24 Christmas Recipes Perfect For Two

Chicken Scallopini
PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPHY: CAITLIN BENSEL, PROP STYLING: AUDREY DAVIS, FOOD STYLING: RISHON HANNERS

The holidays are associated with family, and this can take on a variety of meanings for different people. For some, a family gathering means a full house with a large feast set in the dining room, and for others, it means sharing a cozy meal with just one or two loved ones. If your Christmas gathering is on the smaller side this year, you don’t need to use recipes that will stick you with too many leftovers. Whether you’re looking for a main course, side dish, or dessert, this list will provide you with smaller-portioned recipes that are perfect for spending the holidays with your loved one.

01of 24

Spiced-Rubbed Turkey Tenderloin With Gravy

spice-rubbed turkey tenderloin - Southern Living
ALISON MIKSCH; FOOD STYLIST: KAREN RANKIN; PROP STYLIST: JOSH HOGGLE

Turkey tenderloins are a great option for a smaller gathering, and this recipe incorporates delicious notes of wintery spices and Dijon mustard to make for a simple yet flavorful main course.

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Cast-Iron Cowboy Steak

Cast-Iron Cowboy Steak
HECTOR SANCHEZ

A steak dinner is truly the perfect meal for two, and this cast-iron cowboy steak will leave you satisfied without leaving too many leftovers. With just six ingredients needed, this delicious recipe is simple and packed with flavor.

03of 24

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Southern Living Roasted Brussels Sprouts on a platter to serve
CAITLIN BENSEL; FOOD STYLIST: TORIE COX

While Brussels sprouts are somewhat controversial, this recipe will be loved by any skeptics. All you need are five ingredients and 35 minutes to make a simple and delicious side dish.

04of 24

Butterscotch-Bourbon Lava Cakes

Butterscotch-Bourbon Lava Cakes
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL; PROP STYLING: LYDIA PURSELL

These butterscotch-bourbon lava cakes are quite literally bursting with flavor. The sweetness of the butterscotch mixed with the boldness of the bourbon creates a match made in heaven this holiday.

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Braised Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Lemons

Braised Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Lemons
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

A beautifully braised chicken is a perfect meal to indulge in this holiday, and this recipe includes sweet carrots and zesty lemons to make for a deliciously balanced main course.

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Vanilla Mug Cake

Southern Living Vanilla Mug Cake ready to serve out of the mug
MORGAN HUNT GLAZE, FOOD STYLIST: JENNIFER WENDORF, PROP STYLIST: SHELL ROYSTER

Craving a sweet treat after dinner but don’t want to make a huge portion? These vanilla mug cakes are perfect for one and require just a few household ingredients and a mug for the quickest, easiest dessert you’ll make all year.

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Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
CAITLIN BENSEL

Green beans are a classic holiday side dish, and these cheesy, garlicky beans are a perfect rich and savory bite. With just 10 minutes of active time, this recipe is easy to throw in the oven and enjoy.

08of 24

Smothered Pork Chops

Smothered pork chops served in a pot
ALISON MIKSCH; FOOD STYLIST: MELISSA GRAY; PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINA BROCKMAN

Christmastime is about staying comfy and cozy, and smothered pork chops are a meal that brings all the comfort. This recipe features a rich mushroom gravy to add a delicious umami flavor that’ll keep you satisfied this holiday.

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Ham and Noodle Casserole

Ham and Noodle Casserole
JEN CAUSEY

Get your Christmas ham fix on a smaller scale with this ham and noodle casserole. This recipe is the perfect creamy, rich dish this holiday.

10of 24

Instant Pot Potato Soup

Instant Pot Potato Soup
CAITLIN BENSEL; PROP STYLING: AUDREY DAVIS; FOOD STYLING: RISHON HANNERS

If you need a creamy, savory side dish or first course this Christmas, this potato soup made in an Instant Pot will surely do the trick. With only 15 minutes of active time, you can let the Instant Pot do the work for you to make a rich, flavorful soup this season.

11of 24

Mini Mushroom-And-Parsnip Pot Pies

Mini Mushroom-and-Parsnip Pot Pies
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS, PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINA BROCKMAN FOOD STYLIST: EMILY NABORS HALL

These delicious meatless pot pies are an irresistibly warm and crisp dish; packed with vegetables and hearty flavor that will warm you up inside and out.

