Home Recipe Roundup 10 Traditional Canadian Christmas Foods

10 Traditional Canadian Christmas Foods

This list may be a short one, but these 10 Canadian Christmas foods are just 10 more reasons to love our neighbors to the north (assuming you’re reading this in the U.S., of course). 

Canadian people have their own specific Christmas traditions, but just like folks in every other state, country, and continent, those traditions usually involve food. 

A Stack of Nanaimo Bars
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Many of the recipes on this list are ones you’re probably familiar with – roast turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, etc. – and likely enjoy in your own Christmas dinners. 

Still, you can never have too many ways to make your holiday favorites, and there should be at least a few new things on this Canadian Christmas foods list for you to try, as well. 

1. Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo bars are incredibly decadent, but that’s okay for the holiday season. After all, Christmas only comes once a year. 

I won’t judge you for making them for every other holiday, either!

These triple-layer confections include a rich Nanaimo base made from butter, sugar, water, Dutch cocoa powder, shredded coconut, graham cracker wafer crumbs, and ground almonds.

The next layer is a soft, silky, and totally rich buttercream filling. Then, you’ll top it off with homemade chocolate ganache.

In other words, they’re three layers of divine yumminess. 

If you’re a fan of overly sweet Christmas treats, these bars are the way to go. 

2. Christmas Tourtiere

Of course, Christmas isn’t entirely about sweets. So if you’re looking for something more savory, give this recipe for Christmas tourtiere a try. 

It has a fantastic flaky crust, and the filling contains all kinds of tasty goodies, including pork, beef stock, onions, garlic, mushrooms, celery, and more. 

Along with the herby seasonings, you’ll also add a dash of cinnamon and cloves for a genuinely seasonal flair.

Every bite is a testament to this dish’s scrumptiousness.

3. Roast Turkey

This recipe is for anyone hoping to make the perfect golden-brown bird for Christmas (or Thanksgiving!). 

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It takes a little over 4 hours to complete your turkey with this recipe, and you’ll have the tenderest, juiciest meat and the crispiest, most well-seasoned skin imaginable. 

This one is also an excellent choice if you like your bird to have a rich, herb flavor, as it combines several yummy herbs and seasonings. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you’re looking for a simple, healthy side dish, these four-ingredient Brussels sprouts are just the thing.

All you’ll need to make them are the sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

It’s not my favorite recipe for Brussels sprouts (that one includes garlic and parmesan).

However, if you want something simple with nothing to mask the fresh, green flavor of the sprouts, this one is better for that.

It also keeps them nice and crisp, which is always a plus. 

5. Sausage and Herb Stuffing

If you’ve grown a bit tired of your typical cornbread or turkey stuffing, try something new this year with this recipe for sausage and herb stuffing instead. 

It still has all the yummy herbs that make stuffing so good (sage, rosemary, garlic, etc.) and the same veggies, but there are thick, succulent pieces of Italian sausage, as well. 

Whether you want to use it as actual stuffing or prefer to eat it as a side dish by itself, you won’t be disappointed in its great taste and unbelievable heartiness. 

6. Buche de Noel

Ah! The gorgeous yule log! I’ve seen dozens of these over the years, and I’m always impressed with the creativity and artistry that goes into making them. 

Luckily, you don’t have to be an artist or all that creative to pull one together, as they’re much more straightforward than they seem like they would be. 

If you follow the steps in this recipe, you’ll have your yule log ready in no time (though some things need to sit idly for several hours, so don’t wait until the last minute). 

The trick to making a beautiful yule log is to relax and just have fun with it.

Remember, even if it doesn’t look all that great, it’s still going to taste incredible, so you have nothing to worry about at all! 

7. Butter Tarts

These butter tarts have a rich, buttery, old-fashioned pastry crust and an equally sweet and buttery filling. 

You can adjust the precise flavor of your tarts by swapping out your “extra” ingredient in the filling.

Most people use golden raisins, but you can use nuts, chocolate chips, caramels, etc. 

Either way, people are sure to love them. 

8. French Canadian Christmas Cake

French Canadian Christmas cake is a simple, traditional cake that’s light, fluffy, and unbelievably moist. There’s no icing or glaze. 

Instead, you’ll flavor the cake with various spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon), nuts, raisins, molasses, and more. You’ll even use a cup of salted pork! 

I know that sounds crazy, right? But think of it like adding crunchy, salty bacon to a pan of chocolate brownies, and it’ll probably make more sense. 

Trust me, despite how strange it sounds, this cake is phenomenal, and Canadian or not, you’ll want to make it a part of your own Christmas traditions from now on. 

9.  Mashed Potatoes

You can make these fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes with only four ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

Best of all, it only takes about 35 minutes. 

And these potatoes are the real deal. They aren’t instant potatoes from a package or box.

You’ll make these from four pounds of russet potatoes, and you’ll love every buttery, garlicky bite. 

10. Mulled Wine

Mulled wine has become a holiday favorite all across the globe, and it’s pretty much a staple during Canadian Christmases. 

It has all the things that make mulled wine great – a dry red wine base, lemon and orange zest, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves – but it’s Canada, so there’s also a half cup of maple syrup. 

The maple syrup (and optional maple sugar) helps sweeten the overall drink and adds the rich flavor of maple, for which Canada is so well known.

10 Traditional Canadian Christmas Foods


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NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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