The alternative Christmas dinner

inA turkey is as festive as Only Fools and Horses re-runs and the two-week school holiday, but it also takes a considerable amount of effort. After all, the bird can take up to six hours in the oven, not to mention preparing all the trimmings, which can often leave you chained to the hob – rather than relaxing with the family.

So, for a slightly less cooking-intensive Christmas, what alternatives can you make instead that are guaranteed to please the kids and grown-ups alike?


Nigella Lawson recommends a seafood pot, typically eaten across Europe on Christmas Eve. Beautifully simple, it takes less than an hour to prepare from start to finish, giving you time to have a glass of wine – or assemble your child’s toy from a challenging instruction manual!


Vegetarians can sometimes feel a bit left out at Christmas, with all the emphasis on big, meaty, traditional family meals. Occasionally it might be worthwhile to make the switch for one day, so that all the family can enjoy the same dinner. The Vegetarian Society has created this Not Just a Nut Roast dish for just such occasions, made from delicious basmati rice, halloumi cheese and olives. As an extra bonus, it will keep for 2-3 days, so you could even prepare it a couple of days before Christmas itself, leaving you more time to relax on the day.


Christmas pudding is a perennial classic, but if you’d like to freshen up your menu with something slightly more adventurous, try Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Pud Sundae. With fresh fruit and ice cream, it’s much lighter than its traditional counterpart – just what you need after a big dinner.

Of course, the only problem with having so much delicious food is finding a place to store it all. If your fridge-freezer is a bit too small for the job, why not upgrade? Littlewoods have a great collection of fridge freezers on finance, which means you can buy now and pay later, spreading the cost over up to three years – so there’s no need to cut back on Christmas!

[Note: This post is brought to you by Littlewoods]


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