Some will say it's not Christmas without roast turkey, but it's not always everyone's favourite meat. Over the years, we've rustled up some tried-and-tested new versions for how to serve your annual Christmas main, from roast turkey wrapped in bacon to a spicy jerk turkey.


Check out more of our Christmas menu ideas if you're looking to try something a bit different this year, and to help keep you on track, read our Christmas lunch menu plan for recipes ideas, prep, and cooking timings.

See our twists on a classic roast turkey, then find your perfect sides with our best ever Christmas sides guide.

1. Roast turkey breast wrapped in bacon

Turkey breat wrapped in bacon

Wrap turkey breast in sausagemeat and streaky bacon for an impressive all-in-one main course. It's a great option if you don't want to cook a whole turkey, and it's cheaper too. Serve with some crispy roast potatoes on the side and lashings of gravy.

2. Marmalade-glazed roast turkey & gravy

Whole marmalade glazed roast turkey on a serving plate

You'll definitely be going back for more of this marmalade-glazed roast turkey. Marmalade, oranges and rosemary provide a sweet, sharp flavour that will become a new Christmas favourite. It's delicious but isn't any harder to make than your standard roast turkey. Check out our ideas for leftover turkey and find out.

More like this

3. Air-fryer rolled turkey breast

air fryer rolled turkey breast

This alternative main stuffed with pistachios, cranberries and sausagemeat can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Make sure you check the size of your roll against your air-fryer. If it's too long, you can make this wider and shorter. If you're looking to make the most out of your gadget this year, check out more of our air-fryer Christmas recipes.

4. Wild mushroom, port & thyme turkey wellington

wild mushroom port and thyme turkey wellington

If you're after something stress-free to cook and easy to carve, this wellington is a good option. You can assemble it two or three days in advance, so all you have to do is put it in the oven on Christmas Day, giving you more all-important family time. Carve into thick slices and cover in gravy.

5. Turkey, brie & cranberry wellington

20121009BBC 70845_preview

Not only is a wellington easy to make, but it also makes it a fraction of the price of buying a whole bird. This one is stuffed with brie, cranberries and stuffing for an instant Christmas hit. These buttery sage & onion sprouts would make the perfect side dish.

6. Creamy lemon, pancetta & rosemary turkey

creamy lemon and pancetta rosemary whole turkey surrounded by bacon wrapped stuffing balls on a tray

This creamy lemon, pancetta and rosemary turkey is wonderfully succulent and moist. Carving into it will reveal a gorgeous layer of creamy mascarpone and pancetta mix, which subtly flavours the meat. Serve with all your usual trimmings for the ultimate Christmas feast.

7. Turkey, bacon & chorizo bombe

Turkey, bacon & chorizo bombe

This is another one that you can make mostly ahead of time if you like to be prepped and ready to go on Christmas Day. It takes turkey to a whole new level, adding some spice with whole chorizo and sausage stuffing running through the middle. It looks amazing when you cut into it.

8. Jerk turkey

220907_JERK_TURKEY_0102_2.8 (1)_preview

For a delicious Caribbean twist on the traditional roast, try these jerk turkey legs for an alternative main that's sure to be remembered. For ultimate flavour, marinate your turkey up to 24 hours before you need them, so that delicious, spicy island flavour has time to soak in. Serve with a side of homemade coleslaw and rice and peas.

9. Cider roast turkey

Cider roast turkey

Succulent cider-roasted turkey with tender glazed apples and pear makes the ultimate centrepiece for your Christmas table. The stuffing also makes for a lovely cross section when you cut into it. It's different and sophisticated – great if you're looking to impress this year.

10. Scandinavian-style roast turkey with stuffing & caramelised apples

whole roast turkey on top of caramelised apples

The addition of apple and juniper in this turkey adds a Scandinavian-inspired flavour. Adding lingonberry jam or redcurrant sauce to your turkey cooking juices gives your gravy a touch of sweetness, too.

Enjoyed this? Discover more classic recipes with a twist...

10 twists on fish pie

10 twists on classic carbonara

10 mulled wines with a twist

Top 10 twists on chocolate chip cookies

10 twists on cinnamon buns


10 twists on classic gammon

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post