holiday style.

Serves 8


Rib Roast with Rosemary-Garlic Potatoes


Sautéed Peas and Red Onion

Frisée Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

No-Knead Dinner Rolls


Chocolate and Nut Yule Log

05 of 20

Easy and Exquisite Holiday Evening Menu


Neither dinner nor cocktail party, this holiday gathering borrows the best of both, taking the substantial foods of the former and serving them in the bite-size portions and buffet style of the latter.

The menu includes splurges for special ingredients: Baby lamb chops, sliced from a roasted rack, make delicious finger foods, with the bones acting as utensils. Mini crab cakes bring an exotic touch to an otherwise traditional menu. Salted, honey-roasted figs can be eaten with the savory foods or with sweet grapes, working two ways on plate and palate—flexibility is what a buffet is all about. Don't be afraid to mix and match flavors, tableware, and approaches to entertaining for a gathering that truly reflects your style.

Serves 6 to 8


Lemon Drop-Champagne Punch


Spinach and Watercress Dip

Mini Asian Crab Cakes

Dijon Baby Lamb Chops with Red Currant-Mint Dipping Sauce


Honey-Roasted Salted Figs

06 of 20

Make-Ahead Holiday Cocktails and Appetizers Party

Anna Williams

Behind every great cocktail party is some savvy planning. So you can spend time with your guests and enjoy the party, the hors d'oeuvres also need to be made in advance and should be easy to serve, rather than requiring last-minute fuss.

Ideally, the accompanying cocktails would not only complement the recipes, but be similarly simple to pull together. The following recipes were conceived to create harmony around nuances of flavor, which means one less thing for you to plan. And because you won't be playing bartender, you can spend the evening juggling conversations, not liquor bottles.

Serves 14 to 16


Lillet-Vodka Cocktails

Sparkling Rose with Bay Leaf Syrup

Lemon-Gin Martini


Shrimp Salad Canapes with Endive

Taleggio Flatbread

Braised Chorizo

Baked Artichoke Dip with Winter Crudites

07 of 20

Classic Holiday Ham Menu


'Tis the season, so spread the joy by serving our classic holiday menu for a feast that's sure to dazzle. We skip the appetizer course and go straight to the main event, the ham, plus celebratory sides. A many-layered chocolate cake, with a rich chocolate-orange filling is the finale.

Serves 8


Brandied Ham


Leek Gratin

Roasted Winter Vegetables

Spinach and Gruyère Soufflé


Glazed Chocolate Layer Cake

08 of 20

Easy Beef Tenderloin Dinner


Indulgent yet easy—that's this beef tenderloin dinner that pairs the meat with crispy but creamy potatoes Anna and a simple side of sautéed Swiss chard. Layers of cream, cake, custard, and raspberries create a stunning trifle that's one of our favorite make-ahead desserts.

Serves 8


Beef Tenderloin


Potatoes Anna

Sauteed Swiss Chard


Grand Raspberry Trifle

09 of 20

Classic Hanukkah Menu


When there's something to celebrate—be it a family event or a holiday—the Jewish tradition is to feast. Food plays an important role in many Jewish customs, from the weekly Shabbat meal to annual Hanukkah festivities. These dishes are representative of foods offered at different times of year. Each recipe serves at least eight people, but consider making double batches to send home with guests or for leftovers the next day.

Serves 8 to 10


Chopped Chicken Liver


Short Ribs with Root Vegetables


Noodle Kugel


Fried Apple Fritters


10 of 20

Traditional Hanukkah Menu


A Hanukkah party is a wonderful way to gather together family and friends of all ages. Our homey, hearty meal can be made ahead—that's especially helpful if your party falls on a weeknight. But any of Hanukkah's eight nights offers the opportunity to enjoy the holiday's many traditions, the company of loved ones, and, of course, a memorable dinner.

Serves 8


Talia's Favorite Latkes

Chunky Applesauce


Juki's Short Ribs


Pickled Red-Cabbage Slaw

Barley Pilaf with Pearl Onions



11 of 20

Modern Hanukkah Menu


If we're meant to spend the holidays with family, then why do so many seasonal recipes leave us stranded in the kitchen? Enter this menu of modern twists on classic Hanukkah fare. The dishes here offer all the beloved ingredients—crisp potatoes, braised beef, sweet doughnuts—but can be prepared in a fraction of the time. Lay the food out buffet-style so even serving is a snap.

Serves 8 to 10


Potato and Celery Root Rosti

Roasted Apples


Kumquat-Braised Short Ribs


Sauteed Spinach with Toasted Pine Nuts


Doughnut Twists

12 of 20

Sophisticated Christmas Eve Dinner

Ken Kochey

This Christmas Eve dinner combines time-honored traditions and a procession of desserts that will inspire you to create your own memorable holiday celebrations. It's the menu that Martha's longtime friend and colleague Gael Towey and her husband, Stephen Doyle, serve in their townhouse in in the West Village of New York City, surrounded by family and friends.

Serves 12


Spicy Tuna Tartare

Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Sultana-Port Relish


Seafood Risotto


Red Lettuce, Asian Pear, and Mint Salad


Classic Tarte Tatin

Chestnut Cake with Chocolate-Armagnac Glaze

Lemon Cloud Trifle

Gilded Honeycomb Hazelnut Brittle

13 of 20

Festive Christmas Brunch

James Merrell

This festive Christmas brunch menu is sure to please. It's centered on a maple-bacon quiche. Extras like spiced apple cider, butternut squash soup, and turtle brownies round out the warm, tasty meal.

