Over 30 Healthy Christmas Dinner Ideas that will surely WOW your guests! These nutritious, straightforward Christmas Dinner Recipes are geared toward making your holiday as simple and mouth-watering delicious as possible! Included in the post are Christmas dinner sides and desserts too!

25 Healthy Christmas Dinner Ideas! Easy, mouth-watering show-stopping meals for your holiday gathering. Includes side dishes and desserts!

What does your family make for Christmas?

I asked this question on my Instagram story recently and was met with a large variety of answers. 

Lasagna, turkey, tacos, pho soup, and bagels and lox are some examples. 

When I was a kid, my family repeated Thanksgiving dinner on Christmas (turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.), but now we mix it up every year.

Rather than having one household in charge of all the cooking, we do our holiday dinners potluck style. 

This year for Christmas, we’re making burrito bowls

Each person is bringing burrito bowl add-ins (various meat options, rice, guacamole, salsa, cabbage slaw, cheese, tomatoes, etc.).

Whether you’re having a traditional or non-traditional holiday, I have rounded up my favorite sharable show-stopping dinner recipes from this site that have received rave reviews (so you don’t need to worry whether or not they will land well 😉

I have organized the recipes by protein type to make it a bit easier and have added some of my personal favorite side dishes at the end.

Let me know what you make! I hope you and your family enjoy a marvelous holiday, full of laughter, great conversation, and of course: tasty food.

30+ Healthy Christmas Dinner Ideas:


Garlic Butter Prime Rib – The most impressive prime rib recipe! Slathered in delicious flavorful garlic herb butter and roasted to perfection in the oven. This amazing prime rib recipe is show-stopping delicious for a memorable meal on special occasions.

Garlic Butter Prime Rib on a cutting board, sliced.

Beef Tenderloin– If tenderloin is more your jam, here is everything you need to know in order to cook it perfectly! I love how tender and flavorful this cut is without much fat!

Beef Tenderloin Recipe - an easy tutorial on how to cook beef tenderloin, complete with all the tips for the perfect roast

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs – Tender fall-off-the-bone Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs are remarkably rich and make for a show-stopping main entrée for any special occasion. This goof-proof short rib recipe couldn’t be any easier! If you prefer cooking in your pressure cooker, make my Instant Pot Paleo Short Ribs!

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs made with tart cherry juice for a rich, flavorful meal! So easy to prepare and incredibly delicious!

Easy Gluten-Free Lasagna – If it’s your family’s tradition to make lasagna for Christmas, you absolutely MUST make this recipe! It’s easy, cheesy, and so dreamy!

White plate of a large slice of gluten-free lasagna with the casserole dish of lasagna in the background.

Rigatoni Pasta Bolognese – If you love an amazing classic pasta, this hearty, healthy Rigatoni Bolognese (pasta with meat sauce) is out of this world! I make it using grain-free (or gluten-free) pasta noodles, but you can pick your favorite noodle. 

Rigatoni Pasta with Bolognese Sauce - an easy pasta recipe that is grain-free, paleo, gluten-free, and easy to prepare! So incredibly flavorful and satisfying!

Instant Pot Paleo Pumpkin Chili – A reader favorite! This easy pumpkin chili recipe is bean-free and loaded with flavor and ideal for those who love a good hearty meal. Just be sure to serve it with Paleo Cornbread or Gluten-Free Cornbread

Instant Pot Paleo Pumpkin Chili - quick, easy, flavorful healthy pumpkin chili perfect for the fall months. | TheRoastedRoot.net #paleo #primal #instantpot #lowcarb #pressurecooker

Prime Rib – Do you prefer simple prime rib, simply seasoned? Read this post before you have at it! I have included all my best tips and tricks for making the best, perfectly cooked prime rib that will be the talk of the table for years to come.

How to Roast Prime Rib in the oven - everything you need to know for the best prime rib

Instant Pot Pot Roast – Potentially one of the most goof-proof yet equally satisfying methods for cooking amazing shredded beef, pot roast is a win every time! For a slow cooker version, make my Slow Cooker Pot Roast!

Instant Pot Pot Roast - an easy method for cooking pot roast that turns out deliciously.

Crock Pot Beef Stew  – I’d be hard pressed to find a meal that isn’t as universally well received as beef stew. Maybe Chicken Noodle Soup… The point is, hearty beef stew is tough to beat! If you’d rather use your pressure cooker, you can make my Instant Pot Beef Stew rather than going with the slow cooker method.

