Roast Dinner

Christmas Dinner Recipes + Bonus Tips!

December 17, 2020 (Last Updated: December 17, 2021) by Chris Collins

Here I’ll show you some extra delicious dishes to serve this Christmas, alongside some bonus tips to make the big day go as smoothly as possible!

I know you’re probably sick of hearing people tell you they’re going to make your Christmas an absolute breeze. I know I am 😂 Look I’ll level with you here. If you’re cooking this Christmas, stress levels will naturally rise above normal. Even if it’s just the heat from the oven. BUT, there are some ways to make things go smoother overall, which we’ll discuss today.

It’s another fairly small Christmas for us this year, but there’s still some cracking ideas for you below. Not all traditional, but when has that ever phased what I upload on this blog 😝

Christmas dinner recipes 2021 square collage thumbnail

The first thing to do when planning your menu is to categorize and prioritize your potential dishes. Below I’ve set out 5 main categories which I’ll dissect in a second:

  1. Centrepiece
  2. Potatoes
  3. Sauces
  4. Veg
  5. ‘Special’ Sides

The second thing is to prep and make ahead. Most of the dishes I’ve listed below can be prepped ahead of time, if not fully made ahead of time then reheated on the day.

Easily navigating the blog and recipes

When it comes to the blog specifically, be sure to use the save button (floating heart to your right) so you can easily access the recipe you’re after on the day. At the top of each post is a Jump To Recipe button, which will take you directly to the recipe card. Perfect for when you’re in the middle of the shops and need to quickly check the ingredients! Finally, in each recipe card you’ll be able to scale the recipe, which will automatically change the measurements for you. That function is right next to the ‘Servings’.

I’ve also just integrated a new feature in the comments section too, where you can tick a box before posting that will allow you to be notified when someone responds. This means if you’re stuck with an urgent question you won’t have to keep checking the comments section for a reply!

Below I’ll break down each category with recipes suggestions, what I am personally choosing this year and if they can be made/prepped ahead. Follow me…


Centrepiece

This year I’ve got four ideas for you. Now, this might be controversial, but a roast turkey ain’t going near our dinner table this year. There, I said it. I have done turkey in the past, but it’s not something I’m overly passionate about, so I actually don’t have a recipe for it on the blog. Instead, this year as there’s not many of us we’re going for pork tenderloin. If you’ve got a larger crowd go for more than one centrepiece!

1. Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon (my choice)

close up shot of sliced stuffed pork tenderloin on bed of roasted veg

It’s stuffed with sage and apple stuffing, and is essentially just a giant pig in a blanket, so it’s pretty festive! It looks fancy but it’s really easy to make and tastes deeeelish.

Prep Ahead – Can make up until the point of roasting. Just cover in the fridge over night, then bring to room temp and roast!

2. Garlic Herb Spatchcock Chicken

overhead shot of Spatchcock Chicken fresh out the oven

Spatchcock chicken is perfect for Christmas for a few different reasons. It’s easy, relatively quick to prepare and very quick to cook (just 45mins!). It’s foolproof and comes out tender & juicy every time.

Prep Ahead – Can make up until the point of roasting. Just cover in the fridge over night, then bring to room temp and roast!
Leftovers? – I’ve got stacks of recipes for leftover chicken, check them all out HERE.

3. Garlic Herb Baked Salmon

baked salmon wrapped in foil fresh out the oven garnished with lemon wedges

Maybe not the most traditional option, but salmon is great around Christmas time, so why not serve it as an option on the day! This salmon is beyond tasty and takes just 30mins to make!

Prep Ahead – Can make up until the point of roasting. Just cover in the fridge over night, then bring to room temp and roast!

4. Cola Slow Cooker Ham

ham on wooden board next to parsley and apple sauce

This ham is so awesome. Not just because it’s doused in cola, but because it’s mostly made in the slow cooker. That means no room taken up on the stove and no room taken up in the oven (apart from the caramelize at the end). It’s out of sight and out of mind for the most part!

Leftovers? – Perfect in my Cream Cheese Pasta on in my English Muffin Breakfast Sandwiches!

Potatoes

Potentially the most important section of a roast dinner. I split this section into two:Soft‘ and ‘Crispy‘. This year we’re picking one from each of the sections, but for a larger crowd consider 1+ from either or each section.

1. Crispy – Goose Fat Roast Potatoes (my choice)

Goose Fat Roast Potatoes with garlic and rosemary

It’s essentially illegal for me not to make Goose Fat Roast Potatoes on Christmas, and this year is no different. For other crispy potato options consider:

Scaling – All crispy potato recipes are easily scaled to fit the amount of people you’re feeding!

