Moroccan-Spiced Turkey with Aromatic Orange Pan Jus
Create an unforgettable holiday meal with one of our impressive and incredibly tasty mains, which range from beautifully browned turkeys to pork loin and roasted chicken.
First up is our Moroccan-Spiced Turkey, which has a fragrant spice rub that infuses the turkey with subtle Middle Eastern flavor.
Perfect Beef Tenderloin
Inspired by J. Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab and managing culinary director of Serious Eats, we take a 3-step, 5-ingredient approach to the best holiday roast: First, season, chill, and air-dry the beef overnight to create a flavorful crust; second, slow roast in a low oven to keep it extra juicy; and third, broil a few minutes to brown it. Serve with Board Dressing, Classic Horseradish Cream Sauce, or both. You can build the sauce on the cutting board where you'll carve your roast. Chop, stir, and mound the ingredients. Then rest the cooked roast on the dressing, roll it, and carve it so the roast's juices and the dressing marry.
French Onion Turkey Breast
Guests will swoon—we know we did—over this masterful turkey breast. Caramelized onions become the base for a gravy that tastes like the best French onion soup ever. Don’t fret if the sliced onions overflow from the pan at first; cooked slowly, they will collapse to a fraction of their original volume. The bone keeps the breast meat moist and props up the breast in the pan so it can brown evenly. Save the bone for turkey stock. If you leave the skin on, as shown, it adds 20 calories and 1g sat fat per serving. Serve with our Skillet Green Bean Casserole, Classic Herb Stuffing, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, and Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce.
Forget dry, tasteless turkey. A rub of roasted garlic and fresh sage permeates every ounce of the bird, while a Dijon and white wine baste locks in moisture for juicy, tender meat. Save the giblets for our Classic Turkey Gravy. If your turkey starts to overbrown after the first hour in the oven, cover loosely with foil, and continue roasting. Remember to let the turkey rest so juices can redistribute and the bird can cool enough to carve.
Smoked Beef Tenderloin
Salting and smoking a tender cut of beef gives it an unrivaled flavor. Prepared horseradish works well here, but try fresh horseradish root if you can find it; look in the produce aisle of your supermarket during the fall and winter. Tailor the heat and tang of this silky sauce to your taste buds by adding more or less horseradish, pepper, and lemon.
Smoky Spatchcocked Turkey
Grill a spatchcocked turkey for a smoky, robust bird that's ready in half the time. We remove the backbone and roast the turkey flat so that every part has access to the heat at the same time. The turkey won't have grill marks (it cooks flesh side up over indirect heat) but will absorb that chargrilled flavor. A smoky spice rub of paprika and ancho chile powder seems fitting for the grill, but you could use any spice combo or minced fresh herbs combined with a couple of tablespoons oil.
Turkey pros swear by brining for tender, succulent meat. Line a disposable roasting pan with the brining bag before adding liquid and turkey. If it won't fit in your fridge, nestle in a cooler with ice—the temperature will stay in the safe zone until you're ready to roast. Make sure to pat the bird very dry after brining so the extra liquid doesn’t slow down the roast.
Brown Sugar-Cured Turkey with Apple-Bourbon Gravy
Roasting dark-meat turkey pieces on a bed of vegetables, fruit, and herbs adds deep flavor to the produce and the gravy.
Sage and Garlic-Rubbed Cornish Hens
The highlight of your meal is going to be a bird that's a twist on the classic. Because the hens are roasted spread out flat (called spatchcocking), the Thanksgiving main course is ready in less than an hour. You can't beat that.
Rosemary-Orange Roast Turkey
We like to give the bird a pretty finishing sheen by brushing on savory-sweet marmalade glaze. If you don't like the slightly bitter flavor of marmalade, you can substitute currant jelly for tart, bright flavor. Fresh rosemary brings the flavors of the turkey to life and will make your kitchen smell amazing. With a splash of citrus, this turkey is anything but bland, without being doused in high calorie glazes and sauces.
