The festive season is joyful, yet extremely stressful. Coming up with Christmas dinner ideas can take the fun out of the holiday.
We’re here to help you think out of the box for this year’s Christmas dinner. This list of ideas goes beyond the usual roast beef and turkey. Also, read on if you’re looking for novel ways to entertain your loved ones.
7 Unusual Christmas Dinner Ideas from Around The World
Christmas dinner doesn’t have to mean tried and tested turkey or roast beef slices. The same fare year after year can make it a family event that you’d want to avoid. Let these unique dinner ideas will inspire your Christmas menu.
1. Classic Rosemary Cobbler
The traditional lamb casserole or stew is mouthwatering, but may not excite the taste buds day after day. This savory cobbler dish is unique and will hit the spot this Christmas.
All you need are carrots, redcurrant, lamb, and rosemary. Have:
- 11/2 of lamb to stew
- Four carrots, cut into 2 cm rings
- A large onion, roughly chopped and peeled
- A small leek cut into circles
- A bay leaf
- A dessert spoon of redcurrant jelly
- Two cloves of garlic, chopped
- Two pints (900 g) of vegetable or lamb stock
- Three tablespoons of olive oil
- Pour some oil into a saute pan. Coat the lamb with the flour and fry it until it browns.
- Fry the vegetables and the bay leaf for about two minutes.
- Add the rosemary, redcurrant jelly, and stock
- Put everything into a casserole dish and bake for 11/4 hours.
2. Toffee Eggnog
Give your guests the Christmas beverage everyone loves, with a twist. This recipe will teach you how to make eggnog and the toffee syrup. It’s possible to serve it with or without alcohol, in case you want to give it to young ones. You’ll need:
- 2/3 cup of brown sugar
- A tablespoon of water
- A tablespoon of butter
- A cup of heavy cream
- 2 oz whole milk
- 1 oz toffee syrup
- 1/12 ounces of rye whiskey (optional)
- A cinnamon stick
- A pinch of nutmeg
To make the toffee syrup:
- Gather the ingredients
- Mix the brown sugar and butter. Put the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat
- Lower the heat and whisk in the heavy cream
- Take it off the heat and let it cool.
- Combine the half-and-half, egg, toffee syrup, and whiskey in a shaker.
- Shake the mixture, without ice, for about 10 seconds.
- Fill the shaker with ice for another 30 seconds until the egg breaks up completely.
3. Mushroom Barley Soup
Try this low-fat mushroom barley soup if you don’t want Christmas dinner to pack on the pounds. It’s also delicious and will be the focus of conversation at the dinner table. To make it, you’ll need:
- Three teaspoons unroasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup shallots
- A small, chopped onion
- A diced carrot
- 1/4 cup pearled barley
- Four cups of vegetable stock
- Four teaspoons of tamari
- A bunch of fresh thyme
- A bay leaf
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Chopped dill to garnish
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium flame.
- Drain the soaked Shitake mushrooms and save the reserved liquid. Throw them in the pot with the onions chopped shallots, carrot, barley, and celery.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the vegetables, stirring them often, until the vegetables soften and the mushrooms brown.
- Add the mushroom liquid, tamari, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, cover it up, and simmer for 40 minutes.
- Add water if you find the soup too thick.
- Add sea salt and fresh pepper if needed. Remove the bay leaf and thyme. Sprinkle the soup with dill and serve.
4. Grilled Sea Bass with Garlic Butter
If you aren’t keen on roast beef, sea bass is an excellent alternative. Seabass is a show stopper and ideal for a Christmas holiday.
You will need:
- Two pounds of sea bass
- Three tablespoons of butter
- A medium-sized lemon
- 1/1/2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tablespoons of paprika
- Two cloves of garlic
- 1/4 tablespoons of garlic powder
- Two tablespoons of Italian Parsley
- 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Gather the ingredients
- Combine the butter, garlic parsley, and lemon juice in a saucepan.
- Mix the garlic, onion powder, pepper, and paprika in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the seasoning and pour the mixture.
- Remove the fish from the grill when it reaches a temperature of about 145 degrees.
- Serve it with your favorite side dishes.
5. Cod-Stuffed Salmon Fillets
This recipe is sure to contribute to your Omega-6 supply. We have two kinds of fish – salmon and cod.
