(AP) — Christmas is a time to enjoy dinner with family and friends. But some people spend Christmas alone or with just one or two other people. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a festive meal; in fact, psychologists say it is imperative.
Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly ideas or don’t have enough oven space for a whole turkey, these recipes are perfect for a small Christmas dinner.
The first step in budgeting for a holiday dinner is deciding what dishes you will serve and how much they will cost. Think of recipes that feature inexpensive foods like potatoes, carrots, and green beans. You can also look at what’s on sale at your local grocery store and plan your recipes around them.
Country Living recommends purchasing only what you need based on the number of guests you will be feeding. So look for recipes that make the right number of servings. You may need to downsize a recipe if you make too much and don’t want a lot of leftovers.
The holidays are the perfect time to try new recipes. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or want to try something unique this season, there are plenty of dinner recipes for one or two to please any palate.
No need for a big roast turkey, ham or ribs. Opt for a small boneless ham, turkey breast, or steak for dinner. Epicurious suggests roasting a tenderloin or poaching a whole breast in broth to reduce the size of your turkey entrée. For something a little different, try honey glazed salmon instead of ham.
For those who prefer a vegetarian meal, quinoa roasted vegetables are a great option. No matter what your preference, you can find a festive recipe to make your holiday dinner special.
Sides for a festive dinner for one or two don’t have to be complicated. In fact, with simple ingredients, you can easily make a delicious and festive meal.
According to Jamie Oliver, baked potatoes will make or break your holiday feast at Christmas dinner. They can be as simple as dicing potatoes and seasoning them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, olive oil, and herbs before roasting in the oven.
Another great side dish is mushrooms sautéed in butter and white wine; this adds a savory flavor to any meal. If you want something a little more indulgent, try making mac and cheese from scratch; worth the effort.
To complete your meal, toss together a salad that mixes your favorite greens with dried cranberries, walnuts, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette for a light but very flavorful option. With these sides, you’re sure to have an unforgettable holiday dinner for one or two.
When it comes to a festive dinner, dessert is an essential part of the meal. But, if that’s just you, try a single-serving apple pie or a quick and easy mug cake to finish off your meal without overindulging.
If you’re looking for an impressive spectacle for two, try creating a simple pavlova with egg whites and sugar. Or, make molten chocolate cakes that come together in just 20 minutes. Both desserts look amazing when served, but are easily made with inexpensive ingredients.
No matter how many people attend your gathering, there’s always room for fun holiday drinks. Why not try a small batch homemade eggnog or hot chocolate recipe? Add nutmeg or anise to enhance the traditional flavors and enjoy a well-deserved relaxation.
A small batch of punch made with cranberry juice and ginger ale can bring out the holiday spirit without the alcohol. Or add sparkle to your evening by opening a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne or sparkling wine.
How about serving a cocktail or two? Joel McHale advised Mashed readers not to sugar-bomb their holiday drinks. Instead, he suggests using seasonal flavors and ingredients like orange and cinnamon.
You can start your meal with a classic Christmas soup, such as cream of mushroom soup or broccoli cheddar. Use a good quality canned soup if you don’t have time to make it from scratch.
Another great idea is to serve a small charcuterie board with cold cuts, cheese, and crackers. You can also add healthier options like fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you want something more festive, try making mini walnut goat cheese balls as suggested on Neighborly. You can easily make them in just 10 minutes.
One top tip from Delishably is to create a festive atmosphere by putting up a Christmas tree and decorating your home for the occasion, even if you spend the holidays alone.
Simple seasonal decorations added to the table will make your holiday dinner even more special. To set the tone, add some seasonal sparkle. For a centerpiece that won’t break the bank, fill a glass container with pine cones and evergreen sprigs for a natural look perfect for Christmas. Add red berries for a pop of color.
Remember to savor every bite throughout the night, no matter what type of food you choose to serve this holiday. With creativity and careful planning, you can create a truly exceptional vacation experience, even if it’s just for one or two people.
This article was produced by Little Bit Recipes and distributed by Wealth of Geeks