Cook Smart Christmas | BBC Good Food


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When it comes to home cooking, you can be at your most creative when budget, time or options are limited. Many of us are feeling the pinch this year, and we all have a responsibility to understand how to cook more efficiently so we waste less. That’s what these recipes are about: clever cooking with a Christmas twist. The best part is, there’s no compromise on portion sizes or flavour in this menu – it will generously feed six and feel just as festive as ever. All the recipes have all been thought-out, with the aim of getting the most out of every ingredient used. We’ve considered how to waste as little as possible, mostly using the best of this season’s produce.

Every year when I give Christmas cooking advice, my mantra is: “You’re better off cooking fewer things well that work together, than making too many things poorly and having clashing flavours.” So, for our Cook Smart Christmas menu, we’ve stuck to classics: succulent chicken, crispy roasties, creamy bread sauce (without the cream!), quick braised red cabbage and our most deeply flavoured gravy recipe to date. Here’s to having a very merry Christmas with all the trimmings, while saving a little money, too.

Download the time plan.

Cook Smart Christmas menu plan

The Cook Smart Christmas recipes

Here’s what you can expect from our Cook Smart Christmas menu:

  • Feed at least six people for about £4 a person*
  • Minimal cooking time
  • Have the oven on for no longer than 2 hours
  • Minimal food waste
  • Clever use of storecupboard ingredients
  • No expensive or hard-to-find ingredients
  • Get-ahead tips
  • Microwave and air-fryer shortcuts

* Price correct at the time of publication.



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