As far as we’re concerned, it’s more of a challenge to find a Christmas recipe that isn’t a crowd pleaser, but after several festive lunches and parties even the most enthusiastic guest can tire of turkey and mince pies.

So why not consider some original twists on seasonal favourites to keep everyone on their toes? 

Thai Turkey Filo Dippers by BBC Good Food’s Justine Pattison

This dish could also be handy on Boxing Day for using up leftover Turkey!


  • 3 sheets of filo pastry, about 24 x 48 cm each
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 ½ tsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • Thai sweet chilli dipping sauce, to serve
  • 250g turkey or chicken mince
  • 6 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 25g piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (Nam pla)
  • 2 lime leaves, very finely sliced


  1. To make the filling, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Cut each sheet of filo pastry into 4 evenly sized rectangles. Make a pile of 12 rectangles and cover with a damp tea towel to stop them drying out.
  2. Brush 1 of the rectangles lightly with oil. With one of the shortest sides facing you, spoon 1 level tbsp of the filling across the pastry 2cm up from the bottom of the rectangle and around 1cm in from both sides. Form into a sausage shape. Fold in the bottom over the filling, then fold in the 2 long sides all the way up the rectangle. Roll up from the short side close to you, fully enclosing the filling.
  3. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Repeat as above to make a further 11 filo rolls. Brush with more oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Can be covered with cling film at this stage and kept in the fridge for up to 8 hrs before baking.
  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Bake the dippers for 10-15 mins or until the pastry is light golden brown and the filling is cooked thoroughly. Serve with Thai sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Irish Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon by Jamie Oliver

This recipe is a great twist on the traditional smoked salmon Christmas starter, and is a definite crowd pleaser!

  • 80 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250 g leftover boiled, steamed or baked potatoes
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • ½ a bunch of wild garlic or chives
  • 7cm piece of fresh horseradish or 2 teaspoons from a jar
  • 4 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1 lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • olive oil
  • 240 g smoked salmon, from sustainable sources
  • 1 handful of watercress


  1. Liberally dust a clean work surface with flour. Mash the leftover potatoes or push through a sieve, then season with sea salt and black pepper.
  2. Beat the egg yolk and chop the wild garlic or chives, then add to the potatoes with the flour. Mix well.
  3. Lightly knead, then place the soft dough on the floured surface and roll out to about ½cm thick.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 and shape into rounds.
  5. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until needed.
  6. Meanwhile, finely grate the horseradish (if using) and combine with the crème fraîche. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper and a dash of extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Preheat a flat griddle or non-stick frying pan until very hot, then cook the potato cakes in a little olive oil for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until golden, crisp and hot all the way through.
  8. Serve with slices of smoked salmon and picked watercress leaves dressed with a squeeze of lemon, extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper. 

Christmas Pudding Strudel from LoveFoodHateWaste

Another great recipe for leftovers – and also a fun way to serve Christmas pud as a canapé (just make the parcels small enough to be finger food) at a party.


  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • black pepper
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 250g leftover Christmas pudding, crumbled
  • 3 large sheets of filo pastry
  • 25g melted butter
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream, custard or cream to serve


  1. In a bowl mix together the cheese, black pepper, orange zest, and crumbled Christmas pudding.
  2. Lay out the sheets of filo pastry, brush each sheet with melted butter and place on top of each other. Spread the filling at one end of the filo square.
  3. Fold one end of pastry over the mixture and continue rolling, tucking each end to create a seal, until you have a tight filo parcel log.
  4. Brush the top with butter and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and brown sugar.
  5. Bake at 200°C (400°F) mark 6 for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the base.
  6. Serve in slices with cream, vanilla ice cream or warm custard.