It’s not hard to see the appeal of getting a Christmas dinner delivery box. Even without contemplating your Christmas catering, when the festivities roll round there are enough things to keep us all well and truly busy - from wrapping gifts and hosting guests (if that’s even allowed in the world of 2020) to wrestling up some decorations in time for the big day. On top of all of this, facing the queues at the supermarket or trying to wrangle one of the hallowed home delivery slots isn’t exactly going to make anyone feel jolly, so the trick - we think - is to get someone else to do the hard work for you.
After careful consideration, we’ve decided that this year we’re going to be handing over all responsibility for our most important meal to the creators of some of the UK’s best Christmas dinner boxes. It’s a no brainier. The clever people at companies like Hello Fresh and Gusto have gone to great lengths to carefully craft the perfect Christmas dinners for us all, and who are we to deny their merits? If you fancy treating yourself to less time in line and more time in front of the telly, then join us. Your typical Christmas dinner delivery kit holds the key to a magical meal that you haven’t had to think about once. In most cases you’ll receive all the ingredients and recipe cards for starters, mains and desserts, and if you want to take all the credit and ‘forget’ to mention how everything came to be, then this is a safe space – nobody needs to know a thing.
While each of the Christmas recipe boxes below offer something unique, they all have a few things in common. Most have size options (so you can pick the perfect one for your party), from each there are veggie recipe choices for mixed groups, and all give you the chance to try something new. We’re not sure about you, but aside from the shopping this is our biggest perceived perk. There’s no more doing the same thing every year anymore, because professional recipe developers and chefs have carefully put together interesting twists on classics like the festive brie & cranberry chicken kiev from Gusto or the sweet-sounding panettone bread and butter pud from The Ninth.
Once each of the options are live and available to order, we’ll try and tea all the Christmas meal deliveries below to give you our honest feedback. For now, in summary you’ll find notes on menus, pricing and more. So, all that’s left is for us to raise a glass to you and the festivities and wish 2020 a swift and trouble-free departure from all of our lives. Cheers!
Gousto Christmas dinner box
Why: Judging by the reception we’ve had to our regular recipe box piece, Gousto is the most popular product on the market for dinner DIYs. This Christmas the company is going all out with options to see you right through the holidays, not only offering a dinner on the big day itself but plenty of treats to tuck into before and after. From vegan burgers to raclette-topped potatoes, this isn’t your typical festive fare and gives you something delicious to mix up your menu with. However, if you’re a traditionalist at heart there’s still turkey and all the trimmings to satisfy your craving for a classic Christmas dinner. Call us greedy, but we would be inclined to order one of everything, just in the name of testing.
How much: The festive recipes are from £2.98 per portion and the festive range is on the menu now and available for delivery right up until Christmas Eve.
Best for: Non-conformers
Buy it: gousto.co.uk
Riverford Christmas Recipe Box
Why: Offering high-welfare meat and organic veggies, Riverford puts the feelgood factor in your Christmas feast. There are a range of options to choose from, depending on how many you’re catering for, or dietary requirements. Our favourite is the medium Christmas box, which feeds 4-5 people and includes a medium veg box, a turkey breast joint, pigs in blankets, stuffing and cranberry sauce. If you prefer, there is a vegan version which comes with a nut roast, and you’re also able to add little extras like mince pies or a Christmas pudding to finish things off sweetly.
How much: A small regular box starts from £49.75 (feeds 2-3)
Best for: Conscious cooks
Buy it: riverford.co.uk
Why: Mindful Chef is known for being the healthy alternative to classic recipe boxes. Christmas is no different for the nutrition-conscious brand where all recipes are made without dairy or gluten and use high-quality ingredients including ethically sourced meat. To order the Christmas menu you simply have to book a delivery date between 13-23 December and then you’ll be able to access the festive food options. Unusual mains include a mushroom and lentil roast with creamed leeks or a prawn Pasanda curry with festive rice, while traditionalists will appreciate the turkey and all the trimmings as well as the festive chicken and chestnut pie. You’ll receive everything you need to be able to make your recipes at home, including clear step-by-step instructions.
