Celebrate the holidays in style with these impressive holiday roasts. Whether you’re searching to stuff a bird or marinate a leg of lamb, you’ll surely find a worthy star of your
Christmas dinner menu among these recipes. Once you’ve chosen the centerpiece for your holiday meal, choose the perfect side dishes to compliment it. Maybe you’re looking for a classic pork tenderloin or pineapple topped ham, or maybe you’re in search of something a bit more adventurous, like a fire-roasted duck and pheasant. Whatever you’re craving, our best holiday roast recipes have you covered. For more inspiration, check out our Holiday Guide.
Roast Duck with Plums
A simple roast duck is paired with juicy plums and spices in this recipe from
Biergarten Cookbook: Traditional Bavarian Recipes by Julia Skowronek (Dorling Kindersley, March 2015). Get the recipe for Roast Duck with Plums »
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 »
Jamaican Jerk Roast Turkey
Get the recipe for Jamaican Jerk Roast Turkey »
Roasted Turkey with Achiote Citrus Marinade
Achiote paste gives the rub for this recipe a deep red hue, making for a visually striking roast holiday bird.
Get the recipe for Roasted Turkey with Achiote Citrus Marinade »
Roast Duck with Mandarin Orange Sauce
This three-part technique starts with a stove-top sear to render fat followed by a stint in the oven for a steam in a flavorful broth. A final roast results in juicy meat and crisp skin.
Get the recipe for Roast Duck with Mandarin Orange Sauce »
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 »
Crispy Roast Pork (Siew Yoke)
With a luscious interior and perfectly crisp crackling, this is everything roast meat should be.
Get the recipe for Crispy Roast Pork (Siew Yoke) »
Brining the fresh ham prior to roasting keeps the meat moist and succulent in this roast. The glaze can be made up to a week in advance.
Get the recipe for Maple-and-Mustard-Glazed Ham »
Fire-Roasted Duck and Pheasant with Red Currant Jelly
Fred Morin and Dave McMillan of Joe Beef in Montreal cook a mix of birds over flames and embers, using hooks and chains to suspend and rotate them (different-size birds will cook at different speeds). “The spin, the way the fat drips down, all combines to make a wonderfully burnished bird,” says McMillan. Ambitious home cooks can hang birds using twine or wire over a backyard fire, or simply roast birds on a rack set in a roasting pan in the (indoor) oven.
Get the recipe for Fire-Roasted Duck and Pheasant with Red Currant Jelly »
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 »
Bouchon Roast Turkey
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 »
Standing Rib Roast with Currant Port Glaze
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 »
Roast Pork Loin with Salted Caramel Potatoes
Birch Syrup and Soy Sauce-Glazed Roast Duck
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 »
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 »
Red Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic
Slow-roasted belly stands in for the classic whole suckling pig that graces virtually every special occasion in the Philippines. Chef Dale Talde also swaps out the sauce’s pungent pork liver for more mellow and easier to source chicken livers. Don’t worry, though. It still tastes, as Talde lovingly puts it, like “liverwurst mixed with sweet and sour sauce.”
Get the recipe for Filipino Roast Pork Belly with “Lechon” Sauce »
Roasted Chicken with Harissa
Roast Duck with Figs
Roast Leg of Lamb with Apples and Fennel
Babette Hayes shared her recipe for this succulent roast, which is cooked alongside apples and fennel, perfumed with garlic and rosemary, and has a sweet-tart crust from a glaze of red currant jelly and pomegranate molasses. Ask your butcher to partially expose the shank, which you can use as a sort of handle for easier carving.
Get the recipe for Roast Leg of Lamb with Apples and Fennel »
Roast Boneless Prime Rib
A liberal dusting of salt, a quick, crust-forming pan sear, and a stint in the oven is all that’s needed to yield a juicy, flavorful prime rib of beef.
Get the recipe for Roast Boneless Prime Rib »
Pineapple-Chipotle Glazed Ham
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 »
Standing Rib Roast with Bordelaise Sauce
Ask the butcher to french (strip the skin and fat from) the ribs on the roast for a fancier presentation.
Get the recipe for Standing Rib Roast »
Christmas Goose with Stuffing
This holiday goose is served with a rice and bread stuffing studded with bacon, Brussels sprouts, and chestnuts.
Get the recipe for Christmas Goose with Stuffing »
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 »
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 »
Bebek Betutu (Balinese Roast Duck)
In Bali, this aromatic chile and garlic stuffed duck is wrapped in coconut tree bark and steamed. We found it bakes beautifully rubbed in coconut oil and covered in aluminum foil.
Get the recipe for Bebek Betutu (Balinese Roast Duck) »
Christian Delouvrier’s Roast Chicken
The secret to a perfectly moist bird with crisp skin? Basting with an umami-rich mixture of soy sauce and butter.
Get the recipe for Christian Delouvrier’s Roast Chicken with Herbed French Fries »
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) »
Fresh Ham with Honey and Cloves
This feast-worthy dish calls for fresh ham, a succulent cut from the pig’s hind leg that yields crisp skin and juicy meat.
Get the recipe for Fresh Ham with Honey and Cloves »
Roast Pork with Sinner Stuffing
A generous pour of bourbon is the secret to this juicy pork loin’s sweet fruit stuffing.
Get the recipe for Roast Pork with Sinner Stuffing »
Whole Roasted Branzino with Fennel and Onions
Onions and fennel provide a flavorful base for whole roasted fish.
Get the recipe for Whole Roasted Branzino with Fennel and Onions »
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) »
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 »
Roasted Fresh Ham with Orange Glaze
Oranges, with their clean, acidic spark, are an excellent foil for the ham’s rich taste.
Get the recipe for Roasted Fresh Ham with Orange Glaze »