Ensure the whole table stays happy on Christmas Day with these delicious alternatives to traditional turkey. Perfect for guests with slightly trickier dietary requirements, or for those who simply want to opt out of the usual roasted bird and all the trimmings, these favourites will keep pescatarians, veggies and vegans full of food (and good cheer) and will still look (and taste) showstopping on your perfectly dressed Christmas table.
(Image: BBC Good Food)
For pescatarians: salmon Wellington
Try a salmon dish as a lighter alternative to a traditional roast. Usually reserved for light Summer lunches, the pastry element of this salmon Wellington ensures that you won’t lose the warming, Wintry comfort of a roast dinner. Simply present on our Large Serving Board for that guaranteed wow factor.
Add an extra festive touch by cutting holly leaves out of any leftover pastry and placing them on top.
2 medium cucumbers, peeled
5 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
50g fresh dill, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 380g ready-made puff pastry sheet
Plain flour, for dusting
1 x 2.8kg salmon, skin removed and filleted into 2 pieces
1 free-range egg, beaten, combined with a little milk
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
- Slice the cucumbers lengthways, scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon, and chop into 1cm thick pieces.
- Place the cucumbers in a mixing bowl with the mustard, honey, vinegar and finely chopped dill. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
- Roll the pastry out to roughly 40cm x 30cm on a lightly floured surface. Lay on the lined baking tray.
- Position one fillet in the centre of the pastry, pile half of the filling on top and then cover with the second fillet.
- Brush the edges of the pastry with the mixture of milk and beaten egg.
- Fold the pastry over the fish, sealing the edges by pressing them together, leaving a gap in the centre, so you can see inside.
- Brush the pastry with more beaten egg and milk and bake for 45 minutes.
- Serve with the remaining cucumber mixture.
(Image: Good Housekeeping)
For vegetarians: mushroom & cranberry nut roast
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without cranberry sauce – just because you are opting out of turkey doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the trimmings. This Good HouseKeeping recipe gives us the excitement of an alternative Christmas dinner, but uses many of the ingredients you know and love.
15g dried wild mushrooms
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
125g mixed mushrooms, such as chestnut or Portobello, finely chopped
100g risotto rice
100ml Noilly Prat vermouth or dry white wine
500-600ml hot vegetable stock
75g fresh breadcrumbs
50g each blanched almonds and pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
125g mature cheddar, grated
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tbsp each thyme leaves and curly parsley
200g fresh cranberries
1 tbsp cranberry sauce
- Put the dried mushrooms into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 20 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a large pan and gently fry the onion and celery for 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
- Drain mushrooms and keep 150ml of the soaking liquid, disposing of any grit. Chop and add to the pan with the fresh mushrooms. Cook for five minutes, stirring often.
- Stir in the rice and cook for one minute. Slowly add the Noilly Prat and bubble until almost evaporated, then add the mushroom liquid. Once the liquid has almost disappeared, add a ladleful of stock and simmer until absorbed. Keep adding a ladleful at a time, until the rice is tender – about 20-25 minutes. Put in a bowl to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 4. Stir the remaining ingredients, except the fresh cranberries and sauce, into the mushroom mixture. Put the fresh cranberries into the base of an oiled 18cm x 12cm x 8cm ovenproof dish or loaf tin, then tip in the mushroom mixture. Pack down firmly. Cover with foil and bake for one hour, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the cranberry sauce with one tablespoon of water, then push through a sieve. Carefully turn out the nut roast on to a platter and brush with the cranberry glaze. Garnish with fresh bay leaves.
(Image: BBC Good Food)
For vegans: Christmas wreath
Christmas can be a difficult time to navigate if you are vegan, (or need to cater for a vegan) over the festive period. This delectable Christmas wreath, packed with pine nuts, spinach and tofu offers a great solution to a meat-free Christmas, without compromising in flavour. Plate up using our heart shaped dinner plates and make your Christmas dinner that little bit more special.
250g silken tofu
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
50g pine nuts, toasted
Generous grating nutmeg
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
1 small pack dill, ¾ leaves chopped, ¼ fronds reserved for decorating
1 tbsp sour cherries
½ tbsp dried cranberries, plus a few extra
Flour for rolling
500g block shortcrust pastry (we used vegan Jus-Rol)
Almond milk, for brushing
- Put the spinach in a colander, then pour over a kettle of boiling water and leave to wilt. Once cool, wring out the excess moisture using a clean tea towel, then chop the spinach and put in a large bowl. Stir in the tofu, oil, pine nuts, nutmeg, garlic, lemon zest, chopped dill and fruit until well combined, season generously and set aside.
- On a well-floured surface, roll the pastry out into roughly a 60cm x 20cm rectangle. Leaving a 1cm border, spoon the spinach mixture along the length of the pastry, leaving a 2cm gap at both short ends. Fold in the two short ends to stop any of the filling coming out, then roll the pastry away from you to enclose the filling and create a long sausage shape. Join the two ends together to create a wreath shape and stick together with a little almond milk. Transfer the wreath to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and chill for 20 minutes. The wreath can be made up to this point a day in advance and kept covered in the fridge.
- Heat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Using a sharp knife, cut slashes across the top of the wreath. Mix a little almond milk with some olive oil (this will help the pastry colour) and brush all over the wreath. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool for five minutes, then transfer to a board and decorate with the reserved dill fronds and some dried cranberries.