You will need:
- 300g skinless cod
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200g.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Cut six-string pieces, and place them along the width of the tray.
- Put one fillet on the string, skin side downwards.
- Season the fillets with black pepper and salt. Place the wedges across the fillets.
- Place the second fillet on the first with the skin upwards.
- Secure the fish with string, tying it up with small bows.
- Season with salt and olive oil.
- Place the fillets in the preheated oven.
6. Chestnut Bourg Pie
This full-bodied pie is an excellent vegetarian option and will keep even meat-lovers wanting more. You will need:
- 125 g chestnuts, dried and soaked for 8 hours
- 1 sprig dried or fresh rosemary
- 210 ml of red wine
- 300 ml vegetable stock
- 25g butter
- 8 small pickles
- 125g chestnut mushrooms
- 125g button mushrooms
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- Soy sauce or tamari
- Finely chopped fresh parsley
- 225g vegetarian puff pastry
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Place the soaked herbs and chestnuts with 150 ml of wine in a saucepan. Cover with just enough vegetable stock. Cook them until they are tender, then drain them. Drain them and reserve the liquid.
- In a frying pan, melt the butter and saute the onions until they brown.
- Put in the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Put in the chestnuts, the excess red wine and enough chestnut water to cover. Bring this mix to boil and simmer for about half an hour.
- Stir in the mustard, black pepper, and tamari.
- Place the mixture in a pie dish. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and put it on the filling.
- Bake until crust forms.
7. Spinach Pie
On this list of out-of-the-box Christmas Dinner ideas is this tasty spinach pie. The vegetarians in the family will visit next year after one bite. It’s also quick and easy.
You will need:
- Seven sheets of filo pastry
- Three onions
- Three cloves of garlic
- 150 g Parmesan cheese
- 100ml olive oil
- 150 g ricotta cheese
- 100 g butter
- Sea salt, fine
- Cracked black pepper
- To prepare the spinach filling, chop the onions, garlic and parmesan cheese.
- Saute the garlic and onions in olive oil, in a saucepan, over medium heat.
- Put in the spinach and cook the mixture until there’s no more water.
- Add the cheeses and stew the mixture for about 10 minutes. Stir constantly.
- Then, its time to assemble. Melt the butter.
- Place a sheet of filo pastry on a floured surface and brush it with some butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place another sheet of pastry at a 30-degree angle. Brush and season it in the same way.
- Repeat this process, layering the sheets then forming them into a rosette.
- Place these sheets in a 20 cm tin and let the edges droop over the sides.
- Put the filling in the middle and fold the corners in, crumpling them at the same time.
- Bake at a 180 degrees Celcius for about 20 mins.
8 Novel Ways to Spend Christmas
Instagram feeds of white Christmases are idyllic and calming but can get boring after a while. Besides coming up with novel dinner menu ideas, you can spend Christmas a little differently this year.
1. Making meals for the elderly
First of all, get together with a group of volunteer chefs and head to a nursing home with one of the dishes listed above. Preparing meals for the elderly is one of the best ways to reach out to people in need during the festive season.
2. Goodness Gym
Join a club that combines the need for fitness with the good of the community. Organize mini walkathons or marathons to raise funds for the disadvantaged. You’ll give someone a sense of achievement and bring him or her good tidings.
3. Find a Friend
Adopt a neighbor or friend who’s alone during the festive season. Invite him or her to spend time with your family. Your festive season will mean more than gifts or fruitcake.
4. House Sit
Take the opportunity to help someone in need this Christmas. Why not House Sit for a friend who needs to go away for the season? Take care of his plants and his pets. Let his or her gratitude fill your heart.
5. Work the Christmas Shift
If spending the holidays alone worries you, work the Christmas shift. You’ll not only help people with their needs but earn some money as well.
6. Have a cultural theme
People of different cultures spend Christmas differently. Choose a country that everyone will agree on and decorate it with motifs and decorations that exemplify its culture.
7. Give someone a Christmas gift
Christmas is the season of giving. Why not give a gift to someone who cannot afford it this season? We feel good when someone does.
8. Go to a game, movie, or concert
Forget the gift exchange this year and spend some time with your family instead. Go to a football game or movie and spend the season of love together.
In all, make this year’s Christmas less run-of-the meal with a few novel dinner ideas and ways to spend the holiday.