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18 Christmas Recipes Because Face It, Not All of Your Family's Classics Were Good

Maybe it's time to start some holiday traditions of your own.
18 Christmas Recipes Because Face It, Not All of Your Family's Classics Were Good

As far as Big Food Holidays go, Christmas tends to be one that has a truly wild diversity of what folks consider “staples,” varying wildly with unique cultural or religious traditions, or just individual quirky family favorites. This makes planning a Christmas menu at least a little bit easier than, say, Thanksgiving, where what’s on the table has seemingly been set in stone by the freaking Declaration of Independence itself or something. (Even though the holiday as we know it of course is not nearly that old.) Whether you’ve got strong family traditions, or are looking to draw inspiration from somewhere else to start new ones, we’ve got a bunch of recipes that would look great on your Christmas table and will feed a crowd. And if you really want to mix it up this year, here’s some tips on how to make Christmas vegan.


Prime rib is one of those things that is always on the buffet of a bad holiday banquet, and it always fails to deliver on its promise. Let our friend Matty Matheson show you the way to perfect, delicious prime rib, and treat your family to something special this year.

Perfect Porchetta Recipe

Porchetta is the kind of dish that takes enough effort that you really only want to do it once a year. Make that once a year be Christmas.

Easy Salt-Baked Fish Recipe

Are you a “feast of the seven fishes” type of family? Give baking a whole fish in a salt crust a try this year and wow everyone with both the presentation and flavor of the end result.

There’s something fittingly celebratory about eating fowl on the holidays that is not chicken or turkey. A tender, fatty duck breast might be just what you’re looking for this year.

You could go the real old-fashioned route and pin a bunch of pineapple discs with a maraschino cherry and a toothpick onto the outside of your ham, but honestly, a little kick from this gochujang glaze is the way to go.

Perfect Turkey Recipe

Then again, sometimes you just can’t fuck with the classics. Speed up your cooking time by spatchcocking your bird, or if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd, go with just a breast.

Melty brie wheels served in puff pastry with cranberry sauce are sort of a Christmas fixture as an appetizer, but we think that brie goes much better in your side dishes, like with these sweet potatoes roasted with honey.

Parker House Rolls Recipe

Buttery, soft Parker House rolls are the holiday side dish you should really double up on—or watch as a black market for them unfolds at the dinner table while cousins barter for the last of the batch.


Wild Rice Stuffing Recipe

This wild rice stuffing is completely vegan and gluten-free, and will make your friends or family that ascribe to those diets happy you made something special with them in mind.

Honey-Glazed Carrots Recipe

A crowd pleasing side that, if you can get your hands on carrots with their tops still on and a few pomegranate seeds, can be plated to impress with relatively little effort.

Every holiday table needs a little something bright, a little acid to cut through all the richness, like this red wine and anchovies bagna cauda dressing.

Green Bean Salad Recipe

This green bean salad is really just an excuse to get bacon on the dinner table, tbh.

What better way to end the meal than a warm, crumbly streusel with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream?

Apple Pie Recipe

It is still winter, after all, and if the best fresh produce you can get your hands on for a pie is apples, you should make the fanciest pie you can think of to show them off. This double-crusted gem from heirloom apple expert Tom Burford is your answer.

Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe

People love to slip booze into desserts more at Christmas time than any other time of year, and we’re not sure why, but we’re not about to stop it.

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Fluff Recipe

A pure, unadulterated pumpkin pie is for the Thanksgiving table. At Christmas, go a little crazy and top it with bruleed cinnamon-spiked marshmallow fluff.

Even if you’ve already made gingersnap cookies this year, give this layered spice cake with cinnamon-orange flavored buttercream frosting a try.

Mince Pies

Or keep it totally old school with these very British mince pies, filled with warm spices, sultanas, dried apricots, apples, chestnuts, and clementines.