Christmas Dinner Recipes & Ideas

Choose a few of our most-festive recipes to create your perfect Christmas feast.

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Salt-Roasted Prime Ribs of Beef

The salt crust in this recipe acts as a shield, preventing air from entering and drying out the meat, ensuring that perfectly pink, juicy inside. Make sure to brush away any excess salt before serving.

Get the Recipe: Salt Roasted Prime Ribs of Beef

Bacon Potatoes au Gratin

To get this comforting classic right, be sure to break the crust that the cream forms several times while cooking. It'll allow the cream and potatoes to meld perfectly — and prevent the top from overcooking.

Get the Recipe: Bacon Potatoes Au Gratin

Grilled Lollipop Lamb Chops

Tender lamb caramelized with agave nectar is quick and easy to make, but looks like a showstopper at the center of the table.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Lollipop Lamb Chops

Coq Au Vin

Alton Brown enhances this classic chicken dish by cooking it with pearl onions, allowing you to make both the main dish and a beloved Christmas side all at once. Allot two days — letting the dish steep overnight is essential.

Get the Recipe: Coq au Vin

Creamed Spinach

There's a reason this vegetable side makes its way onto so many holiday tables: It's a perfect complement to heartier meat dishes (and impossible to mess up). Don't forget the nutmeg, which adds essential, festive warmth. 

Get the Recipe: Creamed Spinach

Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Loin

This make-ahead take on porchetta can be assembled the night before, so all you need to do before dinner is pop it in the oven for two hours. Voila!

Get the Recipe: Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Loin

Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Shrimp scampi is an Italian classic and a frequent holiday table staple. Tyler Florence sautes the crustaceans with shallots, then deglazes with lemon and white wine.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

Holiday Hens with Fig Glaze and Cornbread Stuffing

Each guest can enjoy his or her own bird when you serve these perfectly portioned Cornish game hens. Remember to season the cavities before adding the sausage and cornbread stuffing, and dot the top of each bird with butter for evenly browned skin. A honey-sweetened balsamic glaze finishes the dish nicely.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Hens with Fig Glaze and Cornbread Stuffing

Aunt Chelle's Three-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

The combination of sharp cheddar, Gouda and American cheeses will make your guests melt, and it might just upstage the main course.

Get the Recipe: Aunt Chelle's Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Brisket Pot Pies

Chicken has some serious competition from brisket-filled pot pie. Classic ingredients like potatoes, carrots and onions mix with shredded brisket in a creamy sauce before being topped with flaky puff pastry.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Brisket Pot Pie

Roasted Squash with Brown Butter and Cinnamon

This warm, spiced side dish also works well as a ravioli filling or a soup when enriched with milk and cream. Molasses and dark brown sugar create a crackly sweet surface on the butternut squash as it steams in the oven.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Squash with Brown Butter and Cinnamon

Braised Tri-Tip Roast

One of our favorite flavor shortcuts is a packet of onion soup mix, which is bulked up by caramelized onions on top of the tender roast.

Get the Recipe: Braised Tri-Tip Roast

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates and Vanilla-Pecan Butter

When roasted in a super-hot oven, Brussels sprouts lose their funk and transform into tender bites. Pomegranates and a sweet butter complement the vegetable's nutty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates and Vanilla-Pecan Butter

Whole Roasted Chicken with Tapenade

Alex roasts her chicken whole and then rests it breast-side down to allow the juices to flow back through the drier white meat. She also removes the bird from the oven when it is between 155 and 160 degrees F –– the temperature will go up a few degrees higher as it rests, making it safe to eat but not overcooked.

Get the Recipe: Whole Roasted Chicken with Homemade Tapenade

Vegetable Pasta al Forno

Customize cheesy baked pasta with six cups of cooked vegetables of your choice. A classic bechamel sauce is the perfect base to build upon.

Get the Recipe: Vegetable Pasta al Forno

Dry-Aged Standing Rib Roast with Sage Jus

To turn out a picture-perfect version of Alton's roast, allow it to dry upright for three days on a rack, which is essential for drainage. Roasting the meat inside a terra-cotta planter set over a pizza stone promotes even heating, while a layer of salt on the outside ensures that a robust crust will form.

