9 Easy And Affordable Christmas Menu Ideas Your Family Will Relish

before you know it, Christmas will be here. Start planning now before you get caught scrambling to make a meal at the last minute or overspend on your Christmas menu.

Here are nine easy and affordable Christmas menu ideas for 2017. They’ll help take the pressure off you so that you can focus on having a good time with loved-ones.

Photo by: Anastasia Zhenina

Before you get started on your Christmas dinner and start planning for your Christmas menu, ask yourself these questions: First of all, where will you be eating? The type of meal you prepare and how much you spend depends on whether you are meeting at someone else’s place and bringing a dish, or if you are handling the dinner yourself at home. If you are bringing a dish, you could splurge on that one dish.

However, if you are planning an actual Christmas feast on a budget, you will need to think more carefully about how many dishes you want to have – a main plus two sides and dessert, buffet-style dinner, or a simple one-dish holiday dinner? Secondly, how many people will join your Christmas meal? Will some just stop over for drinks and appetisers? Do you have a solid head count for the number of participants?Make sure you figure that out first. The last thing you want is for your guests to show up only to run out of food before everyone is served! Remember, a good host is always prepared. And that’s you.

Make sure you figure that out first. The last thing you want is for your guests to show up only to run out of food before everyone is served! Remember, a good host is always prepared. And that’s you.

Onwards to Nine Easy Christmas Menu Ideas

We’ve rounded up nine menu ideas for a traditional Christmas, Asian, and vegetarian feast. Each recipe costs less than $30 to prepare (prices reflect the cost of the meal sans seasonings) and serves at least four people. Most Ingredients can be purchased from Giant’s online store.

Traditional Christmas Menu Ideas

  • Rosemary Roast Chicken
  • Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese
  • Christmas Pudding Ice Cream

Asian Christmas Menu Ideas

  • Mushroom Rice Stuffed in Tomatoes
  • Temaki
  • Coconut and Cinnamon Pudding

Vegetarian Christmas Menu Options

  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Vegetarian Laksa
  • Tomato & Greens Baguette

Traditional Christmas Menu Ideas

Traditions are comforting. They remind us of good times with family and friends. This traditional menu swaps turkey for roast chicken since turkey is difficult to find in Singapore.

Rosemary Roast Chicken

Photo by: jules

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Cost: around $24

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C.
  2. Mix rosemary and butter in a bowl.
  3. Rub the butter mix under the skin of the chicken (reach inside the skin at the neck of the bird).
  4. Rub olive oil all over the bird and season with lemon juice and garlic inside and outside of the bird.
  5. Place chicken on roasting tray.
  6. After the chicken cooks for half an hour, begin preparing the potatoes by slicing them thinly in vertical strips 2/3 the length of the potato toward the base of the potato without cutting all the way.
  7. Mix the garlic cloves with olive oil and then add potatoes and toss seasoning with pepper and salt.
  8. Now place the potatoes in a circular pattern around the chicken already cooking in the oven.
  9. Turn occasionally. Potatoes are done when they are crisp and brown.
  10. Cook for about an hour and a half or until juice runs clear and the meat is not pink inside. Let stand for 10 minutes. Carve chicken and serve it with the potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

Photo by: Aaron Silvers

Serves: 8 Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Cost: around $15

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, put the potatoes with skins plus salt in two inches of cold water and boil.
  2. Cover partially and reduce heat to simmer for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain potatoes and slide skins off. Quarter the unpeeled potatoes.
  4. In a mixing bowl, place potatoes, cream cheese, milk, butter, and half of the heavy cream. Beat until totally blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Return potatoes to medium pot on medium heat. Stir while adding the rest of the heavy cream until blended.
  6. You can keep the mashed potatoes warm by covering the pot and let it sit inside a bigger pot with two inches of simmering water in it.

Christmas Pudding Ice Cream

Photo by: Joy

Serves: 4 to 6 Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Cost: around $12

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Mix egg yolks and caster sugar together in a bowl and whisk until it thickens.
  2. Use a fork to mix the pudding evenly with the yolk and sugar mixture.
  3. Mix in rum paste or alternatives (see below). Whip heavy cream then fold into mix. Whip leftover egg whites and then fold that into the mixture.
  4. Put entire mixture into a sealed container. Freeze until the mixture is solid.

* Use the pudding flavour that you like most – mango, strawberry, chocolate, almond, etc. Alternatively replace with fruitcake instead of pudding. ** Replace with orange liqueur, brandy, or orange juice instead of rum.

Christmas Recipes with an Asian Twist

Let’s break with traditional roast turkeys, beef, and Yorkshire pudding, to give our Christmas dinners an Asian twist.

Mushroom Rice Stuffed in Tomatoes

Photo by: Tim Sackton

Serves: 3 to 4 Prep time: 30 minutes Total Cost: around $9

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. In a wok, heat oil over high heat before adding in sambal oelek and stir-frying for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  2. Add cooked rice and mushrooms and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add in Kecap Manis, coriander and pine nuts. Mix well.
  3. Spoon mixture into tomatoes. Place tomatoes in a heatproof dish and bake for 5 to10 minutes.
  4. Serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves and drizzled with more Kecap Manis.

