Here’s What to Cook Every Night This Week (December 18 – 24)

Back away from the sugar cookies

what to cook this week december 18-24: kale salad with persimmon, crispy shallots and chickpeas
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

We’re days away from Christmas, meaning your to-do list is probably a mile long. You could eat nothing but sugar cookies for a week to take dinner off your plate…or you could cook these seven meals instead, which are seasonal, festive and low-lift. Our list also includes a decidedly elegant main worth serving on Christmas Eve. It’s bound to impress each and every one of your guests (or picky kids).

70 Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas That Take One Hour or Less

what to cook this week december 18-24: hand slicing red cabbage on cutting board
Anjelika Gretskaia/Getty Images

Shopping List

1 pound red cabbage
2 large red onions
3 celery stalks
2 apples
One 1-inch piece ginger
1 bulb fennel
2 large shallots
2 lemons
2 grapefruits
4 clementines
2 persimmons
1 lime
4 medium yellow onions
1 clove garlic
4 ounces baby spinach
1 bunch dill
1 large bunch lacinato kale
1 bunch thyme
1 large bunch mint

2 bone-in pork chops (1½ to 2 pounds total), one inch thick
1 pound Italian sausage, sweet or spicy
16 medium shrimp
Twelve 3-ounce lamb chops

4 tablespoons crème fraiche, sour cream or Greek yogurt\
4 ounces feta
1 stick unsalted butter

1 pound orecchiette
6 ounces uncooked quinoa

Canned and Packaged Goods
Two 32-ounce cartons vegetable stock
One 15-ounce can chickpeas
4 ounces dried apricots
12 Moroccan dry-cured or kalamata olives
6 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
One 8-ounce sheet puff pastry
Pomegranate molasses
6 ounces pomegranate arils
3 ounces sliced almonds

Pantry Ingredients: red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, caraway seeds, balsamic vinegar, honey, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, canola or grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, Dijon mustard, chipotle powder or smoked paprika, bay leaves, brown sugar, sherry, maple syrup, dry mustard

Monday: Winter Cabbage and Apple Soup

Soup doesn’t need to be half cream or laden with cheese to be cozy and comforting. Case in point: This vibrant, hearty winter gem. By the way, this robust seasonal supper is almost entirely plant-based (and could be vegan if you skip the crème fraîche swirl on top). 

Tuesday: Ginger Pork Chops

This eight-ingredient main is proof that the key to a delicious marinade is a well-stocked pantry. Soy sauce, mirin and sugar do most of the heavy lifting, along with freshly grated ginger. Serve the chops with fluffy white rice and a cold, crunchy vegetable side (like cabbage slaw in citrusy dressing).

Wednesday: Sausage and Fennel Pasta

Italian sausage has a ton of built-in flavor, so it doesn’t take much more to season this six-ingredient orecchiette (although a generous dusting of freshly grated Parm wouldn’t hurt). If you’re not a fan, substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs or andouille sausage.

Thursday: Kale Salad with Persimmons, Crispy Chickpeas and Fried Shallots

Festive enough to make again for Christmas dinner, easy enough to whip up on a busy Thursday. Prepare a second batch of the crispy chickpeas and frizzled shallots so all you have to do on the big day is assemble.

Friday: Citrus, Shrimp and Quinoa Salad with Feta

This light, bright dinner is just the thing to serve before you’re eating prime rib and cookies for two days straight. It tastes just as delicious with sliced steak in place of shellfish, if you’d prefer. Store the leftovers in the fridge for up to two days—the salad is just as tasty cold as it is warm.

Saturday: Jammy Upside-Down Onion Tart

It may seem like a drool-worthy side for meat (read: it is), but this caramelized wonder can be the main event if you serve it with dressed greens, roasted vegetables or soup. The fresh thyme will totally distract from the store-bought puff pastry, promise.

Sunday: Pomegranate-Maple Glazed Lamb Chops

In our book, Christmas Eve dinner is just as important as the following night’s. Grill these 40-minute chops to wow your relatives a day early. Use a grill pan to ensure the drool-worthy char marks you seek, and don’t be shy with the pomegranate arils and fresh mint on top.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...