Entertaining at Christmas can be stressful, especially if you’re in charge of feeding your guests – but don’t let the thought of hosting put you off this year, as we’re here to help you and give you some fun and easy party food ideas to get you and your guests in to the festive spirit.
Forget about the mince pies and gingerbread men to grace the tables this year as we’ve got plenty of Christmas party food ideas to fulfil your guests and their faves!
Cheesy spinach & artichoke dip
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Vegetable oil – for the dish
300g chopped frozen spinach – defrosted
250g soft cheese
150ml soured cream
2 large garlic cloves – finely grated
100g grated mozzarella
100g grated vegetarian cheddar
2 x 280g jars artichokes – drained and roughly chopped
Tortilla chips and crudités of your choice – to serve
STEP 1: Heat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas 4. Lightly oil a small baking dish. Tip the defrosted spinach into a sieve set over the sink and press down with the back of a large spoon to remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
STEP 2: Whisk the soft cheese, soured cream and mayonnaise together in a medium bowl until well combined. Add the garlic, most of the cheeses, all the spinach and the artichokes. Season with black pepper and fold everything to combine.
STEP 3: Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 mins until bubbling and golden. If you like an extra-crisp top, flash under a hot grill for the final few minutes of cooking time. Leave to stand for 5 mins, then serve with tortilla chips and crudités.
Caramelised mushroom tartlets
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Makes 12 tartlets
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion – chopped
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
250g chestnut mushrooms – cleaned and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove – crushed
3-4 tbsp thyme leaves – finely chopped
Buter – for spreading
12 slices oft thin sliced white sandwich bread
100g grated cheddar – for sprinkling
STEP 1: Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and fry over moderate heat for about 7 mins until soft and golden. Stir in the sugar and seasoning, turn up the heat and add the mushrooms. Sizzle for 5 mins until you have driven off any moisture and the mushrooms are golden. Stir in the garlic for a few mins, until fragrant, then turn off the heat and stir in most of the thyme. The mushroom mix can be chilled at this point)
STEP 2: To make the tartlet bases, cut 7-8cm circles out of the bread using a cookie cutter or glass. Butter one side and stick buttered-side down into a 12-hole tartlet tin. Freeze any leftovers to make breadcrumbs.
STEP 3: When ready to bake, heat oven to 220C/ 200 fan/ gas 7. Divide the mushroom mixture between tartlets and top with a sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 10-15 mins until golden and bubbling.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
1 red onion – halved and thinly sliced
1 lime – juiced
Pinch of sugar
6 rashers streaky bacon
200g tortilla chips
200g cooked chicken or turkey – chopped
100g cranberry sauce
150g melty cheese
1tsp olive oil
Small bunch of sage
STEP 1: Mix the onion, lime juice, sugar and a generous pinch of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
STEP 2: Heat the grill to medium-high and line a large baking tray with foil. Squeeze the sausage meat from its skin and roll into small meatballs, you should get 5-6 per sausage. Arrange over the tray and grill for 8-10 mins, turning halfway through cooking, until browned and cooked through. Tip into a dish and set aside.
STEP 3: Arrange the bacon on the same baking tray and grill until crisp, about 5 mins on each side. Remove to a plate and leave to cool. Turn off the grill and set the oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ gas 6.
STEP 4: Put away any juice or fat from the tray. Spread half the tortilla chips over the tray. Top with half the sausage balls, half the turkey, a few blobs of cranberry sauce and half the cheese. Scatter the rest of the tortilla chips, sausage, turkey, sauce and cheese on top then bake for 15 mins, until the cheese has melted.
STEP 5: Heat the oil in a pan over a medium-high heat and fry the sage leaves until crisp. Serve the nachos scattered with the pickled red onions, fried sage leaves and crumbled crispy bacon.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
200g unsalted butter – softened
2 unwaxed oranges
325-350g golden caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
Double cream or ice cream, to serve
STEP 1: Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and butter a 23cm cake tin. Zest the oranges, then remove the peel and pith using a small, serrated knife. Set aside. Cut the oranges along the equator into 1cm-thick slices. Sprinkle 25g sugar over the base of the tin and arrange the orange slices on top. Set aside while you make the syrup and cake batter.
STEP 2: Weigh the orange peels into a saucepan with the pith, and add the same amount of sugar and water (about 100g). Bring to a simmer, then boil for 10 mins until reduced and thickened. Set aside to infuse until needed, then strain.
STEP 3: Beat the butter and 200g of the sugar together in a stand mixer or using an electric whisk until light and fluffy, about 5 mins. Crack in the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition. Finally, beat in the orange zest and marmalade before carefully folding in the flour and a pinch of salt. Spoon the batter over the orange slices and carefully level the surface. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
STEP 4: Leave to cool in the tin for 15-20 mins before carefully inverting onto a plate. Brush some of the bitter orange syrup over the top (any leftover syrup can be used for cocktails). The syrup will keep chilled for two weeks. Serve warm with cream or ice cream. Once completely cool, the cake will keep in an airtight container for three days.