Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

Easy Christmas starter recipes you can make ahead

by Malou Herkes

published on 15 October 2018

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. 

Prawns on Pumpernickel Toast (Pumpernickel toast skagen)

Prawns on Pumpernickel Toast (Pumpernickel toast skagen)

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

Spicy Beetroot, Leek and Walnut Salad

Spicy Beetroot, Leek and Walnut Salad

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi

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.

Mary Berry’s Crab and Herb Blinis with Pickled Fennel Herb Salad

Mary Berry’s Crab and Herb Blinis with Pickled Fennel Herb Salad

These beautifully delicate blinis are flavoured with dill and chives and provide a great base for fresh crab, spiked with lemon, horseradish and parsley. Serve with a sharp fennel salad to cut through the richness of the shellfish.

Mary Berry’s Rustic Smoked Trout and Anchovy Pâté

Mary Berry’s Rustic Smoked Trout and Anchovy Pâté

“Quick and easy to prepare, this pâté is delicious served with hot toast and makes a lovely starter”, says Mary of this comforting sharing dish. You can find smoked trout in most supermarkets these days. Pair with pickled beetroot if you like.

Gravlax (Dill-cured Salmon)

Gravlax (Dill-cured Salmon)

Rick Stein’s Dill-cured Salmon 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

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 Pâté

Mackerel Pâté

by Tom Aikens

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 & Chive Potato Pancakes with Horseradish Cream

Smoked Salmon & Chive Potato Pancakes with Horseradish Cream

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.

The Good Cook
Find this recipe in

The Good Cook

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

by Tim Hayward

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. 

Share

You might also like


View all

Features

Mediterranean cooking isn’t just for summer: 8 recipes for cooler days from Claudia Roden’s Med

Thought Mediterranean cooking was just about al fresco dining and summer produce? Think again. Claudia Roden’s Med is brimming with inspiration for autumn and winter cooking. Discover 8 of our favourite recipes here.

Features

An A-Z of Pasta with Rachel Roddy: Trofie with Pesto alla Genovese, Potatoes and Green Beans

In the third instalment of her monthly pasta column, Rachel Roddy teaches us how to make pesto alla genovese served with trofie, potatoes and green beans.

Features

Cook from the Book: Med

A team of home cooks tested out a selection of recipes from Med, the brand new Mediterranean cookbook from Claudia Roden.

newsletter

Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week