Christmas lunch loaf on a plate

Christmas lunch loaf

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 40 mins Plus resting


Serves 12

Looking for an alternative to turkey at Christmas? This festive lunch loaf is packed with flavour, plus it's cheaper and easier to prep and serve

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal360
  • fat17g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs19g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre3g
  • protein30g
  • salt1.1g
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  • 3 onions, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 50g butter, plus extra for the tin



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 700g turkey mince
  • 500g pork mince
  • 250g smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • 70ml port
  • 200g vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 1 orange, zested



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 5 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 80g rye crackers (like Ryvita), whizzed to a crumb, or dried breadcrumbs
  • trimmings, gravy and bread sauce, to serve



    A thickened sauce made from the juices that ooze from meat and/or vegetables as they cook. Most…


  1. Fry the onions in the butter for 15-20 mins until golden and softened. Butter a 900g loaf tin and put in the fridge to chill.

  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and work everything together to form a large meatball. Remove the loaf tin from the fridge and transfer the mixture to it – it will look like a lot, but should all fit if you pack it in. Use a spatula to shape the top, so that it resembles a loaf of bread.

  3. Cover with foil, then bake for 1 hr, or until the loaf reaches 70C on a meat thermometer. Heat grill to medium, then grill the loaf for 5-10 mins until golden on top. Leave to rest in the tin for 20 mins, then carefully tip the loaf onto a carving board or platter. Serve in slices with the usual trimmings, gravy and bread sauce.

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Comments, questions and tips

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10th Sep, 2018
Followed the recipe exactly but it was nothing special. The orange, port and chestnuts weren’t noticeable. The mixture filled a 2lb and a 1lb loaf tin. I’m glad I tried this before Christmas time. It’s not Christmassy and there are far better meatloaf recipes on the site.
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