Even if Christmas is a smaller affair for you this year, it doesn’t mean you should miss out on a quality festive lunch. We’ve rounded up 20 recipes that can be enjoyed between two, whether you want to share a whole roast bird, an easy salmon dish or a plant-based option.
Looking for more inspiration? See our Christmas menu for two, which covers everything from brunch through to festive desserts and snacks. Also, check out our extensive collection of dinners for two or browse our easy Christmas recipes for a range of ideas to suit different numbers of people and diets.
If you want a smaller celebratory centrepiece to rival traditional Christmas turkey, this game bird makes the ideal dinner for two. Moist, buttery guinea fowl is roasted with streaky bacon and herby onion and chestnut stuffing, resulting in a mouthwatering combination of flavours. The portions are generous, so you may have some leftovers to enjoy the next day.
These gorgeously sticky individual vegetable tarts make an elegant veggie dinner for two. With flaky puff pastry, shallot-fried mushrooms, maple-glazed carrots and a crunchy hazelnut topping, they are truly a treat for all the senses. Parts can be made a few days in advance, then assembled on the day, giving you more time to relax at Christmas.
Roast duck is a Christmas dinner classic, and this recipe takes things one step further with the addition of beautiful citrussy flavours. As well as stuffing the bird with orange halves, a boozy orange glaze and zingy gravy make it even more irresistible. We recommend serving it with watercress, buttery wilted spinach and potato rösti.
This wellington gives the impression that you’ve gone to a lot of effort, but it’s very simple to put together and can be embellished with extras like homemade pastry leaves, if you wish. Cutting into the golden flaky puffy pastry will reveal a gorgeously creamy mushroom and garlic sauce which helps to keep the chicken moist. You can also easily adapt the recipe to make it more seasonal by using pheasant breasts or incorporating a truffle-based condiment in the stuffing. If you really want to impress, we recommend serving with our truffle oil pomme purée, green beans with wholegrain mustard and easy red wine gravy.
Make the most of seasonal celeriac in an impressive veggie main. This earthy root vegetable is brought to life with a spicy gochujang chilli and soy bean glaze, then served with cumin-fried black beans and a punchy green salsa.
These plump, juicy roast partridges make an ideal serving for two and don’t take long to cook. We’ve packed plenty of flavour into them with an aromatic stuffing of juniper, bay, thyme and garlic. Serve with crisp potatoes, fried in bacon and generously basted in a rich red wine sauce.
More like this
Cooking for two at Christmas gives you a chance to make a bit more of an effort, and seek out some special ingredients without breaking the bank. Treat yourselves to Tom Kerridge’s elegant main of succulent sliced beef fillet with punchy Marmite butter mash and crispy charred hispi cabbage. It takes under an hour to prepare and cook, and the Marmite butter can also be made up to a day ahead.
This sophisticated seafood dish really has the wow factor with its delicate flavour and texture. Browning the butter gives an extra depth to the fish, and can be added to the celeriac purée, too. If you can’t find halibut, use another firm white fish like pollack or plaice and adapt the cooking time depending on the thickness of the fillets.
Showcase the sweet, earthy flavours of beetroot in a silky risotto. This vibrant veggie dish makes a comforting yet impressive festive main for two, topped with a garnish of crumbled feta, lemon zest and dill.
Give the traditional British pie a special festive twist with turkey, streaky bacon and thyme. These individually portioned dishes are topped with a satisfyingly crisp puff pastry crust. Save time by using ready-made pastry and make the pies ahead, if you need a little more time on the day. They are delicious with garlicky fondant potatoes and crunchy broccoli.
Wanting to showcase your culinary skills? This delicate ravioli dish has a professional look and is full of rich flavours such as saffron and nutmeg. Similar to lasagne, layers of pasta are alternated with butternut squash and spinach, then served with mushrooms in a garlicky porcini dressing.
If you’re looking for a speedy yet sophisticated Christmas dinner, these stuffed chicken breasts fit the bill. They’re also ready in less than 30 minutes. The creamy rosemary and garlic mascarpone filling balances perfectly with the moist chicken and a crispy prosciutto wrapping.
One of our most popular salmon dishes, this simple pan-fried fillet is elevated with a fresh parsley and lemon cream sauce. Serve on a bed of spinach with a special side, such as these lemon-roasted new potatoes.
14. Miso aubergines
These miso-roasted aubergines make a delicious and healthy vegan Christmas dinner for two. The dish is so rich and meaty, it’s hard to believe it’s vegan. Serve with giant couscous, sliced chilli and a scattering of coriander leaves.
Try our posh version of steak and chips for Christmas. Make it special by using bavette, the ‘butchers’ cut’ of meat that makes a melt-in-the-mouth main. Cajun-spiced potatoes and spicy homemade slaw make a refreshing accompaniment for the griddled steak pieces.
Another showstopping salmon recipe, Tom Kerridge’s simple one-pan roast delivers layer upon on layer of flavour with a punchy anchovy, caper, mustard and parsley dressing. This gluten-free main would work well with a side of crispy domino potatoes.
If you need a break from all the season’s heavy eating, this light and stylish plant-based main is ideal. Cauliflower is the star of the dish here and we’ve accentuated its subtle flavours with a vibrant red pepper, parsley and caper salsa. An effortlessly elegant main, all you need to do is lightly roast the cauliflower steaks in paprika until crisp, then serve topped with the salsa plus a sprinkling of flaked almonds.
Try our lighter twist on traditional roast duck, with a simple but special dish which just happens to deliver four of your 5-a-day. This pan-seared duck recipe is bursting with zingy ginger, which is combined with orange zest in the duck marinade as well as as flavouring the sweet potato mash and onion garnish. Serve with steamed broccoli and sprouts for a healthy and satisfying dinner.
With crisp, buttery puff pastry and a sticky maple-roasted beetroot and shallot filling, these tatins make an indulgent Christmas main, yet couldn’t be easier to prepare. Serve with a sprinkling of peppery rocket and a side of roasted spiced carrots & labneh, if you wish.
Push the boat out by serving succulent pork tenderloin fillets, subtly spiced with hints of garam masala and cooked in foil with a banana shallot. Go for the best-quality pork and don’t be afraid to serve it ever so slightly pink to keep it juicy. We’ve accompanied it with crisp sliced apple cheeks and domino potatoes.
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Sharing Christmas dinner with one other person this year? Let us know what you make…