4 creative Christmas dinner recipes

Sunrise Senior Living  |  November 28, 2016
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Some families indulge in the same meal for Christmas as they did for Thanksgiving.

Others like to make a unique dish for Dec. 25. If you're among the people who hold this tradition dear, consider trying one of these delicious meals for the family dinner:

1. Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin with Cherries
This elegant yet simple dish by Real Simple magazine makes for a mouthwatering main course.

Ingredients:

  • 1 2-pound piece boneless pork loin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries - chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley - chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions:

First, heat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Season the pork with 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet and set aside.

Create your marinade by mixing the chopped cherries, parsley and mustard in a small bowl until well combined. Spread mixture evenly over the meat.

Lay the bacon on the pork crosswise, tucking the ends underneath. Transfer to the oven and roast for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, combine the jelly and vinegar in a small bowl. Open the oven, brush with glaze and let cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes - or until an inserted thermometer reads 150 degrees.

Remove, let rest for 10 minutes and then slice to serve.

2. Beef Tenderloin with Henry Bain Sauce
Impress your guests with this decadent recipe from Southern Living magazine.

Make rustic mashed potatoes to accompany this dish.Make rustic mashed potatoes to accompany this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce bottle chutney
  • 1 14-ounce bottle ketchup
  • 1 12-ounce bottle chili sauce
  • 1 11-ounce bottle steak sauce
  • 1 10-ounce bottle Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter - softened
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 5 lb. beef tenderloin - trimmed

Directions:

Heat your oven to 500 degrees and lightly grease a roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Use a blender to process the chutney. Gradually add ketchup, chili sauce, steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Blend until smooth, and then transfer to the refrigerator to cool for 2 hours.

In a small bowl, mix the butter, salt and pepper. Rub mixture evenly over the tenderloin, and then place it in the prepared pan.

Transfer meat to the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes - or to desired doneness.

Remove from oven and let sit for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

3. Shrimp Scampi with Linguini
Stray away from the classic meat dish and try this recipe from the Cooking Channel.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. linguini
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots - finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. shrimp
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When it reaches its bubbling point, add a tablespoon of salt and the linguini. Stir to separate and then cover. Heat for about 6 to 9 minutes, or until pasta is almost fully cooked. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes for about 4 minutes.

Add shrimp, salt and pepper to the pan and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp and shallots to a bowl and cover.

Pour wine and lemon juice in the pot and bring to a boil. Add remaining butter and olive oil and heat until melted. Transfer shrimp back into the pot, along with the cooked pasta and parsley. Mix well, season with addition salt, pepper and olive oil, and enjoy!

Your guests will love this non-traditional recipe.Your guests will love this non-traditional recipe.

4. Christmas Tortellini & Spinach Soup
For a less formal Christmas dinner, try this simple recipe form Taste of Home magazine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
  • 1 9-ounce package of cheese tortellini
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans - rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

Directions:

Using a large saucepan, heat the vegetable broth until it comes to a boil. Add tortellini and reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, salt and pepper, stirring well. Cook until the tortellinis are tender - this should take about 5 minutes.

Add fresh spinach and basil and continue to cook until wilted. Divide evenly among bowls and top with a generous amount of cheese. Enjoy!