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80 Christmas dinner ideas for the ultimate holiday feast

Build the perfect Christmas menu with these delicious recipes.
Theodora Kaloudis
/ Source: TODAY

December brings a whirlwind of celebration as the holidays kick off in full force. After all the parties have been attended, cookies decorated, trees decked and gifts shared, it’s time to cook Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner is one of the biggest meals of the year. It’s a moment when friends and family gather to celebrate, commemorate and of course, eat. Unlike Thanksgiving, which generally leaves little room for interpretation, there are so many directions to take Christmas dinner. Perhaps you’re a fan of the Italian feast of the seven fishes, or maybe Mexican tamales are more your speed. Some families love celebrating with a robust prime rib, while others may be looking for a few options that skew veg-forward.

Such big meals understandably bring a level of stress to those hosting, but with a bit of prep work, Christmas dinner can be a breeze. The easiest way to cut down on pre-holiday jitters? Making a menu game plan in advance. Having a menu to work off will help you create a strategy for navigating oven usage, who will be in charge of what dish and how much prep work can be done ahead of time. You can even take it one step further by setting out all your serving platters and labeling them with their accompanying dish names to make serving extra easy.

No matter your preference, we’ve rounded up 80 of the most delicious Christmas dinner options. Here you’ll find sides, snacks, pastas with seafood, holiday hams, hearty mushroom pot pie and yes, plenty of prime rib.

Pork loin is one of those cuts that looks impressive, but is sneakily easy to prepare, making it an ideal protein for the holidays. Start by searing spiced pork loin until golden brown on all sides. After searing, let the pork loin rest and make a sauce of cabbage and cherries, which adds body to the dish. Finish by cooking the pork loin directly in the sauce so that it can absorb all that flavor.

Holiday Prime Rib Roast

Prime rib is the ultimate holiday showstopper. While this cut may seem intimidating, it doesn’t take much to bring out the flavor of the roast. Seasoned with fresh herbs, garlic salt and pepper, the prime rib is encased with flavor all over. Start by roasting it on high heat to develop a crust, then turn it down to finish off low and slow until cooked through and tender.

Tri-tip might be an unexpected cut for the holidays, but hear us out. This affordable cut has a reputation for being tough, but as you braise it low and slow for a few hours, it transforms into a melt-in-your-mouth main. Serve it alongside simply roasted root vegetables dressed in a honey glaze.

This Christmas, take a note from Molly Baz’s playbook and swap cocktail sauce for dill horseradish cream to serve with poached shrimp. This creamy sauce combines crème fraîche, horseradish, dill, shallots and lemon, offering a bright contrast to the shrimp. Molly recommends using shell-on shrimp for this recipe, which acts as a barrier to the flesh while the shrimp cooks. Both the shrimp and sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Pomegranate molasses is the secret ingredient to Anne Burrell’s glossy, braised chicken. This Middle Eastern condiment is made from boiling pomegranate juice until the consistency is thick and syrupy. In this dish, chicken is simmered in the pomegranate molasses-infused sauce until each piece is shellacked.

Herby Honey-Baked Ham with Citrus

While everyone loves a classic honey-baked ham, this Christmas, it’s time to change things up. This recipe features oranges, thyme and mustard, which balances the sweetness of the honey while adding a pleasant tartness and deeper depth of flavor. Use the glaze to baste the ham until glossy and deeply caramelized and let it be the star of the Christmas show.

There are a few tricks to getting picture-perfect biscuits every time. Ina Garten swears by grating cold butter rather than dicing, which ensures that the butter is evenly distributed through each biscuit, making them impossibly flaky. She also uses buttermilk, which keeps them tender and moist while adding a subtly tangy flavor.

Cascatelli with Mushroom Ragu

Dan Pashman had a few requirements when he set out to develop a brand new pasta shape. Cascatelli, which is Italian for waterfalls, is perfect for ensuring every bit of pasta holds sauce with great mouthfeel to match. This hearty mushroom ragu is the perfect sauce to pair with this ruffly pasta. It’s an umami bomb of flavor thanks to tons of mixed mushrooms, tomato paste and salty Pecorino.

