Roast beef on plate with vegetables

Top 10 Christmas Eve dinner ideas

Not sure what to serve on Christmas Eve? Try making an extra-special main like glazed ham, smoked salmon or a vegetarian showstopper. 

The build-up to the big day is exciting, but deciding what to serve on Christmas Eve can be a challenge. Celebrate with a special meal – we’ve got plenty of festive alternatives to turkey.

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Every family has their own traditions, whether you nibble on canapés or simply order a takeaway. But if you fancy a big feast, try these luxurious dinner ideas – they’re sure to please the whole family.

To complete your menu, see our Christmas Eve collection.

1) Grilled lobster tails with lemon & herb butter

Kick off Christmas eve in style with these grilled lobster tails with lemon & herb butter. To lighten your workload, prepare the raw lobster and garlic butter a few hours ahead of time, then grill the lobster tails and drizzle with the rich butter sauce when it’s time to serve. Complete the meal with lemon wedges and chopped parsley for even more fresh flavour.

Find more indulgent recipes in our lobster collection.

2) Festive porchetta

Tom Kerridge’s festive porchetta is full of Christmas spice and flavour, including clementine zest, black peppercorns and star anise. To get ahead, score the pork belly, rub with the spice mix and roll into a joint the day before Christmas Eve. Then, simply roast until the crackling is crispy and rest before cutting this crowd-pleaser into thick slices.

For more succulent meat and crispy crackling, see our roast pork recipes.

3) Smoked salmon & spinach gratin

This smoked salmon & spinach gratin is perfect for those who celebrate Christmas Eve with a traditional fish course. It’s an easy main that’s made using just four ingredients: spinach, butter, smoked salmon and double cream. Cook and chop the spinach and toss with butter, then roast with the salmon and cream until golden and bubbling.

See our Christmas smoked salmon collection for more luxe fish ideas.

4) Ginger-glazed ham

What could be more festive than this spiced ginger-glazed ham? It’s a simple roast that’s great for a crowd as it’s a classic favourite that serves eight. Simmer an unsmoked boneless gammon joint in ginger ale and allspice berries, then use more ginger ale plus brown sugar and fresh ginger in the glaze. Brush over the ham and roast for a sticky, golden crust.

Find more festive mains in our glazed ham collection.

5) Pork wellington

This pork wellington is the ultimate posh sausage roll. It’s a little more challenging to make, but this alternative to traditional beef wellington is well worth the effort. With succulent pork fillets and a creamy mustard sauce, it’s packed with flavour. Layer prosciutto with pâte, pork meat, wild mushrooms and spinach, then roll with pastry, mark with the back of a knife and chill before roasting. Cut into thick slices to serve.

For more impressive mains, see our wellington recipes.

6) Ale-glazed beef fillet with a crispy onion crust

This showstopping ale-glazed beef fillet with a crispy onion crust is surprisingly easy to prepare, and comes together in under two hours. The glaze is made from pale ale, malt and yeast extracts, soy sauce and sherry vinegar, and is brushed over the beef before roasting. Prepare a simple side dish by cooking carrots with fennel seeds and baby spinach, then brush the beef with more glaze and coat with crushed crispy onions.

See more ideas in our roast beef collection.

7) Mussels in white wine sauce with garlic butter toasts

If you’re after a fish option, these classic mussels in white wine sauce with garlic butter toasts are a special addition to any menu. Make a flavoured butter by blitzing butter, garlic cloves, chopped parsley, parmesan and spices in a food processor, then toast some sourdough bread and cook the mussels in the butter mixture, white wine and shallots. Steam for just a few minutes until all the mussels have opened.

For more shellfish recipes, see our mussels collection.

8) Three-cheese meatball lasagne

Celebrate Christmas Eve with a family-friendly dish like this three-cheese meatball lasagne. This cheesy pasta bake takes traditional lasagne to the next level by swapping meat sauce for sausage meatballs. It’s also spiced with fennel seeds, chilli flakes and finely grated nutmeg, making it full of bold flavour. Top with mozzarella and grated cheddar for an indulgent finish.

For more classic pasta bakes, see our lasagne recipes.

9) Squash & chestnut crackers

Make these impressive squash & chestnut crackers for a veggie-friendly main. Fill puff pastry with butternut squash, chestnut mushrooms and cheddar cheese, then shape into crackers and bake until golden and puffed. To make these vegan, omit the butter and cheese and use dairy-free pastry and milk.

See more veggie-friendly ideas in our Christmas vegetarian collection.

10) Creamy fish & leek pie

Take a traditional pie to the next level with Tommy Banks’ creamy fish & leek pie. Cook leeks in butter and white wine and combine with salmon, haddock and king prawns, then cover with creamy mash and a mix of grated cheddar and parmesan. After just 30 minutes, you’ll have a bubbling, crispy fish pie the whole family will love.

For more seafood bakes, see our fish pie recipes.

Enjoyed these festive dinners? See more Christmas recipes

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What does your family eat on Christmas Eve? Leave a comment below…