Last-Minute Christmas Lunch And Dinner Recipes

Christmas Eve is almost here and many are gathering ingredients to make the perfect dish to serve at their Christmas lunch or dinner. Here are easy, last-minute recipes to enjoy on Christmas.


Cheese Ball Bites, By:

Photo: Lindsay Funston via Delish


  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and finely chopped
  • 1/3 c. finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/3 c. finely chopped pecans
  • 18 pretzels sticks


  1. Mix together cream cheese, cheddar, garlic powder, and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Form into 18 small balls and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
  2. In a shallow bowl or on a plate, stir together cooked bacon, chives, and pecans.
  3. Roll balls in bacon-chive-pecan mixture and insert a pretzel stick in each ball.
  4. Serve. (If not serving right away, loosely cover with plastic wrap and return to fridge. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes before serving).

Pigs In A Blanket Wreath, By:

Photo: Lauren Miyashiro via Delish


  • 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 24 mini hot dogs
  • 1/4 c. Dijon mustard
  • Egg wash
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds
  • rosemary sprigs (for decoration)
  • Ketchup, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Slice crescent rolls lengthwise into thirds. Brush all over with dijon mustard. Place a mini hot dog on the thick end of each triangle and roll up.
  3. Arrange the pigs in a blanket, sided by side, in a circle on the baking sheet. They should be touching! Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crescents are golden. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Lay rosemary sprigs around the inside of the wreath and place a small bowl filled with ketchup in the center.

Side Dishes:

Photo: Karina – Cafe Delites
  • 5 pounds | 2.2 kg potatoes , peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces*
  • 1 cup chicken broth / stock
  • 4 cloves garlic , crushed
  • 1/3 cup butter , diced (reduced fat if counting points or calories)
  • good pinch of salt (adjust to your tastes)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream (light if counting points or calories)
  • 1/3 cup – 1/2 cup hot milk (skim or 2% if counting points or calories)
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (optional — substitute with cheddar if your prefer)
  • pepper , to taste


  1. Place the potatoes, broth, garlic and butter into a 6qt slow cooker. Season with salt; mix together and cover with lid. Cook on HIGH setting for 4 hours or LOW setting for 7-8 hours, until very tender.
  2. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or electric beater. Stir the sour cream and milk through until well combined and creamy (add more milk if desired). Stir through the parmesan cheese.
  3. Keep on low or warm setting until ready to serve.

“*You can use unpeeled potatoes if you like skin in your mash!
Slow cooker mashed potatoes maintain a creamy consistency for a couple of hours after mashing if the lid stays on the slow cooker. If the lid has been removed and the potatoes have dried out a little, just add a little more milk to reach desired consistency.”

Creamy Broccoli Casserole, By: the kitchen is my playground

Photo: The Kitchen Is My Playground


Broccoli Mixture:

  • 1 (14 or 16 oz.) package broccoli florets
  • 1 c. shredded mild or medium cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/8 tsp. salt


  • 1 1/2 c. Ritz and/or Keebler Club cracker crumbs (about 1 “sleeve” of crackers; I use a combination of 3/4 c. Ritz + 3/4 c. Keebler Club)
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted


  • Thaw broccoli and warm broccoli in the microwave for about 5 minutes; drain very well. Cut any large florets into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
  • In a bowl, combine broccoli, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheddar, cream of mushroom soup, mayonnaise, milk, egg, and salt. Spoon into a greased 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Stir together cracker crumbs and melted butter until crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the broccoli mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 50 minutes until bubbly and crumb topping is light golden brown.

Main Dishes:

Garlic Rosemary Chicken with Cranberries, By: The Mediterranean Dish

Photo: The Mediterranean Dish


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp white wine vinegar, more for later
  • 6 pieces bone-in, skin on chicken (I used 2 chicken breasts and 4 thighs)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/3 cup Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice of (do not discard used lemon halves)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • More fresh rosemary for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, brown sugar, and white wine vinegar. Set aside for now.
  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry. Rub the chicken with the minced garlic on both sides (make sure to apply some of the garlic underneath the chicken skins). Season well with salt and pepper. Combine the rosemary and paprika then apply to the chicken pieces on both sides and again underneath the skin.
  3. In a large bowl or deep enough dish, mix the olive oil, lemon juice and 2 tbsp white wine vinegar. Now add the chicken, celery, onions, and used lemon halves. Work everything together with clean hands. Set aside to marinate just for 15 minutes or so.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet. Place the chicken skin side down to brown on medium-high for 5 minutes. Turn over and brown on the other side.
  6. Place the chicken, onions, celery, lemon halves and any liquid from the marinade in a lightly oiled baking pan likethis one. Add 1/2 cup water or chicken broth, then add the sugared cranberries.
  7. Bake in the 425 degrees F heated-oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through. Serve hot with Lebanese rice and your favorite salad.

Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin, By: Olya at Whatsinthepan

Photo: Olya at Whatsinthepan


  • 3 lb. pork loin
  • 1 lb carrots cut in strips
  • 2 granny smith apples (optional) peeled, cored and sliced thickly
  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  1. Cut carrots and sweet potatoes lengthwise. Add them to the bowl, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and mix well.
  2. Slice peeled apples – but place them in a different bowl to be added later (optional step).
  3. Place pork loin with fat layer on top in the middle of the baking sheet. Surround it with oiled up carrots and sweet potatoes. Do not add brown sugar or apples yet. My picture shows apples, but I took them out of the pan and added them after 30 minutes in the oven.
  4. Season the pork loin and vegetables with spices evenly: 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Add more than that if desired.
  5. Generously brush the entire surface of the pork loin (except bottom) with Dijon mustard – 3 tablespoons. If your pork loin is smaller, use less.
  6. Press ½ cup of brown sugar into the mustard, all over the roast.
  7. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook at 375 degrees F. Take it out after 30 minutes and sprinkle the veggies with 1/3 cup of brown sugar.
  8. Adding apples (optional step): Add sliced apples at this point.

  9. Return the roast to the oven and continue cooking for about 20-30 more minutes or until the internal temperature hits between 145 (pink roast) to 155 degrees F (white roast) on a meat thermometer. The total cooking time for the roast of this size ends up being 50 minutes to 1 hour and that does not include resting time of 10 minutes! See below.

  10. Important! Keep in mind that large cuts like this pork loin increase in temperature approximately 10° F. while resting. Which means that if you are aiming for 160 F, remove them from the heat at 150° F. followed by a 10 minute rest.

  11. Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving. Once again, remove it prior to desired target temperature to avoid the pork drying out. It will continue “cooking” while resting. This will also allow the juices in the meat to settle down and stay in the meat when you slice it.

Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.