Holiday Favorites

Christmas Eve Dinner ::: Nut-Free & Vegetarian

Christmas Eve is quickly approaching and I like to keep things super simple, especially when family is visiting. I’d rather be spending time WITH them, not doing tasks in the kitchen. That’s why we choose to make classic Spaghetti and Meatballs for Christmas Eve.

We started this tradition a few years ago, and it works perfectly. It’s a meal everyone likes (even littles) and it takes little to no time at all. The meatballs can be made in advance, just warm through in the oven for a few minutes during your party.

We’re having 7 for dinner on Christmas Eve, the yield on this menu is about 8. You can easily double this recipe for a larger group.

Christmas Eve Menu

  1. White Christmas Sangria, adapted from She Knows blog
    • 3 tart Granny Smith apples
    • 1 large orange
    • 1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries
    • 1 cup fresh raspberries
    • 2 bottles dry white wine (I used an unoaked chardonnay)
    • 1 cup white cranberry juice
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 16 ounces ginger ale or club soda
    • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
    • Chop fruit small, mix together in large glass pitcher. Let it “Merry” together before serving.
  2. Lynnie Salad
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 pinches kosher salt
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil
    • 8 cups salad greens
    • ¼ cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
    • ¼ cup cheese crumbles (feta, goat, or gorgonzola)
  3. Handmade Meatballs
    • 2 pounds organic ground beef
    • 1/2 cup parmesan
    • 1 cup breadcrumbs
    • 2/3 cup fresh parsley
    • 1/2 cup tomato paste or ketchup
    • 2 tsp Italian herbs / dry blend
    • 1/2 chopped onion or 1 tbsp onion powder
    • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
    • roll out, bake at 400* for 20 minutes or until browning around the outside. Max 30 minutes.
  4. Meatless Meatballs
  5. Spaghetti
    • 2 pounds of Barilla spaghetti pasta
  6. Homemade Tomato Sauce with canned garden tomatoes
    • This is top secret, but here’s something similar that can all be dumped into slow cooker and sit for quite a while, minimum 2 hours.
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large white onion, minced
    • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
    • ½ cup chicken broth
    • 1 (28 ounce can) crushed tomatoes
    • 1 (15 oz can) tomato sauce
    • 1 (6 ounce can) tomato paste
    • 1 tablespoon white sugar
    • 1 tablespoon ground oregano
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  7. Garlic bread
  8. Dessert
    • Making some decadent homemade cupcakes (on Friday) since I found some adorable nut-free wilton reindeer and santa cupcake decorations at Michaels Craft Store last month.
    • Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes
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