Sunday Roast Recipe

What’s more hearty and comforting than a classic Sunday roast dinner at home? Your plate will be full of mouthwatering beef roast, crispy potatoes, fluffy Yorkshire pudding, and seasoned veggies.

Let me show you the origins of the British Sunday roast and how to make this traditional English meal. I’ll show you how to time each dish properly so they all finish around the same time. It will be so delicious you won’t question why the Brits have been eating this meal since the 15th century.  

Why’s it called Sunday roast & why do the Brits have it?

Sunday roast dinner originated during King Henry VII’s reign in the 15th century when his royal guards ate a beef roast lunch after Sunday service. They ate so much beef they were known as beefeaters. Many English folk also partook in eating meat after Sunday service. Much of the meat was cooked on open fire spits, roasting for hours where the Sunday roast name originated.  

What do you serve on a “traditional” Sunday roast?

When you’re visiting London the next time, you can easily find restaurants that feature traditional Sunday roasts. This meal consists of a roasted meat main entree and gravy, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, and a few sides of vegetables. While traditionally, the ‘beefeaters’ ate beef, you can also roast duck, chicken, or lamb cuts. 

What’s the best meat for Sunday roast?

Beef is traditional and more common. I like using the beef prime rib roast for this recipe for fancier occasions or when hosting guests who would appreciate it. Bone-in cuts typically will taste better, and prime rib has excellent flavor and a good amount of fat that contributes to this.

Bone-in ribeye roast is typically unavailable in supermarket chains except around Christmas and Thanksgiving, so you may need to find a specialty butcher locally for this. You can also buy year-round special cuts online at a store like Wild Fork (see Wild Fork’s ribeye roast options.)

However, you can still have delicious results with a modest and leaner beef cut available at major supermarkets like:

  • top round roast
  • eye of round roast
  • top sirloin roast
  • bottom round roast

But the best meat to serve for Sunday roast is whatever you and your guests enjoy. Some popular and delicious beef alternatives include:

  • roasted chicken
  • roast lamb
  • turkey

Tips and timing for serving Sunday roast

Making a Sunday roast dinner is a big job, and the first time I made one, I was absolutely tired after cooking for over four hours straight (including prepping ingredients the day before). Here are my top tips for serving Sunday roast:

  • Prep certain ingredients ahead of time. For example, I cut vegetables, made horseradish cream, and mixed the Yorkshire pudding batter the night before.
  • Limit the number of sides you make to save time, but plan for enough variety. It’s nice to have a bountiful plate of sides; however, know your limits. I found that having two to three vegetables or sides was plenty with the roast beef. 
  • Strategize the use of your oven appropriately. Many of these dishes require baking, so make sure you cook them in the proper order and timing to get dishes out at nearly the same time. To do this, I used countertop ovens and my regular oven. I also use sides like steamed vegetables on the stove to free up space in the oven. You can also bake dishes in the oven simultaneously if you have space and they have the same heat level. 

For example, let’s say you’re serving dinner at 6:30 p.m. Here’s the order to prepare this Sunday roast if you have 1 main oven, 1 toaster oven, and a stovetop:

One day before dinner:

  1. Wash, peel, and cut cauliflower and carrots. Keep them in a food storage container in the fridge until the day of dinner.
  2. Mix Yorkshire pudding ingredients and keep them in a food storage container in the fridge. 
  3. Make the horseradish cream and keep it in a food storage container in the fridge. 
  4. Grate any cheese for the cheesy cauliflower dish.
  5. Remove the roast from any packaging and place it on a baking sheet uncovered in the fridge so its surface can dry out overnight.

