The festive season is here, and with the big day fast approaching it’s time to decide what you’ll be tucking into on Christmas Day. Whether you’re keeping the numbers tight this year or your three-household bubble means you’ll be feeding a small crowd, we have loads of flexible recipe ideas to get you in the mood.
Think easy starters and alternative main courses, sides that are worth it for the leftovers alone, and mouth-watering puds that’ll leave you with a big old smile on your face. Let’s get cooking!
Party forks are a brilliantly flexible and easy way to serve up delicious morsels to your guests. Whether it’s Prosciutto & rocket, Fig & mozzarella, or a tasty combo of your own, simply skewer up ready to enjoy, however many people you’re serving.
Go down the seafood route for more options that are easy to scale up or down. These pretty platefuls of Smoked salmon use just five ingredients, proving all you need for the perfect mouthful is a few faithful flavour friends. Seafood cocktail is another easily scalable triumph, and Jamie’s potted shrimp and crab pots are simple to make and easy to halve for a party of four.
A batch of seasonal Baked figs can be piled on bruschetta or simply paired with a piece of good cheese. Leftovers can be preserved in honey, gifted, or, of course, you can make a smaller batch.
THE MAIN EVENT
Let’s be honest, for some of us turkey is non-negotiable. So, Jamie has come up with a fantastic way to make your Christmas Day dinner more flexible, splitting the bird into two separate dishes with his Easy turkey – 2 ways. Use this recipe as a principle, whatever size your bird is – stuff the legs, which can be saved or even frozen for another day, and celebrate the crown.
If you’ve missed the boat on turkey, or are feeding four or less, look no further than the humble roast chicken. Teamed with some classic festive flavours, it’s sure to hit the spot. Try it packed with mixed mushroom stuffing, or keep it simple with Jamie’s Perfect roast chicken and let the sides do the talking. We’ve even got a roast bird for two with a beautiful pear, chestnut and chicken liver stuffing – feeding less people doesn’t mean compromising on flavour, and this one gives you epic leftovers, too.
For the ultimate in special occasion centrepieces, let a beautiful blushing Beef Wellington take centrestage. This is luxurious comfort food at its best, and Christmas Day might just be the perfect excuse to splurge on this prime cut. Whether you’re a party of six or a happy duo, we’ve got you covered. And the veggies needn’t miss out either – try this Mushroom and squash version for eight lucky people. It might be a labour of love but it’s well worth it.
Jamie’s go-to veggie bake is this satisfying stuffed squash recipe, which feeds six as a main or more as a side. It’s a megamix of festive flavours, all wrapped up in sweet, soft roasted squash.
If cheesy and oozy is your thing, dive into Jamie’s Merry mac ‘n’ cauli cheese. This whole cauliflower is surrounded by creamy macaroni and cheese. The ultimate side or a great alternative main, you just know those leftovers are going to be good.
Hero-ing frozen veg, this irresistible Creamed spinach with a cheesy crumble topping – yes, you heard it – is hard to beat. The quants are easy to halve for a smaller bake, and leftovers will be a joy with eggs or on pizza.
On the root-veg front, Jamie’s easy twists are all easy to halve, quarter or double up. Try his Roasted parsnips with honey and bay, Clementine roasted carrots and – one of the Christmas Day pillars – Best roast potatoes with garlic and sage. Or, save yourself some oven space with this simple recipe for all three, serving six.
Anything you can get ahead with is a winner come Christmas, and this chocolate-orange spiked Tiramisu is just the ticket. It freezes well, so why not make two smaller ones, or divide between several dishes, keeping the excess stashed away for a future treat. Try a variation on this old-school Tangerine & chocolate platter. It’s a great principle – simply bring together a handful of delicious ingredients and assemble with care.
Keep things easy with this five-ingredient take on Rum ‘n’ raisin. With a cheeky crumbling of ginger nuts and the option of flaming it for a bit of theatre, it’s perfect whatever size your Christmas party is.
And if you’ve run out of time after all your other prep, don’t worry, we’ve got a round-up of last-minute sweet treats you can call on.
For more tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration, our Christmas hub will serve you well. Whoever you’re with, let’s make this Christmas one to remember.