10 Twists on the Traditional Christmas Dinner

We’re all familiar with the traditional Christmas dinner. Essentially it’s a dressed up Sunday roast with turkey and a few extra trimmings or it may be a ham or duck but the basics are nearly always the same. If you are interested in shaking up your Christmas traditions, why not try something different this year? Indeed, you may not be so keen on having to force down mouthfuls of dry turkey meat whilst wearing a silly paper hat and facing the tensions that can come of any family gathering so it may be enough to want to break some rules this Christmas!

I’ve gathered up a few alternative Christmas dinners you may want to consider instead. Sure, you can fight off the crowds at your local supermarket for the very last frozen turkey, but you’ll probably agree that sometimes, bucking tradition is not such a bad thing.

Grilled Lobster

Grilled-lobster-Alternative Christmas dinner

A real treat on any occasion,¬†lobster gets gussied up for the Christmas table in this recipe over on Tesco Real Food. Succulent and sweet, it’s a dinner perfect when it’s shared with an intimate gathering.

Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

Your beef roast has never been so succulent and juicy when it’s wrapped up in a light and crispy flakey pastry. While it looks impressive on the Christmas table, it’s actually not that difficult to achieve. This Gordon Ramsey recipe will take you through all the steps.

Turkey and Ham Pie

turkey and ham pie

Of course, you can have turkey or ham but why not combine them with cranberries for a show-stopping Christmas treat? Oh yes, here’s one dish that serves up all the flavours of Christmas hugged by a flaky crust. Check out The Hairy Bikers recipe to find out how to make it.

Chicken Tagine with Spiced Brussel Sprouts

chicken tagine with spiced brussels and feta

Well, we all know you can’t have Christmas dinner without brussel sprouts but why not skip the soggy boiled kind and go for the ones that are lightly spiced alongside a wealth of Moroccan flavours? Check out Joe Wickes’ recipe on Red Online.


succulent braised venison

This is not something you may immediately think of for the Christmas table but this Scottish dish is beautiful when cooked slowly, developing an earthy sweetness as the flavours develop. Check out BBC Good Food for the recipe by Nick Nairn.

Stuffed Roast Pork


Who says turkeys are the only meat you can stuff? Also known as ‘the other white meat’, pork can actually be a fantastic addition to your Christmas dinner with the inclusion here of cous cous and sweet baked apples. Check out the recipe on Taste.com.

Honey-Glazed Shallot Tarte Tatin


The perfect alternative to nut roast at Christmas, this vegetarian tart is full of deliciously buttery fried shallots with honey and balsamic vinegar. It’s as indulgent as it looks and you can be sure the meat-eaters at your table are going to be vying for a slice as well. The recipe is on Red Online.

Apple Brandy Glazed Ham

Calvados and honey glazed ham with baked apples and parsnips

Take your ham to the next level with the inclusion of Calvados – an apple brandy that will seep into the meat to create an extra dimension of flavour. It’s a twist on tradition using those old favourites – parsnips and carrots – but this is a Christmas dinner that will have everyone going back for seconds. You can see the recipe on Tesco Real Food.

Vegan Wellingtons

wellington vegan

Want to avoid meat altogether? There is more than just nut roast and for the vegans out there, there are these gorgeous Vegan beetroot and squash wellingtons with kale pesto on BBC Good Food that’s sure to please even the non-vegans at your table as well. Plus, it can be prepared ahead of time so more time to indulge in cracker-pulling and gift-giving!

Chinese Takeaway

chinese takeway

In China Town in New York City, those of the Jewish faith can often be seen Christmas Day indulging in noodles and rice along with some won tons and chicken chow mein at their favourite Chinese restaurants. Why not alleviate all the stresses of a Christmas dinner and try it one year? The Food Network even has a handy quiz on what your Chinese takeaway order says about you! Christmas is meant to be fun, right?

So as you can see, there are plenty of dishes out there you can be considering for your Christmas dinner other than bland turkey. Which dish will you be serving up on Christmas Day?