Our Very Best Christmas Dinner Recipes

Holiday ham, rack of lamb, and pretty prime rib. Lucky you

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.

Standing Rib Roast with Black Currant Port Glaze

Standing Rib Roast with Currant Port Glaze, Late Winter Feast
A giant slab of perfectly roasted beef looks incredibly appetizing on its own, so don't worry about cleaning and exposing (known as frenching) the bones. The fat that remains will help keep the meat moist. Get the recipe for Standing Rib Roast with Black Currant Port Glaze »Bill Phelps

Whole Roasted Black Bass with Potatoes, Green Olives, and Salsa Verde

Whole Roasted Black Bass with Potatoes, Green Olives, and Salsa Verde
The fillets of whole roasted fish are easy to remove and serve using a serving fork or spoon, thin knife, or a spatula. Get the recipe for Whole Roasted Black Bass with Potatoes, Green Olives, and Salsa Verde »Jenny Huang

Pancetta-Wrapped Roast Turkey Breast (Turketta)

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) »Matt Taylor-Gross

Birch Syrup and Soy Sauce-Glazed Roast Duck

syrup wine roast duck
Amy Thielen's take on traditional teriyaki uses a bit of birch syrup in addition to mirin (sweet rice wine). Compared with maple syrup, birch is more feral—darker, less sweet, and more acidic—and she prefers it for cooking. It also doesn't hurt that she can harvest it at home: Every spring she taps the silver birch trees in her yard and boils down the syrup over a wood fire. You can find birch syrup online, or use maple. (If doing so, omit the teaspoon of sugar.) Get the recipe for Birch Syrup and Soy Sauce-Glazed Roast Duck »Matt Taylor-Gross

Seafood Newburg (Lobster, Scallops, and Shrimp in Sherry Cream Sauce)

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) »Ingalls Photography

Chicken with Cauliflower and Leeks in Red Wine Sauce

chicken
Cauliflower, leeks, and bay leaf infuse this chicken dish's luscious, reduced red wine sauce with flavor. Get the recipe for Chicken with Cauliflower and Leeks in Red Wine Sauce »Beth Galton | Food Styling: Mariana Velasquez

Spice-Rubbed Venison Loin with Red Wine Sauce

red wine venison loin
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 »Matt Taylor-Gross

Roast Duck with Figs

Roast Duck with Figs
Rich, fatty duck gets a double dose of sweetness from port wine and jammy figs. Get the recipe for Roast Duck with Figs »Matt Taylor-Gross

The Ultimate Pot Roast

braised beef shank with radishes and flaxseed relish
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 »Heami Lee

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Herbs

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Herbs
Get the recipe for Grilled Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Herbs »Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

Braised Pork Shank (Stinco di Maiale)

braised pork shanks
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)»Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

Steamed Saffron Rice with Tahdig (Chelo ba Tahdig)

Steamed Saffron Rice with Tahdig (Chelo ba Tahdig)
Iranians usually serve chelo ba tahdig with stew, kebabs, or meat dishes. Herbs and alliums, feta, or walnuts often share the table. Get the recipe for Steamed Saffron Rice with Tahdig (Chelo ba Tahdig) »Zachary Zavislak

Roasted Rack Of Lamb with Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad

Roasted Rack Of Lamb with Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad
The flavors of fall and winter are perfectly represented in this simple and elegant meal. Get the recipe for Roasted Rack Of Lamb with Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Apple- and Chestnut-Stuffed Goose with Egg Noodles

stuffed goose recipe, apple and chestnut stuffing, Slovenian recipes, goose recipes
This impressive stuffed goose is flavored with plum eau-de-vie and served with tender mlinci—toasted, hand-torn egg noodles. Get the recipe for Apple- and Chestnut-Stuffed Goose with Egg Noodles »Matt Taylor-Gross

Honey Glazed Roast Pork with Apples

Honey Glazed Roast Pork with Apples
Normans use apples and cider in many savory preparations—with game, poultry, even fish. In this classic pork dish from Jean-François Guillouet-Huard, of Domaine Michel Huard, it's important to use a slightly tart variety so the end result isn't too sweet. Get the recipe for Honey Glazed Roast Pork with Apples »Matt Taylor-Gross

Sautéed Quail with Black Barley, Beets, and Fig Sauce

Sautéed Quail with Black Barley, Beets, and Fig Sauce
Mustard-and-herb-marinated quail gets a quick sauté for this earthy dish and is served with poached beets and a sweet-tart fig and ruby port sauce. Adapted from a recipe by chef Stuart Bell of Ten Minutes by Tractor in Mornington Peninsula, Australia, the dish has black barley, a variety with the bran still attached to the wheat kernel. Get the recipe for Sautéed Quail with Black Barley, Beets, and Fig Sauce »Matt Taylor-Gross

