Skip to Content

25 Christmas Dinner for Two for a Small Festive Tradition

It's scaled-down but just as special!

Headshot of Kara ZaubermanBy Kara Zauberman
christmas dinner for twopinterest icon
Will Dickey

Not everyone celebrates Christmas dinner with a big oversized feast. Maybe you're opting for a more intimate meal with your hubby or a smaller dinner with just a couple of friends. Either way, you can plan a Christmas dinner for two (or four) with just as much holiday spirit—and all your favorite traditional dishes. All you need are some festive table decorations and these cozy winter recipes that are perfectly portioned for a smaller meal. If a small Christmas dinner is on your radar this year, check out the recipe ideas ahead, just don't forget the Christmas desserts!

The best part about having a smaller Christmas dinner is that you don't have to do a ton of work (or clean-up). So, keep things easy, simple, and elegant with these Christmas dinner ideas for two. Here, you'll find everything you need for a holiday menu, including Christmas sides and festive cocktails. And just like with a big family dinner, this list includes plenty of options for main courses, like pan-fried rib eye, chicken marsala, and lemon-garlic shrimp and grits. While all these dishes are meant to feed a smaller crowd, don't worry too much if you end up with leftovers—they're the best part anyway!


Garlic Shrimp

christmas dinner for two garlic shrimp
Caitlin Bensel

Quick-cooking shrimp are an easy main course for you and your significant other—they only take 15 minutes to make! Serve them with pasta or just a slice of crusty bread for soaking up all that garlicky sauce.

Get the Garlic Shrimp recipe.



Smothered Chicken

christmas dinner for two smothered chicken
Caitlin Bensel

Frying the chicken thighs in bacon drippings makes this dish feel even more special. Add a creamy, dreamy gravy and a side of mashed potatoes for a comforting winter meal.

Get the Smothered Chicken recipe.


Cranberry Martini

christmas dinner for two cranberry martini
Will Dickey

This cocktail has a pop of color and sweet-tart flavor that will make any get-together feel festive. Add a cute lime twist to really impress your loved one.

Get the Cranberry Martini recipe.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Puff Pastry Pork with Brussels Sprouts Slaw

christmas dinner for two puff pastry pork with brussels sprouts slaw
Dana Gallagher

This recipe makes two pork tenderloins wrapped in a flaky puff pastry crust but you can stick to making just one. Whatever you do, don't forget the Brussels sprouts slaw made with apples and almonds.

Get the Puff Pastry Pork with Brussels Sprouts Slaw recipe.


Salisbury Steak

christmas dinner for two salisbury steak
Caitlin Bensel

Give your Christmas a vintage-inspired spin by serving up a classic Salisbury steak! You'll likely have a few extras, but that just means more "steaks" during the week.

Get the Salisbury Steak recipe.



Rum Balls

christmas dinner for two rum balls
Caitlin Bensel

You don't need to make a huge dessert spread for just two people, but a candy dish filled with homemade rum balls will keep you satisfied at the end of the night. It's even a great snack for cozying up to your favorite Christmas movie.

Get the Rum Balls recipe.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Chicken Saltimbocca

chicken saltimbocca with parsley noodles
Will Dickey

From the garlicky white wine pan sauce to the salty prosciutto, this chicken dinner is anything but ordinary. It's especially delicious when served with a big pile of parsley noodles.

Get the Chicken Saltimbocca recipe.


Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

instant pot mashed potatoes with butter on blue surface
Ralph Smith

While this recipe certainly makes a big portion, the whole thing is made in an Instant Pot so it couldn't be easier. Plus, you can use leftover mashed potatoes in the days to come.

Get Ree's Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe.


Pomegranate Margarita

pomegranate margarita with salt rim and lime
Hector Sanchez

Pomegranates have a cranberry-like flavor and color that's perfect for the holidays, especially when you garnish the glass with salt, lime slices, and extra pomegranate seeds.

Get the Pomegranate Margarita recipe.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Pan-Fried Rib Eye

pan fried rib eye with mashed potatoes and salad on floral plate
Danielle Daly

Ree likes to make this easy steak dinner when it's just her and Ladd home for dinner. It feels special, but it only takes 15 minutes to make!

