Make Ahead Christmas Menu Plan

Get prepared for Christmas with these easy make-ahead recipes! With these recipes, you can prepare the bulk of them beforehand so there's less to do on the day, and more time for you to enjoy your friends and family.

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Make Ahead Christmas Meal Plan

This step-by-step meal plan is full of recipes that you can make ahead and quick recipes that require almost no work to put together on the day!
This menu will serve 6-8 people. Please adjust quantities for your number of guests. To prepare to make this menu, we recommend reading each recipe at least one week before Christmas.
Make-ahead Christmas Menu
Make Ahead Christmas Recipes
Make ahead Christmas menu timeline
One week before Christmas (by the 18th of December)
  • Order seafood for delivery or pick up for the 24th of December.
  • Order meat, groceries and fresh produce for delivery or pick up for the 22nd of December.
TIPS: Once your groceries have arrived, refrigerate all fresh produce and chilled grocery items immediately. Get tips for storing seafood. Get tips for storing herbs.
Three days before Christmas (December 22nd)
  • Boil and peel eggs for Chicken and Pork Terrine. Refrigerate.
  • Make dressing for Avocado Cabbage Salad. Place in a screw top jar and refrigerate.
  • Make trees for White Christmas Forest. Stand in glasses and refrigerate.
Two days before Christmas (December 23rd)
  • Make egg salad for Honey Mustard Egg Salad Sliders. Store salad in an airtight container and refrigerate. Separate and trim mini cos lettuce. Place into a zip lock bag and refrigerate.
  • Make Chicken and Pork Terrine. Cover tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate.
  • Cook potatoes for Pickled Onion Potato Salad. Cool and refrigerate. Make dressing and cut up celery. Store separately in refrigerator.
  • Make Butternut Pumpkin Mash. Cover and refrigerate.
Christmas Eve (December 24th)
  • Make dough for Pull-apart Cheese and Onion Christmas Tree. Brush with oil. Cover and refrigerate immediately (no need to let rise).
  • Prepare Chutney Glazed Ham recipe. Cool ham and transfer to a plastic or ceramic dish. Cover with baking paper and then with foil. Refrigerate. Scape up any pan juices and store separately in the refrigerator.
  • Dress potato salad. Omit red cocktail onions and dill. Refrigerate in a sealable container.
  • Shred cabbage, pick mint leaves and cut up tomatoes and cucumber for the Avocado Cabbage Salad. Refrigerate separately.
  • Make Choc Raspberry Ripple Wreath Cake. Cover and refrigerate. Prepare fruits and berries to garnish, store separately in refrigerator.
  • Arrange White Forest Trees onto a platter and garnish without meringue kisses. Keep in a cool dry place.
  • Prepare butter for the Seafood Platter with Lemon, Herb and Garlic Butter. Roll into cylinder and store in fridge.
Christmas Day
  • Bring Christmas tree scroll dough to room temperature. Fill and roll scrolls. Arrange on tray and cover with a cloth. Let rise for 30 minutes. Brush with butter. Bake. Brush again once cooked. Garnish with cocktail onions.
  • Half an hour before serving, warm sliders and arrange bottoms on a platter. Spoon on aioli, add lettuce, egg salad and top bun. Secure with toothpicks. Serve.
  • Unmould Chicken and Pork Terrine. Slice and serve with chervil.
  • Bring ham to room temperature. Serve cold, or reheat at 160°C for 30-40 minutes, glazing with reserved pan juices.
  • Melt lemon, herb and garlic butter and cook seafood platter.
  • Mix dill into potato salad and and garnish with red cocktail onions. Serve with mains.
  • Warm up butternut pumpkin mash and top with extra butter.
  • Just before serving the Avocado Cabbage Salad, spoon into a serving bowl and add avocado, mint and dressing. Toss well to mix.
  • Top the Choc Raspberry Wreath Cake with fresh fruits and berries and serve.
  • Add meringue kisses to White Christmas Forest. Place in the centre of the table for guests to enjoy.
More Christmas menu ideas
Here are more Christmas menus with great recipe ideas:
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