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6 Holiday Main Dish Ideas

Whether it’s the dinner of the season or just another holiday dinner party, we’ve got you covered.

By Kara Elder
Nov 6, 2023
turkey carving lifestyle
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And just like that, it’s time to think about holiday main dishes. When planning a festive menu, each element is important, of course, but the main dish is like the rug in a room: it ties it all together. Luckily, we’ve got ideas for all types of mains, from one-pot roasts to party-ready tamales.

You’ll find recipes suited for last-minute preparation and a few that are best with some advance planning and a kitchen helper or two. All of the recipes come from either our in-house culinary staff or chef customers, and each is sure to impress anyone gathering around the holiday table.

One-Pot Roast Chicken with Vegetables

chicken in dutch oven

Our Enameled Cast Iron Oval Dutch Oven is the ideal vessel for roasting this rustic, comforting, and nostalgic dish. (It’s called grandma-style for a reason!) Made by our in-house Creative Culinary Director of the Made In Studio, Rhoda Boone, this recipe levels roasted chicken up a notch by infusing it with punchy herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme.

A bed of carrots or parsnips, fennel, onion, and potatoes roasts under the chicken, so they absorb all those schmaltzy flavors. Let us not forget the cherry on top: country or sourdough bread slathered with roasted garlic.

While this recipe pairs well with a simply dressed salad for a casual meal, lots of sides and a dessert or two would really take it to holiday main dish status.

Hot Honey-Glazed Ham

honey ham

Ham is the classic holiday main dish for a reason: it’s beautiful on the table, but more importantly for you, it takes very little effort. A classic honey glaze—zhuzhed up with Dijon mustard, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, and cumin—caramelizes as the ham roasts in our Carbon Steel Roasting Pan. An additional application of glaze once out of the oven adds a glistening shine while calling out all those flavors even more.

Roast Chicken with Charred Cabbage and Salsa Verde

jakub czyszczon roast chicken

Chef Jakub Czyszczon at Garrison, the signature restaurant located inside Austin’s Fairmont Hotel, shared this juicy number with us. It’s all in the details: an aromatic lemon, garlic, and herb brine transforms chicken into crispy, golden perfection. Our Carbon Steel Roasting Pan shines here, as you can sear cabbage on the stove before roasting it underneath the brined chicken, which will in turn add more flavor to the cabbage.

Pair all that with a bright, herbaceous salsa verde—a mix of cilantro, parsley, capers, and more—and you’ve got a zippy holiday main dish that’s ready for center stage.

Chicken Tamales

chicken tamales

Is it even the holidays if you don’t have tamales? Chef Rick Lopez of Austin’s La Condesa shares his method for making tamales for a crowd, from prepping the masa to making the spiced chicken filling to assembling and steaming in the pot. Make it a group activity, invite your friends and family over to help, talamada-style, and you’ll have a tasty, steaming holiday main dish in no time. Chef Lopez includes a secret ingredient in his masa, too, making for an extra silky, custardy masa that encases the spicy chicken interior.

You’ll use an array of our cookware here: a Dutch Oven for the filling, a Sheet Pan to help prep the corn husks, and a Stainless Clad Stock Pot to cook them all up.

Slow Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter and Gravy

tom colliccio turkey

We wanted a Rockwellian turkey that also tasted great for a Thanksgiving centerpiece, so we naturally turned to Chef Tom Colicchio for advice. This recipe takes fewer than ten ingredients, pairs them with advance planning (you should ideally let your buttered bird air dry for two days) and creates a holiday main dish full of flavor. This is an excellent time to break out our Carbon Steel Roasting Pan, which Chef Colicchio also helped us design.

Skillet-Roasted Chicken with Hen of the Woods, Leeks, and Pan Sauce

skillet chicken

This roast chicken is food stylist, cookbook author, and recipe developer Melina Hammer’s Platonic ideal. Crispy skin, tender and flavorful chicken, and just one pan, our Enameled Cast Iron Skillet, to do it all. A little extra work at the outset—searing on the stove before going into the oven—seals in flavor and creates that perfectly burnished skin for your holiday main dish. Mushrooms, potatoes, and a leek pick up plenty of chicken flavor, while a white wine pan sauce makes an ideal gravy.

Ready to Cook?

The holiday season can come with plenty of stress, but cooking doesn’t need to be one of them. When you’re equipped with tools like our Carbon Steel Roasting Pan, Enameled Cast Iron Oval Dutch Oven, or Enameled Cast Iron Skillet, you’ll be well on your way to holiday main dish success.