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Christmas is quite a big event in our home, as I’m sure it is for most people! Besides the giving of presents, we love spending lots of time together. Really this is the best part of Christmas for me. On Christmas Day I want to be able to enjoy time with my family. I’m sure you do too! I try to help make the day go a little smoother by preparing a selection of our Christmas meal accompaniments in advance. This is my Christmas Day meal prep guide and I hope you can use it to help you get organised for the big day!
There are a number of food items that I have found I can prepare in advance, without changing the texture, flavour or appearance. These are the items that I prepare, for our Christmas Day meal prep:
If you don’t fancy cooking a turkey, or aren’t a lover, then this slow cooker whole chicken is really simple. It takes just a couple of minutes to prepare and cooks itself! Cooking chicken is a great way to save money on your Christmas dinner and you can prepare this in advance and serve it alongside turkey or other more expensive meats, such as beef, to bulk out your Christmas spread if you have a large family.
Gammon is almost always a winner with the family at Christmas time! I have a lovely slow cooker gammon joint with a balsamic glaze that is delicious, juicy and flavoursome. It’s really simple to cook and can be prepared in advance and served directly from the fridge on the day.
We love a nice simple slow cooker roast beef over the festive period. It is hearty, warming and great for sandwiches too if you’re working between Christmas and New Year.
Stuffing – I usually make this from scratch. Butter, olive oil, bread, cooked onions, and a little fresh sage. Blitz it together in the *food processor, roll in balls and it is ready to freeze. I have also frozen this partly cooked before and just reheated for 10-15 minutes in the oven before serving. Sage and onion stuffing recipe.
Gravy – I make this from scratch. Typically I use the juices from a joint, such as my slow cooker whole chicken, and then I add a little flour. I like to add salt, pepper, and other herbs too. Once the gravy is fully prepared I freeze it in a *lock and lock round pot leaving room for expansion. I like to also freeze fresh herbs, here’s how to freeze fresh herbs. My ultimate onion gravy is one of my most popular recipes and great frozen and defrosted/re-heated on the day.
Roast Potatoes – I peel, part boil and then dust lightly with flour. I bake in the oven, at 200C for around 10 minutes and then I freeze them once they have cooled. These are then ready to go back in the oven, for around 30-40 minutes until they are crispy and delicious. Alternatively, I throw them in my *air fryer for around 20 minutes to make these air fryer roast potatoes.
Pigs in Blankets – Usually I make large pigs in blankets. Large chipolatas with smoked streaky bacon wrapped around them. Then I will cook these, almost completely. Once cool I freeze them. Re-heating from frozen takes just 10-15 minutes and I wait for them to finish crisping up before serving.
Parsnips / Carrots – I peel and slice into large wedges. After part boiling for 10 minutes I cook them for just 10-15 minutes at around 200C. I tend to drizzle a honey and mustard dressing (homemade) over them when I get them out of the freezer. This helps them to still crisp up lovely. I often make airfryer honey glazed parsnips too as they are so simple, crisp and delicious.
Cauliflower cheese – I part boil the cauliflower, pour over a homemade cheese sauce, top with grated cheese and put in the freezer. Then it just needs cooking from frozen for around 25-35 minutes depending on the oven temperature.
Making Christmas Day meal prep even easier
If I want to make the clean up a little easier then sometimes I will use these *foil trays. I also like to use *freezer bags to keep everything fresh. I’ve got a *slimline chest freezer, for storing all the goodies I prepare in advance. Being organised makes me feel really pleased and saves me a lot of time too.
One kitchen gadget that I love when it comes to Christmas Day meal prep would have to be my *air fryer. I am able to heat items up in record time and crisp them up too.