Festive family favourites

From flavourful turkey to sweet, honey roasted carrots, make this Christmas dinner the best one yet.

Roast turkey with a herb and pancetta lattice

Roast turkey

The perfect roast turkey – tender and full of flavour, with crisp, golden skin

Total time: 3-4 hours 15 minutes + resting time
Serves: 8


  1. 1 Free range turkey, about 4-6kg
  2. 2-3 fresh bay leaves, torn
  3. 1 lemon, cut into quarters lengthways
  4. 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  5. 450g pack sausagemeat stuffing (optional)
  6. 50g butter, melted
  7. 6 fresh sage leaves (optional)
  8. 95g pack sliced pancetta
  9. 2 x 276g packs Waitrose three little pigs (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Remove the giblets and reserve for turkey stock if making. Season inside the turkey. Place the torn bay leaves, with the onion and lemon quarters, inside the turkey’s larger cavity. Stuff the smaller neck cavity with the sausagemeat, if using, pull the skin back over the neck and use a cocktail stick to secure underneath the bird. Calculate the cooking time, allowing 35 minutes per kg (including stuffing).
  2. Transfer the turkey to a large roasting tin, breast-side up. Brush with the melted butter and season the skin. Cover with foil and roast according to the pack instructions. Remove the foil 30 minutes before the end of cooking, arrange the sage leaves over the turkey breast, then criss-cross the pancetta rashers in a lattice pattern across the breast. Arrange the three little pigs, if using, around the turkey. Return to the oven and continue to roast until the turkey and little pigs are cooked through.
  3. Check the turkey is thoroughly cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest parts of the breast and thighs: the juices should run clear, and there should be no pink meat.
  4. Transfer the cooked turkey to a serving dish, cover with buttered foil and keep warm. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Lemon and sage-buttered Brussels

Lemon and sage-buttered Brussels

Give your Brussels sprouts a make-over this Christmas with this delicious vegetarian recipe.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
Serves: 8


  • 600g fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and any larger ones cut with an 'X' in the base
  • 150g pack pecans
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped sage
  • Zest and juice 1/2 lemon


  1. Cooks the Brussels sprouts in boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until just tender and then drain and return to the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, dry-fry the pecans for 1-2 minutes until golden then set aside.
  3. Mix together the butter, chilli, sage, lemon zest and juice. Season well. Stir into the hot sprouts with the toasted pecans.

Top tip

A day before, trim the sprouts and make the flavoured butters. Keep separately in the fridge. Toast the nuts and keep covered at room temperature. Cook and assemble on the day.

For further Christmas recipe inspiration, visit Waitrose

Roast carrots with honey and fennel


This simple side dish is the perfect accompaniment to any Christmas Dinner. Made with organic carrots.

Serves 4 as a side


  • 1kg organic carrots, peeled
  • 2–3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 and a half tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • a good pinch of salt


Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

  1. Cut the carrots into long wedges or roll-cut them into angular pieces. If they are small and slender, leave them whole or cut them in half lengthways.
  2. Toss with the oil, fennel seeds, honey and salt. Spread the carrots in a single layer over a roasting pan lined with baking paper.
  3. Roast for around 30 minutes until cooked through and caramelising in places – check after 20 minutes and turn over to ensure even roasting.
  4. Serve hot or warm.


·      Add a few sprigs of thyme to the roasting tray.
·      Swap carrots for beetroot or celeriac – or use a combination of root veg.
·      Instead of fennel seeds, try cumin seeds or lightly bashed coriander seeds.

Recipe provided by Riverford who are certified by The Soil Association

Cranberry meringue roulade with Cointreau orange cream

Cranberry meringue roulade

A perfect winter party dessert, this cranberry roulade looks fabulous, festive and fun. Fresh and light, the tartness of the cranberries compliments the sweetness of the meringue beautifully. Plus it’s quick to make and can be frozen, making easy entertaining simple.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes


For the meringue

  • 5 eggs whites
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 50g flaked almonds

For the filling

  • 250g fresh cranberries
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Grated zest and juice of half an orange
  • 300ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / Gas Mark 6.  Line a 35cmx23cm Swiss roll tin with lightly greased baking parchment. 
  2. Whisk the egg whites until very stiff, then gradually add the sugar.  Spread the meringue into the prepared tin and sprinkle with the almonds.
  3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 160°C  / Gas Mark 3 and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn almond side down on to a sheet of baking parchment, allow to cool.
  4. To make the filling, place the cranberries in a saucepan with the sugar, orange juice and zest and simmer until softened and syrupy. Then take off the heat and allow to cool.
  5. When ready to assemble whisk the cream and the Cointreau until the mixture stands in soft peaks.  Spread the cool cranberry mixture evenly over the roulade then spread the cream over.  Roll up from the long end fairly tightly, don’t worry if it cracks a little.  Place on a serving plate and chill before serving.

Cooks Tip:  For that extra wow factor decorate with chocolate holly leaves and delicious crystallised fresh cranberries. For the holly leaves paint melted chocolate onto the back of clean holly or bay leaves, allow to set in the fridge, repeat with another layer of chocolate and set again. Carefully peel off. To make crystallised cranberries, soak fresh uncooked cranberries in a sugar syrup, roll in caster sugar and allow to dry for a few hours.

To freeze: Place the filled and rolled roulade on a suitable platter, open freeze overnight then wrap in a double layer of foil. Allow it to defrost slowly for several hours.

Recipe provided by BerryWorld

Last modified: June 10, 2021

Written by 5:00 pm Recipes