25 Healthy Christmas Dinner IdeasArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Many of us look forward to the holiday season all year long. We love taking a pause from our daily routines to spend time with family and friends and to feast on special meals together. You might think you have to take a break from your healthy eating plan if you want to join in the fun. However, this list of healthy Christmas dinner ideas offers you appetizing recipes that you can proudly serve and you enjoy yourself. They’re full of seasonal flavors that guests will savor, yet they still fit with your Nutrisystem weight loss plan. Some of them are sure to become traditions at your holiday celebrations.
Salmon makes an elegant entrée for your guests. For you, the meaty fish is a PowerFuel that’s high in protein and low in fats, so you can enjoy the occasion and stick with your weight loss diet. Everyone will love the salmon’s rich flavor when it’s enhanced with a sweet and acidic orange glaze and tart pomegranate seeds. Complete the Orange Pomegranate Glazed Salmon meal with simple yet tasty roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts browned to bring out their natural sweetness.
Roast beef is a crowd pleaser at holiday meals. It’s flavorful and filling, and sure to satisfy any appetite. As the beef is roasting, warm aromas fill your home. To make it extra savory, we give it a buttery topping featuring fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary and parsley in our Holiday Herb Butter Roast Beef recipe. The roast beef goes into the oven in the same pan as potatoes and carrots, so they’re all cooking together while you relax and enjoy the day.
What could make meatballs better? How about stuffing them with melty mozzarella cheese? These Instant Pot Stuffed Meatballs in Marinara Sauce are so quick and easy to prepare using lean ground beef, chicken or turkey, plus the handy Instant Pot. Even the zesty marinara sauce is done in minutes. Make them for a neighborhood potluck or office party and watch them disappear. Be sure to set a few aside for yourself to eat over a bed of spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini noodles when you need a satisfying Flex meal.
Making a classic turkey dinner does not have to be an all-day activity for you. With Instant Pot Holiday Turkey Breast, you get the tender, moist and flavorful turkey that used to take hours in the oven, but it’s ready to serve in less than 60 minutes. We use the turkey breast because it’s high in protein and low in saturated fats, and it comes out of the Instant Pot warm and evenly cooked every time.
Your traditional Christmas turkey dinner gets a fresh take with this simple but impressive Turkey Roulade dish. It starts with tender turkey breast that’s filled with a mix of sweet butternut squash, savory spinach and tart cranberries. It is all rolled into a log and baked in the oven until it’s warm and fragrant. It comes out looking like a sophisticated dish but it’s so delicious, easy to make and good for you that you may want make it throughout the year.
This sophisticated Filet Mignon with Mushroom Cream Sauce satisfies hearty appetites yet fits into your healthy weight loss plan. You start with tender and juicy filet mignon steaks, which are leaner than other cuts. They’re cooked in the skillet and topped with a rich, buttery and creamy sauce that includes meaty mushrooms and zesty onions. Best of all, the whole dish is quick and easy to make for two or four people.
Lobster turns a meal into a celebration. You don’t have to bust your budget to enjoy it during the holidays. Frozen lobster tails can be found at an affordable price and they come out perfect using the air fryer in less than 10 minutes. With our Air Fryer Lobster Tail recipe, the tender meat almost melts in your mouth. It tastes even better when you brush it with our dressing, made with light butter, lemon juice and spices.
Succulent shrimp and tender pasta dumplings make perfect partners in this satisfying Christmas dinner idea. They’re mixed and coated in a rich and creamy sauce sparked with garlic. It seems so indulgent that you might find it hard to believe it fits into your healthy eating plan. No one else will notice that this Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Gnocchi is made with high-fiber whole wheat gnocchi and low-fat cream cheese, so you can enjoy serving and eating it.
This recipe for Garlic and Mint Lamb Chops with Spinach and Mashed Sweet Potatoes is a complete meal that will make any celebration special. It features lamb chops that are seasoned for full flavor, cooked to tenderness, and topped with a minty, spicy sauce. The mashed sweet potatoes are creamy smooth and sugary tasting. For a boost of savory flavor and powerful nutrients, add a side of sautéed spinach. By the time you finish eating Christmas dinner, all your tastebuds will be lit up.
If seafood is part of your holiday tradition or you’d like a Christmas dinner that’s out of the ordinary, consider making scallops the main course. They’re mild-flavored, easy to prepare and low in calories. We pan sear them to caramelize the outside while the inside stays tender and juicy. They’re accompanied by a side of nutty-tasting quinoa with mushrooms and a sweet and creamy butternut squash puree. With this recipe for Pan Seared Scallops with Mushroom Quinoa and Butternut Puree, everyone will leave the table feeling full and happy.
Whether you’re going to an office party or neighborhood get-together, or just having coffee with a friend, this sweet Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Bread is a delicious treat to share. It’s bursting with holiday flavors like tart cranberries, zesty orange and real vanilla. Applesauce in the batter keeps the bread moist and adds natural sweetness. Because it’s made with high-fiber whole wheat flour, you can save a slice for your breakfast.
We give the classic holiday side a makeover that’s full of color, flavor and extra nutrients. The tart taste of cranberries complements the sweet apples, while cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves add a bit of zip. Starting with fresh fruit gives this Slow Cooker Cranberry Applesauce a truly homemade feel. Now here’s the part where you feel really good: the applesauce comes together in a slow cooker and you can serve it warm.
