10 alternatives to Christmas turkey

30 November 2020

From salmon to a vegetarian loaf, if you’re bored with the usual on Christmas Day, here are some fresh ideas.



Cumberland glazed rolled shoulder of lamb with apple-and-pine-nut stuffing

Lamb might never really be seen as a typical Christmas dinner, but the addition of redcurrant jelly and port or sherry in the glaze gives a festive feel to this roast lamb shoulder joint. The sauce can be made about a week ahead if you know you'll be pressed for time, but you can also buy good quality Cumberland sauce from brands such as Wilkin & Son and Hawkshead Relish.

Recipe: Cumberland glazed rolled shoulder of lamb 

Chestnut butter bean Wellington

Chestnut and butter bean Wellington

Vegetarian Christmas food needn’t be dull or worthy, as this tasty dish demonstrates. Protein-packed beans and mushrooms are combined with Christmassy chestnuts and wrapped in a tasty, flaky pastry. With more and more people either reducing or cutting out meat entirely veggie options are becoming increasingly popular for Christmas day dinner.

Recipe: chestnut and butter bean Wellington

Pot roast brisket with Christmas spices

Pot-roast brisket with Christmas spices

Beef is increasingly becoming more of a treat food than an everyday food, so if you're not a fan of roast turkey why not make beef your new tradition? Brisket is a warming winter meal, and this marinade features mulled wine, star anise and figs, giving a spicy, fruity festive flavour.

Recipe: pot-roast brisket with Christmas spices

Roast duck crown with a cherry and red wine sauce

Roast duck crown with a cherry-and-red wine sauce

Many people prefer the stronger, sweeter taste of duck to turkey. Try this recipe for duck with a cherry and red wine sauce and dauphinoise potatoes for your Christmas dinner with a difference.

Recipe: duck with cherry and red wine sauce

James Martin's pork loin with sherry-roasted parsnips and chestnuts

Pork loin with sherry-roasted parsnips and chestnuts

Apart from Santa and carol singing, what says Christmas more than chestnuts? This pork loin with sherry-roasted parsnips and chestnuts makes a great turkey alternative.

Recipe: pork loin with sherry-roasted parsnips

Salmon en croute filled with parsley, lemon and lemon and pepper butter

Salmon en croute

This salmon en croute filled with parsley and lemon and pepper butter is an easy, but delicious fish alternative to white meat.

Recipe: salmon en croute

Beef, beer and chestnut pie

Beef, beer and chestnut pie

A hearty, warming, boozy treat for those who prefer pie to a joint of meat. It can also work out well as a budget option as it uses affordable beef shin.

Recipe: beef, beer and chestnut pie

Lemon roast chicken

Roast lemon-infused chicken

An affordable, simple choice for those that find turkey too dry. The lemon flavour is great for people wanting a change from a more stodgy roast dinner.

Recipe: roast lemon-infused chicken

Glazed Christmas ham

Christmas glazed ham

This glistening, golden brown dish is full of Yuletide appeal, and what's more you can enjoy the leftovers for days to come.

Recipe: Christmas ham

John Torode's beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

The Masterchef presenter and chef John Torode gives his take on a classic beef Wellington, always a welcome addition to the dinner table so why not give it a go this Christmas?

Recipe beef Wellington

Try 3 issues of Saga Magazine for just £3

Subscribe today for just £3 for 3 issues...

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.