How much: From £9 per portion
Best for: Health-conscious cooks
Buy it: mindfulchef.com
Donald Russell butcher
Why: With a choice of Great Taste winning free range meat and generous helpings of trimmings, Donald Russell deals in premium ingredients. While you can buy the whole kit and caboodle, you can also pick and choose elements depending on your preference. Take the luxury trimmings box, for instance, which gives you all the readymade veggies while you can pick which meat to match them with. If, however, you do prefer the big spread, then you can plump for a full dinner box where choices include a rib of beef or various turkey options.
How much: From £56.00 (feeds 4-5)
Best for: High class hosts
Buy it: donaldrussell.com
Abel & Cole Christmas box
Why: Loyal fans of Abel & Cole will already know that their Christmas dinner delivery comes with some serious kudos. With recipes refined down to the nth degree, this is a festive feast box that is expertly pulled together and easy to put into practice. You’ll receive everything you need in the perfect quantities to make a feast of either roast turkey or beef (veggie options are available too). Sides include roast potatoes and parsnips, buttered sprouts, mashed carrot and swede, spicy red cabbage, Yorkshire puddings and cranberry sauce plus gravy and a whole magnum of prosecco to get the party properly started.
How much: £170 (feeds 6-8)
Buy it: abelandcole.co.uk
Simon Rogan at Home Festive Five Course Lunch
Why: If the thought of cooking again this year is all a bit too much for you after a double dose of the lockdown life, why not let a chef do the hard work for you? We’re not talking about just any chef either, we’re talking about one of the UK’s best. This year Simon Rogan – who holds multiple Michelin stars – has created a festive menu perfect for giving you a taste of the good life over the holidays. At £95 per head it’s not the cheapest option, but then this isn’t your average dinner. Five courses are included which start with plates of truffle pudding and roasted onion broth before a fish course of cured trout with cauliflower, kale and lovage. The main is a twist on the classic where turkey is served with rye, bacon, sage and onion stuffing plus spuds, carrots, parsnips, gravy and bread sauce. Dessert is a Christmas pud made to a family recipe, while if you fancy it there’s a wine flight that can be added too. Everything is packaged up ready for easy plating on the big day.
How much: £95 per person
Best for: Fine dining fanatics
Buy it: simonroganathome.co.uk
Eversfield Organic Christmas feast box
Why: We understand that some cooks love the process of pulling together a feast in their own kitchen, so don’t always want readymade components. Eversfield Organic have a popular annual Christmas Turkey Banquet Box which hits the sweet spot somewhere in between sourcing your own ingredients and being delivered ready-made meals. In this Christmas dinner delivery box you’ll find all the ingredients to make a roasted bronze turkey with herby potatoes, chestnuts wrapped in streaky bacon, creamy mashed carrot and swede, shredded brussels sprouts, honey glazed parsnips and a cranberry and onion gravy. Serving 6-8, this is great for big groups or perfect for smaller families who love Boxing Day sandwiches!
How much: £165 (feeds 6-8)
Best for: Big families
Buy it: eversfieldorganic.co.uk
One Fine Dine Christmas Menus
Why: One Fine Dine comes from a company who originally began making meals for private jets. The limitations that lie in feeding high-flying customers thousands of feet up in the sky seem to have translated particularly well to the fanciest ready meals we’ve ever tried. Everything from One Fine Dine comes beautifully packaged in recyclable containers with detailed instructions for plating. The food itself is super fresh and flavoursome and can be either microwaved or oven cooked depending on preference. With attention to detail that’s second to none this is the perfect Christmas dinner delivery to splash out on this year (because let’s face it, we all deserve a treat to end 2020 on). Menus range from £65-£195 per head and each iteration gives you a choice of a few things. From the £65 menu there’s a rich chicken liver parfait, a beef Wellington and a buche de noel among the options, while at the more expensive end you can expect all of that plus canapes, petit fours, wine, champagne and seasonal cocktails.
