This month is full of reasons to stock up on festive dinner recipes. Sure there are special meals to be shared on Christmas and Hanukkah, but there are also the nights when out-of-town family arrive and when the neighbors (and their 10 kids) come over for dinner. To take a little stress out of hosting, break out your slow cooker or Instant Pot to make any one of these 10 holiday dinner recipes. That way, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the company.

Top: Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon at The Recipe Critic |  Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast at Joy of Sunshine

Related: A quick guide to the buttons on your Instant Pot. (So much easier than that manual!)


Holiday slow cooker recipes

Slow cooker holiday dinner recipes: A Hanukkah worthy, slow cooked Tangy Spiced Brisket. | Smitten Kitchen

This mouthwatering Tangy Spiced Brisket at Smitten Kitchen would make a memorable Hanukkah or Christmas feast. The clincher for me is the incredible sauce and the fact that this can be made in the slow cooker a day in advance.


Easy holiday dinner recipes: a Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast gets big flavor from balsamic vinegar, honey and spices. | Joy Food Sunshine

The Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast at Joy Food Sunshine is the perfect main dish for a crowd. This beautiful roast gets a slow overnight cook with little more than a simple rub and balsamic sauce. It’s a no brainer; just don’t forget to use a high quality balsamic vinegar.


This fabulous holiday dinner recipe, Slow Cooker Roast Chicken & Gravy, can be made in the slow cooker or instant pot. | Nom Nom Paleo

I have to give Michelle Tam at Nom Nom Paleo some love because her Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy is a recipe that we all need in our lives. My cousin, who is obsessed with this and has even adapted the recipe for her Instant Pot, told me that she serves this on school nights and when hosting guests, all the same. Just know that this doesn’t yield a typical crispy-skinned bird, but you won’t miss it once you taste the gravy. Note: If you don’t have ghee, just use regular unsalted butter.

Related: What is an instant pot and do you need one? (We think, yes.)


One of our favorite holiday dinner recipes is this Slow Cooker Maple Brown Sugar Ham, served with biscuits, of course! | Mel's Kitchen Cafe

For a delicious and wildly easy Christmas dinner, opt for the Slow Cooker Maple Brown Sugar Ham at Mel’s Kitchen Café. Keep it simple by serving this with biscuits and roasted vegetables or sautéed green beans. The directions suggest a cook time of 4 to 5 hours, but I would start checking after the 3 ½ hour mark.


Holiday dinner recipes: Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon is both special and easy to pull off. | The Recipe Critic

When my inner Julia Child calls, I make a traditional Beef Bourguignon. But when my two small children call (er, scream), I turn to the Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon at The Recipe Critic. You get all of the rich flavor of this classic stew with the benefit of a more hands-free approach. I still follow Alyssa’s step of searing the meat first and it’s worth it. I promise.

Related: 7 delicious holiday side dish recipes made easier with a smart, store-bought shortcut.


Holiday Instant Pot recipes

Instant Stew–just one of our fabulous holiday dinner recipes you can make in an instant pot. | The Domestic Man

Traditional beef stew requires several steps and hours on the stove. But with this paleo-friendly Instant Stew at The Domestic Man, you can have a rich stew made with potatoes, vegetables, and tender beef in a little over an hour. Russ also offers stovetop directions, if you like the sound of this but don’t have an Instant Pot.


Holiday dinner recipes, like this creamy and delicious Butternut Squash Risotto, can be made quickly with an instant pot.| Make Real Food

Creamy, hearty, and able to pair with just about anything, risotto is one of the best vegetarian holiday dinners you can prepare. The only downside is the constant attention a traditional risotto demands. Thankfully, the Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto at Make Real Food makes wonderful use of an Instant Pot, which will give you this to-die-for dinner in no time.


Holiday dinner recipes don't have to be long labors of love. Opt for quick, family-friendly recipes like this One Pot Pressure Cooker Penne Rigate Pasta. | Pressure Cook Recipes

Sometimes you need a special meal for Christmas Eve, but not one that will exhaust you or Santa’s helpers (especially if they are one in the same). The One Pot Pressure Cooker Penne Pasta at Pressure Cook Recipes feels right for the occasion. Serve this with a salad and a bottle of red for a quick cook, no-fuss celebration.

Related: 7 delicious holiday side dish recipes made easier with a smart store-bought shortcut.


Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig: a big batch Holiday dinner recipe that makes great use out of your instant pot. | Nom Nom Paleo

Slow cooked pork results in wonderfully tender and succulent meat, but often takes an eternity to cook. The Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig at Nom Nom Paleo is a genius adaptation that delivers the same juicy, addictive flavor in a fraction of the time.


Keep the holidays delicious, but easy too with this Instant Pot Brisket and Tomato Risotto perfect for a festive meal. | Cool Mom Eats

I love this simple recipe for a holiday Instant Pot Brisket with Tomato Risotto not just because it is made with little more than onion, garlic, and a tomato-based sauce, but also because it serves up a carb-y side dish with only seven extra minutes tacked on to your “cooking” time. If you’d rather skip the risotto, reducing the cooking liquid to make a sauce for the brisket is a good idea.