christmas_recipes_to_make_now_mulled_wine

Thinking about Christmas? Why not get super organised and start preparing some of your food and Christmas treats in advance?

Make Christmas stress free this year with these simple Christmas recipes (opens in new tab) to make in advance, so on Christmas Day you'll have much more time to spend with your family and less time slaving away in the kitchen - sounds good, right?

It's super easy to make things like mince pies (opens in new tab) in advance, just use a jar of ready-made mincemeat and pop in the freezer once cooked. All you need to do is reheat them before serving  on Christmas day.

Pickles, sauces and relishes will particularly benefit from being made a few months prior to serving. Ideally, these should be made in November to ensure they're full of flavour by Christmas Day.

Take a look through our favourite Christmas recipes to make in advance

Mulled wine

Complete your Christmas party with some classic mulled wine. This warm and comforting drink is really easy to make and can be kept a few months before Christmas. The longer you leave it, the richer it will taste. Just make sure you leave out any fruit as it can go very soggy in wine over time!

  • When to make: November
  • How to store: Store in an airtight bottle in a cool, dark place. Reheat on the hob before serving - you can add in some fresh fruit at this point too.

Get the recipe: Mulled wine (opens in new tab)

We've got lots more Christmas cocktails (opens in new tab) here

Sauces and chutneys: Pickles

christmas_recipes_to_be_made_in_advance_pickled_beetroot

From tangy red cabbage to classic pickled onions, you can get your pickles ready months and months before Christmas. These tasty jars were created as a way to preserve food for longer, so they are perfect make ahead recipes. Pickles make a great food gift too so if you're super organised you can make a few for your friends and family's presents way in advance.

  • When to make: September. Homemade pickles are best served within 3 months of making.
  • How to store: In a cold, dark place. Make sure you store your pickles in an airtight container too.

Get the recipe: Pickled beetroot (opens in new tab)

Why not try one of our other chutney recipes? Click here for more! (opens in new tab)

Sauces and chutneys: Christmas chutney

christmas_recipes_to_be_made_in_advance_christmas_chutney

(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

Chutneys are like a fine wine - they improve with flavour over time. If you're planning on making chutney for Christmas this year, start making it as soon as the weather changes. This flavour packed condiment is a great way to use up an excess of any seasonal fruit and veg throughout the year. The longer you leave your chutney in its jar, the better it will taste.

  • When to make: October. You'll want to make chutney at least a month before Christmas for the best taste.
  • How to store: Store in airtight jars in a cool, dark place.

Get the recipe: Christmas chutney (opens in new tab)

Why not try one of our other chutney recipes? Click here for more! (opens in new tab)

Sauces and chutneys: Cranberry Sauce

christmas_recipes_to_be_made_in_advance_cranberry_sauce

Nothing says Christmas like a spoonful of sweet cranberry sauce. This delicious treat is best made from scratch and only takes a handful of ingredients to make. Give as a festive Christmas food gift or serve alongside your Christmas dinner. If you've got leftovers, this sweet sauce is a delicious addition to sandwiches, pies and pastries.

  • When to make: September/October
  • How to store: Pop in an airtight jar or container and store in a cool, dry place.

Get the recipe: Cranberry sauce (opens in new tab)

Looking for another sauce recipe? We've got lots to choose from here! (opens in new tab)

Sauces and chutneys: Gravy

christmas_recipes_to_be_made_in_advance_gravy

If you're making any roast dinners from now until Christmas you can start saving those leftover meat juices and whip up some gravy ready for Christmas dinner. Homemade gravy is really easy to make and can be frozen easily too. Making it in advance means one less thing to think about on the big day. So step away from the granules and get ready to up your gravy game.

  • When to make: October/November.
  • How to store: Store in a labelled Tupperware box in the freezer. Make sure you leave plenty of time for it to defrost before you want to serve it.

Get the recipe: How to make gravy (opens in new tab)

Why not try one of our other sauce recipes? Click here for more! (opens in new tab)

Stuffing

christmas_recipes_to_make_in_advance_stuffing

(Image credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

Get super organised this Christmas and make your stuffing well in advance. It will be one less thing to stress about when making the Christmas feast and will allow the stuffing to absorb as much flavour as it possibly can. Making the stuffing in advance could be your new Christmas tradition this year!

  • When to make: November/December
  • How to store: Store your uncooked stuffing in clingfilm. Wrap the balls and seal. Pop in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Make sure you leave plenty of time for them to defrost in the fridge before cooking.

Get the recipe: Sage and onion stuffing (opens in new tab)

We've got plenty more stuffing recipes to choose from here (opens in new tab) - from pork to veggie!

