Christmas Dinner shopping list (The complete list)

In this article we will look into the exciting Christmas dinner shopping list that each one makes as we get closer to the holidays.

We all know how busy Christmas is with a whirlwind of shopping for presents, card writing, gift wrapping, parties left and right.  It’s just about right to prepare beforehand the list for the much anticipated Christmas dinner.

People around the UK and most countries around the world look forward to Christmas holidays. Apart from the festivities and solemnity it entails, people are looking forward to eating lots of delicious foods!  We’ll look at traditional Christmas dinner menus of different regions in the UK. as Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland might have different customs.

Here is the general Christmas dinner shopping list to start with:

The Christmas dinner shopping lists includes turkey, ham, roast potatoes, stuffing, pigs in blankets, yorkshire pudding, gravy, cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, christmas pudding and mince pies. 

While Christmas dinner might be a little daunting to start with, right menu planning and early shopping will help a great deal. The basic Christmas dinner shopping list should cover the essentials.

  • Turkey

Let’s start off with the main highlight of the dinner table. The serving of Turkey actually first started with Henry VIII for Christmas but it only became popular everywhere in the 1950’s due to accessibility to better storage at homes.

SInce this is the main highlight, this should be the first one in your shopping for Christmas dinner. Now you can also choose if you’re getting a fresh or a frozen turkey. The great thing about frozen turkey is that it’s way cheaper and widely available than the fresh one.

However, frozen turkey will take more time in preparation as this requires to be completely thawed first before cooking. It is recommended that the turkey be thawed at least 24 hours per 2kg or 5 lbs. So if you have a 5 kg or 12 lb turkey, it needs 2 days to be thawed.

Thawing completely is really important to be done for the frozen turkey before cooking it. Otherwise, there’s a high risk of food poisoning for you and your guests. You sure wouldn’t want that to ruin the holidays.

Many people’s attitude towards turkey is usually “go big or go home”. But make sure that the turkey that you will buy will fit in your oven.. You sure don’t want an avian so big that you cannot cook it properly, and this will also take longer time defrosting it. 

Remember that Christmas dinner is usually made up of more trimmings that will surely feed your whole family and guests too. 

  • Ham

Ham is also another option for meat for the Christmas dinner shopping list. An alternative to the not-so-big fans of Turkey. A well marinated glazed ham makes all the difference too for the Christmas dinner. 

  • Vegetarian Nut Loaf

A vegetarian option for the, well, vegetarian or vegan is the nut loaf. Nut Loaf is a classic alternative to Christmas turkey or ham. So if there is a vegetarian in the house or guests, it is best to stock up on this option.

This vegetarian nut loaf is made up of mixed nuts, mushrooms, root vegetables, and red lentils.

  • Roast Potatoes

There is nothing like the classic roast potatoes that goes well with the turkey. These are cut into small squares and baked together with the turkey. You just drizzle this with goose oil or olive oil along with herbs like parsley and thyme and some salt and pepper. 

Once the edges are browned, the potatoes are good to eat.

  • Stuffing

Stuffing is a dish that varies depending on where the region is. In North America, chestnut stuffing is more common wherein chestnut puree is stirred into the mixture of onions, breadcrumbs, butter, and other herbs.

While in Britain, herb stuffing is more of the popular choice which is made up of large quantities of rosemary or thyme added to the similar ingredients of the chesnut one. The most common stuffing at Christmas dinner is also the sage and onion.

This stuffing is served inside the turkey or as a side dish. 

  • Pigs in a blanket

Interestingly, these are called killed sausages in Scotland. These are a classic part of the traditional Christmas dinner that shouldn’t go without.  Pigs in a blanket are small sausages wrapped in bacon which often surrounds the turkey when it is served. 

  • Yorkshire pudding

Yorkshire pudding hailed from England with an original recipe made from batter with a mixture of eggs, milk, and flour. This is best served on Christmas dinner with the turkey.  Some families take this as a dessert when eaten with meat.

This can also be served together with roast beef, but many families prefer to have this on special holidays only.

  • Gravy

This is the actual juice that comes out of the turkey when being cooked. That is set aside and cooked with wheat flour to make it richer and thicker and just add salt and pepper.  This is finally poured over turkey trimmings and stuffings. It makes a really good sauce to the already famous turkey.

  • Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce as simply put is made of cranberries. Though it’s appearance is mainly associated with Thanksgiving dinner in North America, this is a popular sauce for Christmas dinner in Britain. 

Pour a little bit onto the turkey and stuffings along with gravy for that wonderful explosion of flavor that only this pair does.

