Christmas recipes

Updated on 24 December 2019

Christmas recipes: the best baking, leftover, side dish and main course ideas

From delectable canapés and easy starters to best Christmas roasts and fabulous festive treats, this is your essential Christmas food guide to help you plan for the big day.

Best Christmas party food and canapés

These canapés will not only be easy to make, they're all packed with flavour and are great for nibbling on throughout Christmas Day. There's Scandinavian-style smoked salmon for seafood lovers, a creative and modern take on a retro classic and delicious tartlets made with everyone's favourite festive cheese. Here's what to make:

Gravadlax on rye bread

Aubergine and halloumi wraps

Devilled eggs

Baked figs with halloumi, prosciutto and basil

Ham and stilton tartlets

Ham and stilton tartletsWaitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Discover the best supermarket mince pies of 2019 with our taste test

Easy Christmas starters recipes

Celebrate the day when indulgence is not only allowed but encouraged and treat your guests to a celebratory starter, whether that be a creamy cauliflower soup or a gooey whole baked camembert. A retro classic, prawn cocktail is a definite crowd-pleaser while the sweetness of in-season butternut squash will pair well with blue cheese. Take a look at these recipes:

Cauliflower soup with cheese twirls

Whole baked camembert with garlic and rosemary

Warm butternut squash salad with blue cheese

Prawn cocktail

Mushroom and spinach en croûte

Mushroom and spinach en crouteMary Berry Cooks Up a Feast/DK

Christmas Day roasts

A festive roast, be that bird or beef, or even fish, Christmas Day is nothing without its centrepiece. Stick to your guns with a traditional turkey, test your cooking skills with a technical beef wellington or go all out with a roast goose with pecan stuffing. For something completely different, try a Scandinavian approach and serve an impressive whole baked salmon. Check out these fabulous roasts:

Roast turkey with traditional stuffing and cranberry sauce

Beef wellington

Honey-glazed ham

Whole baked salmon with kale, butternut squash and pomegranate salad

Roast goose with pecan stuffing

Roast goose with pecan stuffingWaitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Vegetarian and vegan Christmas recipes ideas

With plenty of root vegetables in season and excellent availability of nuts, there hasn't been a better time to cook and eat flavoursome meat-free dishes. Traditionalists will appreciate a classic nut roast or a vegan chestnut wellington while a vegetarian pithivier will look very impressive as a centre piece. There's no need to cook for veggies and vegans separately either – roasted squash, nuts and beans will work either as a main or as a side to most meat roasts. Here's what to make:

Nut roast with vegetarian gravy

Vegan wellington

Roasted spicy squash, nuts and beans

Tropical vegan pavlova

Vegetarian pithivier with watercress and pistachio pesto

Vegetarian pithivier with watercress and pistachio pestoWaitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

For more veggie and vegan recipes, take a look at our favourites

Best Christmas dinner sides

A great Christmas Day feast must have an excellent selection of sides. Obviously, crispy roast potatoes, glazed carrots and honey-roasted root veg take centre stage but why not try something completely different this year? A parsnip and hazelnut gratin will treat your palate to a mix of pleasing flavours and textures while creamy kale and celeriac is the ultimate Christmas comfort food.

Crispy roast potatoes

Creamy kale and celeriac

Orange and thyme glazed carrots

Parsnip and hazelnut gratin

Honey-roasted vegetables

Honey-roasted rootsWaitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Christmas puddings and desserts

End your Christmas feast with a bang as you serve a classic yule log with a spicy twist or a traditional trifle. Chocolate lovers will enjoy a rich chocolate ganache tart while for a boozy finish you can opt for an Irish liqueur-infused roulade or a Baileys take on crème brûlée. Have a look at these recipes for inspiration:

Gingerbread yule log

Christmas party trifle

Chocolate and hazelnut boozy roulade

Chocolate ganache tart

Baileys crème brûlée

Baileys creme bruleeWaitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Don't miss our pick of the best supermarket Christmas puddings for 2019

Best Christmas baking recipes

Fill your home with the incredible festive aromas of spice and citrus as you get baking. Fun gingerbread men and reindeer will be a great activity for the whole family, or you could make the most of seasonal citrus and bake them into a creative take on a pineapple upside-down cake. Whether you're a mince pie fanatic or want to give new recipes and ideas a go, there's something for everyone. Here are a few Christmas baking ideas:

Christmas wreath éclairs

Clementine and cardamom upside-down cake

Mince pies

Gingerbread men and reindeer

Mince pie streusel tart

Mince pie streusel tartWaitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Take a look at our top Christmas baking recipes here

Christmas cocktail and mocktail ideas

Whether you're opting for an alcoholic tipple or going teetotal this Christmas, there's something for everyone. From a refreshing apple mockjito and a festive pomegranate fizz, to a lip-smackingly delicious almande apricot flip and seasonal favourite mulled wine, there's something to suit everyone's tastes.

Apple mockjito


Rosemary and pomegranate fizz

Mulled wine

Almande apricot flip cocktail

Almande apricot flip cocktail
Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Easy Christmas leftover recipes

It's more likely than not that you'll end up with a mountain of leftovers. However, there's no need to eat dry reheated turkey and not-so-crispy roast potatoes on Boxing Day. This selection of recipes, from the ultimate leftover turkey sandwich to an all-in-one Boxing Day pie, will help you repurpose your leftovers into delicious meals. And don't worry, there's panettone bread and butter pudding and Christmas pudding crumble to be made with leftover bits of desserts as well. Take a look at these brilliant recipes:

Ultimate leftover turkey sandwich

Christmas mac 'n' cheese

Boxing Day pie

Leftover Christmas pudding crumble

Panettone bread and butter pudding

Panettone bread and butter pudding
Nature's Finest/loveFOOD

Here's how to use up more of your Christmas leftovers


You might also like:

Top tips for cooking tasty turkey

How to build the perfect Christmas cheeseboard

Help provide food to those in need this Christmas


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