Applewood chips lend a slightly sweet and fruity flavor to the meat. You can also try smoking the turkey with cherry or alder wood chips for more delicate smoked flavor.
Fennel and Cumin-Roasted Turkey Breast with Thyme Gravy
A breast takes less time and serves just enough for a smaller gathering. Leaving the skin on adds only 20 calories and 1g sat fat per serving.
Classic "Prime" Rib
Salt, pepper, and a rib roast are literally the only ingredients you need for this. Because all the flavor comes from the meat itself and its slow, low-temperature roasting, it's a good idea to splurge on the highest-quality beef you can get (USDA prime grade is hard to find, and expensive, but worth it). The leftovers will make for some of the best roast-beef sandwiches you'll ever have. See more prime rib recipes.
Roasted Chicken with Lemons and Thyme
This recipe comes from the Sephardic Jewish cuisine of Spain and North Africa. A simple seasoning of lemon, paprika, and thyme gives the chicken Mediterranean flavor, and high-temperature roasting ensures beautifully browned skin. An easy gravy made from the drippings completes the dish, making it suitable as a weeknight family meal or as the centerpiece to a small dinner party.
Rosemary Butter-Rubbed Turkey with Porcini Gravy
Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Crisp Bacon
Not every holiday meal has to feature a big hunk of meat at the center of the table. This dish encapsulates fall flavor with steamed Brussels sprouts and crunchy hazelnuts, a creamy Parmesan sauce, and just a little bit of bacon. To make this a vegetarian-friendly entrée, use vegetable broth instead of chicken, and serve the crumbled bacon on the side.
Any time you cook a 10-pound ham, there are bound to be leftovers. This recipe takes advantage of your extras and is delicious hot or cold, on fine china or on sandwich bread. The marsala-wine glaze gives wonderful color and sweetness to an already impressive presentation.
Maple-Mustard Glazed Fresh Ham
Fresh ham is different from the cured ham you may be used to. It's juicy, full of rich pork flavor, and much less salty—a wonderful special-occasion roast. Serve with Brussels sprouts and mashed sweet potatoes.
Herb and Citrus Roast Leg of Lamb
Orange and lemon in the marinade make for a bright counterpoint to the earthy cumin. Stuff leftovers into pitas, and drizzle with yogurt.
Roast Turkey with Truffle Gravy
High-heat roasting makes this bird browned and beautiful, and truffle-scented homemade gravy makes it an extra-special treat. The holidays are a time for indulgence, and since this recipe calls for only a few ingredients, use the best quality you can.
Apple-Poblano Whole Roast Turkey
This roast turkey variation is both sweet and spicy, just the thing to keep your guests on their toes. Poblano peppers and flavors from whole apples and cider give new meaning to a holiday classic. A hint of Southwest spice and chile heat blend with sweet apples for a crowd-pleasing change from traditional turkey, but still staying true to the season's staples. Ensure that you start ahead of time so that you can brine the turkey for at least 12 hours.
Easy Coq au Vin
Savory reigns supreme in this quick recipe that looks like it took hours of slaving in the kitchen to prepare. Garnish the top with a little fresh parsley right before serving with noodles, rice or boiled potatoes.
Pork Tenderloin Agrodolce
The deep rich colored sauce is full of sour-sweet savor that comes from vinegar, cherries, and cipollini onions. For a wine pairing, try Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007, il vino "dal tralcetto". It keeps up with both the sweet and sour notes in this dish.
Crab Eggs Benedict
This Benedict is served with a "mock" hollandaise sauce made from mayonnaise and buttermilk instead of the traditional clarified butter. Serve with steamed asparagus.
Apple and Cranberry Turkey Roulade
Prepare the filling, stuff the tenderloins, roll, and tie them a day ahead. Let them stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. You won't need any cranberry sauce, as the sweet and savory apple-cranberry stuffing does double duty. If you can't find turkey tenderloins, use skinless, boneless turkey breast halves.
Beef Filets with Mushroom Sauce and Parmesan Popovers
The hearty and earthy mushroom sauce tastes divine atop the filets. Parmesan popovers make for a satisfying accompaniment.
