Foods typically served for Christmas in France


Foods typically served at Christmas in France

Continuing on our holiday season series, it is time to talk about Christmas Eve food in France! There is a wide range of food served for Christmas in France.  What would Christmas be without food? It would very probably be less exciting! What are some foods typically served for Christmas in France? Because it is Christmas, there are a lot of options for food. In this article we'll list a few options and we'll even share with you a recipe to create chocolate truffles!

There is no traditional rigid menu that everyone follows; however, some foods typically served for Christmas in France are constitutive of a French Christmas eve dinner.

Christmas appetizers:

French Christmas appetizers have pretty similar ingredients as the starter. It can be smoked salmon, gravelax salmon, foie gras, and sometimes caviar for people willing to make the investment. Specific to appetizers, there will also be taramasalata and shrimps. A very well-known traditional appetizer is a little piece of gingerbread topped with some foie gras and a little bit of fig jam.

French Christmas Eve Appetizer

Concerning the starters, you can also have oysters and scallops. Generally, people are often fond of a platter of seafood. As you can see, there are not a lot of vegetarian options. There is a current trend to develop vegan options, such as  a vegan foie gras: however, there are still very few options available.  

Christmas main course

When it comes to the main course, there are many options to choose from. It can be meat like turkey, capon, duck, and guinea fowl.
Meat is often served stuffed with foie gras or mushrooms or some other stuffing. Duck is a very traditional and popular dish for Christmas because there are various ways to cook it, and it is usually not very difficult.
The most traditional for Christmas is probably duck in orange sauce, duck breast fillet, and duck confit. Foie gras can also be served hot; it is called stir-fried foie gras. It is not something that people often cook on Christmas because it requires particular expertise, but it can be found in restaurant menus. A very old-school meal is the white sausage. This dish is no longer explicitly made for Christmas but is definitely a holiday dish.

 Fish is less common, but some options include salmon, crab, monkfish, and pike. It is often going to be served with a fancy, sophisticated sauce. There are many options to choose from; they depend on the preferred meat. Usually, it will be potatoes in various forms, puree, gratin dauphinoise, pomme Duchesse.
Risottos can also be pretty standard, as well as mushrooms, marrows, and some pasta like gnocchi. Sometimes, people serve a cheese plate after the main course. If that’s not the case, the diner ends directly with the dessert.

French desserts

Unlike the rest of the meals, where there is no specific traditional dish, there is a conventional dessert that (practically) everyone is fond of! The Christmas buche! This is a rolled-cake with crème patisserie and chocolate or chestnut taste. Now they extended the flavors, and one can find absolutely any buche they wish, pistachio, berries, lemon, whipped crème, Nutella, etc. There are even some “frozen” versions of the classical buche where crème patisserie is replaced by ice cream.

In addition to this dessert, chocolates and candied fruits are served. One specific type of chocolate served on Christmas is chocolate truffles. You can find the receipt to do your own for your friends and family below this article! There can also be marzipan, nougat, and dried fruits. Those that can be served alone are incorporated in cakes and biscuits. A specialty from the South of France, from Aix-en-Provence in Provence, near Marseilles that is now also a Christmas treat, is calisson. It is absolutely delicious and composed of candied melon, orange peel, and melon topped with some sugar frosting.

Find here an easy Chocolate Truffles recipe to incorporate some French culture to your Christmas eve! 

Recipe for chocolate truffles from 
You can find on this website other easy receipt to cook some French food for Christmas! 


  • 2 cups of chocolate (dark chocolate recommended)  
  • 2 teaspoons of icing sugar 
  • Vanilla extracts  
  • 2/3 cup of flour  
  • ½ cup of powdered cocoa  
  • ¾ cup of unsalted butter  
  • 2 egg yolks  


  1. Melt the chocolate  
  2. Add the butter  
  3. In another bowl mix the egg yolks, the icing sugar, and some vanilla extract (to taste)  
  4. Add the melted chocolate with the butter to the mixture  
  5. Gradually add the flour  
  6. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour  
  7. After at least an hour, you can make little balls with the dough and coat it with powdered cocoa  

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