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The Perfect Christmas Dinner Menu

Winter means a lot of holiday imbibing and eating, and for many of us, it's the season to cook for a crowd, too. Whether you're hosting an intimate soiree, a large gathering, or both, we've got your Christmas menu sorted with a compilation of our favorite holiday recipes from the site.

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Fig-Infused Hot Toddies: Welcome guests in from the cold with this hot, boozy beverage.

Glühwein (German Mulled Wine): This conveniently uses winter fruit and the same spices you'll be using in baked goods.

Saffron Arancini: The ultimate party bite: fried risotto balls seasoned with a luxurious spice.

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Baked Ricotta Dip: Keep guests preoccupied at the snack table while you prepare the finishing touches to your meal.

Sorrel Soup: We love recipes that can be prepared in advance. The dollop of crème fraîche gives the soup an extra detail that your guests will appreciate. In other words, they'll think you're a pro!

Warm Kabocha Squash Salad with Ricotta Toast: A warm, wintery salad with earthy flavors sets the tone for an epic Christmas dinner. The contrasting colors of the greens and the squash will look especially festive on the table.

Bitter Greens Salad with Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette: This salad also works as a lighter side if you're serving a heavier main dish.

Sweet Potato Gratin with Sage Breadcrumbs: The bright, savory herbed breadcrumbs makes this decadent sweet potato side so much more interesting for the Christmas table.

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Garlicky Roasted Shrimp with Parsley and Anise: The flavorful shrimp can be topped over greens or a bed or rice for a pescetarian meal.

Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen

8-Spice Lamb Rib Chops: Lamb is a winter comfort food for many; frenching the chops elevates it into an elegant Christmas main.

Peach Glazed Grilled Chicken: The sticky glaze is sweet and slightly spicy. You can substitute the apricot preserves with marmalade or clementine preserves to make it taste more Christmas-y.

Roast Beef with Gravy: A holiday classic, and this recipe is foolproof to ensure that the meat is perfectly cooked to medium-rare. The leftovers make amazing sandwiches.

Butternut Squash Pasta: Homemade pasta, lovingly folded by hand, works well as a vegetarian holiday meal.

Buckwheat Apple Cake: A not-too-sweet treat to end the meal. Or top it with ice cream to make it sweet after all!

Chocolate Shadow Cake: This cake might be like a chocolate shadow, but to us it's like a snowy winter's night, draped in chocolate.

Eggnog Ice Cream: Sometimes ice cream is the best way to end a happy, satisfying meal. This seasonal flavor is the way to do that.

Cranberry Cobbler: An unexpected fruit that happens to be seasonal makes the perfect ending to a California Christmas.

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