Sitting down for a delicious, hearty lunch is one of the best things about Christmas. But no matter how much you might love a classic Christmas dinner, sometimes it’s nice to do something a bit different. 

So whether you’re looking to serve a tasty alternative to roast turkey, want to make an exciting veggie main, or are hoping to prepare a dessert that’s a true showstopper, there are many fun ways you can make your Christmas dinner a bit more creative this year.

To get you inspired, here are 10 creative Christmas dinner ideas.

1. Christmas dinner traybake 

Making a classic Christmas dinner with all the trimmings takes time and effort. And, if you’re cooking for a big group, it usually feels worth it. But if you’re just cooking for yourself, or even one other person, it may seem like more of a chore.

Still, if you’re on your own this Christmas, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a big dinner that includes all the classic favourites – from roast turkey to Brussels sprouts and baby parsnips to pigs-in-blankets. The trick is simply to make a single traybake rather than cooking it all individually.

This one tray Christmas dinner from Olive Magazine is super easy to prepare – and because it serves two people, it means that if you’re on your own this year, there’ll be plenty of leftovers to pick at. Plus, with minimal prep and hardly any washing up, it means you’re free to relax and enjoy the day!

For more Christmas dinner traybake ideas, check out the video below.

2. Prosciutto-wrapped pork loin with apple stuffing

If you’re looking forward to a meat-based main but don’t fancy roast turkey, chicken or beef, why not think about pork? Some people find pork intimidating to cook, as it can turn out a bit bland or boring – but when it’s done right, it’s definitely worthy of a spot on your Christmas table.

The trick to perfect pork is to ensure it’s packed with flavour. Herbs like rosemary and sage go really well with pork and inject plenty of flavour – and fresh garlic, mustard, and lashings of gravy go a long way in making a pork main stand out even more.

This prosciutto-wrapped pork loin with apple and rice stuffing by Host The Toast is certainly suitably festive – and you can easily add your own twist to the recipe by making your own homemade stuffing, or simply swapping it for a shop-bought mix you prefer.

Have a watch of the video below to see how you can make this deceptively simple dish.

3. Stuffed ‘No Turkey’

For several decades, the nut roast was always the go-to Christmas meal for anyone who didn’t eat meat – but considering the vegetarian and vegan movements have skyrocketed in recent years, you might want to consider getting a bit more creative…

Seitan is a plant-based food made from wheat gluten, and it just so happens to make one of the most convincing (and healthiest) mock-meat alternatives. Packed with protein and with zero cholesterol, you can make seitan yourself from scratch – and if you’re looking for a vegan Christmas main that will also satisfy people who love meat, it’s a great choice.

You can buy seitan from many vegan and wholefood shops both in person and online – such as on The Vegan Kind Supermarket’s website here.

This stuffed ‘no turkey’ seitan roast by Avant Garde Vegan looks absolutely beautiful, and luckily, it also tastes just as good. The roast seitan is packed with flavour and has a chewy, meaty texture. It’s then filled with sage and apple stuffing, and finally wrapped in veggie bacon.

While it may be a bit technical to make if you’ve never made seitan before, you can see how to prepare it step-by-step in the video below. Or, to find out more about making your own seitan, you might want to read this guide by Yup It’s Vegan.

4. Spiced roast goose

Turkey might be the classic Christmas main, but not everyone is a fan. And even if you do like turkey, you might just fancy something different this year – but something that still feels really festive and traditional. If this sounds like you, then why not have roast goose this Christmas instead?

Jamie Oliver’s spiced roast goose with a rich port gravy could be the perfect alternative. With a spice mix that includes star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves, and cinnamon sticks, you can rest assured this is a dish that’s absolutely packed with those lovely Christmassy flavours.

The roast goose itself is wonderfully crispy with a golden skin, so it feels like the ideal Christmas treat – and the rich port gravy is beautifully offset by fresh pops of fresh pomegranate.

If you’d like more guidance on cooking the perfect roast goose, have a watch of the video below.

5. Beef wellington

If you love roast beef but want to make a big impression this Christmas, then a beef wellington is a great choice for a meaty main. There are many different types of wellington you can make, but for the ultimate indulgence, roast beef fillets wrapped in delicate puff pastry will definitely do the job.

If you’re up for a challenge, why not have a go at making Gordon Ramsay’s beef wellington? Made from fillet steak, then covered in a layer of parma ham, chopped mushrooms, and thyme, the wellington is finally wrapped in pastry before being baked until golden brown.

This recipe is considered Gordon Ramsay’s greatest dish, and though it’s rather difficult to prepare, it will all be worth it when you bring it out as a beautiful centrepiece.

To see how Gordon Ramsay makes his famous beef wellington, have a watch of the video below.

6. Veggie pithivier

If you love pastry but want to make something other than a beef wellington, what about making a pithivier? A pithivier is a traditional French pastry dish that dates back to the 17th century – and though they used to be stuffed with sweet treats, today they’re more commonly served savoury.

