31 Family-Friendly Dinner Recipes to Make Each Night in December
Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

31 Family-Friendly Dinner Recipes to Make Each Night in December

PureWow

December is always our busiest month (and also the most fun). From the day after Thanksgiving until the first chimes of Auld Lang Syne, we’re basically running ourselves ragged. And between all the office holiday parties, the afternoons baking 20 batches of sugar cookies and the endless quest to find a present that our mother-in-law won’t return, we hardly have time to think about what to make for dinner. But this year we’re prepared, with family-friendly recipes for every single night in the month. Less time thinking about dinner means more time wrapping presents. And we’re cool with that swap.

Credit: Quentin Bacon/Cook Like a Pro

December 1: Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Eggplant

After a week of leftover turkey, this super cozy, veggie-filled baked pasta is just what we’re craving.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 2: Classic Stuffed Peppers

Probably the easiest way to get the kids to eat their vegetables.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 3: Sweet Potato Noodles with Almond Sauce

When you want to start the week on a healthy note, but you also want a big plate of creamy carbs for dinner.

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Credit: Skinnytaste One and Done

December 4: Dijon-Maple Chicken with Brussels and Butternut Squash

The humble sheet pan saves our weeknight, yet again.

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Credit: Gimme Some Oven

December 5: Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup

Cozy, healthy and ready in 20 minutes? Sign us up.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 6: Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Frittata

Breakfast for dinner never disappoints. (Especially when it’s a totally hands-off slow-cooker version.)

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 7: Rotisserie Chicken Ramen

On Friday night, the take-out urges are real. But this version (using store-bought rotisserie chicken) is easier, faster, and so much healthier. Score.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 8: Hearty Stuffed Butternut Squash

Fabulous as a vegetarian entree or a show-stopping side.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 9: Slow-Cooker Beef Bourguinon

Channel your inner Julia Child with this (shockingly super easy) beef bourguignon.

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Credit: Two Peas and Their Pod

December 10: Easy White Chicken Chili

Even a blustery Monday doesn’t seem so bad after a bowl of Coterie member Maria Lichty’s white chicken chili. We like ours with extra avocado.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 11: Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Store-bought gnocchi and cooked Italian sausage save the day here, giving you restaurant-quality pasta in under 30 minutes.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 12: Pasta Florentine with Grilled Chicken

OK if we have thirds?

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 13: Baked Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

The kids will love them, and they’re tasty and healthy enough to justify on your own plate, too.

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Credit: Damn Delicious

December 14: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Because it’s Friday and you deserve some comfort food, dammit. (And replacing some of the cheese with squash puree makes this slightly less sinful).

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 15: Sticky Asian Meatballs with Udon Noodles

We love this Asian twist on spaghetti and meatballs. (A tip: stick some toothpicks in the meatballs and they make a great holiday party appetizer.)

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Credit: Erin McDowell

December 16: Kale Minestrone

We recommend making extra, and packing it for lunch all week long.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 17: 15-Minute Cheater’s Pad Thai

This week is holiday-shopping crunch time, so you’re going to want something (delicious and healthy) that you can throw together in minutes. Trust us, this fits the bill.

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Credit: Pinch of Yum

December 18: Instant Pot Korean Beef Tacos

A total Taco Tuesday game changer (and even if the kids won’t touch the kimchee, we promise they’ll love the savory, gingery beef).

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 19: Sesame Ginger Salmon in Parchment

The best part? There’s no dishes to do.

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Credit: Aubrie Pick/ Cravings: Hungry for More

December 20: Chrissy Teigen’s Cheesy Chicken Milanese

We’re on board with any plan that incorporates more melty cheese into our dinner.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 21: 20-Minute Shrimp Scampi Zoodles

After a few weeks of holiday parties and cookie swaps, sometimes all we want is a light, healthy meal. This one hits the spot (and so quickly, too!).

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Credit: Dinner at the Zoo

December 22: One-Pot Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Honestly, we’ve got too many presents to wrap to worry about doing the dishes.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 23: Tomato Soup in Grilled Cheese Bread Bowls

Best eaten in matching Christmas pajamas.

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Credit: Dinner at the Zoo

December 24: Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Orange and Herbs

This is a total holiday dinner win: it looks (and tastes) special and impressive, but it cooks all day in the slow-cooker, leaving you plenty of time to get everything else done.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 25: Spicy Orange-Honey Glazed Ham

It’s Christmas! May all be merry, bright, and covered in this addictive spicy orange glaze.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 26: Slow-Cooker Stuffed Shells

A hands-off dish to have on hand for any friends and family still around.

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Credit: What’s Gaby Cooking

December 27: Skillet Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Bake

Feel free to use fresh cooked chicken here. Or do as Coterie member Gaby Dalkin suggests and repurpose your Christmas leftovers.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

December 28: Cheater’s Italian Wedding Soup

We recommend eating a warm bowl of this under a blanket while watching Christmas movies.

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Credit: Weeknight Society

December 29: Sage-Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

We usually think of risotto as super fussy (all that stirring!), but this baked version is remarkably hands-off.

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Credit: Spend with Pennies

December 30: Crock-Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Truly comfort in a bowl.

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Credit: Half Baked Harvest

December 31: Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus

We love to end the year on a high note, and this fabulously impressive (but deceptively easy) tenderloin fits the bill. Plus, it pairs fabulously with Champagne.

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