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Would you like a straight-forward Christmas Dinner Checklist? And how about a elegant Christmas tablescape?

In this post, I will show you four delicious recipes for dinner over the holidays. All are delicious and easy dinner recipes I promise.

In this post...

What is a Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu?

I don’t know about you but by the time Christmas dinner rolls around I’ve eaten enough Christmas cookies that I’m not all that interested in making a fancy dinner.  But last year I enjoyed what I made and loved eating everything!  All of us are so busy shopping and planning for the holiday dinners. I think most traditional Christmas dinner menus include either beef tenderloin, turkey, or ham as the main course. Cranberries frequently are served as well. Many people like mashed potatoes as well as green vegetables.

Christmas food ideas are tricky. We all want holiday dinner ideas that contain delicious, healthy, and EASY recipes for dinners. If you read further, you will find four recipes to help you know EXACTLY what to make for Christmas dinner!

For my Christmas Dinner Checklist here are four delicious recipes. Here is a holiday Spode Christmas plate with yummy beef tenderloin, celery root puree, cranberry applesauce, and roasted asparagus.
Christmas Dinner with gorgeous beef tenderloin, celery root puree, roasted asparagus, and cranberry applesauce

Delicious Recipes for Dinner over the Holidays

As you can see the full dinner plate involved my husband’s famous beef tenderloin, celery root purée, cranberry applesauce, and roasted asparagus.  It was tasty and colorful.  The green of the asparagus and the deep red of the applesauce made for a beautiful plate.  The celery root purée was creamy and tasty.  It looked like the richest mashed potatoes, and it tasted fantastic!  I had never had celery root before, so I was delighted to find it so yummy. The best part of this menu for a Christmas dinner party was the fact that two of the dishes can be made several days in advance!

Christmas Dinner Checklist: Recipe #1 Beef Tenderloin

This beef tenderloin is so delicious and easy to make. It is foolproof which is always nice. It is much easier than making a turkey! For my Christmas Dinner Checklist Pro-tip: I would make the chili sauce mixture a day or two ahead and put it in a labeled container in your fridge.


Jerry’s Famous Beef Tenderloin (Mr. G.Q.)

Ingredients: (Serves 10)

-one 5 1/2-pound beef tenderloin 

-one green pepper, cut into wedges

-one yellow onion, cut into wedges

-one bottle of chili sauce (he uses Heinz brand)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a food processor pulse together the green pepper and onion until finely chopped.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the chili sauce, green pepper, and onion.
  4. Place the beef tenderloin on a foil-lined rimmed sheet pan. (The foil will really help with clean-up).
  5. Spread the chili sauce mixture all over the top of the tenderloin.
  6. Roast the meat for 35-40 minutes until the desired degree of doneness is achieved.  We use a leave-in digital thermometer that allows us to set the temperature at 145 degrees which is “rare”.
  7. Once the temperature is reached, remove it from the oven and cover it with foil so that it rests for ten minutes.  This allows the meat juices to be reabsorbed by the roast, thereby ensuring a moist result. 
  8. Enjoy!

A red plaid napkin, with a big bowl of celery root puree.
Celery root puree

Christmas Dinner Checklist: Recipe #2 Celery Root Puree

Even though most Christmas dinner menus feature mashed potatoes this celery root puree is a delightful stand-in. It is so delicious that my female guests asked if they could take home the extras! (These are terrific to-go containers for the leftovers.) I am not kidding! You will love it! For my Christmas Dinner Checklist Pro-tip: This can be easily made two days before and then be refrigerated.

Celery Root Purée 

Ingredients: (Serves 10)

-5 pounds of celery root

-4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

-1 1/2 cups chicken broth

-1 1/2 cups of heavy cream (also called whipping cream)

-four tsp. Diamond kosher salt (If not at your grocery, order it here) (it’s half as salty as most kosher salts)

-one tsp. freshly ground pepper 


  1. With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the celery roots in half so they lie flat on the cutting board.
  2. Carefully remove any brown spots on the celery roots.
  3. Now cut the vegetables into 1/2-inch cubes.
  4. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
  5. Add the chopped celery root and sauté it for three minutes, tossing it with a wooden spoon until all the pieces are coated with butter.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Now add the chicken broth, heavy cream, salt, and pepper.
  8. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.  Cover the pot and cook for 15-20 minutes until the celery root is very tender.
  9. Using an immersion blender, purée the mixture until fully smooth.
  10. Serve this piping hot.
  11. If you would like, you can prepare this up to two days before your event.  Just keep it covered in your refrigerator.  Then microwave it to reheat when needed.
  12. Enjoy!

