The hordes have arrived and the fridge is ready to erupt, but pulling together the perfect menu on time, without breaking a sweat, is easier said than done. With food and guests vying for attention, your time plan is your secret weapon. Our Christmas cooking timeline will help keep your seasonal kitchen a stress-free zone this year, leaving you with less time faffing in the kitchen and more time enjoying Christmas. We've also included our make-ahead recipe plan, so you can get plenty of prep done before the big day.


Christmas recipe inspiration

Start by planning out your recipes and work out what you can prepare before Christmas Day. The final push should be all about cooking or reheating, not peeling and chopping. Check out our Christmas dinner recipes to pick your perfect menu, complete with centrepiece, sides and sauces. And use our roast timer calculator to get perfect turkey every time.

Need a ready-planned day of deliciousness? Pick from our complete Christmas menus, whether you need a vegetarian menu, a last-minute dinner you can whip up in a flash or a healthy Christmas menu.

Printable Christmas time plan

Click on the link below to access a printable version of our Christmas meal time plan, work out what time you'd like to eat and then fill in the gaps. Christmas has never been so easy!

Christmas time plan

More like this

To serve our Christmas lunch at 2.30pm

Recipe inspiration

Here are some recipes you may want to cook as part of a classic Christmas dinner, including a turkey centrepiece and all the trimmings.

Christmas menu – serves eight

Chilli-charred brussels sprouts in a silver bowl

Cider roast turkey
Roast garlic make-ahead gravy
Chestnut & cranberry roll
Croissant bread sauce
Creamy parsnip & squash bake
Simple sweet & sour slow-cooker red cabbage
Chilli-charred brussels sprouts
Honeyed hasselback carrots
Christmas spiced red cabbage
Buttery caraway carrots
Golden roast potatoes
Bread & walnut sauce
Cranberry & champagne sauce


Not your traditional Christmas pudding, but a winner for all the adults is our festive date & pecan pudding served with custard Chantilly. For something more child-friendly, try our cute igloo cake, complete with a penguin family.

Getting ahead

Prep for the big day with our festive make-ahead recipes, featuring roast potatoes, sprouts, stuffing and more. All make-ahead dishes should be kept in the fridge or freezer until ready to be cooked.

Platter of roast potatoes, bowl of red cabbage and bowl of carrot and swede mash

Up to one month ahead

Cook, cool and freeze:

Assemble and freeze:

Thoroughly defrost anything you freeze and reheat until piping hot all the way through.

Up to three days ahead

Make and chill:

Up to two days ahead

  • Salt the turkey, then keep chilled and uncovered in the roasting tin
  • Parboil the potatoes for roasting with the truffle and parmesan, then keep covered and chilled, ready to put in the oven when needed
  • Start to defrost anything you've pre-prepared and frozen

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Turkey on a serving dish surrounded by garlic and tomatoes

9.30am: Remove the turkey and flavour-bomb butter from the fridge to come to room temperature.

11am: Prep the onions and carrots to go under the turkey and smother the turkey with the butter.

11.15am: Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

11.30pm: Put the turkey in the oven.

12pm: While the turkey cooks, get the stuffing balls and pigs in blankets cooked on the shelf below, one at a time, then remove to reheat later, if needed.

12.30pm: Turn the roasting tin containing the turkey.

1pm: Heat the oil for the roast potatoes for 5 mins, then add the potatoes and put in the oven.

1.15pm: Take the temperature of the turkey – remove if ready; if not, give it another 15-20 mins.

1.25pm: Turn and baste the potatoes.

1.45pm: Turn the potatoes and baste again. Make the gravy. Put the cheesy leeks in the oven.

2pm: Remove the potatoes from the oven, sprinkle with parmesan and return to the oven for 2 mins. Turn the oven up to 220C/ 200C fan/ gas 7. Once the potatoes are out, get the yorkies in and reheat the stuffing balls and pigs in blankets. Reheat the carrot & swede mash, the red cabbage and the bread sauce in a microwave, or over a low flame.

2.15pm: Remove the leeks from the oven. Assemble all the dishes and bring to the table by 2.3opm. Enjoy!

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