What Is A Typical Christmas Dinner

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What Is A Typical Christmas Dinner – Start your meal with a traditional Mary Berry Christmas pudding then enjoy your turkey. It can be cooked in the oven or with Jamie Oliver’s delicious method of roasting over an open fire..

During the festive season, we tend to enjoy a lot of turkey, Christmas cakes and mince pies. Turkey is considered a traditional Christmas meal all around the world, yet its origins are a little bit complicated.

Traditional Christmas dinner menu

Serve a traditional Christmas dinner menu filled with classic dishes, including smoked salmon starters, roast turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding.

We’re all for breaking with convention and trying something new on special occasions, but sometimes only classic dishes will do on Christmas Day.

We’ve put together a menu of our favourite traditional festive recipes for inspiration.

This menu serves eight, but we’ve also included alternative options if you’re catering for less or more guests.

Christmas morning ideas

Festive Brunch

Bake this Middle Eastern-inspired loaf to serve for a festive brunch. To make things extra-indulgent, spread thick slices with our moreish honey & tahini butter.

  • Twisted spiced bread with honey & tahini butter
  • Cured salmon build-your-own bagel board
  • Gingerbread pancakes
  • Mushroom brunch
  • Brioche breakfast bake with crispy bacon

Christmas dinner ideas

Starters

Perfect pâté, parfait & pickles

Bowl of chicken liver pâté with fig chutney and crackers

Pâté, terrine or parfait are perfect make-ahead starters. Take them out the fridge just before serving and put on a serving platter with toasts or, for even less hassle, oatcakes or crackers. Our homemade fig chutney is also a sweet and sticky accompaniment.

  • Port & chicken liver pâté
  • Chicken liver pâté
  • Faux gras with toast & pickles
  • Duck & pork terrine with cranberries & pistachios

Prawn cocktails

Cajun Prawn Cocktail

Breathe new life into prawn cocktail, a classic Christmas starter. With the addition of some Cajun spices, it’s a flavour-packed modern twist.

  • Rainbow prawn cocktails
  • Classic prawn cocktail
  • Prawn cocktail squares
  • Prawn cocktail cups

Smoked salmon

Smoked salmon & herb blinis

Keep things light before the onslaught of roast dinner with all the trimmings. Stocking smoked salmon in your fridge is a wise choice at Christmas. Make a canapé classic of salmon & herb blinis, which you can rustle up in less than 20 minutes using four ingredients.

  • Smoked salmon with horseradish crème fraîche & beetroot
  • Smoked salmon pâté with tear & share brioche buns
  • Gravadlax with celeriac & fennel salad
  • Pastrami-cured salmon

Christmas soup

Bowl of pale celeriac and truffle soup topped with chopped nuts


Serve a warming bowl of soup for a light yet satisfying Christmas starter. This creamy celeriac and hazelnut soup includes a drizzle of truffle oil for added luxury. Or, capture more seasonal flavours by blitzing chestnuts and parsnips into a silky-smooth blend and topping with crispy bacon pieces.

  • Celeriac, hazelnut & truffle soup
  • Mushroom soup
  • Chestnut, bacon & parsnip soup
  • Cauliflower soup

Traditional turkey ideas

Roast turkey

For some, there will never be a centrepiece that can replace turkey. If you want to stay traditional, make our classic roast turkey recipe with a rich red wine gravy. Placing pancetta under the skin will keep the meat beautifully succulent and add a hint of saltiness.

If you’re serving fewer people, a turkey crown can often be more suitable than a whole bird. We’ve added flavour and moistness to our turkey crown with a dry-brining recipe.

If turkey isn’t your thing, roast beef with Yorkshire puddings should fit the bill without straying too far from tradition.

  • Roast turkey
  • Perfect pancetta & roast shallot-stuffed turkey
  • Brined roast turkey crown
  • Cider roast turkey

Side dishes and trimming

Bacon, sausage and prune rolls

Serve your centrepiece with all the trimmings. It wouldn’t be Christmas without the much-debated Brussels sprouts, but parsnips, carrots and potatoes are all solid choices, along with one of our favourite parts of Christmas: pigs-in-blankets.

  • Brussels with chestnuts & sage
  • Chunky roast potatoes
  • Honey-roast carrots
  • Crisp honey mustard parsnips
  • Christmas spiced red cabbage
  • Bacon, sausage & prune rolls
  • Caramelised shallot mash

Sauces

Bread Sauce

Elevate bread sauce by adding buttery, crisp onions. It’s an ideal condiment for the Christmas dinner table or to serve with your Sunday roast.

