8 Christmas foods to prepare in advance

Anna Walker

Christmas dinner must be one of life’s most stressful meals to prepare. Starting the process a few months, weeks or even days in advance can certainly take the pressure off. Here are the Christmas foods you should be prepping right now.

Gravy

Gravu

Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be Christmas dinner without a good gravy. A decent stock can be the saviour of dry turkey and soggy sprouts and it’s easy to freeze and reheat on the day.

Why not add the juices from your turkey before serving? Stuck for inspiration? Check out our recipe for the ultimate gravy.

 

Stuffing

Christmas stuffing

The beauty of preparing stuffing early, is that you can even freeze it directly in an oven dish and put it straight in the oven on Christmas day.

To really save on time and space, cook the stuffing before freezing and all it will need is warming up.

 

Roast potatoes

Roast potatoes

Perhaps the most surprising entry on our list, it’s definitely possible to prepare your potatoes way before the big day. Parboiling and freezing potatoes will give your roasties a head start.

You can even half-roast your potatoes for about half an hour in advance, or until they are a pale gold colour, meaning they’ll only need re-roasting for 20 minutes in a hot oven.

Ensure you allow potatoes to fully cool before freezing.

 

Sauces

Sauces Craberry

Sauces tend to be the one thing people forget until the last minute. Avoid the last minute panic and prepare them in advance.

There’s nothing more Christmassy than a spoon full of zingy cranberry sauce. You can make this months in advance and then keep in a cool, dry place. 

Bread sauce freezes well, but also has impressive lasting power when kept in the fridge, so you could make it Christmas week and it would still be fresh on the 25th. 

 

Mulled wine

This drink actually improves in flavour the earlier you make it.

Add your favourite herbs and spices but save fruit till later as it won’t have the same lasting power.

 

Parsnips

Parsnips

Parsnips can be prepared well in advance, up to 24 hours before if you’re keeping them in the fridge, or even longer if you choose to freeze them.

Bring the parsnips to the boil for three minutes before freezing. When defrosted, they’ll only need 15-20 minutes in the oven before turning crisp and golden.

 

Yorkshire puddings

Yorkshire puddings

Making Yorkshire puddings early is a doddle, and means they’ll be no hassle on the day.

You could just make the batter in advance or alternatively completely cook and freeze them and they’ll only need a quick 5-10 minutes in the oven to warm them up.

 

Dessert

Christmas pudding

Creating your Christmas pudding months ahead is a festive tradition. It only needs steaming for a few hours on Christmas Day until reheated.

The longer you leave your pudding before Christmas, the longer it will have to absorb all the flavours of the ingredients. Choose other desserts that involve minimal prep and don’t take up oven space, like Christmas cake or chocolate mousse. 
 

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