Love everything about a traditional Christmas dinner but want to mix it up a bit? Then follow our next level festive menu for exciting new ideas to feed a crowd of eight people. We've taken all the classic elements of a festive menu and given them new flavour twists, from pancetta and citrus-stuffed roast turkey, to mushroom Yorkshire puddings and madeira gravy.


To save you stress on Christmas Day, we've also created an easy-to-follow timeplan so you'll have everything on the table by 2pm. Several elements of this menu can be prepared in advance, allowing you more time on the day to relax and enjoy the festivities.

Your timeplan to eat at 2pm

Print this time plan to follow on the day.

  • 8:30am Take the turkey out of the fridge to let it warm up to room temp ahead of roasting. Prep the veg for the sticky maple roots. Prep the sprouts and pistachios for the sizzled sprouts with pistachios & pomegranate. Prep the veg for the squash colcannon.
  • 9am Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  • 9:30am Stuff the turkey with the shallots, then put in the oven (timings based on a 5kg turkey).
  • 12:25pm Heat the oil in a roasting tin for the herb infused roast potatoes.
  • 12:30pm Turn oven up to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the potatoes in the oven.
  • 1pm Check the turkey’s done, then remove from the oven. Cover and leave to rest.
  • 1:10pm Turn the potatoes and roast for a further 20 mins.
  • 1:20pm Cook the sizzled sprouts with pistachios & pomegranate. Cook the sticky maple roots on the hob and keep warm. Cook the microwaved squash colcannon and keep warm.
  • 1:30pm Turn oven up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Turn the potatoes and roast for a final 20 mins. Bake the triple pigs-in-blankets for 30-35 mins. Bake the Tuscan sausage, kale & ciabatta stuffing for 30 mins. Bake the wild mushroom Yorkshire puddings for 20-25 mins (or reheat from frozen). Reheat the cheesy celeriac, leek & rosemary gratin in the microwave.
  • 1:40pm Reheat the red cabbage with port, prunes & orange in the microwave or on the hob. Reheat the extra creamy bread sauce in the microwave or on the hob. Heat the make-ahead madeira gravy on the hob, adding cooking juices from the turkey, if you like.
  • 2pm Start taking dishes to the table.

These recipes can be made ahead

Up to a month ahead

  • Make and freeze the make-ahead madeira gravy.
  • Make and freeze the red cabbage with port, prunes & orange.
  • Make the cranberry & sweet chilli jam and store it in sterilised jars.
  • Make and freeze the wild mushroom Yorkshire puddings.

Up to three days ahead

More like this
  • Make and chill the extra creamy bread sauce.
  • Make and chill the red cabbage with port, prunes & orange (if not already frozen).

Up to two days ahead

  • Weigh and salt the turkey and chill in a roasting tin.
  • Prep and chill the garlic butter for the pancetta & shallot-stuffed turkey.
  • Prep and chill the garlic cheese turkey roll. Prep the Tuscan sausage, kale & ciabatta stuffing and chill in a dish ready for baking.
  • Parboil the potatoes for the herb-infused roast potatoes and chill, uncovered, on a tray.
  • Assemble the triple pigs-in-blankets on a tray, ready for baking.
  • Assemble the cheesy celeriac, leek & rosemary gratin and chill, ready for baking.

Christmas Eve

  • Bake, cool and chill the cheesy celeriac, leek & rosemary gratin.
  • Prep the turkey with the garlic butter and pancetta.
  • Defrost the make-ahead madeira gravy and the red cabbage with port, prunes & orange overnight in the fridge.

The recipes

Christmas dinner main

Whole turkey with shallots and citrus fruits on a plate

Perfect pancetta & roast shallot-stuffed turkeyServe this super succulent roast turkey for a showstopping festive centerpiece. Turkey legs take a little longer to cook, so pushing pancetta under the skin allows the white meat to stays moist. We've stuffed the turkey with shallots, lemon and thyme to create a delicious combination of flavours that blend with the turkey juices while the bird is cooking.

All the trimmings

Plates of stuffing and pigs in blankets plus Yorkshire puddings on a board

Tuscan sausage, kale & ciabatta stuffing Our sausage, kale and bread stuffing is delightfully crisp and packed with flavour. It can be made up to two days ahead, then baked on Christmas Day. Cavolo nero or kale work beautifully in this dish, but if you prefer your stuffing to be just meat and bread, simply leave it out.

Wild mushroom Yorkshire puddings

Take traditional Yorkies to the next level by infusing the milk with wild mushrooms for an umami hit. These fluffy bakes can be made in just 30 minutes and stored in the freezer.

Triple pigs-in-blankets

Deliver three times the flavour with our triple pigs-in-blankets. These juicy bundles can be prepared up to two days in advance, and save on space in the kitchen.

Bowl of red cabbage, bowl of roast potatoes and a bowl of sprouts with pomegranates

Sizzled sprouts with pistachios & pomegranate

Stir pomegranate seeds and toasted pistachios through pan-fried Brussels sprouts to turn them into a colourful side dish. A drizzle of rich and syrupy pomegranate molasses adds a final touch of luxury to this deliciously different side.

Red cabbage with port and prunesAdd port, orange and cinnamon to red cabbage and cook for a couple of hours for rich and spicy results. It's well worth the wait and can also be frozen for up to three months in advance. If that's not enough, this fragrant dish delivers a whole two of your five-a-day!

Herb-infused roast potatoes

It’s easy to end up with lots of leftover herbs in the fridge at this time of year. Why not infuse and roast them with your potatoes for extra flavour – bay, thyme and rosemary work particularly well.

Bowl of mixed root vegetables with maple glaze

Sticky maple rootsWe've elevated a classic side of carrots and parsnips by coating them in sweet and sticky maple syrup for an irresistable caramelised finish. Flavoured with star anise and thyme, these buttery root vegetables are sure to be a hit.

Bowl of celeriac gratin

Cheesy celeriac, leek & rosemary gratinSwap Dauphinoise potatoes for a cheesy celeriac version with this rich and indulgent recipe. Bake until the cheddar cheese topping is golden and bubbling.

Bowl of squash and kale

Microwaved squash colcannonSave on time and washing-up by popping this super-easy butternut squash colcannon in the microwave. Serve mashed with kale and a hint of nutmeg for a vibrant festive side dish that delivers one of your five-a-day.

Festive sauces

Jug of gravy, pot of bread sauce and pot of cranberry sauce

Cranberry & sweet chilli jam

We've spruced up a classic Christmas accompaniment by creating a cross between chilli jam, chutney and cranberry sauce. This fabulous flavour fusion will add a little spice to your meal, and it also makes a perfect festive gift. You can control the level of heat by varying the amount of chilli and omitting the seeds.

Extra creamy bread sauce

Boost the flavour of your bread sauce by using a stale baguette or sourdough instead of a sliced white loaf. This silky smooth concoction is infused with festive spices, and a swirl of luxurious clotted cream adds extra indulgence.

Make-ahead Madeira gravy

Add a boozy kick to your gravy with a splash of rich madeira wine or dry sherry. This delicious vegetarian gravy can be served as it is or used as a base to make turkey gravy.

Do you have any next level flavour tips for Christmas dinner? Leave a comment below...


Get more inspiration with our other Christmas menus...

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

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