Easy Christmas recipes

Abbey Stanford profile photo
Specialist Health Editor at Bupa UK
16 December 2020

Christmas dinner is a key focal point of Christmas Day, and with good reason! Here are some delicious vegetable recipes to complement your yuletide menu.

Hazelnut carrots

An orange or honey glaze is often a popular choice for carrots for the festive feast. But try these hazelnut and mustard carrots for a different take on the humble Christmas carrot.

Serves 6-8


  • 500g carrots
  • 50g hazelnuts (blanched)
  • 2tsp mustard of your choice
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • 50ml of vegetable oil


  • Toast your hazelnuts until they are golden. Then, when they have cooled down, roughly chop them.
  • Make the dressing by whisking the vinegar, sherry, mustard and oil together. Add some salt and pepper.
  • Thinly chop your carrots and boil or steam them for three to four minutes. When they are tender, drain and tip them back into the pan.
  • Pour over the dressing and give it a stir to make sure the carrots are coated. Cook over a low heat before tipping into a serving dish.
  • Scatter over the crushed hazelnuts and serve.

Brussels sprouts – chargrilled with a hint of chilli

These chargrilled sprouts with a bit of citrus and heat will give your Christmas dinner a lift.

Serves 6


  • 600g Brussels sprouts (trim the bases)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1–2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 60ml olive oil


  • Cook the Brussels sprouts in a pan of boiling salted water for about five minutes until they are tender.
  • Drain them and let them cool down a bit, and then slice them into halves.
  • Put a large frying pan over a medium heat and add 3 tbsp oil.
  • Then add the bashed garlic for a few minutes until golden, then remove it from the pan.
  • Add the chilli flakes and your halved sprouts to the frying pan. Put them cut side down and leave them for 10 minutes. This bit is important so that your sprouts get some nice colour on them.
  • Juice the lemon and then add this along with the rest of the oil. Cook for a few more minutes, making sure your sprouts are coated.
  • When you serve, sprinkle some lemon zest over the top.

Fruity red cabbage

Stir-fried red cabbage adds beautiful jewel colours to your plate. This recipe is quick and easy too.

Serves 4


  • three quarters of a red cabbage
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter or plant-based spread
  • 2 tsp cranberry sauce
  • 50 ml red wine
  • half an orange


  • First prep your veg by finely chopping the red cabbage and juicing and zesting the orange.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and then add the shredded cabbage. Stir it over a high heat for about four minutes.
  • The cabbage should start to wilt. When it does, add the spread, cranberry sauce, wine, orange juice and zest.
  • Stir it well, cooking for another four minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper and then serve.

The best porcini gravy

Christmas dinner wouldn’t be complete without a delicious gravy! This one uses porcini mushrooms for a great depth of flavour.

Serves 8


  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • a handful of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 litre of low-salt vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp cornflour


  • Chop up the onion and carrots. Add them to a pan on a medium heat with the oil. Cook them for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the ketchup and the mushrooms and cook until the mixture goes a bit sticky. Then add the vinegar.
  • Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Then remove from the heat and, using a hand blender, blitz until it goes to a soup-like consistency. Pour it through a sieve into a pan and add the cornflour with a little bit of water.
  • Stir and cook until it has thickened, then serve.

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Abbey Stanford profile photo
Abbey Stanford (she/her)
Specialist Health Editor at Bupa UK