Make-ahead Menu Plan for Christmas

For the ultimate low-stress Christmas Day, you can prepare these make-ahead recipes and have them ready in the fridge or freezer to reheat and serve!


Start with a golden Christmas tree pull-apart, enjoy a slow-roasted lamb shoulder, then finish off with a stunning cheesecake log and ice cream that's all been cooked ahead of time.


We've outlined all the recipes and timeline, taking the stress out of organising Christmas day.

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Make-ahead Christmas Menu Plan

For the ultimate Christmas lunch or dinner with the least amount of stress, you can't go past this make-ahead menu. Everything is cooked and prepared in the days before Christmas, so all you have to do on the day is reheat, garnish and serve!
Get the daily instructions to prepare a full meal for 6-8 people, including entrées, mains, side and dessert. Print out this meal plan and recipes for a stress-free day where you can focus on family and friends!
We recommend reading the plan and each recipe at least one week before Christmas to be fully prepared.
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, make sure it stays fresh. Refrigerate all fresh produce and chilled grocery items immediately. Click for tips for storing seafood. Click for tips for storing herbs.
Three days before Christmas (22nd Dec)
  • Prepare and churn ice cream. Freeze. Chop nuts and crush waffle cones for garnish. Store in an airtight container.

  • Prepare Cherry Semifreddo with Chocolate Ganache. Freeze. Toast coconut for semifreddo and store in airtight container. Prepare ganache and store in microwave safe container.
  • Prepare and roll the cheesecake filling for the White Forest Crackle Cheesecake Log in plastic wrap. Refrigerate.
Two days before Christmas (23rd Dec)
  • Prepare and roast the lamb shoulder. Cool completely, cover and refrigerate.
  • Make the dough for Chorizo and Roasted Capsicum Pull-Apart to the end of step 3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Cook quinoa, toast seeds and nuts and make dressing for Pear and Super Grain Salad. Refrigerate.
  • Make the sour cream dressing for the potato salad. Boil eggs and potatoes. Cool and peel eggs.
  • Cook bacon for potato salad. Drain on paper towel and refrigerate.
  • Pickle onions for potato salad. Refrigerate in pickling liquid.
  • Coat cheesecake roll in white chocolate crackle for White Forest Crackle Cheesecake Log. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.
One day before Christmas (24th Dec)
  • Finish the Chorizo and Roasted Capsicum Pull-Apart. Cool completely. Cover well with cling wrap and refrigerate.
  • Make the Edible Cheese Board to step 6. Return to the oven without the cheese. Cool completely and wrap well. Refrigerate.
  • Prepare and bake Christmas Ham with Fruit Chutney Glaze. Cool completely. Wrap in a layer of baking paper, then foil and cling wrap. Refrigerate.
  • Clean and peel cooked prawns. Store in a sealable container. Place a damp paper towel over the top and cover with a lid. Refrigerate.
  • Prepare all the dipping sauces for the prawns. Spoon into airtight containers and refrigerate.
Christmas Day
  • Warm Chorizo and Roasted Capsicum Pull-Apart in a moderate oven (180°C) for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Place Edible Cheese Board onto a tray and place cheese into “bowl”. Bake for 15 minutes in a moderate oven or until the cheese has warmed through. Just before serving add charcuterie, olives, cocktail onions, and other ingredients.
  • Slice pear and combine with mixed leaves, pomegranate seeds, quinoa, seeds and almonds and marinated feta. Mix with dressing just before serving.
  • Combine all the ingredients for Best German Potato Salad. Garnish with bacon, pickles and fresh mint.
  • Warm lamb shoulder in a moderate oven for 30 minutes before serving with salads.
  • Remove ham from the refrigerator and serve with extra chutney.
  • Serve prawns with dipping sauces.
  • Remove Creamy Eggnog Ice Cream from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish and serve.

  • Remove Cherry Semifreddo from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, heat chocolate ganache in microwave in 30 second intervals until pourable. Decorate semifreddo with ganache, coconut and cherries and serve.
  • Remove White Forest Crackle Cheesecake Log from the fridge just before serving. Garnish with extra cherries and serve.
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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