  • Crispy onion & bread sauce
  • Port & cranberry sauce with juniper
  • Make-ahead gravy
  • Simple cranberry sauce

Christmas dessert ideas

Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding

Love it or hate it, a fruity basin pudding embodies the spirit of Christmas. Serve with rich and luxurious brandy butter.

  • Classic Christmas pudding
  • Vegan Christmas pudding
  • Christmas sticky toffee pudding
  • Lighter Christmas pudding

Christmas trifles

Trifle

Take trifle to the next level for the festive season. Make the jelly with raspberries and enrich the custard with clotted cream for ultra indulgence.

  • Retro trifle
  • Chocolate orange trifle
  • Chocolate brownie trifle
  • Eggnog trifle

Christmas drink ideas

Mulled wine

A bottle of fizz will serve a crowd if you add some juice or fresh fruit to the glass. Alternatively, get your spices melding and stir up some fragrant mulled wine.

Best Traditional Christmas Dishes

Here they are, the holiday classics! These are the top-rated main dish and side dish recipes you need for a perfect traditional Christmas dinner. They cover the savory side of Christmas dinner, from prime rib, baked ham, and roast turkey to scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce.

Chef John's Honey-Glazed Ham

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Chef John’s Honey-Glazed Ham

“A great holiday ham glaze needs to have three things: wonderful flavor, gorgeous, shiny appearance, and a crispy, crackling crust you can hear across the room,” says Chef John. “I’m happy to report this easy-to-make glaze has all those things in abundance.”

Mom's Scalloped Potatoes

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Mom’s Scalloped Potatoes

This classic scalloped potatoes recipe showcases the flavors of potatoes and onions baked in a creamy sauce. “This is the way my mother always made her scalloped potatoes,” says janebp. “The measurements are taken from other recipes because she always just winged it, but the method is the same. The key is to heat the milk first!”

Best Green Bean Casserole

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Best Green Bean Casserole

Another classic Christmas side dish casserole. “This great variation of the traditional green bean casserole is topped with French fried onions and Cheddar cheese,” says Jan.

Chef John's Roast Turkey and Gravy

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Chef John’s Roast Turkey and Gravy

“One of the secrets to a moist, delicious, and beautiful turkey is spreading butter under the skin,” says Chef John. “You can season the butter any way you want; the possibilities are endless.”

Elegant Turkey Stuffing

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Elegant Turkey Stuffing

“The distinctiveness of this turkey dressing comes from the orange-flavored liqueur, spicy Italian sausage, apples, and pecans,” says Joan. “It’s also very easy to prepare. This recipe makes enough to stuff one 18 to 20 pound bird. If you prefer, this dressing can be made with thyme instead of sage.”

Holiday ONLY Mashed Potatoes

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Holiday ONLY Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes don’t shy away from the butter or cream.  “I only make these on holidays, and everyone wonders what’s in them that makes them so rich,” says Saltair4.

Christmas Prime Rib

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Christmas Prime Rib

This boneless prime rib roast gets rubbed with horseradish and mustard, sprinkled with seasonings, and roasted to perfection. “I think that this was absolutely the best meat dish that I have ever prepared,” says Diane Yearns. “It was absolutely delicious and I would love to make it an annual Christmas tradition.”

Traditional Yorkshire Pudding

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Traditional Yorkshire Pudding

“As legend has it, Yorkshire puddings were traditionally cooked in a pan of fat, at the bottom of a hearth, underneath a large piece of roasting beef,” says Chef John. “The smoky heat from the fire, along with all the other goodness dripping into the pan from the meat, must’ve made for quite a delicious pastry. Though limited by modern ovens, we can still come close to the original by using real rendered beef fat, without which you’re just eating a popover.”

Roast Duck with Chestnut Stuffing

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Roast Duck with Chestnut Stuffing

“Duck is one of the traditional meals for Christmas in Germany,” says barbara. “The duck needs to marinate for at least 12 hours before roasting. We serve broccoli and duchess potatoes with it. The stuffing can also be used for other poultry as well.”

Christmas Pomegranate Salad

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Christmas Pomegranate Salad

“Simple and delicious with all the colors of Christmas!” says France C. “It’s very versatile and you could swap out for different nuts or cheeses. Definitely making this one again!”

classic recipes for a traditional Christmas

Christmas lunch and dinner are all about the comforting classics we all love to eat year after year. These 48 recipes are all about those recipes we hold dear at this time of year, whether they be classic through and through or with a slightly modern twist.

