Cracker Barrel Fans Will Love This Holiday Meal Special

Even if you're all up-to-date with the latest foodie fads and typically dine on such hipsterrific fare as caramelized brussels sprouts, roasted beets, and maple-glazed pork belly, there are a few times a year when only the old favorites will do. Yes, we're talking about the holiday meals, where the menus have long been dictated by tradition. Well, if you want a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, but you simply don't have the time to do that trimming yourself, you're in luck! Cracker Barrel's got you covered.

Cracker Barrel may be the all-American road trip eatery, but it's more than just a place you eat while en route from here to there. While Cracker Barrel may not quite as old-timey as their ambiance likes to suggest – the website states that the chain was founded in 1969 – it's been serving up good old fashioned comfort food for over half a century and when it comes to cooking up the classics, the restaurant knows what it's doing. If you order one of Cracker Barrel's holiday meals, the only thing required on your end is a quick trip to pick it up, then simply take it home, heat it, and enjoy! (Okay, so you might want to take some time to put it on plates, too, seeing as how it's a holiday and all.)

Cracker Barrel has 3 different meals to choose from

Cracker Barrel is offering three different holiday meals this year. Two of these meals are "family dinner"-sized, meaning they are meant to feed between four and six people. The ham dinner includes a sugar-cured ham with cornbread dressing, gravy, mac and cheese, cranberry relish, Cracker Barrel's yummy yeast rolls, and your choice of an additional side (per the Cracker Barrel website). It's unclear if availability will vary by location. But side options may include carrots, fried apples, green beans, hash brown casserole, loaded hash brown casserole, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes (with or without gravy), or an extra helping of mac and cheese or cornbread dressing. 

If you want to go a bit fancier, Cracker Barrel's similarly-sized prime rib dinner comes with au jus, horseradish sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, and two sides of your choice (via the restaurant website). And if you're feeding a crowd, you might want to go for the Holiday Heat n' Serve Feast. This is basically the ham dinner, only sized up to serve eight to 10. With this meal, you get your choice of two sides, plus you get not one, but two pies! The selection, again, might vary, but it could include pecan and apple pecan streusel. 

You can also order a la carte

If you don't need or don't want all of the items in any of these menus, or you'd prefer to mix and match your own meal, you can absolutely do that. The chain's a la carte holiday menu offers two types of ham: a sugar-cured and a smokehouse ham. The prime rib also is also available to order on its own, while most sides are available in both family and feast size. You can (and maybe even should) also pick up some extra gravy and rolls, and don't forget the pies!

FSR notes that if you want to go all-in and add a seasonal beverage or two, Cracker Barrel also offers these on the to-go menu. They have a sugar plum iced tea with "winter fruit" flavor offered by the half-gallon and, should your Cracker Barrel location permit to-go alcohol sales (or any alcohol sales), it's also got a sugar plum mimosa kit available in two- and four-serving sizes, per the restaurant website).

Cracker Barrel is offering an early bird bonus

Cracker Barrel is offering an incentive for people to pick their meals up early instead of waiting until the last minute. If you schedule the pickup for either of the family-sized meals on December 22nd or 23rd, you'll get a $5 bonus card. Going big with a ham feast? Early pick-up gets you a $10 bonus card. This bonus is good for all orders placed either in-store or online, although the Legal page of the Cracker Barrel does provide the CYA caveat "while available."

Oh, and if you're afraid that the meal may not stay fresh in the fridge if you pick it up so early, no worries! The Cracker Barrel website advises using the ham main dish and all of the accompanying sides within three days (72 hours), so they should last in the refrigerator for that long. The meals will be ready to serve within 3 hours from the time you take them out of the fridge. Since they are available up through December 28, so you could even pick one up on that day and have it ready to go just before New Year's!