8 Traditional Christmas Dinner Ideas Your Family Will Love

christmas pudding

Whether you're cooking for an intimate party of two or a huge feast for 20, preparing Christmas dinner is undoubtedly an undertaking. But in the end, once you've got the festive meal on the table, your tastebuds are sure to remind you that all that hard work in the kitch was well worth it! Here's an amazing recipe for easy, delicious Christmas pudding and several other ideas for delectable, traditional dishes that only come 'round once a year ...


Christmas Pudding from FoodNetwork.com

More from CafeMom: Christmas Dinner for the Whole Family for Under $50


  • 2 ounces suet, shredded
  • 4 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 1 ounce self-rising flour, sifted
  • 2 ounces white breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 5 ounces currants
  • 2 ounces sultanas
  • 2 ounces raisins
  • 1/2 ounce mixed candied peel
  • 1/2 ounce blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 small apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1/2 small orange
  • Grated zest of 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 1/4 ounce barley wine
  • 1 1/4 ounce stout, more if needed
  • 2 eggs
  • Brandy, for flambeing
  • Your favorite rum sauce, optional


The following day: Butter a 1-pint pudding mold and pack the pudding mixture into it. Cover with a double piece of parchment and a sheet of foil and tie securely with a string across the top to make a handle. Place the pudding mold in a covered steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water, and steam for 8 hours. Check the water level, adding boiling water as needed. When the pudding is finished, let it cool and then remove the papers and foil. Replace with fresh paper and make a new string for easier maneuvering. Set in a cool place away from light (under the bed works well).

To reheat, set a saucpean with boiling water over medium heat and put a steamer on top. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, set the pudding in the steamer, cover, and let steam for 2 1/4 hours. Top up the water a bit if necessary.

To serve, remove the pudding from the steamer and take off the wrapping. Slide a palette knife around the pudding, and then turn it out onto a warm plate. Garnish with a sprig of holly. To flambe the pudding, warm a ladleful of brandyover direct heat, and when it is hot, carefully light the brandy. Place the flaming ladle over the pudding, but do not pour until at the table. When you do slowly pour it over the pudding, sides and all, watch it flame! Serve with rum sauce if desired.

Other must-have traditional dishes:

  1. Christmas Ham: There are many delicious methods for preparing the holiday pig.
  2. Christmas Eve Fish: If you're Italian, or even if you're not, you might want to prepare seafood a la the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
  3. Mince Pies: These rich, sticky, sweet Christmas pies are a must-bake.
  4. Trifle: Feel free to get creative when it comes to your Christmas trifle!
  5. Yule Log: Otherwise known as a Buche de Noel, this holiday classic is actually easier than you think to bake up.
  6. Sugar Cookies: No Christmas meal would be complete without pretty, delicious cookies to leave for Santa.
  7. Stollen: The traditional German Christmas bread is packed with dried fruits and laced with marzipan. Yum!

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