The holidays might look a little different this year, but that shouldn’t stop you from going all out with your festive dinner menu. Whether you’re hosting a smaller, more intimate gathering or doing a virtual holiday meal over Zoom, now’s the time to get creative and have fun experimenting with new dishes. Go classic with beef Wellington, add a surprising Thai twist to the sides selection with corn krapow, or take a breakfast sweet treat and serve it for dessert (hello, cardamom coffee buns!) Try spicing up your spread with these 16 delicious holiday dinner recipes.

Mains

Rack of Lamb with Apple Glaze

Don’t be intimidated by rack of lamb! It’s foolproof: Just sear the top of the meat to get a crispy exterior, and then roast it at a lower temp so it doesn’t overcook. To save time, make the apple cider glaze in advance and reheat once the lamb is cooked.

Beef Wellington

There are few meals in life more inviting than beef Wellington. Warm, juicy, tender meat wrapped in prosciutto and flaky puff pastry… what could be better than that? It’s layer after flavorful layer, and is easier to make than it looks.

Braised Short Ribs

This is the perfect all-in-one dish: fall-off-the-bone short ribs submerged in a savory, tomatoey bath. Serve it over mashed potatoes, polenta, or a carb of your choice.

BTI Roasted Chicken

If you’re looking for a main dish that is as impressive as it is delicious and beef isn’t your thing, try Chrissy’s classic whole roasted chicken. Coated in garlic and herbs, this bird is cooked low and slow to ensure super golden, crispy skin and succulent meat. Pro tip: Make sure you baste the chicken with its juices every 15 minutes to ensure ultimate juiciness!

Hot Honey Salmon with Butternut Gratin

Salmon and Butternut Squash Plated

For a lighter dinner without sacrificing on flavor, try hot honey salmon with a healthy(ish) faux butternut gratin. (Okay, this is just slightly lighter…) The cream and Parm bind together to give the gratin a silky smooth texture, while the salmon is coated in this irresistible spicy honey sauce that you’ll want to eat straight from the bowl.

Cauliflower Steaks

CAULIFLOWER STEAKS

If you’re vegetarian, look no further. These cauliflower steaks, coated in crispy panko and melted Parmesan, will make you forget meat was ever a thing. Save the leftover florets that fall off and use them to roast or purée another time!

Sides

Potato Pancakes with Fixings

Crunchy, crispy, and savory potato latkes will make you say, “hash browns, who?” Each bite is perfectly tender and just-salty-enough on the inside. This recipe calls for sour cream and salmon roe for toppings, but you can swap that for applesauce, Greek yogurt, or even ketchup. Make sure to let the potatoes sit in cold water beforehand to remove excess starch—this will ensure they don’t get gummy when they cook.

Corn Krapow

Corn krapow is a lighter, vegetarian riff on the classic Thai pad krapow (chicken with basil), made with meaty oyster mushrooms and corn. Its spiciness will help cut through any rich meats on the table, or serve a hefty portion for your vegetarian guests.

Adeena’s Greenas

Chrissy’s latest night snack happens to be a big pile of spicy-salty-umami greens. Take any leaves you can find—spinach, Swiss chard, kale—and sauté with green beans. Add flavor with fish sauce (duh), soy sauce, salt, and Momofuku’s Chili Crunch (any type of chili crisp or chili oil works). Optional but highly encouraged: Top the greens with a six-minute jammy, soft-boiled egg. This might become your new go-to holiday side dish.

Chamomile Roasted Carrots

You probably think of chamomile for soothing tea, and that’s exactly what is used in this recipe: tea! When mixed with butter, it creates a sauce that is light, slightly floral, and enhances the natural sweetness of carrots. Pair them with a richer protein, like steak or lamb.

Yukon Smashed Potatoes with Crispy Shallots

Mashed potatoes, when prepared properly, can yield the most indulgent results. The key to getting the texture thick and silky is by adding cream and butter. (Don’t be shy here!) Take it to a whole new level by adding crispy fried shallots on top. The secret to this recipe? You can crisp shallots in the microwave and save yourself the hassle of deep-frying. 

Oven-Baked Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

If you’re looking for a heartier side, perhaps one filled with grains, mushrooms, and toooons of Parmesan, we’ve got you covered. This creamy, oven-baked barley risotto is a delicious accompaniment to cold weather. It’s so good, you may or may not forget you have an entire holiday meal in front of you.

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Blue Cheese & Bacon

brussel sprouts

Anything is better with bacon, especially when that anything is rich pieces of crumbly blue cheese and roasted balsamic-y Brussels sprouts. If you have leftovers, these would taste great in a frittata.

Desserts

Cardamom Coffee Buns

Sticky buns are normally an indulgent breakfast thing, but since these have coffee in them, they work great as an after-dinner treat. These fluffy pillows of joy are the perfect blend of sweet and spice, with nice warming cardamom. Just make sure to have a napkin (or 10) nearby—you’ll need ‘em!

Creamy Rice Pudding 

Nothing screams cozy and comforting like a bowl of creamy rice pudding, and this version has cinnamon and orange zest for an extra punch. Feel free to add as little or as many toppings as you want; you really can’t go wrong here!

Chocolate Pecan Brownies

Fudgy is the goal with these chocolaty pecan brownies. The nuts give each bite a delightful crunch, while the cocoa mixed with chocolate chips doubles up on the richness. 

Apple Crumble

apple cobbler

This sweet and nutty apple crumble is way easier than making a pie, but just as comforting and classic—especially when served à la mode with vanilla ice cream. And because it’s topped with pieces of crumbly and buttery oats, you can technically eat this for breakfast (we won’t tell anyone!).