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If you're getting a bit bored of the same old Christmas turkey, we're got plenty of Christmas turkey alternatives to choose from that are just as tasty and flavoursome. Whether it's a small duck or an extra large goose, come and have a browse through some of our top recipes...
If you’re looking for something a bit different for Christmas lunch this year, we’ve got loads of Christmas turkey alternatives that will make a lovely main on the big day. Whether it’s a small duck or an extra large goose, there are plenty of other meats and vegetarian dishes that can take the place of the traditional festive bird.
We’re here to make Christmas as stress-free as possible and that includes making sure the main event – Christmas dinner – goes off without a hitch. It’s such a big part of Christmas day so there’s a lot of pressure to make sure it goes smoothly and that everyone is happy with the food choices you make.
We’ve rounded up loads of classic roast dinner main recipes which are sure to please the family. Succulent ham, tender beef or an earthy nut roast, our selection of turkey alternatives includes a great variety of different flavours and tastes that will suit veggies, meat-lovers, fussy eaters and of course the kids!
From all of the goodtoknow team, we hope you have a lovely – and delicious – Christmas!
First up is our classic cut of gammon!
Looking for a meat that’ll feed more than 8 people? This hearty Seville gammon recipe is a delicious choice that only takes 30mins to cook and won’t leave your guests hungry. With a sweet Seville marmalade glaze and spicy kick from whole cloves, this tender unsmoked gammon horseshoe is a classic meat – a tasty, succulent turkey alternative.
How to serve: Gammon is a classic Christmas meat that can be served with a whole heap of vegetables and sides. Chunky carrots, crispy roasties and tender Brussels to name a few. Cooked, cold gammon will keep in the fridge for a couple of days – perfect if you’re having buffet food like cold meats and pickles on Boxing Day.
Top tip: When checking to see if your gammon is cooked all the way through, insert a long skewer into the middle of the joint. It should feel firm, not rubbery.
Get the recipe: Seville gammon
Christmas turkey alternatives
You may associate guinea fowl with posh people or Victorians, but this
tasty bird is much easier to cook and cheaper than you think. Our Guinea
fowl with rosemary, red wine and mushrooms is a perfect example of a
how a little can go a long way. Served in a sweet red wine, coq au
vin-style sauce, this tasty bird is the ideal choice for an intimate
How to serve:
This bird is best served in its broth, but if you'd rather be
practical, carve your guinea fowl and present on a large platter. Serve
the sauce in a gravy boat next to the meat along with the juicy red
onions and mushrooms. Guinea fowl is quite similar to chicken, just
smaller, which means it can be served with similar side dishes.
Top tip: This bird needs a little more time to rest than chicken, so make sure you make it in advance.
Get the recipe: Guinea fowl with rosemary, red wine and mushrooms
This succulent marmalade-roasted duck and gravy may be on the small side
but it has such a rich flavour you won't need as much as a lighter
meat. The bird is given a festive Christmas flavour with a sweet
marmalade and Cointreau glaze.
How to serve: Present on a large warm platter alongside a pot of homemade gravy which will complement the duck's flavour perfectly.
Top tip: Resting the duck after cooking allows the juices to settle and also makes the meat easier to handle.
Get the recipe:
If you're catering for veggies this Christmas we highly recommend making a Brazil nut roast which has a wonderfully earthy nutty flavour. Not only is it delicious, it's healthy too which makes it a great choice for those who are trying to be good this Christmas.
How to serve: This nut roast is scrumptious served with thick vegetable gravy. If you're serving any other meats make sure they're nowhere near your nut roast so your vegetarian guests are kept happy.
Top tip: The loaf can be frozen before baking. Wrap the prepared loaf in a freezer bag and freeze it for up to 1 month. All you have to do is defrost before baking.
Get the recipe: Brazil nut roast
If you usually serve chicken for your Sunday roast, you might want a change for Christmas dinner but Mary Berry's orange and honey roast chicken is an extra special way of cooking chicken and may make you think otherwise. It only takes 1hr and 30mins to rustle up and is coated in a sweet, citrusy orange, soy sauce and honey marinade.
How to serve: Make sure this roast chicken is served with the thick marinade so your friends and family can add more flavour to the bird. You can carve this chicken on the dinner table as it's tender and easy to carve once you've broken the crisp skin.
Top tip: The chicken can be marinated up to a day ahead. You can also freeze it raw in the marinade.
