Serve a traditional Christmas dinner menu filled with classic dishes, including smoked salmon starters, roast turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding.
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
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!
Christmas dinner ideas
Perfect pâté, parfait and pickles
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.
Retro prawn cocktails
Smoked salmon salads
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.
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.
Traditional turkey ideas
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.
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.
Side dishes & trimmings
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.
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.
Classic Christmas puds
Plum pudding perfection
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!
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.
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.
If you can manage to make room for a nibble, nothing says nap on the sofa like the fail-safe mince pie.
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