25 Stress-Free Christmas Dinner Recipes

By | August 13, 2016

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A stress-free Christmas dinner? Easy peasy. From Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce to Rum Cake, these tested and perfected recipes won’t let you down — and many of them can be made ahead of time so you can relax on the big day. Merry Christmas!

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This show-stopping beef tenderloin with a deeply flavored, richly colored red wine sauce is delicious and deceptively simple. The sauce can be prepared mostly ahead of time so there’s very little fussing at the last minute. GET THE RECIPE

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This classic dish involves layering thinly sliced potatoes with heavy cream (a lot of it!) and grated cheese in a gratin dish, and then baking it until the cream reduces and blankets the potatoes in a rich, creamy sauce. GET THE RECIPE

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Chicken Marbella is probably the most famous dish to come out of the beloved Silver Palate Cookbook by Julie Rosso and the late Sheila Lukins. The chicken is marinated a day ahead in garlic and herbs, and then baked with wine, brown sugar, prunes, capers and green olives. GET THE RECIPE

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This rolled turkey breast with sausage stuffing beats a basic roast turkey any day of the year. Not only does it cook in just 1-1/4 hours, it can be made entirely ahead of time and is a cinch to carve. GET THE RECIPE

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Most holiday sweet potato dishes are sweet enough to be dessert. But these mashed sweet potatoes are flavored with smoky, spicy chipotle peppers and sharp cheddar cheese, making them truly savory. GET THE RECIPE

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You can’t beat meltingly tender short ribs slow-cooked in a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce. And here’s the best part: only 15 minutes of prep work and the oven does the rest. GET THE RECIPE

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With a fluffy inside and a toasty crust, these rich and buttery biscuits are the best to ever come out of my oven. You can throw the dough together in ten minutes and enjoy the biscuits with your meal less than fifteen minutes later. GET THE RECIPE

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You can’t go wrong with a basic roast turkey for Christmas, and this is the easiest one you’ll ever make. Serve it with stuffing, an over-the-top delicious gravy and cranberry sauce. GET THE RECIPE

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Perfect for the holidays because it can be made ahead, this creamy Brussels sprouts gratin with a crunchy topping is always a crowd-pleaser. GET THE RECIPE

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This sausage and herb stuffing relies on store bought stuffing cubes, which eliminates the step of slicing and drying out the bread. Believe me, when you are using a pound of sausage and an entire stick of butter, the bread does not matter much! GET THE RECIPE

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In this festive dish, chicken is immersed in a honey, citrus, and chili-infused marinade, and then roasted on a sheet pan with carrots and dates. Before serving, herbs, scallions and pistachios are added for freshness, color, and crunch. Everything can be prepared and assembled a day in advance, so all that’s left to do at dinnertime is pop it in the oven. GET THE RECIPE

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With so many other flavors on the table, it’s perfectly fine to keep your green vegetable simple. This dish has only three ingredients, but is much more than the sum of its parts. GET THE RECIPE

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Bake your stuffing separate from the bird so that you can make it ahead of time and ensure that it gets nice and crispy on top. This version, loaded with an earthy mix of onions and vegetables, pairs beautifully with simple roast turkey. GET THE RECIPE

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Dried cranberries and toasted walnuts make this carrot slaw a colorful addition to your holiday feast. Plus, it’s delicious with turkey sandwiches the next day. GET THE RECIPE

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If you’re a beet lover, you’ll love (and maybe even obsess over) these simply prepared, gorgeous beets. They’re oven-roasted, which intensifies their natural sweetness, and then tossed in a tart and syrupy balsamic reduction. GET THE RECIPE

16. Easy Butternut Squash Soup

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This has got to be the easiest butternut squash soup recipe ever. You start with pre-cut squash from the supermarket, then basically throw everything in a pot, simmer it, purée it and you’re done. It’s still everything you expect a classic butternut squash soup to be: silky, slightly sweet and full of flavor. GET THE RECIPE

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Focaccia is a flavorful and easy-to-make Italian flat bread that feeds a crowd. This classic version is topped with coarse salt and fresh rosemary but other toppings can be added, such as thinly sliced tomatoes, olives or grated cheese, to name just a few. GET THE RECIPE

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A wonderful choice for Christmas dinner since it feeds a crowd and can be made ahead, this foolproof lasagna is made with a quick sausage bolognese sauce and no-boil lasagna noodles. GET THE RECIPE

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Warm baked apples bubbling away in their own syrupy juices, topped with toasted pecans, old-fashioned rolled oats, and brown sugar — served warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s the ultimate cozy dessert. GET THE RECIPE

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A rich, fudgy slab of flourless chocolate cake topped with peaks of light, marshmallowy meringue — this cake is as impressive as it is delicious. It’s also gluten-free. GET THE RECIPE

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This dessert is a bit of a project but it’s the ultimate sweet ending to your Christmas feast — and no one will miss that tired ol’ pumpkin pie. GET THE RECIPE

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This crisp is a standout, thanks to the combination of sweet D’Anjou pears and tart dried cherries, which are plumped up in an orange-scented caramel syrup before baking. GET THE RECIPE

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Spiked with bourbon and served with ice cream, this comforting bread pudding tastes like a grown-up brownie sundae. GET THE RECIPE

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Inspired by the almond biscotti served at the celebrated Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, these Italian-style cookies are everything you want biscotti to be: buttery, lightly sweet, crunchy but not tooth-shattering — and delicious with after dinner coffee, tea or dessert wine. GET THE RECIPE

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My grandmother loved to bake and was known near and far for her boozy butter and rum soaked pound cake. The cake was the hit of every family gathering, and no one ever passed through her kitchen without sneaking a thin slice. It’s easy to make and perfect for the holidays! GET THE RECIPE

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