The Tried and Tasted awards have named the best Christmas food 2021 and it includes products from all your favourite supermarkets.
When it comes to buying Christmas food it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve made it easier for you by rounding up the best, tried, and tasted shop-bought food for 2021. This years Tried and Tasted Christmas Awards were judged by Goodto’s expert Food Team; Food Editor Samuel Goldsmith, Deputy Food Editor Rose Fooks, Senior Food Writer Jessica Ransom, and Food Writer Keiron George. The categories varied from the best turkey, alternative main, Christmas pudding, showstopping desserts, mince pies, and more.
Each product in the Tried and Tasted Awards was blind tasted and then rated based on flavour, appearance, and suitability. Supermarkets including M&S, Aldi, Tesco, and Morrisons entered products alongside artisan, expert producers, and brands such as Rosebud preserves, Jack&Beyond, and Biscuiteers. Standout products amongst the best Christmas food 2021 list include the Irresistible Beef Picanha Joint with Porcini Butter, the Mini New Yorker Style Pastrami Toasties, and the It’s a Wonderful Life Hamper from Dukeshill, one of the best Christmas food hampers for 2021.
“The Tried and Tasted judges spent hours deliberating over which Christmas products deserved to win,” says Food Editor, Samuel Goldsmith. “Christmas puddings were no exception and the ones which are listed won their spot because the judges felt they were worthy of being served up on the big day. Some are more traditional and others have an exciting twist that brings something extra to the classic pud.”
Best Christmas pudding 2021
Winner: Best Christmas Pudding
Those who want a little added theatre at the dinner table will be blown away by this glittering pud. The Champagne-soaked pud comes with a silver shimmer to bring an extra flare of glamour to your celebrations. Sam says; “Not only have Aldi jazzed up their pudding with Champagne but it also has a sweet fruity topping which looks really attractive – a definite crowdpleaser.” It was on the sweeter scale compared to other puds but was generously filled with lots of nuts.
This pudding will be available from 1 November.
Irresistible Richly Fruited Christmas Pudding
Winner: Best Individual Christmas Pudding
Living up to its name, this Christmas pudding certainly is ‘irresistible’. This individual pud serves one and is a bargain at just £1.75 per pud. Judges commended the rich boozy flavour and pleasant texture.
Lewis and Cooper Traditional Plum Pudding
Winner: Best Traditional Christmas Pudding
The luxurious plump fruit in this pud is what captured our judge’s hearts. “It’s not very sweet so you can add a decadent custard without worry it will take it over the edge,” says Rose. “It has a good punch of booze and is deliciously moist.” You can buy the pudding in the shop in North Yorkshire or email email@example.com for it to be posted.
VIEW AT LEWIS AND COOPER | £13.99
No.1 Fig, Honey and Walnut Christmas Pudding
Glossy, fruity and boozy. This figgy pud has everything you want and more. Keiron says, ‘I love the decoration on this pud as it makes it feel very festive and luxurious – it certainly earned its place on our best Christmas food 2021 list.’
Best Christmas drinks 2021
Finest Lebkuchen Flavoured Irish Cream Liqueur
Best Festive Christmas Spirit
Judges were impressed with the gentle spice and balanced sweetness in this cream liqueur. It’s lovely and festive. Deputy Food Editor Rose Fooks says: ‘This would be the perfect addition to your festive hot chocolate.’ If you’re feeling inspired, why not try making your own homemade Lebkuchen too.
Frerejean Frères Blanc de Blancs NV Premier Cru
Best Christmas Champagne
Alex Layton, Head of Marketing at Decanter, describes this sparkling wine as intriguing with ‘aromas of ripe golden delicious apples and pears, roasted almonds, pecans and hints of honey’. It has slightly smoky flavours with notes of grapefruit and nougat too.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Best Supermarket Champagne
An excellent supermarket option, this champagne boasts nectarine and fennel on the nose and fruity berry flavours on the finish. Alex says: ‘This is creamy on the palate with delicious biscuity flavours. It’s great value for money and is often sold in magnums too which would be even better.’
Booths Rose Prosecco
A great option for those who like their fizz pink. This bottle is fresh and fruity with noticeable flavours of ripe strawberries and raspberries.
ASDA Extra Special Low alcohol sparkling Sauvignon
At only £3.50, this is a smashing low alcohol option. It has a good fizz and delicious flavours of sweet apples and pear drops. If you need an inclusive option for toasting over the festive period, we think this is a fantastic choice. It has less than 0.5 per cent alcohol and pairs well with seafood and spicy flavours. Try it with your smoked salmon canapes or starters.
Best Christmas cake 2021
No.1 Rich Fruit Cake, 1.3kg, £16, Waitrose
Winner: Best Christmas Cake
Our stand out winner, this rich fruit cake tastes as good as it looks. The fruit-filled cake has a lovely texture and a good ratio of icing to marzipan. Food Editor, Sam adores Christmas cake and was delighted with this entry. He says; “My favourite Christmas food and Waitrose have not disappointed. Each slice feels generously full of fruit and it’s beautifully spiced.”
