12 Small Yet Special Roasts for Your Holiday Meal

The holiday season is a time for warmth, togetherness, and indulgent feasts. But what if your gathering this year is a bit more intimate, with a smaller group of cherished loved ones? Fear not, for this curated list of delightful selections of small roasts that are bound to steal the show at your holiday table. From succulent beef tenderloin to savory turkey thighs, these dishes offer a grand presentation and exquisite flavors without overwhelming your gathering. Let’s dive into these top 8 small yet special roasts for your holiday meal, courtesy of Martha Stewart’s recipe blog.

  1. Beef Tenderloin, Wrapped in Potatoes

These roasts aren’t just a feast for the taste buds; it’s a visual spectacle as well. Imagine a small cut of beef tenderloin enrobed in par-cooked russet potatoes, crisping up beautifully in the oven. The result? A culinary masterpiece that’s as beautiful as it is delicious. Don’t worry about leftovers; they make for the most delectable sandwiches the next day.

  1. Stuffed Apricot Jam Turkey Breast

If you’re looking for a hassle-free stuffed turkey recipe, this one’s a winner. No trussing required! It involves a deeply savory stuffing crafted with sausage, sage, lemon zest, and a hint of apricot jam, all tucked snugly beneath the turkey’s skin. This dish will leave your guests in awe.

  1. Portobello Gratin Mushrooms

For a vegetarian delight, these individual Portobello mushroom gratins are the way to go. The earthy mushroom caps serve as the perfect vessel for a creamy, cheesy gratin filling. This dish is not just a feast for the eyes but also a delightful treat for your non-meat-eating guests.

  1. Roasted Chicken Breasts With Grape Stuffing

Roast chicken is a classic, but this recipe takes it up a notch. Split chicken breasts are browned to perfection and set atop a rustic stuffing made with torn ciabatta bread and sweet, juicy grapes. The result is a delightful melding of flavors and a stuffing that’s crispy on the surface.

  1. Delectable Apple-Braised Turkey Thighs

The months of November and December come alive in this recipe. Turkey thighs are lovingly braised in a flavorful mixture of apple cider, cider vinegar, fresh apples, and shallots. The result? A dish with layers of savory depth that embodies the essence of the holiday season.

  1. Roasted Chicken, Covering Lemons and Onions

This ultimate roast chicken recipe is a game-changer. Forget the stuffing; this recipe focuses on roasting the bird to perfection, achieving a crispy brown skin and juicy meat. The secret? Salting the chicken ahead of time and roasting it on a sheet pan over a bed of sliced lemons and onions, which you can enjoy along with the chicken.

  1. Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Green Herb Sauce

For a show-stopping centerpiece that’s also vegan or vegetarian-friendly, look no further than a whole-roasted cauliflower. Paired with a vibrant herb sauce, this dish not only impresses but also complements your holiday meal beautifully. Consider serving it alongside a vegan mushroom-leek stuffing for the ultimate plant-based feast.

  1. Pork Tenderloin with Sage and Garlic Crust

When your holiday gathering is more intimate, this petite pork tenderloin is the perfect choice. Coated with aromatic garlic and sage, it delivers exceptional flavor and is ready in just 40 minutes. A splendid option when you’re aiming for a smaller roast without compromising on taste.

A smaller gathering doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavor or presentation. These 8 small yet special roasts are the epitome of holiday indulgence, offering a range of flavors and styles to suit your taste and your party size. Whether you opt for the potato-wrapped beef tenderloin, the savory stuffed turkey breast, or the vegan-friendly whole roasted cauliflower, your holiday meal is sure to be a memorable feast.

For more delicious recipes, click here.

Holiday Recipe: Preparing a Perfect Turducken

If you’re looking for a change of pace for what to put on the dinner table this holiday season, why not try cooking a turducken for your best holiday recipe? A turducken is a turkey stuffed with a duck, which is in turn stuffed with a chicken. This dish is sure to impress your guests and have them talking long after the meal is over, and thanks to these solid turducken preparation tips from Louisiana Cookin, your next feast is sure to impress.

Reasons to Cook a Turducken

There are many reasons to consider cooking the holiday recipe, a turducken, this season. First, it’s a unique dish that will stand out from the traditional turkey dinner. Your guests will be intrigued by this unusual presentation, and they’ll be eager to try it. Second, turducken is extremely flavorful. The different meats complement each other, and the stuffing adds an extra layer of flavor and texture. This is sure to be a hit with even the pickiest eaters. Third, cooking a turducken is relatively easy, especially if you use a pre-made stuffing mix. And since it’s already stuffed, there’s no need to worry about making additional side dishes. Just add some roasted potatoes or vegetables, and you’ve got a complete meal. So if you’re looking for something different this Thanksgiving, give turducken a try. It’s sure to please everyone at the table!


When it comes to ensuring your turducken preparation is the best that it can be, thawing, basting, browning, and temperature-checking your turducken are extremely important cooking aspects to pay attention to.


It is important to thaw a turducken completely before cooking. Thawing a frozen turducken can be done one of two ways: in the refrigerator or in cold water. If you choose to thaw your turducken in the refrigerator, place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any drips and allow 24-48 hours for it to thaw completely. If you’re short on time, you can place your turducken in cold water, making sure to change the water every 30 minutes. Either way, it is vital that you give your thawed bird plenty of time to reach room temperature before cooking. So, after your turducken has thawed in the fridge, remove it from the packaging and allow it to come to room temperature. Allowing your turducken to stand at room temperature for a full hour before cooking will help it to cook evenly.