Get the Recipe: Dry-Aged Standing Rib Roast with Sage Jus

Sweet-and-Sour Pearl Onions

The initial blanching of the onions in this recipe ensures that they'll be tender when cooked through. If the raisins are hard, pour boiling water over them and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and proceed with the recipe.

Get the Recipe: Sweet and Sour Pearl Onions

Roasted Fennel with Oranges and Greens

Licorice haters will love the sweeter flavor of roasted fennel, complemented by orange juice and crunchy pine nuts.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Fennel with Oranges and Greens

Whole Duck with Green Peppercorn Glaze

The trick to achieving Alex's crackly, crisp duck skin is to let the meat sit overnight after brining; this will allow the skin to dry out. Baste the duck with pan drippings to keep the meat moist during roasting and finish with a Marsala glaze to achieve this dark, flavorful exterior.

Get the Recipe: Whole Duck with Green Peppercorn Glaze

Spinach Gratin

Popeye would approve of Chuck's leafy green gratin. It pairs two pounds of spinach with buttery Emmental, a type of Swiss cheese that melts especially well in this browned and bubbly dish.

Get the Recipe: Spinach Gratin

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Take a break from baked and mashed potatoes and try some flavorful, roasted, multicolored baby taters instead.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Herb-Crusted Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream

A sharp sauce like this tangy horseradish option is the ideal counterpart to a rich, herb-crusted roast. Even better news: This entire dish can be made in just 25 minutes. 

Get the Recipe: Herb-Crusted Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream

Arugula and Roasted Fruit Salad with Panettone Croutons

This unique Italian salad strikes just the right balance of sweet and savory with peppery arugula, creamy lemon dressing and tender butter-glazed roasted fruit.

Get the Recipe: Arugula and Roasted Fruit Salad with Panettone Croutons

Spice-Roasted Colorful Carrots

Brown sugar, chili powder and cumin make a sweet-spicy-smoky rub that would taste good on any vegetables, but Justine Simmons loves it on carrots in particular.

Get the Recipe: Spice-Roasted Colorful Carrots

Cauliflower Soup with Anchovy Breadcrumb Topping

While this cozy, thick soup is comforting all on its own, the salty, savory anchovy breadcrumbs really take it over the top. This entire dish can be made in advance, so it's a no-brainer for holiday tables.

Get the Recipe: Cauliflower Soup with Anchovy Breadcrumb Topping

Braciole

A traditional Sicilian dish, braciola is essentially a beef roulade. Instead of cheese, Giada opts for an herbed breadcrumb filling made with grated provolone and grated Pecorino Romano.

Get the Recipe: Braciole

Perry's Turkey Wings

Four hours of cook time for wings may sound a little crazy, but once you taste the slightly-spicy, tender turkey meat, you'll be a believer.

Get the Recipe: Perry's Turkey Wings

Grape Focaccia

Dotted with grapes and piping a rosemary aroma as it emerges from the oven, this savory-sweet bread will make a big impact on your holiday table. All you'll need are a stand mixer and a bit of courage. Don't worry about dimpling the dough –– your fingerprints will create just the right amount of room for the grapes. 

Get the Recipe: Grape Focaccia

Curried Couscous Salad

Instant couscous is so easy; the only "cooking" involved is boiling some water. When you spike it with curry powder, fresh herbs, and a splash of orange and lemon juice, it gains both color and a mix of bright, spiced flavors.

Get the Recipe: Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Sweet Cranberries

Rev Run's Gotta-Be-On-Time Prime Rib Holiday Roast Au Jus with Horseradish Sauce

You'll have everyone running to the table with Rev Run's epic prime rib roast, but you won't be rushing around the kitchen to make it. All it takes to flavor this dish is a few slivers of garlic cloves and some salt and pepper.

Get the Recipe: Rev Run's Gotta-Be-On-Time Prime Rib Holiday Roast Au Jus with Horseradish Sauce

Chuck's Apple Butter Glazed Ham

Chuck's sweet apple butter and honey-glazed ham is so delectable you'll want it for dessert too.

