Chef John's Best Christmas Dinner Recipes
Celebrate the holidays in the most delicious way possible, with Chef John's best Christmas dinner recipes. Designed for the naughty and the nice, they're a veritable Santa's sack of top-rated holiday recipes, featuring everything from prime rib and Yorkshire pudding to classic green bean casserole and gratins; roast turkey, baked ham, and plenty of potato sides. Mix and match them to create your perfect Christmas menu. Oh, and save room for dessert!
Chef John's Perfect Prime Rib
Chef John's roasting method hits that magical sweet spot between rare and medium rare -- perfectly pink and extra moist in the center with a delicious crispy crust. "Prime rib was perfect, juicy and perfectly pink," says karenkooks. "Loved it! Love the video to really get a good sense of how to apply the butter and herbs."
Traditional Yorkshire Pudding
Here's the perfect partner for prime rib. Sizzling beef fat helps create warm, fluffy Yorkshire pudding that smell like Christmas! "Perfect, just the way my dad from London made them," says tekecat.
French Onion Green Bean Casserole
Chef John reworks the iconic green bean casserole, introducing the flavors of French onion soup, with caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese. "Absolutely the best green bean casserole I have ever made!" says Debra Power. "The star of Christmas dinner! I will never go back to the canned version of this casserole, and I don't think my husband would let me! Delicious in every way!"
Chef John's Sweet Potato Casserole
"Unlike many sweet potato casseroles, this one is not too sweet," says Chef John. "It smells so amazing, with subtly sweet potatoes accentuated with maple syrup and a pistachio topping. It's a wonderful combination of taste and textures."
Chef John's Honey-Glazed Ham
"A great holiday ham glaze needs to have three things: wonderful flavor, gorgeous, shiny appearance, and a crispy, crackling crust you can hear across the room," says Chef John. "I'm happy to report this easy-to-make glaze has all those things in abundance."
Chef John's Truffled Potato Gratin
Earthy wild mushrooms and a special truffle-flavored cheese take basic au gratin potatoes to tasty new heights. "I used a mix of brown and lobster mushrooms, which worked very nicely, but this recipe will be spectacular with any mushroom," says Chef John. "If you can find some wild mushrooms like morel, chanterelle, porcini, or lobster, use them. But if you can't, use regular supermarket mushrooms and you will still be rewarded with a very memorable potato side dish."
Stuffed Hasselback Turkey Breast
This gorgeous, golden turkey breast is juicy and delicious with the stuffing built right it! After slicing the turkey, fill each slice with stuffing, season, brush with butter, and bake. "Much easier than a traditional roast turkey, this sliced and stuffed turkey breast takes far less time than a whole bird, and it's perfect for an everyday or holiday dinner for a smaller group."
Chef John's Root Vegetable Gratin
A creamy, cheesy gratin combines potatoes and assorted root vegetables like parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, and celery root -- the perfect companion for roast meats at holiday dinners. "I cheated and added some potatoes to mellow things out, but this is still a very delicious and enjoyable way to eat root veggies," says Chef John.
Fast Upside-Down Turkey
"Here I've tested out not one, but two new things – cooking a turkey at a very high heat, as well as cooking it upside-down, which I've heard for decades is the way to go if you want moist, juicy meat," says Chef John. "Whether you're looking to cook your turkey in half the time, or just want to see some raised eyebrows when you bring it to the table, I really do hope you give this a try soon!"
Chef John's Candied Yams
Sweet potatoes and maple syrup pair perfectly with tart lemon juice. "I didn't expect it to be a star dish, because my family isn't big on sweet potato casserole, but they all loved it!" raves Marie. "In fact, my son said it was his favorite dish of the night, and most agreed and asked me to save the recipe for next year!" Top them with chopped pecans, walnuts, or pistachios.
Green Bean Almondine with Garlic & Blue Cheese
Basic green beans get tricked out with roasted garlic, toasted slivered almonds, and blue cheese. The result is a wonderful combo of tastes and textures. "Made this for Christmas dinner for a big group," says Annette. "I doubled the recipe. OMG, awesome! The dish was wiped out on the first round!"