The Best Iced Christmas Cake
One for those who like their Christmas cake to pack a boozy punch. There are lovely subtle hints of nutmeg and spice. The design is simple but effective.
Christmas Greenery Christmas Cake
The charming hand-iced design on this Christmas cake will make everyone smile. It has a delicious homemade taste with noticeable chunks of ginger, fig and cherry. There are also lots of spices mixed through making it taste extra festive.
Best mince pies 2021
Biscuiteers Handmade Mince Pies
Winner: Best Mince Pies
The texture and flavour of these mince pies were very well balanced and judges adored the generous layer of frangipane. It sits on top of the rich mincemeat filling and provides a balanced sweetness. These are certainly big enough to share but we won’t judge if you don’t. Rose adds; “A departure from the immaculately iced that Biscuiteers is known for, but what these lack in decoration they make up for in flavour.”
Gluten-free Mince Pies
Winner: Best Gluten-free Mince Pies
We love the flat, large design of these mince pies and the charming festive decoration. They are a good size to share, or even better, gently warm in the oven and serve with ice cream for an easy festive dessert.
Organic vegan mince pies
Winner: Best Vegan Mince Pies
Made with only the best organic ingredients, we could hardly believe these pies were vegan. The pastry was crumbly and the filling was generous with strong notes of cinnamon. A great vegan contender in our best Christmas food 2021 roundup.
Jack&Beyond Mince Pies
Judges adored the big chunks of fruit in these generously-filled mince pies. They are rich in cinnamon and have a beautiful golden pastry.
Rosebud Preserves Mince Pies
Stacked in a lovely re-useable tin, these mini mince pies are the perfect afternoon pick me up. Judges were impressed with the butter-rich pastry and the addition of currants in the mincemeat.
No.1 Brown Butter Pastry Courvoisier Mince Pies
Everything about these pies received resounding praise from our judges, but the part everyone raved about most was the pastry itself. Brown butter gives a delicious nutty undertone which makes these mince pies taste incredibly decadent. Rose says; “An inspired idea, the brown butter adds a lovely richness to the pastry, perfect for this time of year.”
Best turkey 2021
Free Range Bronze Turkey
Winner: Best Turkey
Judges were blown away with this turkey. It boasted an exceptional flavour and looked magnificent once cooked. It comes with a helpful popper to signal when the turkey is cooked but we’ve would recommend checking it a little before with a meat thermometer as some of the meat dried out after resting.
Irresistible Organic Pembrokeshire Turkey
Winner: Best Supermarket Turkey
This turkey had a gorgeous golden, crispy skin after cooking and the meat was still perfectly moist. Keiron says; “This turkey had so much flavour and the meat was a very tasty texture. Be sure to make to save the juices and make an exceptional gravy.”
Specially Selected Ultimate Turkey Stuffed Crown and Bacon Wrapped Thigh
Winner: Best Turkey Crown
This crown and thigh combo comes in a tray that’s oven-ready helping to minimise Christmas dishes. The meat is succulent and well-seasoned and the stuffing is lovely and fruity.
On sale in-store from 19 December.
Free Range Bronze Whole Turkey
One of the tastiest turkeys we tasted, this bird had beautiful golden skin once cooked. The cooking method suggested is unusual, as you cook the bird upside down. However it resulted in delicious crispy skin and succulent meat – we are converted. “This magnificent bird was incredibly succulent,” says Rose. “Hands down the best turkey I have ever tasted.”
The Best of Both: Free Range Bronze Turkey Crown with Thighs
We love this cook-in-a-bag Christmas option. The meat is moist and flavoursome and the bacon imparts a delicious smoky flavour. The stuffing is rich with sage and has a nice coarse texture. It would make the tastiest sandwiches if you have leftovers.
Best Christmas dessert 2021
Irresistible Bells & Baubles
Winner: Best Showstopping Dessert
Contemporary in design yet still fun, this dessert tastes amazing and looks impressive too. It has an oozy chocolate centre which is enclosed in a smooth chocolate orange mousse. It’s light and decadent at the same time. Keiron says; “The design of this dessert is so very impressive and effective. It’s fun and festive without being tacky and the flavours are excellent too.”
Taste the Difference Salted Caramel & Chocolate Star
Next on the list of best Christmas food 2021 is this mouthwatering dessert. Great flavours and a gorgeous finish, we think everyone will be impressed when you bring this to the table. There is a sweet caramel centre and which we’re sure you’ll be fighting over for the final spoonful.
Collection Sticky Toffee Pudding Crown
Everyone’s favourite comfort pudding with a fancy presentation for Christmas. It has a delicious light sponge and the bundt shape makes it feel extra special. This pud also comes with a sweet vanilla custard but it would be delicious with a scoop of ice cream too.
Layered Winter Pudding
Our judges were very impressed with this pudding and think it’s a fantastic inclusive option. You hardly notice that it’s vegan and we love its bright colours and light fruity flavours. If you want to make it a real showstopper, we recommend sticking in a sparkler for a little theatre at the table. Keiron says; “This is a simple pudding that has been really well-executed. The flavours are balanced and I loved that it was vegan without trying too hard. It’s a brilliant, inclusive option for your festive spread.”
