7 classic Christmas roasts

Get classic roast recipes including chicken, turkey, lamb, pork and more, plus get the secret to elevate any roast to a Christmas-worthy meal.

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Seven classic Christmas roasts

The best Christmas roast recipes make it easy for the cook to get succulent, flavourful results with little effort. These roasts fit the bill, and there’s a recipe for everyone from traditional turkey to a vegetarian whole roast cauliflower. Plus, here's the secret trick that all chefs know, which takes their roasts from pedestrian to occasion-worthy (spoiler alert: it’s butter, but better!).
How to use butter to elevate your Christmas roast
Have you ever wondered why roast meals from restaurants just taste better than homemade? The secret, more often than not, is a dose of compound butter. Compound butter is butter mixed with aromatics, and you can customise it to any flavours you like. Common choices include garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest or mustard, and even sweet ingredients like maple, cinnamon or brown sugar.
What is the purpose of compound butter?
Since compound butter can be made into any flavour profile you can dream up, it's perfect to use as a seasoning in many different ways. You can rub melt it over roasted beef or steaks, stir it through stuffing to amp up the flavour, toss through steamed or roasted vegetables and so much more. It works as an “instant sauce” to flavour up your meal. You can even rub it under chicken skin, which will automatically baste your roast as it cooks. Compound butters also work as a delicious spread on your favourite savoury or sweet pancakes and scones.
How do you make compound butter?
Simply take softened butter or good quality spreadable butter such as Western Star Original Spreadable, and mix it with your favourite herbs and spices. Get three flavoured butter recipes here or try these combinations:
  • Garlic, thyme and lemon zest
  • Mustard, parsley and garlic
  • Maple syrup, Dijon mustard and pepper
  • Smoked paprika and cumin
  • Cinnamon, brown sugar and clove
  • Brandy, sugar and vanilla
How do you roll up compound butter?
The best way to store compound butter is by rolling it up, so it's easy to slice off what you need to use. Spoon softened compound butter down the centre of a large piece of cling film or baking paper. Roll up to enclose. Grip the ends of the plastic or paper and twist in opposite directions. Tuck ends under the butter log to secure. Chill or freeze until firm. Slice as needed
How long does compound butter last?
Compound butters are best frozen into logs. Wrap well and label. Keep refrigerated for 2 weeks in a sealed container or freeze for 3-6 months.
Apricot, Orange and Butter Glazed Chicken
  • Prep: 30 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves: 4
Turn a roast chicken into something special with this gorgeous golden and fruity glaze. Deliciously sticky and buttery, everyone will want a piece with that Christmas glazed skin.
Turkey Breast with Thyme and Lemon Gravy
  • Prep: 20 minutes, plus brining time
  • Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Serves: Dinner Party (8-10)
Ensure your turkey roast is super juicy and succulent by brining it before getting the skin golden and crisp in butter. The final touch of special buttery thyme and lemon gravy is just the thing for Christmas day.
Whole Roasted Eye Fillet with Mustard, Parsley and Garlic Butter
  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 30 minutes
  • Serves: Dinner Party (8-10)
A whole roasted eye fillet is luxurious, but the mustard, parsley and garlic butter really maximises the flavour.
Crispy Rolled Pork with Easy Herb Stuffing
Play Video: Crispy Rolled Pork with Easy Herb Stuffing
  • Prep: 35 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Serves: 8
Everyone fights over the last piece of crackling, but the flavourful herb stuffing in this roast pork is another thing that will have your guests coming back for more.
Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon Roast Lamb
  • Prep: 20 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves: 6-8
Rosemary, garlic and lemon are such classic flavours for a Christmas lamb roast.
Maple Glazed Roast Chicken
  • Prep: 25 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves: 6
Adding flavoured butter under the skin of the chicken before roasting it means the skin gets crisp from the extra fat, and the meat becomes ultra juicy and flavourful from basting in the butter.
Whole Baked Cauliflower with Sage and Onion Crust
  • Prep: 20 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves: 6-8
This vegetarian roast alternative has a crisp, buttery golden crust that contrasts delightfully with the tender cauliflower centre. Whether you serve it as a main or a side, it's full of fantastic herby flavour.
Creamy One Pot Roast Chicken
Play Video: Creamy One Pot Roast Chicken
  • Prep: 30 minutes
  • Cook: 90 minutes
  • Serves: 4
This one-pot chicken is baked with potatoes too, so that's one less side to worry about! Coated in a thyme, garlic and lemon zest butter and cooked with cream, this is one indulgent yet easy roast chicken.
What to serve with your Christmas roast
Get recipes below for more ideas like gravy, sides and more from your Christmas roast.
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