10 classic Christmas recipes you can make ahead

Take the stress out of Christmas morning by preparing your festive favourites well in advance. These classic, make-ahead Christmas recipes are all freezable and can be simply re-heated on the Big Day.

Make & mature Christmas cake

This traditional festive fruitcake is best made well in advance, and can be fed regularly with brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum. Traditionally baked on Stir-up Sunday (the last Sunday before Advent), this cake just gets better the longer it has to soak up the flavours and develop a moist, rich texture.


Jewelled mince pies

Nothing says Christmas like a freshly baked mince pie, and these pretty pastries are sure to impress. Fill melt-in-the-mouth, shortcrust pastry with our zesty homemade mincemeat and pop in the freezer, ready to be baked from frozen at a moment's notice.


Golden roast potatoes

Don't peel potatoes on Christmas morning - this hearty side-dish can be made up to a month in advance, so you can relax and enjoy the festive fun. Par-boil then freeze for crispy spuds that nobody will be able to guess weren't made on the day.


Cranberry & marmalade sauce

There's no time to fuss with fancy side dishes on Christmas day, but tasty trimmings make all the difference with your roast. This classic cranberry sauce is given a zesty lift from marmalade, and can be kept for a week in the fridge, or frozen even earlier.


Best Yorkshire puddings

Don't disappoint with droopy Yorkies - get a perfect rise with our light and fluffy make-ahead puds. With only four ingredients, this recipe couldn't be easier, and can be frozen for up to a month in advance.


Devil pigs on horseback

Turkey beware - this meaty side-dish might just steal the show! Give classic pigs in blankets a twist by adding dried fruit and mustard for a delicious kick. Wrap your sausages with streaky bacon and freeze. On the day, bake until sizzling and golden, then sit back and watch them disappear as soon as they hit the table.


Red cabbage with balsamic vinegar & cranberries

Inject some vibrant colour and fruity flavour into your Christmas Day dinner with this tasty veggie side. Pop in the fridge for up to four days, or prepare a month in advance and freeze.


Make-ahead gravy

Homemade gravy beats boring shop-bought sauce no matter what the time of year, and on Christmas Day, this recipe will take your roast to the next level. Keep for three days in the fridge, or freeze for three months. When you heat to serve, add the roasting juices from your turkey for a luxurious finishing touch.


Chestnut & cranberry roll

This sausage stuffing is packed with festive flavours, combining classic sage and onion with apples, chestnuts and an attractive swirl of cranberries. Prepare two days ahead if you have room in the fridge, or up to a month if you're planning to freeze.


7 cup Christmas pudding

Finish your feast in the traditional way with a fruit-filled steamed pud, topped with butterscotch sauce and mixed nuts. Make early to allow the festive flavours to mingle - keep in the fridge for three days, or in the freezer for two to three weeks.

Want more tips to get ahead? See our top tips for freezing food and our guide to freezing at Christmas.

When do you start preparing for Christmas? Share your top tips for getting ahead in the comments below...


Comments, questions and tips

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2nd Dec, 2014
What, no mini sausage rolls?! They are the make-ahead choice du jour round here!
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