Chef John's Sweet Potato Muffins
"Instead of sweet potato pie (which I'm not that fond of), I made sweet potato muffins and I was thrilled with the results," says Chef John. "Muffin or cupcake? Frosted or unfrosted? Doesn't matter--these really are fantastic."
Bacon-Wrapped Cranberry Walnut Pork
"This amazing roast pork recipe is more than festive enough for the fanciest of holiday menus, but it's also fast and easy enough for any old weeknight," says Chef John. "Just keep that last part to yourself, so as not to ruin the mystique. Beyond being able to adapt this to your tastes, another advantage is that we can prep it ahead of time, and just pop it into the oven when we're ready to rock, and by 'rock,' I mean impress our guests."
Chef John's Creamy Corn Pudding
Corn pudding gets its due with this creamy version. "Corn pudding doesn't get the same attention as some other holiday side dishes, but it's a real crowd-pleaser that pairs perfectly with all your favorite special-occasion meats," says Chef John.
Chef John's Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Chef John's "quick-mash plus stir-and-whip" potato-making method doesn't require any electrical appliances. "This recipe will hopefully give you the proper techniques to turn out perfect mashed potatoes every time; always light, fluffy and lump-free," says Chef John.
Chef John's Individual Beef Wellingtons
Perfectly cooked filet mignon steaks are topped with a rich, savory mushroom pate, wrapped in a crispy pastry crust, and served on top of a buttery pastry base. "It's a 1-2 punch that's hard to beat," says Chef John. "Enjoy these individual beef Wellingtons with no regrets and no second thoughts! Serve as-is or with a simple, brown pan sauce."
Baked Stuffed Brie with Cranberries & Walnuts
Here's the ultimate holiday party appetizer. "One of the most common mistakes people make when serving cheese is not letting it come to room temperature first, so that all the flavors can be fully realized," says Chef John. "This beautiful baked stuffed brie takes that principle to the next level."
Chef John's Roast Christmas Goose
Here's the easy way to roast a goose -- you're starting with a pre-cooked smoked goose. So the pressure's off. The recipe also features a simple wine reduction sauce. "I used half the wings to make the reduction sauce and the subtle smokiness worked wonderfully with the red wine, balsamic vinegar, and blackberry notes," says Chef John. "The sauce is optional, as this could be served plain with just some cranberry sauce on the side."
Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce
Quick-and-easy fresh cranberry sauce from scratch, sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with freshly grated ginger, a splash of sweet port, a cinnamon stick, and orange zest and juice. Toasted chopped walnuts provide terrific texture. Bonus: this cranberry sauce also makes a great topping for cheesecake or vanilla ice cream!
Tartiflette (French Potato, Bacon, and Cheese Casserole)
Sliced potatoes are layered with fried onions and bacon and topped with crème fraiche and melty cheese. "This is an excellent dish, the flavor profiles are so striking, and go together so well, that it almost overwhelms the taste buds!" says Dennis Hyman.
Chef John's Panettone
Plan on three days to make this panettone. "Otherwise, it's a pretty straightforward bread recipe," says Chef John. "Besides dried fruit, there are so many other things you can include, such as nuts, and chocolate chips, just in case this seems too healthy. Serve plain, with butter, or even better, toasted with butter."
The Queen's Christmas Pudding
This Christmas pudding is special and delicious. Even if you don't like dried fruit, you're bound to love it. "There's no sugar added, and no spices, either—it's perfect as is!" says Chef John. "Serve with vanilla ice cream, heavy cream, or crème anglaise."
Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze
This insanely easy gingerbread cake with a quick lemon glaze is proof that delicious things can also be ridiculously simple. "This is a wonderful, moist, easy cake with perfect texture," says Kristin. "It's so nice to have a festive winter dessert that doesn't take butter. The glaze over the warm cake is the perfect touch."
Chocolate Yule Log
"This classic holiday dessert is a showstopper," says Chef John. "If you haven't tried making a yule log because you thought it required advanced baking and pastry skill, then get ready to buche up this Noel, since the techniques required are actually quite simple...thanks to a simple-to-make chocolate sponge cake and mocha buttercream filling. Garnished here with meringue mushrooms and rosemary."