Cracking Christmas Recipes

Here are a few simple, low-cost yet delicious Christmas recipes that are also great for using up leftovers.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas tree biscuits (makes approx 12)

This is a fun activity to make with kids.  If you don’t have a cookie cutter just use a knife to make Christmas tree shapes.

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger (or 3/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp ground all spice)
  • 115g light muscovado sugar/caster sugar
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg, beaten

Start by preheating the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4.

Mix the flour, spices and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter, if necessary rubbing it in using your fingers. Add the beaten egg and mix into a stiff dough. Make a big ball and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes to harden a bit.  Knead lightly and roll out on a floured surface until it’s approx 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into Christmassy shapes and place onto non-stick baking trays.  Pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes, swapping the trays around halfway through, until golden brown.

Leave the biscuits to cool.  They look lovely as they are but feel free to decorate them if you like.

Sprout gratin

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis makes a great veg side dish.  Blitz and freeze a slice of leftover bread in a freezer bag in advance to save time!  Serves 2-4.
  • 400g sprouts, trimmed and cut in half if big
  • 250ml creme fraiche or double cream
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Handful breadcrumbs
  • Handful grated parmesan or grated cheddar

Boil the sprouts for around 5 minutes, until just tender.  Drain.  Mix the creme fraiche or double cream with the crumbled stock cube and crushed garlic and add the sprouts.  Mix. Pour the mixture in to a casserole dish then top with the breadcrumbs and cheese.  Bake in the oven on gas mark 6/200 degrees for approx 30 mins, until golden and bubbling. Finish off under the grill for extra crunch if you like!

Parsnip rosti

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis parsnip rosti is crunchy, sweet and wonderful with a poached egg on top.  Easy to make and can be frozen.  Serves 2.

  • 3 medium parsnips, grated
  • 2 medium potatoes, grated
  • Small handful chopped rosemary or dried herbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter

Mix the grated parsnips and potatoes together and put in a dry, clean tea towel.  Squeeze the tea towel in to a ball to get rid of any excess water.  Put the mixture in to a bowl and add the herbs and some salt and pepper.  Mix.

Heat a little butter in a frying pan and add the mixture, pressing it down in to a tight roundish shape.  Fry for approx 5 mins then transfer the pan to the grill to fry the top for around another 5 mins, until golden and crispy on top (or you could try flipping the rosti and frying the other side if you have the right tool!)  Cut the rosti in half and use a spatula to carefully take each half out (don’t worry if it falls apart a bit – it will still be delish!)  Eat topped with a fried or poached egg and with mayo on the side.

If freezing, simply store the rosti in a freezer bag/s and cook straight from frozen in the frying pan until warmed through and crispy.

Cranberry sauce


This is a 3-ingredient cranberry sauce recipe that can be made 1 week ahead.   As well as with a roast it is also great with cheese, pancakes, yoghurt or porridge.  You could add extra flavours like orange/satsuma zest or ginger if you like.

Serves 8.

  • 100g muscavado sugar/soft brown sugar
  • 100ml orange juice, fresh or from a carton
  • 250g fresh or frozen cranberries

Tip the sugar and orange juice into a pan, then bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberries, then simmer until tender but still holding their shape – this will take about 5-10 mins if using frozen cranberries or 10-15 mins if using fresh. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Will keep in the fridge for 1 week. On the day, bring to room temperature before serving (or warmer if you fancy).

Recipe from

Mushroom roast

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis roast is rich, delicious and works hot or cold.  It even wins over meat eaters!  Can be frozen.  Blitz and freeze leftover bread in a freezer bag in advance to save time.  Serves 2 as a main/4 as a side.
  • 200g mushrooms, chopped small
  • Large knob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 150g grated cheddar cheese
  • 90g breadcrumbs (I just blend some slices of bread)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • Salt and pepper

Butter your baking dish/loaf tin.  Fry the mushrooms and onions in the butter for approx 10 mins. Drain the butter away.  To the mushrooms and onions add the grated cheese, breadcrumbs, marmite, beaten egg, salt and pepper, and mix.  Place the mixture in a greased baking dish/loaf tin, pressing it tightly together.   Bake at 190 degrees/gas mark 5 for approx 35 mins, until nicely brown. Leave to cool for 10 mins before getting it out.  Don’t worry if it falls apart a little!  Delicious served with veg and gravy or cut in to wedges and eaten cold the next day.

Recipe from Vegetarian Cook Book by Doreen Keighley.

Mince pie cookies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll the flavour with much less effort!  Kids can join in too.  Makes 20-30 cookies which will last for a few days in an airtight container.

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 140g sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Grated zest of a smallish orange
  • 300g flour
  • 1 x 410g jar mincemeat

Heat oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4.  Line 2 or 3 baking trays with grease proof/baking paper (or use a non-stick tray).  Lightly beat the butter and sugar until creamy, add the egg yolk and orange zest and then gradually the flour.  Then add most of the mincemeat and stir/mix with hands to make a dough.  Don’t worry if it seems greasy – it should crisp up when baking.

Pull off little clumps of dough, place on the baking tray and flatten slightly.  Dot a small blob of the remaining mincemeat in the middle of each biscuit.  Put in the oven and check after 10 minutes.  They will be ready in 10-15 mins when golden, a little brown at the edges but still a bit soft in the middle.  Be careful not to burn them!

Recipe from The Times.

Instant cheesecakes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese instant cheesecakes only take 7 minutes.  You could try lots of different fruit.  Makes 4.

  • 100g soft cheese
  • 1 level tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • 4 level tbsp any jam 
  • 4 digestive biscuits
  • 100g blueberries or other fruit you have handy

Mix together the soft cheese, sugar and vanilla until soft.  Spread the jam on the digestive biscuits, then the cheese mix.  Top with blueberries, dust with icing sugar and serve.

Recipe by ASDA.