Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or even just the end of a big year, you’ll want to share a meal that marks the occasion. We’re talking a big, bronzed holiday ham, perfectly braised lamb shanks, a whole roasted fish with winter citrus, or (for the non-meat eaters in your life) vegan lentil shepherd's pie.
It’s okay that these dishes take a little extra time and effort to make it to the table. It's part of the celebration.
The point of a holiday feast, anyway, is to slow down and enjoy the cooking as well as the eating. And for the people in your life who matter most, there's nothing more inviting than pulling out a big, comforting centerpiece from the oven or bubbling away a gorgeous braise on the stove to perfume the house.
Whatever you're celebrating this winter, here are twelve holiday main dishes we know your guests will love.
Recipe author Sara Jenkins stuffs a skin-on, boneless pork shoulder with aromatic herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary and slow-roasts it until the meat is spoon-tender.
For a truly showstopping centerpiece, encrust a whole fish with a festive salt mixture studded with blood orange and lemon zest, rosemary, and bay leaves.
There's nothing more wintry than pomegranates—and here, they're used as sweet-tart flavoring and crunchy, jewel-bright garnish.
Read More: How to Cut a Pomegranate
Looking for a great ham recipe? Recipe author Kayb "sticks to a classic sweet glaze," writes our co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, "but instead of whacking you over the head with sugar, she balances the sweetness (here, dark brown sugar) with grainy and ground mustards, and a healthy splash of bourbon."
Shepherd's pie, but turned up a notch. Lentils replace ground beef in this flavorful vegan version, and the mashed potato and parsnip topping can be made a day in advance, according to recipe developer Gena Hamshaw.
A pork shoulder roast with layers and layers of flavor: Salty soy sauce, sweet brown sugar, umami-rich mushrooms, and aromatic ginger, garlic, and rice wine all result in a centerpiece-worthy holiday main.
Nothing says feast like sweet, crunchy Korean fried chicken—especially when YouTube sensation Maangchi is cooking it. "This is peak party food," Senior Editor Eric Kim says. "I grew up eating dakgangjeong at family gatherings, birthdays, and holiday dinners. The best thing about it? It stays crunchy forever, even cold."
"Slow-roasting makes a beautifully tender, evenly cooked, not-one-bit-dry piece of fish," writes Genius Recipes columnist Kristen Miglore. The trick is to cook the fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 120°F.
Slow-cooked in a hearty tangle of cozy flavors like apricots, herbs, and red wine, this brisket is a fall-apart tender dream of a main course.
Is there anything grander than a holiday rib roast? This one comes from community member Waverly's mother, who makes it for Christmas dinner every year.
Or if you don't want to bother with a big roast this year, why not go for something a little more casual? Eric's sweet and spicy baby back ribs are oven-baked, which means you don’t have to wait for summer grilling season to make them your family’s holiday main.
A cheesy, bubbling lasagna is another sure-fire way to win over any guest this holiday season. This one's vegetable-packed and made with three (!) different cheeses. Can you guess which ones?
Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.View Maker