Get the recipe: Mary Berry's orange and honey roast chicken
Gordon Ramsay's beef Wellington is one of our favourite roast turkey
alternatives for Christmas dinner. It's the perfect way of serving a
nice chunky and succulent piece of meat at its best. Christmas is the
time to show off a little and what better way than with this impressive
How to serve: Serve
on a large platter on it's own so your guests can admire it in its full
glory - cut your beef Wellington into slices and let people help
Top tip: To keep the pastry light and crisp wrap the beef and mushrooms in a layer of Parma ham to shield the pastry from moisture.
Get the recipe: Gordon Ramsay's beef Wellington
Find turkey a little bland? Lamb is a mouth-watering meat that is tender and full of flavour. If you're looking festive way to serve this meat try our St Clements roast lamb which has wonderfully light citrus tang.
How to serve: For an extra fresh and citrus flavour serve your lamb leg joint on a bed of sliced lemons and oranges. Use an extra sharp carving knife to slice this meat. The sharper the knife, the easier it'll be to cut, plus you can carve it at the dinner table without any struggles.
Top tip: Once your lamb has cooked, leave it to rest on the side covered in tin foil before serving. This will allow the joint to continue to cook resulting in even better flavour.
Get the recipe: St Clements roast lamb
Push the boat out with this rather fancy salmon en croute. It's easier
to make than it looks and has a crisp outer layer full of buttery
How to serve:
Serve this impressive salmon en croute on a large rectangular wooden
board so your guests can see your masterpiece in its full glory. Slice
with a large knife to reveal it's colourful, layered insides.
There's no need to spend hours in the kitchen making your own pastry,
you could always use frozen ready-made puff pastry instead. You can find
this in most supermarkets.
Get the recipe: Salmon en croute.
If you've got a lot of family coming over for Christmas dinner and want to show off a little, rustle up our roast goose with apple and bay leaves. Goose is also a rather large bird, so you'll get plenty of succulent meat to feed your guests, plus leftovers for Boxing Day.
How to serve: Surround your goose with your cooked apple wedges. You could also present it with roasted veg like red onions, mushrooms and sweet potatos. Make sure you leave a large serving spoon by the side so guests can help themselves to the goose-fat infused veg.
Top tip: Geese freeze well so you can buy yours well in advance. They take around 24-30 hours to thaw. Pat dry with a dry cloth before cooking.
Get the recipe: Roast goose with apple and bay leaves
Serving fish at your Christmas dinner will definitely make a change as
it's much quicker to cook and is less filling, meaning your friends and
family will have more room for the veggies and other tasty sides. If
fish is the one for you, our whole roasted salmon with horseradish
hollandaise would make a great choice as it's a restaurant-style dish,
that's simple to cook.
How to serve:
Salmon goes really well with potatoes so make sure you have plenty to
go round. Another delicious side that goes well with this meaty fish is
broccoli and asparagus - serve these separately from your fish so they
don't get soggy from the fish juices. A large platter will do this dish
Top tip: When cooking your salmon make sure you place it skin side down so that the pink side of the fish can get cooked evenly.
Get the recipe:
Your Christmas dinner doesn't have to be a roast. Why not make it a
lighter feast with these creamy goat's cheese and cranberry parcels?
Perfect for veggies, these crisp parcels are filled with rich, creamy
cheese and classic Christmas cranberries.
How to serve:
Serve your parcels on a fresh bed of rocket leaves. Or if you want to
serve them with something hearty, opt for new potatoes and mixed greens
like split peas and spinach.
As filo pastry dries out very quickly, keep it covered with a clean tea
towel until it's used. Leave it unrolled for the minimum amount of
Get the recipe: Goat's cheese and cranberry parcels
Get creative with this delicious spinach, Feta and filo pie. The light
crisp filo pastry and soft warm spinach filling will be a perfect light
option for vegetarians. Even your meat-loving guests won't be able to
How to serve:
This delicious treat is best served with creamy mash or new potatoes.
Make a light cream sauce to accompany it instead of gravy and watch the
pie disappear in seconds. Cut into traingles before serving to make sure
all of your guests get a fair share.
For an extra naughty treat, use melted butter instead of oil for
layering up the filo sheets, this will give them a rich buttery taste.
Get the recipe: Spinach, Feta and filo pie
Keep it light and easy with our cheese and spinach baked mushrooms. These delicious nibbles can be made in batches and are a tasty turkey alternative that will melt in the mouth. With a creamy cheese and soft spinach filling, these mushrooms are a cheap and cheerful option this Christmas.
How to serve: These tender mushrooms make a great meal served with brown rice and a fresh side salad. If you'd rather something warmer, try new potatoes.