Turkey gets a lot of love during the holiday season, but duck can be a sophisticated and tasty alternative for Christmas dinner. The meat stays juicy and tender as it roasts. In our Honey Roasted Holiday Duck recipe, we use a honey and orange glaze that sweetens the flavor and gives it an appetizing glow when it comes out of the oven. This time of year, you can find fresh or frozen duck in the meat department of most supermarkets.
Here’s an appetizer that looks chic and tastes enchanting, but it is simple to make and comes together in minutes. To make this 5-Ingredient Baked Blackberry Brie Baguette, you start with a whole-wheat baguette, a long loaf of French bread that’s crusty outside with a soft and chewy middle. The bread is sliced open and inside goes creamy brie cheese and that’s topped with sweet blackberries and a drizzle of honey. Baking it all briefly melts the cheese and blends all the flavors into one satisfying bite.
Cool temperatures bring out the natural sweetness in Brussels sprouts, so they’re at their peak when the holiday season arrives. Plus, they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals to help you stay healthy. Even more important, Brussels sprouts are versatile. For this simple Warm Brussels Sprouts Cranberry Salad, the little green heads are shredded and then lightly heated along with cranberries in a bit of olive oil. Once the leaves and berries are tender, they’re blended with shallots and chopped nuts, then topped with a simple homemade honey dressing.
Mashed potatoes are a holiday favorite for many families, but you might pass on them because they can be loaded with excess calories and fats. With this 2-Step Herb Mashed Potatoes recipe, you can make mashed potatoes tastier than ever and enjoy them without worry yourself. You use nonfat milk and light butter and the potatoes come out just as creamy and smooth as they do with heavy cream and full-fat butter. For a punch of flavor, add herbs like thyme and rosemary, along with garlic and onion powder. Then wait as everyone asks for more.
Mix up your vegetable game with this fresh and delicious recipe for Creamed Brussels Sprouts. It starts with Brussels sprouts that are charred in butter to bring out their sweetness and add smoky flavor. They’re bathed in a creamy sauce made with cheddar and Parmesan cheese. After baking in the oven, the dish comes out warm and gooey. This just might become your favorite way to eat this nutrient-dense, non-starchy vegetable.
One-Pan Chicken Parmesan and Green Beans is a special meal any day of the year. When you serve it on a holiday, everyone is sure to be happy. Just as you expect, this version is made with chicken breasts coated in breadcrumbs with herbs and spices. They bake until they’re crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside, then topped with zingy marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. You can save time and trouble by adding green beans to the pan as the chicken cooks.
Here’s how to serve an elegant Christmas dinner and spend time with your family and guests. Simply bake salmon filets, potatoes and green pans in a single pan. We like to give the salmon a jolt of flavor with pesto sauce. This Sheet Pan Pesto Salmon and Veggies recipe makes the whole day more relaxing for you because the complete meal comes out of the oven together and is ready for you to serve right away.
If you think pork chops can’t be part of your healthy holiday meals, this recipe for Bone-in Pork Chops with Mashed Sweet Potato and Roasted Broccoli is for you. Start by looking for lean pork chops with the bones still in them, which helps to keep them moist as they cook. They get a simple seasoning that brings out the meat’s natural flavors and then they’re seared to tenderness. Mashed sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli add color and complementary flavors to the plate.
Simple can be satisfying. Like this Roasted Chicken with Rainbow Carrots and Potatoes, for instance. The chicken is perfectly seasoned with herbs and spices, then slow roasted in the oven until it’s golden brown on the outside and juicy on the inside. Add colorful carrots and red potatoes to the pan as it cooks to round out the meal. The chicken comes out glistening and fragrant, ready to slice and serve. The vegetables are tender and flavorful. It’s the perfect Christmas dinner idea!
Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes are a hearty side dish that’s loved by young and old. You can enjoy them, too, when you make them with this simple recipe. The potatoes are coated with a creamy, cheesy sauce that’s made with low-calorie ingredients like nonfat milk, reduced fat cheddar cheese and light butter. While everyone else is raving about the flavor, you’ll be smiling at the healthy choice you made.
If your clan demands mac and cheese but you want to avoid the high-calorie temptation, you can make this alternative. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese has all the rich, cheesy goodness they want, but high-fiber cauliflower takes the place of ordinary macaroni, so this dish is extra filling. It’s so quick and easy to make, you don’t need to wait for a holiday to whip it up.
When you need a quick and easy appetizer for your Christmas dinner, Cranberry Brie Baguette Bites are your solution. You just cut a loaf of crusty French bread into bite-sized pieces and top them with thin slices of creamy brie cheese. After the bread is warm and the cheese has melted, you top it with a dressing made from real cranberries, honey and orange zest. Each bite treats your tastebuds to a symphony of flavors and textures.
Instead of the traditional high-calorie dish with the sugary marshmallows, try these simple yet tasty Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes. They’re sliced into coins and tossed with melted butter, garlic, rosemary and pepper for extra flavor. The sweet potato slices get even sweeter and turn crispy in the oven. They’re so low in calories, you can even enjoy any leftovers the next day.