Festive alternatives to turkey - christmas dinner spread

We’re all familiar with the good old Christmas turkey – it’s the undeniable star of the festive spread, but who says you have to stick with tradition this year?

From ham and beef; goose and chicken to brilliant veg-based heroes, there are plenty of other options. Diversify your Christmas dinner this year with our bumper pick of gorgeous recipes. 


Ham already has its place at the Christmas table and rightly so. Deliciously sweet and salty, it’s bound to be a hit with your guests; and it’s super-easy to achieve golden, succulent meat. Whether you go all-out on the festive vibe with a mulled wine glaze, or spice things up with jerk, we’ve got all the options covered. 

Don’t forget to check out our guide to picking the best cut, plus all the tips you need for the perfect roast ham.


Beef gives you so many options, from quick-cook steaks that you can keep juicy and rare, to longer roasts and low-and-slow recipes that provide pullable, tender meat. Keep it simple with herby steak and crispy potatoes for two, or push the boat out with a luxurious show-stopping beef Wellington. Check out more of our favourites below.


Roast chicken is a logical swap for turkey come Christmas Day. A great carrier of flavours, you can take your chicken in all sorts of different directions, embracing classic festive flavours, or mixing it up with a different vibe like Jamie’s roast chicken margherita with giant stuffed gnocchi or a Mediterranean-style pot roast


Veggie options for Christmas Day can be just as much of a show-stopper as the meat, or even more so. It’s all about celebrating those seasonal veg stars and giving them the right amount of love and attention in the kitchen. So, whether you’re a seasoned vegetarian looking for fresh inspiration, or you just fancy serving up something a bit different this year, we’ve got loads of lovely recipes to keep things exciting this Christmas.


Need some vegan inspo? We’ve got brilliant recipes that are guaranteed to impress your guests. Looking for something traditional? Jamie’s Vegan nut roast is bursting with festive flavours. Or for exciting new centrepieces, we love the Baked squash or Vegan mushroom, chestnut & cranberry tart. Those making a vegan festive feast, check out our delicious how-to guide.


Roast pork is a favourite to serve at Christmas. We have the classic Pork belly roast, complete with perfect crunchy crackling; or perhaps you fancy something fruity, like our Pear-roasted pork loin joint, which will have your guests clamouring for seconds. But for the ultimate festive pork recipe, you need Gennaro’s stuffed porchetta on your table. Believe the hype!


Goose is actually the original festive bird, and has a gorgeously rich flavour, tasting like a cross between chicken and duck. It’s beautiful when flavoured with spices, and Jamie’s Spiced roast goose recipe ensures great results every time. If you can get your hands on a British bird, that’s ideal.


With enough flavoursome fat to make the best roast potatoes, duck is another incredible bird to swap in for turkey. Its rich flavour marries incredibly well with festive spices and citrus. Roast duck with Marsala gravy is ideal for the Big Day, while Jamie’s Roast duck with pancakes is perfect for a Twixmas get-together. 


Perhaps not the most traditional choice, but a good cut of lamb can make an incredible centrepiece for your Christmas dinner. From a gnarly Balsamic lamb shoulder to a delicious Rack of lamb, there are so many tasty ways to cook it. If you don’t know which cut will work best for your recipe, check out our best-cut guide.


Venison has a beautifully rich taste, which goes well with autumnal flavours like mushroom, horseradish and root vegetables. As Jamie says: “Venison is delicious, full of flavour and it’s nutritious!” Ask your butcher for the best cut they have, whether farmed or wild, then cook it with care to ensure a succulent meat.