Easy Christmas starter recipes you can make ahead

When it comes to starters and desserts, make Christmas easier for yourself with impressive dishes that you can make ahead of the day itself. Whether you're going Nordic with a dill-cured side of salmon, you're keeping it classic with a traditional prawn cocktail or you're seeking a punchy salad to kick off proceedings, these are easy Christmas starter recipes to help inspire you. 

Make it a Scandi-inspired start to your Christmas with Rachel Khoo's delightfully simple Prawns on buttered Pumpernickel Toast (Pumpernickel toast skagen) from the winter recipes section in The Little Swedish Kitchen. It's the perfect easy starter to rustle up when your guests arrive. 

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christmas salad

Go big on flavour with Ottolenghi's Spicy Beetroot, Leek and Walnut Salad from Jerusalem. This is a vibrant, winter salad with a kick of chilli and pop of pomegranate to get the taste buds going.

gravlax cured salmon

Rick Stein's Gravlax from My Kitchen Table is deceptively easy to prepare. A cured salmon recipe with a thick crust of dill and peppercorns, this Christmas starter looks incredibly appetising when sliced and served with mustard and horseradish sauce.

prawn cocktail

A Christmas classic, you can't go wrong with a retro Prawn Cocktail. With homemade mayonnaise and a dash of cognac, this recipe from Simon Hopkinson Cooks is a true favourite.  

mackerel pate

With hints of horseradish, lemon, paprika and dill, this Mackerel Paté from Tom Aikens: Easy is perfect on toasted sourdough bread. A great starter to make ahead, so you don't have to rush on the big day. 

smoked salmon christmas starter

These stunning Smoked Salmon & Chive Potato Pancakes from Simon Hopkinson's The Good Cook are served up with horseradish cream for an impressive Christmas Day starter.

mary berry onion soup

Mary Berry’s French Onion Soup from Classic combines sweet, caramelised onions with rich and punchy mustardy Gruyère cheese croûtes for a sumptuous soup guaranteed to impress. 

Rachel Khoo

Rachel is a graduate of Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London. It was her passion for patisserie that lured her to Paris, where she obtained a pastry diploma. She then put her skills to use at the delightful Paris culinary bookstore and tea salon, La Cocotte.

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