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MIso-glazed roast ham on a plate

10 alternative Christmas dinner recipes


Bored of the traditional roast or in need of a vibrant veggie main course this Christmas? Try our alternative Christmas dinner recipes for festive twists.

Interested in trying our FREE 7-day healthy diet plan? Click here and choose between our meat eaters, vegetarian or vegan meal plans.


If you're not a fan of traditional turkey or standard sides and fancy a change this Christmas, get your chops round our mouth-watering alternative Christmas mains and desserts with a twist. Plan the ultimate Christmas dinner with hearty sharing recipes, inlcuding our vibrant veggie mains using seasonal ingredients.

Looking for even more stunning Christmas centrepieces? Check out our fabulous collection of roasts, pies and pastries.

Top 10 alternative Christmas dinner centrepieces

Top 5 alternative meaty mains

Do Christmas a little differently this year and try a turkey alternative. Don't fancy cooking a bird? Try a glistening glazed ham, roast lamb or a decadent duck recipe. Experiment and find your new favourite.

1. Stuffed saddle of venison with prunes & brioche

Our venison roast might seem like an unusual choice but the combination of sweet prune stuffing and savoury pancetta is simply irresistible. This parcel of deliciousness is sure to be a family favourite. Serve with red cabbage and roasties for a winning festive combination. The rich flavours of the meat will go perfectly with the fruity filling.

Find more venison recipes in our collection.

2. Miso-glazed roast ham

Succulent, sweet, savoury – this ham has it all! This gorgeous centrepiece has a sticky, caramelised glaze made with brown sugar, spices, sherry and miso, so it's a treat for all the senses. You'll have plenty of leftovers for chunky Boxing Day sandwiches, too. Use the ham stock to create a warming winter soup.

Watch our video tutorial and learn how to glaze and cook a ham.

3. Cumin-spiced roast chicken

Our roast chicken with pork & pistachio stuffing is spiced to perfection and makes an ideal Christmas dinner for a family of four. Trust us, it's well worth the effort. The salted pistachios give fantastic flavour and texture and the spice rub combined with sweet grape molasses make the crispy skin a must-try.

Discover even more amazing roast chicken recipes in our main collection.

4. Marmalade glazed roast duck

Roast duck makes a delicious, easy alternative to turkey and our addition of sticky Seville oranges and marmalade makes it all the more festive. It takes just five minutes to prep this beautiful bird and it's a great size for a smaller family meal on the big day.

Try even more versatile roast duck recipes in place of your traditional roast.

5. Roast lamb stuffed with apricot & mint

Take the humble roast lamb to the next level with our fruity and flavourful apricot and mint version. This impressive looking roast adds to the traditional herbs you might expect, like rosemary and mint with chopped apricots and plenty of garlic.

Get your fill of our moreish roast lamb recipes – they're not just for Easter.

Top 5 veg alternatives

Never fear, nut roast alternatives are here! Try a savoury slice of veg cake, a cheesy truffled pudding or an Italian-inspired gnocchi dish. Take a look at our vegetarian Christmas collection for more enticing meat-free meals.

1. Cauliflower, chestnut & sage cake

Cauliflower is such a wonderfully versatile veg. Try turning it into this filling cake stuffed with chestnuts and Christmassy herbs. Serve a warm golden brown wedge with your usual favourite trimmings for a simple party option that pairs perfectly with rich flavours.

2. Parsnip, mushroom & barley wreath

Nothing says Christmas like an edible wreath, packed with your favourite winter veg. This show-stealing recipe tastes as good as it looks, and even the carnivores will be asking for a second slice. The mushrooms add a rich, umami depth that brings out the earthy flavours of the root veg. Top with colourful root veg crisps for added crunch. It's also delicious the next day, layered into Boxing Day sandwiches.

3. Truffled parsnip & brioche pudding

Go for full on indulgence and pig out on our truffled parsnip & brioche pudding, with crunchy hazelnuts and thyme butter. This decadent, savoury twist on the classic pudding is pure comfort food. A spoonful of this ultra-rich bready delight will take a plateful of roast veg and crispy potatoes from standard to something special.

4. Parsnip gnocchi

Turn an Italian staple into a fabulous Christmas dish with our easy parsnip gnocchi. These crisp nuggets of deliciousness have a crunchy walnut coating for extra texture. Serve them simply with a grinding of black pepper, toasted walnuts and a drizzle of olive oil.

5. Beetroot & red onion tarte tatin

Bring a splash of colour to an overly beige plate of treats with our beetroot and red onion tarte. Although it looks impressive, this easy recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare, so you can dazzle your guests with very little effort. Top with orange zest and a sprinkle of salt, and serve with a peppery salad.

Our favourite alternative desserts

Christmas pudding

If you love baking but aren't a fan of traditional puddings, we have a whole host of brownies, cakes, cheesecakes and ice creams to get your mouth watering. Take Christmas pudding and turn it on its head. Try a scoop of Christmas pudding trifle, a slice of pudding cheesecake or a bowful of Christmas pud ice cream.

Christmas cake

Want a stunning sponge to take centre stage this Christmas? Embrace all the flavours of the season, with our own clever twists. Our gingerbread cake with caramel biscuit icing is deliciously decadent, complete with coconut 'snow'. Get a taste of the tropics with our pineapple & rum cake, filled with sunny Caribbean flavours. Ditch the fruit cake and try our white chocolate, orange & cranberry cake with picture-perfect meringue toppers.

Mince pies & yule log

Perk up your standard sweet offering with our golden-brown puff pastry mince pies. They're easy and can be made with just a handful of ingredients. Try another glorious mash-up in the form of our mince pie baklava – serve small bites with coffee or a hearty serving warm with ice cream. Bring a pop of colour to your dinner table with our stunning rainbow yule log, a striped Swiss roll makes a centrepiece that'll get everyone talking. If you need something sweet to satisfy your cravings, try your hand at our salted caramel yule log. A slice of this is the perfect end to a festive meal.

Enjoyed these recipes? Try our other Christmas classics...

Easiest ever Christmas dinner
The best ever Christmas cocktails
Christmas projects for kids


What's your essential Christmas dinner dish? Leave a comment below...

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