Day of the dinner:

  • 1 p.m. – remove beef/meat from the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature
  • 3:00 p.m. – Season the meat and let marinade for 20 minutes. 
  • 3:00-5:00 p.m. – [Toaster oven] Start the process of pre-boiling the potatoes after cleaning, peeling, and cutting. Drain the potatoes and shake in the pot with a lid. Let them dry out for 5 minutes and preheat the oven and sheet pan with beef tallow. Put the potatoes in the steaming sheet pan and roast in the oven for about one hour, turning every 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown. You may need to do this in batches if your sheet pan or oven is too small to fit all the potatoes (this is why we start early). 
  • 3:20-4:55 p.m. – [Main oven] Roast the meat until browned at 500 °F, about 30 minutes. Then, lower to 325 °F and cook until the internal temperature reaches about 120-125 °F for medium rare (there will be carryover cooking of about 10 degrees).
  • 4:55-5:25 p.m. – Remove roast when finished, and let rest 30 minutes before slicing.
  • 5:00-5:45 p.m. – [Main oven] Make the cheesy cauliflower by roasting, then making the cheese sauce on the stovetop, and finishing up in the oven again with all the cheesy fixings. Remove the cheesy cauliflower and add foil on top until it’s time to serve. 
  • 5:45-6:00 p.m. – [Toaster oven] Season the carrots and bake for 10 minutes until al dente and cover with foil until time for serving. 
  • 6:00-6:25 p.m. – [Main oven] Bake the Yorkshire pudding. 
  • 6:20-6:30 p.m. – Make the gravy. 
  • 6:30 p.m. – Remove the horseradish cream and serve. 

Roast & side dishes in this Sunday roast recipe

Here are the recipes we used for this post, placed in order of when you should start each to maximize efficiency and freshness to serve them all at once.

Roast beef

sliced roast beef

For this Sunday roast guide, we’ll use top-round roast because it’s commonly available and cost-efficient. If you want to splurge, you can get a beef ribeye roast. The first step is to bring this cut of meat to room temperature so it can cook evenly.

It can take about two hours on the counter. Preheat the oven to 500 °F before cooking, and then season the meat for 20 minutes. My number one tip is to use probe thermometers–I like to use ones that you can keep on the meat throughout the cooking process so you can keep track of the temperature.

We start by cooking at a high temperature and lower after it browns. Let the meat rest once it’s out of the oven to keep all the meat juices!

Horseradish sauce

I like to make horseradish cream to balance the richness of the meat and carbs. This is one of the easiest things to prepare, and you can even make it a day ahead. Start by whisking the heavy cream to soft peaks.

You’ll know it’s done when you turn the whisk over, and the peaks fold slightly–they should not keep their shape. Mix the other ingredients separately and then carefully fold into the whipped cream.  

Roasted potatoes

Ultra crispy and crunchy twice-cooked potatoes oven-roasted in duck fat; these roasted potatoes are top-notch and one of my favorite sides in this meal. I like to start with the potatoes because they often take the longest to prep and cook. Par-boil the potatoes until they’re slightly cooked in a beef broth and water mixture. This helps evenly season the potatoes and give them soft, tender centers. 

After draining the potatoes, place them back into the pot with a lid and shake them well. This creates rough edges that produce crispy surfaces for the duck fat to fry in the oven. Make sure to preheat the duck fat (or neutral oil) in the pan before adding the potatoes–this adds an extra crispiness during baking. Turn the potatoes over every 20 minutes until they’re golden brown. After about an hour in the oven, you should end up with the crunchiest potatoes with piping-hot centers. 

Cheesy cauliflower

Sunday roasts aren’t complete without plenty of vegetable sides. Nobody said vegetables had to be boring, and these cheesy cauliflower sides are bites of creamy bites of nutty gruyere and sharp cheddar. Like the roasted potatoes, I also cook cauliflower twice.

First, roast it in the oven until it’s al dente, mix it with a homemade cheesy sauce, and bake it in the oven with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs for added crunch. Cover with some tin foil to keep warm until serving. 

Honey-glazed carrots

Honey-glazed carrots are great because they balance sweet honey and tanginess from the vinegar. Prepping these veggies is super easy; just make sure to cut your carrots in the same shape and size so they roast at the same time. I cut them into 2-3-inch long and ½-inch thick batons. Whisk together the seasoning ingredients and toss the carrots to cover them evenly. Carrots this size typically cook in about 10 minutes, and they are al dente. 


Of course, no roasted meat is complete without a savory gravy made from drippings from the prime rib. I always make the gravy next to last because I wait for any available drippings from the meat to add to the sauce.

If there’s not enough fat from the roast pan drippings, you can substitute some or all of it with butter. Make a roux with the butter/any available drippings, and flour. Then add the beef broth and seasonings until you get a slightly thickened gravy. Super simple! 