Best Christmas vegan and vegetarian mains 2021
Mushroom, Cavolo Nero & Mascarpone Parcels
Winner: Best Vegetarian Main
Not only would these be a fantastic option for Christmas Day, we think these could double up in your party food spread too or as a light starter for meat-eaters. The crisp pastry is filled with creamy mascarpone and chunky pieces of mushroom and cavolo nero. We’d recommend serving with an extra pinch of sea salt flakes, but that’s just our preference.
Plant Kitchen Vegan beef Wellington
Winner: Best Vegan Main
A stunning centrepiece, which from afar, looks just like the real meaty thing. Judges loved the flavour of the gravy in this wellington and how easy it was to prepare. Sam adds “I was really surprised at how good this tasted; vegan swaps are not usually something I would recommend but M&S have done a great job here.”
Slow Cooked Mushroom, Caramelised Onion And Brie Galette
Decadent and oozy, this cheesy galette is perfect for those looking to indulge. While it’s difficult to make this look pretty, the pastry goes beautifully golden and the flavours do all the talking. Plus, it’s saucy enough that there’s no need for additional gravy.
Best Christmas party food 2021
Great British Brownies
Winner: Best Sweet Party Food
One for the chocolate-lovers. Our judges couldn’t stop eating these brownies. The edible flowers on top make these very attractive and we’d suggest cutting them into bite-sized nibbles for a sweet canape. A surprising contender in our best Christmas food 2021 roundup.
Red Velvet Brownies, 8-pack
We had lots of brownie entries in the sweet party food category and we’re not mad about it. These ones are a tasty hybrid of brownie and red velvet. Rose says “I don’t want to admit how many of these I ate. They are totally irresistible and incredibly moreish.” The red colour gives the brownies a festive feel and the cream cheese topping is deliciously moreish.
Mini New Yorker Style Pastrami Toasties
Winner: Best Savoury Party Food
These would make a great option if you’re serving up a festive brunch but they would also be pretty tasty with a cold beer or glass of wine. To make them a little fancier we suggest serving on little napkins with a cornichon secured on top using a cocktail stick.
Booths Salt and Pepper Chicken
The crispy, crunchy, peppery crumb on these chicken pieces is oh-so addictive. We loved the punchy flavours and think they’ll disappear from your spread in record time.
Irresistible Sea Salt & Chardonnay Fish Rosti Stackers
We have a feeling everyone will be talking about these stackers. Sophisticated but comforting, each bite is like a little taste of the seaside.
Beef Burger Spring Rolls
Yes, you read that right. The hybrid you never knew you needed. If you’re a fan of the golden arches, we think you’ll adore the dipping sauce that accompanies these spring rolls. Keiron adds “These divided opinions but they live up to their name and taste nice as well as being a novelty. The dip is incredibly moreish with strong dill flavours which we loved.”
Best Christmas alternative main 2021
Irresistible Beef Picanha Joint with Porcini Butter
Winner: Best Alternative Christmas Main
Easy to cook and full of flavour. We adored the porcini butter that comes with this joint. If by some miracle you have leftovers, we reckon you’ll make some phenomenal sandwiches. Rose adds; “I was amazed to discover this was a supermarket product. The meat was succulent and insanely tasty. This would make for a splendid alternative Christmas main.”
Frozen Collection British Beef Bourguignon & Dauphinoise Pie
You might not consider a pie for your festive centrepiece, but if you want some decadent comfort food over the Christmas period be sure to put one of these in your basket. The rich flavours were gob-smackingly good and had our judges reaching for seconds. Keiron says; “I’ll be stocking up on this pie as it’s flavoursome and comforting with a touch of luxury too. It’s so easy to cook and kept me coming back for more.”
No.1 Dry Aged Bone-in Sirloin of Beef Matured in Beef Dripping
Next on the list of best Christmas food 2021 is this beef. Delightfully tender and perfectly seasoned. This beef joint was one of the easiest to cook with very simple instructions. The dry-ageing imparts lots of flavour and with an easy to remove bone, the carving is a doddle.
Best Christmas hamper 2021
It’s a Wonderful Life Hamper
Winner: GoodtoKnow’s Best Christmas Hamper
With a generous selection of luxurious goodies, we have no doubt that this will brighten the day of whoever receives it. Judges felt this hamper was an excellent value given the high quality of produce. They especially liked the ham and cheeses. This is the ultimate gift for a family or couple and will help keep them grazing over the entire festive period. It would be a lovely gift for anyone who has moved house and is in need of some home comforts for the festive period while they are still settling in.
Merry Christmas Everyone Hamper
A lovely little box which has a little bit of everything. It’s a good option to gift for couples or your friend that you never know what to buy for.
Various Christmas Hampers
A brilliant way to introduce your loved ones to some fantastic sustainable products. The packaging looks premium and there’s a great variety of things to choose from.
The Piccadilly Hamper
We can totally see why this is a consistent best-seller and one of our best Christmas food 2021. The attractive wooden hamper box contains oatcakes, crackers, plenty of cheese and chutney and more. It’s the perfect gift for any cheese-lover or family of turophiles.