All the Last-Minute Christmas Recipes You Need

Snacks, impressive roasts, and desserts to whip up some holiday cheer

Here are all the Christmas recipes you need to make your holiday a success. Start with crostini and hot chocolate to warm up your guests. Salads, a showstopping centerpiece of Christmas goose or a big rack of lamb, and a heart-melting dessert will leave your guests full and satisfied. Here is our collection of Christmas recipes; for more, check out our full Holiday Guide.

Cranberry crostini

Cranberry Crostini

Cranberry crostiniMatt Taylor-Gross

Tart, colorful cranberries are not just for cooked and canned sauces. Paired with rich whipped ricotta spread and toasted baguette slices, the raw fruit has a punchy flavor and crunchy texture that's a light, bright complement to crostini. Prepare the dip up to one day ahead and store covered in the refrigerator. Stir or buzz in the food processor briefly before spreading onto toasts. Get the recipe for Cranberry Crostini »

Simple week Night Meal Chicken Potpie

Chicken Pot Shepherd's Pie

Simple week Night Meal Chicken PotpieFarideh Sadeghin

Give this comfort food staple the best of both worlds by topping a rich chicken stew with mashed potatoes and puff pastry. Get the recipe for Chicken Pot Shepherd's Pie »

salmon rillettes

Salmon Rillettes

salmon rillettesChristina Holmes

Made with both smoked and cooked fish for textural contrast, salmon rillettes became a New Year's staple once I discovered that my husband wasn't the only non—oyster eater among us. Pack into jars the night before entertaining—the flavors improve with time. Get the recipe for Salmon Rillettes »

Rumtopf
RumtopfMatt Taylor-Gross

This German method of preserving fruit in rum is more a ratio than a recipe: two parts fruit to one part sugar, covered with rum by at least an inch, with fruit continually added as it comes into season. Use the best fruit you can get your hands on (at season's peak) and allow for resting time (at least 2 months of aging at room temperature, though longer is better). Do it right and your crock never empties out; as the seasons progress, so do your additions of fruit, this year's nectarines mingling with the whispers of decade-old grapes. Get the recipe for Rumtopf »

Mint Hot Chocolate
Mint Hot ChocolateMatt Taylor-Gross

Adding a mint tea bag is the perfect way to flavor hot chocolate. For a stronger mint flavor, steep the tea bag for longer, but you only need a couple minutes so the mint doesn't get too grassy. A couple fresh mint leaves don't hurt, either. Get the recipe for Mint Hot Chocolate »

Almond Sugar Cookies

Almond Sugar Cookies

Almond Sugar CookiesAnders Schonnemann

These glittering almond squares make a fantastic Christmas cookie on their own, but sandwiched with raspberry jam, they're even better. Get the recipe for Almond Sugar Cookies »

Christmas Grouse with Berry Sauce (Jólarjúpa með Berjasósu)
Christmas Grouse with Berry Sauce (Jólarjúpa með Berjasósu)Ingalls Photography

Icelandic home cook Þorgerður Gunnarsdóttir serves ptarmigan, or wild grouse, with a sweet-tart sauce made with thyme and bilberries. Here, we substitute blueberries, a slightly sweeter cousin of bilberries. Get the recipe for Christmas Grouse with Berry Sauce (Jólarjúpa með Berjasósu) »

Honey-and-Butter Baked Pears with Cold Cream

Honey-and-Butter-Baked Pears with Cold Cream

Honey-and-Butter Baked Pears with Cold CreamAnders Schonnemann

These sticky, caramelized pears get served warm with a glug of fresh chilled cream for a richly-flavored variation on poached pears. Get the recipe for Honey-and-Butter-Baked Pears with Cold Cream »

Celery Root, Carrot, and Potato Gratin

Celery Root, Carrot, and Potato Gratin

Celery Root, Carrot, and Potato GratinAnders Schonnemann

This simple, comforting root vegetable gratin is perfumed with fragrant thyme and bay leaves before being baked with a bubbly Gruyère crust. Get the recipe for Celery Root, Carrot, and Potato Gratin »

Roast Pork Loin with Salted Caramel Potatoes
Roast Pork Loin with Salted Caramel PotatoesAnders Schonnemann

Tart red currant jelly compliments the buttery-rich sweetness of these show-stopping potatoes and delectable holiday pork roast. Get the recipe for Roast Pork Loin with Salted Caramel Potatoes »

Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and Thyme

Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and Thyme (Æbleflæsk)

Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and ThymeAnders Schonnemann

In a classic Danish treatment, sweet red apples are roasted with onions, caramelized in bacon fat, and served under thick steaks of smoked belly bacon. Get the recipe for Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and Thyme (Æbleflæsk) »

Blue Cheese, Grape, and Gem Lettuce Salad

Blue Cheese, Grape, and Gem Lettuce Salad

Blue Cheese, Grape, and Gem Lettuce SaladAnders Schonnemann

Sweetly acidic green grapes off-set the funk of creamy Danish blue cheese in this seasonal salad tossed together with a creamy cider vinegar–walnut dressing. Get the recipe for Blue Cheese, Grape, and Gem Lettuce Salad »

Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Parmigiano-ReggianoAnders Schonnemann

Caramelized roasted pumpkin gets an unorthodox hit of flavor from orange zest and juice, stirred in just before serving to brighten this wintry soup. Get the recipe for Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Parmigiano-Reggiano »

syrup wine roast duck

Birch Syrup and Soy Sauce-Glazed Roast Duck

syrup wine roast duckMatt Taylor-Gross

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 »

red wine venison loin

Spice-Rubbed Venison Loin with Red Wine Sauce

red wine venison loinMatt Taylor-Gross

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 »

Roast Duck with Figs

Roast Duck with Figs

Roast Duck with FigsMatt Taylor-Gross

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

Red Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

Red Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

Red Roast Chicken with Lemon and GarlicFarideh Sadeghin

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 »

braised beef shank with radishes and flaxseed relish

The Ultimate Pot Roast

braised beef shank with radishes and flaxseed relishHeami Lee

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 »

stuffed goose recipe, apple and chestnut stuffing, Slovenian recipes, goose recipes
stuffed goose recipeMatt Taylor-Gross

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 »

Honey Glazed Roast Pork with Apples

Honey Glazed Roast Pork with Apples

Honey Glazed Roast Pork with ApplesMatt Taylor-Gross

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 »

Sweden, recipe, Magnus Nilsson, roast lamb, herbs, kale

Roast Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Kale

roast lambMagnus Nilsson

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 »