Crock Pot Beef Stew - an easy and hearty recipe made in your slow cooker | TheRoastedRoot.net #recipe #dinner #meal #glutenfree

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Ground Beef Stroganoff – Ideal for those who love creamy, luscious noodles and filling meals! This one doesn’t receive accolades for how beautiful it is, but certainly gets rave reviews on its flavor. If you follow a low-carb diet or if you prefer to stick with the steak version, check out my Paleo Beef Stroganoff.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Ground Beef Stroganoff - an easy filling dinner recipe that is ultra creamy and satisfying!

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon – A classic French beef stew! Tender chunks of meat are smothered in a thick sauce made of red wine (or burgundy) and served with carrots, onion, and potatoes. For the pressure cooker version of this recipe, make my Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon.

Blue plate with French beef stew and brown rice.


Garlic Butter Roast Chicken – By far my favorite chicken recipe! This incredible garlic butter oven roasted chicken recipe turns out nice and tender with delicious skin.

Roasting pan with roast chicken inside and lemon slices and rosemary with a dark blue napkin to the side

Garlic Butter Boneless Turkey Breast – The absolute best way to cook just the breast! Your family will love this tender, flavorful roasted turkey breast recipe! If you’re looking to make the whole turkey, make my Garlic Butter Roast Turkey!

Gravy being poured on Garlic Butter Turkey Breast.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken – Fall-off-the-bone insanely tender and flavorful chicken! This is my go-to method for cooking a whole body chicken. I have even included instructions on how to get crispy chicken skin! If you prefer roasting your chicken, check out my Whole Roast Chicken and Vegetables.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken with apples - an amazingly tender and juicy chicken recipe that tastes like rotisserie chicken!

Chicken Marsala (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) – a gluten-free and dairy-free version of the Italian classic. Tender, juicy chicken breaded to perfection and nestled in a creamy garlic mushroom sauce is magically flavorful yet so easy to make! Serve it with rice, noodles, or veggies.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chicken Marsala - breaded chicken in creamy mushroom sauce

Wild Rice Chicken Casserole – An all-around feel good meal, this simple casserole recipe is nutritious, filling, and fun for a casual approach to holiday dinner. 

Wild Rice Chicken Casserole - gluten-free casserole recipe for a healthy, filling dinner | TheRoastedRoot.net

Mushroom and Stuffed Chicken Breast  – The recipe that made me re-think my relationship with breasts 😉 In all seriousness, stuffed chicken with feta cheese, mushrooms and spinach turns an otherwise boring cut of meat into an absolute dream!

Easy Stuffed Chicken with mushrooms, spinach, onion and feta. A quick, easy healthy keto dinner recipe

Paleo General Chicken Looking for a Chinese-inspired meal? Crispy, sweet and tangy General Tso’s chicken has been one of my personal favorites since early childhood and has performed well on the blog! Serve it up with Coconut Rice or one of my Fried Rice recipes for a real good time!

Healthy General Tso's Chicken made grain-free, paleo, refined sugar-free, and soy-free - an easy delicious chicken recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore – Over achieving that Italian theme with flying colors, this incredibly flavorful and tender chicken is an absolute classic! My mom’s Sicilian partner is obsessed with it, as is the rest of our family. I also have a stove top version of Chicken Cacciatore and an Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore.

Dutch oven full of chicken cacciatore with tomato sauce, fresh herbs, and vegetables

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos – My family makes these all the time! The recipe came from my sister-in-law. In fact, we’ll be making this exact shredded chicken for our burrito bowls on Christmas, along with my Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef.

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos with perfectly tender shredded chicken is so easy to prepare and perfect any time a taco craving strikes!

Are you going for the Feast of the Seven Fishes this year? Here are some mouth-watering options.


Mediterranean Salmon in Parchment Paper – A rambunctious, boldly flavored salmon that will knock your socks off and make you never look at salmon the same way again! Sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, pesto sauce, capers (and more) make this salmon out of control flavorful! This recipe continues to be a top performer on my site, years after I shared it!

Mediterranean Salmon in Parchment Paper - paleo, keto, low-carb, amazingly flavorful dinner recipe! This salmon with pesto, kalamata olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts is an epic crowd pleaser!

Crispy Skillet Salmon with Lemon Caper Dill Sauce – Crispy yet creamy, this easy Salmon with Lemon Caper Dill Sauce is a fresh and flavorful dinner recipe that covers all the flavor bases! This easy meal takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Crispy Salmon in creamy lemon dill caper sauce - dairy-free, Whole30, Keto, paleo, healthy dinner recipe!

