Nothing connects people over the festive season quite like a holiday meal. The nostalgic scents, comforting flavors and nuanced textures are intertwined with various traditions and celebrations, creating the perfect Christmas experience.
Whether you spend hours preparing your Christmas feast or you prefer to whip your meal together in minutes, these recipes will help you capture the essence of Christmas and can be worked into any form of celebration.
Many would argue that ham for Christmas is a non-negotiable — a Christmas feast staple. So, what better way to start off the list than with a unique take on the traditional Christmas ham, with all the warm spices and umami flavor? This recipe is perfect for a dinner centerpiece while also providing enough for a midnight snack or leftovers the next day.
Ingredients for the Ham
- 1 medium to large unsmoked middle-cut gammon with the knuckle
- A few sprigs of festive herbs, such as rosemary and thyme
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 white onion
- 2-3 large cloves of garlic
- ½ a fresh red chili
- 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
- Good-quality olive oil
Ingredients for the Glaze
- 16 ounces of orange marmalade without the peel
- ½ or 1 cup of full-bodied red wine
- 1 star anise
- A few cloves, some extra for decoration
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 clementine
- 8-10 canned pineapple rings
How To Prepare
- Take the meat out of the fridge and bring it up to room temperature before cooking it.
- Place the gammon in a large pot.
- Strip the forest herbs, roughly chop the celery and carrots, peel and quarter the onion and the garlic cloves, then add it to a pot with the chili, bay and peppercorns.
- Cover with water and bring to a boil. Put the lid on and simmer gently for two hours or until the meat is tender. Turn it halfway, topping up with water if necessary and skimming away any excess fat.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Transfer the gammon to a roasting tray, keeping some stock for later. Carefully remove the skin, but keep the fat on the meat. Take a sharp knife, score the fat in a criss-cross fashion and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast the ham for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- While the ham is cooking, spoon the marmalade into a non-stick saucepan on medium heat, pour in the red wine and bring to a simmer, stirring every so often.
- Add the spices and the zest of a clementine and pour in the canned pineapple juice, saving the fruit for later. Allow the sauce to simmer, reduce it by half and switch it off. By then, the sauce should be thick and syrupy.
- Take the ham out of the oven and arrange the pineapple rings over the meat, securing them with the cloves. Pour some glaze over the meat.
- Before placing the gammon back in the oven, spoon half a ladleful of the gammon stock into the tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until shiny, basting with the remaining glaze for 5 minutes.
- Once glazed and polished, the gammon is ready to serve.
There is no need to have your vegan guests survive on sides at Christmas dinner. The whole troupe can enjoy this show-stopping vegan tart. The deep coloring of the beetroot and flaky pastry is perfect for a cozy Christmas Eve party.
Ingredients for the Tarte Tatin
- 14 ounces beetroot, cut into wedges
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar
- A couple of star anises
- Flour for dusting and rolling
- 17 ounces prepared puff pastry
- Zest of 1 orange
- Arugula salad to serve
How To Prepare
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix the beetroot and onion in 2 tablespoons of oil, vinegar and sugar and the star anise in a bowl.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Layer the base of the pan with the beetroot and onion. Cover the pan with foil and roast in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Roll the pastry thinner than an inch on a well-floured surface.
- Take the pan out of the oven and remove the foil. Place the rolled pastry on the vegetables, tucking in the edges. Score the pastry with an X to allow for ventilation.
- Place the pan back in the oven and bake for a further 35 minutes or until the pastry is puffy and golden.
- Loosen the pastry with a knife, then flip the pan over to turn the tart onto the serving plate. Once the tart is pastry side down onto the plate, top with orange zest and serve with a peppery salad.
If you’re looking for a quick, simple idea for a last-minute addition to any festive function, look no further than this Christmas chicken recipe — perfectly tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 cup of sour cream
- A dash of lemon juice to taste
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon of celery salt
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
- 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1 cup of crushed croutons or panko bread crumbs
How To Prepare
- Place the chicken in a large shallow dish. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Mix well, pour over and coat the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking tray using half the oil and butter. Place the chicken breasts and cover them with the crumbs. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Halfway through, drizzle the remaining butter and oil on the chicken. Once golden and crispy, remove and serve with salad and potatoes.
An accompanying drink takes your festive meal to new heights. You won’t even miss the alcohol with this spicy, non-alcoholic Christmas drink recipe. Of course, you can add alcohol if you wish to. Vodka or whiskey works well with warm spices and wintery citrus.
- 4 medium blood oranges
- 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- ½ cup of soft, brown sugar
- ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
- Club soda for serving
How To Prepare
- Zest the blood oranges in broad stripes. Set half the zest aside for decoration. Juice the oranges and run the juice through a fine sieve to produce 1 cup of liquid. Set aside.
- Bring the ginger, cinnamon stick, cloves, sugar, zest and 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook and occasionally stir until sugar is dissolved and the mixture has reduced by half. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool. Once cool, strain the syrup through a sieve into a measuring glass.
- Combine the vinegar, blood orange juice and syrup. Taste the shrub — it should be a well-balanced sweet-and-sour flavor.
- To serve, pour 3 tablespoons of shrub into an ice-filled glass. Top off with 4-5 ounces of club soda and stir gently. Garnish with the remaining zest.
A sleek spin on a timeless classic is a beautiful way to end an evening. The dessert is perfect for Christmas, not too heavy and not too sweet, especially after the rich meals that usually precede dessert. This Christmas recipe is too good not to share. If you are looking for more child-friendly desserts, Christmas Rice Krispie Treats or Jell-O recipes are also great options.
- 6 small pears, peeled
- 2 cups of maple syrup
- 1 medium piece ginger, sliced
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 ½ cups of caster sugar
- 6 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon of white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of cornflour
- 2 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 17 ounces of sour cream
- 1 tablespoon of sifted icing sugar
How To Prepare
- Place pears, maple syrup, ginger, bay leaves and 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 45 minutes or until tender.
- Remove the pears. Discard half of the liquid, keeping the bay leaves and ginger. Boil the remaining liquid, bay leaves and ginger until thick and syrupy. Cool completely and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 320 F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place egg whites and caster sugar into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk on medium speed for 10 minutes until thick and glossy. Take some mixture between your fingers to check if the sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, fold through vinegar, cornflour and 2 teaspoons of cocoa until well mixed.
- Spread the meringue mixture on the prepared tray.
- Place the pavlova into the oven and reduce the heat to 250 F. Bake for 1 hour or until crisp and dry. Once baked, turn the oven off and cool the meringue in the oven with the door ajar until completely cooled.
- Combine sour cream, icing sugar and the remaining cocoa in a bowl and spread over the pavlova. Halve and arrange the pears over the top. Drizzle the maple syrup mixture over the top to finish it off.
Your Christmas Recipes Covered
There is something for everyone with these five Christmas recipes. The meals are colorful, delicious and varied. What’s more, the recipes are simple to follow — the perfect combination for any Christmas recipe!