Starters: Pâté

christmas_recipes_to_be_made_in_advance_chicken_pate

(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If you're looking for something to spread on your bread for starters, pâté is the perfect choice! Smooth, packed full of flavour and easy to make, pâté can be made well in advance. Serve alongside your cheese and crackers at the end of the meal or save for Boxing Day for leftover sandwiches.

  • When to make: October
  • How to store: Wrap in cling film and then in foil. Seal, label and freeze using within 2 months. To defrost loosen the wrappings and thaw in the fridge until needed.

Get the recipe: Chicken liver pâté (opens in new tab)

Want to try some of our other delicious pâté recipes? Click here for more!

Starters: Leek and potato soup

christmas_recipes_to_be_made_in_advance_christmas_chutney_leek_potato_soup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Soup is the perfect starter for the whole family on Christmas day. It's really easy to make and can be made well in advance so you can spend more time focusing on the main feast. This leek and potato soup is the perfect winter warmer, but if it's not what you fancy then we have plenty more tasty soups to choose from.

  • When to make: October. Soup is best served within 3 months of it being made.
  • How to store: In the freezer. You can be extra organised and portion your soup out so it defrosts quicker.

Get the recipe: Leek, potato and pea soup (opens in new tab)

We've got lots more delicious soup recipes to choose from here (opens in new tab)!

Starters: Prawn cocktail

christmas_recipes_to_make_now_prawn_cocktail

(Image credit: Getty Images/RooM RF)

Prawn cocktails are a really simple choice for your starter. It doesn't take much to rustle up a batch. Frozen prawns, homemade sauce and some fresh salad leaves go a long way on a busy Christmas day. Making the sauce in advance will free up a little bit of time on the big day.

Get the recipe: Prawn cocktail (opens in new tab)

Party food: Pastry straws

christmas_recipes_to_make_now_cheese-and-pickle-straws_recipe

Dip them in hummus or serve them with cheese, pastry straws are the perfect option for Christmas parties. They're great for the kids to munch on whilst you carry on making the dinner. Crisp, cheesy and you can make them in advance - the ideal party food!

  • When to make: October/November
  • How to store: In the freezer. Don't cook your straws, just prepare them and then pop in an airtight container making sure they're separated so they don't stick together. Leave your straws to defrost out in the fridge for around 6 hours before cooking.

Get the recipe: Cheese and pickle straws (opens in new tab)

There's plenty more pastry recipes to inspire you here! (opens in new tab)

Party food: Salmon fish cakes

christmas_recipes_to_make_now_salmon_fishcakes

Opting for a buffet-style Christmas dinner or throwing a Christmas party? Don't forget the fish cakes. Not only are fish cakes really easy to make, they can also be made months in advance too. Just choose your favourite fish, mix creamy mashed potatoes and dust in breadcrumbs - simple!

  • When to make: October/November
  • How to store: Follow your chosen recipe and prepare your fish cakes up until the cooking stage. Place them on a board and cover with clingfilm or in a Tupperware box and freeze. If you're stacking your fish cakes up to save space, make sure you put a sheet of greaseproof paper or clingfilm so they don't get stuck together. Thaw the fish cakes in the fridge and then cook!

Get the recipe: Salmon and Parmesan fish cakes (opens in new tab)

From smoked haddock to tuna, we've got lots of delicious fish cake recipes to choose from here! (opens in new tab)

Party food: Sausage rolls

sausage_rolls_christmas_recipe

No party is complete without sausage rolls. An all-round favourite, sausage rolls are a great one to make in advance. You can make classic ones with fancy sausages or even veggie ones - just in case you've got vegetarian guests over this Christmas.

  • When to make: October/November
  • How to store: If you're using fresh ingredients you can store these sausage rolls in an airtight container for up to 2 months in the freezer before you cook them. If you've used frozen pastry and sausages leave them to defrost, prepare and cook and then store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Get the recipe: How to make sausage rolls (opens in new tab)

Baking: Christmas pudding

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Christmas pudding is pretty similar to Christmas cake: it's best made well in advance to allow all of the flavours to develop. If you're super organised you could start making this pudding in the summer months - yes, seriously!

  • When to make: July - but you can also join the crowd and make your pud on the last Sunday before advent starts which is known as Stir-up Sunday!
  • How to store: In the freezer - you can freeze your pudding for up to 6 months or you can store thoroughly wrapped in a cool, dark place for up to 4 months.

Get the recipe: Christmas pudding (opens in new tab)

Baking: Mince pies

Mince pie recipe

(Image credit: Maja Smend)

Nothing says Christmas more than a warm batch of homemade spiced mince pies. Mince pies are not only really simple to make, but they can be made well in advance. Buttery pastry, homemade mincemeat and a light dusting of icing sugar - what more could you want at Christmas time?

  • When to make: September/October. But if you're cooking the mince pies, serve within 3-4 days of making for the best taste, so that means making those pies on the 20th December.
  • How to store: Mince pies are best frozen before cooking. This means that you can just pop them out of the freezer and straight into the oven when they're needed - perfect!

