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Easy Prime Rib Recipe for the Holidays

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This easy garlic and herb-crusted Prime Rib recipe is simple to make with a boneless or bone-in prime rib roast. Utterly juicy and delicious, it’s perfect for a holiday feast, Christmas dinner, or any celebratory event.

Side view of sliced Prime Rib with vegetables on a white oval serving platter.

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And with simple step-by-step instructions and pro tips designed to help you cook it perfectly, it will be a recipe you come back to time and again!

Looking for more simple but holiday-worthy main dishes? Try Easy Roast Turkey Recipe with Apple Cider and Thyme, Easy Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb, Irish Baked Salmon and Cream Sauce or Grilling Steaks with Garlic Butter Mushroom Sauce!

Family Christmas Day Prime Rib dinner feast in process.

Personal Note: Very often, Christmas dinner in our family is all about Prime Rib Roast. This image was taken last year and wasn’t meant for the website– a quick snapshot of our Christmas feast in motion. But because I love to share moments with you, dear reader– here’s last year’s roast before all the garnishes were added.

Why I Love Cooking Prime Rib for Christmas

By the way, if you are looking for more holiday dinner ideas, you’ll love Festive Christmas Dinner Recipes for a LOT of ideas!

  • Easy Hands Off Cooking: Christmas Day is packed with activity. The holiday feast needs to be special, delicious… and easy. Meaning it can take care of itself in the oven. Roasting prime rib is one of the easiest yet most beautiful main dishes you can serve!
  • Delicious and Holiday Worthy: While I want it to be easy, I also want it to be special. This dish is tender and juicy, easy to cook to your preferred doneness, and packed with flavor, thanks to a simple garlic herb rub that infuses the beef as it cooks.

What is Prime Rib Meat?

When shopping for meat, you often find two grades at the market; USDA prime grade and USDA choice grade. It contains more fat and marbling, making prime grade different (and arguably more delicious). As a result, it is a bit more expensive per pound.

Often, Costco has a delicious prime rib roast that is either bone-in or boneless and is worth a check!

Pro Tip: Bone-in prime rib, also called “Standing Rib Roast,” is a delicious cut to look for. Ask the butcher to remove the bones and tie them onto the roast, making them easy to remove before serving. It adds delicious flavor to the roast.

How Many Pounds of Prime Rib Do You Need?

A full rack of prime ribs will serve 14 to 16 people and will often include seven ribs. When estimating how much meat you need, plan on one rib for every two people.

Remember, if you are serving many side dishes, it may stretch even further.

Prime Rib Garlic Herb Rub

This is my all-time, go-to garlic herb rub I almost always use for prime rib. Here’s what you need:

  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning: fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs: chopped thyme and rosemary

Prime Rib Cooking Times

The cooking time for prime rib will depend on the side of the roast and the desired doneness. This chart will help you determine roasting time. An instant read meat thermometer is helpful to have on hand to determine doneness accurately.

  • Medium-rare: Cook until internal temperature reaches 130-135°F (about 13-14 minutes per pound)
  • Medium: cook until internal temperature reaches 135-140°F (about 14-15 minutes per pound)
  • Medium-well: cook until internal temperature reaches 145°F (about 15-16 minutes per pound)
  • Rare: Cook until the internal temperature reaches 120-125°F (about 10-12 minutes per pound)

Prime rib temperature will continue to rise by 5-10 degrees after being removed from the oven, so consider that when planning cooking time.

Top view of uncooked Prime Rib roast with a garlic herb topping.

How to Roast Prime Rib

Let the rib roast sit at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 425℉. I like to set the meat and ribs down into a roasting pan or large-rimmed, foil-lined baking dish or broiler so it’s ready for the oven.

Combine the salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, and rosemary in a small bowl. Then, rub the olive oil over the roast, followed by the garlic herb seasoning. This will help create a delicious crust on the prime rib—place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350℉ and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted near the center of the roast reads your desired doneness.

Remove the roast from the oven and rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Top view of unsliced garlic herb Prime Rib with vegetables on a white serving platter.

Carving Prime Rib

Transfer the prime rib to a meat cutting board to carve after the roast has rested. Insert a sharp knife between the meat and rib bones, separating the meat from the ribs in 1 piece. Carve the boneless meat into 1/2-inch thick slices.

You’ll want to cut against the grain for the most tender slices. To find the grain, look for the lines that run along the cut of meat, then slice in the opposite direction.

Prime Rib Pro Tips

Known for its soft and tender texture, these tips will help ensure the perfect roast!

Use a Meat Thermometer

The best way to reach your desired doneness is to use a meat thermometer. Ovens vary, so it’s important to have a precise way of measuring your perfect doneness. A meat thermometer helps you achieve that! Keep in mind that the minimum internal temperature for a safe roast is 120°F.

Let it Rest

The best pro tip in cooking prime rib is to let it rest after roasting. To preserve its juiciness, resting will allow the moisture to redistribute and be reabsorbed into the meat. Be sure to allow about 20 minutes of resting before carving.

Choose the Right Knife

A sharp carving knife is a good choice for not only prime rib, but turkeys, ham, and other large cuts of meat.

Side Dishes to Pair with Prime Rib

Side vertical view of unsliced Prime Rib with brussels sprouts, carrots, wild mushrooms and zucchini.
Side view of Prime Rib with Italian vegetables on a white oval platter.

Easy Prime Rib Recipe for the Holidays

This easy garlic and herb-crusted Prime Rib recipe is simple to make with a boneless or bone-in prime rib roast. Utterly juicy and delicious, it's perfect for a holiday feast, Christmas dinner, or any celebratory event.
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 pound Prime Rib bone-in or boneless
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped

Instructions

  • Remove the roast from the refrigerator, place on a roasting pan, and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425℉ and brush the roast with olive oil.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Rub the seasoning evenly over the meat. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  • Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350℉ and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted near the center of the roast reads your desired doneness.
  • Remove the roast from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
  • Transfer one side down to a cutting board to carve after the roast has rested. Insert a sharp knife and slice cross grain into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Beef, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Standing Rib of Beef, Prime Rib Recipe

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