goodtoknow is here to make your Christmas cooking a little bit easier. We've found our favourite cheap, quick and easy Christmas recipes to put together a guide for what to make and when.
Weeks in advance
Christmas cakes are the best place to start if you want to get in the Christmas spirit nice and early. Christmas cakes are delicious if you make them in advance and feed it your chosen liquor gradually over the weeks leading up to Christmas. Traditionally, this is done 3 months before but don't worry if you've left it late. Mary Berry's Christmas cake is our most popular.
Christmas pudding is traditionally made on Stir-up Sunday, in late November. It's not only a great way of getting one part of Christmas sorted early, it's also a process steeped in fun family traditions. Get the whole family involved in the stirring and make a wish as you go.
Cutting back a bit on spending this year? Make some homemade food gifts for your loved ones. A big batch of jam or chutney will spread quite far - all you need is a few jars and ribbons and hey presto! Homemade Christmas chocolates and sweets are also easy to turn into food gifts but our favourite has to be easy vanilla fudge.
There are lots of elements to your Christmas food that you can make in advance and freeze. Planning a party? Make up some of our special Christmas canapes, which you can pick from our 50 quick and easy canape recipes and pop in the freezer. Mince pies can also be made in advance and frozen - you can cook them then freeze or freeze them uncooked - either way, you're saving time.
Parts of Christmas dinner can also be made in advance. Sauces, like gravy, bread sauce and cranberry sauce, Christmas soup for starters, breadcrumbs, stock and stuffing can all be frozen and defrosted on the day. See more ideas for Christmas recipes to make in advance.
Another way to get into the Christmas spirit is to do some Christmas baking. The kids will love helping make our Christmas cupcakes or pick from our easy Christmas biscuits and cookies to share round at home and work.
Before you know it, Christmas Eve will be upon us! Does your family have a special tradition for Christmas Eve? If you've got people coming over a fish pie or some Christmas ham always go down a treat, as do a nice plate of mince pies - our new puff pastry mince pies are so easy to make using just 4 ingredients. Don't forget to leave some out for Santa!
Depending on what time you have your meal, Christmas breakfast can mean different things to different people. Want to treat the family to a special breakfast to start the day (and tide the kids over for a late lunch)? Pick from our Christmas brunch ideas, including smoked salmon on English muffins and James Martin's bacon waffles.
To starter or not to starter? Christmas dinner is big enough on its own but it is nice to go all out once a year and make a special Christmas starter. Take a look at our easy Christmas starters for inspiration.
And so to the main event - Christmas dinner! One of the most important things to get right is the turkey. Thankfully, we've got this handy turkey timer to help you find out how long your turkey needs to defrost and cook for, with a guide to different sizes and timings. Don't fancy turkey? Classic roast beef, roast lamb and roast chicken are all perfect mains and if you want to try something different, a slow roast roast duck or goose is sure to make an impression. Now all you need is some extra crispy roast potatoes, your choice of Christmas veg and sides, some Yorkshire puddings and gravy.
Christmas desserts don't have to be classic Christmas cakes or puddings either and you can find more ideas in our Christmas desserts recipe collection. A handmade trifle or Gordon Ramsay's ice cream bombe is always an impressive treat and anything with chocolate is sure to go down well. Classic desserts such as tiramisu, pavlova, chocolate fondants and sticky toffee pudding can be made in advance and frozen to cut the stress on the big day.
You eat so much the day before you'll be surprised that you actually still need food for Boxing Day! A great day for getting together with the family, it's also a good way to get started on using up those leftovers. The Hairy Bikers' turkey and cranberry pie (pictured) or a classic turkey curry - these are just some of our ways with leftover turkey, but find lots more in our leftover turkey recipes. Make the most of all the lovely food still in the house with our Boxing Day recipe collection, which has all the recipes you'll need for a laidback day.