Stress Free Christmas Dinner

To have a stress free Christmas dinner, ask for help. Assign each person or family two dishes to prepare. The covered dishes go well with a buffet style serving. Ask the guests to bring extra serving utensils.

This dinner plan consists of many short cuts which use pre-prepared dishes. Check out the local deli for ready to eat items.

Stress Free Christmas Dinner Meal Plan for 10 guests


  • Veggie Plate with dipping sauces (Deli)
  • Cheese Sticks with different kinds of mustard (Deli)


  • Ham (pre-cooked, 10-12 pounds)
  • Turkey (8-10 pounds, with doneness tab and wire on the legs)

Side dishes:

  • Stuffing
  • Green bean casserole
  • Egg Noodles
  • Mashed potatoes and Gravy
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Baked beans
  • Creamed Corn
  • Cranberry sauce (chill before serving)
  • Dinner Rolls


  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Cherry Cheesecake Delight
  • Fruit Cocktail (chill before serving)
  • Holiday Cookies

Drinks during the meal:

  • Cranberry Juice
  • Apple Cider
  • 7up
  • Diet 7up

Drinks during the desert:

  • Coffee
  • Hot Tea
  • Hot Cider
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

Grocery List: (Plus items in meal plan)

  • Butter (two tubs)
  • Stove top stuffing (two boxes)
  • Green beans (two cans)
  • Noodles (large bag)
  • Brown sugar (1 bag)
  • Chicken Broth (6 cans)
  • Potatoes (10-pound bag)
  • Sweet Potatoes (10)
  • Gravy (two jars)
  • Baked beans (2 cans)
  • French Cut Green Beans (2 cans)
  • French Fried Onions (enough for 2 cups)
  • Corn (2 cans)
  • Milk
  • Cream of Mushroom soup
  • Cranberry sauce (1 can)
  • Sliced pineapples (1 can)
  • Maraschino cherries (1 jar)
  • Tooth picks (1 box)
  • Brown and Serve Dinner Rolls (2 dozen)
  • Fruit Cocktail (two cans)
  • 2 kinds of pies (pumpkin and apple)
  • Cherry Cheesecake (1)
  • Holiday Cookies (1 bag)
  • Baking bags (2 bags)
  • (2) Roasting pans
  • Ginger Ale (1 bottle)


  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Sage
  • Prepared mustard
  • Honey
  • Soy Sauce

Bake the Ham

Prepare the Christmas dinner ham in a pre-heated oven at 350 for 16 minutes per pound. If there is a rind or excess fat remove that from the ham and then score the top of the ham in diamond shapes. Place in cooking bag opening at the top, in the roaster and then pour the 1 cup of ginger ale over the ham. Glaze the ham completely, put a clove in the intersection of each diamond, secure pineapple rings with toothpicks, and toothpick a cherry in the center of each pineapple. Secure the cooking bag. (If desired, baste about halfway through the cooking process.)

For the glaze, in a bowl combine:

  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey

Bake the Turkey

Bake the Christmas dinner turkey at 350 degrees for 3 ½ hours-or until tab pops out. Thaw the turkey, removed the giblets from the cavity, rub generously with butter, place in cooking bag inside roasting pan—breast side up, legs should be secured by wire or tuck in tail skin. Pour one-cup chicken broth over the turkey. Fasten the bag with the opening at the top of the turkey (reopened to baste with a large spoon every 45 minutes).

Let both meats rest for a half hour before carving.

Stress free Green Bean Casserole

Add a Green Bean Casserole for a tasty side. In a baking dish place two cans of French cut green beans, in a bowl mix ½ cup milk, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, dash of black pepper and 1 ½ cups of French fried onions. Pour over green beans cook at 350 for 25 minutes, stir and sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake for 5 more minutes.

Stress free Sweet Potatoes

Try this easy recipe for Christmas Dinner Sweet Potatoes, wash well and cook whole with skin on. Bring a large pot of water to boil, carefully drop in sweet potatoes and cook until tender. Drain, peel, add salt and butter to taste.

Find several recipes for Sweet Potatoes at

Follow the packaging directions on the other side dishes.

Optional: Boil giblets and neck-dice and add to gravy, stuffing and noodles.

Hint: Some of the side dishes may be prepared ahead of time and reheated in the microwave.

Note: Purchase as many of the ingredients as possible two weeks ahead of time. Stores will run out of chicken broth and stuffing mixes early.

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