Home Recipe Roundup 37 Best Make-Ahead Christmas Recipes

37 Best Make-Ahead Christmas Recipes

Are you looking for some easy, make-ahead Christmas recipes? You’ve come to the right place! 

From decorating your tree to buying presents for your loved ones, the holiday season can get overwhelming.

And this doesn’t even include coming up with a Christmas party menu! 

Mini Beef Wellington with Dipping Sauce
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You might already be panicking about how you’ll get through the Christmas rush.

But I have something here that’ll help take some of the pressure off.

This collection of make-ahead Christmas recipes is complete from starters to entrees to desserts.

You can certainly build your entire menu with it.

Don’t leave it to the last minute! Prepare these holiday dishes now and they’ll be perfect for later’s Christmas get-togethers. 

Christmas cheers!

1. Pigs in a Blanket with Cranberry Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Pigs in a blanket are always a hit at holiday parties, and for good reason!

They’re easy to make, crowd-pleasing, and can be served as both an appetizer and a main dish. 

This year, transform the classic appetizer from basic to show-stopping with a simple cranberry honey mustard dipping sauce. 

The sweet and tangy sauce is the perfect complement to the savory pork sausage and can be made ahead of time.

Less time in the kitchen, more time for entertaining!

2. Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples, Walnuts & Parmesan

If you’re looking for a healthy yet tasty way to spruce up your holiday dinner table, look no further than this Brussels sprout salad

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Although Brussels sprouts are often thought of as being bland, this salad is anything but! 

The addition of apples, walnuts, and parmesan gives it a lovely sweetness and crunch.

More importantly, the make-ahead nature of the recipe means that you can spend more time enjoying your family.

3. Fried Goat Cheese Salad

Here’s an easy way to jazz up any ordinary salad: put some deep-fried goat cheese on top!

This salad also features beets, carrots, avocado, radishes, peas, and berries, all tied together by a sweet and tangy raspberry dressing.

Honestly, though, while the fried cheese enhances the salad.

The teamwork among all the ingredients makes this recipe work.

4. Christmas Fruit Salad

This make-ahead Christmas fruit salad is yet another ideal holiday side dish or dessert.

It’s packed with festive red and green fruits, and it only takes a few minutes to assemble. 

Be sure to make your fruit salad days in advance so the flavors have enough time to marry. 

Plus, this way, all you have to do on Christmas day is take it out and enjoy it! 

5. Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, and Candied Pecans

This recipe combines goat cheese, pears, and candied pecans to make a festive and delicious Christmas salad. 

From the tangy goat cheese to the sweet pears to the crunchy candied pecans, every item in this salad is irresistible. 

The maple-balsamic dressing ties everything together perfectly, to boot.

6. Christmas Salad

Here’s another Christmas salad that’ll get you into the holiday spirit! 

It’s packed with spring greens, orange slices, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, and candied pecans. 

The dressing is a simple honey mustard vinaigrette, which can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. 

The best part is that it gets better as it sits.

The greens will soften slightly and absorb the flavors of the dressing, making them even more delicious. 

7. Broccoli Salad

This broccoli salad is loaded with festive ingredients like dried cranberries, crunchy almonds, and sunflower seeds. 

Plus, it’s tossed in a citrus dressing made with mayonnaise, citrus juices, and poppy seeds!

This salad can also be made a day ahead of time, which makes it ideal for busy holiday hosting.

8. Holiday Crunch Salad

This quinoa salad is an excellent option for both vegans and non-vegans alike. 

It’s packed with healthy ingredients like pomegranate seeds, almonds, and quinoa.

It fills the bowl with Christmas colors and a wonderful crunch.

Plus, it’s an easy recipe to double or triple if you’re feeding a crowd.

9. Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

Craving a taste of your favorite restaurant but don’t want to leave the comfort of your home? I’ve got you covered.

This copycat salad is made with chopped chicken, cabbage, green onions, and crispy chow mein noodles.

It’s all tossed in a sweet and tangy honey mustard dressing. 

It’s sure to be a hit at your next holiday gathering!

10. Amish Macaroni Salad

Amish macaroni salad is easy to make and can be made ahead of time so you can enjoy your holiday with your family and friends. 

It’s made with elbow macaroni, mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, sweet relish, onion, and celery. 

It’s one of my favorite Christmas potluck recipes, and is always a hit with kids and adults alike.

11. Maple Glazed Ham

Ham is a classic Christmas recipe, and this maple-glazed ham is the best way to give it a festive twist. 

The key to any good glaze is getting the right balance of sweetness and acidity, and this recipe hits the nail on the head. 

The maple syrup adds a deep, rich sweetness that is offset by the tartness of the mustard. 

This creates a complex flavor that pairs perfectly with the smokiness of the Christmas yum I mean ham. 

12. Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce

This year, surprise your family with your epic cooking prowess through this slow-cooker beef brisket! 

