14 Whole Foods Items To Add To Your Christmas Dinner

Christmas may be the jolliest time of the year, but it's also one of the busiest — especially if you offered to host Christmas dinner this year. It's an amazing opportunity to bring family members and friends together around the dinner table, and you probably want everyone to leave feeling full and satisfied. Although you can achieve those results by cooking everything from scratch, sometimes, it pays to pick up some already-prepped ingredients from your local grocery store. And if you live anywhere near Whole Foods, you're in luck.

Whole Foods offers an array of products that can help make your Christmas dinner easier (and more delicious, of course). By picking up some of these items before your holiday celebrations start, you can ensure the easiest and most stress-free dinner possible. Here's some of what you should be looking for when you do your holiday grocery shopping at Whole Foods this season.

Wine bundle

Christmas is a day in which it's perfectly acceptable to start drinking wine in the morning when you're opening presents, so you may want to consider having a few bottles on hand in case anyone gets thirsty. Of course, you can pick out individual bottles if you have a clear idea of what you want, but it might be easier to let someone else do the selection for you. That's what we love about the wine bundles at Whole Foods. Just choose a type of bundle, and you'll have six different bottles that fit within that category.

The celebration bundle is a good option for those who love sparkling wines and who want to try several different types. The mixed bundle offers a little something for everyone, which is a solid choice for families with wildly different tastes. Go for the red wine bundle if everyone in your group prefers the profiles, or opt for the Taste of France bundle if you want to a pack that is mixed with whites, reds, rosés, and Champagne. 

Cheese platter

When you have people over for the holidays, you don't just want to feed them the whole meal — you want to make sure that they're full all day long. That's why it's smart to have some light snacks on the table that people can grab whenever they need a quick bite. Cheese, of course, is a great option. But why make an entire grazing board yourself when you can just pick up a simple and easy cheese platter from Whole Foods? This cheese platter comes complete with a three-chili pepper gouda, cheddar, Emmentaler, and herbs de Provence BellaVitano, so there's something for everyone. It also comes complete with some red grapes to keep the plate nice and fresh.

A Whole Foods cheese platter can make Christmas dinner easier since it requires no cutting, arranging, or decorating a board. Plus, it's a great way to try several different kinds of cheese that you might not normally grab from the counter by themselves. Grab some crackers while you're at Whole Foods, or spear the blocks with toothpicks and have the pre-meal done easily.

Shrimp platter

Not everyone likes cheese. Some people may be lactose intolerant, and some may just prefer a snack that's on the lighter side. That's exactly why you'll want to have another snack platter on the counter for easy grab-and-go bites. Our vote is for Whole Foods' shrimp platter, which makes shrimp cocktail easier than ever.

There are few dishes as glorious as shrimp cocktails. You've got the cooked shrimp, meaty and texturally dense but with a light, neutral flavor. Then there's the cocktail sauce itself, which, with its signature addition of horseradish, pairs exceptionally well with the relative blandness of the shrimp itself. When they come together, it's truly a match made in heaven. We love shrimp cocktail any time of the year, but it feels especially indulgent during the holidays, which is why this platter is likely to be such a big hit at your Christmas dinner.

The platter comes complete with steamed shrimp that's already been cooked and is ready to serve. You'll also get some lemon wedges that you can drizzle to give it an extra touch of acidity. And don't worry — you won't have to make your cocktail sauce from scratch because that's included as well. Since all you have to do is pick it up from the store and set it out where your guests can reach it, you can focus on all the other tasks you have to do to get ready for the big day.

Lemon herb asparagus with pine nuts

In theory, side dishes shouldn't take that much time to make since they often require less basting, oven time, and seasoning. But in reality, you may actually find that preparing sides takes quite a bit — and that's especially true when you're making several at a time. That's why it might be a good idea to think about picking up some prepared sides from Whole Foods. The grocery chain has some top-notch side dish offerings that can help cut down on the amount of time you spend cooking on Christmas day.

