Covers of cookbooks including Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook, Meera Sodha's East , Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh's Sweet, Rachel Khoo's The Little Swedish Kitchen and Delia's Happy Christmas.

Christmas is a time for family, friends and celebrations. And essential to that is good food.

Whether you’re looking for guidance on how to make the perfect turkey for Christmas Day, inspiration for new vegetarian dishes to serve up, or you just want to eat something that isn’t leftovers, these six cookbooks contain everything you need to make sure your Christmas is full of taste, however you’re marking it. 

For even more food inspiration, head over to our friends at The Happy Foodie.

Delia’s Happy Christmas by Delia Smith (2009)

If you’re after a stress-free and classic Christmas, then turn to Delia Smith.

Delia’s Happy Christmas is not only a definitive guide to Christmas food - with recipes for everything from chutneys to Christmas pudding - it’s also a guide to planning during the festive season.

The book, which has 150 recipes, also contains menu plans and shopping lists, as well as a countdown to ensure you get everything done on time. And if you’re not as organised as Smith, there’s also a chapter on The Last-Minute Christmas, so you’ll be able to put together a fantastic celebration whatever the time constraints. 

Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook by Jamie Oliver (2016)

This ultimate festive guide from Jamie Oliver is already a Christmas classic.

Easy to use, recipes include smart starters like beef carpaccio, genius ways to use up leftovers such as turkey risotto and winter ragu, and delicious desserts including chocolate pots.

And if that’s not enough to tempt you, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to the best part of the Christmas meal: roast potatoes. 

Cook, Eat, Repeat by Nigella Lawson (2020)

She's the queen of comforting cooking, and Nigella Lawson’s new book features more than 150 new recipes, intertwined with essays about food, on topics including a piece declaring the death of the guilty pleasure and another defending brown food.

If you can tear yourself away from the stories Lawson tells, you’ll find that rare thing: new ideas for Christmas food. From nibbles and starters to mains and desserts, every recipe in this book is about taking joy in delicious food. 

The Little Swedish Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (2018)

If you’re looking to bring a little international flavour to your Christmas feasting, then turn to Rachel Khoo’s The Little Swedish Kitchen, a book of recipes celebrating every season.

Fuss-free and beautiful, the food within this book is all about what the Swedish call lagoon, the art of just the right amount.

Among the dishes perfect for festive meals is Khoo’s celeriac hasselback ‘ham’, a perfect and interesting dish for vegetarians. 

Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Got (2017)

If you have a sweet tooth but don’t like perennial festive favourites like Christmas pudding and Yule logs, then open up Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s Sweet.

Among the dishes in the book are blackberry and star anise friands, tahini and halva brownies, and these pecan and Prosecco truffles (which also make a great Christmas present).

Don’t worry if the dishes sound complicated, the book contains simple mini-cakes and cookies as well as dishes to try when you’re more confident.

Whatever you make, it’s guaranteed to be a showstopper. 

East by Meera Sodha (2019)

There comes a point every Christmas where you’ve had enough of turkey, selection boxes and leftovers.

Step in Meera Sodha’s East, a book everyone needs to have on their shelves this festive season. Firstly, the recipes within are easy to make, which is a requirement as early as Boxing Day, when no one wants to be spending hours in the kitchen anymore.

And secondly, everything in East is exciting, vibrant and offers up a different taste profile to your standard Christmas fare.

East includes food from countries including India, Singapore and Thailand, with recipes for a quick roasted paneer aloo gobi, the Sodha family masala omelette and more. 

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