No-cook Christmas entertaining ideas
Save time and energy with our no-bake Christmas recipes, including affordable and easy starters, speedy canapés and crowd-pleasing desserts
Looking for affordable, no-cook Christmas recipes? Want to serve an impressive festive dessert at a fraction of the price? Try our ideas and twists here, then check out our best effortless entertaining recipes, no-bake desserts and Christmas mash-up recipes. After, listen to our podcast on the 10 things you need to know about no-cook cooking.
If you want to create a Christmas feast but don't want to use an oven, we have plenty of solutions that use your fridge instead. Perfect for entertaining, our easy no-bake starters, canapés and desserts can be made ahead of time using shop-bought ingredients, from prawn lettuce cups and veggie tartines, to epic fridge cakes and more.
Whip up a decadent Oreo Baileys fridge cake in 20 minutes, impress your friends with a sriracha prawn and avocado cocktail, or treat your family to our raspberry and amaretti trifles – all with no baking required.
Best no-cook Christmas recipes
No-cook Christmas starters
This no-cook starter is a simple and speedy alternative to classic prawn cocktail, and makes use of storecupboard ingredients. Serve on a large platter in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.
For a vegetarian version, try using mini mozzarella balls instead of the prawns, and basil instead of the coriander.
If smoked salmon is a favourite in your house, this no-cook salmon tartare is a fun, modern twist. Finely chop the salmon and toss in a fragrant dressing of lemon, shallots and capers. Serve with thin slices of toast.
This French-style open sandwich is a light veggie starter, and minimal effort is required to prepare it. Simply mix together the herbed cheese and serve on sourdough toast with the cucumber salad on top.
These finger food-friendly rolls are made using shop-bought prawn cocktail and brioche buns, so there's no need to turn your oven on. A creative Christmas alternative with minimum prep required, serve them with thick-cut crisps and dressed lettuce leaves, if you'd like.
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Make this easy and light fig salad for a sophisticated starter that makes great use of storecupboard ingredients. Figs are marinated in a honey mustard dressing then tossed with creamy mozzarella, salty serrano ham and peppery rocket.
Throw together this starter with a handful of easy to find ingredients – it's quick to assemble and packs a punch flavour-wise.
No-cook Christmas canapés
A no-cook canapé to kick off festive celebrations: this recipe calls for easily available ingredients and will be on the table in under 30 minutes. Alternatively, make them the night before and chill in the fridge.
Find more easy no-cook party canapés here – most take just five minutes to prep!
This is super-easy and budget-friendly. Stuff 24 peppers with a quick, homemade tapenade and cube of mozzarella. Top with a basil leaf.
You can't get quicker or easier party food than tartines. More substantial than canapés, these simple yet pretty open sandwiches will satisfy even the greediest guests (and all you need to do is layer the ingredients).
You won't believe how quick and easy these are to make: crisp mini poppadoms are loaded with a punchy mango and cucumber yogurt, then topped with juicy prawns. This is great party finger food on a budget.
Impress by making homemade tapenade in just 10 minutes – just blend the ingredients and spread over mini toasts for a classy canapé.
One of the easiest make-ahead canapés you can serve: assemble crushed peas and smoked salmon on rye bread fingers. Apart from the smoked salmon, this calls for cheap ingredients.
It's your classic prawn cocktail with a super-simple, no-cook twist. Pass them around to guests at your Christmas do, and watch as everyone tucks in with glee.
No-bake Christmas desserts/baking
This no-cook fridge cake is incredibly simple to make – simply layer Oreos with sweetened whipped cream flavoured with Baileys. Left overnight, the biscuits soften and become ‘cake’.
It uses lots of Oreos, but overall, it's a simple and low-cost way to feed lots of people at a festive gathering.
Using accessible, cheap ingredients, this easy, no-cook banoffee cake will be the centrepiece at your festive dinner party or buffet.
You only need double cream, raspberries and dark chocolate to make this silky and decadent pud. A restaurant-level dessert with only 10 minutes of prep required, this is easy on the eye and simple to make ahead of time.
A batch of no-bake chocolate cheesecake bars are perfect for entertaining, and you won't even need to turn the oven on. They make up to 16 bars and require accessible, low-cost ingredients.
Make this no-bake chocolate orange cheesecake for your Christmas party – it’s easy to prep ahead and just as impressive as any dessert that requires an oven. In this decadent chocolate-orange version, we’ve used crunchy gingernuts in the base for extra flavour.
You only need a handful of easily accessible, shop-bought ingredients to make this no-bake dessert, in which the biscuits become softened by the ice cream.
Wow the whole family with this no-bake fridge cake packed with layers of indulgence. It only requires a few ingredients (which you'll likely already have), plus there's no need to turn on the oven.
This refrigerator no-bake cake can be made up to a week ahead, provided you keep it cool, saving you time. A great one for Christmas Day if you don't want to use the oven, or serve it as a treat with coffee or as a sweet canapé.
Ideal before a party, our frozen no-bake Nutella cheesecake with classic bourbon biscuits and crunchy, roasted hazelnuts is an easy, indulgent dessert – perfect as a Christmas cake alternative that doesn't break the bank.
Store these no-bake chocolate tiffins in the fridge and pull out to entertain over the festive period. You don't have to include the edible glitter if you want to keep it more economical.
These individual raspberry and amaretti trifles are quick to put together, thanks to ready-made fresh custard and shop-bought sponge fingers. Finish them off with crumbled amaretti biscuits for a bit of decadence.
This easy, make-ahead chocolate bombe recipe uses chocolate swiss roll cake and Maltesers for indulgence and crunch, and there's no need to bake it in the oven.