Cookout Pot Roast

If you’ve got access to a grill this holiday season, skip the mess inside and make this grill-friendly pot roast recipe. Chuck roast and vegetables are covered with beer or wine and simmered until tender. The joy of this recipe is that everything gets made on a sheet pan, relying on an aluminum foil pouch to keep it all together, making clean up a breeze.

This simple pasta is a great way to use up any leftover seafood you might have from holiday parties. To make it, cook aromatics with some reserved pasta water to make a breezy sauce. Then, add your seafood of choice — Scott Conant recommends shrimp and clams — and toss with the cooked pasta.

Pasta al Limone (Lemon Pasta)

While pasta can often be served as a heavier dish, pasta al limone keeps things light. This simply prepared pasta is known for its bright and refreshing flavor, and elevated presentation. The key here is keeping the sauce loose and creamy, thanks to the addition of pasta water, ensuring that each noodle is coated in the lemony sauce.

Martina McBride's Pot Roast with Gravy

Take a cue from Martina McBride and serve a hearty pot roast this holiday season. Braised chuck roast is simmered in stock with onions and peppers until tender. Once the meat is done cooking, make a gravy using the braising liquid and pour it over the finished roast.

This recipe from Al Roker offers a holiday-ready meal in under an hour. First, roast potatoes until they soften and become golden brown. While the potatoes are roasting, sear a simply seasoned rack of lamb. Finish it off in the oven to finish cooking, then slice and serve.

Classic Stuffing

Martha Stewart is the queen of the classics. Her stuffing recipe delivers all the flavor, without the fuss. White bread is mixed with herbs, pecans and dried fruit before getting baked in the oven. It works equally well to stuff a bird as it does in a casserole dish served on the side.


Arancini are a labor of love to prepare, but they’re well worth it. Made with leftover risotto, arancini are rolled in finely ground breadcrumbs before being fried until golden brown. They’re crispy, cheesy and sure to be the star of your holiday spread. Serve them with marinara sauce or as it.

Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs

There’s no better braising companion than red wine. Here, Giada De Laurentiis uses a whole bottle to slowly braise short ribs until they fall off the bone, all while perfuming the whole house with an earthy aroma. The alcohol long cooks off, but you’re left with a more nuanced, deep sauce. It’s the perfect meal for when you’re got the whole family home for the holidays.

Parker house rolls have been a holiday staple since their creation in the late 1880s. These yeasted rolls have a pillowy texture with a crisp, golden exterior. Serve them with a pad of butter, or use them to sop up all the sauces on your plate.

Roasting Brussels sprouts is the easiest way to coax out their natural flavor. The high heat of the oven caramelizes the outside of the sprouts while keeping the inside tender. Top these with a shower of homemade garlicky breadcrumbs, which add crunch and texture to every bite.

Citrusy Candied Carrots with Yogurt Sauce

Roasted carrots are wonderful all on their own, go ahead and dress them up for the holidays. Carrots are coated in a mixture of butter, ginger, sugar, honey and orange zest, which adds a punchy glaze once roasted. Serve them over a spiced yogurt, which brings a bright, tanginess to each bite.

Lamb is one of those proteins that cooks quickly and delivers big flavor. Here, chops are quickly seared until browned before getting rubbed with a punchy tapenade made with olives and pistachios. Finish the dish by popping it in the oven until the lamb is cooked perfectly and the tapenade forms a crust.

Standing Rib Roast

The last thing anyone wants to do on Christmas is be married to the oven all day. With this standing rib roast, you can duly impress guests while also being able to actually socialize with them. The rib roast sits over vegetables and cooks low and slow for a few hours in the oven — no babysitting required.

