15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (2024)

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (1)

When it comes to cooking your Christmas dinner, who said it has to include turkey? For those aren't the birds biggest fan, we've got our hands on 15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes to help you mix things up this year.

Christmas turkey often gets a bad rap. Yes it can take hours to cook, and yes it can sometimes be dry (though thanks to our no-tears recipes it doesn't have to be). But for some, the taste is just never going to cut it, even when doused with cranberry sauce and all the trimmings.

Which is why sometimes you need to think about an alternative Christmas dinner - a non-turkey crowd pleaser that you can bring to the table instead. The thing about Christmas though is that you want something large, something show stopping, something that looks like a centrepiece in in its own right. After all, if you've gone to the trouble of dressing a Christmas table you want it to look like a banquet, too.

So why not ring the changes this year and branch out with one of these big family recipes instead?

Whether you’re looking for a minimum fuss dish or just a change from the ordinary, we’ve got Asian inspired flavours, traditional British dishes and decadent creations to inspire a Christmas feast with a difference. Beef, lamb, cod, duck, even a pie or two - we've got your whole Christmas menu covered.

Just don't forget the all-important Brussels sprouts.

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1

Roast Beef

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (3)

Christmas is as much about gorging on leftovers as it is the main event. This succulent joint of beef by the Scandinavian recipes master Trine Hahnemann is delicious as the centrepiece to Christmas or Boxing day lunch, but it also makes the most incredible sandwiches the next day.

Try this roast beef with port gravy recipe

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2

Spiced Quince Ham

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (5)

Christmas ham with a mustard crust is traditional in Scandinavia, but this quirky quince version is just as delicious. Make sure you tell your butcher what the meat is for, and let him know it shouldn’t be pre-cured. The ham can be cooked up to two days before roasting.

Try this spiced quince ham recipe

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3

Salmon Fillets Stuffed With Cod

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (7)

This decadent fish dish is actually very easy to make but the two-fish parcel looks suitably impressive and fit for the Christmas table. Not just one for pescatarias, the beautifully flaking and flavoursome fish will please all your guests.

Try this salmon fillets stuffed with cod recipe

4

Beef Wellington

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (9)

They may seem fiddly, but when you break down all the steps, beef Wellington’s are pretty straightforward. This makes a great centerpiece to the Christmas meal and the dish has all the drama of a turkey and more. Happy diners will make it well worth the effort.

Try Lisa Faulkner’s Beef Wellington recipe

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5

Honey Glazed Shallot Tarte Tatin

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (11)

This gorgeous tart makes a brilliant vegetarian alternative to pie or nut roast at Christmas. Full of deliciously buttery fried shallots and glistening with honey and balsamic vinegar, it’s as indulgent as it looks and you can be certain there won’t be any leftovers.

Try this honey-glazed shallot tarte tatin recipe

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6

Slow Roast Lamb In Sloe Gin

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (13)

Sloe gin is a wonderful winter treat so it makes a fitting addition to the Christmas dinner flavours. The sloe gin adds a deliciously different dimension to this slow roast lamb and it’s bound to cause a stir when you present it as the highlight of the meal.

Try this slow roast lamb in sloe gin recipe

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7

Peking Style Roast Duck

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (15)

If you’re looking to mix things up a bit this Christmas try this Peking style roast duck. Duck is a great bird to cook when you’re expecting a smaller gathering as the size doesn’t feed as many as a turkey. This receipe makes a great sharing dish that you could setup in the middle of the table, carve and let everyone help themselves.

Try this Peking style roast duck recipe

8

Salmon en Croute

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (17)

It’s hard to beat a salmon en croûte for an impressive fish dish. This recipe results in beautifully golden-flaked pastry with a tender and moist salmon filling. Laced with herby butter, expect bags of flavour for the ultimate fishy Christmas dinner.

Try this salmon en croûte recipe

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9

Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Roast Chicken with Hasselback Roast Potatoes

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (19)

This roast chicken recipe is super easy to prepare and is ideal for a low-stress Christmas dinner, particularly if you only have a few mouths to feed. The fragrant flavours of citrusy lemon with garlic and rosemary not only taste delicious but will make your kitchen smell fantastic. Serve with all the festive trimmings and no one will miss the turkey in the slightest.

Try this lemon, garlic and rosemary roast chicken with hasselback roast potatoes recipe

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10

Turkey and Ham Pie

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (21)

This is a fantastic, well-packed pie that makes a colourful and temptingly appetizing addition to the Christmas spread. Instead of serving up the traditional roast turkey and leaving leftover baked ham until Boxing Day, make the most of the two meats in this impressive and delicious pie.

Try this cold turkey and ham pie with cranberry topping recipe

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11

Chestnut Bourg Pie

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (23)

An excellent option for vegetarians, this chestnut-based pie is full-bodied with layers of delicious flavour. Meat eaters will enjoy the richness of this pie too so make sure there’s enough to go around.

Try this chestnut bourguignon pie recipe

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12

Slow-Cooked Goose with Apples and Prunes

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (25)

This slow cooked goose is fantastically soft and juicy. Serve up on Christmas day for a feast that’s guaranteed to wow. The roast bird is succulent from the cider and rich with delicious stuffing, it will be seconds helpings all round.

Try this slow-cooked goose with apples and prunes recipe

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13

Spinach Pie

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (27)

This easy spinach pie makes a great vegetarian option for Christmas. The beautifully crisp filo pastry looks a treat at the centre of the dining table and the golden folds hide a rich and deliciously cheesy spinach filling.

Try this spinach pie recipe

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14

Chicken and Mushroom Gougere

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (29)

Pies make a great alternative to the usual Christmas roast and this chicken and mushroom recipe will impress all your diners. Pillowy choux pastry makes a rich and wonderfully delicious bed for the creamy chicken filling – this is one recipe you won’t want to forget.

Try this chicken and mushroom gougère recipe

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15

Roast Pork with Spices and Crisp Crackling

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (31)

This beautifully flavoured pork dish is absolutely delicious. Crisp golden crackling gives way to succulent meat making this the ultimate Christmas dinner with a difference.

Try this roast pork with spices and crisp crackling recipe

15 alternative Christmas dinner recipes (2024)
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