How much: From £65 per person
Best for: Fine dining without the fuss
Buy it: onefinedine.com
Cook Christmas dinner box
Why: With *quite* enough to do around the festivities before even considering the Christmas Dinner, Cook offers a solution for busy households. With all the elements readymade, all you have do is remember to defrost the food in the time to heat and eat. In your parcel you’ll get turkey, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, sprouts, pigs in blankets, stuffing and the all-important gravy. An added bonus is that all of the above is guaranteed to fit in one freezer drawer and the turkey is bred to high welfare standards.
How much: £105.50 (feeds 8)
Best for: Busy elves
Buy it: cookfood.net
The Ninth Christmas Box
Why: Christmas recipe boxes are all well and good, but how about going one step further by having your meal made by a Michelin starred kitchen? Award-winning restaurant The Ninth has launched its own version of a Christmas dinner delivery box, which includes everything you need to get a feast on the table in just 45 mins. For the main you’re able to choose between turkey ballotine, beef fillet in a salt herb crust or a celeriac, potato and truffle pithivier. Sides tick all the classic boxes and cover stuffing, cranberry sauce, braised cabbage, roast potatoes, brussels sprouts with bacon, pumpkin puree, cauliflower cheese, glazed carrots and roast parsnips. The box also comes with a panettone bread and butter pudding as well as the option to add a wine pairing.
How much: £50 per person
Best for: Lovers of luxury
Buy it: theninthlondon.slerp.com
Why: With Jack Lucas from MasterChef at the helm, The Cookaways Christmas feast boxes this year are taking things to the next level. There’s a choice of centrepieces as well as canapes, and you can even add bubbly too if you want to start off your Christmas dinner with a pop. Mains developed by Jack include a chicken Wellington with red wine sauce and a portobello mushroom and goat’s cheese tart, while there’s a side dish of creamed leeks and spinach. If you’ve got your main course sorted but would like the canapes taken care of instead then there’s a package for that too, with smoked salmon and horseradish blinis, king prawn and avocado cocktail cups and goat’s cheese and onion chutney squares all offered to help you kickstart your festive food without any fuss. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a delicious dessert, and the easy-to-assemble pud available is a vanilla cheesecake with rhubarb and ginger.
How much: From £22, for two people
Best for: The hostess/host with the most
Buy it: thecookaway.com
Christmas at Home from Full Monty Events
Why: This luxurious box not only delivers you Christmas dinner, it also takes care of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day brunch and Boxing Day breakfast. Curated by event stylist Monty Clevely and chef Anna Humphreys, this box combines great food with the option to add sommelier chosen wines and even table décor items such as Christmas crackers, name places and festive table garlands. When it comes to the food there is plenty of choice including dietary specials and full meals tailored to kids. From the main line-up you can expect fish pie for Christmas Eve, pancakes for brunch, fillet of beef and all the trimmings for the main feast, a cheeseboard and a full English come Boxing Day. Add ons include Christmas cake and a chicken, leek and bacon pie for the freezer.
How much: From £95 per head
Best for: A festive blow-out
Buy it: fullmontyevents.co.uk
Gladwin Brothers Christmas Luxuries Box
Why: This is one for keen cooks who like to retain an element of the homemade on Christmas day. Designed by restauranteurs Gladwin Brothers, this box includes plenty of beautiful chef-approved produce plus recipe cards and cooking instructions. Inside you’ll find caviar, black winter truffle, wine, a beef Wellington, turkey, gammon, pigs in blankets and seasonal veggies with all the trimmings. Extras include a game terrine and smoked trout for starters as well as stilton, Christmas pudding and mince pies. It’s safe to say there’ll be enough to go round, however many mouths you’re planning on feeding this year.
How much: From £520, which serves 8 people.
Best for: Enthusiastic home cooks
Buy it: gladwinbrothers.com
Fancy a finishing touch to your feast? You might like our round up of the best Christmas crackers for 2020