Christmas cooking can be daunting. The pressure to make it good, make it tasty, and just make it work is big. But there’s one easy way to take the stress out of it and that’s by planning ahead. Sorting out what you’re going to cook and when, and then prepping the dishes, is the secret to Christmas Day success.

Getting ahead with a few key dishes will save you time and reduce stress on the Big Day, so get your fridge and freezer in order, prep these festive favourites, and you’ll impress your nearest and dearest without (too) much trouble at all.

2 WEEKS

Gravy can make or break Christmas dinner – and can hide a multitude of sins! So make Jamie’s favourite, delicious Get Ahead Gravy now, then pop it in the freezer, to be reheated on the day find out more here. Your Christmas Day self will thank you for it.

 

The flavour of the festive season – and perfect for an impromptu pudding and afternoon treat. The beauty of these classic mince pies is that you can freeze them, then bake from frozen. So easy!

 

It’s not too late to make your Christmas cake – so give it a go, if you haven’t already. Jamie’s recipe is lighter than most, and perfect with a cup of tea (or a glass of your favourite festive tipple). Feed it with a little booze a couple of times, and it’ll be a real treat.  

 

1 WEEK

This Italian classic makes a great alternative to the traditional Christmas pud. Vin Santo-soaked sponge spiked with coffee, rich chocolate ganache and smooth cream, finished with grated chocolate and orange – what’s not to love? Freeze now, to defrost on Christmas Eve.

 

Start curing this beautiful gravadlax a few days before Christmas, then finish off on Christmas Eve. Then serve this magnificent Christmas starter with buttered sourdough, cucumber, sour cream and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

 

You know someone won’t be happy unless their turkey comes with a Yorkshire! For perfectly fluffy puds for your festive feast, make the batter now, freeze it, then defrost in the fridge on Christmas Eve.

 

Pigs-in-blankets are a Christmas favourite for many people. You can make them now, freeze them, then just roast from frozen on the day – talk about a festive dinner winner.

 

CHRISTMAS EVE

Make this delicious stuffing the day before, then cover with tin foil and pop in the fridge, ready to cook tomorrow while the turkey rests.

 

Prep your veggies

Getting these prepped and lined up in a tray on Christmas Eve will make Christmas morning so much more enjoyable. Get your potatoes, carrots, parsnips, red cabbage and Brussels ready, then simply cover with foil and pop in the fridge, ready to cook tomorrow. And while you’re at it, prep your turkey too.

 

This easy recipe will make the most flavourful sauce, you’ll never go back to shop-bought again. Also great to pop in sterilised jars and give as last-minute gifts. Make it now, then pop it in the fridge until tomorrow.

 

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a spot of bread sauce. Plus, it’s so simple to make, it would be rude not to! Make now, and store in the fridge overnight.

 

For those on a veggie tip, this nut roast is amazing. A mushroom risotto base with a sticky cranberry topping makes for a delicious dinner. Make it the day before (to save oven space tomorrow), pop it in the fridge, then reheat under foil on Christmas Day while the turkey rests.

 

A trifle is all the better for making it the day before – the alcohol has time to soak in, and the layers have time to settle. And this recipe is Jamie’s mum’s pride and joy, so you’re guaranteed a Christmas Day winner.

Then if you need a little help with the cooking times on Christmas Day, follow Jamie’s masterplan!