Rabbit à la Moutard
Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas
Put a global spin on your holiday meal with this flavorful dish. Serve as a vegetarian entrée or as a hearty side, but do serve it one way or the other!
In its most simple state, a cassoulet is a slow-simmering bean dish with little bits of meat or sausage. A mixture of meat adds depth, and the medley of sausages here (versus traditional large hunks of slow-cooking meats) speeds up the cook time without sacrificing flavor. Look for D'Artagnan sausages at specialty stores, or order online from dartagnan.com. Open some great red wine, and chase this course with a bitter green salad.
Classic Roast Turkey and Giblet Gravy
You’ll need to prepare the Homemade Turkey Broth ahead—a day or two in advance is ideal. In a pinch, use purchased fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth.
Maple-Brined Turkey Breast with Mushroom Pan Gravy
Because you’re starting with a boneless cut, the brining time is much shorter than if using a whole bird. That makes this meal a great choice for an impromptu holiday gathering that still warrants an impressive dish.
Salmon with Satsuma-Soy Glaze
Sweet citrus like oranges, tangerines, or clementines can stand in for the brilliant gold satsumas. But keep in mind that satsuma rind is milder than orange rind.
Leg of Lamb with Spicy Harissa
Spice up a holiday dinner with this sultry combo of rich lamb basted with pomegranate molasses and a fiery sauce.
Pork Medallions with Pomegranate-Cherry Sauce
Red wine, pomegranate, cherries, and balsamic give a rich, sweet, seasonal tang to the comforting flavor of pan-seared pork.
Honey-Coriander Glazed Ham
Browning the coriander seeds and cumin seeds called for in this recipe is a truly fragrant experience. Honey makes this sweet spice mixture absolutely delectable when glazed over a smoked ham.
Spinach Pie with Goat Cheese, Raisins, and Pine Nuts
This savory pie is full of flavor. Make it as a filling vegetarian option to serve with your holiday meal or let it stand alone as the main star on your dining room table.
Herbed Beef Tenderloin with Two-Onion Jus
Fresh herbs and oniony flavors make a tender cut of meat absolutely divine. Brandy and dry red wine deepen the already flavorful Two-Onion Jus.
Leg of Lamb with Roasted Pear and Pine Nut Relish
A sweet sauce is common with roast leg of lamb, but this one has so much more depth of flavor than the traditional mint jelly. And the crunchy pine nuts add depth of texture as well. The lamb itself gets loads of flavor from marinating overnight in a lemon-spice-onion mixture before cooking.
Garlic and Herb Standing Rib Roast
Large bone-in roasts always make holiday meals feel special. This one, with only seven ingredients, is easy as can be. About 2 hours of roasting yields medium-rare perfection with a crusty exterior that will elicit oohs and aahs when you slice it at the table.
Slow-Roasted Salmon with Bok Choy and Coconut Rice
Salmon is a common entrée at Hanukkah meals, because many traditional dishes feature dairy ingredients, which kosher dietary laws prohibit mixing with red meat or poultry. This Asian-flavored fish dish is extra tender from long, low-temperature cooking, and is matched perfectly by the creamy rice and crisp stir-fried bok choy.
Roasted Chicken with Asiago Polenta and Truffled Mushrooms
The name sounds like something you'd find in a three-star restaurant, and the finished dish lives up to the name. Wonderfully creamy polenta and deeply earthy mushrooms complement a simply flavored roast chicken that's juicy and delicious. This dish is perfect for smaller gatherings where a whole turkey or roast would just be too much.
Pork Loin with Olivada, Spinach, and Rice Stuffing
This is one of the best ways to prepare pork loin. Overnight brining ensures a tender and juicy end result, and flavors the meat all the way through. Rolled around a delicious stuffing piquant with kalamata olives, the final product is beautiful as well.
Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Cassoulet
Our variation on the classic French wintertime dish uses meaty squash for body, rendering it much more healthful than the original. Though not as traditional as a turkey, ham, or roast, this is a great main course for a smaller holiday gathering or intimate dinner party.