N.B. This recipe is adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

A close-up of the celery root puree in a red ramekin.
Celery root puree

Christmas Dinner Checklist: Recipe #3 Cranberry Applesauce

Are you a cranberry hater? If so, this is the recipe for you. It’s so pretty, easy to make, and can be made up to three days before your event!

Cranberry Applesauce (Serves 10)


-3/4 cup water

-1/4 cup red wine

-1 cup granulated sugar 

-3 large or 4 medium red delicious apples (about 1 1/2pounds) peeled, cored, and sliced 

-12 ounces of fresh cranberries, sorted (or frozen cranberries)

-1 tsp lemon juice

-1 tsp ground cinnamon 


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine the water, wine, and sugar stirring to dissolve.
  2. Add the cranberries, apples, and lemon juice, and bring this mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and gently boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally until cranberries pop and apples are soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the saucepan’s contents to a medium bowl.  Then using an immersion blender, purée the mixture until smooth.
  4. Thoroughly stir in the cinnamon.
  5. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for several hours, (as the mixture will thicken some as it cools).   For my Christmas dinner checklist Pro-tip: All this can be done up to several days before your event.
  6. On the day of your party, transfer the mixture to a clear bowl as it’s so pretty!
  7. Enjoy! (Makes four cups)

N.B.  This recipe is adapted from MaryAnn Vollstedt and given to me by Gail Margarites.

A close-up of the yummy celery root puree in a red ramekin.
Cranberry applesauce

Christmas Dinner Checklist: Recipe #4 Roasted Asparagus

If you want a delicious and easy green vegetable, this is it! Roasted broccoli rocks! Your guest will love this! For my Christmas dinner checklist Pro-tip: I typically prepare this early in the day of my event. I rinse the asparagus and snap off any of the tough end pieces. Then I line the sheet pan with foil and place the asparagus on the pan. I then cover it with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge. Then right before my guests arrive, I take the sheet out of the fridge, add the olive oil and salt as below, and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Roasted Asparagus (Serves 10)


-Two pounds of asparagus, rinsed, dried, and whitish ends discarded

-olive oil

-kosher salt

-freshly ground black pepper 


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil.
  2. Place the asparagus on a large sheet pan.  You want some room around the asparagus so that it will roast instead of steam.
  3. Toss with enough olive oil to lightly coat all the pieces.
  4. Sprinkle with about 1-1/2 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of pepper.
  5. Toss well.
  6. Roast for 15 minutes or so until bright green.
  7. Enjoy! 
A gorgeous Christmas tablescape with a red plaid runner, bay leaf Christmas trees, fresh greenery, faux red berries, white votives.
Elegant Christmas Tablescape

Christmas Dinner Checklist: A Gorgeous Christmas Tablescape

Isn’t this a great holiday table? I used a plaid runner from Pottery Barn (similar linked here), artificial red berry garland from Crate and Barrel (similar, here), three bay leaf trees from a local shop (similar linked here), mixed with fresh greenery from the Trader Joe’s. The China is a classic Christmas Spode. The red napkins and placemats are here, as are the silver chargers, and the white votive candles. My Christmas tree napkin rings are old (similar, here). Here are similar red water goblets.

For my Christmas dinner checklist Pro-tip: I love the set my table as far ahead of the event as possible. My family celebrates Christmas Eve as well but that is more casual and is centered around our kitchen island, so I will set the table around December 20. That way I can admire it for a few days before the event!

I hope you find this to be a fun Christmas dinner checklist and tablescape.  Please comment below as to what your family enjoys at their holiday dinners.  I’m always on the hunt for new suggestions. (Another favorite Christmas dinner party menu I love to make is this chicken dish: Yummy Chicken Marbella Recipe to Make Ahead).


Dr. Julie

PS All these photos were taken by my lovely son A.J. KANE. He’s a wonderful professional photographer! Aren’t I lucky he came to dinner?!

PS Please enjoy these delicious recipes for dinner over the holidays!

PS Here are a few more posts for you to enjoy:

Christmas Decorations for Bedrooms

Chicago Christmas Decorations in the Home

Homey Christmas Decorations in My California Home

Easiest Appetizer Ever

Delicious Ina Garten Ginger Cookies for Fall!

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