Get the recipe: Mince pies (opens in new tab)

Baking: How to make french apple tart

How to make french apple tart

From sweet to savoury, tarts are a great choice for Christmas dinner, especially if you have a family full of dessert enthusiasts! Most tarts can be made in advance, but just double check the recipe before making. For a real treat, try a rich chocolate tart, or lighten things up with a zest citrus tart.

  • When to make: You can make the base up in November or you can make your finished tart 2-3 days (21st December) in advance.
  • How to store: If you've opted for homemade pastry you can freeze the tart base in the freezer for up to 2 months in advance. If you've chosen readymade pastry (more than likely frozen beforehand) you can store your finished tart in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Get the recipe: French apple tart (opens in new tab)

Why not try one of our other tart recipes? Click here for more! (opens in new tab)

Baking: Pie

chicken-bacon-and-mushroom-pie_christmas_recipe

You can pack your pie with a variety of ingredients from sweet apples to tender beef chunks and can make your pie well in advance, just make sure you leave plenty of time for it to defrost before serving.

  • When to make: November
  • How to store: If you've opted for ready-frozen pastry, defrost, make into your pie and cook and then store in the fridge up to 3 days in advance, covered in clingfilm. If you've made the pastry from scratch, you can store it in the freezer up to 1 month in advance.

Get the recipe: Chicken, mushroom and bacon pie (opens in new tab)

Planning on making a pie for Christmas dinner? We've got lots of delicious pie recipes here! (opens in new tab)

Desserts: Chocolate roulade

make_ahead_christmas_recipes_roulade

Making your chocolate roulade in advance will mean one less thing to think about on Christmas day. A rich chocolate sponge and a creamy festive filling makes this the perfect dessert option. Scatter with blackberries and dust with icing sugar before serving - simple!

  • When to make: November
  • How to store: Wrap in clingfilm and store in an airtight container in the freezer up to 1 month in advance.

Get the recipe: Chocolate roulade (opens in new tab)

Looking for more chocolate roulade recipes? Click here for more!

Desserts: Tiramisu

Individual_tiramisu_christmas_recipe

If you're a coffee fan, tiramisu will be on the menu for this year's Christmas desserts. You wouldn't think that you can make this creamy treat in advance but you can and it's easy too! Layer upon layer of mouth-watering cream, soft sponge and topped with chocolate mmm...

  • When to make: November/December
  • How to store: You can freeze tiramisu just make sure you assemble it in a freezer safe dish and cover in clingfilm before storing. Leave it to defrost in the fridge an hour before serving.

Get the recipe: Tiramisu (opens in new tab)

Desserts: Trifle

trifle_recipe_christmas_make_ahead

Impress your family this Christmas with a delicious layered trifle. Soft sponge, creamy custard and a sweet jelly finish, each layer will take time to make and set, which means it's the perfect dessert to make before the big day. You'll want to start preparing your masterpiece at least a week in advance.

  • When to make: December
  • How to store: Each layer is best set in the fridge. When you've finished your trifle, top with cream and store in the fridge covered in clingfilm until its ready to be served. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge too for up to 2 days after serving.

Come and see all our impressive trifle recipes here! (opens in new tab)

Desserts: Parfait

White chocolate parfait recipe

Have you ever made parfait before? No? Well, now is the time to get practising! This light and moreish dessert will be the talk of the party. This recipe adds a little bit of Irish cream liqueur to make it even more tempting, but there are many others ways to make your parfait stand out above the rest.

  • When to make: October/November
  • How to store: In the freezer for up to 2 months, covered or stored in an airtight container.

Get the recipe: White chocolate parfait (opens in new tab)

More of our tempting parfait recipes here!

Desserts: Puddings

Chocolate and caramel fondant

From bread and butter pudding to these delightful melting middle chocolate puds, everyone loves a warm and comforting pudding for dessert. Most puds can be made in advance and frozen, but just double check the recipes before making.

  • When to make: November/December
  • How to store: You can store these chocolate puddings in the freezer for up to 2 months in advance. Leave to thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Get the recipe: Melting middle chocolate puddings (opens in new tab)

Come and see some of our other favourite dessert recipes (opens in new tab) which are perfect for Christmas!

Mary Berry's Christmas cake recipe

Christmas cake recipe

Mary Berry’s Christmas cake recipe will be the talk of your Christmas Day meal or party. Made with fruits including currants, raisins and cherries and soaked with rich sherry, the sponge is fruity and moist. Serve this cake with a dollop of brandy butter for a real Christmassy experience.