One of our favorite side dishes available at Whole Foods is the lemon herb asparagus with pine nuts. If you don't have a lot of experience cooking asparagus, it can be difficult to get it just right, and this prepared side dish makes it easy on you. It's generously seasoned with lemon zest, garlic, and a variety of herbs, so you know you're not getting a bunch of boring, plain vegetables, and the pine nuts give the dish a heartiness and crunch you wouldn't otherwise think possible from veggies.

Maple mashed sweet potatoes

Potatoes are an essential part of any holiday celebration, and we especially love putting sweet potatoes on the table. Not only are they a delicious addition to a wide range of dishes, but sweet potatoes specifically make a beautiful, colorful side dish. When it comes to actually prepping sweet potatoes yourself, they may seem less appealing. After all, making mashed sweet potatoes from scratch isn't always an easy task. First, you have to scrub the potatoes clean, then peel them and cook them down until they're ready to be mashed and combined with other ingredients.

Luckily, you don't have to do all of that work if you pick up some maple mashed sweet potatoes from Whole Foods. They're made with butter and cream for a rich, velvety texture that'll make you want to give yourself another serving. The maple syrup adds even more sweetness to the already-sweet potatoes. Drizzle some gravy onto the potatoes for a lovely savory-sweet mix of flavors, or eat them as a kind of pre-dessert before you finally dig into the pie.

Rustic mushroom galette

There's nothing quite as appealing as a galette on the holiday dinner table, which is why we're so excited about the fact that Whole Foods stocks a rustic mushroom galette that's already been prepped and is ready to serve. Inside the hand-formed flaky pastry crust, you'll find roasted mushrooms, of course, along with spinach, caramelized onions, cheese, and a variety of herbs that highlight the earthy flavors of the mushrooms. Although this recipe isn't vegan, it is appropriate for vegetarians, so it's a great option if you're trying to feed people who don't tend to eat meat.

This galette is elegant and takes basically no prep work on your part — after you get it home, you'll only spend about 15 to 20 minutes making sure it's ready to serve. All you have to do is heat it up, place it on the table, and wait until the compliments roll in. (You don't have to tell them it was from Whole Foods if you don't want to.)

Instant mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes may not be the most difficult dish to make, but they can be time-consuming. And when you have several other dishes you're working on at the same time, you probably don't want to have to worry about peeling, cooking, and mashing until you get those perfectly smooth mashed potatoes you're going for. That's why you may just want to pick up a box of instant mashed potatoes from Whole Foods. Is it a shortcut? Sure. But it's one that's going to yield delicious results anyway. Although these instant mashed potatoes may not be quite as thick as the ones made from scratch, they still have a similar texture and flavor profile, and once you cover them with gravy, you won't even be able to tell that they weren't made from scratch.

We love that these instant mashed potatoes can go from the box to your plate in just around 10 minutes. It's a great way to save yourself time on those especially busy food-focused holidays.

Honey roasted carrots

Making turkey, ham, brisket, or any other main dish on Christmas Day is always a huge task that takes a ton of time and energy. Trying to make side dishes on top of all of that — plus actually attempting to enjoy the day with friends and family — can feel nearly impossible. While you're focusing on the center of the table, get some help with the side dishes by picking them up from Whole Foods. If you're looking for something sweet to complement all the savory on the table, you can't go wrong with some honey-roasted carrots. They take about 10 to 12 minutes to reheat, so you can put them in the oven slightly before you're ready to serve dinner.

We love these carrots because that extra hint of sweetness from the honey really brings out the flavor of the brightly colored root vegetable. It's a great way to break up all the heavy, salty dishes on the table.

Gravy mix

Let's face it: If there is one essential dish on the Christmas dinner table, it has to be the gravy. Although it may seem like just an extra, an afterthought, it's actually the most important element of a good holiday meal. The salty sauce brings all the other dishes on the plate together under one drizzle of deliciousness. It gives you something to dip your meat and bread in, and it breaks up the otherwise one-note flavor of mashed potatoes well. Basically, gravy is the perfect food, and you definitely want it on your table this Christmas.