We’re firm believers that stuffing should be served year-round, not just at Thanksgiving. While that shift may not happen overnight, starting by serving stuffing at Christmas feels like a win. This recipe starts with homemade buttermilk cornbread, which can be made in advance. Then, combine the cornbread to an aromatic mirepoix and stock before baking.

Green bean casserole is a holiday favorite. While there’s no shame in taking shortcuts like canned soup, this recipe is entirely homemade. Start by blanching green beans until they’re bright green and still have some crunch. Then, mix the beans with a mushroom-laden roux spiked with vinegar for some acidity. Top with crispy onions and you’ll never go back to the canned version!

Mushroom Potpie

Made with buttery, flaky pie dough and filled with a creamy mixed mushroom filling, Alison Roman’s pot pie puts all others to shame. It’s a vegetarian main dish that even the meat eaters at the table can get on board with. Alison recommends serving it with a punchy chicory salad to balance the richness of the pie, which sounds like a perfect holiday meal to us.

Caramelized Onion Dip with Potato Chips

While we’ll always have a soft spot for store-bought onion dip, there’s no question that the homemade version is superior. Slowly cooked until golden brown, the onions add a deep umami flavor to the dip. While the dip comes together quickly, you will want to set some time aside to caramelize the onions, which can be done a few days in advance. If you really want to wow people, make your own potato chips to go with it.

Cheesy Potato Gratin

Potato gratin is one of those dishes that gets reserved for the holidays. Thinly sliced potatoes are laden with caramelized onions, cream, and tons of cheese. It’s comforting, cozy and oh so good. Sure, it’s a decadent dish that everyone loves, but the truth is it really doesn’t take much time to execute. Better yet, it serves a crowd.

A whole leg of lamb ranks high on the holiday centerpiece showstopping list. To get the lamb as flavorful as possible, plan on marinating it for at least four hours, although it can withstand up to 24. Despite the size, lamb actually cooks quickly on the grill, rendering a deeply browned exterior with some smoky flavor and a perfectly pink center. Take a cue from Gail Simmons and serve it with some spicy mint dressing to add a bit of brightness and acidity.

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab and mushrooms may seem like an out-of-the-box pairing, but trust us on this one — this snack shouldn’t be skipped. Instead of a breadcrumb filling, mushroom caps are stuffed with succulent crab meat before getting baked. Before serving, drizzle the mushrooms with a lemony butter sauce to add a touch of acidity to the dish.

Ina Garten's Kale Salad with Pancetta and Pecorino

It’s no surprise that Ina Garten’s kale salad is one that’ll surely be coveted by everyone at your Christmas table. A creamy dressing akin to a Caesar coats every leaf of kale. If that wasn’t appealing enough, crispy croutons, shards of Pecorino and crumbles of pancetta can also be found throughout, making it a real holiday hit.

Short ribs and mashed potatoes go hand-in-hand as a perfect pair. After all, what could be better than braised meat and pools of sauce served over creamy spuds? In this recipe, short ribs are braised in red wine alongside aromatics. While they take a few hours to braise, they’re a great dish to make ahead of time and heat up once guests have arrived.

Spiced Cider Glazed Ham

Apple cider isn’t just for sipping. This punchy beverage gets cooked down with maple syrup, brown sugar and mustard until it creates a glossy glaze. Brush it over a clove-studded ham to create a real holiday showstopper.

Sausage and peppers are a classic combination. While often seen at summer cookouts, this duo is perfectly fitting for cold-weather celebrations too. Here, sausage and peppers get mixed with cream cheese before getting filled in button mushroom caps. Every bite is a creamy, salty explosion of flavor.

Short Ribs Braciole

If you’re unfamiliar with this regional Italian dish, braciole is a meat roulade made of thinly pounded beef, pork or veal that gets filled with a bevy of savory ingredients. Andrew Carmellini’s version offers a loose, but delicious interpretation of the dish, swapping a roulade for braised short ribs. The short ribs get cooked in an aromatic tomato sauce and then topped with a punchy combination of pine nuts, parsley and breadcrumbs.