Valli Little's turkey with fruit stuffing and duck fat potatoes

Valli Little’s turkey with fruit stuffing and duck fat potatoes

A mixed fruit stuffing with duck fat potatoes will add all the elements you need to create the perfect Christmas turkey meal.

Bourbon and pineapple glazed ham

Bourbon and pineapple glazed ham

Ham, pineapple and bourbon – who needs more on Christmas day! This recipe is a true showstopper for the holidays and uses the best fruit summer has to offer.

Rolled turkey breast with cranberry stuffing

Rolled turkey breast with cranberry stuffing

There will be plenty to celebrate with this Christmas in July feast. This cheat’s roast turkey will have the whole family filled with Christmas cheer.

Tiger prawns with chermoula butter

Tiger prawns with chermoula butter

Add some heat to your life with this spiced up prawn dish.

Maple-glazed turkey

Maple-glazed turkey

Give the traditional elements of Christmas a modern twist with this elegant glazed turkey.

Colin Fassnidge's Christmas ginger beer-glazed ham

Colin Fassnidge’s Christmas ginger beer-glazed ham

This is not your usual Christmas ham glaze. Asian spices, kaffir lime leaf and ginger beer makes a sticky, slightly Asian glaze, and pairs perfectly with a fresh fig and melon salad.

Sage roast turkey with pork stuffing and apple cider gravy

Sage roast turkey with pork stuffing and apple cider gravy

This classic roast turkey is the perfect way to enjoy a relaxed Christmas country affair.

Rolled turkey breast with pancetta, figs and leek

Rolled turkey breast with pancetta, figs and leek

Try something deliciously different this Christmas with this amazing rolled turkey breast stuffed with pancetta, figs and leek.

Boned and rolled turkey breast

Boned and rolled turkey breast

Crisp sage leaves add a final touch to this festive stuffed turkey breast. The buttery stuffing makes sure it stays tender during cooking and doesn’t dry out.

Turkey roulades with sage stuffing

Turkey roulades with sage stuffing

Try this short-cut recipe for the easiest festive feast ever!

Ultimate sweet potato bake

Ultimate sweet potato bake

Comfort food made healthy with this super easy potato bake. Just make that potato sweet! This is an edited extract from Surfing the Menu – Next Generation by Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn (Published by Simon & Schuster, $49.99), and is available in bookshops nationally.

Darren Robertson's barbecued prawns with charred kale and avocado

Darren Robertson’s barbecued prawns with charred kale and avocado

Serve this people pleasing prawn dish before summer ends, and you’ll have everyone smiling from ear-to-ear. “I created this dish for the Ballina Prawn Festival, and it ended up winning the people’s choice award for the prawn dish of the day. I couldn’t make them fast enough. ” says chef Darren Robertson from Bronte’s Three Blue Ducks.

Roast pork with apple and apricot stuffing

Roast pork with apple and apricot stuffing

We all know pork and apple are a match made in heaven. Be adventurous and throw apricot into the mix – you won’t regret it!

Lombardy-style turkey with marsala gravy

Lombardy-style turkey with marsala gravy

Give the familiar roast turkey an Italian twist.

Herb-roasted turkey breast

Herb-roasted turkey breast

This year’s turkey is a simple affair, with the stuffing spread under the skin to keep the delicate meat juicy.

Roast turkey

Roast turkey

Don’t be intimidated by roast turkey – this classic recipe will show you how!

Glazed ham

Glazed ham

It’s not just for Christmas Day! A glazed ham is the perfect solution for summer entertaining – and everyone will love it.

Roast pork loin with apples and cider gravy

Roast pork loin with apples and cider gravy

Roast pork with apples is always a winning combination. Add whole, small apples to the pan for the ultimate one-pan roast.

Maple-glazed ham

Maple-glazed ham

Nothing says Christmas quite like a sweet roasted leg of ham.

Boned and rolled turkey breast

Boned and rolled turkey breast

Crisp sage leaves add a final touch to this festive stuffed turkey breast. The buttery stuffing makes sure it stays tender during cooking and doesn’t dry out.

Glazed jerk ham

Glazed jerk ham

Ham gets a Jamaican makeover with this recipe from Jamie Oliver.

Easy Christmas maple-glazed ham recipe

Easy Christmas maple-glazed ham recipe

Make this traditional Christmas maple-glazed ham recipe with a summer twist part of your Christmas menu.

Stuffing balls

Stuffing balls

Feeding a crowd? These festive stuffing balls can be made up to two days in advance – just wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

Rolled pork belly with apple and raisin stuffing

Rolled pork belly with apple and raisin stuffing

Reinvent the Sunday roast with this rolled pork belly stuffed with sweet apples and raisins.

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