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Christmas Dinner Around The World

Around the World in 80 plates!

Christmas Dinner Around The World

Christmas Dinner Around The World

Feel like something a little different for Christmas dinner this year? Don't worry, we've got you covered!

You’ve probably heard about the food shortages we’ll be experiencing this Christmas. So we thought, rather than participating in a Squid-Games-style fight-to-the-death for the last parsnip, that we’d provide some alternative dinner inspiration from around the world instead.

And with KFC, fish pies and barbecues on the menu, trying something different might not be such a terrible thing after all!

We’ve pulled together typical Christmas dinners from 24 countries from across the globe and priced up the ingredients (for a family of 4) , as well as the time it would take to prepare them - all to find out which Christmas meal from around the world is the quickest to prepare, has the most ingredients, and is the most veggie and vegan-friendly. Which Christmas dinner should you try this year?

No turkey? No problem!

Christmas Dinner Table
The Spanish don’t scrimp when it comes to Christmas dinner. A typical main meal includes roasted meat or fish and a few sides. To recreate a seafood and roast lamb dish, it’ll set you back £30 and take a whopping 6 hours.

COST: £30

DISHES: Seafood and Roast Lamb

TIME TO COOK: 6 hours

In Egypt, Christmas dinner looks altogether more… bread-y. And if there’s anything that can take a meal to the next level, it’s this delicious carb.

Part of a traditional Egyptian feast is Egyptian fattah, or lamb with bread. This meal takes hardly any time to prep, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a super quick festive dish.

COST: £19.43

DISHES: Egyptian Fattah - Lamb with bread

TIME TO COOK: 1 hour 15 mins

This Canadian dish is, essentially, a fancy meat pie. Serve with mashed potatoes for a pastry-centric take on Christmas dinner.

COST: £25.02

DISHES: Toutiere and mash potatoes

TIME TO COOK: 3 hours

A typical Ukrainian Christmas feast contains 12 dishes. Some of the main dishes in this impressive spread include Borscht, a beetroot soup, Vareniki, dumplings served with sour cream, butter and fried onions and Wheat Berry Pudding. You couldn’t get further from the traditional turkey roast, and this selection costs a fraction of the average UK Christmas dinner.

COST: £22.43

DISHES: Vareniki, borscht and wheat berry pudding (also a main, apparently)

TIME TO COOK: 9 hours 15 mins

Swap your turkey for fish this year as we head to Russia. Salmon pie and baked piroshki (beef or cabbage-stuffed fluffy dinner rolls) are on the menu. Translated, piroshki means ‘little pies’ and they’re often described as portable meals. And they’re actually adorable…

COST: £26.30

DISHES: Salmon pie and baked piroshki

TIME TO COOK: 4 hours 45 mins

A Christmas BBQ on the beach in the UK sounds like the worst day ever. Luckily (for Australians), Christmas on the other side of the world is a gloriously sunny and warm affair, with many people enjoying al fresco get-togethers. We’re not in the least bit jealous.

All that expensive meat and seafood will set you back a fair bit, though.

COST: £24.30

DISHES: Roast ham, oysters, prawns and cold meats

TIME TO COOK: 3 hours 30 minutes

Staying on the BBQ theme, Kenyans are also fans of grilling meats to celebrate the festivities. They pair it with sides like chapati and rice, for a filling festive meal!

COST: £19.80

DISHES: Barbecued beef and chicken, rice and flatbreads

TIME TO COOK: 45 mins

Not gonna lie, a good chunk of us in the Prezzybox office would much prefer a curry to the traditional Christmas roast debacle. Unsurprisingly, Christmas feasts in India tend to include a traditional dish like Chicken Biryani, which takes less than an hour to cook and the ingredients are super budget-friendly. Sub the chicken for veggies or a meat alternative for a meat-free meal the whole family will love!

COST: £17.20

DISHES: Chicken biryani

TIME TO COOK: 45 mins

Brazilians don’t do Christmas feasts by halves. And by that, we mean they serve enough to feed half a stadium. Not that we’re complaining… if you can’t indulge at Christmas, when can you?!

Like us, Brazilians like a roast turkey. They also like a selection of meats, including Pernil Assado (roast pork garnished with pineapple and cherries), as well as salads and Brazilian Farofa. Farofa consists of toasted cassava flour, with added bacon, onions and herbs.

Count us in.

COST: £53.21

DISHES: Turkey, farofa and Pernil Assado

TIME TO COOK: 4hrs 45 mins

Carrot casserole, liver casserole, mixed beetroot salad and liver pate sounds about as far from a traditional Christmas dinner as is humanly possible. If you’re recreating a Finnish festive feast, its success largely depends on your guests’ taste for liver…

Pair with roasted ham and smoked salmon, and you’re good to go.