Get the Recipe: Apple Butter Glazed Ham

Pickled Root Vegetable Salad

A mandolin is the optimal tool for slicing this colorful collection of beets, parsnips and sweet potatoes into super-thin rounds. Kelsey pickles the vegetables in cider vinegar with mustard and celery seeds before serving them with goat cheese for a doubly tangy side dish.

Get the Recipe: Pickled Root Vegetable Salad

Duck Fat Potatoes

The word "fat" sound scary? While it is a fat by definition, duck fat is actually more akin to olive oil than butter or lard, thanks to its high level of linoleic acid (an unsaturated fatty acid).

Get the Recipe: Duck Fat Potatoes

Roasted Whole Mackerel

Roasted at a high heat, this impressive dish is surprisingly simple and quick-cooking. The fish is stuffed with lemon and fennel fronds and should sizzle when placed on a preheated sheet pan in the oven. When the fish is fully cooked, the eyes will turn white and the area near the head will feel firm.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Whole Mackerel

Zuppa e Councesze

Seasonal butternut squash and fresh mussels lend meaty texture to this Italian specialty. Steaming the mussels in a white wine and garlic bath infuses them with deep flavor, and mashing half of the squash with a fork gives the finished soup an extra-creamy consistency.

Get the Recipe: Zuppa e Councesze: Soup with Mussels

Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Roast

Giada rubs boneless pork loin with a fragrant herb mixture and then wraps it in thin slices of pancetta to build this doubly flavorful roast. While the meat rests, she bolsters the rich pan drippings with chicken broth and white wine for pouring over thickly carved slices of pork.

Get the Recipe: Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Roast

Roasted Suckling Pig with Mushroom Stew

Chuck prepares this spectacular suckling pig by scoring and rubbing the skin with a fresh garlic-herb paste. Frequent basting with pan drippings results in golden-brown skin –– perfect for pairing with sauteed rapini and a rich mixed-mushroom stew.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Suckling Pig with Mushroom Stew

Turkey Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing

Giada's Italian stuffing is sure to be a star side dish at your holiday table.

Get the Recipe: Raffy's Turkey Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing

Red Wine Risotto with Peas

Risotto isn't difficult — it simply requires attention. This version can be partially made up to four hours ahead and finished right before Christmas dinner.

Get the Recipe: Red Wine Risotto with Peas

Mussels in White Wine and Meyer Lemon Sauce

Celebrate the holiday in French style with briny mussels boiled in an herbed white wine sauce. Don't forget to serve with toasted garlic bread; you'll want it to mop up the extra sauce.

Get the Recipe: Mussels in White Wine and Meyer Lemon Sauce

Cauliflower Gratin

While gratin isn't low-cal (hello, butter, whole milk and Gruyere!), this dish packs in more nutrition than the potato version thanks to tender, vitamin-rich cauliflower.

Get the Recipe: Cauliflower Gratin

Alex's Brown Sugared Carrots

Brown sugar, butter and molasses caramelize to transform these carrots into a sweet treat, balanced by savory pepper and rosemary.

Get the Recipe: Brown Sugared Carrots

Chuck's Scalloped Potatoes

These easy-to-prepare potatoes are filled with creamy goat cheese, heavy cream and a fair amount of butter.

Get the Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes

Jamie's Christmas Turkey

If you're worried about cooking the perfect Christmas turkey because you're afraid you'll get it wrong, don't be. This recipe is nice and simple and will help you achieve brilliant results for your Christmas meal.

Get the Recipe: Jamie's Christmas Turkey

Brisket with Parsnips, Leeks and Green Onions

To get the right sear on the brisket, make sure your pot is very hot before adding the meat. If it's not, the meat will stick to the bottom and it won't brown properly.

Get the Recipe: Brisket with Parsnips, Leeks and Green Onions

Roasted Pheasant (Pheasant alla Fiorentina)

Pheasant is a tricky bird — it can be delicate and gamey at the same time. Pancetta (or, if you prefer, bacon) works well to balance the flavor; in other words, don't skip the stuffing in this dish.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Pheasant (Pheasant Alla Fiorentina)

Creamed Onion Gratin

This Creamed Onion Gratin is one of those timeless recipes that will always have a place at the Southern holiday table. Tender, caramelized onions are tossed in a rich and creamy cheese sauce, then topped with buttery panko crumbs. The results are baked into an irresistible, bubbling golden-brown casserole.