Juniper Berry-Crusted Rack of Venison with Mostarda

Juniper Berry-Crusted Rack of Venison with Mostarda, Late Winter Feast
Searing the venison before coating it with spices ensures that the spices retain their potency but don't burn before the venison is cooked. A sweet and sour pear and berry mostarda is the perfect condiment for this lean roast. Get the recipe for Juniper Berry-Crusted Rack of Venison with Mostarda »Bill Phelps

Justin Smillie's Peppercorn-Crusted Short Ribs with Lemon, Olives, and Radishes

Justin Smillie's Peppercorn-Crusted Short Ribs with Lemon, Olives, and Radishes
These short ribs are brined, steam-roasted, and then seared, making the meat succulent and turning the peppercorn rub into a thick, spicy bark. Get the recipe for Justin Smillie's Peppercorn-Crusted Short Ribs with Lemon, Olives, and Radishes »Ingalls Photography

Tamarind-Glazed Roast Turkey

Tamarind-Glazed Roast Turkey Recipe, Thanksgiving turkey recipe, african turkey recipe
The flavors of Senegal—sour tamarind, fiery scotch bonnets, and pungent fish sauce—add umami-rich depth to this unexpected Thanksgiving bird. Get the recipe for Tamarind-Glazed Roast Turkey »Ryan Liebe

Pear-Marinated Roast Leg of Lamb

Pear-Marinated Roast Leg of Lamb
The enzymes found in pears tenderize this roast lamb, while garlic and herbs add flavor. Get the recipe for Pear-Marinated Roast Leg of Lamb »Farideh Sadeghin

Crispy Duck Breasts with Glazed Carrots

Crispy Duck Breasts with Glazed Carrots
Test kitchen director Farideh Sadeghin learned the technique for this wonderfully crisp duck with soy glaze while working in the kitchen at Huka Lodge in Taupo, New Zealand. Get the recipe for Crispy Duck Breasts with Glazed Carrots »Penny De Los Santos

Grilled Beef Ribs with Charred Vegetables

Grilled Beef Ribs with Charred Vegetables
These beef ribs are hearty enough for the hungriest diner. Get the recipe for Grilled Beef Ribs with Charred Vegetables »Marcus Nilsson

Roast Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Kale

Sweden, recipe, Magnus Nilsson, roast lamb, herbs, kale
The dramatic presentation of a whole leg of lamb is the most fun part about roasting one. Have your butcher clean the protruding bone well and leave about ¼ inch of fat on the outside of the meat. The kale here is simple, but it helps balance the lamb's meaty, assertive flavor with a bright vinegar dressing. Chef Magnus Nilsson also likes to serve this lamb with a dollop of skyr mixed with herbs. Get the recipe for Roast Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Kale »Magnus Nilsson

Dominique Ansel's Cassoulet

Dominique Ansel's Cassoulet
Made with confit duck legs, pork belly, and two kinds of sausage, this meaty, resplendently rich cassoulet is worth treasuring all winter. Get the recipe for Dominique Ansel's Cassoulet »Matt Taylor-Gross

Pike-perch with Creamed Mushrooms and Horseradish Butter

Sweden, recipe, Magnus Nilsson, pike-perch, creamed mushrooms, horseradish butter
In Sweden, chef Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken uses pike-perch, a distinct fish that's neither pike nor perch but is similar in size and taste to American walleye. If you can't find either, red snapper or any firm, white-flesh fish with moderately sized fillets will work. Get the recipe for Pike-perch with Creamed Mushrooms and Horseradish Butter »Magnus Nilsson

Chablis-Style Ham with Tomato Cream Sauce (Jambon au Chablis)

Chablis-Style Ham with Tomato Cream Sauce (Jambon au Chablis)
In this dish, thick-cut ham is doused in a velvety tomato-based cream sauce made with chablis. Get the recipe for Chablis-Style Ham with Tomato Cream Sauce (Jambon au Chablis) »Ingalls Photography

Sole Piccata

Sole Piccata
The recipe for this pan-fried fillet is finished with a white-wine butter sauce laced with lemon, capers, and shallots. Get the recipe for Sole Piccata »Penny De Los Santos

Homard en Croûte (Lobster Pot Pie)

Homard en Croûte (Lobster Pot Pie)
Brandy adds even more luxuriousness to these creamy lobster pot pies. Get the recipe for Homard en Croûte (Lobster Pot Pie) »Ingalls Photography

Florentine T-bone Steak

Florentine T-bone Steak
Brushing meat with rosemary imparts an herbal fragrance to this Italian steak, which is traditionally served with cannellini beans and lemon wedges. Get the recipe for Florentine T-bone Steak »Joseph De Leo

Sara's Roast Chicken with Sage and Garlic

Sara's Roast Chicken with Sage and Garlic
Simple roast chicken flavored with parsley, lemon, sage, and garlic makes an elegant and impressive meal. Get the recipe for Sara's Roast Chicken with Sage and Garlic »Andre Baranowski

