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Published on December 5th, 2023

5 ideas for what to serve as a starter this Christmas

Two bowls of soup and a glass of wine on a Christmas dinner table.

There is so much to think about in the run up to Christmas, with gifts to buy, cards to send, family to visit and, of course, Christmas dinner to organise. For most of us, deciding what to serve for the main course and dessert isn't cause for much concern with traditional festive favourites returning to our plates year after year. But, if you are looking for some new ideas for what to serve as a starter, here are 5 simple ideas that will get your tastebuds going, without filling you up too much before the main event.

1. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Blinis: Kick off your Christmas feast with a classic and elegant starter—smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis. Miniature pancakes, or blinis, provide the perfect base for a generous dollop of cream cheese and a delicate slice of smoked salmon. Top it off with a sprig of fresh dill for a burst of flavour and a festive touch.

2. Prawn Cocktail: A retro classic that never goes out of style, prawn cocktail is a British favourite that deserves a place on your Christmas dinner table. Succulent prawns nestled on a bed of crisp iceberg lettuce, smothered in a tangy Marie Rose sauce, create a refreshing and indulgent starter that evokes a sense of nostalgia.

3. Stilton and Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms: For a rich and savoury option, consider serving Stilton and walnut stuffed mushrooms. The earthy flavour of mushrooms pairs perfectly with the creamy tang of Stilton cheese and the nutty crunch of walnuts. This elegant starter brings together quintessentially British ingredients in a mouthwatering combination.

4. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup: Warm up your guests with a hearty bowl of roasted butternut squash soup. Velvety and smooth, this soup captures the essence of winter comfort. Infuse it with festive spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon for an extra layer of warmth. Garnish with a drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds for added texture.

5. Chicken Liver Pâté with Cranberry Chutney: Indulge in the rich and decadent flavours of chicken liver pâté accompanied by a tangy cranberry chutney. Spread this luxurious pâté on crusty bread or crackers for a sophisticated starter that combines the savoury richness of liver with the sweet and tart notes of cranberry—a festive symphony on the palate.

These Christmas dinner starters not only showcase the diverse and delicious offerings of British cuisine but also provide a delightful prelude to the main event. Whether you opt for the timeless elegance of smoked salmon blinis or the comforting warmth of butternut squash soup, these starters are sure to kick off your Christmas feast on a high note, setting the stage for a memorable culinary celebration.