30 Christmas starters
Get your Christmas feast off to a flying start with our fuss-free festive starter ideas, from smoked salmon tartare and posh prawn cocktail to filo-baked figs and blue cheese-topped beetroot soup
Looking for Christmas Day starter recipes? We have plenty of ideas to try, from smoked salmon Christmas starters to easy vegetarian ways to kick-off the meal. Take a look at our effortless starter ideas which require 20 mins or fewer of prep thanks to shop-bought ingredients and no fiddly techniques, including our bloody mary prawn lettuce scoops and crab and prawn cocktail rolls.
Check out these easy Christmas starters, then also browse our Christmas pâté recipes, Christmas terrine recipes and ham hock recipes for more inspiration.
Plus we've got impressive Christmas centrepieces, Christmas hams, Christmas trimmings to try and four festive entertaining ideas for more inspiration. Don't forget to finish off your festive feast with an indulgent Christmas dessert and one of our showstopping Christmas baking ideas...
Best Christmas starters
Giant champagne and lemon prawn vol-au-vents
Take your Christmas dinner starter to the next level by adding champagne to your king prawn vol-au-vents.
Salmon tartare with lemon and capers
If you love serving smoked salmon for a Christmas Day starter, this is a great modern twist. The salmon is finely chopped and tossed in a fragrant dressing of lemon, shallots and capers. Serve with thin slices of melba toast.
Grilled scallops with ’nduja butter
Start Christmas dinner with a bang and serve these flavour-packed, spicy scallops in their shells.
Bloody mary prawn lettuce scoops
Make this simple and effortless, no-cook starter for a great alternative to the classic prawn cocktail on Christmas Day.
Crab and prawn cocktail rolls
Fans of prawn cocktail will love the look of these rolls at your festive spread. They're simple to whip up thanks to shop-bought prawn cocktail and brioche buns.
Wow guests or family members this Christmas with this impressive no-cook spread, packed with cheese, meat and fruit.
Make this Swedish-inspired sharing feast for an impressive Christmas spread – it's a great alternative to a buffet if you're feeding a crowd at a gathering.
Baked feta board
This sharing board, where a block of salty feta is baked with sweet, sticky honey, will be the centrepiece on Christmas day. Slather the smooth cheese on crackers and top with gooey roast figs and crunchy almonds.
Ideal as a starter for a festive meal, recreate this winter version of panzanella using root veg with rich, tangy blue cheese.
Pork and duck rillettes
The perfect Christmas dinner starter, or just a special lunch, this velvety French dish is made with pork belly, goose fat, white wine and thyme. Serve with buttered toast, cornichons and pickled onions.
Harissa lime prawn cocktail
An absolute classic, made that bit more exciting by adding rose harissa paste and plenty of fresh lime to the mix. With only 15 minutes prep time, this is the perfect dinner party starter.
Duck, chicken and sour cherry terrine
This terrine makes the perfect make-ahead starter for a festive dinner party.
Fig, mozzarella and serrano ham salad
Check out our easy fig recipe with creamy mozzarella, salty serrano ham and peppery rocket. These easy pickled figs make a simple recipe for your next dinner party with friends.
Need a vegetarian Christmas starter? Get your festive feast off to a vibrant start with our creamy beetroot soup topped with crunchy, cheesy mini sourdough toasts. More beetroot recipes here...
Ham hock rillettes with pistachio salt
Want an easy cold Christmas starter idea? Try ham hock rillettes with pistachio salt for fuss-free entertaining.
Easy camembert toppers
Jazz up baked camembert with one of these smart toppings. Four simple yet easy Christmas starters for entertaining over the festive season.
Scallop shell pies
We serve these pretty pies in their original scallop shell and top with flaky puff pastry, a perfect Christmas dinner starter which will impress festive friends. Plenty of easy ways with scallops here...
Rarebit mushrooms with pickle dressing
Flat mushrooms topped with mustardy rarebit and served with a quick red wine vinegar dressing makes for an ideal veggie starter. It's gluten free, too!
Beer and rock salt pretzels with camembert dip
These impressive pretzels are big, soft and doughy. They are made with beer rather than water, and topped with a sprinkle of rock salt for crunch – the perfect showoff, make-ahead Christmas starter.
Bread sauce and stuffing croquettes
These crispy balls are easy to make and great at keeping a hungry crowd happy over the festive season, try them for an easy Christmas starter idea.
Want an impressive yet achievable make-ahead Christmas starter? Check out how simple it is to make your own cured meats, including a seriously moreish duck ham, beef jerky and a stunning bresaola.
French onion soup
This deep beefy onion soup is topped with bubbling cheese melts, ideal for a comforting winter warmer or Christmas starter idea. Discover our best-ever cheese recipes here...
Fig and goat's cheese filo parcels
Our vegetarian baked fresh figs makes an awesome little nibble or Christmas starter that’s really easy to make.
Smoked black pudding croquettes with apple sauce
Packed with smoky black pudding and creamy blue cheese, these crispy ball make for an easy yet indulgent canapé or Christmas dinner starter recipe.
Our classic manti are the perfect festive dinner party starter to impress guests.
Warm hummus with pine nuts, raisins and olives
Turn a storecupboard staple into this vibrant mezze dish and sprinkle with jewel-like pine nuts, raisins and olives for a quick and easy Christmas starter.
Check out our impressive samosa recipe packed with tender duck, wrapped in super flaky pastry and served with a fresh coriander chutney – perfect for entertaining over the festive season.
Mozzarella sticks with spicy dipping sauce
Try our gooey mozzarella sticks with a punchy dipping sauce for an easy yet indulgent Christmas starter idea. Blocks of mozzarella stand up better to deep-frying and will still give you that cheesy, stringy ooze.
More like this
Baked berbere chicken wings
Do you love chicken wings? Check out this easy recipe with a fiery Ethiopian twist. Packed with punchy flavour, these wings make the perfect snack for any dinner party or Christmas feasting.
Quick and easy pickles bursting with sweet cherry flavour. This easy condiment goes perfectly with charcuterie for quick Christmas day nibbles.
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