Get the Recipe: Creamed Onion Gratin

Chuck's Rib Roast With Mushroom Crust

Chuck's mushroom-crusted rib roast makes an impressive, elegant main dish for Christmas dinner.

Get the Recipe: Rib Roast with Mushroom Crust

Roasted Whole Black Bass

Take your holiday meal to the Mediterranean this year! The wine in this dish is essential — not only does it make for a great sauce, but it also helps steam the fish while retaining its moisture.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Whole Black Bass

Extra Virgin's Lasagne Alla Bolognese

Make a new Italian-inspired tradition this year by serving this creamy, comforting lasagna as a Christmas main course.

Get the Recipe: Lasagne Alla Bolognese

Alton's City Ham

A "city ham" is a refrigerated, brined ham that's usually — but not always — partially cooked. For the best flavor, look for one that's labeled "ham in natural juices."

Get the Recipe: City Ham

Laura's Potatoes a la Bakery

Make flavor magic this Christmas, with a few simple ingredients slow-cooked to perfection.

Get the Recipe: Pommes De Terre a la Boulangere: Potatoes a la Bakery

Toasted Spiced Ham Drizzled with Honey

A fragrant rub containing coriander seeds, peppercorns, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, chili powder and cinnamon adds a variety of sweet and spicy flavors to a boneless ham, while a honey glaze seals in the moisture.

Get the Recipe: Toasted Spiced Ham Drizzled in Honey

Michael Chiarello's Cioppino

This is the feast of seven fishes in one amazing stew. Serve Cioppino to a crowd for a rustic Christmas Eve dinner.

Get the Recipe: Cioppino

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

Kelsey's pilaf takes minimal effort and delivers maximum flavor — the perfect combo for a holiday side dish. Plus, the addition of bright pomegranate seeds and scallions will brighten up your holiday table.

Get the Recipe: Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

Calamari Stew

Calamari cooks quite quickly, which means that this wine- and tomato-based stew is ready to eat in just 20 minutes. Serve it with garlic-rubbed toast for sopping up every last drop at the bottom of the bowl.

Get the Recipe: Calamari Stew with Garlic Toast

Two Fat Ladies' Roast Goose and Stuffing

Rich goose is stuffed with a tasty tea-soaked prune stuffing to make this luxurious Christmas main dish.

Get the Recipe: Roast Goose and Stuffing

Laura's Boeuf en Croute

For Laura's Boeuf en Croute, layers of delicate puff pastry and herbed mushrooms are tucked around juicy, cooked-to-perfection beef tenderloin.

Get the Recipe: Boeuf en Croute

Sausage and Southern-Greens Dressing

This sausage and greens dressing is like a savory bread pudding.

Get the Recipe: Sausage and Southern-Greens Dressing

Laura's Stuffed Guinea Hen

Seasoned guinea hens are stuffed with a mixture of figs, cognac and thyme, then tightly wrapped in prosciutto and baked until crisp and juicy in this impressive holiday dish from Laura Calder.

Get the Recipe: Stuffed Guinea Hen

David Rocco's Stuffed Squid

David shares his recipe for an Italian Christmas staple.

Get the Recipe: Stuffed Squid

Christmas Caponata

David Rocco's caponata pairs wonderfully with other Italian flavors.

Get the Recipe: Lucia's Christmas Caponata

Fried Calamari

Feast on calamari as an appetizer for Christmas or Christmas Eve.

Get the Recipe: Fried Calamari

Kelsey's Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin

Kelsey's pork tenderloin makes a perfect Christmas dinner main dish. Top with a rosemary and orange sauce for an extra-special flair.

Get the Recipe: Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary Balsamic and Orange Sauce

Mark Bittman's Rack of Lamb With Pimenton, Garlic and Olive Oil

Spanish pimenton (smoked paprika) and garlic make a flavorful crust on this impressive main dish.