Green beans are one of the most versatile vegetables. From steaming, roasting, braising and blanching, there are endless opportunities to enhance these legumes. Will Coleman favors blistering them over high heat, which gives the beans a charred, smoky flavor in a short amount of time. To elevate this simple preparation, drizzle the beans in a sweet and spicy sauce made with whole grain mustard, yogurt, honey and cayenne pepper.

Spiral Ham with Pineapple-Aleppo Glaze

Chef Marcus Samuelson is known for creating recipes with inventive combinations that go big on flavor, and this holiday ham is no different. A versatile glaze is made with pineapple juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, chilies and spices, which adds a touch of heat, while keeping the ham moist and sweet.

Carbone's Meatballs

Carbone’s meatballs are famous for a reason. Made with a trifecta of ground beef, veal and sweet Italian sausage, these hearty meatballs are full of flavor. Rather than using store-bought breadcrumbs, Mario Carbone opts for soaking homemade croutons in whole milk, which add body and keep the meatballs moist and tender.

Beer-Steamed Clams with Herb Butter

Clams are one of the easiest — and most affordable — proteins to make and a perfect option for when you want something a little different for the holidays. In this recipe, Gail Simmons steams clams in beer, which helps create an exceptionally flavorful and bright broth. Serve with homemade chili herb compound butter, which adds a bit of spice to the dish.

Crisping up store-bought gnocchi in a pan has forever changed the low-lift meal game. All it takes is adding gnocchi to a pan and frying it until the outside is golden brown and the inside is pillowy and tender. Here, gnocchi is served with a hearty vegetarian ragu that’s an umami bomb of flavors, thanks to mushrooms, red wine and tomato paste. While it’s easy enough for a weeknight, it’s also celebratory enough to bust out for Christmas dinner.

Chefs Jet and Ali Tila swear by roasting prime rib low and slow in order to get a restaurant-worthy result. The other trick they swear by? Dry brining it in the fridge for two days, which will ensure a dark, crackly crust after baking. Serve it alongside homemade horseradish cream.

Holiday Glazed Spiral Ham

A holiday ham is the ultimate Christmas showstopper. Chef Michael Symon swears by this recipe, which features a sweet, savory, and salty glaze. To make it, combine maple syrup, molasses, mustard, apple cider and red curry paste and baste the ham until the glaze darkens over the ham, giving it a glossy appearance.

Ossobuco is a Northern Italian speciality that combines veal shanks with vegetables and herbs. Slowly simmered for hours in a hearty sauce, the veal shanks become impossibly tender. After braising, reduce the liquid until saucy and pour it over the shanks for an even greater depth of flavor.

While buttery biscuits are wonderful all on their own, when it comes to adding them to a holiday table, a little seasonal flair is always welcome. Here, mashed sweet potato is incorporated into the biscuit dough, rendering an orange-hued biscuit with a hint of natural sweetness. The addition of sweet potato also helps keep the biscuits moist after baking in the oven.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Chef Kristen Kish employs a few simple upgrades to get her mashed potatoes extra creamy. First, she boils the potatoes in stock over water, which imparts more flavor into every bite. Then, she adds cream cheese in addition to the usual milk and butter for an infusion of tangy, creaminess.

As the name suggests, risotto alla Milanese comes from Milan. This regional speciality owes its signature golden hue to the addition of saffron. While risotto may seem daunting, it’s really all about taking it slow and ladeling the stock until just absorbed into the rice. The final result is a comforting cold weather dish that’s sure to impress.

Skillet Mushroom Potpie

Potpies aren’t just for meat eaters. This vegetarian version is an ideal holiday main dish and leans on all the familiar flavors. Meaty mushrooms take the place of chicken and are cooked alongside a mirepoix and roux. Drape the whole thing in a blanket of puff pastry, which gets golden brown and flaky once baked. Serve it straight out of the cast iron to cut down on dishes.