Yorkshire pudding

Try to make Yorkshire pudding last so they stay fluffy and crispy right before serving. Yorkshire pudding is a baked pudding that has a similar texture to a Dutch baby but is savory. This Yorkshire pudding recipe includes eggs, flour, buttermilk, water, and salt. I preheat beef tallow in each cup for the muffin pans (or popover tins) to add extra flavor instead of neutral oil. 

When making Yorkshire pudding, let the batter sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill (or even overnight), and preheat the fat in the oven to get it as hot as possible. Combining cold batter and hot oil helps produce fluffy and enlarged Yorkshire pudding.

Sunday roast recipe

Sunday Roast Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Learn how to make this classic British Sunday roast dinner without getting on a plane.
BY: Huy Vu
Prep: 2 hours
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 4 hours


Roast beef

  • 3-4 lb beef roast we used top round roast cut
  • neutral oil optional
  • 1 ½ tbsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry herb of your choice oregano, parsley, etc.


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or pan drippings
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 c beef broth
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
  • black pepper
  • water optional if thinning is necessary

Yorkshire pudding

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
  • 2 tbsp tallow or lard or oil

Roasted potatoes – boiled

  • 4 c water
  • 4 c beef broth
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
  • 3 lb Russet potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces

Roasted potatoes – roasted

  • 1 c duck fat
  • kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
  • black pepper

Cauliflower cheese – roasted

  • 2 ½ lbs cauliflower cut into 2-inch branches
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Cauliflower cheese – cheese sauce

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 c whole milk room temperature
  • 1 c shredded Gruyere
  • 1 c shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ tsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand

Cauliflower cheese – baked

  • ¼ c breadcrumbs
  • c shredded Cheddar cheese

Honey-glazed carrots

  • 1 lb carrots peeled and sliced into ½-inch batons
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
  • tsp black pepper

Horseradish cream

  • 6 tbsp heavy cream whipped to soft peaks
  • ¼ c prepared horseradish
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tbsp minced chives
  • ½ pinch white sugar or to taste
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Equipment Used

  • knife and cutting board
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • cooling rack for meat
  • roasting pans for potatoes, meat, carrots, and cauliflower
  • ceramic baking dish for cauliflower
  • boiling pot and lid for potatoes
  • muffin tin or popover pan
  • wireless leave-in thermometer
  • mixing bowls
  • saucepan
  • spatula
  • whisks
  • tongs


Beef roast

  • Remove 3-4 lb beef roast from the refrigerator and place it on a baking rack on a baking sheet (the one you’ll bake it on) two hours before cooking so it can come to room temperature.
    top round beef on baking sheet
  • If you’re using a wireless meat thermometer like me, this is the perfect time to charge the unit and the probes (I always forget to do this until it's too late). 20 minutes before cooking, preheat the oven to 500 °F.
  • If you have a leaner cut of beef, like top round, rub about 2 tsp neutral oil all over it before seasoning. Mix all seasoning ingredients (1 ½ tbsp kosher salt, ½ tbsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp dry herb of your choice), and coat evenly all over the roast. Let this marinade for 20 minutes. Add thermometer probes so they read the very center of the roast.
    thermometer inside beef top round roast
  • Put the roast into the 500 °F oven for about 15-20 minutes or until browned.
  • Then, lower the temperature to 325 °F and cook until it reaches the desired doneness. For medium rare (135 °F), remove the roast from the oven when the thermometer reads 120 °F.
  • Let the roast rest for about 20 minutes–carryover heat will continue cooking the roast and bring it to a final temperature of 135 °F.
    baked beef top round roast in oven


  • In a pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp unsalted butter or pan drippings and add 2 tbsp all-purpose flour. Brown the roux until golden brown. Use a spatula to move the roux around frequently so it doesn’t burn.
  • Add half the 1 c beef broth and whisk until incorporated.
  • Add the rest of the beef broth and continue to whisk until it thickens about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the seasonings (½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, ¾ tsp kosher salt, and black pepper). Taste test, add more salt or pepper if necessary. Add water if the gravy needs to be thinned out.
    bowl of beef gravy

