Christmas Dinner Recipes

Christmas dinner is the time for a showy main dish. Find recipes for prime rib, roast goose, glazed ham, seafood, and more.

Staff Picks

Cranberry Stuffed Game Hens

Rating: 4.83 stars
If you've never worked with game hens before, they're very user-friendly. Even stuffed to excess, they only roast for about an hour in a hot oven, and as long as you don't overcook them (use a thermometer!), you'll be enjoying the kind of juicy, flavorful meat that people cooking turkey only dream of.

Beef Wellington

Rating: 4.53 stars
This is a very easy recipe that I learned when I was living in England. Note that Beef Wellington should always be served with the center slightly pink. Enjoy!

Apple Walnut Stuffed Pork Roast

Rating: 4.2 stars
An apple-walnut-breadcrumb stuffing is wrapped inside a pork roast, making an easy to cook and serve meal.

Christmas Prime Rib

Rating: 4.83 stars
Delicious coating on outside of roast, and perfect roasting time. Plan on 1 pound per person.

Lobster Colorado

Rating: 4.85 stars
This is my family's favorite Christmas dinner. Elegant for dinner parties or a romantic dinner for two. If you desire crabmeat instead of lobster, go for it!

Ham with Pineapple

Rating: 4.67 stars
A classic baked ham with a simple but tasty sweet brown sugar and pineapple glaze. This main dish will receive applause for its beautiful presentation as well as the irresistible flavor. You will definitely want to have some leftovers!

Roast Duck with Chestnut Stuffing

Duck is one of the traditional meals for Christmas or other special occasions in Germany. I often make it in the fall or winter when I have guests over. The duck needs to marinate for at least 12 hours before roasting. We serve broccoli and duchess potatoes with it. The stuffing can also be used for other poultry as well.

Chef John's Roast Christmas Goose

Rating: 4.75 stars
A deliciously simple roast goose with balsamic vinegar-blackberry red wine sauce: perfect for your holiday table!

How to Make Puerto Rican Pasteles for Christmas

Celebrate Christmas with savory homemade pasteles — a Puerto Rican holiday tradition.
By Ramona Cruz-Peters

Alaska Salmon Bake with Pecan Crunch Coating

Rating: 4.58 stars
Baked salmon makes an excellent main course!

Real Homemade Tamales

Rating: 4.37 stars
I had been looking for a Tamale recipe for years. One day I went to the international market and stood in the Mexican aisle till a woman with a full cart came by. I just asked her if she knew how to make Tamales. This is her recipe with a few additions from me. The pork can be substituted with either chicken or beef. This is great served with refried beans and a salad.

Terri's Tourtiers (French-Canadian Santa Pies)

Rating: 4.81 stars
This recipe is a Christmas tradition first given to me by my French-Canadian sister-in-law in the form of a lovely homemade pie. Her family has made dozens of these to share every year with friends and family during the holiday season for generations. In fact, earlier generations stored their newly made pies in the snow banks outside their Quebec homes for keeping through the winter. The tradition of gathering the family to share the assembly of dozens of pies still thrives to this day. Her little grandson could not pronounce the name so he renamed them Santa pies, and the tradition continues. Serve with cornichons or gherkins and grainy Dijon mustard.

Inspiration and Ideas

Chef John's Best Christmas Dinner Recipes
Chef John's top-rated holiday recipes are for the naughty and the nice.

Chef John's Perfect Prime Rib

Rating: 4.77 stars

This is a specific formula for achieving a perfectly pink prime rib cooked somewhere a shade under medium rare. To use this method you must have a full-sized, modern oven with a digital temperature setting that indicates when it is preheated. Older ovens with manual controls can vary greatly, and the doors may not have the proper insulation.