Chef Alon Shaya shares one of his favorite Israeli sides with a recipe from his grandmother. Peppers and eggplant are charred on the stovetop until they collapse and become deeply flavorful. The insides of each are scooped out and added to tomato paste and garlic in a pan until deeply caramelized. While this dish does take some time, you can prepare the bulk of it in advance.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

If you’re looking for a way to sneak in a few more greens this holiday season, may we recommend this spinach artichoke dip. Frozen artichokes are boiled and then pulsed until chunky before getting mixed with all the usual dip companions, like mayonnaise and ricotta, and in this case, spinach. This can be made in advance and popped in the oven as soon just before your guests show up.

Chicken Cacciatore

This rustic Italian dish is a cold weather favorite. While there are many iterations, we’re fans of Lidia Bastianich’s version that combines mushrooms, peppers, and onions with tomatoes and wine for a deeply flavorful sauce. The browned chicken get cooked directly in the sauce, making this a true one-pot meal.

While we love green bean casserole and gratins, sometimes you need a reprieve from all the dairy around the holidays. In this vegan Lebanese dish, tomatoes are deeply caramelized to bring out their natural sugars alongside onions and garlic. Green beans are cooked over high heat until charred and tender before getting mixed with the tomato sauce. The whole dish is bright, punchy and deeply flavorful.

Cranberry sauce isn’t just for Thanksgiving. If your Christmas table has any sort of poultry, like chicken, turkey or goose, cranberry sauce is the perfect accompaniment to add a bit of brightness to the meat. Alex Guarnaschelli adds her own spin to the classic by swirling in apple cider at the end, which adds a great depth of flavor and acidity to the cranberries.

Roasted Squash and Carrot Salad

This substantial salad is fitting enough for a weeknight as it is a holiday side. Squash, carrots and chickpeas are spiced and roasted until the vegetables are browned and the chickpeas are crispy. Add them to escarole and top with ricotta salata and almonds, which add great texture to the salad.

Spaghetti with Shrimp Fra Diavolo

This dish is one of the easiest ways to channel the feast of the seven fishes with a fraction of the work. There’s only three elements that make up this Italian specialty: tomato sauce, shrimp and pasta. Start by simmering a simple tomato sauce before adding in the shrimp and herbs until just cooked. Toss the shrimp-studded sauce with pasta and serve immediately.

Sweet potatoes take center stage in this impressive dish worthy of a place on your holiday table. Agrodolce, a sweet and sticky Italian condiment, leans into the flavors of autumn by combining apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, pepitas and dried cranberries. Drizzle the agrodolce over the potatoes and top with crumbled goat cheese and pepitas which add creaminess and crunch.

Cacio e Pepe Popovers

Popovers are traditionally eaten as a morning treat, but thanks to taking a cue from Italy, this cacio e pepe version is a perfect side dish for dinner. Think of it like the cousin of Yorkshire pudding. The key to picture perfect popovers is making sure all the ingredients are at room temperature, which ensures the popovers will be able to rise. The cacio e pepe element comes to play by adding pepper and Pecorino cheese.

Potato leek soup is a staple of cold-weather cooking. It’s creamy, cozy and comforting, but it’s not exactly easy to make. Fortunately, this recipe takes a cue from Julia Child, who recommends simmering all the soup ingredients together rather than sautéeing. Just add everything to the slow cooker until tender before transferring to a blender until smooth.

Don’t be fooled by the name — this sweet plantain casserole is definitely savory. Plantains are boiled until they’re easily mashed and layered in a baking dish along with spiced beef and cheese. It’s easily assembled and only takes 20 minutes in the oven, making it an ideal holiday side.

There are few dishes more impressive than a prime rib. While this mammoth cut may seem intimidating, it doesn’t take much more than salt and pepper and an oven to bring out the best flavor. While a prime rib is a showstopper all on its own, we love Curtis Stone’s approach of serving it alongside beef jus.

