19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (2024)

The holiday season calls for festive and celebratory meals, and a showstopping Christmas roast definitely fits the bill. Try your hand at a simple Three-Ingredient Prime Rib Roast, Garlicky Roast Pork Shoulder, or an impressive platter of Roasted Goose Legs with Sour Cherry Glaze and Gravy. With more than a dozen Christmas roast recipes to choose from, you can find the centerpiece of the season here.

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Standing Rib Roast of Beef

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (1)

Bruce Aidells' easy standing rib roast beef recipe uses an adaptation of the classic English approach to a beef roast. It's a perfect centerpiece for a British-style Sunday lunch, as aChristmas roast, or any celebration or holiday meal.

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Leg of Lamb with Fingerling Potatoes and Leeks

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (2)

Incredibly easy to prepare, this bone-in leg of lamb is coated with an herby, pleasantly salty crust before marinating in the refrigerator for about eight hours. The dry brine results in a juicy, tender, and deliciously garlicky lamb roast.

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Juniper-Rubbed Roast Duck with Cherry Jus

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (3)

Chef Angie Mar's succulent roast duck brings new meaning to the term "show-stopper." It's served with a rich sauce of reduced duck broth and tart cherries as a nod to the cherry trees in the Pacific Northwest where she grew up. If you have a smoking gun, use it to give a hint of smoke to the duck.

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Crown Roast of Lamb with Jeweled Rice Stuffing

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (4)

This dramatic roast is served with tender rice spiced with cumin and turmeric and studded with almonds, raisins, and currants.

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Garlic-Butter Rib Roast

This impressive, flavor-packed rib roast is perfect for a celebration. The secret? A compound butter made with garlic, anchovies, herbs, and shallot. Half of it is slathered all over the roast before it goes into the oven; the other half is rolled up into a log, chilled, and then cut into medallions to serve with each slice of beef.

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Picanha Roast

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (6)

Picanha, a tender and flavorful cut of beef, is roasted to medium-rare and then sauced in a peppercorn-infused brown butter. After resting, the steak is very juicy on its own, but with the warm, pink peppercorn–infused sweet-and-sour brown butter sauce, it’s downright swoon-worthy.

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Roasted Goose Legs with Sour Cherry Glaze and Gravy

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (7)

Food & Wine editor Melanie Hansche reimagines the traditions of her hometown in Bavaria, Germany, in her recipe for sour cherry–glazed roasted goose legs. In Bavaria, it's not Christmas without roast goose, but roasting individual legs makes it a more manageable endeavor.

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Sea Salt Rib Roast

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (8)

Longtime friends James Knappett and Shaun Searley teamed up to deliver this grand rib roast with creamy mushroom gravy — a crowning moment for any meal.

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Duck à l'Orange

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (9)

Because a single duck rarely has enough meat to feed more than two or three people, Jacques Pépin prepares two ducks side by side when serving this classic dish to guests. And because he's roasting whole ducks, he cooks them until they're well done, which results in the crispiest skin and best flavor.

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Goose Stuffed with Apples and Armagnac-Soaked Prunes

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (10)

Cookbook author Nadine Levy Redzepi hits the nail on the Christmas roast head with her elegant stuffing that combines plump Armagnac-soaked prunes, apples, and garlic. If boozy flavors aren't your thing, you can soak the prunes for as little as two hours instead of a full week.

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Rosemary-Pepper Beef Rib Roast with Porcini Jus

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (11)

In this recipe from the late renowned chef Floyd Cardoz, beef rib roast is seared in a preheated pan in the oven, which saves stove space and helps the meat cook more quickly. Pair it with a peppery California Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Pork Roast with Sausage, Fruit, and Nut Stuffing

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (12)

Pork and fruit is a classic pairing around the world, but this dish from chef José Andrés gets a particularly Catalan flavor from the combination of dried fruit and butifarra (a Catalan cured pork sausage) in the stuffing. The stuffing cooks inside the roast, which gives it a deep, marvelously porky flavor.

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Three-Ingredient Prime Rib Roast

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (13)

Coffee and prime rib seem like unlikely partners, but chef Ryan Farr's recipe reveals they both have an earthy quality that makes for a natural match. Just be sure to scrape off any excess coffee rub from the meat before serving. To further complement the roast's coffee notes, pair with Australian Shiraz or another red wine that's been aged in highly toasted oak barrels.

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Harissa-Crusted Pork Crown Roast

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (14)

For this regal pork crown roast recipe, the usual garlic-herb coating is swapped out for a smoky harissa version, which transforms from a paste into a crispy crust in the oven. A Zinfandel from older vines is the perfect match for the spicy, intense harissa.

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Poblano Pimento Cheese–Roasted Chicken

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (15)

Ashley Christensen, the chef at Poole's in North Carolina, kicks up her pimento cheese with mildly spicy poblanos and green hot sauce. In this brilliant riff, Food & Wine Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple spreads the creamy dip under the skin of a whole bird before it's roasted to get both crispy skin and juicy meat.

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Pomegranate-Jalapeño Glazed Ham

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (16)

At Akasha in Los Angeles, chef Akasha Richmond prepares a sweet and spicy glaze for ham using house-made pomegranate-jalapeño jelly. As an easier alternative, this recipe calls for doctoring store-bought jalapeño jelly with pomegranate juice.

