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There's no need to wait until the last minute to prepare Christmas lunch. The idea of these recipes is that you make them in advance, then freeze them until you need them for your festive spread. Or, if you prefer, keep in the fridge for a day or two, ready to finish off when needed.
This light vegetarian soup is a perfect starter for Christmas Day because it's appetizing but not too heavy.
Bread sauce is a delicious addition to a poultry roast or Christmas lunch and can be frozen in advance. Try making with half brown breadcrumbs for a nutty taste.
This cabbage dish can be made up to two days ahead. Simply cover and chill until needed. Try it with Roast goose and Hasselback potatoes.
This old-style trifle recipe is so easy to make a day ahead, and it tastes amazing.
This glazed ham recipe is an ideal dish for a buffet or for Boxing Day. Get ahead and cook this on Christmas Eve.
Crunchy lemony crumbs add flavour to a traditional sprout recipe. This dish can be frozen ahead.
The cranberries give this vodka a brilliant ruby colour that looks so Christmassy. It needs two weeks before it can be bottled, and 3-4 weeks before it can be drunk. It will keep in the freezer almost indefinitely. Give as a home-made gift.
These classic roast potatoes are perfect sides for your Christmas lunch and can be frozen ahead to make your life easier.
A straightforward-to-prepare yet traditional yummy Christmas pudding. Can be made ahead.
On Christmas Day, you want something special but easy to prepare – and this festive smoked salmon starter ticks both boxes.
More Christmas inspiration
What are your favourite homemade edible gifts? Try these inspirational edible homemade treats, including pannetone, snowflake biscuits and Christmas fig and nut cakes.
Bring in the game birds and light the Christmas candles – we’re heading for the country. Make the most of British comfort food with these hearty game recipes.
For those dining à deux this Christmas, this sophisticated menu from hot young Scottish chef Tom Kitchin is (almost) all you’ll need for a perfect lunch together – just add fine wine and enjoy a stress-free afternoon.
This Christmas menu and timeplan is from the December 2009 issue of delicious. magazine. Some of these recipes can made in advance then frozen, to minimise stress over the festive period.
These simple vegetarian dishes are quick and easy to make for when you’re ready to bring your special meat-free feast to the festive table.
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