The Ultimate Christmas Dinner Menu

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table full of christmas greatest hits recipes
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Drew Aichele; Prop Styling: Nicole Louie

For Christmas this year, we’re going in a classic direction with a meat-and-potatoes feast. The star of the show is a standing rib roast, a recipe we perfected this year. It has an easy herb rub to jazz it up a bit, and the decadent drippings are put to delicious use in a pan of popovers, which are way more festive than a dinner roll.

Add on some luxe French-inspired Dauphinoise potatoes and couple of easy sides and dinner is served! A make-ahead pan of jewel-toned cranberry curd bars is an easy and elegant way to end the meal. Dust with powdered sugar table-side for a seasonally appropriate winter wonderland vibe. Ready to get cooking? Read on for the recipes and all of the delicious details.

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Festive Cranberry Fizz
This bright, fizzy drink is the perfect way to kick off this special meal. It has layers of fruity, herbal flavors that make it great with any number of apps: salty or candied nuts, olives, cheeses. And the drink is delicious on its own or spiked with the spirit of your choice. (We'd suggest gin, if you're asking). The punch needs to chill for at least four hours, so make it in the morning when you get up and stash it in the fridge — or even put it together the night before. Come party time, all that's left to do is top it off with tonic water and/or booze.
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Standing Rib Roast
'Tis the season for a centerpiece dish with presence, and a standing rib roast delivers in that department. A simple rub (rosemary, thyme, garlic) is all this prime piece of beef needs to shine. Chill the meat with the rub overnight, then roast the next day. For maximum drama, serve the whole roast on a platter, then cut into thick slices at the table.
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Classic Yorkshire Pudding
While the beef rests, use those delicious drippings to make Yorkshire pudding. The puffy popovers hail from England and are a fun addition to this special menu. Our easy recipe takes a choose-your-own-adventure approach and explains how to make the recipe in a variety of vessels: a popover pan, a muffin tin, or even a cast iron skillet for a super-sized version (think: a savory Dutch baby).
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Dauphinoise Potatoes
Where there's beef, there really should be potatoes, heavy cream, and cheese. Enter: this classic French dish that contains those three elements (plus some garlic, bay leaves, and nutmeg). This simple, decadent side is great for a celebration and leftovers will heat up beautifully the next day.
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Easy Skillet Kale with Lemon & Garlic
You know how some recipes claim to be easy, but really aren't? This isn't one of those. Five minutes to prep, six minutes to cook — such a simple and delicious way to get your greens.
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Honey-Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots
Some smart, simple upgrades make these carrots a stand-out side dish. Half of the sauce — a combo of nutty brown butter, fragrant garlic, and sweet honey — is tossed with the carrots before roasting and then the rest goes on post-roast for a double dose of deliciousness. A shower of fresh parsley and some flaky salt make these carrots party-worthy.
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Cranberry Curd Bars with Walnut Shortbread Crust
This fun twist on a classic lemon bar subs in tangy cranberries for the standard citrus. Under the pretty pink curd is a buttery, walnutty crust. It takes at least two hours for the curd to set, so consider making these in the morning so they'll be ready to go come dinnertime. Any leftovers make a festive breakfast the next morning.
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