Prime Rib Christmas Dinner Recipe

Now you're cooking!
Now you're cooking!

Mmm, Mmm, Good!

Tis the season to not be thrifty, fa-la-la la-laaa-la-la-la-la.

Before you know it, Christmas will be here. I like to use my prime rib recipe on Christmas day. However you can eat this delicious dish any time of the year if you are still able, despite these hard economic times. I know that my household is in the downside of some economic strife, so our gift list is very limited. We still plan on preparing a special Christmas dinner using my recipe, though. It is a new tradition we started two years ago and one that we want to try to continue and consider it a gift to our family. I enjoyed preparing prime rib, and it keeps me out of the kitchen when our kids and grandkids come over. This recipe beats the time and fuss of the former traditional turkey and all the fixins’ that we used to do.

So what is this special meal we have? It consists of:

  • Prime rib
  • Potatoes asiago alfredo
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Ceasar salad
  • Feta cheese-stuffed olives

This is the day my wife and I look forward to all year long. Our three adult children are over. My son-in-law and daughter-in-law have expanded our family unit. Our two grandchildren are there and we all just relax and enjoy the day. There are gifts under the tree, but we are very unstructured. Everyone comes when they can, but no early morning deadlines! With two little ones drooling over the gifts, my prime rib saves the day. it allows me the chance to prep and then let the oven do all the work, while I join my family on this special day.

Here are my secrets to a great prime rib. If you are so inclined to share my view of wanting a special Christmas dinner and this meat is within your holiday budget, you will absolutely love this meal plan.


For a generous serving of roast, figure on two people per rib. (Adjust the size of the roast by how many people you want to serve. Just remember to figure two people per rib.) Also, it will cost more, but please buy a four rib—first cut roast. It is a rib roast from the small end toward the back of the rib section, which is leaner and gives you more meat for your dollar. It is definitely less fatty.


Things to Keep in Mind

  • Look at the color of the prime rib; it should have a bright red color and no dry or brown edges. This is secret number one.
  • Secret number two: do not season with salt. This will dry out the roast by rendering out the juices. Trust me on this. It comes out succulent and tasty without salting.

Now onto the prep:

This is as easy as it gets.

  • It is important to tie the prime rib before roasting. If left untied, the outer layer of meat will pull away from the rib-eye muscle and overcook. To prevent this problem, tie the roast a both ends, running the twine parallel to the bone. Most butchers will tie it for you.
  1. Take the roast out of your fridge and let it come to room temperature. Pat the roast dry with paper towels.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Spread one tablespoon of softened butter on each of the two cut ends, one tablespoon per cut side. That’s it.


  1. Using a metal roasting pan (the inexpensive aluminum ones work fine), place the roast rib side down (fat side up) into the roasting pan.
  2. Sear the roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes only.
  3. Then, turn the temperature down to 325 degrees and let it cook for approximately 1 ¾ to 2 hours. This will produce a medium rare roast. The target internal temperature is 125-130 degrees. Please ask Santa for a good meat thermometer. This is the only way that you will know when to stop the cooking process.
  4. About 1/2 hour before the estimated end of the roasting time, begin checking the internal temperature. Cook until rib roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F.
  5. Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The resting time will raise the temperature to the desired 125-130 degrees.
  • When you are ready to slice, carefully cut the roast away from the rack of bones. The butcher will have removed the chine bone already, so take your time and use a good sharp knife. Then I measure the length of the roast and divide those inches by the number of people eating (in our case eight) and then slice the roast into evenly thick slices.


I have deliberately been very precise with these instructions, so it may seem like a difficult process. Uh-uh, nope! It’s actually easy and delicious.

That is the perfect prime rib. Christmas only comes once a year and it is our day to enjoy our children and grandchildren. I want them to enjoy a meal that will help capture the spirit of the day. But, this one will cost a few bucks, so I found this method to really produce the best I have ever had.


  • try and get a first cut roast, usually ribs #9-#12
  • bring it to room temperature before cooking
  • use a meat thermometer to test the doneness and start at the 450 degrees cooking temperature for the first 15 minutes and then at 325 degrees for the remaining time.

(As for the potato recipe, stay tuned! That will be forth coming in my next article.)

Happy Holidays!

Comments 10 comments

Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 6 years ago

Prime Rib sound good to me.

Marla 10 months ago

Can a boneless prime rib roast be used? If so, are there any changes needed? Thanks

Joe Andover profile image

Joe Andover 10 months ago from North Ridgeville, Ohio Author

Boneless rib roasts are fine in place of the bone-in roast, especially if you don't like gnawing on the bone like I do or want to give your pooch the bones. The answer may surprise you, but the boneless roast needs appx. 20-30 minutes longer in the oven because the roast weight is all meat. Just make sure that the roast is still fat side up and put it on some type rack, even if just a cake rack. Thanks for reading !

wpcooper profile image

wpcooper 10 months ago from Los Angeles

Just curious...what would you recommend for a single or two eaters? Can you do a smaller prime rib?

I don't like to heat up old prime rib after I've cooked it. It usually isn't as good.

Barb 9 months ago

Are there no seasonings at all?

Ali 9 months ago

The prime rib in this picture is perfect! I have found this method to produce a great end result as well!

To wpcooper: I often make this for just myself amd my husband. You can do a 2 pound roast, adjust cooking time, and it will turn out just as good. I do agree that i dont like it reheated, so any leftovers we eat the next day with horseradish cream sauce. We remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temp before eating, and then we practically fight over it! Its the only meat that gets us feeling stingy!

wpcooper profile image

wpcooper 9 months ago from Los Angeles

sounds good....thank you Ali

Joe Andover profile image

Joe Andover 5 months ago from North Ridgeville, Ohio Author

Absolutely you can buy a smaller roast. The rule of thumb is one rib for two people. If it's hard to find a small one rib roast, you can buy a relevant size roast and freeze the portion you don't want to work. A well sealed roast should last about 3 months in the freezer. Just make sure you defrost the roast thorough and dry it off plus bring to room temperature before cooking.

Joe Andover profile image

Joe Andover 5 months ago from North Ridgeville, Ohio Author

Truthfully, since the original article, the norm has switched to season before cooking. I do use a decent amount of sea salt and some black pepper. Current thought is the salt will permeate the meat and instead of drying the roast, the result is the juices will actually change the roast through osmosis and react with the fat cap to form a nice crispy crust to the roast . Thanks for reminding me to update.

Joe Andover profile image

Joe Andover 5 months ago from North Ridgeville, Ohio Author

Sorry it took so long for me to reply to you. I finally sent an answer today, I've been gone for a while .

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