Chili Lime Baked Cod – While this recipe is incredibly simple, it is wildly flavorful and my readers love it, regardless of the time of year! If you’re looking to keep the holidays clean, fresh, and simple, this is a great option.

Chili Lime Baked Cod - an easy baked cod recipe in a garlic chili lime marinade. Few ingredients required for this healthy paleo, whole30, keto dinner recipe!

Easy Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta – Going the Italian route this year? This easy, creamy and dreamy shrimp pasta is the perfect marriage of comforting carbs meets light, zesty fare. Make it even fancier by making my Mediterranean Shrimp Pasta!

Garlic Lemon Shrimp Pasta with a few basic ingredients. Dairy-free cream sauce with plenty of garlic for a delicious meal

4-Ingredient Mediterranean Stuffed Salmon – You’d never guess so much flavor could come from just 4 simple ingredients! This silly simple salmon recipe continues to be a reader favorite, and for a good reason. It covers all of the flavor bases and is just so easy to make!

4-Ingredient Mediterranean Stuffed Salmon

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa – Going with a Mexican theme? Christmas tacos is where it’s at! These simple, light and refreshing fish tacos are sure to make you and your family swoon!

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa are fresh, vibrant, and easy to make!

Garlic Butter Baked Halibut – This seemingly fancy main entree comes together quickly and easily and results in an impressive main dish. The garlic and butter flavors lend beautiful flavor to the otherwise subtle flavor of halibut.

Two cooked halibut filets with butter, fresh garlic, and lemon on top


Creamy Crock Pot Pork Chops with Potatoes and Mushrooms – hearty comfort food at its finest! Full of caramelized onion and garlic flavors with the most delightful creamy mushroom sauce, this amazing slow cooker pork chop recipe is one to remember!

Slow Cooker Pork Chops with creamy garlic sauce, potatoes, and mushrooms

Roasted Pork Chops and Apples – A goof-proof method for making absolutely perfect pork chops! This easy recipe turns out with the perfect crisp on the outside, a tender inside and so much flavor!

Roasted Pork Chops with cider-spiced apples, bacon, roasted garlic, and rosemary in a cast iron skillet on top of a white backdrop with a red napkin

Carnitas Enchiladas – As if carnitas and enchiladas weren’t mutually amazing on their own, combining the two makes for an otherworldly meal! If you’re going with a Mexican theme this Christmas, this is solid GOLD!

Carnitas Enchiladas

Instant Pot Pulled Pork with Pineapple – A sweet and savory ultra shredded pork recipe that is perfectly tender! Crisp it up in a frying pan after shredding it for crispy shredded pork, and serve it up in tacos, sandwiches, quesadillas, burritos, etc.

Pineapple Pork Carnitas - shredded pork made in the Instant pot with pineapple

Maple Balsamic Pork Chops with Blueberry Olive Tapenade – An easy yet magical pork chops recipe marinated in maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, and topped with blueberry olive tapenade. 

Skillet Pork Chops with Blueberry Olive Tapenade - an easy paleo dinner recipe that only requires 30 minutes and a few ingredients to prepare.

Crock Pot Carnitas Burrito Bowls – An explosion of color, flavor and texture in one amazing bowl! Easy crock pot carnitas made burrito bowl-style with rice, mango salsa, black beans, cabbage, and fried plantains. Make my Spanish Rice to go along with it! And if you prefer using your pressure cooker, make my Instant Pot Carnitas

Crock Pot Carnitas Burrito Bowls with mango salsa, black beans, fried plantains, and shredded cabbage


Looking for large, sharable side dishes to go alongside your Christmas dinner recipe? Here are some options!

What’s for dessert?

You can check out my Low-Carb Christmas Desserts for sugar-free options, or try my 3-Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies for a healthier treat. The BEST Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake for an indulgent classic that everyone loves, or my Paleo Sweet Potato Pie, which is one of my favorites!

Let me know which of these Christmas dinner ideas you try! Happy holidays to you and yours!


Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Peggy!

      Only if you think you would get regular use out of it. I use mine regularly, but I also use my slow cooker, so it just depends on what you think you’ll get use out of. The Instant Pot really just cuts down on the amount of time it takes to prepare a recipe but the end result is pretty similar between an Instant Pot and a slow cooker. I typically provide slow cooker options in my Instant Pot recipes for those who don’t have an IP. If there’s a specific recipe you’d like the conversion for you can always let me know. I hope this helps! xoxo