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Garlicky Roast Pork Shoulder

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (17)

Chef Jose Enrique's version of the Puerto Rican classic pernil asado is extra flavorful because he marinates the pork in lime and orange juices, as well as plenty of garlic, before roasting until the meat is caramelized and crispy. It can be carved, shredded, or pulled into large pieces for serving. It's no wonder that pernil is a traditional Christmas dish that's ideal for family gatherings.

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Standing Pork Rib Roast with Cracklings

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (18)

Aside from the pork itself, there's only one other ingredient in butcher Erika Nakamura's succulent rib roast: kosher salt. The pork skin, which is used to seal in the juices, puffs and becomes crispy as it cooks, creating irresistible cracklings to eat with the meat.

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Horseradish-Crusted Roast Beef

19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (19)

This roast — deliciously crusted with horseradish and black peppercorns — is perfect hot out of the oven, but it's also amazing cold on a sandwich: Thinly slice the roast beef and serve it on white bread with horseradish mayonnaise and juicy tomatoes.

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19 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes (2024)


What is the best cut of beef for a Christmas roast? ›

The Prime Rib, the classic holiday roast. With its rich, beefy flavor, you can't go wrong.

What is the best meat to serve for Christmas? ›

Top 5 Traditional Meats For Christmas Dinner
  1. Turkey. Let's admit it, a whole turkey is the best and most traditional meat for Christmas dinners. ...
  2. Beef. Beef often comes to mind when choosing Christmas meats and for good reason. ...
  3. Ham and Gammon. What's Christmas without a joint of ham? ...
  4. Pork. ...
  5. Lamb.

What is the traditional Christmas roast? ›

Traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. Other types of poultry, roast beef, or ham, are also used.

How many pounds of roast per person? ›

If beef roast is the main dish, the general rule of thumb is to get at least a half-pound of beef for every person (8 ounces). If there's a possibility of additional unexpected guests or if you'd like leftovers, you can round up and buy about 3/4 pound per person (12 ounces) or even a pound per person (16 ounces).

What kind of roast should I buy for Christmas dinner? ›

Prime rib, also referred to as standing rib roast, is a beautiful piece of meat. Whenever we need a truly showstopping holiday roast, we turn to it. A well-cooked prime rib is juicy, full of flavor, and not at all difficult to make. Get the Perfect Prime Rib recipe.

What makes the best Christmas dinner? ›

You likely will want to choose a main first, like a turkey, Christmas ham, casserole or other show-stopping dishes. Then, you can compliment your main with Christmas side dishes and holiday appetizers. And of course, you can't forget about sweet Christmas desserts and festive co*cktails to sip on throughout the night!

What is the most common food eaten on Christmas? ›

Every family in every part of the world serves their own traditional Christmas foods, but in the U.S., some are enjoyed nationwide:
  • Turkey.
  • Prime Rib.
  • Baked Ham.
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Stuffing.
  • Green Bean Casserole.
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes.
  • Roasted Vegetables.
Dec 21, 2023

What is a good meat for Christmas instead of turkey? ›

Here are six non-traditional dinner alternatives (vegetarian and meat) that you can swap out for turkey or ham this holiday season.
  • Beef Wellington: The Showstopper.
  • Christmas Roast Duck: The Twist on a Classic.
  • Vegetarian Enchiladas: The Surprise Favorite.
  • Roast Lamb: The Savory Star.
Dec 12, 2022

What is the difference between Christmas dinner and Sunday roast? ›

An ordinary Sunday roast often is the only course served, roast meat, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, 2 or 3 veg and of course gravy. Maybe with a bottle of wine. Christmas dinner however will usually be 3 courses, starter, mains and a dessert.

What size roast for 20 people? ›

What weight of meat per person to order?
Boneless MeatNumber of PeopleBone in meat
8lb / 3.64kg16 – 1712lb / 5.44kg
9lb / 4.08kg18 – 1914lb / 6.35kg
10lb / 4.54kg20 – 2116lb / 7.25kg
11lb / 4.98kg22 – 2318lb / 8.16kg
8 more rows

How many pounds of roast beef do I need for 20 people? ›

How much roast is there for roast beef sandwiches for 20 people? If you make 1/3 lb sandwiches, you would need roughly 7 lbs of COOKED beef to feed 20 people.

How much roast for 20 adults? ›

Bone-in roasts: Figure about one-pound per person. A 10-pound roast will feed 8-10 people. Boneless: Allow about a half-pound per person, which should yield about a 6-ounce piece.

What is the best cut of meat for sliced roast beef? ›

A top loin roast is ideal. It's got plenty of brawny flavor, and all of the fat is on the surface, which you can easily trim off after the meat is cooked. Here, the beef is roasted low and slow to ensure rare, juicy meat. This said, if you want a more economical cut, use bottom, top or eye round here instead.

What's the best cut of meat for a crockpot roast? ›

There are many different cuts that can be used for crockpot roast from bottom round, to rump roast, to shoulder roast to chuck roast, but for the best crockpot pot roast, use the boneless chuck roast.

Is beef tenderloin or prime rib better? ›

Beef tenderloin is lean and tender, while prime rib has plenty of fat for flavor. Learn about other differences between these desirable cuts of beef.

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