Rosemary Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

There’s endless ways to prepare potatoes, but the hasselback method is especially festive. To do it, make incisions ¾ of the way down the potato until it resembles an accordion. Bake them until nearly tender, then drizzle them with olive oil, garlic and rosemary, ensuring every nook and cranny gets an extra boost of flavor.

This vegetarian dish just might steal the show come Christmas dinner. Here, small carnival squash are hollowed out and filled with a savory mushroom and kale mixture. It’s a meal-in-one that even the meat eaters in your life can get excited about.

Turkey gets a bad reputation for drying out quickly and lacking flavor, but we’re here to tell you it’s all about how you cook it. Will Coleman opts for turkey breast over a whole turkey, which cooks more evenly than a whole bird and renders a more succulent flavor. Start by making a compound butter with apricot jam and herbs to rub all over the turkey breast. The compound butter imparts a wonderfully savory, spicy and slightly sweet flavor while the turkey breast cooks, rendering a gorgeous golden brown skin.

Creamy Spinach Gratin

This recipe takes creamed spinach to the next level. Start by using frozen spinach, which cuts down on prep time (which is key around the holidays) and thawing it to room temperature. The spinach gets folded into a creamy sauce made up of three cheeses before getting topped with a shower of panko breadcrumbs before getting baked.

This traditional Russian stew is peak comfort food and the perfect dish for a cozy holiday dinner. Typically made on the stovetop, this recipe takes a few shortcuts by utilizing a slow cooker, without sacrificing flavor. Just add all the ingredients and let the slow cooker do its thing for about six hours until the beef is tender. You even cook the egg noodles directly in the cooker, ensuring every noodle is coated with sauce.

Steak and potatoes is a beloved celebratory dish no matter the season. Here, recipe developer Elena Besser relies on the reverse sear method to ensure a perfectly cooked ribeye. Serve it alongside smashed potatoes that get the cacio e pepe treatment with black pepper and Parmesan.

Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprout Panzanella

Panzanella, aka bread salad, is a Tuscan dish that makes use of day-old bread. While traditionally served with tomatoes and onions, Lidia Bastianich highlights the best of winter produce with her hearty version. Crunchy bread is tossed with kale, cranberries, and oven-roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts before getting drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Slow-Cooker Scalloped Potatoes

Slow cookers aren’t just for chili. When it comes to planning your holiday meal, it’s important to utilize every tool available to make it all come together seamlessly. Here, make use of your slow cooker for a classic version of scalloped potatoes laden with cream and three types of cheese.

Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

Canned chickpeas offer a seemingly endless stream of opportunities to experiment in the kitchen. From hummus to soups to stews, there are so many ways to transform these legumes. One of our favorite methods? Roasting chickpeas until crispy. Serve them for a snack like you would nuts and add them to a salad.

There’s so much to love about stuffed shells — they’re a perpetual crowd-pleaser that everyone loves, they’re vegetarian-friendly and can be assembled ahead of time. This recipe can be easily doubled, or even tripled, if you’re feeding a crowd. Pro tip: don’t cook the shells longer than al dente or you risk them tearing when you fill them with the cheese mixture.

Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

While spatchcocking a chicken may seem intimidating, it’s a technique worth adding to your culinary arsenal. By removing the backbone and flattening the chicken, the chicken cooks more quickly and evenly in the oven, which is ideal when you’re short on time for holiday hosting. This recipe by Geoffrey Zakarian relies on all the classic aromatics like rosemary, thyme, and garlic to enhance this bird.

If you’ve put most of your energy into planning the main meal and need a quick crow-pleasing snack, these spicy beer nuts are just the thing. Recipe developer Justin Chapple recommends using pre-roasted nuts as a shortcut to cut down on time. Add them to a skillet along with olive oil, rosemary and spices for a sweet and spicy snack in mere minutes.

