16 Holiday Roast Recipes for Every Delicious Occasion

Ryan Liebe

The weather is cool again we're planning end-of-year holiday feasts. This time of year there is a succession of celebratory tables, and an eye-catching roast is right for just about every occasion. Roast anything is festive, and while most of us naturally turn to turkey at this time of year, what should you do if you're hosting more than one great gathering? What if cooking that demanding giant bird more than once does not appeal? What if you love lamb or beef? Plus, there is the sheer occasion of it all. To treat and impress family and friends, size matters, and now is the time to splurge on luxurious cuts that are showstoppers on the holiday table; crown roasts (like the Crown Roast of Pork with Chestnut-Rye Stuffing shown here), whole legs, and standing ribs.

Should you need a roast bird, turkey is an obvious choice, but do consider goose. They are succulent and versatile birds well suited to grace a special banquet. Not everyone invites a massive gang for the holidays, and for intimate celebrations crisp roast chicken and mouth-watering roast duck are the perfect solution. If you choose not to eat meat, an impeccable roasted whole salmon is a classic crowd pleaser.

For feasting our eyes and pleasing our families (and palates) choosing different meats and cuts is part of the pleasure of this time of year. The options are endless, but we have combed through the best of our roast recipes for the choicest holiday meals. Here is a curated gallery that is sure to make your lick your lips, and start compiling your shopping list.

01 of 15

Rolled Rib Eye Roast

rolled rib eye roast
Ngoc Minh Ngo

A butterflied beef roast wrapped around a filling of savory fresh herbs makes carving a cinch.

02 of 15

Pork Shoulder with Sage and Coriander


This is slow roast, low heat situation. A chunky paste of spices, heavy on toasted coriander, flavors pork shoulder for up to three days before roasting.

03 of 15

Whole Roast Salmon with Orange-Butter Glaze


For a pescatarian feast, this impressive whole salmon is stuffed with orange slices and pungent cilantro, roasted on a bed of fragrant leeks, and dressed with a caramel-rich pan glaze of fresh orange juice and butter.

04 of 15

Pomegranate Roast Chicken


What about when it's a holiday meal for a small group or just for two? This festive roast chicken is brightened by jewel-like pomegranate seeds, while its pan juices are made dark and rich by the ruby fruit's juice.

05 of 15

Slow-Cooked Lamb with Lemon and Oregano

Jonathan Lovekin

Make the most of winter citrus with a whopping one-and-half cups of lemon juice to baste this succulent lamb roast. Cooked meltingly slowly the acid blends with the lamb juices and fresh oregano to make a stickily delicious bed for the roast potatoes.

06 of 15

Herb-Crusted Standing Rib

Herb-Crusted Standing Rib Roast

Because good beef speaks for itself, this straightforward but dramatically impressive cut is seasoned simply, with two heads of mellow roast garlic to spread on the sliced meat, and fresh rosemary and fennel seed for herbal depth.

07 of 15

Leg of Pork with Cracklings and Oregano


Guaranteed to become a family favorite, this simple Cuban-inspired leg of pork is singing with garlic and three entire bunches of fragrant oregano: sometimes more is more. To make it even better, there is crisp crackling for days.

08 of 15

Roast Spatchcocked Turkey


We still love, you big bird! And this recipe may change your turkey game, forever. Not only is the roasting time cut down significantly. But the simple seasonings bring out the best in turkey while the crunchy skin factor is doubled.

09 of 15

Roasted Balsamic Duck with Fennel


The sweet acid of balsamic vinegar and the mellow anise of fennel bulbs balance the wonderful fattiness of this slow-roasted duck.

10 of 15

Beet-and-Dill-Roasted Wild Salmon

beet dill wild roasted salmon
Anson Smart

A dramatic centerpiece for a holiday meal, this side of salmon feeds four to six and thinly-sliced potatoes roast in the same dish.

11 of 15

Roast Beef with Shallots

Aya Brackett

Celebratory but easy on the wallet, that's this roasted bottom round of beef. Our recipe ensures the meat is meltingly tender.

12 of 15

Crown Roast of Lamb with Pilaf Stuffing

Aya Brackett

A traditional dish, crown roast is the star of the dining table. Ask the butcher to French the bones for you for a clean, lollipop-like look.

13 of 15

Prime Rib and Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Prime Rib and Oven-Roasted Potatoes with Bay Leaves and Sage
Gentl and Hyers

Aromatic bay leaves are an overlooked superpower in the kitchen. Here they perfume the meat overnight along with orange zest and sage. Melting potatoes baste in the cooking juices as the beef cooks to perfection.

14 of 15

Goose Roasted with Pomegranate Glaze


Many people prefer the darker meat of goose to turkey and this crisp-skinned, stately bird is destined to become a fixture at your holiday tables. Steamed before roasting, the rich meat is enhanced by layers of aromatic vegetables, citrus, spices, sherry and a double lashing of antioxidant pomegranate juice and molasses.

15 of 15

Pork Crown Rib with Wild Rice


This spectacular and crowd-wowing roast is made fragrant with garlic, orange zest, and apple cider, and surrounds a nutty stuffing of delectable wild rice.

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