Looking for easy Christmas party food for the festive season? From Christmas cakes to mince pies and cranberry sauce, we’ve got it covered.
Want to know which bottles of wine to serve this Christmas? Check out the winners of our wine awards here.
All products have been chosen and reviewed independently by our editorial team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases made, but this comes at no extra cost to you and helps us to continue providing top quality content for our loyal readers.
Best festive show-off dessert
Gold: Ocado Pleesecakes large fully loaded black forest cheesecake, £60/2.1kg
Sure to be the talking point of your Christmas table, this showstopping choc and cherry cheesecake delights with its contrasting creamy/biscuit textures. Plus it’s so huge that you’ll still be eating it in 2020.
Silver: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Belgian white chocolate and raspberry snow dome, £12/970g
A funky geometric design gives this pud a grown-up vibe. The tang of sharp raspberry compote and mousse balances out sweet, Belgian white chocolate.
Bronze: Heston from Waitrose fig and port cheese cake, £12/675g
This cleverly designed (it looks like a cheeseboard), sweet soured cream cheesecake pairs a light, creamy fig and port filling with a crumbly lemon shortbread ‘chopping board’ base.
Best cranberry sauce
Gold: Asda Extra Special cranberry sauce with port, £1.39/230g
A chunky jelly with well-balanced sweetness, a sharp tang and a slosh of port for depth of flavour.
Best veggie/vegan canapé
Gold: Booths vegetable gyozas, £6/160g
Easy to nibble on when you’ve got a glass of fizz in the other hand, these fragrant gyozas pack a warming kick of ginger. Plus they look pretty smart, too.
Silver: Asda vegetable gyozas with soy and chilli dip, £2/210g
Super-crisp gyozas that you can stash in the freezer and whip-out when needs be.
Bronze: Waitrose & Partners 12 vegan mushroom and chickpea pittas, £6/180g
Fluffy pittas filled with well-spiced chickpeas make for a fun party snack.
Best meat-free main course
Gold: M&S Plant Kitchen festive roast filled with cranberry and chestnut stuffing, £8/623g
Packed with festive flavours and a pop of juicy cranberries, this hearty roast is ready to be served with all the trimmings.
Silver: Tesco Finest carrot and thyme tarte tatin, £2.60/250g
An original veggie showstopper, we loved the decoration on top of this pastry tart.
Best beef wellington
Gold: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference beef wellington, £45/1kg
Everything you want from a beef welly – blushing pink meat and earthy mushrooms, encased in flaky, golden pastry.
Silver: Booths beef wellington, £42/1.2kg
Talking of pastry… this wellington comes with a crimped border, so you get extra buttery crunch with your succulent beef.
Bronze: M&S beef wellington, £55/1.8kg
This one wins the most-intricate-pastry-work award. We also loved the beef’s umami kick.
Gold: Lidl Deluxe premium rum stollen, £3.99/600g
Mellow and rounded in flavour, artisan in appearance – what’s not to like? Marzipan fans will love the thick layer that runs throughout.
Silver: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference fruit and nut stollen, £7/540g
Glacé cherries give this moist stollen pops of colour and bursts of sweetness.
Best smoked salmon
Gold: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Hebridean smoked salmon, £4.35/100g
With a subtle smokiness and luxurious texture, this classic salmon is best served with bubbles.
Silver: M&S Christmas signature smoked salmon, £5/100g
A sprinkle of dill means this smoked salmon would work well for a Scandi-style brunch.
Bronze: Co-op Irresistible beech oak smoked salmon, £4/100g
If you like your salmon super-smoky, pick this great-value pack.
Best seafood centrepiece
Gold: Waitrose & Partners Christmas seafood platter, £15/500g
A smart selection of pure seafood flavours, this platter makes for a great starter that everyone can tuck into.
Silver: Lidl Deluxe whole salmon side with garlic, herb butter and rosemary sprigs, £8.99/600g
This flaky salmon, with its delicate balance of garlic and rosemary, won’t overpower other festive flavours at the table.
Best mince pies
Gold: M&S collection mince pies, £2.50/6 pack
Short, buttery pastry encases well-spiced, boozy mincemeat. Perfect with a cuppa.
Silver: Morrisons The Best all-butter mince pies, £2/6 pack
The shortbread-style pastry and rustic appearance means you can pass these off as homemade (we won’t tell).
Bronze: Aldi Specially Selected mince pies, £1.35/6 pack
A thicker pastry casing than other pies we tasted but still packed with a fruity filling.
Best alternative mince pies
Gold: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference all-butter rum, pineapple and coconut mince pies, £2/6 pack
Stop the search: these tropical treats are the best mince pies you’ll eat this year. With flecks of coconut, a kick from warming rum and juicy pineapple, our judges declared these beauties one of the most impressive supermarket Christmas products of all time.
