Follow our stress-free Christmas party food guide to make hosting as effortless as possible, whether it's jazzing up baked camembert with seasonal toppings, assembling a festive cheeseboard or fixing a round of three-ingredient Christmas cocktails. We also show you how to host an effortless Christmas dinner party and drinks get-together, as well as the best Christmas canapés to throw together in minutes.


Next take a look at our no-cook Christmas entertaining ideas, no-oven effortless entertaining ideas and guide to creating effortless party food platters, along with our best Christmas buffet ideas. For fun festive twists on classic recipes, check out our Christmas mash-up recipes. To showcase your festive feast, try one of our four Christmas table ideas.

Or why not leave the hard work to the professionals? Discover the best UK restaurants for a party.

Christmas party food ideas

Christmas effortless cheeseboard

Assemble a no-cook cheeseboard in no time to sate hungry guests: take inspiration from this epic Christmas cheeseboard, it's super-easy to prep and packed with seasonal cheese, meat and fruit. Ideal for your festive party, this baked feta board is created with entertaining in mind thanks to its minimal prep: simply roast a block of honey-drizzled feta and present with crackers, cucumbers, nuts and olives.

Rather than making from scratch, why not create a spread of baked camembert, levelled up with elegant festive toppings? Check out our four super-simple ways to jazz up your camembert this Christmas, with garnishes ranging from pines nuts and rosemary to maple pecans, port and truffle. Our cheese grazing board will give you even more inspiration.

More like this
A festive cheese board filled with figs, cheese, meats, bread and pickles

Christmas market night

Recreate the sights and smells of a Christmas market without leaving the house. A German market staple, these bratwurst in a bun come loaded with caramelised onions, sauerkraut, plenty of mustard and a quick homemade currywurst-style sauce. For a quintessential Christmas market snack, recreate our salted honey nuts, a medley of nuts covered in a glossy salted honey sauce.

For drinks, set up a hot chocolate station with all the toppings – chocolate chips, candy canes, cinnamon sticks, mini marshmallows and more – then let people help themselves to create their own take on the ultimate hot chocolate. For something less sweet, warm up with a mulled wine: our fragrant recipe features festive spices and comes pepped up with a splash of brandy – the perfect Christmas tipple.

Two sausages in buns topped with caramelised onions, ketchup and mustard

Effortless canapés

A spread of effortless canapés will impress guests while helping you stay on budget. Kick off festivities with our no-cook cucumber wheels with salmon, tartare and dill – it calls for easily available ingredients and will be on the table in under 30 minutes. These budget-friendly Peppadews are a simple veggie option: stuff peppers with tapenade and mozzarella, and top with basil.

Our nifty vegetable crisps and homemade parsnip crisps use up all your veggie peelings, and come flavoured with easy spice blends, while our maple-glazed blinis turn cocktail sausages into impressive bite-size party food.

Check out more quick and easy party canapé ideas spanning meat and veggie – think mini chorizo and cheddar tacos, fig and manchego bites, miso baby aubergines and more.

Cocktail Sausage Canapés with Maple-Glaze

Effortless festive drinks party

Keep hosting responsibilities to a minimum with our effortless festive cocktails. Raise a glass to party season with a french 75 – a classic champagne cocktail mixed with gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup – or fix a round of kir royales using just three ingredients (a blessing if you’re running short of time). Our black russian only needs vodka and coffee liqueur; serve in an old fashioned glass with ice or try our festive twist by swapping vodka for spiced Christmas vodka or Christmas gin and adding a tsp of Cointreau and two dashes of Angostura bitters. For another caffeine-spiked cocktail, why not try our boozy orange coffee which takes just five minutes to throw together.

Turn everyone's favourite festive tipple, that bottle of Baileys, into an epic evening cocktail, complete with coffee liqueur, vodka and double cream. Designated drivers can enjoy our non-alcoholic Christmas fizz, where orange wedges and rosemary sprigs are topped with soda water and garnished with pomegranate and cinnamon.

Three kir royale cocktails with blackberries in the background

Effortless home bar hacks

From Christmas Day cocktails to festive gatherings with friends, many of us like to make a little more effort with drinks this season. Advance prep is key. Get in plenty of citrus fruits for cocktails and garnishes – lemons and limes are a must, and oranges and grapefruit also work well.

Bottles of citrus juice are convenient back-ups. Prepare other garnishes you might need, such as olives for martinis or sprigs of herbs for G&Ts and highballs. Whip up sugar syrup for sweetening drinks and buy plenty of mixers, such as tonic and sparkling water, ginger ale and premium soft drinks. Make sure any kit you need – such as chopping boards, mixing glasses and cocktail shakers – is close to hand. Decide on how much ice you need, then buy extra – it’s easy to run out.

Consider setting out all of this (including glasses, spirits, wines and beer) on a table so guests can help themselves rather than you running back and forth between the kitchen. You could even design this around specific drinks – think DIY spritz and bloody Mary stations for brunch, for example. When serving up cocktails, offer a choice of two to three drinks max to keep things simple. No labour-intensive espresso martinis here, quick and easy tipples are best. Batching up drinks ahead of the party saves even more time. For more inspiration, check out our three-ingredient cocktails.

Two tumbler glasses filled with spiced negroni, garnished with star anise, cinnamon stick and orange twist

Effortless festive dinner party

Who said Christmas dinner parties have to be complicated? Our effortless festive recipes are fit for entertaining, adopting clever shortcuts to save time and energy. Kick things off with our no-cook bloody mary prawn lettuce scoops: serve this easy prawn cocktail alternative on a platter and let everyone dig in. The main course doesn't have to be elaborate thanks to our two-tray Christmas dinner: cook everything on oven trays – the turkey, golden roasties, pigs in blankets and all the trimmings – in just two hours. For dessert, opt for wow factor: our zingy double chocolate and passion fruit tart cuts corners by using shop-bought heroes such as a sweet pastry tart and passion fruit curd. It's easy to prepare ahead of time, too. For drinks, a round of negroni sbagliato makes a great festive fizz, or whip up this clementine fizz in just 10 minutes.

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post