Tip: Serve as a light meal or as part of a full course. Also try stuffing eggplants, zucchinis or capsicums.

Temaki

Photo by: Mittmac

Serves 4 to 6 Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Cost: around $16

Ingredients:

  • Sushi Rice (180g uncooked)
  • Sushi Nori (10 sheets toasted)
  • Cucumbers (2)
  • Red Bell Pepper (1 medium)
  • Daikon (6 ounces)
  • Avocados (2 small pitted, sliced)
  • Sushi Seasoning (3 tablespoons)
  • *Furikake

Directions:

    1. Cook sushi and then put in a bowl to cool (15 minutes). Add sushi seasoning.
    2. Cut vegetables into 2 inch sticks.
    3. Cut Nori sheets into halves. Place shiny side on flat surface. Spread two to three tablespoons of sushi rice on it.
    4. Place a few vegetable sticks (cucumber, daikon, and red pepper) on top of the rice. Lay a slice of avocado on top. Sprinkle with Furikake.
    5. Roll Nori from right to left. Use rice to seal the roll. Repeat for each Nori sheet.

Furikake: a dry Japanese seasoning used to sprinkle on top of cooked rice, vegetables, and fishes.

Coconut and Cinnamon Pudding

Photo by: Alpha

Serves 10 Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Cost: around $11

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Stir ½ cup of water and cornstarch together in a separate bowl until it is completely blended and smooth.
  2. Blend ¾ cup of water with coconut milk and sugar in saucepan. Cook on low until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir corn kernels and cornstarch mix. Stir rapidly to prevent the mix from lumping. Sauce thickens up quickly.
  4. Let mixture boil and simmer stirring non-stop for 2 minutes until mixture becomes completely smooth and thick. Add ground cinnamon.
  5. Add coconut pudding and let cool for 2 hours.
  6. Toast coconut flakes on medium heat in a clean skillet. Be careful not to burn them. Pour flakes into a bowl and let cool before sprinkling on pudding mix.

Vegetarian Christmas Menu Options

If your guests prefer not to have meat and dairy, you can still whip up a very tasty and affordable Christmas meal. Here are a few vegetarian recipes to try this holiday.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Photo by: Craig Dugas

Serves 12 to 14 Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Cost: around $23

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Chop all mushrooms. Peel onions or shallots and chop finely. Rip up the stale bread into chunks. Chop parsley.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots/onions and garlic cloves. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes (do not brown shallots)
  3. Add mixed wild mushrooms to the pan. Add bay leaves and thyme. Cook until mushrooms are soft.
  4. Heat oven to 190°C. Pour the mixture into a separate large bowl and let cool. Afterwards add bread chunks. Season with black pepper and sea salt. Add pecans.
  5. Stir in parsley, keep a portion in reserve.
  6. In a greased casserole dish, arrange the Portobello mushrooms on the dish.
  7. Pour the stuffing mix onto the Portobello mushrooms and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle remaining parsley on top.

* Other types of mushrooms can be used as well

Vegetarian Laksa

Photo by: Alpha

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Cost: around $29

Ingredients:

Spice Paste:

  • Ginger, peeled and chopped (1 inch)
  • Lemongrass stems, white part only, thinly sliced (2)
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves, finely shredded (5)

Directions:

  1. Soak noodles in a large bowl of hot water for 30 minutes to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, place all spice paste Ingredients in a food processor and process until it forms a chunky paste.
  3. In a pan, shallow fry tofu in 2 tbsp coconut oil until just golden brown. Use medium-high heat.
  4. In a large pot over medium heat, stir fry spice paste in coconut oil until fragrant (a couple of minutes).
  5. Add coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  6. Add peppers, corn, spring onion, tofu and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add tamarind and lemon juice. Allow to simmer for another couple of minutes, then remove from heat.
  8. Drain noodles and divide among 4 bowls.
  9. Add the soup over the noodles. Serve with bean shoots and coriander.

Tomato & Greens Baguette

Photo by: purdman1

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Cost: around $7

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes, top sliced off & de-cored (4)
  • Baguette
  • Juice of Lemon (1)

Directions:

  1. Strip leaves from cabbage. Add salt to a pan of water, then bring to a boil. Add cabbage and garlic cloves. Cook until tender.
  2. Blanch tomatoes in water. Remove and let it cool. Then gently peel off the tomato skins. Cut out the stem base with a paring knife.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and squeeze out most of the juices and seeds.
  4. Strain water and cool. Wring out any remaining water from the cabbage and mix the blend well.
  5. Season with pepper and sea salt. Drizzle olive oil over mix and toss it. Portion out baguette slices with vegetable mix. Lightly sprinkle sea salt, lemon juice, and olive oil over the bread.

With these no-fuss Christmas menu ideas, you are now all set for an amazing meal as special as the holidays itself. If you want to sweeten your Christmas menu, visit our quick and easy Christmas cookies and Christmas cake recipes.

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