Does the thought of cooking an entire Christmas dinner for friends and family make you shudder? Our cookery writer Sophie Godwin has created the ultimate simplified menu for a stress-free day. With a range of time-saving techniques and showstopping flavour twists, this is the only festive menu you’ll ever need. Embrace the art of the shortcut!
In order to speed up your preparations, we’ve used a small turkey (no more than 4kg), which is cooked rapidly at a high temperature (200C/180C fan/gas 6), like a chicken. As it comes out of the oven hotter than usual, It needs longer to rest so the meat can relax and stay succulent.
Your timeplan to eat at 2pm
View and print our at-a-glance infographic time plan.
- 11am Take your turkey out of the fridge.
- 11.30am Heat the oven. Prepare the rosemary butter and rub underneath the turkey skin.
- 12pm Put the turkey in the oven to roast.
- 12.15pm Boil the potatoes and root vegetables. Make the harissa & orange marmalade glaze. Chop the ingredients for the stuffing sprouts.
- 1pm Baste the turkey, pour in the white wine and nestle cabbage wedges around the bird. Return to the oven.
- 1.10pm Prepare the separate ingredients for the mackerel starter.
- 1.25pm Smash the roasties and put them in the oven.
- 1.30pm Check the turkey – take out to rest if the internal temperature has reached 75C. If not done, carry on cooking for a further 5-10 mins. Return the cabbage to the oven to finish cooking.
- 1.35pm Toss the roasted roots in the harissa glaze, then put in the oven.
- 1.40pm Make the gravy, cook the sprouts and keep warm.
- 2pm Sit down to eat the starter, with everything for your lunch ready to go.
- The dessert takes just 10 minutes to assemble, so you can do it once you’ve enjoyed the main course.
Cheat’s Christmas turkey with red cabbage wedges
Harissa & marmalade roasted roots
Black forest fool
And finally, the easiest-ever chocolatey dessert. This indulgent Black Forest treat can be whipped up in ten minutes flat and requires no forward prepping. If you fancy a non-alcoholic version, feel free to substitute a can of cherries in syrup.
Want to top off your menu with some simple prosecco cocktails? Get in the party spirit with these easy seasonal drinks.
For more inspiration visit our Christmas dinner page, or browse our other Christmas menus…
Complete Christmas menu: Classic
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
What are your easiest-ever Christmas shortcuts? Let us know in the comments below…