COST: £40.38

DISHES: Carrot casserole, liver casserole and salad

TIME TO COOK: 2 hours 45 mins

We don’t know what it is about beetroot, but it seems to be cropping up a fair bit in this roundup. Lithuanians can’t get enough of the little red veggie either, serving up a beet soup with mushrooms and dumplings, a dried fruit soup, a veggie salad, potatoes, sauerkraut and cranberry pudding.

Provided you like your veggies, you can’t go wrong with a Lithuanian festive dinner, the ingredients for which are super budget-friendly.

COST: £17.56

DISHES: Beet soup, dumplings, salad and potatoes

TIME TO COOK: 4hours 30 mins

You might have heard that the Christmas dinner of choice in Japan is… a bucket of KFC. And, in the words of Lizzo, all the rumours are true.

Yep, the Japanese are winning at Christmas, ordering their buckets of fried chicken in advance. That means no cooking on Christmas Day - no stress, no fuss... just lots of deep fried yumminess.

We’ll take it.

COST: £23.99

DISHES: KFC - 18 piece dipping boneless banquet feast

TIME TO COOK: 0 mins

Thanks to a well known mega Netflix hit, searches for Korean food recipes have skyrocketed. But what about their Christmas dinner?

South Koreans celebrating the festive period might serve up a delish feast of barbecued beef, sweet potato noodles and kimchi stew. It’s not exactly cheap to make, but if you’re looking for something out-of-the-box to enjoy this Christmas, you’ve found it!

COST: £44.83

DISHES: barbecued beef, sweet potato noodles, and kimchi stew

TIME TO COOK: 4 hours

Norwegians typically tuck in to lamb rib and some fresh cod for their festive feast. We’re not sure how fresh the fresh cod needs to be, but fishing in the dark depths of December doesn’t sound like much fun to us. Better head to Tesco…

Other supermarkets are available.

COST: £32.84

DISHES: Lamb rib and fresh cod

TIME TO COOK: 3 hours

Italians are known for their world-class hospitality and even better food. And Christmas is no exception. Italian festivities involve big family gatherings and lots (and lots) of dishes for the whole family to enjoy.

Think pot roast pork, gravy with saffron (that super expensive spice) baked pasta, lasagne and all the trimmings. Recreating a typical Italian festive feast isn’t the cheapest, but if you want to push the boat out this Christmas, go for it.

COST: £29.62

DISHES: Pot roast pork, pasta and lasagna

TIME TO COOK: 4hrs 30 mins

South African Christmas dinners share lots of similarities with British traditions. A glazed gammon or roast turkey is a must. Plus, crayfish, mussels and prawns, for a seafood twist!

COST: £28.35

DISHES: Glazed ham, turkey and seafood

TIME TO COOK: 5 hours

If you’ve ever seen a Bastille Day firework display, you’ll know that the French like to celebrate bigger and better than anyone else. The total cost of a French festive feast is the most expensive in our list, totalling over £64 for 4 people! Probably cos of the lobster…

The French typically enjoy a hearty meal of salmon, lobster, scallops, meats including roast beef and turkey, and all the trimmings.

Won the lottery recently? Give a french Christmas a go.

COST: £64.16

DISHES: Turkey, ham, chicken, seafood and vegetables

TIME TO COOK: 5hrs 30 mins

Heading over to The Philippines, and we see more fans of roasted pork. People who celebrate Christmas in The Philippines might enjoy slow roasted pork belly, along with Bibingka, a coconut rice cake.

COST: £26.57

DISHES: Lechon and Bibingka

TIME TO COOK: 3hrs 45 mins

Bargain-lovers, rejoice. If you’re looking for a money-saving alternative to the traditional (and sometimes extortionate) turkey roast this year, look no further than Bulgaria’s festive offering.

It might sound a little… lacklustre, but if you’re a fan of bean soup and stuffed peppers, you’re onto a winner. It’s literally bean soup and stuffed peppers.

Okay, so it’s not as extravagant as a turkey roast or veggie wellington, but it’s simple to make and it won’t leave you feeling as stuffed as the turkey itself. Plus, it’s the cheapest meal on the list, setting you back just over £11 for a family of 4.

Follow with a whole box of Celebrations, and it’s sure to feel like Christmas.