Get Ree's Pan-Fried Rib Eye recipe.



Air Fryer Turkey Breast

air fryer turkey breast sliced on blue platter
Caitlin Bensel

Yes, even smaller Christmas dinners can have turkey as the main event. Thanks to this method for cooking turkey in an air fryer, you'll get moist, juicy turkey breast in a fraction of the time.

Get the Air Fryer Turkey Breast recipe.


Baked Sweet Potatoes

baked sweet potatoes with sour cream
Will Dickey

Sweet potatoes are the perfect holiday side dish because they can lean more sweet or more savory depending on your preference. Try one with a topping of crispy bacon and sour cream and another with a drizzle of honey.

Get the Baked Sweet Potatoes recipe.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Holiday Slice-and-Bake Cookies

holiday slice and bake cookies with red and green candies
Ralph Smith

Keep a batch of this cookie dough in the freezer, then just slice off however many cookie you want to bake. The dough can last for up to 3 months!

Get Ree's Holiday Slice-and-Bake Cookies recipe.


Braised Short Ribs

braised short ribs with polenta in bowl
Danielle Daly

This recipe for braised short ribs is downright delectable. You can choose to serve it over creamy polenta or even mashed potatoes (that's what Ree's husband would choose).

Get Ree's Braised Short Ribs recipe.


Red Velvet Mug Cake

red velvet mug cake with whipped cream
Ralph Smith

Just like a regular red velvet cake, this mug cake version even comes with a dollop of cream cheese frosting. Top it off with green and red sprinkles and it's perfect for celebrating Christmas!

Get Ree's Red Velvet Mug Cake recipe.


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Chicken Marsala

chicken marsala with mushrooms and spaghetti on pink plate
Ralph Smith

Is there anything more comforting than this Italian-American dish? The mushrooms and butter come together to form a sauce that's soaked up by the chicken and even the noodles.

Get Ree's Chicken Marsala recipe.


Caprese Chicken Pasta

caprese chicken pasta
Ralph Smith

This pasta recipe is loaded with hearty chicken, bursting cherry tomatoes, and melty mozzarella cheese. It's simple, scrumptious, and ready in just 25 minutes!

Get Ree's Caprese Chicken Pasta recipe.


Bacon-Wrapped Filets with Cowboy Butter

bacon wrapped filets with cowboy butter on wood board
Ralph Smith

Looking for a restaurant-quality Christmas dinner? This decadent bacon-wrapped beef filet is extra-impressive, but it's surprisingly easy to make. You'll definitely want to bookmark that cowboy butter, too!

Get Ree's Bacon-Wrapped Filets with Cowboy Butter recipe.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Tuscan Pork Sheet Pan Supper

tuscan pork sheet pan supper with sweet potato wedges
Ryan Dausch

Both the pork and the sweet potato wedges cook together on a sheet pan, making this dinner the easiest clean-up yet!

Get Ree's Tuscan Pork Sheet Pan Supper recipe.


Foil-Packet Shrimp Pasta

foil packet shrimp pasta in green bowl
Con Poulos

Everything about this pasta recipe screams flavor—from the garlic and white wine to the red pepper flakes and fresh basil. Let's not forget about the generous grating of parmesan cheese over the top!

Get Ree's Foil-Packet Shrimp Pasta recipe.


Watch Next
preview for Watch Our Latest Recipe Videos


best photo gifts

21 Unique Photo Gifts That Everyone Will Love

best christmas dog names

175 Christmas Dog Names for Your Festive Pet

elf on the shelf return ideas

Welcome Back the Elf on the Shelf With These Ideas

types of christmas trees

The Most Popular Types of Christmas Trees

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
twitter icon
facebook icon
instagram icon
pinterest icon
A Part of Hearst Digital Media

A Part of Hearst Digital Media

We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back.

©2023 Hearst Magazine Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy NoticeCA Notice at CollectionYour CA Privacy Rights/Shine the LightDAA Industry Opt OutTerms of UseSitemap
Cookies Choices