What Food Do Americans Eat At Christmas?

What Food Do Americans Eat At Christmas?

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Christmas dinner is an essential meal for most American families. Many families spend hours preparing their Christmas day meals.

Most Americans consider a turkey dinner the most traditional American Christmas dinner. But even though turkey is still a popular choice, some may opt for another type of meat such as a prime rib, roast beef, or even steak. The side dishes people choose will also vary according to the family’s tradition and individual tastes.

Table of Contents

The Traditional American Christmas Dinner

For many American families, Christmas day dinner would be similar to the Thanksgiving dinner feast. The traditional Christmas dinner would include:

  • Roast Turkey – Many American households will have a turkey for Christmas dinner. This would be a roasted turkey.
  • Stuffing – In America, when there is turkey, there should be stuffing.
  • Cranberry Sauce – Cranberry sauces are a popular dish served on the side.
  • Potatoes – Potatoes are essential with the turkey. Usually, they are roasted, mashed potatoes, or scalloped potatoes.
  • Bread And Rolls – Bread and roll are also famous during Christmas. Many families will have a traditional dinner roll.
  • Green Beans – Another favorite is green beans or even mixed vegetables.
  • Sweet Potatoes – Normally, with turkey, Americans will eat sweet potatoes.
  • Salad – Many households will have a salad. Sometimes this can even be a salad with pecans and cranberries.

Different American households may have other traditions for their Christmas meals. We always eat turkey on Christmas day, mashed or scalloped potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, salad and rolls, and butter with various types of cheese.

These are the most popular foods, with over 73% of American households saying they have turkey for Christmas. Even with turkey being so popular, Americans may consider many other food options a traditional Christmas meal.

Besides turkey, there are other meat dishes that many American families will eat on Christmas Day. Some of the other top choices for meat include:

  • Prime Rib
  • Roast Beef
  • Steak
  • Chicken or Cornish Hen
  • Roast Pork or Port Loin
  • Ham
  • Lasagna
  • Brisket
  • Seafood (such as shrimp or scallops)
  • Lamb

As you can see from this list, the variety of meats varies in America; families will have different traditions.

Some families do not want turkey on Christmas, so they prefer other meat such as a prime rib, roast beef, steak, or chicken. Others want something more like a lasagna.

Christmas side dishes American families eat are also varied according to their traditions. Most American households will have potato dishes for Christmas; the potato dish can be cooked in many different ways.

Here are some of the most popular Christmas dinner side dishes:

  • Roast potatoes
  • Mash Potatoes
  • Bread and rolls
  • Stuffing, gravy, or dressing
  • Sweet Potatoes or Yams
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Scalloped Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Cheese
  • Cornbread
  • Soup/Chowder
  • Potato Salad
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Fruit Salad
  • Salad
  • Apple and Applesauce
  • Corn
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Mixed Vegetables
  • Glazed Carrots
  • Cranberries
  • Rice
  • Broccoli
  • Greenbean Casserole
  • Pears
  • Asparagus
  • Peas
  • Beans and rice
  • Cauliflower
  • Squash
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Jello-O
  • Kale/Spinach
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Coleslaw

As you can see from this list, Americans may have a wide variety of side dishes at the Christmas dinner table. What side dishes they would eat would probably have to do with the taste of the individual families.

Some families, like my family, would have a turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and all the other fixings. Other families would have prime rib, but they might serve it with potato salad and other side dishes.

What people eat in America on Christmas is as varied as the American population.

Ethnic Food For Christmas Day

Many Americans also come from other cultures and other countries. Many families will eat some ethnic food on Christmas Day.

Some of the most popular ethnic foods for a Christmas day dinner would include:

  • Latkes Or the Potato Pancakes
  • Tamales
  • Empanadas

My mother, who is Swedish, cooked a very traditional Swedish meal on Christmas Eve. But on Christmas day, we would eat turkey.

Rounding out at the very bottom of the list as the least popular food on Christmas day is tofu. This might be because many Americans do not like to have fake meat or tofu in place of meat.

Whatever the reasons, it seems that many Americans agree that they do not want to eat Tofu on Christmas Day or for Christmas Day dinner.

The truth is that there is no set menu for Christmas dinner in America. You will find that the dinner choices and varieties can be very different in each household.

One thing is sure: most Americans still consider a turkey dinner the traditional American Christmas dinner.

Listen To Our Podcast About Festive Bites: Unwrapping The Culinary Traditions Of American Christmas Below or By clicking here.

Festive Bites: Unwrapping The Culinary Traditions Of American Christmas
Festive Bites: Unwrapping The Culinary Traditions Of American Christmas

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