2. Soft – Potato Dauphinoise (my choice)

overhead shot of dauphinoise potatoes being scooped out of baking dish

The unsung hero among potato side dishes is Potato Dauphinoise. It’s not the most traditional option, but it works incredibly well as part of a roast dinner. Other soft potato recipes to consider are:

Scaling – All soft potato recipes are easily scaled to fit the amount of people you’re feeding!
Prep/Make Ahead – All soft potato recipes can be prepped ahead of time and reheated on the day.

Sauces

Same as the potatoes, I distinguish two different categories: ‘Gravy‘ and ‘Side Sauces‘. This year I’ll be doing one from each section, just because they’re so easy to make ahead of time and I hate a dry roast dinner. For a larger crowd consider at least 1 from each section.

1. Gravy – All Purpose Gravy (my choice)

pouring gravy over sausages on mashed potato in white bow

This goes great with both chicken, turkey and even pork. Better still, you don’t need drippings to make it! If you’re looking for a second option consider my Red Wine Onion Gravy.

Scaling – Both gravy recipes are easy to scale.
Prep/Make Ahead – Neither use meat drippings, meaning both are PERFECT to make ahead of time!

2. Side Sauces – Apple Sauce (my choice)

apple sauce in small white pot surround by apples and lemon

Because we’re having pork this year! For other side sauce ideas consider my:

Scaling – All my side sauces are easy to scale.
Prep/Make Ahead – All are perfect to make ahead of time.

Vegetables

Again, I like to split this section in two: ‘Cheesy Veg‘ and ‘Easy Veg‘. This year we’re having 1 cheesy veg and potentially 1 easy veg. For larger crowds consider at least one of each.

1. Cheesy Veg – Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese (my choice)

Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese fresh out the oven

A classic here in this house and always a must have. For something similar consider my Cheesy Baked Leeks. For something still cheesy but not of the saucy variety consider these:

Scaling – All cheesy veg recipes are easy to scale.
Prep/Make Ahead – Easy to prep or completely make ahead of time. Reheat in the oven.

2. Easy VegRoasted Parsnips (my choice)

overhead shot of roasted parsnips served on small white plate garnished with fresh rosemary and garlic

These go perfectly with all roast meats! For another delicious veg side consider my Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots or Garlic Green Beans.

Scaling – All easy veg recipes are easy to scale.
Prep/Make Ahead – Perfect to make ahead of time then reheat before serving. Yes the microwave is allowed on Christmas (apart from the parsnips, you’ll need to roast again to retain the crispiness 😇)

‘Special’ Sides

Last but not least, consider some ‘special’ sides. This year we’re doing two, but for larger crowds consider 2+.

1. Classic Pigs in Blankets (my choice)

Roasted Pigs in Blankets fresh out the oven

 For a funky twist on these piggies consider my Giant Pigs in Blankets or Honey Bourbon Pigs in Blankets!

2. Yorkshire Puddings (my choice)

Best Yorkshire Pudding risen out the pan

What is a roast dinner without Yorkshire Puddings?! The only side we’re missing out this year which we normally include is Sausage Stuffing Balls, just because we’ve stuffing in the pork.

Scaling – All special sides can be easily scaled.
Prep/Make Ahead – All of them can be fully made ahead of time and reheated in the oven!

And there we have it! To conclude, I recommend preparing as much as you can before Christmas day and just focus on reheating. I also recommend prioritising what dishes you’re going to make and consider how many you’re feeding. Here I’ve broken a roast dinner into the following sections:

  1. Centrepiece
  2. Potatoes (crispy and soft)
  3. Sauces (gravy and side sauces)
  4. Veg (cheesy and easy)
  5. Special Sides

Also remember to save the recipes using the floating heart to the side of the screen and use the sliding scale in all recipe cards so you get the quantities just right. If you need any advice or help ahead of time be sure to comment on the specific recipe and I’ll get back to you asap. Most importantly, be sure to let me know how you get on afterwards!

Okay, that’s all from me. Happy Christmas!!!

Chris xx

COMFORT FOOD DINNERS

YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING

A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER

5 FOOLPROOF

Leave a Reply

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Scrivener Debbie
    December 20, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Looks lovely but can you do tips on cooking parsnips please ? Love your recipes x

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      December 21, 2020 at 10:26 am

      Parsnips were totally on my list this year but I ran out of time!! I always cook mine in the same tray as the meat, just so they absorb all those gorgeous juices.

    5 FOOLPROOF

    COMFORT FOOD DINNERS

    YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING

    FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER