10 Last-Minute Christmas Dinner Ideas


If you are planning your Christmas dinner menu, you can infuse your meal with a few kid-friendly options that everyone in the family will enjoy. Ensure that you have plenty of fun food items on hand when you entertain this holiday season. These Christmas dinner recipes are perfect for a small family gathering as well as for a big Christmas party. Plus, you can make many of them right before your Christmas dinner.

1. Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Not only is baked macaroni and cheese delicious, it’s also easy to make. Using various types of cheese like sharp cheddar and cheddar jack, you can melt a delicious cheese spread atop your pasta (mostaccioli noodles are a great choice) in the oven. Add a cup of cream and four tablespoons of butter to the mix for creamy goodness the kids will love. You can mix and match ingredients if you stick to some kind of diet.

2. Melted Ham and Swiss Mini Sliders

If you’re making a ham for Christmas, be sure to purchase some small Hawaiian bread rolls, sliced pineapple, and Swiss cheese. When your kids are hungry after the big meal, you can make a platter of mini ham and cheese sliders for a late night snack. Pile some leftover ham on your Hawaiian bread and top with a slice of pineapple, and cheese. Wrap each little sandwich in foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for about ten minutes. Or, you can make simple yet delicious melted ham sandwiches (see the picture), if you don’t have Hawaiian bread rolls.

3. Ornament-Shaped Mini Pizzas

Using large Christmas cookie cutters, you can create kid-friendly pizzas the kids can decorate with ingredients. For instance, cut a Christmas tree shape out of pizza dough. Add a little pizza sauce, cheese, mushrooms, pepperoni, and green peppers. Bake your festive mini pizzas for about 8 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Everyone loves pizzas so this dinner recipe is your safe bet.

4. Broccoli-Trimmed Tree

You may be able to tempt the kids into eating broccoli when you spread it on a platter in the shape of a Christmas tree. Include a short celery stalk as the tree stem and “decorate” the broccoli tree with a garland of red pepper and small cherry tomato and yellow pepper “ornaments.” You can even create a star shape for the tree top using a yellow bell pepper. The sky is the limit, so don’t be afraid to get creative.

5. Festive Chicken Quesadillas

If your kids love cheesy chicken quesadillas, you can make your recipe more festive when you add chopped red and green bell peppers for a merry meal. In fact, since most people love quesadillas, you may also serve a platter of them. Be sure to serve them with fresh cilantro and sour cream. This is a great last-minute Christmas dinner idea that each of your unexpected guests will love.

More: 10 Brilliant Christmas Party Ideas

6. Parmesan Green Bean Fries

When you roast your green beans with sprinkles of parmesan and sea salt, your kids might mistake them for delicious green French fries. This is a great recipe to encourage children to eat their green beans. Moreover, their festive green color makes them perfect for serving at Christmas dinner. If you want something a bit different, this is one veggie dish that everyone will eat up.

7. Spinach Crescent Rolls

A tray of crescent rolls can be transformed into a special holiday dish. Within each crescent roll, add some spinach, mozzarella cheese, and even a slice of prosciutto to create a spectacular roll that is bound to please even the pickiest kids. Bake your crescent rolls just long enough to heat them through and melt the cheese.

8. Cheesy Bacon Potato Rounds

On a greased cookie sheet, lay out rows of thickly sliced potatoes so that they lay flat like muffins. Top with cheddar jack cheese, bacon bits, and even a few thin slices of red and green pepper for a seasonal look. The kids will love these cheesy potato bites that are perfectly lovely to serve at your holiday feast.

9. Parmesan Garlic Chicken Bites

For kids who love chicken fingers, this is a fancy take on a children’s favorite. Cut your boneless chicken breasts into small bite-size pieces. Dip them in a mixture of breadcrumbs, garlic, and parmesan cheese. In the meantime, melt two tablespoons of butter in a glass baking dish. Add the chicken bites and bake for 20 minutes in a 425-degree oven. The children will eat them up!

10. Crock Pot Apples

If your kids love apples, you can create this delightful side dish that will perfume the house. Add five apples (peeled, sliced, and cored) to the crock pot. Add 1/3 cup apple juice (or cider), ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, and then cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to taste. Let this simmer in your slow cooker for about five hours while you prepare the rest of your meal. Everyone will enjoy this delicious side.

More: 10 Winsome Ways to Boost Your Christmas Spirit

Serve a few of these during your Christmas feast. Everyone, including the children, will love that you took the time to create something delicious for everyone at your meal. Even if you are on a really tight budget this holiday season, you can try any of these Christmas dinner recipes since they are budget-friendly and you can cook them with your kids. What are your favorite Christmas dinner ideas? I might want to try out some of your recipes too!