Silver: Tesco Finest rhubarb and ginger pies, £2/6 pack
Don’t like mincemeat? These pies swap it for fiery ginger and sharp rhubarb.
Best ready-made cheeseboard
Gold: Waitrose & Partners No 1 cheese selection, £15/690g
We’re so impressed that you can pick this stellar selection up in a supermarket. Load your cracker with lemony goat’s cheese; sharp, crystal cheddar; decadent Saint-Marcellin IGP; creamy Cropwell Bishop blue; and nutty comté.
Silver: Booths award-winning five-piece cheese selection, £25/1kg
For us, the stand-out cheeses on this board are delicate Cornish yarg and brie de Meaux. Perfect with port.
Best pigs in blankets
Gold: M&S 12 British outdoor-bred posh pigs in blankets, £4.50/285g
Great, herby spicing with a good salty balance and a whack of smoky bacon. Pass the bowl, please!
Silver: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference six British pork chipolatas wrapped in bacon, £3.50/260g
Classic pigs in blankets with porky sausages and a lingering, delicate smokiness.
Silver: Morrisons The Best cheesy pigs in blankets, £3/210g
Mini Cheddars meet pigs in blankets – it’s meant to be.
The Christmas cake everyone will want to buy
Gold: Morrisons The Best poinsettia Christmas cake, £14/1.5kg
An elegant, intricate design, plenty of plump fruit, and the perfect ratio of marzipan to icing: this cracking Christmas cake ticks every box.
Silver: Aldi Specially Selected exquisite cake selection, £7.99/740g
These little cake bites won’t see you through the entire festive period, but the pretty decorations on top make them ideal for serving with coffee or sherry.
Bronze: Waitrose & Partners No 1 richly fruited Christmas cake, £16/1.3kg
If you love a stickier sponge, plump for this citrus-and-ginger-spiked cake.
Best frozen dessert
Gold: Waitrose & Partners black forest arctic roulade, £8/596g
Sharp, boozy cherries cut through rich chocolate in this impressive and light frozen roulade.
Best Christmas ham
Gold: Waitrose & Partners candied plum and rosemary ham crown, £25/1.1kg
Fragrant rosemary and sweet plum are great additions to this well-cured ham. Serve with left-over turkey on Boxing Day.
Silver: Lidl Deluxe gammon with a spiced rum glaze and a pineapple topping, £9.99/1.2kg
We’re loving the retro feel to this super-juicy spiced gammon with sweet pineapple rings on top.
Bronze: M&S honey pot ham, £40/2.3kg
A showstopper to take to the table, this easy-to-slice ham would be great for a cold Boxing Day buffet.
Best Christmas pudding
Gold: Asda Extra Special Christmas pudding, £6.50/907g
Packed with fruit, nuts and a mellow booziness, this pudding holds its shape well. That means nice, neat portions for everyone.
Silver: Lidl Deluxe 24-month matured Christmas pudding, £11.99/907g
It might be on the crumblier side, but this beast is one for those merrymakers that like their Christmas pudding boozy.
Silver: Tesco Finest 12-month matured Christmas pudding, £8/800g
The dark, developed flavours in this Christmas pud demand a chunk of blue cheese on the side.
Best own-brand non-alcoholic drink
Gold: Sainsbury’s sparkling alcohol-free, £2.75/75cl
Don’t miss out on the bubbles – this booze-free bargain is bursting with gently sweet elderflower notes.
Best own-brand sherry
Gold: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 12-year-old pedro ximénez sherry, £8/50cl
Like raisins in a bottle. We’ll be sipping this rich PX all season.
Silver: Waitrose & Partners Don Luis Puerto Fino, £11.99/75cl
Pair this well-rounded savoury sherry with salty snacks.
Best own-brand gin
Gold: M&S London distilled dry gin No 1 spice, £25/70cl
With coriander on the nose and black pepper and spices to taste, this subtle gin is a must-have addition to your booze cupboard.
Silver: Asda Extra Special spiced cranberry and clementine gin, £18/70cl
An elegant flavoured gin with mellow spicing and gentle sweetness.
How we chose the winners
The olive team picked 19 categories (some new for this year) having researched which products you, our readers, would be most likely to buy to make Christmas entertaining hassle-free. The supermarkets then selected the products they wanted to nominate (we only allowed them one entry per category, so they had to choose carefully).
Every product was prepared according to the pack instructions and our expert panel of judges blind-tasted them, rating each on taste, texture and appearance. We then gave gold, silver and bronze awards to our favourites. Prices are correct at time of going to press, but may be subject to change.
It’s easy to find the products, just look out for this label in supermarkets