Red Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

Red Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic
Paprika lends to the burnished skin and earthy sweetness of this roast chicken, its flavor brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Set on a bed of pearl onions, carrots, garlic, fennel, and zucchini, the vegetables soak in all the bird's juices as it roasts. Get the recipe for Red Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic »Farideh Sadeghin

Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb

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 »Landon Nordeman

Rack of Lamb with Rosemary and Thyme

Rack of Lamb with Rosemary and Thyme
This simply-seasoned rack of lamb is roasted to the perfect tenderness. Get the recipe for Rack of Lamb with Rosemary and Thyme »Andre Baranowski

Prosciutto-Wrapped Roast Pork Loin

Prosciutto-Wrapped Roast Pork Loin
Wrapping pork loin in prosciutto not only keeps the roast especially juicy, but it adds wonderful, salty flavor. Get the recipe for Prosciutto-Wrapped Roast Pork Loin »Todd Coleman

Brined and Roasted Turkey

Brined and Roasted Turkey
Brining turkeys has become de rigueur in many American households—this recipe shows you how it's done. Get the recipe for Brined and Roasted Turkey »Vanessa Rees

Apricot-Ginger Glazed Ham

Apricot-Ginger Glazed Ham
A glaze made with apricot and ginger adds a sweet note to salty roasted ham. Get the recipe for Apricot-Ginger Glazed Ham »Todd Coleman

Squab and Braised Peas

Squab and Braised Peas
Smoky braised peas pair perfectly with pan-roasted squab. Get the recipe for Squab and Braised Peas »André Baranowski

Roasted Lamb with Rosemary (Arni me Dendrolivano)

Roasted Lamb with Rosemary (Arni me Dendrolivano)
Roasting lamb over a bed of rosemary sprigs lends this Greek classic a smoky, herbal flavor. Get the recipe for Roasted Lamb with Rosemary (Arni me Dendrolivano) »Penny De Los Santos

Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder Roast (Pernil Asado Con Mojo)

Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder Roast (Pernil Asado Con Mojo)
Pork shoulder is soaked overnight in a citrusy mojo marinade in this Cuban recipe. Get the recipe for Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder Roast (Pernil Asado Con Mojo) »Todd Coleman

Braised Rabbit with Salmorejo Sauce

Braised Rabbit with Salmorejo Sauce (Conejo en Salmorejo), Katie Button
Smoky Spanish paprika adds deep flavor to this braise from Chef Katie Button of Cúrate and Nightbell, matching perfectly with gamey, succulent rabbit. Get the recipe for Braised Rabbit with Salmorejo Sauce »Paul Sirisalee | Food Styling: Eugene Jho

Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes

Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes
For this simple Sicilian Easter dish, cosciotto di agnello con patate, a leg of lamb is roasted over a bed of potatoes. Get the recipe for Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes »Todd Coleman

Rosemary-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin

Rosemary-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin
Seasoned with fresh rosemary and garlic, this juicy beef tenderloin is the perfect main dish to serve to big groups; any leftovers can be used in sandwiches the day after. Get the recipe for Rosemary-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin »Todd Coleman

Skillet-Cooked Duck Breast with Beets and Watercress

Skillet-Cooked Duck Breast with Beets and Watercress
The earthiness of beets pairs well with duck, which chef Gavin Kaysen likes to grill, but a skillet works just as well at home. The black rice is an incredible dish simply on its own. Get the recipe for Skillet-Cooked Duck Breast with Beets and Watercress »Ariana Lindquist

Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast)

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 »Todd Coleman

Crisp Pork Belly with Roasted Vegetables and Applesauce

Crisp Pork Belly with Roasted Vegetables and Applesauce
The skin on this slow-roasted pork belly gets peeled off and fried into cracklings, allowing the fat underneath to render and caramelize. Whatever vegetables are in season—this time of year, it's carrots, turnips, and leeks—pair well with the meat, which is served with a cider-spiked applesauce and best enjoyed with a bitter ale, one of the many beers you can drink with it at the Black Bull Inn and Hotel in Coniston. Get the recipe for Crisp Pork Belly with Roasted Vegetables and Applesauce »Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

Piccolo Pete's Prime Rib

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 »Ariana Lindquist

Lamb Shanks in Red Wine with Creamy Eggplant

Lamb Shanks in Red Wine with Creamy Eggplant
A creamy eggplant purée, enriched with béchamel and Gruyère cheese serves as a bed for meltingly tender lamb shanks, slow-braised in red wine and aromatics. Get the recipe for Lamb Shanks in Red Wine with Creamy Eggplant »Christina Holmes | Food Styling: Eugene Jho

Spiced Honey-Glazed Spiral Ham

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 »Eilon Paz