Complete Christmas menu: Classic

Serve a traditional Christmas dinner menu filled with classic dishes, including smoked salmon starters, roast turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding.

Whole Christmas dinner on a plate

We’re all for breaking with convention and trying something new on special occasions, but sometimes only classic dishes will do on Christmas Day. We’ve put together a menu of our favourite traditional festive recipes for inspiration.

This menu serves eight, but we’ve also included alternative options if you’re catering for less or more guests.

Christmas morning ideas

Bloody Mary scrambled eggs

Start the day as you mean to go on. A lot of people like smoked salmon as part of their Christmas breakfast, but we’ve also included scrambled egg and a little Tabasco as an alternative option. This recipe is the perfect antidote to the morning after a big night!

Bloody Mary scrambled eggs & smoked salmon
More smoked salmon & eggs recipes
Superfood scrambled eggs
Breakfast bagel club

Christmas dinner ideas

Starters

Perfect pâté, parfait and pickles

Bowl of chicken liver pâté with fig chutney and crackers

Pâté, terrine or parfait is a perfect make-ahead starter. Take it out the fridge just before serving and serve with toasts or, for even less hassle, oatcakes or crackers. Our homemade fig chutney also makes a moreishly sweet and sticky accompaniment.

Port & chicken liver pâté
Chicken liver pâté
Faux gras with toast & pickles
Duck & pork terrine with cranberries & pistachios
More Christmas pâté recipes

Retro prawn cocktails

Prawn cocktail lettuce cups
Who can say no to Marie Rose sauce? We certainly can’t, and prefer to serve this seafood starter in unadulterated fashion.

Prawn cocktail cups
Classic prawn cocktail

More prawn cocktail recipes

Smoked salmon salads

Smoked salmon salad

Keep things light before the onslaught of roast dinner with all the trimmings. Stocking smoked salmon in your fridge is a wise choice at Christmas.

Smoked salmon with horseradish crème fraîche & beetroot
Gravadlax with celeriac & fennel salad

More festive smoked salmon recipes

Christmas soup

Bowl of pale celeriac and truffle soup topped with chopped nuts
Serve a warming bowl of soup for a light yet satisfying Christmas starter. This creamy celeriac and hazelnut soup includes a drizzle of truffle oil for added luxury. Or capture more seasonal flavours by blitzing chestnuts and parsnips into a silky smooth blend and topping with crispy bacon pieces.

Celeriac, hazelnut & truffle soup
Chestnut, bacon & parsnip soup
Most Christmas soup recipes
 

Traditional turkey ideas

Whole roast turkey surrounded by stuffing and pigs in blankets, plus glasses of red wine

For some, there’ll never be a centrepiece that can replace turkey. If you want to stay traditional, make our classic roast turkey recipe with a rich red wine baste. For something a little different, try our newest version – roast turkey stuffed with flavoursome shallots, lemon and thyme. Placing pancetta under the skin will keep the meat beautifully succulent and add a hint of saltiness. If you're serving fewer people, a turkey crown can often be more suitable than a whole bird. We've added flavour and moistness to our turkey crown with a dry-brining recipe.  

Classic roast turkey
Perfect pancetta & roast shallot-stuffed turkey
Brined roast turkey crown
Cider roast turkey
More turkey recipes

Watch our video on how to carve a turkey:

 

If turkey isn't your thing, roast beef with Yorkshire puddings should fit the bill without straying too far from tradition.

Rare beef with mustard Yorkshires
 

Side dishes & trimmings

Bacon, sausage and prune rolls

Serve your centrepiece with all the trimmings. It wouldn’t be Christmas without the much-debated Brussels sprouts, but parsnips, carrots, potatoes are all solid choices, along with one of our favourite parts of Christmas – pigs-in-blankets.

Brussels with chestnuts & sage
Chunky roast potatoes
Honey-roast carrots
Crisp honey mustard parsnips
Christmas spiced red cabbage
Bacon, sausage & prune rolls
Caramelised shallot mash
More Christmas sides


Sauces

Cranberry sauce in dish
Bread sauce seems to be a divisive accompaniment, but we love this recipe with added shallots. Add a dollop of cranberry sauce and that lynchpin of Christmas dinner: perfect gravy.

Creamy bread & shallot sauce
Port & cranberry sauce with juniper
Make-ahead gravy
Really simple cranberry sauce

More Christmas sauces

Dessert

Classic Christmas puds

Christmas pudding with pecans
Love it or hate it, a fruity basin pudding embodies the spirit of Christmas. Serve with rich and luxurious brandy butter.

Classic Christmas pudding
Easy Christmas pudding
Brandy & vanilla butter

More Christmas pudding recipes

Plum pudding perfection

Plum pudding

Try plum pudding instead. You can even add a coin in line with tradition – just ensure your guests know it’s embedded in their dessert!

Plum pudding
Homemade custard

Fruity trifles

Layered classic trifle in serving dish

Layers of custard, cream, jelly and sponge… this retro treat comes in a rainbow spectrum of guises, but at Christmas we like ours with mixed berries and sherry.

Classic trifle
Royal cherry trifle
More Christmas trifle recipes
 

Festive drinks

Trio of Christmas drinks

A bottle of fizz will serve a crowd if you add some juice or fresh fruit to the glass. Alternatively, get your spices melding and stir up some fragrant mulled wine. We also have a mocktail version for non-drinkers.

Amaretto fizz
Bellini
Cranberry, fresh pear & cinnamon bubbles
Easy mulled wine
Raspberry Champagne cocktail
Non-alcoholic mulled wine

More Christmas drink recipes


Snacking

Mince pie on plate
If you can manage to make room for a nibble, nothing says nap on the sofa like the fail-safe mince pie.

Mince pies
More mince pie recipes

 

Want a plan that takes all the stress out of Christmas dinner? Try our easiest ever, next level or budget menu plans, complete with timeplan, pre-loaded shopping list (to print out or use for online shopping) and all the recipes you'll need for the big day.

If you're still stuck for inspiration, visit our Christmas dinner page, or browse more Christmas menus...

Complete Christmas menu: Vegetarian
Vegan Christmas menu
Gluten-free Christmas menu
Complete Christmas menu: Quick
2 hour Christmas menu
Complete Christmas menu: For a crowd
Complete Christmas menu: For two
All our Christmas menus

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