17 Festive Christmas Roast Recipes

Juniper-Rubbed Roast Duck with Cherry Jus
Photo: Christopher Testani

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 15 Christmas roast dinner recipes to choose, you may not need any other centerpiece on the holiday table.

01 of 17

Goose Stuffed with Apples and Armagnac-Soaked Prunes

Goose Stuffed with Apples and Armagnac-Soaked Prunes
Ditte Isager

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.

02 of 17

Pork Roast with Sausage, Fruit, and Nut Stuffing

Pork Roast with Sausage, Fruit and Nut Stuffing

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.

03 of 17

Standing Pork Rib Roast with Cracklings

Standing Pork Rib Roast with Cracklings
Con Poulos

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.

04 of 17



This crowd-pleasing porchetta, made from brined, seasoned pork belly, has crisp, crackling skin and tender meat flavored with rosemary, garlic, and fennel. You will need to season the meat the day before you plan to cook it.

05 of 17

Three-Ingredient Prime Rib Roast

Three-Ingredient Prime Rib Roast
© Con Poulos

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.

06 of 17

Rosemary-Pepper Beef Rib Roast with Porcini Jus

Rosemary-Pepper Beef Rib Roast with Porcini Jus

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.

07 of 17

Horseradish-Crusted Roast Beef


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.

08 of 17

Pomegranate-Jalapeño Glazed Ham

Pomegranate-Jalapeño-Glazed Ham

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.

09 of 17

Duck à l'Orange

Duck à l'Orange

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.

10 of 17

Harissa-Crusted Pork Crown Roast


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.

11 of 17

Standing Rib Roast of Beef

© James Ransom

This roasting method is an adaptation of the classic English approach, and who can argue with the Brits when it comes to roasting a joint of beef? The roast is cooked to 120°F, medium rare, and finishes cooking as it rests outside of the oven before carving. If you like your meat cooked to medium, roast it to 130°F.

12 of 17

Juniper-Rubbed Roast Duck with Cherry Jus

Juniper-Rubbed Roast Duck with Cherry Jus
Christopher Testani

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.

13 of 17

Roasted Goose Legs with Sour Cherry Glaze and Gravy

Sour Cherry-Glazed Goose Legs with Gravy
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee

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.

14 of 17

Leg of Lamb with Fingerling Potatoes and Leeks

leg of lamb
Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Missie Crawford / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

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.

15 of 17

Garlicky Roast Pork Shoulder

Garlicky Roast Pork Shoulder
© Con Poulos

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.

16 of 17

Poblano Pimento Cheese–Roasted Chicken

Poblano Pimento Cheese-Roasted Chicken
Con Poulos

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.

17 of 17

Garlic-Butter Rib Roast

Garlic butter prime rib
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

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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