Get the Recipe: Rack of Lamb with Pimenton, Garlic and Olive Oil

Jamie's Roast Vegetable Mega Mix

Jamie suggests roasting these veggies the day before to make Christmas Day a little bit easier.

Get the Recipe: Roast Vegetable Mega Mix

Extra Virgin's Garlic Sauteed Spinach

There'll be no excuse not to eat your vegetables this Christmas with these greens. By blanching the leaves before mixing with garlic and oil you get rid of excess water, so all that's left is flavor.

Get the Recipe: Garlic Sauteed Spinach

Laura's Baked Onions with Vinaigrette

Whole, slow-baked onions become soft, pairing with an easy dressing of thyme, tarragon and lemon. When scraped onto crusty bread they become a wonderfully comforting starter.

Get the Recipe: Baked Onions with Vinaigrette

Jamie's Creamy Mushrooms

With all the juices that naturally cook out of the mushrooms and mix with the butter, you only need to add a touch of cream to get a sauce that gives the illusion of being really creamy when it's actually not.

Get the Recipe: Creamy Mushrooms

Balsamic Marinated Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms, Baked Camembert with Herb Oil

Fill a plate with a hearty variety of color, texture and flavor this year. A baked Camembert cheese wheel gives gooey oomph to an assortment of Christmas staples like roast beef and mashed potatoes.

Get the Recipe: Balsamic Marinated Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms, Baked Camembert with Herb Oil

Rolled Pork Florentine

Laura Calder rolls bacon, spinach and garlic inside a pounded pork loin before placing it in the oven, producing this stunning, simple main dish.

Get the Recipe: Rolled Pork Florentine

Pot Roast

You can't get easier than traditional pot roast. This recipe uses chuck blade roast, a muscular cut that breaks down brilliantly when cooked low and slow for hours.

Get the Recipe: Pot Roast

Duck Breast with Red Wine Sauce and Butternut Squash Gnocchi

This dish is all about the extra touches: licorice-like roasted fennel to cut the richness of the duck, and a unique red wine sauce made with veal stock, fresh orange juice and sliced beets.

Get the Recipe: Duck Breast with Red Wine Sauce and Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Turkey Sausages with Spicy Beans: Sausages with Fagioli all'Uccelletta

Instead of a roast, try something different for Christmas dinner. Ready-made turkey sausage and canned beans are given the quick sauté treatment, making this dish as stress-free as can be.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Sausages with Spicy Beans : Sausages with Fagioli All'uccelletta

Accordion Potatoes

For a fresh spin on this starchy standby, let your knife do the work: Slice up the spuds (halfway through) like hard-boiled eggs and then tuck bits of herbs in between.

Get the Recipe: Accordion Potatoes

Milk Pork

A beloved Italian dish, Maiale al Latte, as it's also known, uses whole milk to tenderize pork roast, giving it a slightly sweet flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Get the Recipe: Milk Pork

Mushroom Parmentier

Parmentier is essentially a gussied up play on shepherd's pie. This version is vegetarian-friendly, with a "meaty" mix of mushrooms in a vegetable stock reduction.

Get the Recipe: Mushroom Parmentier

Roasted Beetroot with Greens

The trickiest part of this recipe? Not getting beet juice everywhere! Cut them on a nonporous surface to avoid staining — or use an old cutting board you don't mind getting a little pink.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Beetroot with Sauteed Greens

Stuffed Cabbage

This cozy dish gets its signature flavor from quatre-epices. French for "four spices," the blend is made of ground pepper (black and white), cloves, nutmeg and ginger.

Get the Recipe: Stuffed Cabbage

Broiled Porterhouse with Roasted Garlic and Lemon

Broiling is the cooking method du jour for most steak houses — but it's a method rarely used at home. Save for a little bit of smoke, there's no easier way to cook steak.

Get the Recipe: Broiled Porterhouse with Roasted Garlic and Lemon

Italian Braised Beef with Root Vegetables

Braised beef is ideal for a big Christmas dinner: It's easy, delicious, inexpensive and will feed a crowd. Serve it over rigatoni as shown or try soft polenta with mascarpone.

Get the Recipe: Italian Braised Beef with Root Vegetables

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Christmas Recipes