30 Easy Christmas Dinners for Two That Are Simple and Stress-Free – GoodHousekeeping.com

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These meals don’t require endless ingredients — but they feel luxe for a festive night in.
Christmas tables usually are full of loved ones from near and far, but if your holiday traditions are on hold during a tricky travel season, cooking up a formal dinner may seem out of the picture. But creating a wonderful spread for two can be just as jolly as cooking for a crowd. You’ll be surprised at how many dishes can feel like an intimate feast for you and your loved ones at home. Creating a festive menu for you and your partner, or a family member (and even a roomie!), can be done without breaking the bank, or spending all of Christmas toiling away in the kitchen.
Nothing beats the intimacy and warmth of a festive dinner for two, especially when the meal is an impressive step up from your standard weeknight dinners. Of course, the one downfall of trying to create a holiday feast for two people is ending up with way more food than you need. Or putting in more labor than you want (or have) to. So to help you settle on a main entree that’s more to scale, here are easy-to-prep Christmas dinner recipes — from the tried-and-true to one-pan wonders — that are ideal for a perfect pair.
Skip the thinly shaved pork chops and go for a bone-in option for a hearty winter’s night dinner. Whether you’ve made them ahead or not, mashed potatoes are a classic on Christmas, too.
Get the recipe for Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops with Spinach Mashed Potatoes »
Forget any other method for preparing your steak. Christmas dinner doesn’t get much easier than this flavorful, elevated meat-and-potatoes dish that you can have on the table in under 30 minutes.
Get the recipe for Sheet-Pan Balsamic Steak and Potatoes »
RELATED: 28 Simple Steak Recipes That Are Easier to Make Than Reservations
Peppers and mushrooms are the ideal pairing for sweet and savory honey-soy glazed salmon in this simple, one-pan Christmas dinner. The recipe makes enough for four, but all you need to do is choose a smaller piece of salmon if you’re committed to avoiding leftovers.
Get the recipe for Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon with Mushrooms and Peppers »
A petite bird can be carved right down the middle for an adventurous pair of homebound diners. Plus, the bed of fennel and raddichio that you use to roast the chicken make for an equally shareable side.
Get the recipe for Orange-Ginger Roast Chicken With Fennel and Radicchio Salad »
Steak and plump potatoes may feel routine, but you’ll feel super fancy dining on these ridiculously easy hasselback potatoes.
Get the recipe for New York Strip Steak »
Stuffing your breasts with parmesan and spinach is a quick way to elevate juicy chicken filets. You’ll sear the breast in a pan, finish them in the oven, and marinade a quick tomato salad.
Get the recipe for Chicken Roulades With Marinated Tomatoes »
Lamb feels luxe and special for a Christmas dinner, but couples may be surprised at how easy it is to roast at home — and how many delicious leftovers they’ll enjoy during the holiday week. A petite lamb top round is rubbed with garlic, rosemary, and thyme and roasted atop a bed of grape tomatoes.
Get the recipe for Roast Lamb »
Roasting up an entire bird for two may feel overzealous, but a succulent breast is much more manageable for a party of two. Stuffing it and wrapping it in all of its bacon glory still ups the wow factor at dinnertime.
Get the recipe for Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast »
For those chilly, blustery Christmas nights where all you want is to sleep on a full, happy stomach. This gourmand take on bread pudding makes use of a bunch of ingredients that you may already have for Christmas brunch.
Get the recipe for Ham, Cheddar, and Red Onion Bread Pudding »
RELATED: 50 Christmas Breakfasts to Start Your Holiday off Right
A heartwarming traditional Hungarian dish, this creamy-yet-zesty sauce is nothing like you’ve tasted before; like a warm caress, thanks to fresh paprika on a winter’s night. Served over egg noodles, this one-skillet meal feels like a departure from all the rest.
Get the recipe for Chicken Paprikash »
If you’re putting together a Christmas Eve dinner, why not portion out some of your Christmas ham earlier? Pasta is an easy night-of dinner idea for any Christmas routine.
Get the recipe for Creamy Fettuccine With Leeks and Ham »
Eggplant parmesan is wonderful, but stuffed eggplant parm will take your vegetarian-friendly Christmas dinner to the next level.
