Left it all to the last minute? Got children in tow? Or just downright sick of spending the whole of the month of December in preparation for one day of excess? Here are some ideas for cutting Christmassy corners on the big day.
Quick turkey crown
If you're planning on cooking a whole turkey, it's inevitable that you'll be spending a lot of Christmas Day in the kitchen. Opt for an easier turkey crown recipe and you get all that lovely breast meat but cut out hours of kitchen time. Furthermore, top chefs – Heston Blumenthal and Marco Pierre White included – believe that cooking a turkey in one piece can result in a dry breast. If you forget the legs, your breast is guaranteed to be succulent.
Alternatively, for a really stunning centrepiece this pancetta-wrapped turkey breast takes care of the stuffing too. It only takes half an hour to prepare and two hours to cook.
Easy roasted vegetables
While the turkey is in the oven, don't fill the hob with pans of different veg, rustle up a selection of roasted vegetables and pop them in with the bird.
Give your roast potatoes some love, but keep it easy-going with these delicious golden roast potatoes.
For purists who think everything should be homemade, microwave bread sauce and our really easy cranberry sauce take just 15 minutes of work apiece. Otherwise a shop-bought option turned into a bowl is nothing to be ashamed of when you've so many other pulls on your time and energy!
Easy Christmas puddings
Great quality Christmas puddings are readily available. Check on the pack for microwave instructions before you buy and yours can be on the table in a few minutes. Add the personal touch with homemade brandy and vanilla custard in just 15 minutes. Or, invest another 10 minutes with our clementine custard.
If you're hankering after a homemade pud, we've got a fantastic microwave Christmas pudding, using mincemeat, that takes just 35 minutes or try our chocoholics's Christmas pudding that looks the part and will satisfy the chocolate lovers among you.
Quick mince pies
If, after all that, you could still murder a mince pie, try our 20-minute mincemeat custard pies – a mince pie with custard rolled into one. Now that's the kind of super-efficient solution we love!
Find more last-minute Christmas guides
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