Top tip: These tasty bites can be filled with whatever you fancy. You could try a different cheese or vegetable filling like mozzerella and red peppers, or Cheddar and broccoli.
Get the recipe: Cheese and spinach baked mushrooms
Everyone loves a classic toad in the hole, so what's to say they won't love it on Christmas Day? Our simple and flavoursome toad in the hole with bacon is a twist on a Sunday lunch favourite. It only takes 55 mins to rustle up and is enough to feed 4, so double the ingredients if you've got more guests over. It's also a great way to avoid too much washing up after the meal as it's baked in one dish.
How to serve: This tasty treat can be served with vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and cabbage. Make sure you've got some thick meaty gravy on stand by and some creamy mash potato.
Top tip: For extra crispy sausages and bacon fry a little before cooking in the Yorkshire pudding mix - this will give them a crispy outside.
Get the recipe: Toad in the hole with bacon
This extra special roast belly of pork made by the legendary Hairy Bikers is a mouth-watering Christmas turkey alternative. Meat-lovers will appreciate this hearty pork belly as its deeply-scored skin will give you a tasty, crisp crackling.
How to serve: Serve the pork and crackling with apple and sage and steaming-hot gravy on a large platter. Use a sharp carving knife and carve at the table for full effect.
Top tip: When cooking the pork, keep the apple and onion pieces snugly underneath the meat so they don't burn.
Get the recipe: Hairy biker's roast belly of pork
Our cranberry-glazed roast ham is as Christmassy as it comes and classic cranberry sauce is the perfect condiment to complement this succulent meat. It's so delicious that it could prove more popular that your usual Christmas turkey. It's ideal for carving at the table and showing off your hosting skills.
How to serve: This ham doesn't need to be presented with tasty vegetables or anything as it looks just as good without. The red, crisp skin makes this ham shine.
Top tip: Cooking the ham on the hob first allows you time to cook other things in the oven. You can then crisp it up just before serving.
Get the recipe: Cranberry-glazed roast ham
If you've never made a chestnut pie before, you're missing out! This delicious dish is full of Christmas flavours like chestnut and rosemary in a rich Bourguignon sauce. It's sure to become a veggie favourite.
How to serve: This hearty pie will serve between 4-6 people so if you've got more coming to dinner you might need to double up. As the pie looks pretty impressive, serve straight onto the table on a table mat or cloth so it doesn't leave a ring mark on the dinner table.
Top tip: Make sure you soak the chestnuts in advance to get the most flavour out of them.
Get the recipe: Chestnut pie
A lovely piece of beef is a roast dinner favourite and is sure to become a Christmas Day regular. Our recipe for glazed rosemary roast beef is the ideal choice for meat-lovers. Infused with balsamic vinegar and redcurrants, this beef joint oozes with strong flavours.
How to serve: This impressive meat should be presented on a large wooden board in the centre of the table, half carved so all your guests can help themselves to a slice or two. Make sure a thick beef gravy is near by along with extra crispy roast potatoes.
Top tip: Not sure what to do with the leftovers? Slice any leftover beefand freeze and use it for next week's sandwiches.
Get the recipe: Glazed rosemary roast beef
Butternut squash pie is another one to add to the vegetarian Christmas list. This recipe will feed up to 4 people so if you're feeding more hungry mouths, double the ingredients. This recipe is not only healthy but saves on the washing up as all your veggies are packed into one dish.
How to serve: There's no need to make extra vegetables when this dish is full of them. If you want to serve this dish with something extra, new potatoes would make a great side. If you're worried this dish won't be enough, you can make a medium-sized starter so everyone's happy.
Top tip: When choosing butternut squash test if you can push a fingernail into the rind, if you can it means it's immature and won't be so tasty or sweet. The rind should be firm and tan or beige coloured (no green tinges).
Get the recipe: Butternut squash pie
If you're looking for a simple, fishy alternative our recipe for grilled sea bass with Greek dressing is ideal for a small Christmas dinner. They'll be no arguments over who has more as everyone will have a fish each. For two sea bass, it will take approximately 32 mins to prepare and cook which means you can spend more time with your feet up enjoying a Christmas cocktail.
How to serve: Give each of your guests a sea bass each and serve immediately after cooking for an extra fresh taste. If you're serving fish to children make sure you or another adult removes the bones before serving.
Top tip: For the best flavour, grill or roast your sea bass - you won't loose any of those extra tasty juices.
Get the recipe: Grilled sea bass with Greek dressing