Don’t worry, this recipe is easy to follow, and the end result is a juicy and flavorful brisket that will surely disappear in minutes. 

Once it’s cooked, simply slice and serve with your favorite sides.

13. Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

If you’re looking to impress your guests, look no further than slow cooker beef bourguignon. 

This French classic is traditionally made with beef, carrots, and potatoes stewed in a rich, red wine sauce.

It’s a hearty dish that’s perfect for a winter feast!

14. Amazing Slow Cooker Short Ribs

A Christmas dinner wouldn’t be complete without a delicious and hearty main course.

For that, you can’t go wrong with these slow cooker short ribs. 

The combination of slow-cooked beef, red wine, and herbs creates a mouthwatering dish.

It will surely delight even the pickiest eaters. 

Serve with mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables for a complete Christmas feast.

15. Pot Roast

Pot roast is hearty and filling, and always brings back memories of Christmases past. 

The key to a good pot roast is to cook it slowly so that the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender and the vegetables are full of flavor. 

It all sounds like such a chore, but your involvement here will really only take 15 minutes.

The slow cooker does the rest of the work!

16. Orange Sage Christmas Chicken

Care to try something different this year?

If you want something different other than turkey or ham, how does orange sage chicken sound?

Roasted in orange juice, butter, white wine, sage, and more herbs, the humble bird is transformed into a show-stopping main course.  

17. Make-Ahead Roasted Turkey

Roasting turkey is one of the most time-consuming tasks, so why not do it in advance? 

This make-ahead roasted turkey recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy a stress-free holiday. 

Simply roast the turkey a few days before Christmas, then store it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.

See, life doesn’t have to be so complicated!

18. Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

There’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of beef stew to warm up on a cold winter’s day. 

This old-fashioned recipe is the perfect way to spread Christmas cheer!

There’s something about the combination of tender chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes, and onions that just hits the spot.

Serve it with some crusty bread and enjoy.

19. Beef Wellington

Going fancy this year’s Christmas celebration? I can’t think of a better main course than beef Wellington.

This classic dish is made with beef tenderloin topped with mushroom duxelles and wrapped in a flaky puff pastry

I was once under the impression that this dish was ridiculously difficult to make.

Little did I know that it’s a fairly easy dish to make (thanks for that, Gordon Ramsay).

It can be made ahead of time, which is always a bonus during the busy holidays. 

20. Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

This easy, make-ahead meatloaf is perfect for feeding a crowd. 

And it’s also not just your average meatloaf, either. Let me introduce you to the cowboy meatloaf and potato casserole.

It’s juicy meatloaf at the bottom and rich and hearty mashed potatoes on top.

Think shepherd’s pie, but with a cowboy twist!

21. Bisquick Turkey Pot Pie

What’s better than a warm, comforting pot pie on a cold winter night?

This version, made with Bisquick and turkey, is perfect for busy holiday evenings!

This flaky pie is filled with turkey bits and veggies coated in a delectable gravy, and it’s sure to warm you up from the inside out.

22. Make-Ahead Soft Yeast Rolls

Do you like to have dinner rolls with your Christmas dinner? I definitely do, and I think this is the perfect recipe for it.

There’s something about the combination of Christmas flavors and buttery, homemade bread that just makes me happy. 

I especially love it when the rolls are fresh out of the oven and still warm. Mmm.

23. Reindeer Cookies

For a festive Christmas dessert that’s also a thoughtful homemade present, say hello to these adorable reindeer cookies!

These are soft peanut butter cookies at the base and decorated with candies and cookies to achieve that charming reindeer look.

These cookies are easy to make and always go over well with friends and family.

Plus, they add a bit of Christmas magic to any gathering.

24. Butterhorn Dinner Rolls

Butterhorn dinner rolls are essentially dinner rolls shaped like crescent rolls.

They’re buttery, flaky, and absolutely delightful.

Festive and delicious, they make a fantastic addition to any holiday meal.

25. Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes, but I don’t always have time to make them from scratch on Christmas.

That’s why I like to keep a batch of creamy, make-ahead mashed potatoes in the fridge.

For that, I can always count on this recipe.

This side dish is perfect for easy Christmas dinners and potlucks, and they always please a crowd. 

Plus, they’re super simple to make.

Just mash everything together until it’s nice and smooth, and then store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. 

When you’re ready to serve, just heat it up in the microwave or oven. Awesome!

26. Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce

Serving ham or turkey at this year’s Christmas party? Don’t forget about the cranberry sauce!

The tart and tangy flavor of the cranberries is the perfect complement to these traditional Christmas mains

If you’re looking for an easy cranberry sauce recipe that you can make ahead of time, feel free to use mine.

It takes just minutes to prepare, and you can store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to serve it. 

27. Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Are you looking for an easy way to make phenomenal gravy for Christmas dinner? Well, you’re in luck! 

Slow-cooked for over 3 hours, you can expect nothing but outrageously umami-rich flavors from this dark and silky gravy.

