With the chaos of planning where to meet, what to cook and where to buy gifts to celebrate Christmas day, it can be hard to come up with a simple dinner plan for Christmas Eve. Whether you are entertaining family who are visiting for the holiday or enjoying the evening with just your immediate family, you will want to make a dinner that is fulfilling and relatively easy to prepare. The key to making the ideal Christmas Eve dinner for your family is to know how many people you will be serving, and if possible, to know what you will be having as a family for dinner on Christmas day to avoid repeating meals or making something that is too similar.
Much like a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in the United States, turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables can make a great Christmas Eve dinner. Choose the size of your turkey based on the amount of guests you will be serving. While the size of the turkey you purchase can be deceiving, there are many free online turkey calculators to estimate the correct size turkey you should purchase based on the amount of dinner guests.
If you will be eating ham dinner on Christmas day and want to have something different for Christmas Eve, lasagna is a simple alternative to more traditional holiday dinners. You will want to determine the size of your lasagna by how many people you be serving and how large of servings you will be offering. In addition to the main lasagna dish, you can serve tossed salad and garlic bread or rolls. Hearty soups, such as minestrone, make a great appetizer.
Seafood is a healthy, light dinner idea for the holidays. Serve shrimp marinara with most types of pasta or rice. Food Network's Robin Miller notes that to make shrimp marinara, you will need olive oil, basic spices, garlic, tomato sauce and large de-veined, peeled shrimp. Offer a light salad or dip and crackers as an appetizer.