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Max La Manna’s budget plant-based Christmas menu

by Francesca Sleet

published on 9 December 2022

Families across the UK look forward to the festive season for months but this year the usual excitement may be overshadowed by worry about the associated costs, particularly when it comes to the all-important Christmas Day meal. Added to soaring energy prices, mortgage rates and rent costs, the price of basic ingredients is placing a significant strain on household budgets. With many home cooks looking to reduce the cost of this year’s Christmas food shop, any tips, tricks and recipes to help us save money without compromising on those little magic touches that make Christmas special are like festive gold dust. But help is on hand! Here to guide you through the challenges of festive cooking on a budget are our savvy authors, who we’ve asked to create a selection of budget-friendly Christmas recipes.

First up is a three-course menu from our regular contributor, Max La Manna. Max’s entire approach to cooking is based on keeping waste to a minimum and his recipes are brimming with ideas for getting the most out of every ingredient; an ethos that lends itself well to sticking to a budget. Low in cost but high in festive cheer, Max’s plant-based feast is packed with hard-working but inexpensive ingredients and includes a soothing soup, a hearty one-pan root veg pie and delightful single-serve trifles. Read on to get the recipes…

Butternut Squash Soup, Beetroot Tarka, Crispy Sage and Cinnamon Crumble

Packed with spices and topped with a drizzle of beetroot tarka and a crunchy cinnamon crumble, this budget-friendly butternut squash soup is the perfect starter to for a plant-based festive dinner. Using frozen butternut squash helps keep the cost down while the cinnamon crumble is great way to use up leftover bread.

One-pan Spicy Carrot, Potato and Parsnip Filo Traybake

Max cleverly uses leftovers of his butternut soup as a coating for the root veg he packs into this hearty traybake topped with crunchy filo.

Easy Ginger and Cherry Trifles

These single-serve trifles are the perfect low-effort Christmas dessert with layers of festive spiced ginger cake, vegan custard (though you can use any custard here) and a quick cherry sauce.  

Keep up to date with the latest recipes from Max on Instagram and don’t forget to pre-order your copy of his brand-new cookbook, You Can Cook This!, coming March 2023.


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