  • Brussel sprouts

These are normally served steamed or fried up with some bacon. This popular dish has always been part of the traditional British Christmas dinner. Though this dish can be a little bitter and not all have taken this into their liking, they can always be found on the Christmas table for many years.

  • Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding is part of the traditional Christmas dinner in the UK. It is a dessert made up of dried fruit and is normally served with brandy butter. The cake is traditionally soaked in with brandy and alight it before serving. 

Sometimes this pudding comes with figs and it’s called “figgy pudding”.  This Christmas pudding however it may be, is the traditional dessert of the Christmas dinner.

  • Mince Pies

Mince pies are mini pies that are made of chopped nuts, cranberries, raisins, and sultanas mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. After baking, these pies are finished off with a dash of icing sugar and paired with a cup of tea to cap off the lovely Christmas dinner.

Let’s add more to the shopping list that you should have for your Christmas dinner:

Top 10 ingredients for your Christmas shopping list

  • Eggs – great for easy to whisk and cook breakfast and Boxing Day bubble and squeak.
  • Butter and self-raising flour – a quick cake can be done if you only have these two and eggs, and voila. An instant snack or dessert for your guests.
  • Icing sugar – an added topping to the mince pies that will make any dessert simply delicious.
  • Cheese and biscuit – the perfect light meal or appetizer before the main Christmas dinner.
  • Chutney – can be used for the leftover meats.
  • Sauces – not just for the turkey, but can also be used for bread and as topping for the tomatoes.
  • Vanilla ice cream – the most versatile ice cream, can be eaten as such or melted lightly and poured over leftover pudding for a great after Christmas dessert.
  • Frozen peas – this will make a great pea and ham soup using leftover ham.
  • Mayonnaise – a base ingredient for potato salad or coleslaw for the easy Boxing Day recipes
  • Puff pastry – easy to make with leftover cheese, which can be sliced and cooked for simple cheese straws.

What to drink for Christmas?

Do not upset the guests on Christmas Day if drinks are around, this could be the biggest mistake you’ll make for that dinner party.  And make sure that the drinks will last through the night or the holiday for that matter. 

Don’t forget to load on coffee and tea too.

Here’s our drinks list:

  • A good wine, or a couple of reds like Merlots or Cabernet Sauvignon
  • A few white wines, like Chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc
  • Champagne, overflowing please
  • Proseco
  • Mulled wine
  • Sherry
  • Whiskey
  • Port
  • Brandy
  • Gin
  • Beer
  • Eggnog, for that traditional spirit


We’ve listed down the essential Christmas dinner shopping list for that much anticipated dinner event in the house for the holidays. No matter how frenzy the activities are, the highlight of the Christmas dinner is not just the turkey, or the stuffings, dessert and drinks.  

But the meal shared by the family at the dinner table is something to treasure and remember. Have a blessed Christmas.

FAQ’s on “Christmas dinner shopping list”:

What is the traditional Christmas dinner menu?

Traditional dinner menu items are cranberry cocktail meatballs, marsala stuffed mushroom, deep fried camembert with cranberry sauce, Christmas goose, and glazed ham to name a few.

What vegetables do you have for Christmas dinner?

For vegetables, you can use potatoes, celery, carrots, parsnips, sprouts, fresh parsley, red onions as ingredients or as sidings.

What can I make in advance for Christmas dinner?

You can make in advance the traditional fruit cake which is best made early on. This can be served with brandy, sherry, whisky or rum.  You can also make ahead the gravy for the turkey or the pigs in a blanket. Mince pies can be made in advance, freeze it up for a few days before and serve it hot for dinner.  

The cranberry sauce can also be done in advance. But the most important is to defrost the frozen turkey way in advance so you can ensure that you have enough time baking it before Christmas dinner comes.

How do you keep Christmas dinner warm?

Put the serving dish in the oven to warm it up, and put the dishes there last minute when ready to serve. You can cover it up with a foil to keep it warm and remove it before eating. You can put out the meats first, then the veggies and leave the gravy to the last when everything is already on the sideboard.

How do you make a stress free Christmas dinner?

First, plan ahead, Make your list as complete as possible and avoid last minute shopping. Serve a maximum of two hot courses and one cold dish or meat as the main course. Keep your table setting simple and minimalist.

Prepare as much as you can in advance so you don’t hustle on the day. If the schedule is tight, you can also opt to order dinner from your favorite restaurant, warm it up and serve it. You will surely wow up your guests without them knowing it’s all delivered.