We’re hosting Christmas Dinner this year for the first time in a long time. And all I can remember from previous years is hubby and I being stuck in the kitchen from the early hours of the morning, swapping things in and out of the oven, and not spending any time with our family.
Christmas Day is meant to be a time for family and relaxation, not running around in a hot kitchen getting stressed because you can’t fit everything in the oven or you suddenly don’t have enough baking trays!
Which is why this year we’re going to do things a little different, and have a make ahead Christmas Dinner. I’ve found some fabulous recipes that you can make ahead days or even weeks ahead of time. You can even make ahead the turkey, by roasting it on Christmas Eve and just reheating on the day, and no one will ever tell the difference.
Here are the recipes I’ve found so you can have a stress free Christmas too. Well where cooking dinner is concerned anyway, I can’t guarantee your family will behave themselves!
Make Ahead Christmas Dinner: 8 Recipes You Can Make in Advance
- Make ahead Christmas starter: Prawn Cocktails with Lime and Chilli – This make ahead Prawn Cocktail is super simple to put together and the South East Asian flavours make it a step above your traditional gloopy pink sludge.
- Make Ahead Smoked Salmon & Avocado Terrines – If you prefer salmon over prawns you need to take a look at this amazing smoked salmon terrine. Your guests will be amazed, and all you need to do on Christmas Day is take them out of the fridge and pop them on the plate.
- Make-Ahead Roast Turkey and Gravy – The one thing I hate the most on Christmas day is roasting the turkey. It takes so long and you have to keep taking other things in and out of the oven. And then when you try and slice it it all falls to pieces. Which is why this method looks so much easier. Roast the turkey on Christmas Eve, and then just reheat it for 20 minutes on Christmas Day! It’s genius right?
- Make-ahead Stuffing – I prefer to make and serve stuffing separately to the turkey because not everyone in my family likes it. This recipe is perfect for a make-ahead Christmas because you can do it the weekend before and pop it in the freezer. Just make sure you remember to get it out to defrost!
- Make Ahead Sausages Wrapped in Bacon – These are an absolute must for our Christmas Dinner, and I always make twice as many as I think we’ll need because people can’t eat them quick enough. This Mary Berry recipe is great because you can prepare everything ahead of time and then just pop them in the oven for half an hour.
- Extra Crunchy Make-Ahead Roast Potatoes – My hubby loves a good roast potato, he probably has third or even fourth helpings. This recipe is brilliant because not only does it produce nice and crunchy roasties, you can make them up to a month ahead of time (like now) pop them in the freezer, and then roast them from frozen on Christmas Day!
- Make Ahead Buttered Sprouts with Pancetta – Brussel sprouts are like Marmite, you either love them or you hate them. But the good news is you can make them ahead of time and then pop them in the microwave for about 4 minutes when you’re ready to serve them up.
- Make Ahead Mince Pies – These tasty mince pies can be made ahead and frozen. Then just pop them in the freezer and cook from frozen for fresh from the oven deliciousness!
Preparing Your Kitchen
Make ahead menus are a great way to cut down on the stress of cooking on Christmas Day, but these fabulous kitchen tools can help make things even easier.
Carve your turkey like a pro with this carving knife set!
- Sturdy roasting pan – you’ll need a deep roasting pan to cook that turkey and this pan is a great choice because it’s perfect for cooking lasagne and other casseroles the rest of the year. Oh and it comes with a plastic lid too so you can leave the leftovers right there in the pan. If there are any leftovers of course!
- Professional carving set – there’s no point spending hours fussing over the turkey to make sure it tastes delicious if you then try and hack it up with an old carving knife. Treat your husband to a professional set like this one so he can serve up beautiful slices of turkey.
- Microwave safe baking dishes – a must have for baking your side dishes, this set from Pyrex is brilliant because not only do the dishes have lids there’s also a handled carrier which is perfect for taking dishes to a pot luck dinner.
- Stainless steel turkey baster – for keeping your turkey nice and moist while it’s baking. It is so much easier to use a baster than a spoon!
- Turkey thermometer – if like me you worry about serving an undercooked turkey this is a must have investment for your Thanksgiving dinner preparations.
- Carving board with a trench – I never really understood why my wooden carving board had a trench around the edge until I tried to carve a turkey on my flat plastic one, and all the juices ran off on to the counter!
Have a very Merry Christmas!
~Clare, currently pinning to Christmas Recipes