Budget-friendly Menu Plan for Christmas

Make Christmas special without breaking the bank with these affordable Christmas menu ideas. Get the recipe for a festive Maple Glazed Roast Chicken, and homemade desserts like the cheat's chocolate trifle and rum balls to make everyone happy.


We've outlined all the recipes and timeline, to take the guess work and stress out of organising Christmas day. Simply follow the menu outline for an easy meal!

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Budget Christmas Menu Plan

Enjoy a decadent dinner without breaking the bank with these budget-friendly Christmas recipes. Start the party with a retro hedgehog and sticky chicken wings for your entrée, then enjoy Maple Glazed Roast Chicken as festive but affordable main. Finish off with a cheat's trifle and classic rum balls.
This menu will feed 6-8 people. We recommend reading the plan and each recipe at least one week before Christmas to be fully prepared.
Budget Christmas Menu
Budget-friendly Christmas Recipes:
Make-ahead Christmas menu timeline
One week before Christmas (by the 18th of December)
  • Order meat, and groceries for delivery or pick up on 22nd December.
  • Choose a ham size and type that fits into your budget. The glaze recipe will remain the same, but the cook times may change.
TIPS: Once your groceries have arrived, make sure they stay fresh. Refrigerate all fresh produce and chilled grocery items immediately. Click for tips for storing herbs.
Three days before Christmas (22nd Dec)
  • Make the Rum Balls and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Cook strawberry curd. Refrigerate.
  • Make the salted caramel for the trifle. Refrigerate.
Two days before Christmas (23rd Dec)
  • Cut cheese and cabanossi for the hedgehog. Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate.
  • Place chicken wings in a large ziplock bag and add Hoisin and Garlic Sauce. Mix well. Seal bag and refrigerate.
One day before Christmas (24th Dec)
  • Prepare maple butter and spread under chicken skin and brush over the top. Finish recipe to step 3. Refrigerate.
  • Make chutney glaze. Score and glaze ham. Bake. Remove from the oven, cool to room temperature. Carefully cover with baking paper, foil and cling film and refrigerate.
  • Cook penne pasta for Tuna and Pesto Pasta Salad. Drain and refresh with cold water. Drizzle a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Store in a container and refrigerate. Cut and slice other vegetables and refrigerate. Combine pesto and lemon juice in a screw top jar. Refrigerate
  • Prepare and bake the Cheesy Layered Vegetable Bake. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate.
Christmas Day
  • Drain cocktail onions and skewer cheese, cabanossi and cocktail onions onto toothpicks. Prepare rockmelon and arrange skewers into it just before serving.
  • Place chicken wings into a large roasting dish. Roast and arrange onto a platter. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
  • Finish Maple Glazed Roast Chicken from step 4. Rest and carve.
  • Make Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint. Arrange on a platter and serve.
  • Serve ham cold or warm in a moderate (180°C) oven for 30 minutes. Carve and serve.
  • Warm up Cheesy Layered Vegetable Bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes. Cover the top with foil if it is getting too dark.
  • Combine cooked pasta with pesto dressing. Add remaining salad ingredients. Toss and season. Garnish with basil just before serving.
  • Spoon curd into tart cases. Whip cream and garnish with cream and extra sliced strawberries.
  • Whip the cream and put together the trifle with salted caramel sauce and berries. Serve.
  • Arrange Rum Balls onto a serving platter and serve with coffee or tea.
Organise your recipes
If you have a myfoodbook account, don't forget that you can save these recipes into a free eCookbook. Print them off along with this menu timeline to be prepared for Christmas this year!
More Christmas menus
Discover more Christmas menu timelines below:
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