We recommend serving this brunch menu with sharp cheddar cheese and brown bread for added appeal.

Serves 8


Spiced Apple Cider

Pear and Sparkling Cider Cocktails


Red-and-Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette


Butternut Squash Soup


Chicken-and-Sage Sausages

Maple-Bacon Quiche


Applesauce Coffee Cake

Turtle Brownies

14 of 20

Mountain Christmas Menu


Around the holidays, some families honor their Swiss heritage with a traditional dinner. The menu begins with a classic cheese fondue, followed by baked ham, sides of potato rosti and spaetzle, and a dessert selection including apple pie, cookies, and candy.

Serves 10


Cheese Fondue


Endive and Radish Salad


Honey-Orange Baked Ham


Potato Rosti

Green Beans and Spaetzle

Vanilla Applesauce

Orange Spiral Rolls


Mile-High Apple Pie

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Butterscotch-Chip Cookies


Almond Shortbread Cookies

Peanut Brittle

15 of 20

Roast Poussin Menu


A poussin is a very young chicken and makes a perfect, different-but-not-unfamiliar entrée for a holiday meal. Each poussin is halved and serves two guests. The main course is rounded out with buttered carrots, rice pilaf, and caramelized onion tartlets, And for dessert, there's a trio of festive options—and for an added holiday bonus, sip a cup of eggnog.

Serves 6


Cooked Custard Eggnog

Ramos Gin Fizz


Spicy Pecans


Roast Poussin with Prunes and Thyme


Rice Pilaf with Almonds and Dried Pears

Buttered Carrots

Caramelized Onion Tartlets


Seven Swans A-Swimming

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Oatmeal Cookies

16 of 20

Feast of Flavors Menu


A celebration of holiday favorites, this dinner menu really pulls out all the stops. There's honeyed ham and prime rib, served with a simple, refreshing salad of crunchy greens and citrus. We cut back on sides and appetizers to save room for dessert, lots of dessert, including the quintessential holiday flavors of gingerbread, peppermint, and eggnog.

Serves 8 to 10


Pate with Pomegranate Gelee


Honeyed Ham with Pears and Cranberries

Prime Rib and Oven-Roasted Potatoes with Bay Leaves and Sage


Citrus Salad with Endive and Fennel


Gingerbread Linzertorte

Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies

Eggnog Bavarians

Pistachio-Cranberry Torrone

17 of 20

Grand Holiday Buffet


Enrich your family's holiday feast with two key ingredients: elegance and ease. During this season of giving, putting together a buffet is a suitably generous way to entertain. Because guests serve themselves, it's also the most practical, fuss-free way to welcome a crowd.

Our stand-out buffet features a satisfying selection of savories, including an update on roast stuffed turkey and plenty of accompaniments. For a very sweet ending, serve our hazelnut torte and a grand pavlova, both will tempt any sugarplum fairy.

Serves 10 to 12


Tuscan-Roast Turkey Breast

Beef Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Thyme


Farro, Orange, and Pine-Nut Dressing

Rich Roasted Potatoes

Leek and Gruyere Bread Pudding

Brown-Sugar-Spiced Red Cabbage

Glazed Root Vegetables

Braised Apples with Saffron and Cider


Chicory Salad with Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash


Classic Eggnog


Hazelnut-Praline Torte

Pavlova with Vanilla-Poached Oranges

18 of 20

Christmas Beef Dinner


A boneless prime rib-eye roast is the centerpiece of this Christmas dinner menu. Our streamlined approach pairs the favorite entrée with a special holiday mashed potato side and a crisp seasonal salad. And for a spectacular finish, a tall chocolate layer cake frosted with snowy white buttercream and topped with crushed peppermints.

Serves 8 to 12


Roast Beef with Caramelized Shallots


Mashed-Potato Gratin


Salad with Cranberries and Almonds


Chocolate-Peppermint Cake

19 of 20

A Simple and Spectacular Holiday Pork Dinner


A seasonal meal can be effortlessly festive: Try pork stuffed with fruit, plus impressively tasteful accents. An easy trifle made with layers of sweetened cranberries, buttery pound cake, and fluffy whipped cream, makes for a merry ending to a dazzling meal.

Serves 8


Pork Loin with Dried-Fruit and Chestnut Stuffing


Herbed Mushroom Custards

Celery Root and Potato Puree

Lemony Shredded Brussels Sprouts


Cranberry Trifle

20 of 20

Italian-Style Christmas Family Feast


The owners of the beloved Manhattan Italian restaurant Sfoglia, Ron Suhanosky and Colleen Marnell-Suhanosky, share their Italian-style Christmas feast. It is indeed a feast with multiple options for each of the four courses. The menu reflects the couple's backgrounds: His family is Hungarian, Polish, and Italian; hers is Sicilian and French. It's packed with their take on traditional dishes, and it's all delicious.

Serves 8 to 10


Chicken-Liver Crostini

Pomegranate-Fontina Rice Balls

Butternut Squash Pudding


Nonna's Crab and Lobster with Spaghetti

Winter Herb and Ricotta Cannelloni

Poached Cod in Tomato Sauce with Prunes

Roasted Boar (or Pork) with Mostarda


Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Kale, Blood Orange, and Hazelnut Salad

Oven-Braised Lentils


Struffoli (Fried Dough with Honey and Almonds)

Whole-Wheat Lemon Biscotti

Poached Dried Apricots and Currants with Zabaglione

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