It can be made ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about last-minute preparations.

28. Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Let’s head over to dessert central, shall we?

Let’s kick things off with these cinnamon rolls that are so soft and pillowy that you’ll want to rest your head on them.

Every nook and cranny of these rolls are coated with cinnamon sugar, with a bonus cream cheese frosting on top.

The recipe is a little bit time-consuming, but it’s well worth it. 

29. Cherry Danish

This cherry danish is another excellent Christmas dessert. 

I mean, that bright red cherry filling on top alone will definitely give you major holiday feels.

Flavor and texture-wise, it doesn’t disappoint either. 

From the flaky crust to the creamy custard filling to the sweet cherry topping, this danish is simply divine.

Plus, it’s easy to make. Just roll out the dough, fill it with cherries, and bake.

This danish is sure to become a Christmas classic!

30. Tiramisu

Light, fluffy, and decadent all at the same time, tiramisu is another beloved dessert that never lasts more than an hour.

This Italian cake is made with ladyfinger dipped in coffee and layered with sweetened mascarpone and dusted with cocoa powder.

Come to mama!

As a bonus, tiramisu is a no-bake dessert, so it’s perfect for those who don’t have much experience in baking.

31. Gingerbread Cookies

If you like your sweets infused with a little bit of spice, then these gingerbread cookies are calling your name.

They’re almost too adorable not to eat, but too delicious not to!

Gingerbread cookies are made with lots of spices, including ginger and cinnamon, which give them a warm and festive flavor. 

32. Aged Eggnog

We’re all familiar with eggnog, the quintessential Christmas beverage.

But what about aged eggnog? Bet you didn’t know it was a thing until now!

Turns out, allowing the eggnog to mature in the fridge results in a smoother, richer, and more flavorful drink.

Some people age their eggnog for months, while others only do it for a few weeks.

There is no right or wrong answer, and it all comes down to personal preference. 

33. Cranberry Eggnog Coffee Cake 

This cranberry eggnog coffee cake is the perfect holiday dessert or breakfast.

The cake is moist and fluffy, with a rich eggnog flavor. 

The cranberries add a tartness that balances out the sweetness of the cake, and the cinnamon streusel topping gives it a lovely crunch. 

This coffee cake is best served warm, with a cup of coffee or tea. It will make your house smell like Christmas, too!

34. Apple Cranberry Crumble

This apple cranberry crumble is a fun and festive dessert guaranteed to delight everyone at your holiday gathering. 

Made with fresh apples and cranberries, and topped with oats, nuts, and brown sugar, this comfort food will definitely hit the spot. 

Plus, it might not look it, but this dessert is actually light and healthy!

35. Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Christmas is the best time to bake cut-out sugar cookies. They’re soft, buttery, and so darn cute!

There’s nothing more traditional than spending time in the kitchen with family and friends and baking up a batch of cookies. 

Plus, this recipe is so easy, anyone can pull it off. No matter your skill level, these cookies will come out perfectly every time. 

And they’re so delicious, you’ll be tempted to eat them all before Santa arrives!

36. Pecan Pie 

This rich and decadent pie is the perfect ending to a holiday feast. 

The filling is made with pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, and eggs, and the whole thing is baked in a flaky pastry crust. 

Enjoy it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Heaven!

37. Cranberry Cheesecake 

This no-bake cranberry cheesecake is the perfect solution for those who can’t bake.

It’s the perfect homemade dessert to bring to an office Christmas party.

It’s incredibly easy to make, but it definitely doesn’t taste like it! 

This cheesecake is insanely silky and creamy.

Topped with macerated cranberries, it has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

37 Best Make-Ahead Christmas Recipes

Have a fuss-free holiday with these make-ahead Christmas recipes! From appetizers to salads to entrees and desserts, this list has it all.


  • Pigs in a Blanket with Cranberry Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples, Walnuts & Parmesan

  • Fried Goat Cheese Salad

  • Christmas Fruit Salad

  • Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, and Candied Pecans

  • Christmas Salad

  • Broccoli Salad

  • Holiday Crunch Salad

  • Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

  • Amish Macaroni Salad

  • Maple Glazed Ham

  • Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce

  • Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

  • Amazing Slow Cooker Short Ribs

  • Pot Roast

  • Orange Sage Christmas Chicken

  • Make- Ahead Roasted Turkey

  • Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

  • Beef Wellington

  • Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

  • Bisquick Turkey Pot Pie

  • Make-Ahead Soft Yeast Rolls

  • Reindeer Cookies

  • Butterhorn Dinner Rolls

  • Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce

  • Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

  • Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

  • Cherry Danish

  • Tiramisu

  • Gingerbread Cookies

  • Aged Eggnog

  • Cranberry Eggnog Coffee Cake

  • Apple Cranberry Crumble

  • Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • Pecan Pie

  • Cranberry Cheesecake


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  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Christmas recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Make-Ahead Christmas Recipes

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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