The perfect turkey-free Christmas dinner

Turkey is the traditional Christmas dinner meat, but it is not everybody’s cup of tea. Whilst there is nothing wrong with turkey, there is also nothing wrong with replacing the traditional turkey with something more appealing to you! One of the best meats to use instead of turkey is beef. The meat is tasty, rich, and is so incredibly versatile that you could use a completely different recipe each Christmas for the next decade and still not be bored of it!

So if you’re fed up with the traditional turkey, or perhaps you’re just a red meat eater through and through, here is everything you need to make the perfect turkey-free Christmas dinner.

Family Christmas dinner

What to use in place of the turkey

As we said, beef is certainly one of the most versatile meets and it fits the Christmas dinner vibe so well. There are a myriad of things that you can do with beef, all of which are tasty and will ensure that your turkey-free dinner goes down in history as a real success.

Roast beef

This is the most obvious option. In the same way that you’d traditionally roast a turkey, why not just do a glorious joint of roast beef to go alongside all of your usual trimmings for Christmas this year? A simple roast beef joint is fairly easy to do, and will keep both you and your guests happy when it comes to dinner time.

If you do want to do roast beef, but simple isn’t for you, then there are a few ways that you can make it more exciting. Why not try a topside of beef with a rosemary crust, or mustard roast beef for an extra sprinkle of flavour? Both recipes are still easy to follow, but it shows your guests that you’ve put in that little bit more effort. Plus, rosemary and mustard are great flavours on a Christmas dinner.

Beef wellington

If you’re fed up of roast meat in general, why not be a bit adventurous and try out a beef wellington this year for Christmas? It’s the perfect centerpiece for a turkey-free Christmas dinner. Rich, tasty, and encased in pastry – it’s hard to go wrong! You can even be playful with it, and shape your Christmas Wellington in the shape of a Christmas cracker, because why not?

Beef wellington

Chorizo-stuffed beef

Looking for something that is really separate from the British Christmas traditions? Chorizo-stuffed beef gives you a kick of spice and excitement that roast beef might not provide. Pair it with your usual trimmings and lashes of gravy, or style your Christmas dinner around your new beef concoction.

What about the trimmings?

As with a turkey Christmas dinner, the trimmings can make or break your turkey-free Christmas dinner. They’re just as important as the meat, and there are so many options to choose from. You can, of course, go for the standard trimmings that you’ve had year in and year out, or you can find some more deluxe recipes, or more exciting recipes, to go with your deluxe beef or inventive beef main.

To make your turkey-free Christmas dinner one to remember, you should ensure that you’ve planned to make:

Roast potatoes

A Christmas dinner arguably isn’t even a Christmas dinner without the roasties. Whether you make them from scratch or Aunt Bessie it, they’re a staple of the roast and the Christmas dinner. We don’t know where we’d be without them! But for those who are looking to shake things up, there are different ways to make your spuds that might make your Christmas dinner that bit more interesting.

If you’re looking for simple roasties, try cooking some tinned potatoes in an airfryer for crispy goodness. Or if you’re after normal roasties with a bit of a spin, then why not add some parmesan into the mix? Or lemon, garlic and bay? You could even make hassleback roasties for your Christmas dinner. The options truly are endless.

There are, of course, potato dishes that really differ from the normal Christmas dinner roast potatoes. Those looking to rock the boat could try making dauphinois potatoes, smashed potatoes, or, the glorious dish that is creamy mashed potato.


Stuffing is a brilliant side dish that, for many people, only comes around at Christmas. That means that is an essential part of any Christmas dinner, turkey-free or otherwise. There are lots of different types of stuffing that you can make, from sage and onion packet mixes to more challenging recipes for meat stuffing, mushroom stuffing, apricot and sausage stuffing, or even jerk spiced pork stuffing!

Stuffing balls


The vegetables are often overlooked on a Christmas dinner. Too often they’re treated as the unimportant element and people resort to simply boiling or steaming some veg and piling it on the corner of their plates. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are so many ways to make the veg the star of the show alongside your brilliant beef.

For example, why not try sticky maple glazes for your carrots and parsnips? Or roast them with paprika? You can use herb butter on things like carrots and peas to make them a little bit more flavorful, too. The big one, though, is the Brussel’s sprouts. Do not ust boil or steam your Brussel’s! Fry them with some nuts and bacon, or even chorizo, for a wonderful flavour that will convert even the most avid of sprouts haters.

Yorkshire puddings

This goes without saying. It isn’t even really a Christmas dinner without the Yorkshire puddings, is it? Whether you’re risking it and making your own or using good old frozen reliables, the Yorkshires are one of the simplest trimmings of a Christmas dinner, but they’re often one of the most favoured elements!

Pigs in blankets

Not everybody does pigs in blankets, but if you’re looking to really treat your guests this year, it’s definitely worth putting them on your list. You can get them premade or assemble them yourself, and they’re just a fun little trimming that adds another meaty element to your beef Christmas dinner. You can also get adventurous with them if you want and change it up into a pig in blanket ring, or make some devil pigs on horseback!

Pigs in blankets

So there you have it, the essentials for a perfect and completely turkey-free Christmas dinner. Top it off with a gravy of your choice, and a table set up with Christmas crackers, the right wines, and some fun napkin origami, and you’ve got yourself a deluxe Christmas meal that’ll have your friends and family coming back for more!

We would be more than happy to help you with meat for the perfect turkey-free Christmas dinner. Give us a call to see what we have available to make your Christmas day!