Get the recipe for Stuffed Eggplant Parm »
This Italian take on a rustic « stew » du jour comes to life with tomatoes fresca and a heavy handed pour of white wine and butter. Our 45-minute version hinges on a medley of shrimp, mussels, and cod, a perfect addition to any seven fishes feast.
Get the recipe for Cioppino »
It’s the one soup that feels like a really warm hug on a cold wintry night, but the tried-and-true process to brewing a pot of this soup means many home cooks save it for special occasions. Our dump-and-roast version is ready in less than 2 hours!
Get the recipe for French Onion Soup »
A classic roast sounds lovely on Christmas, but we’ll be reaching for this innovative twist on coq au vin that makes use of rosé instead of red wine.
Get the recipe for Coq Au Vin Rosé »
It’s a sheet-pan dinner that keeps on giving; you’ll use the uber-savory pan drippings of your roasted pork chops to beautifully coat fresh winter vegetables.
Get the recipe for Fennel and Thyme Pork Roast With Root Vegetables »
Olive oil and ground mustard come together for a quick lather on a gorgeous fish filet.
Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »
One of the OG recipes to be made in a single pan, you’ll throw in a bunch of fresh seafood you’ve picked up from the fish monger atop a bed of rice. After a slow steam, the flavors soak into the rice for a delicious (and special!) coastal Christmas dinner.
Get the recipe for Easiest-Ever Paella »
Half moons of acorn squash dressed in a glaze and generous dusting of feta cheese become super crispy in the oven. Pomegranate juice and honey will bubble across the chicken while the squash crisps up.
Get the recipe for Pomegranate-Honey Glazed Chicken and Squash »
This insanely flavorful dish manages to pack in a mere 300 calories. If you’re looking to save your splurge for Christmas desserts, this healthy dinner is a great option for you both.
Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »
Slow-roasting short ribs is a set-it-and-forget it kind of meal; you’ll have 4 hours of patiently waiting to be rewarded with a flavorful meal you’ll be thinking about into next year.
Get the recipe for Red-Wine-Braised Short Ribs »
Cheat your way through making a homemade pot pie crust by using a food processor. Then, use your favorite Dutch oven to roast fresh vegetables and chicken to perfection.
Get the recipe for Creamy Chicken Potpies »
This seafood borrows the best elements from moist crab cakes by blitzing together in a food processor.
Get the recipe for Wild-Salmon Cakes with Quinoa Salad »
This delicately plated salmon may look like it requires a ton of prep work, but the reality is that you simply rub it with spices — and let the oven do the rest! A side of green beans can go on the bottom rack.
Get the recipe for Almond-Crusted Creole Salmon »
For a meat-free holiday dinner that’s heavy on the veggies and ready in less than 30 minutes, this creamy pasta dish can’t be beat.
Get the recipe from Delish »
RELATED: 38 Hearty Recipes for the Vegetarian Christmas Dinner of Your Dreams
There’s something about dining on mussels that feels decadent and festive for the holidays. Even better, the colors of this dish just scream Christmas, thanks to bright-red sauce and a fresh parsley garnish. Essential: Don’t forget some crunchy bread for dipping.
Get the recipe from Delish »
Use some of your pre-made stuffing to transform beef meatballs into a once-in-a-year Thanksgiving treat. You’ll roast them to perfection in a hot broiler in under 20 minutes.
Get the recipe for Stuffing Meatballs »
Making a creamy, vegetarian-friendly Alfredo sauce from scratch sounds like a fun kitchen task on Christmas. It’s made easier thanks to the blender’s quick work in blitzing roasted peppers and cream into a lavish sauce.
Get the recipe for Pasta With Red Pepper Alfredo »
A classic pork roast probably feels like too much when cooking for two, but these garlic-thyme pork chops—which pair well with roasted veggies—are a perfect stand-in.
Get the recipe for Garlic-Thyme Pork Chops from What’s Gaby Cooking »
Topped with a delightful combination of mint, lemon, and garlic, these fancy-looking lamb chops deliver on flavor in a big way. Bonus: The recipe only requires a few ingredients, leaving you with a short-and-sweet shopping list. Plus, you can pair them with whichever Christmas side dishes you’d like.
Get the recipe for Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata »


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