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Cabbage, Mushroom, and Bacon Pasta

Cabbage, Mushroom, and Bacon Pasta
GREG DUPREE

If you’re looking for a simple main dish with easy cleanup, this creamy pasta recipe is one to consider. The heartiness from the bacon and mushroom mixed with the brightness of the cabbage creates a tasty and nutritious meal this Christmas.

13of 24

Skillet Mac and Cheese with Crispy Breadcrumbs Recipe

Skillet Mac and Cheese with Breadcrumbs
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

Everyone loves mac and cheese at Christmas dinner, but the serving size can be quite large with most recipes. This recipe uses a skillet to cook your dish, meaning there’s a small portion and crispier texture that will help get your mac and cheese fix this holiday.

14of 24

Orange-Rosemary Roast Chicken

Orange-Rosemary Roast Chicken
VICTOR PROTASIO; FOOD STYLING: RISHON HANNERS; PROP STYLING: AUDREY DAVIS

Get those gorgeous wintery flavors of orange and rosemary with this simple sheet pan chicken roast.

15of 24

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Filets

Southern Living Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin "Filets" on a plate to serve
GREG DUPREE, FOOD STYLIST: RUTH BLACKBURN, PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KEELY 

Pork tenderloins are a great option for a smaller meal, and this recipe wraps them in bacon for a hearty, meaty main meal that will leave you perfectly satisfied.

16of 24

Skillet-Roasted Carrots

skillet-roasted carrots in a white skillet
GREG DUPREE; FOOD STYLIST: RISHON HANNERS; PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINA DALEY

This might be the easiest side dish you make all year. With just 10 minutes of active time, these caramelized carrots offer a sweet bite to your holiday dinner.

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Aperol-Bourbon Fizz

Aperol Bourbon Fizz
BECKY LUIGART STAYNER

If you’re in the mood for a festive cocktail, this Aperol-Bourbon fizz is a fresh and citrusy delight with just 5 ingredients (including club soda!).

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Gnocchi Gratin with Ham and Peas Recipe

Gnocchi Gratin with Ham and Peas
LINDA PUGLIESE; PROP STYLING: CLAIRE SPOLLEN; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

This cheesy gnocchi gratin with ham and peas is simple but impactful. Get the traditional ham element at your dinner table this year without having to buy a whole one with this delicious recipe.

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Roasted Turkey Breast

roasted turkey breast - southern living
ROB CULPEPPER; FOOD STYLIST: CHELSEA ZIMMER; PROP STYLIST: JOSH HOGGLE

Small but mighty, the typical oven-roasted turkey breast feeds a downsized crowd and can be flavored any way you prefer.

20of 24

Molten Red Velvet Cakes Recipe

Molten Red Velvet Cakes, red velvet cake recipe
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

These gorgeous red molten red velvet cakes are the perfect festive end to Christmas dinner. All the classic flavors of a red velvet cake come together in these single-serve treats that take less than 20 minutes to bake.

21of 24

Sweet Potato-Topped Southwestern Cottage Pie

Sweet Potato-Topped Southwestern Cottage Pie
PHOTOGRAPHER: ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KEELY; FOOD STYLIST: EMILY NABORS HALL

Cottage pies are an ultimate comfort food on a cold night, and this recipe uses a sweet potato mash on top to add a Christmassy feel.

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Turkey Pot Pie

Southern Living Turkey Pot Pie in the baking dish ready to serve
MORGAN HUNT GLAZE, FOOD STYLIST: CHELSEA ZIMMER, PROP STYLIST: JULIA BAYLESS 

If it doesn’t make sense to buy a whole turkey, this delicious turkey pot pie uses just 3 cups of cooked turkey for a filling meal that will store wonderfully in the fridge for tomorrow.

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Chocolate Lava Cakes

Chocolate Lava Cake
GREG DUPREE; FOOD STYLIST: ALI RAMEE; PROP STYLIST: HANNAH GREENWOOD

Calling all chocolate lovers — this one’s for you! These chocolate lava cakes are a warm, fudgy dessert that will be the perfect ending to a holiday meal.

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Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini
PHOTOGRAPHY: CAITLIN BENSEL, PROP STYLING: AUDREY DAVIS, FOOD STYLING: RISHON HANNERS

This one-skillet chicken scallopini recipe will go beautifully with any sides you have on your holiday lineup. In just 30 minutes, you’ll have a simple, decadent dish ready to serve this holiday.