Holiday Classics: A Guide to Traditional Christmas Dishes from Around the World

Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, and nothing brings people together like good food! Discover the culinary heritage of different cultures with our comprehensive guide to traditional Christmas dishes from around the world. Whether you want to stick to your roots or try something new, keep reading for deliciously festive recipes that capture the true spirit of Christmas.

An English Christmas: Roast Turkey and Christmas Pudding

The centerpiece of the traditional English Christmas dinner, roast turkey is served with all the trimmings — roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, pigs in blankets, Brussels sprouts, and lots of rich, homemade gravy. Finish off the feast with a serving of Christmas pudding, a dense, moist confection made with dried fruit, nuts, and a generous splash of brandy. Served flaming with a sprig of holly on top, it’s a sight to behold and a treat to eat!

Feliz Navidad with Spanish Turron and Cordero Asado

In Spain, the festive season is sweetened with turron, a traditional Christmas candy made with honey, sugar, egg whites, and almonds. It’s a must-have at any Spanish holiday table! For a Spanish-style Christmas dinner, nothing beats cordero asado, or roast lamb, slowly cooked until it’s tender and juicy. This hearty, comforting dish is typically accompanied by a glass of robust red wine.

Christmas 'la Italiana' with Panettone and Tortellini in Brodo

Christmas in Italy wouldn’t be complete without a slice of panettone, a sweet yeasted bread studded with candied citrus and raisins. Light and airy, it’s the perfect ending to a festive meal. For dinner, Tortellini in brodo or tortellini in broth is a classic dish. These little pasta parcels, usually filled with a mix of meats, are served in a clear, aromatic broth, making for a warm, comforting dish that’s perfect for winter nights.

German Weihnachten: Sauerbraten and Stollen

In Germany, Christmas is typically celebrated with sauerbraten, a pot roast, usually of beef, marinated before being slow-cooked in a sweet-sour sauce. It’s a dish that warms you from the inside out, perfect for chilly December nights. For dessert, there’s stollen, a rich, fruit-studded bread dusted with powdered sugar. It’s like a taste of Christmas in every bite!

French Noël: Réveillon and Bûche de Noël

The French celebrate the holidays with Réveillon, a lavish late-night feast held on Christmas Eve. The meal may include oysters, foie gras, and roast meats, and is rounded off with Bûche de Noël. This festive ‘Yule log’ cake, made with rolled sponge cake and buttercream, is a real showstopper and a beloved French Christmas tradition.

A Down Under Christmas with Prawns and Pavlova

Christmas falls in summer in Australia, so the traditional Christmas dinner might include fresh prawns, grilled on the barbie, alongside other seafood and summer fruit. A classic Australian Christmas dessert is the pavlova: a meringue cake with a crisp crust and soft, light interior, often topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream. It’s the perfect sweet finish to a hot summer's day.