Basting is key to keeping your turducken moist while it cooks. You can use any type of fat or oil for basting, but we recommend using melted bacon drippings. Once your turducken has rested at room temperature for an hour you’ll generously brush the outside with your melted bacon drippings before cooking. Basting your turducken will help it brown nicely in the oven. Additionally, you can also put some foil over the breast area during the first hour or so of cooking to prevent it from getting too dark.


Browning is an important process for getting that perfect golden color for this holiday recipe and cooking it through, but a key way to ensure that your turducken doesn’t succumb to “over-browning” is to tuck its wings underneath it prior to placing it in the oven. By tucking the wings beneath the bird, you are ensuring that this thin part of the turducken is essentially safe from over-crisping.


Finally, cooking your turducken to the perfect temperature is essential. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit when cooked through. The best way to know when your turkey is done is to use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the thigh, making sure not to touch bone, and cook until it registers at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the turducken from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. This will give the juices a chance to redistribute and make carving easier. Serve and enjoy!

Lastly, Louisiana Cookin provided a top-notch secret gravy recipe that makes good use of your turducken drippings.


  • ½ cup of turducken drippings
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups of chicken broth, divided
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper


  1. Take a roasting pan or a large nonstick saucepan and heat your collected turducken drippings over medium high heat. While the drippings are heating, you’ll sprinkle your ½ cup of all-purpose flour over the droppings and whisk them together to combine.
  2. Cook this gravy by stirring the pan constantly for about 1 to 2 minutes, until it’s thickened. Then, add ½ cup of chicken broth to the pan, whisking to combine. Cook by stirring the pan constantly for another 1 to 2 minutes, until it’s thickened. Add your remaining cup of chicken broth and repeat the whisking steps.
  3. Finish the gravy off by adding your pepper and serve alongside your roasted turducken.
  4. Enjoy!

For more delicious holiday recipes, click here.

What to do on a New Orleans Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving serves as a time to gather together to be completely humbled and thankful for all the blessings and benefits of the past year. This is often done over excellently prepared meals, so it stands to reason that there’s no better city to gather for the celebration than New Orleans, Louisiana, and thanks to this excellently compiled holiday resource from NewOrleans.com, you’ve never been in a better position to enjoy the Crescent City in all its bounty.

Before we give an overview of the food offerings in the city on the infamous Thursday for those of us wishing to take the day off, sit back, and enjoy the world-class cuisine of the various chefs and culinary artists found in the city, you should know about the various Thanksgiving Day activities that are available city-wide this autumnal holiday season.

Particular events that are positioned to be a large draw on Thanksgiving Day are the horse races at the Fair Groundsand the annual Turkey Day Race at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park. Outside of athletic racing events, the New Orleans tourism site suggests digesting your Turkey Day meal with a carriage ride across the French Quarter so that you can learn about the elaborate history of the city. And of course, there are always plenty of movie theatres open throughout the city on Thanksgiving Day for those of us wanting to digest amidst amazing narratives and visuals.

However, if you prefer the holiday season that begins immediately following your Thanksgiving Meal, then you’ll be delighted to hear that Celebration in the Oaks will return to New Orleans City Park from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM on Thursday the 25th, and it’s set to last until January 2, 2022- with tickets costing $35. This annual holiday festivity is always heralded as a must-see of the New Orleans holiday tradition, as this incredible, breathtaking holiday light show transforms the already beautiful grounds of City Park into 25 acres of dazzling lights and impressive festive displays. In total, the winter wonderland is spread throughout the Park, Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park with millions of lights scattered throughout the 2.25-mile expanse.

Now it’s time for the food. On Thanksgiving, you’re essentially left with two options in New Orleans if you want to take the day off from cooking or organizing a family potluck: you can dine out or order catering from the many restaurants offering to do the cooking for you. If catering, some suggested favorites are Deanie’s Seafood, Mother’s, Brigtsen’s, Desi Vega’s Steakhouse, Blue Oak BBQ, Central City BBQ, and Cochon Butcher for your savory meals and Willa Jean, Bywater Bakery, Beth Biundo Sweets, Camellia Grill, La Boulangerie, and Levee Baking Co. for sweets.

Alternatively, if you’re planning to experience the classic and authentic New Orleans dining atmosphere, then you’re left with plenty of options for restaurants open in the city on Thanksgiving Day, leaving you more time to celebrate and less time coordinating, stressing, and planning.

It should definitely be noted that most of the city’s finer hotels offer excellent meals on Thanksgiving, but for those of us who want to enjoy a great meal “in-house,” then the following restaurants are set to be open on Thanksgiving and are recommended for a pleasant, decadent, and well-rounded experience.

Uptown/Garden District

Central Business District/ Downtown

The French Quarter

 Greater New Orleans Area

For more Louisiana-related articles, click here.

Thanksgiving Roast Turkey


Last, but certainly not least, we will be featuring a scrumptious Turkey recipe for our final recipe before Thanksgiving. This amazing roasted Turkey is a crisp, clean way to serve your bird this year. The rosemary and sage seasoning are a light, fresh seasoning choice that really makes this dish.

If you have missed some of our other great side dishes, you can find them here or here. And don’t forget this delicious dessert that we posted about here.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with friends and family.



  • 1 12-14 lb. whole turkey, neck, and giblets removed
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • Small handful of rosemary sprigs
  • 1 small handful sage leaves
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 2 c. chicken broth


  1. Position rack to the lower third of your oven and preheat oven to 450°. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and season the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with onion, thyme, rosemary, sage and garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body.
  2. Brush butter all over turkey then season generously with salt and pepper. Place turkey breast side up on a roasting rack inside of a large pan. Pour chicken broth into the pan. Transfer to oven and immediately reduce oven heat to 350°.
  3. Baste every 30 to 45 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan, and roast for 3 to 4 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. (The meat temperature should be 165°).
  4. Cover cooked turkey with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.