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Recipe Swap: Family tradition combines pot roast and spaghetti for Christmas dinner
Recipe Swap

Recipe Swap: Family tradition combines pot roast and spaghetti for Christmas dinner


Todd Yohn recently shared this family recipe for pot roast and spaghetti, which his family would serve for Christmas.

The dish is just what it sounds like. A beef roast is braised in a tomato sauce until tender, and then is served over spaghetti. 

"This has been in our family for over 60 years," Yohn said. "It originated due to my mother (Shirley Yohn) growing up poor and all they could afford was spaghetti for Christmas. Well, one year it was a very good year, so they added pot roast to the standard spaghetti." 

The family liked it so much, they've been eating it that way ever since.

Yohn said that one year his mother's friend entered the recipe in a Better Homes and Garden contest and won $5,000.

Yohn prefers rump roast, also known as bottom round, for this dish because it tends to slice well.  Yohn does not recommend chuck roast, a popular cut for many pot roasts, partly because it has a much higher fat content, making a greasy sauce, and because it doesn't slice nicely like rump roast.

Though a single recipe may suffice for small families, Yohn said that the recipe can be doubled for a crowd. He said that his family of 11 or 12 would eat a double recipe with very little leftovers. "It's addictive! You'll see!" he said.

Send requests or recipes to Recipe Swap, c/o Michael Hastings, Food Editor, Winston-Salem Journal, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101; or email to Please include name, address and a daytime telephone number. Previously published recipes are available in the Recipe Database at

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