Turkey crown

Plan your Christmas lunch

Find everything you need to plan your Christmas lunch with this step-by-step guide. Prepare for the big day with these festive recipes and top tips.

A step-by-step plan to serving up a sumptuous Christmas meal for 8 people, from freezing ahead to Christmas Eve prep, parboiling and plate warming. Find a time plan, all the recipes, plus more tips and inspiration below….

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Find more festive recipe inspiration and cooking advice in one place by visiting our Christmas kitchen.

Your Christmas time plan

Up to a month before:


Feeeze ahead

Four days before:

Salt the turkey

Three days before:

Confit the legs and wings

Two days before:


Prepare the trimmings

Christmas eve:

Turkey & potatoes

Christmas Day 10am:


Prepare the vegetables

Christmas Day 11am:

Get the bird ready

  • Take the turkey crown and confit out of the fridge. Remove the legs and wings form the duck fat and keep the fat to one side.
  • Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 just before 12pm.

Christmas Day 12pm:

Turkey time

Christmas Day 12:30pm:

Prepare the roasties

  • Put the duck fat in the oven to heat for roasting the potatoes.
  • After 10 mins, put the potatoes in the hot duck fat and roast for 1 hr 20 mins.

Christmas Day 1:10pm:


Plate up starters

  • Take the cranberry sauce out of the fridge to bring to room temperature.
  • Make the pickled shallots, apple balls and dressing for the ham hock & pistachio roll. Plate up the starter, ready to serve at 2pm.

Christmas Day 1:20pm:

Roast the vegetables

  • Roast the parsnips for 40 mins.
  • Take the turkey crown out of the oven, transfer to a platter and leave to rest for at least 30 mins.

Christmas Day 1:30pm:

Veggie option and pigs and pigs in blankets

Christmas Day 1:40pm:

The final fourishes

Christmas Day 2pm:

Enjoy your lunch

  • Enjoy the starter with your guests, then serve the main course with all the trimmings.
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Enjoyed this Christmas plan? Find more festive recipes…

How to prepare and carve a turkey
10 Quick Christmas starters
How to make the ultimate roast potatoes
Christmas side dish recipes
Top 10 drinks for Christmas
Festive dessert recipes