Houses are being decorated, festive recipes are shared and the holiday spirit is thick in the air. It’s known as the most wonderful time of the year. A time when we all look forward to spending quality time with the people we love most and making merry memories together. And after the challenging year we’ve all faced, the joy of the holidays has never been more exciting. So, you may have been dreaming of your Christmas dinner longer than usual, thinking about all of the tasty and heart-warming foods you’ve enjoyed year after year.
Keep that tradition going with close family as you plan your small gathering with loved ones. And speaking of planning, we’ve written this blog to be your guide for organizing a wonderfully delicious Christmas dinner, everything from menu prep and portions to ways to save in order to cook up a budget-friendly meal.
Plan Your Merry Menu
The biggest question for every cook in the family during the holidays is, “What should I make for Christmas dinner?”. After all, you probably have so many recipes you’ve tried in the past, your traditional go-to’s and festive dishes you’ve wanted to make. You certainly could make ten different recipes, but that would take quite a while in the kitchen. Instead, here is a good rule of thumb for planning your merry menu and the number of dishes to make based on the size of your family.
- Family of 2 to 3: one main protein, two sides (including a starch and a vegetable) and one dessert
- Family of 4 to 6: one main protein, three sides and one dessert
- Family of 8 to 10: one to two main proteins (depending on size), three sides and two desserts
You can, of course, make more than what we’ve listed above, especially if a big tradition in your household is eating the leftovers over the next day or two. But, this is a good starting point to help you narrow down the recipe selections. Then, it’s time to think about the number of portions.
Perfect Portions for a Small Christmas Celebration
We’ve now helped you determine how many recipes to make for your Christmas dinner, but the next question that comes to mind is how much to make. That all comes down to portion size! From starters and main dishes to sides and desserts, don’t feel like you have to just guess how much will be enough to make sure there is plenty to go around the table. We’ve got your back! Let’s take a close look at portion sizes to figure out what you need to pick up from your neighborhood Food Lion to make a holiday meal to remember.
Christmas Dinner Starters
Planning to make a little snack to keep your family’s cravings satisfied until dinner is served? Great idea! Whether you want to make a dip or something bite-sized, follow these suggestions for Christmas starters.
- Dips & Cheeseballs: Plan on each person eating about ⅓ cup each.
- Bite-Sized Snacks: Make two or three pieces per person, depending on the appetizers’ size and whether or not they include a protein. If they are on the lighter side like in our Hummus & Cucumber Slices recipe, you may want to make a few extra.
Can’t decide what starter to make? How about our festive Pigs-In-A-Blanket Christmas Wreath recipe that’s perfect for your small family gathering? You may even have a few leftover pieces that you can enjoy for lunch the next day. Sounds like a win-win, right? Plus, you can enjoy a classic snack that the whole family knows and loves with this recipe, but made in a wreath shape that will help make your Christmas meal feel even merrier.
Christmas Dinner Main Dishes
Two proteins usually make the center of your holiday dinner - turkey and ham. Which is your go-to food tradition? Either way, plan on serving roughly 1.5 pounds of meat per person. However, if you’re feeding a family of six or less, you may not want to make a whole turkey or ham (but, of course, you absolutely can). Turkey breasts can be a great small gathering solution.
If you’re planning on serving ham, but want to do so on a smaller scale, check out our recipe for Cranberry-Glazed Ham Steaks. Not only will you and your family get to eat your favorite holiday protein, but you’ll also enjoy the festive flavor of cranberry all in one Christmas dinner dish.
Now, let’s move onto holiday sides!
Christmas Dinner Casseroles
Casseroles are a must-have when it comes to side dishes for many families during the holiday season. They’re comforting, savory and so delicious! And typically, when making a casserole in a 13x9-inch baking dish, they serve eight people. So, if you have a family of four or less, you may want to consider cutting the recipe in half and baking your casserole in a smaller vessel.
Looking for some recipe inspiration for your holiday side dish? We have a great example of a casserole that’ll be perfect for a smaller family gathering of eight or less - our Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole. Bring the flavor of this classic creamy potato dish up a notch with additions like cheese, bacon, scallions and crushed potato chips. Get the full list of ingredients on our recipe portal!
After a tasty Christmas dinner, it’s time for something to satisfy your family’s sweet tooth. Whether pie is your tradition or maybe cookies, cheesecake, dessert bars or cake, here are some tips on how much to expect to serve per person for your little holiday celebration:
- Dessert Bars: one bar per person
- Pie, Cheesecake & Cake: each 9-inch dessert can be sliced into eight to twelve pieces (depending on how large you want your portions to be), and you can plan on serving one slice per person
- Christmas Cookies: one or two cookies per person
Speaking of Christmas cookies, these Eggnog Snickerdoodles make about ten cookies total, which could make them perfect for your Christmas meal this year. And besides being a smaller batch, they’re also made with the festive flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and eggnog, taking a classic cookie recipe and turning them into a merry addition to your holiday menu.
Sleigh the Season with Savings at Food Lion
After reading this Christmas dinner shopping guide blog, you’re ready to make your grocery list and head to your local Food Lion to pick up everything you need at low prices you can count on. But, if you want to save even more this season, there are multiple ways you can do that when shopping with us:
- Use your MVP card for exclusive MVP pricing on some of your favorite items.
- Make sure you have a digital MVP account for even more savings, including digital coupons, access to Shop & Earn rewards and more.
- Visit the MVP Savings Center in-store kiosk to get additional personalized coupons.
- Check our Weekly Specials Flyer.
- Shop our brands when looking for your ingredients at extra low prices.
Now, get shopping, start saving and make your merry meal with the tips we’ve listed in this blog for a memorable Christmas dinner you and your family will love. We wish you the happiest and sweetest of holidays!