  • When to make: October/November
  • How to store: Wrap it tightly in a double layer of greaseproof or parchment paper, followed by a double layer of foil, then store it in an airtight container or tin in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

Get the recipe: Mary Berry's classic Christmas cake (opens in new tab)

Dinner: Ham

glazed_ham_make_ahead_christmas_recipe

If you're planning on cooking ham this Christmas you can make it in advance, meaning you'll have plenty more time to focus on having fun on Christmas day. Boiling your ham on the hob means it can be kept for up to 3 days before adding the glaze.

  • When to make: 21st/22nd December, 3 days before adding glaze and serving.
  • How to store: Once cooled, store in an airtight container or wrap in clingfilm and tin foil and store in the fridge. Just reheat when adding the glaze.

Get the recipe: Gordon Ramsay’s honey glazed ham (opens in new tab)

We've got lots more lovely ham recipes to choose from here (opens in new tab)

Dinner: Nut roast

make_in_advance_nut_roast_recipe

Don't forget the vegetarians! Nut roast is the perfect choice if catering for vegetarians as it can be made in advance and tastes just as good when served. This recipe can be reheated from frozen so there's no need to wait around for it to be defrosted - perfect!

  • When to make: October/November
  • How to store: You can store your nut roast in the freezer for up to 2 months, or make it 2 days in advance (22nd/23rd December) and store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Get the recipe: Brazil nut roast (opens in new tab)

More nut roast recipes here!

Dinner: Yorkshire puddings

How to make Yorkshire pudding

Complete your Christmas dinner with some homemade Yorkshire puddings. The batter is so simple to make and can easily to be stored. Make sure you've got a bun tin to cook them in for the perfect finish!

  • When to make: October/November
  • How to store: In the freezer - just pour the batter into small tin cases, place on a board and cover in clingfilm or you can pour the mixture into a large Tupperware box. Leave to defrost in the fridge thoroughly before cooking.

Get the recipe: How to make Yorkshire puddings (opens in new tab)

Dinner: Beef Wellington

Gordon Ramsay's beef wellington

A hearty beef Wellington with a crisp, buttery pastry is the ultimate Christmas treat. Fancy a change from turkey? This luxury main is just the thing for a Christmas that is really special. Whether it's a Boxing Day showstopper or a Christmas dinner alternative, beef Wellington is a great choice and can of course be made in advance - result!

  • When to make: November/December
  • How to store: If you're using fresh or homemade pastry you can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months in advance, un-cooked. If you've used already made pastry - or you've cooked your Wellington - store it in the fridge up to 2 days in advance.

Get the recipe: Gordon Ramsay's beef Wellington (opens in new tab)

Come and see some more of our beef recipes here (opens in new tab)

Dinner: Roast potatoes

roast_potatos_christmas_recipe

Crispy roast potatoes are an essential for any roast dinner, and Christmas dinner is no exception. To save yourself time on the day, you can freeze your par boiled potatoes, then just add 10 minutes to the cooking time on the day. These give much better results, and are much cheaper than buying pre-made frozen roasties.

  • When to make: November/December
  • How to store: You can freeze par boiled potatoes in a sealed bag.

Get the recipe: Perfect roast potatoes (opens in new tab)

Starters: Mini tarts

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Make you own mini quiches as starters with this easy recipe. This caramelised red onion version uses wholemeal flour for the pastry and sweet red onions for the filling – it's delicious!

  • When to make: November/December
  • How to store: You can freeze a quiche in the freezer for up to four months or store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Get the recipe: Caramelised red onion quiche (opens in new tab)

Stollen

Stollen

(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

Paul Hollywood’s Stollen recipe is a Christmas baking classic filled with marzipan and all the flavours of Christmas. It’s worth the extra effort of making it yourself in advance, as the results are SO good.

  • When to make: December
  • How to store: After baking, let the loaves cool fully then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. They'll only improve for the next two to three weeks, so make them at the beginning of December - if you can manage to hold off eating them for that long! if you're too tempted, stollen can also be made 2-3 days in advance.

Get the recipe: Paul Hollywood's stollen (opens in new tab)

Gordon Ramsay's Christmas bombe

Gordon Ramsay's Christmas bombe

Watch your guests' faces light up when you serve this wow factor pud, which can be made and kept in the freezer before the big day. As Gordon says: ‘With a surprise frozen, creamy filling dotted with sweet festive ingredients, this is a great dessert for Christmas. It looks impressive and, best of all, it can be made well in advance and kept in the freezer for up to a month.’

  • When to make: November/December
  • How to store: Gordon's Christmas bombe can be made up to a month in advance

Get the recipe: Gordon Ramsay's Christmas bombe (opens in new tab)

Lauren is a senior content editor covering everything from the latest royal news to fashion, beauty and health content. Lauren graduated from her masters in magazine journalism in 2011, quickly making the transition over to digital and has never looked back. From getting out a breaking news story to penning an in-depth feature, she loves the variety of writing for digital platforms.