Alternative Christmas Dinner Ideas
Tired of turkey? Sick of sprouts? If you’re simply not a fan of festive food, perhaps it’s time to switch up Christmas dinner. Say goodbye to tradition and celebrate with an unconventional feast this year! Your house, your rules – and Santa doesn’t need to know…
Whether you fancy fish for the main course or a dessert tray with no mince pies in sight, we’ve got you covered with our alternative Christmas dinner ideas.
If you’re looking for inspiration for the best ever vegetarian festive feast, be sure to check out this article.
Bring on the beef
Shun the turkey crown in favour of a lovely piece of lean beef this year. Our version of a Beef Wellington is easier and cheaper than you might expect. Your guests will feel like you’ve pushed the boat out, even though our recipe is super budget friendly.
This dish is often served around this time of year, so you wouldn’t be straying too far from tradition if you brought it out on Christmas day. It’s the ideal happy medium if you don’t fancy a turkey dinner, but still want it to feel like a special occasion.
It tastes rich and indulgent (while still being slimming friendly), so it’s exactly what you want from your main course. If that’s not enough to sell it to you, it’s on the table in less than an hour, so you can get in some extra family time rather than being locked away in the kitchen all day.
Your Beef Wellington is going to need some veggies on the side, but fear not – there’s no sprouts or parsnips on this menu. Instead, why not dish up some of these Crispy Green Beans?
Topped with panko breadcrumbs and salty Parmesan cheese, they’re worlds away from your traditional Christmas veg, and they’ll add a lovely splash of green to your plate. You can even make them in your air fryer if you want them extra crispy.
Our lighter version is every bit as creamy as a shop-bought sauce, with just 22 calories per serving. It’s got a real kick to it, and it pairs perfectly with beef.
We would never forget about pudding, so why not finish off your meal with a slice of Biscoff Cheesecake? It’s the furthest thing from dry Christmas fruit cake or sherry-infused trifle, with a creamy, caramelised flavour and crunchy biscuit base.
No matter how stuffed you are, we know you’ll find room for a piece.
Not so festive fish
It wouldn’t be too unconventional to serve up salmon on Christmas day, but if you want to be a little more unexpected, this Creamy Cod and Spinach will delight your guests. Despite having just 232 calories per serving, it tastes so luxurious, with flavours worthy of the special occasion.
Cooked in a silky lemon and garlic sauce, this flaky white fish is such a refreshing change, making for a much lighter meal on the big day. The best bit? It’s ready in less than half an hour – ideal if you’re after a fuss-free, fun-filled Christmas.
Although we love this light fish dish on a summer’s day, if you pair it with the right accompaniments, it can turn into a hearty winter dinner too. Adding a few of these Fondant Potatoes on the side is a surefire way to make your meal feel fancier.
Proving that delicious food doesn’t need to be complicated, all you need are a few spuds and some stock cubes to make these. They’re almost impossible to get wrong and they make a nice change to the usual roast potatoes.
If you want to give your meal a nod to a more traditional festive menu, this Creamed Cabbage and Leeks side dish will do the job. The creamy, mild flavours complement the delicate taste of the cod, with a hit of black pepper to get those taste buds tingling.
Spoon some onto the side of your plate alongside the fish and potatoes for a not-so festive dinner that will leave you feeling satisfied (but still ready for dessert).
Speaking of dessert, we’ll turn down a slice of Yule log in favour of one of these Banana and Caramel Filo Rolls. They look plenty fancy enough to mark the occasion, but they’ll be an unexpected treat served up after your alternative Christmas dinner.
Wrapped in crispy filo pastry and finished with a dusting of icing sugar and a drizzle of caramel sauce, these are crunchy, sweet and the perfect end to your meal.
A fakeaway feast
It’s not unusual for families to forgo the Christmas dinner at home and head out to their favourite Indian restaurant instead. If you fancy all those Indian inspired flavours, but you’d rather stay in your matching Santa Claus pyjamas, this might be the year to try creating your own festive Fakeaway.
Why not lay out your table with an array of spiced dishes, ranging from subtle heat to full-on fiery? There’ll be something for everyone!
Start with these Onion Bhajis. Crunchy, flavourful and so much lighter than the takeaway version, you only need a handful of ingredients to make them. They’re guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser and the whole family will be reaching for second helpings after they’ve pulled their Christmas crackers.
Even with no butter in sight, this Creamy Butter Chicken is so indulgent. Served as part of your festive feast, it’ll turn an ordinary-seeming meal into a celebration. The mild sauce is thick and luxurious, made with fat free natural yoghurt to keep the calories low.
You get a lovely hint of nuttiness from almond flour, mixed with the aromatic flavours of ginger and garlic.
Tuck into this around the dinner table and no one will be missing turkey or the trimmings!
The beauty of an Indian-inspired banquet is the array of side dishes and snacks you can serve up alongside your main. Along with piles of fluffy rice and naan breads, we love to have a dish of this Saag Aloo on the table.
In the traditional version of this dish, the potatoes would be fried. To keep it slimming friendly, we’ve roasted ours in the oven until they’re crispy and perfectly seasoned. Stir through some leafy green spinach until it wilts, and sprinkle on some coriander right before serving. Delicious!
The perfect end to the perfect meal? Chai Rice Pudding of course! Step aside Christmas pudding – this creamy, delicately spiced dessert is exactly what you need after your fakeaway themed feast.
It’s warming, silky smooth and so satisfying. Better yet, you can leave it to simmer away in the slow cooker for three hours – so it’s minimal effort too!
What’s on your Christmas day menu?
Will you be sticking to tradition or changing things up this year? Tell us what you’ve got planned for Christmas day and share your favourite alternative Christmas dinner ideas with us! Head on over to our Facebook Group to let us know. There are almost 1 million members in the group already, sharing support and inspiration for your slimming journey.