There are many savoury pithiviers that make great Christmas mains – but Jamie Oliver’s veggie pithivier will please just about everyone. Packed with celeriac, creamy leeks, mushrooms, and blue cheese, and wrapped in flaky golden pastry, it’s the perfect vegetarian centrepiece.

If you have vegan guests, you can easily make this veggie pie fully plant-based too; just check out our article on how to replace milk, butter, and cheese when cooking and baking.

To see how to make a veggie pithivier, have a watch of Jamie Oliver’s video below.

7. Sake-cured salmon with sesame sprinkles

Whether it’s served as a starter, a side, or a snack, smoked salmon is a Christmas favourite. But if you’re looking to do something a little bit different this year, there are many ways you can jazz up this festive dish.

For something a little more exotic, why not make Yotam Ottolenghi’s sake-cured salmon with sesame sprinkles and pickles? Because each element of this dish can be prepared well in advance, it makes a great starter – just make sure you ask your fishmonger for a high-quality salmon fillet.

With flavours of honey, sesame, lime, sake, and ginger, this recipe is a really fresh and zingy alternative to traditional smoked salmon – and once it’s cured, the fish keeps for up to five days, so it’s great for snacking on over Boxing Day and beyond, too!

For another tasty cured salmon alternative that also works well at Christmas, have a watch of Gordon Ramsay’s beetroot cured salmon recipe below.

8. Sprouts (with a twist)

Brussels sprouts are the ultimate Christmas side dish, and if you’ve never liked them – or you’ve just never been that fussed about them – there’s a good chance you haven’t found the right recipe yet. Plain, boiled Brussels sprouts might not be exciting, but there are many creative recipes that can transform the humble sprout into something else entirely.

Jamie Oliver makes a delicious festive Brussels sprouts dish that you might want to try, where squashed sprouts are roasted with chorizo and chestnuts. Alternatively, you might want to make Yotam Ottolenghi’s Brussels sprouts with black garlic and burnt butter.

If you like punchy flavours, why not try making crispy tamarind sprouts with peanuts and shallots, which is a recipe that’s inspired by Indian-street food? Or, if you prefer cheesy, creamy flavours, you might want to make this creamy cheese, Brussels Sprout and almond gratin, which is topped with parmesan and crispy breadcrumbs.

For more ideas of how to spice up your sprouts this Christmas, check out the video below.

9. Christmas Hasselback potatoes

There are few people who don’t love roast potatoes: crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside, they’re the perfect Christmas side. But roast potatoes are also a Sunday roast staple – so if you’re looking to do something a bit more creative this year, why not try making Hasselback potatoes?

Hasselback potatoes take their name from Hasselbacken, the Swedish restaurant that created them – and it could be argued that they’re the ultimate potato: they’re crisp and golden on the outside like chips, soft and fluffy on the inside like mashed potato, and they’re also essentially baked potatoes in disguise!

Aside from being utterly delicious, Hasselback potatoes also look beautiful on your plate, which makes them even more perfect for Christmas. This recipe from BBC Good Food looks great – just add some thyme to make it even more festive!

Or have a watch of the video below for more guidance.

10. Christmas trifle

Trifle might be considered more of a New Year’s Eve dessert – but that doesn’t mean you can’t serve it for Christmas! This is your Christmas, after all, and you make the rules… so if you fancy a dessert that’s a little lighter than Christmas cake or a yule log (but no less delicious), a trifle is a great choice.

Plus, with its layers of jewel-red fruit and jelly, deep yellow custard and snow-white fluffy cream, it will look gorgeous on your Christmas table, too. This Christmas trifle by RecipeTin Eats is packed with custard, strawberries, and blueberries, and injects some festive flavour with a dash of cranberry juice.

Depending on your taste preferences, there are all kinds of different trifles you can make – such as big bowls that will feed 12, or individual pots that are perfect for one or two. To see more ideas, have a look at some of these trifle recipes from Delicious.

Or, to see how to prepare a traditional Scottish Christmas trifle, check out the video below.

Final thoughts…

We might all have an idea about what the traditional Christmas dinner should look like – but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun experimenting!

Whether you don’t want the fuss of cooking a big roast this year, are looking for some unusual variations on classic side dishes, or just fancy trying something different this Christmas, we hope these recipes have inspired you to get creative.

And of course, if you fancy something really different this year, you can always shun traditional festive fare altogether and cook yourself some delicious international cuisine; that way, you can pretend you’re in an exotic, faraway destination instead of at home! From Caribbean food to Thai dishes, check out our Food and Drink page for more recipe inspiration.

Do you have any creative Christmas recipes you’d like to share with us – or are you planning to add your own twists to the festive favourites? We’d love to hear about your Christmas creations in the comments below.