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Make-ahead Christmas menu ideas

Make-ahead Christmas menu ideas

You might not be able to roast your Christmas turkey a week in advance, but there are lots of make-ahead Christmas recipes that will help you relax and enjoy the big day.


Make and freeze

The first key to getting ahead is making and freezing - you can do this as early as November, and everything you freeze will taste freshly made.

Starter soups

Many luxurious Christmas starter soups can be made well in advance, then frozen until needed. For best results, take out of the freezer a day or two in advance, and allow to defrost in the fridge. Then simply heat up on the hob, garnish and enjoy!

• Spiced butternut squash soup
Finish with a garnish of toasted pecans and grated nutmeg

• Curried prawn bisque
Freeze before adding the prawns and cream

• Chestnut soup
This classic is easy to freeze!

• Leek and cauliflower soup
Before serving, add a dollop of creme fraiche and chopped fresh chives

• Cream of winter squash soup
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and toasted baguette

A week ahead

There are some Christmas favourites that are easily made a week in advance and will wait patiently in the fridge until you need them:

Days ahead

You can get a head start on many Christmas dinner essentials one to three days in advance.

Trimmings

Mushroom stuffing
Make this recipe through step 3, and place the casserole dish wrapped in cling film in the fridge up to a day in advance. Bake straight from the fridge, though you may need slightly longer than the 45 minutes called for.

Bacon and Brussels bake
Boil the Brussels and fry the bacon a day in advance and place in an oven-proof baking dish. Then on the day, simply make the sauce and pop in the oven.

Slow cooker glazed carrots
This recipe requires just 10 minutes preparation time! The night before Christmas dinner, chuck everything in the slow cooker and let the carrots cook on low for 7 hours. Simply reheat right before serving. Or, cook a day in advance and place in the fridge, then reheat in the slow cooker before serving.

Red cabbage
Make this sweet and sour red cabbage side dish up to two days ahead, then reheat before serving.

Make ahead mashed potatoes
Make these creamy mashed potatoes through step 4 several days in advance, then pop in the fridge. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Desserts

Besides the usual make-ahead Christmas cakes and puddings, there are many other sweet endings that can be made days in advance:

Pots de crème au chocolat
Sounds posh, but these chocolate pots are easy to make and can sit in the fridge for a day before serving. Be sure to cover well with cling flim, and top with cream and chocolate shavings, if desired, right before serving.

Orange brandy butter
Easily made a few days in advance, this luxurious brandy butter can be kept in the fridge in its serving dish until Christmas day.

Christmas ice cream bombe
Ice cream cakes are perfect make-ahead candidates, and can be made days, if not weeks, in advance. This festive recipe has a decided Christmas flavour, and guests are sure to love it!

Egg nog custard tart
Make the digestive biscuit base days in advance, then whip up the filling (made in the microwave!) on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. Chill in the fridge until serving.

For dishes made on the day

Even if you have some dishes that can't be made in advance, it's worth taking a closer look at your recipes to see what can be done ahead of time. For example, you can chop onions, celery and carrots and keep them wrapped well in the fridge for a couple of days. For last minute desserts, you can measure and combine the dry ingredients, then set them aside until you're ready to go!



Watch the video: How To Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Tasty (October 2021).