Quick Christmas recipes

  • By
    Caroline Hire

Left everything to the last minute? Don't worry, we've got super speedy recipes to ensure your big day is still a success...

Italian-style turkey crown

Left it all to the last minute? Got children in tow? Or just downright sick of spending the whole of the month of December in preparation for one day of excess? Here are some ideas for cutting Christmassy corners on the big day...

Choose your bird

Pancetta-wrapped turkey breastIf you're planning on cooking a whole turkey, it's inevitable that you'll be spending a lot of Christmas Day in the kitchen, plump for the crown and you get all that lovely breast meat but cut out hours of kitchen time. Furthermore, top chefs - Heston Blumenthal and Marco Pierre White included - believe that cooking a turkey in one piece can result in a dry breast. If you forget the legs, your breast is guaranteed to be succulent.

Alternatively, for a really stunning centrepiece this pancetta-wrapped turkey breast takes care of the stuffing too. It only takes half an hour to prepare and two hours to cook.

While that it's the oven, don't fill the hob with pans of different veg, rustle up a selection for roasting and pop them in with the bird.

Give your roast potatoes some love but not too much with this easy and delicious recipe.

Get saucy

For purists who think everything should be homemade, microwave bread sauce and quick cranberry sauce take 15 minutes of work apiece. Otherwise a shop-bought option turned into a bowl is nothing to be ashamed of when you've so many other pulls on your time and energy.

Pudding pronto

Chocoholics Christmas puddingGreat quality Christmas puddings are readily available. Check on the pack for microwave instructions before you buy and yours can be on the table in a few minutes. Add the personal touch with homemade brandy and vanilla custard in just 15 minutes. Or, invest another 10 minutes with our clementine custard.

If you're hankering after a homemade pud, we've got a fantastic microwave Christmas pudding, using mincemeat, that takes just 35 minutes or try a non-traditional pudding that looks the part and will satisfy the chocolate lovers among you.

Pie-eyed

If, after all that, you could still murder a mince pie, try our 20-minute mincemeat custard pies - a mince pie with custard rolled into one, now that's the kind of super-efficient solution we love!

If you've got any time-saving tips, please share them here. We could all do with some help this Christmas... Or if you're stuck for ideas, our quick nibbles and last minute Christmas recipe collections may provide some inspiration.