It’s time to give carrots their moment in the side dish spotlight. Roasting carrots brings out their natural sweetness, but in order to make things a little more interesting, a simple glaze of balsamic vinegar and honey gets poured over before getting popped in the oven. The glaze caramelizes in the oven, adding another depth of flavor and pleasant punchiness to these carrots that are incredibly addictive.

Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Olive Oil

Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple when it comes to sides. Case in point, a generous amount of olive oil, garlic, and salt is all it takes to make broccoli rabe sing. Lidia Bastianich recommends cooking the rabe until al dente, so that it still has a bit of bite and texture to it, but if you’re into softer vegetables just cook it for a few minutes longer than the recipe recommends.

Eggplant Rollatini

If you’re unfamiliar, eggplant rollatini is a dish that lands somewhere between eggplant Parmesan and Italian rotolo. Thinly sliced eggplant are fried until golden brown before getting filled with a layer of ricotta. The eggplant gets rolled up and nestled into a baking pan before getting draped in tomato sauce and popped in the oven.

Horseradish Brisket

Gail Simmons’s brisket recipe takes inspiration for the version her mother made growing up with a few of her own tweaks. Namely the addition of horseradish, which does double duty in this recipe. First, horseradish gets brushed over the brisket alongside mustard and garlic; the acidity cuts the fat of the brisket. To finish it off, add the remaining horseradish to the pan juices and poured over the brisket.

Pigs in a blanket are a staple snack around holiday gatherings. What’s not to love about bite-sized hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry? Here, this popular dish gets elevated, thanks to a shower of everything bagel seasoning over the puff pastry, which adds more texture and flavor to every bite. Serve it alongside homemade cranberry mustard, which adds some welcome acidity.

Sticky-Sweet Roast Chicken

There’s nothing more comforting than a roast chicken. And while we love a simply roasted salt-and-pepper version, Andy Baraghani’s sticky-sweet version feels particularly celebratory for a holiday gathering. A glaze made of brown sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar gets repeatedly brushed over the chicken as it roasts, resulting in perfectly golden skin with juicy, succulent meat.

Molly Baz’s iconic Caesar salad, aka Cae Sal, has a following for a reason. Her version combines crunchy greens in a garlicky, anchovy-spiked dressing along with homemade crispy croutons. It’s a salad that everyone can get excited about, particularly around the holidays.

Capellini with Spicy Tomato Crab Sauce

If you want a nod to the feast of the seven fishes without having to pull out all the stops, Lidia Bastianich’s crab pasta might be just the recipe for you. This recipe cuts down on time and dishes by cooking the capellini directly in the garlicky tomato sauce. To finish, swirl in crabmeat and scallions. It’s a dish equally appropriate for the holidays as it is a weeknight.

Chef Michael Lomonaco transforms the classic sweet potato casserole with a few easy upgrades. Mashed sweet potatoes are infused with maple syrup and butter and perfumed with ground cinnamon, which plays on the natural sweetness of the potatoes. To finish it off, swap marshmallows for a pillowy layer of marshmallow cream, which gets burnished before serving.

Slow-Braised Mustard Greens

It’s time braised greens get their moment in the spotlight. Bryant Terry’s recipe transforms what many may think of as a boring side into a complexly flavored standout. Caramelized onions, tomato paste and hot pepper vinegar are the key ingredients to turn this dish into an umami bomb of flavor.

New York City hotspot Don Angie didn’t invent pinwheel lasagna, but they did popularize the dish in the states. Called rotolo in Italian, this pasta dish deconstructs the classic lasagna while keeping all the elements in place. Pasta sheets are spread with a layer of bechamel and bolognese before getting rolled up. The pinwheels are tucked into a baking dish and covered in homemade tomato sauce and cheese before getting baked. While this dish may be a labor of love, it’s a dish that the whole family can get involved in making. Just add a green salad and you’ve got a showstopper of a Christmas dinner.