Whole Christmas dinner spread on a table

Last-minute Christmas dinner menu

Running behind with Christmas dinner prep? Save time and stress with our easy, last-minute festive menu – each recipe uses only five ingredients or fewer.

From wrapping presents to last-minute shopping, getting everything ready for the big day is an organisational challenge. If you haven’t managed to squeeze in food prep for the big day, or simply want to spend more time with your guests than in the kitchen, you’re in luck – our hassle-free menu and time plan will get you through the morning and allow you to have everything on the table by 2pm.

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This easy menu feeds 6-8 people and boasts all the classics, including turkey, roast potatoes and a twist on pigs in blankets. Despite each recipe only using a handful of ingredients, we’ve come up some clever shortcuts to amp up the flavour. Nobody will know it took such little effort!

Pouring gravy onto Christmas dinner on a plate

Christmas Day time plan

11am Peel and chop the potatoes and parsnips. Make the herb butter and rub over the turkey crown.
11:30am Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
11:35am Boil the potatoes for 3 mins, add the parsnips and boil for a further 3 mins. Drain and set aside. Peel and chop the veg, then set aside covered with a clean damp cloth.
12pm Put the turkey crown in the oven for 1hr 30mins, basting every 30 mins or so.
12:10pm Assemble the pigs-in-blankets Christmas stuffing balls.
12:30pm Heat the goose fat for the potatoes.
12:35pm Put the potatoes and parsnips in the oven for 1 hr.
12:55pm-1:00pm Roast the stuffing balls for 25-30 mins.
1:25pm Take the stuffing balls out of the oven and keep warm.
1:30pm Check the temperature of the turkey with a digital thermometer – it should reach 70C when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.
1:30pm-1:35pm Take the turkey crown out of the oven and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes. Make the gravy, then boil the veg for 5 mins.
1:40pm increase the oven temperature for the potatoes and parsnips to 220/200C fan/gas 8. Cook the vegetables in butter.
1:55pm Reheat the stuffing balls, if necessary.
2pm Start taking dishes to the table.

Quick and easy Christmas recipes

Thyme & garlic turkey crownTurkey crowns are less hassle to prepare and will cook more quickly than a whole bird. Seasoning your turkey the day before makes it more succulent, but if you don’t have the time, the fragrant mix of thyme and garlic will still pack a flavour punch. Cook and baste the turkey in the beautiful, buttery juices and you’ll have a glorious golden centerpiece to adorn your Christmas table.

Vegetables in a square dish and a bowl of stuffing balls in bacon.
Pigs-in-blankets Christmas stuffing ballsWe’ve gone for a fun, festive mash-up of two yuletide classics. Combine sausagemeat with herby stuffing, chopped chesnuts and cranberries for full-bodied Christmas flavour. Package these up into tasty little bundles with the bacon rashers.

3-in-1 brown-buttered winter vegetables

Cook your carrots, Brussels sprouts and leeks together with butter and sage for a super convenient and time-saving side dish. By using just two pans to boil and stir-fry the veggies, you’ll also save on washing-up. Bonus!

Golden goose fat potatoes & parsnips

Achieve perfect crispy potatoes and parsnips by roasting them in goose fat. This will give them a gorgeous golden colour and rich flavour that you can enhance by adding rosemary springs to the roasting tin.

No-stress gravy

Flavoured with redcurrant jelly and port, this super simple yet scrumptious gravy can either be whipped up on the big day or made ahead and frozen. The name says it all!

For more inspiration visit our Christmas dinner page or browse other Christmas menus…

Easiest ever Christmas menu
Classic Christmas menu
Vegetarian Christmas menu
Vegan Christmas menu
Gluten-free Christmas menu
Quick Christmas menu
2-hour Christmas menu
Christmas menu for a crowds
Christmas menu for two
All our Christmas menus

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Do you have any Christmas dinner shortcuts? Leave a comment below…