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Our Top Christmas Dinner Ideas Without Turkey

19 Sep 2022 by Liz Tod

Read time: 6 mins.

Entertaining this Christmas and needing some ideas?

We’ve hand-picked for you three easy Christmas recipes that don’t involve turkey!

But first, some fun facts about Christmas food:

  • The average Brit consumes over 5000 calories on Christmas Day alone
  • Turkey and roast potatoes are the most popular foods at Christmas
  • We each eat an average of 27 mince pies every year
  • It was once illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day, banned by Oliver Cromwell in the 1650’s
  • Turkeys can run 25 miles per hour


Now here are our top Christmas recipes for something a little different this year:


Christmas recipe 1: Pork loin with herb stuffing

Courtesy of Jamie Oliver, we’ve chosen this because it’s easy, delicious and we love Jamie Oliver’s family-style meals. Perfect for a family Christmas!

An easy recipe, the only fiddly bit is using a pestle and mortar.

A tasty alternative to turkey.

Oven temp 200’ C or gas Mark 6. Preheat.



  • ½ a pork loin, (preferably the rib end), skin on, bone out
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3 heaped tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 500 g sourdough or rustic bread
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh sage
  • olive oil
  • 1 handful of pine nuts
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  • Score the pork skin with a sharp knife at 1cm intervals, and roughly 1cm deep.
  • Pick the rosemary leaves into a pestle and mortar, add the fennel seeds and 1 tablespoon of sea salt, then bash to a dry paste. Rub into the score marks on the pork.
  • Slice up the bread, and toast until golden. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the onions and garlic, and pick and roughly tear the sage leaves.
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a pan over a medium heat, add the onions, garlic, sage and pine nuts and cook for 10 minutes, or until sweet and soft.
  • Season with salt and black pepper, add the balsamic vinegar, then transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  • Rip the toasted bread into the bowl, then scrunch everything together really well. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Leave to cool.
  • Insert a knife into the eye meat of the pork loin and make a pocket for the stuffing.
  • Pack in the stuffing, then roll the pork over and tie it with butcher’s string to secure.
  • Place the pork in a roasting tray and roast for 1 hour, or until golden, crisp and perfectly cooked.

Rosemary brings a festive fragrance and scent to this dish and can be used for decoration. Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash.


Christmas recipe 2: Herby slow-roasted chicken

BBC Good Food’s slow roasted chicken is a brilliant alternative to roast turkey.

The chicken needs to be marinated overnight but don’t be put off, this is a simple dish and the herby smell is so Christmassy!

Oven temp 140’C or gas mark 1. Preheat.



  • 2 small garlic bulbs, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 1 large bunch of rosemary
  • 1 large bunch of lemon thyme
  • 1 large bunch of sage
  • 1 large bunch of bay leaves
  • 2 small lemons, zested
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium chicken 
  • 400g carrot, halved
  • 500g baby new potatoes, halved
  • 2 medium red onions, cut into wedges
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 150ml white wine


  • Roughly crush the garlic cloves and herbs (a rolling pin or meat mallet is good for this), then put in a large food bag or dish with the lemon zest, oil and chicken.
  • Rub everything into the chicken, inside and out. Leave to marinate overnight.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 mins before you want to cook it. Put the vegetables in a large roasting tin and top with the chicken. Scatter the herbs and garlic from the marinade over, around and inside the bird.
  • Push the 2 lemons inside the chicken too, halving to fit if necessary. Rub the butter all over the skin and season generously.
  • Pour the wine into the tin with 150ml water, cover tightly with foil (so it doesn’t touch the top of the bird) and cook for 2 hrs. Remove the foil and continue cooking for 1 hr more, or until the chicken is cooked and the juices run clear.
  • Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7 and roast for 25-30 mins more until the skin is really crisp.
  • Lift the chicken from the tin to rest on a plate for 30 mins, covered again with the foil.
  • Meanwhile, put the roasting tin on the hob and bubble to reduce the cooking juices a little. Add any juices from the rested chicken and season to taste. Serve the chicken alongside the buttery veg.


Don’t fancy turkey this year? Try a roast chicken Christmas dinner instead. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash.


Christmas recipe 3: Miso-glazed roast ham

We’ve chosen another BBC Good Food recipe because it’s perfect for Christmas cooking. To us the best Christmas dinner recipes are hassle free, delicious and a crowd pleaser. And this recipe is just that.

This recipe requires a little more effort but it is still simple and straightforward.

Oven temp 180’C or gas mark 4. Preheat.



  • 1 uncooked ham, on the bone (about 5-6 kg)
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • small pack thyme
  • small pack parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

For the glaze

  • 90g demerara sugar
  • 50ml cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp dark miso paste
  • 3 tbsp heather (or any regular) honey
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice


  • Sit the ham in a large roasting tin and scatter all the veg, herbs and spices around it. Pour over 750ml boiling water, then cover with a couple of layers of extra-wide foil, sealing around the edges of the tin to make a tent that will trap the steam.
  • Roast for 4 hrs, reducing the temperature to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3 halfway through. Remove the foil, then leave the ham to rest in the tin for at least 30 mins or until it is cool enough to handle.
  • Meanwhile, tip all the glaze ingredients into a small pan and bring to a simmer, stirring until everything is mixed. Set aside.
  • Reheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lift the ham into a clean roasting tin – reserve the stock for soup. Cut off the skin, leaving a layer of fat all over, then use a knife to score the fat with a diamond criss-cross pattern.
  • Roast for 10 mins to allow some of the fat to render, then use a pastry brush to paint the ham evenly with the glaze. Roast the ham for 15 mins more, then add a second layer of glaze and roast for another 15 mins until sticky and caramelised.
  • Rest the ham for another 30 mins before serving in thick slices. You should have leftovers to enjoy cold over the next few days.
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Ham has been a popular Christmas dish since the 1960s. Photo by Tim Sackton via flickr.


Are you going to give one of these top Christmas dinner recipes a go? We’d love to hear how you get on, if so!

And if you’re still looking for Christmas present ideas, why not take a look at our range?


Oh and before you go did you know an average 80g portion of brussel sprouts contains about 4 x more vitamin C than an orange?!  Great news for us sprout lovers!