Yorkshire pudding

  • Combine the 2 large eggs, ½ c all-purpose flour, 6 tbsp whole milk, 1 tbsp water, and ½ tsp kosher salt into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Place in the fridge to get cold for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 °F.
  • Add 1 tsp 2 tbsp tallow (or oil or lard) in each cup and preheat for 10 minutes in the oven.
  • Add the batter into each cup, about half of the way to the top. This should make 6 Yorkshire puddings.
    scooping Yorkshire pudding into muffin tins
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until it triples in size. Remove and serve immediately.
    baked Yorkshire pudding

Roasted potatoes

  • In a large pot, add the 4 c water, 4 c beef broth, and 2 tbsp kosher salt to a boil over high heat.
  • Wash, peel, and cut the 3 lb Russet potatoes into 1-inch pieces.
  • Add potatoes into the pot and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente. They shouldn’t be too soft, but you can still pierce them with a fork.
    boiling potatoes in broth
  • Drain the potatoes and place them back into the pot, covering them with a lid. Shake vigorously. Let them air dry for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 °F.
  • Add 1 c duck fat to a roasting pan and preheat in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes to the hot pan carefully with tongs. Turn to coat in duck fat. Add kosher salt and black pepper.
    adding potatoes to pan with fat
  • Roast and turn over every 20 minutes until crispy and golden brown. This should take about 50-60 minutes.
    turning potatoes over on baking sheet

Cauliflower cheese – roasting cauliflower

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Clean and prep the 2 ½ lbs cauliflower by cutting them into 2-inch branches.
  • Add the cauliflower to a roasting pan with ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, and 2 tbsp neutral oil. Toss with tongs to mix.
  • Roast for 5 minutes until the cauliflower is al dente but still hard.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside. Turn down the oven to 350 °F.

Cauliflower cheese – sauce

  • Over medium heat, melt the 4 tbsp unsalted butter and mix in the 4 tbsp all-purpose flour. Cook and whisk for about one minute until it thickens slightly.
  • Add the 1 c whole milk and whisk thoroughly. Cook for another minute or until it thickens to the consistency of a smoothie.
  • Lower the heat to low. Add the 1 c shredded Gruyere and 1 c shredded Cheddar cheese Whisk until it’s melted. Add the ½ tsp kosher salt and taste test.
    cauliflower cheese sauce final texture

Cauliflower cheese – baked

  • Mix together the cheese sauce and cauliflower.
  • Transfer the cauliflower into a baking dish and sprinkle the ⅔ c shredded Cheddar cheese on top and the ¼ c breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 8 minutes.
  • Adjust the heat to broil at 480 °F and brown the bread crumbs for 2 min. Remove from the oven and serve.
    baked cheesy cauliflower

Honey-glazed carrots

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  • Clean, peel, and cut 1 lb carrots into ½-inch batons with a similar length.
  • In a bowl, combine the 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, ¼ tsp kosher salt, and ⅛ tsp black pepper. Whisk until incorporated.
    roasted carrot seasonings
  • Toss in the carrots and mix until covered with seasonings. Transfer the carrots to a roasting pan.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until it’s al dente.
    honey glazed carrots

Horesradish cream

  • Use a whisk to whip the 6 tbsp heavy cream into soft peaks. If you turn the whisk upside down, the peaks should fold slightly and keep their overall shape.
    whip cream - soft peaks
  • In another bowl, combine the ¼ c prepared horseradish, 2 tbsp sour cream, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ tbsp minced chives, ½ pinch white sugar, kosher salt, and black pepper. Mix until incorporated.
    horseradish sauce ingredients
  • Carefully fold in the horseradish mixture into the whipped cream with a spatula. Use the spatula to slice the center of the ingredients, make a scooping motion towards the left of the bowl, and fold over the ingredients. Turn the bowl 45 degrees clockwise and repeat the folding technique until the horseradish cream is mixed. Be gentle during this folding process to prevent losing the air from the whipped cream.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl when complete.
    horseradish sauce and roast beef
Nutrition Facts
Sunday Roast Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British
Keyword: dinner party
Did you cook this recipe?Tag @HungryHuy or #hungryhuy–I’d love to see it!

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1 comment on “Sunday Roast Recipe

  1. Tony says:

    5 stars
    My mother used to make much of this when I was a child, this brings back memories!

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