If you’re in charge of Christmas dinner and you don’t want to go overboard with the indulgence, try these festive recipes for the ultimate healthier Christmas dinner.
We’ve made some simple swaps to keep things clean and put a twist on some classics. If you’re a plant-based eater, we’ve got something here for you too.
Love them or loathe them, Brussels sprouts are packed full of goodness and are a staple at the Christmas dinner table.
Loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, fibre and antioxidants, these green vegetables are great for boosting your immunity in the winter.
A common pairing for sprouts would be smoked, streaky bacon. However, this is high in saturated fat. In this recipe, we’ve made a substitution for turkey bacon to keep the same smoky taste, but with a lower fat content. Hazelnuts add crunch and healthy fats, and pomegranate seeds sweeten this dish with an extra sprinkle of vitamin K.
This dish is seriously simple to throw together and will look beautiful on any dining table.
I recommend par-boiling the sprouts first, but if you like a real crunch, then you can miss this stage.
Serves 4, per serving:
Calories: 130 Carbs: 8.3g Fat: 6.6g Protein: 9.3g
- 200g Brussels sprouts, peeled
- 4 slices of turkey bacon (you can use regular bacon if you wish, but trim off the fat first)
- 50g pomegranate seeds
- 30g roasted, finely chopped hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp Himalayan sea salt
- Parboil the peeled sprouts for 2-3 minutes and then drain under a cold tap.
- Slice the sprouts in half and add to a baking tray.
- Dice the slices of turkey bacon and sprinkle over the top.
- Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and drizzle the maple syrup over the sprouts.
- Roast in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add the hazelnuts. Return to the oven and roast for a further 8-10 minutes.
- Once cooked, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve.
This stuffing is perfect for gluten-free guests or as a lower-carb alternative at Christmas
Paired with sautéed mushrooms, sunflower seeds and sage – this recipe has the unmistakeable taste of traditional stuffing, but with extra health benefits and a much better nutritional profile.
Quinoa contains all the essential amino acids, so pair this with your turkey or chicken to boost your protein count.
Throw in some chopped chestnuts and fresh sage, and you might just have the best stuffing you’ve ever tasted.
Makes 6 Stuffing Balls
Per 1 Ball:
Calories: 54 Carbs: 5.4g Fat: 2.5g Protein: 2.5g
- 100g chestnut mushrooms
- 80g cooked quinoa (cooked with 1 tbsp bouillon powder)
- 50g chopped ready-to-eat chestnuts
- 25g pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp sage
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Pinch of Himalayan salt
- Take the chestnut mushrooms and dice into small pieces (brunoise).
- Pan fry with the sage and pumpkin seeds so that the seeds are lightly toasted and the mushrooms are just cooked.
- Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and combine well.
- Roll the mixture into golf ball-sized balls.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment and add the stuffing balls.
- Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees until they are golden brown on top.
Whether it’s your Christmas dinner or Boxing Day buffet, there’s always a selection of appetisers, sides and finger food to fill your belly with during the festive season.
To avoid piling on the pounds and undoing all the hard work you’ve put in, try to stick to foods familiar to your diet, when faced with a lot of tasty choices.
Protein and vegetables are ideal, so why not bring these stuffed chicken thighs along to the party and have a go-to clean eating festive option that everyone will love.
This recipe uses our healthy quinoa and mushroom stuffing recipe.
Once you’ve made your stuffing, simply follow the instructions below, and you’ll have a delicious high-protein menu option that comes with all the essential amino acids too. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
Serves 3, Per serving:
Calories: 398 Carbs: 12g Fat: 18g Protein: 47g
- 200g mushroom and quinoa stuffing mix (roughly 1 batch)
- 6 free-range chicken thighs – skinless and boneless
- Juice of half an orange
- 1 tbsp thyme – freshly picked or dried
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Pinch of Himalayan sea salt
- Open up the chicken thigh and line with a heaped tablespoon of the stuffing mix.
- Fold the chicken thigh back over.
- Pour over the orange juice and sprinkle over the thyme.
- Season and roast in the oven at 170 degrees for 25 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through and piping hot in the middle – the stuffing can increase the cooking time depending on how generous you’ve been.
- Remove from oven and serve with roasted butternut squash and steamed kale.
Pigs in blankets are the ultimate Christmas comfort food.
Switch up your regular, high-fat pork sausages with these turkey sausages and turkey bacon rashers, and you’re in for a healthy, high protein treat!
Making simple, healthy changes to your festive dinner will all amount to a healthier Christmas, without a lot of extra effort.
You can customise this recipe to suit with different flavours – we’ve used wholegrain mustard and a drizzle of honey, but you could add some sliced apple or even wrap up your sausages with our Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing in the middle.
The main healthier switch here is from pork to turkey – turkey is a great source of iron and zinc, as well as vitamin B6, which is great for your energy levels. It is lower in fat than pork and very high in protein. Turkey is also a source of selenium and tryptophan (an amino acid) which is key to producing serotonin.
Serotonin is said to help maintain your mood and keep you happy!
(Per pig in blanket)
Calories: 122 Carbs: 6.9g Fat: 3.3g Protein: 16.1g
- 8 gluten-free turkey sausages
- 8 rashers of turkey bacon
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- ½ tsp rosemary
- In a baking tray, lay out your sausages.
- Mix together the mustard, honey and rosemary in a small bowl.
- Baste the sausages with the marinade.
- Wrap a slice of bacon around the sausage.
- Baste again and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes until the sausages are cooked through.
When we talk about carbs at Christmas, your mind will conjure up images of duck fat roasted potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and mince pies.
While it’s common knowledge that these aren’t the foods to eat for fat loss, they often find a way of getting onto our plates at Christmas time – so let’s consider a healthier option to satisfy those carb cravings.
Pair your squash with chestnuts and sautéed onions, and you have a tasty festive side dish that will please everybody. Sage and butternut are a match made in heaven, and pairing them together in this recipe is no exception.
This recipe is a one-pan wonder, simply dice everything up and throw it in a baking pan. Roast and season – easy!
Serves 4 as a side, per serve:
Calories: 128 Carbs: 20.8g Fat: 3.9g Protein: 2.3g
- 500g diced butternut squash
- 100g ready-to-eat chopped chestnuts
- ¼ red onion
- 1 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 tsp sage
- 1tsp thyme
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Chop the red onion into thin slices then add the butternut, chestnuts and onion to the tray.
- Season with the herbs, salt and pepper and drizzle with light olive oil.
- Roast for 30-35 minutes until the dice are tender inside.
If you want more expert tips to improve your training, diet, sleep and mental health to feel your best over the festive period, read our Ultimate Christmas Survival Guide.