Whether you go for a hulking ham, a massive slab of prime rib, a feast of seven fishes or a pure-vegetarian spread, we want to make sure you’re having the best Christmas dinner ever. To that end, we’ve rounded up our favorite Christmas and holiday main course recipes worthy of a center spot on your table. Try out roast duck or rack of lamb this year, and make sure to pair it with our top holiday side dish recipes.
For even more Christmas inspiration check out our Holiday Guide.
Pancetta-Wrapped Roast Turkey Breast (Turketta)
Due to our collective memory of overcooked holiday birds, turkey breast has the unfortunate reputation of being boring and dry. Thankfully, when it is cooked off the bone and seasoned appropriately, it can in fact be extremely juicy and flavorful. Get the recipe for Pancetta-Wrapped Roast Turkey Breast (Turketta) »
Seafood Newburg (Lobster, Scallops, and Shrimp in Sherry Cream Sauce)
While Lobster Newburg was first served New York City’s Delmonico’s restaurant in 1876, Boston’s Union Oyster House does a first-rate job with the dish, incorporating not just lobster, but scallops, shrimp, and a vol-au-vent, a puff-pastry shell filled with creamy Newburg sauce. Get the recipe for Seafood Newburg (Lobster, Scallops, and Shrimp in Sherry Cream Sauce) »
Spice-Rubbed Venison Loin with Red Wine Sauce
Good venison is buttery and beefy, hardly gamey at all. Amy Thielen likes to freeze then wet-age wild venison to allow its fibers to relax, thawing it in its vacuum-sealed package in the refrigerator for at least a week. Because the loin is so lean, it is best cooked over a steady push of medium-high heat—not high heat, which creates a bull’s-eye effect. To help the outside caramelize, Thielen adds malted milk powder to the spice rub, which also adds a subtle, nutty richness to the final sauce. Get the recipe for Spice-Rubbed Venison Loin with Red Wine Sauce »
The Ultimate Pot Roast
A low and slow braise is the best way to transform tough cuts of meat into fork-tender morsels. This version, made with a crosscut whole beef shank, is cooked in white wine and rich homemade beef bouillon layered with vegetables and aromatics for added complexity. Crunchy roasted radishes and a funky flaxseed, herb, and vinegar relish balance the pot roast’s richness with acidity and texture. Get the recipe for The Ultimate Pot Roast »
Braised Pork Shank (Stinco di Maiale)
Pork shanks are braised with chicken stock, beer, and plenty of aromatics, including fresh rosemary, and finished with parsley and lemon zest in this hearty dish from celebrated Portland restaurant Nostrana. Get the recipe for Braised Pork Shank (Stinco di Maiale)»
Tamarind-Glazed Roast Turkey
The flavors of Senegal—sour tamarind, fiery scotch bonnets, and pungent fish sauce—add umami-rich depth to this unexpected Thanksgiving bird.
Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb
Slow-cooking a leg of lamb in wine with garlic and herbs transforms the meat into an ultra-tender entrée that goes marvelously with stewed white beans. Get the recipe for Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb »
Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast)
The secret to the shimmering roux that tops this classic German roast is a pinch of sugar; it gilds the gravy as it balances the lemon and pickling spices in the dish. Get the recipe for Sauerbraten »
Piccolo Pete’s Prime Rib
Prime rib is a beloved Omaha steakhouse specialty. One of our favorite versions comes from Piccolo Pete’s, where the meat is rubbed with Italian spices and blasted with high heat to form a flavorful crust. Get the recipe for Piccolo Pete’s Prime Rib »
Spiced Honey-Glazed Spiral Ham
Although spiral-cut ham comes fully cooked, a low, slow roast will heat it through and caramelize its sticky, spiced glaze. At Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro, a ham is glazed with pan drippings, local honey, and fragrant cinnamon and clove for their annual Thanksgiving feast, which they serve to veterans and their families. Get the recipe for Spiced Honey-Glazed Spiral Ham »