Five-Star Holiday Recipes

By: Catherine Pritchard

Sometimes a recipe grabs your imagination because it just seems like it should be good. Maybe it has tasty-sounding ingredients. Maybe the picture with it is pretty. Maybe its name sounds appetizing. 

But if you’re cooking a special meal for the holidays, it’s good to know that the recipes you’re using have been tried and found true, over and over again. 

Below, you’ll find holiday recipes that have 5-star ratings. If you try one, let us know what rating you’d give. 

 

Juicy Holiday Turkey 

This recipe on AllRecipes.com has been rated 639 times – and 581 of those are five-star ratings. Another 31 are four-star. So we’re guessing it really is pretty darn good. 

Ingredients 

2 T. dried parsley 

2 T. ground dried rosemary 

2 T. rubbed dried sage 

2 T. dried thyme leaves 

1 T. lemon pepper 

1 T. salt 

1 (15-pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed 

2 stalks celery, chopped 

1 orange, cut into wedges 

1 onion, chopped 

1 carrot, chopped 

1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth 

1 (750 milliliter) bottle champagne 

 

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a turkey roaster with long sheets of aluminum foil that will be long enough to wrap over the turkey. 
  1. Stir together the parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon pepper and salt in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture into the cavity of the turkey, then stuff with the celery, orange, onion, and carrot. Truss if desired and place the turkey in the roasting pan. Pour the chicken broth and champagne over the turkey, making sure to get some champagne in the cavity. Bring the aluminum foil over the top of the turkey and seal. Try to keep the foil from touching the skin of the turkey breast or legs. 
  1. Bake the turkey in the preheated oven for 2½-3 hours until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear. Uncover the turkey and continue baking until the skin turns golden brown, 30 minutes to 1 hour longer. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees. Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. 

 

Tips from reviewers: You can substitute ginger ale for the champagne. A cooking bag will make cleanup a breeze. Brining the turkey ahead of time will add even more flavor. 

Sweet Potato Casserole 

Of 1,398 cooks on AllRecipes.com who went to the trouble of rating this recipe, 1,198 loved it and gave it five stars. Another 143 reviewers gave it four stars. 

Ingredients 

4½ cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes 

½ cup butter, melted 

1/3 cup milk 

1 cup white sugar 

½ t. vanilla extract 

 2 eggs, beaten 

1 cup light brown sugar 

½ cup all-purpose flour 

1/3 cup butter (used separately from the ½ cup butter) 

1 cup chopped pecans 

 

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. 
  1. In a large bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes, ½ cup butter, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. Spread sweet potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour. Cut in 1/3 cup butter until mixture is crumbly, then stir in pecans. Sprinkle pecan mixture over the sweet potatoes. 
  1. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. 

 

Tips from reviewers: You can use two 29-ounce cans of cut sweet potatoes if you’d rather not cook your own. If you do want to cook your own, you’ll need 5-7 medium-sized sweet potatoes. You can substitute evaporated milk for the regular milk for a creamier texture. And you can cut the sugar without losing flavor. 

 Cranberry Moscow Mule 

Confession: We were drawn in initially by the cool name and pretty red-and-green pictures of this alcoholic drink. But this drink has five-star reviews at numerous food sites on the internet. 

 

Ingredients 

8 ounces ginger beer 

Juice of 1 lime 

1 shot or jigger of vodka 

1 T. cranberry juice cocktail 

Raw cranberries and lime juice for garnish 

 

Instructions 

Combine first four ingredients and stir. Pour over ice and serve, preferably in a copper mug. Garnish with raw cranberries and lime slices. 

Tips: There are numerous variations of this recipe, some more complicated than this. Moscow Mules have been traditionally served in copper mugs, which are for sale at numerous retailers. But when copper comes into contact with acidic foods (like alcohol and lime juice), it can leach into that food. So be safe and make sure you get copper mugs that are lined on the inside with a nonreactive metal like nickel or stainless steel.