Christmas Dinner Ideas: Roast Turkey and Ham Recipes for a Delicious Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner Ideas: Roast Turkey, Ham Recipes for a Delicious Christmas Dinner
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

‘Tis the season to be jolly—what makes you jolly this time of year? For many people, it is spending time with family, friends, or perhaps volunteering to help those less fortunate. For many others, the holidays are the time to indulge in some favorite meals. Are you already thinking up some Christmas dinner ideas, but haven’t found one you like? Well, here are two recipes for some Christmas staples—these are must-haves for any holiday dinner.

Perfect Roast Turkey

Courtesy of Ina Garten

Total Time:
3 hr. 20 min
30 min
20 min
2 hr. 30 min

8 servings

What you need:

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole lemon, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan and then add the zest and juice of the lemon, as well as 1 tsp. of thyme leaves to the butter mixture. Set it all aside.
  3. Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and then pat the outside dry.
  4. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Add salt and pepper generously to the inside of the turkey cavity. Next, stuff the inside of the turkey with a bunch of thyme, quartered onion, halved lemon, and garlic. Then brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Tie the turkey legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.
  5. Next, roast the turkey for about 2 ½ hours or until the juices run clear when cut between leg and thigh. Remove turkey and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Slice turkey and serve.

Roasted Marmalade Ham

This sticky, sweet, and salty ham is an absolute winner. Give it a whirl this Christmas, or at any other time of the year!

What you need:

  • 2 carrots
  • 3-4 kg middle cut higher-welfare gammon, with knuckle left on
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 16 black peppercorns
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 piece of leek, 1 fresh bay leaf, 1 stick of celery, 1 sprig of fresh thyme)
  • 1 jar of quality thin-rind marmalade
  • 2 lemons or oranges
  • ½ bunch of fresh rosemary

How to make it:

  1. Place ham in large and snug-fitting pot.
  2. Chop the carrots and celery roughly and throw them into the pot with bay leaves, bouquet garni and peppercorns.
  3. Peel zest from lemons and then squeeze the juice.
  4. Cover everything with water and then place the pot over high heat, bringing it to a boil. Then turn heat down and allow simmering for 1 hour and 15 minutes with a lid on. Skim away any scum that rises to the surface when needed.
  5. When finished cooking, remove pot from heat and allow it to cool for half an hour in its own broth. This allows the flavors to really penetrate the meat. Remove the veggies and put broth in a container to freeze.
  6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and carefully remove the meat to a board. Using a knife, take the skin off.
  7. Score the fat that’s left on the meat in a criss-cross fashion and while moist, season it liberally with 3 tbsp. of black pepper.
  8. Place the ham in a roasting tray and roast it for 20 minutes or until fat renders and becomes a bit crispy.
  9. Remove from the oven and stir the marmalade to loosen, then rub it all over the meat and even strip over the rosemary.
  10. Return it to the oven for 1 hour and baste frequently until beautifully golden and crisp.
  11. Serve with sides of your choice. Enjoy!

If you want some more information about how to cook and prepare a gammon or ham; check out this link.

It can take a really ambitious person to make either of these robust and main star dishes for the holidays. You’re not limited to either of these recipes, though, as some people like their ham roasted and glazed with mustard and maple syrup. Others prefer eating vegan or vegetarian options for the holidays, so it’s all up to your own preferences. What Christmas food will you be serving for Christmas 2016?



Garten, I., “Perfect Roast Turkey” The Food Network web site;; last accessed November 28, 2016., “How to cook the perfect roast ham” Jamie Oliver web site; October, 19, 2016;; last accessed November 28, 2016.