9 alternatives to turkey on Christmas Day

Not a fan of this festive staple? Try one of these showstopping alternatives on the big day.

It’s as synonymous with Christmas as mince pies for Rudolph and the star on top of the tree, but turkey isn’t top of everyone’s wish list on December 25.

Despite its status as the go-to bird, many people find it lacking in flavour and moisture. So this year, why not forget about the ghosts of Christmas turkeys past and try one of these delicious alternatives instead?

1. Baked ham

Ham has a punchier flavour than turkey and the leftovers make a tasty Boxing Day sandwich. Stud it with cloves for a traditional feel, or boil it up with cola (full fat) to bring out the sweetness.

2. Beef Wellington

This beefy parcel of pastry makes a showstopping centrepiece for red meat-lovers on Christmas Day. Serve with a rich red wine sauce.

3. Roast chicken

For people who find turkey a bit on the dry side, why not opt for classic roast chicken instead? It’s moist, flavoursome, and tastes just as good with unused stuffing in a sandwich the next day.

4. Nut roast

The go-to dish for vegetarians on Christmas Day, the nut roast can just be as tasty a treat for carnivores. Pair with a rich mushroom, onion or cranberry sauce for a moreish alternative main.

5. Fish

Fish isn’t the first dish that springs to mind at Christmas, but it’s a hugely popular festive treat with our European neighbours – including Italians, who traditionally celebrate Christmas Eve with a Feast of the Seven Fishes. Make fish the star of the show on December 25 with a whole roasted variety such as salmon or seabass – it’s delicious, light, and leaves more room for trifle afterwards.

6. Goose

Goose was a hugely popular main on Christmas Day before it was usurped by its cheaper cousin, turkey. Cooked properly, it’s rich in flavour with a delicious skin, and moister than turkey thanks to its fat.

7. Guinea fowl

Smaller in size than other members of the bird family such as chicken, guinea fowl is not only delicious, but leaves you with less of a headache about what to do with all the leftovers. Roast with festive spices for a flavoursome main dish.

8. Roast pork and crackling

A classic winter warmer to wow your guests with. Serve with stuffed apples then light the fire and relax with a nice glass of port.

9. Duck

Rich and tasty, duck provides the most delicious fat with which to roast your potatoes, and works brilliantly with festive spices such as cinnamon.

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