If you’re already planning to have the oven on in the days leading up to Christmas, pop in some parsnips and be rewarded with delicious, silky soup.
These beauties take some time to make, but are well worth it. They also make the most of low-cost ingredients. Free up time on Christmas Day by making the peperonata in advance and the polenta the day before.
A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, made with slow-cooked garlic for a more mellow flavour.
Try this speedy twist on a classic starter for a simple and low-cost festive starter. Ideal at Christmas time, they‘re served on lettuce leaves and topped with crispy shallots.
Make brilliant use of storecupboard ingredients and your spices with these easy, no-fuss baked ham hock pots.
Get your turkey, pigs in blankets and stuffing fix all in one with this stunning turkey, bacon & chorizo bombe. Cooking turkey breasts is much cheaper and easier than roasting a whole turkey, and the sausagemeat and bacon wrap helps keep it moist and full of flavour.
Serve our moreish mushroom bourguignon pithivier as a vegan main course. Use chestnut and portobello mushrooms or another selection of cheaper mushrooms.
Enjoy an energy- and cost-efficient festive lunch – we’ve used a few tricks to cut down on the oven cooking time, but the result is still a succulent chicken. This is part of Barney Desmazery’s Cook Smart Christmas menu.
For more ideas, take a look at our budget Christmas centrepieces.
Forgo the oven entirely and make the main roast elements in an air-fryer. Use a microwave to heat the gravy rather than on the hob.
Alternatively, streamline the usually long process of making Christmas dinner with our recipe for slow-cooker turkey.
This veggie loaf is a smart and thrifty option for a vegetarian main, combining lentils with chestnut mushrooms, brown rice and walnuts. Top with cranberry sauce for a festive touch.
Make homemade Christmas pigs in blankets easily by using an energy-efficient air-fryer. If you have herbs to hand, add flavourings such as sage leaves.
Throw your potatoes, carrots, celeriac and parsnips into one tin and roast with goose fat for an irresistible traybake. It’ll free up some much needed space in your oven, too.
Alternatively, you could cook canned potatoes in an air fryer to make these alternative air-fryer roasties.
Cook the British classic, cauliflower cheese, easily in the microwave. With prep and cook time in under half an hour, it’s a worthwhile side.
If you like the look of this, check out this recipe for slow-cooker potato gratin. Slow-cooking offers lovely depth of flavour while saving effort and energy costs.
Here’s a dish that’s sure to get your guests talking: charred sprouts with Marmite butter. It’s cheaper to make than traditional chestnut and bacon sprouts, and you only need a small amount of Marmite to add a super-savoury umami flavour.
Alternatively, make this side with the help of a microwave with our microwave brussels sprouts.
No Christmas dinner is complete without a side of red cabbage. Pomegranate juice and caraway seeds add festive flavour.
Make our no-waste gravy using overripe tomatoes, mushrooms, herb stalks, leek tops and celery leaves to give it added flavour.
Chill these cornflake chocolate nests in the fridge, then top with icing snow – a lovely activity to do with kids.
Mix apples with frozen red fruits, cinnamon and mixed spice for a Christmas-flavoured family favourite.
Cool down after your festive lunch with an ice cream treat that includes all the flavours of a classic Christmas pud.
End your festive menu on a high with these mince pies, saving you time energy and effort with the help of an air fryer.
Save yourself time and money with these charming microwave Christmas mug cakes, best served with brandy butter or custard.
Do you have any money-saving tips for Christmas dinner? Leave a comment below.
Next level Christmas dinner
Easiest ever Christmas dinner
Classic Christmas menu
Vegetarian Christmas menu
Vegan Christmas menu
Quick Christmas menu
2-hour Christmas menu
Christmas menu for a crowd
All our Christmas menus