11 classic Christmas recipes and cooking tips – from how to make pies to pigs in blankets

Christmas cooking should be a joy rather than a stressful experience.

And you plan your Christmas dinner or festive baked goods, we have a few tips for you to try.

From new ways with sprouts to awesome tricks for crispy roast potatoes, your Christmas dinner game just got taken to a whole new level.

And we also have some classic recipes to follow when it comes to dessert, tarts and Christmas cake.

Plus, some tips to make sure you’re organized, prepared, and in control when it comes to your Christmas cooking.

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Here are 11 classic Christmas recipes and cooking hacks to get you through the holiday season.

1. Roasted Potatoes

A great Christmas dinner should have perfectly crispy roast potatoes, and they’re not that hard to make.

by Nigella Lawson the roast potatoes are perfectly crispy with a soft interior, just as they should be.

And a top secret tip for perfect roasts every time? According to Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, adding baking powder to drained potatoes results in crispy potatoes every time.

2. Brussels sprouts

Don’t like boring, steamed Brussels sprouts? Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to brighten them up!

by Gordon Ramsay the favorite way to cook them is with chestnuts and bacon bits for a delicious side dish.

Or for a vegan twist on this festive classic, try this Boch recipe which serves Brussels sprouts with mashed chestnuts and caramelized shallots.

3. Pigs in blankets

Want to try making your own pigs in blankets instead of buying them from stores?

It’s really not that difficult – all you need are cocktail sausages and striped bacon.

Or for an extra special touch, try by Jamie Oliver pigs in blankets for the perfect festive side dish.

4. Gravy

Want a different version of the standard bulk sauce?

Instead of getting a jar, make your own using the juices from the roast meat and the water from the vegetables.

Add a dash or port for an extra special touch – or even make your own sauce ahead like this Jamie Olivier Recipe.

5. Enlist the slow cooker

Not sure there’s enough room in your oven for everything? It’s time to make some friends with your slow cooker!

Whether you use it to cook a ham, heat up gravy, or bake potatoes for Boxing Day, it’s a handy tool to have for Christmas dinner.

6. Mince Pies

Baking mince pies is a lovely Christmas tradition – and the perfect treat to leave for Santa.

Of course the queen of the kitchen Delia Smith has a mince pie recipe to follow, and if you want to make your own minced meat, you can follow by Mary Berry delicious recipe.

Meet dietary needs? Do not worry – Domestic Gothesse has a great vegan recipe or follow The gluten-free blogger gluten free meat pie recipe too.

7. Christmas Cake

Christmas tradition is to bake your cake well in advance on Stir Up Sunday – but what if you want one at the last minute?

Save time on soaking fruit all day by simmering it in alcohol to infuse it with flavor.

And make sure you don’t add too much alcohol after the cake is baked, otherwise the frosting may not stick to it as well.

8. Christmas Trifle

Trifle is always a big hit when it comes to Christmas dessert, but it can be made ahead and very simply too.

Cheat by using store-bought ladyfingers, a packet of jelly mix, canned or frozen fruit, and a can of whipped cream.

The trifle of this easy cheat of @SimplyFoodByMandy is also a great option using store-bought Swiss rolls and ready-made custard.

9. Defrost your turkey

It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’ve purchased a frozen turkey (or any meat joint, for that matter) don’t forget to thaw it ahead of time.

If you forget to take the turkey out of the freezer at least a day before cooking, it could cause serious problems.

Thaw it slowly in the fridge a day or two before Christmas so it’s oven-ready when it comes to making Christmas dinner.

10. Take the cheese out of the fridge

Did you know that cheese really should be served at room temperature?

Whether you’re planning a cheese platter dessert or a “hard dinner” after a hearty Christmas lunch, it’s best to be prepared.

Always take cheese out of the refrigerator a few hours before eating it, so that it can be enjoyed at room temperature.

11. Make ahead and freeze

Did you know that you can make a large portion of your Christmas dinner ahead of time and freeze it?

Yorkshire puddings, blanket pigs, cauliflower stuffing, gravy and cheese are just a few of the recipes you can make and freeze.

Then simply defrost on Christmas Eve and reheat them to lighten your workload on Christmas Day.