Worried about making gravy from scratch? You're not alone. It can be difficult to capture all the drippings from the meat or veggies you're cooking and then turn them into a gravy. And getting the lumps out of the sauce can be a huge hassle when you're already in a rush to get all of the other dishes out of the kitchen. Grab some gravy mix from Whole Foods if you want to cut down on your prep time. It's easy to make and tastes almost as good as the stuff made from scratch.

Red wine braised brisket

Maybe you're the kind of person who can handle sides and gravy, but when it comes time to actually make a big meat-centric centerpiece, you panic. After all, cooking a huge hunk of meat isn't as easy as you might assume — it requires cooking skills that you may not have mastered yet. When you're struggling to figure out what to put on the table for Christmas dinner, you might want to think about picking something up from Whole Foods. We think the red wine braised brisket is an especially flavorful choice if you're looking for some kind of red meat. It's savory, it's tender, and it's exactly what you'd want to pair with a glass of red wine.

Just keep in mind that although the meat is all prepped and ready to go, you will need to spend around 40 to 50 minutes reheating it before serving this brisket to your guests. Make sure you give yourself enough time to put it in the oven and allow it to come to temperature before you're ready to plate everyone's dinner.

Rotisserie chicken

Perhaps you're not much of a red meat person and are looking for an alternative kind of meat that you can get on the table fast. In that case, you might want to look into a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods. These chickens are easy to grab on the go, so even if you're planning a last minute meal, you should be able to pull it off after a trip to Whole Foods. Give it a little extra time in the oven once you get it home to make sure it's as crispy as possible.

Everyone seated around the dinner table is sure to be thrilled with a rotisserie chicken, but we think it's a good option for other reasons as well. If you get a chicken that's on the larger size, you may have leftover meat that you can freeze and use in other dishes in the future. Plus, even if you're only left with scraps, you can use those scraps to make broth or gravy. Who doesn't love Christmas dinner ideas that help you prevent food waste at the same time?

Honey and maple ham

For many families, Christmas ham is a staple. If you're that kind of family and you're not feeling like cooking a whole ham from scratch, you need to make your way to Whole Foods to pick out a honey and maple ham. Ham tends to be quite a salty, savory meat, so combining those flavors with the sweetness of honey and maple syrup is almost always going to yield delicious results. And since you can cut the slices yourself, you can decide exactly how much ham you want in each serving. We like slicing the pieces thicker for Christmas dinner. Then, we use the rest of the ham for leftovers. If you're making sandwiches with your leftovers, you can slice the pieces very thin.

Of course, not everyone likes sweet and salty flavor combinations. If you'd rather have something that's more on the savory side, you may want to try the uncured Black Forest ham instead. Either way, you're not going to have to spend a ton of time in the kitchen prepping it.

Pumpkin pie

For some, pumpkin pie is really only for Thanksgiving. But for those of us who love the flavor of pumpkin, pumpkin pie can and should be eaten through the Christmas holidays. Luckily, though, you don't have to make your pumpkin pie from scratch — just head to Whole Foods to pick up one you can share with family and friends around the dinner table. The classic pumpkin pie from Whole Foods is just that — classic — and it balances sweet and spicy ingredients beautifully. It serves six to eight people, so if you have more than that coming to your Christmas festivities (or you just know everyone is going to want to have seconds), you may want to consider picking up two.

We love grabbing a pie at the grocery store because it's so much easier than figuring out dessert on our own. This will allow you to spend more time focusing on the main course.

Pecan pie

There's nothing like a pecan pie on Christmas, but that doesn't mean you have to make it yourself. After all, wouldn't you rather spend that time enjoying the company of your family and friends? Grab a pecan pie from Whole Foods on Christmas day to make things easier on yourself. All you'll have to do is put it in the oven for a few minutes while it heats up, and you'll be well on your way to a classic dessert that everyone loves.

The top layer of pecans in this pie gets perfectly crisp, especially when you give it a little extra time in the oven. The extra sugar on top melts into a crispy, sweet crust that makes every bite feel that much more decadent. For an even more indulgent dessert, pick up some vanilla ice cream to serve on the side. Some extra whipped cream can also provide a sweet, lightweight addition to the dish.