COST: £11.50

DISHES: Bean soup and stuffed peppers

TIME TO COOK: 3hrs 30 mins

People celebrating Christmas in Thailand might enjoy a delicious-sounding feast of braised pork belly, mango and sticky rice. They’re also, unsurprisingly, big fans of seafood, a far cry from a traditional Christmas dinner in the UK. Like Australia, the weather in Thailand in December is decidedly better than ours - with warm temperatures that make swimming in their beautiful seas ideal.

COST: £38.12

DISHES: Briased pork belly, mango and sticky rice

TIME TO COOK: 2 hours

Ok, beetroot must be the most underrated vegetable here in the UK, cos, along with Lithuania, Ukraine and Finland, Polish people can’t get enough of the stuff at Christmas either. They generally tuck in to a selection of dishes, including beetroot soup, mushroom soup, Uszka dumplings and herring.

COST: £24.87

DISHES: Beetroot soup, Uszka dumplings, herring and mushroom soup

TIME TO COOK: 4 hours

Another meal far from a traditional UK roast is Mexico’s Christmas feast. As a rule, Mexicans celebrating the festive period will enjoy tamales and Menudo, a kind of beef soup.

COST: £19.54

DISHES: Tamale, atole, menudo

TIME TO COOK: 3hrs 30 mins

Finally, let’s head to the Caribbean. In Jamaica, those celebrating Christmas will typically eat curried goat, roast chicken, rice and gungo peas. Typically eaten in the early afternoon, Jamaicans celebrate the festivities with street parades and big Christmas markets. Sounds pretty amazing to us.

COST: £21.28

DISHES: Curried goat, roast chicken, rice and gungo peas

TIME TO COOK: 3hrs 45 mins

Saving Old Blighty till last, you don’t need us to tell you how we Brits enjoy a Christmas dinner, although the trimmings are up for debate. Of course, a turkey or veggie/vegan alternative is the usual centrepiece, along with roasties (non-negotiable, in our book), stuffing, pigs in blankets, veggies and Yorkshire pudding.

At least, this tends to be the norm. Our copywriter shocked the office the other day when she admitted she has onion rings with her Christmas dinner, without fail. So wrong it’s right? Or just plain wrong?

It’s wrong.

COST: £30.84

DISHES: Turkey, stuffing, roasties, veg

TIME TO COOK: 3 hours 30 mins

Experts reveal how to cut Christmas dinner costs and prep time!

We teamed up with Niki Webster, 3-time cookbook author and Amanda Bootes, editor of Consommé magazine, to find out how we can serve Christmas dinner on a budget, how to cut prep time, and why we should be trying something new this Christmas!

Are there any benefits of ditching tradition and trying something new this Christmas?

Niki: It’s a great idea to think outside the box and make something special. Take veggie and vegan options, for example. The centerpiece is always going to be the big important part of any festivities, but there are lots of ways of doing so that don’t involve meat; other cuisines, especially South Eastern, or Central Americas have a wide variety amount of herbs and spices that pair amazing with a vegetable hero dish that wouldn’t traditionally go with Turkey so you can really try something new and to experiment with friends and family.

Amanda: I always like to opt for something a little less traditional but still hearty, memorable and something the whole family can get stuck into. Game, rabbit or even fish can make a truly spectacular centerpiece. Try making individual portions, rolled and stuffed with festive flavours such as sage or slow cooked in a rich wine and clove and cinnamon spiced sauce.

How can we cook a traditional Christmas dinner on a budget?

Niki: Focus on seasonal root vegetables - they’re one of the easiest ways to reduce the costs at Christmas and enhance them with simple ingredients you’ll already have in your pantry. You can also change the way you cook them - opt for slow cooking, or roasting to really condense their flavour without spending out on luxury ingredients.

Amanda: You can utilise the ingredients and produce multiple meals over the festive period, reducing the costs of each meal. So think about what you are going to eat on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, too. But be a little bit more experimental than just cold meat leftovers or Turkey sandwiches. If you’re prepping your vegetables the day before, save the peelings such as the cauliflower stalks, potato peelings and broccoli leaves which can be made into a festive burger patty, using some sausage meat and breadcrumbs from your stuffing and the peelings boiled and blended together before pan frying.

After last year’s very quiet Christmas, we want to spend as much time with friends and family as we can. How can we cut down on prep and cooking time this Christmas?

Niki: Stock up on the things when you can, like condiments and spices across the weeks on the lead-up in your normal food shop. And make gravies, sauces, desserts and starters on Christmas Eve. Opt for desserts that don’t need refrigeration or can be frozen, to optimise fridge space and stress of trying to fit everything in the oven at once.

Amanda: Make friends with your local farmer and suppliers now, and then get these ingredients a few days in advance, rather than trying to fight for produce in the supermarkets. Better quality, less stress and supporting the local community.

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