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The top Christmas supermarket food: M&S launches festive Colin the Caterpillar

As Christmas is only days away, fill up your shopping baskets with everything from turkey, plant-based alternatives that are just as delicious and your favourite dishes with a twist

Louise Whitbread
Wednesday 16 December 2020 08:11
<p>For a decadent spread this Christmas, start shopping for the 25 December now as supermarkets’ seasonal offerings are available online and in-store to shop</p>

For a decadent spread this Christmas, start shopping for the 25 December now as supermarkets’ seasonal offerings are available online and in-store to shop

This year has been a whirlwind, with most of the summer months spent in lockdown or a tier system amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As much of the year has flown by, Christmas will be here in a matter of weeks and major supermarkets have got their festive food and drink ranges at the ready.

However, with less than a month left until 25 December, the countdown is on so it’s time to start planning (or salivating over) your Christmas dinner.

We’ve gathered up what’s on offer, from sharing platters, turkey crowns, alternative meat options to suit all dietary requirements and more puddings, trifles and profiteroles than you can throw a stick at.

No matter how big or small this year’s festivities will be, you’ll be able get prepped and ready for a feast with our guide to all the festive food you’ll need, which we will keep updating as new ones launch. 

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Budget supermarket Aldi, has gone all out with it’s Christmas range for 2020, offering tasty dishes that will keep guests happy.

Get the party started with a show-stopping centrepiece with a pulled pork and pancetta cracker (£3.99) that’s wrapped in a light, flaky pastry with a paprika crumb, or a 24-month matured parma ham (£3.99), that will have your mouth watering.

But that’s not all, this year Aldi has looked to Asia to add a twist to classic dishes, including a lets party prawn lollipop (£1.69) for starters, featuring five Korean-spiced prawn bites and luxury chorizo pigs in blankets (£1.99) wrapped in fine slices of pancetta.

For a budget-friendly feast, head to Aldi this Christmas

Classics such as mini beef wellington (£2.99) and mini steak and ale pies (£2.99) are also on offer if you wanted to upgrade your canape selection to British favourites in bitesize form.

If you and your guests are opting out of eating meat, there’s plenty of choices, ranging from cauliflower and pumpkin bites (£1.49) to no duck hoisin spring rolls (£1.49).

There’s also an impressive range of desserts to keep those with a sweet tooth satisfied after dinner, including filled churros (£1.69), mini eclairs (85p) and mini ice cream cones (£1.99), in flavours such as chocolate and hazelnut, strawberry and Irish cream and caramel and honeycomb.

Available in-store now

Much of Marks & Spencer’s well-loved Christmas range is now available for home delivery via Ocado, following a joing venture earlier this year. 

If you love Percy pigs, you’ll be pleased to hear as part of Marks & Spencer’s Christmas range, it includes a dedicated merry Percymas biscuit tin (£5), which we’ll be snacking on throughout opening present and as an after-dinner snack in between glasses of mulled wine.   

Colin the Caterpillar mini Christmas cake (£10) has also had a festive make-over. Available from 16 December in stores and online,  everyone’s favourite sponge roll is now decorated with chocolate buttercream, milk chocolate topped with festive sugar decorations of baubles, presents and trees. You can also find it in miniature form (£2.25), perfect for sharing with guests (or keeping to yourself). 

For our main meal, we’ve got our eye on the perfect turkey crown (£60), stuffed with pork and cranberries and wrapped in cured bacon, which is called fool-proof, so even the most amateur of cooks will be able to master a Christmas dinner.

Whether you’re vegan or a meat-eater, Marks & Spencer has covered it all

The popular Plant Kitchen no chicken kiev (£3.50) is also making a comeback if you’re opting out of eating meat this year. The soya based breadcrumbed kiev has a tasty garlic and parsley filling that will have you (and everyone else) coming back for more.

When it comes to dessert, the supermarket has gone all out with its golden balls profiterole stack ( £12), as well as a sticky toffee Christmas pudding (13).

Accompany your meal with some festive tipples, such as a clementine and cranberry bucks fizz (£6) or a cherry and amaretto fizz (£6) that’s suitable for vegans too. 

Available in-store and online at Ocado

One look at Morrisons seasonal offering and you’re guaranteed to be excited already. It’s menu includes tsar cut smoked salmon with soy dressing ( £8) to start, turkey cushions layered with pork, and bacon stuffing, hand-wrapped with maple cured streaky bacon (£23), and chocolate and orange mini trees (£9) to finish.

Cook up a feast to impress your guests this year

If you’re after a plant-based Christmas dinner, you’re spoilt for alternative dishes including  a vegetable tarte with winter root vegetables, vegan cheese and apple sauce (£5), a vegan “beefless” wellington (£5) and a vegan trifle (£7).

Available to order online now and collection in-store from 22 December

Impress your dinner guests with Tesco’s range this year, which promises impressive meat centrepieces, innovative plant-based dishes and twists on traditional dishes.

Some of its top picks include outdoor-bred French trimmed pork crackling loin rack with garlic and truffle butter (£25.50),  pigs in blankets (£10) or a plant-based succulent and tender no-turkey crown (£5).

The range is full of impressive desserts and flavoursome meats that are really affordable

Seeing as us Brits can’t get enough pigs in blankets, there’s no shortage here, and there are even plant-based pigless blankets (£2.20).

Some of its sweet treats include ginger-spiced chai tea-soaked cake (£9), plant-based mince pies (£1.25) and a free-from, gluten-free Christmas pudding (£1.50).

It’s also revealed that it’s signature flavour this year is maple and orange, a sweet mix you’ll find on its easy carve duck with a maple and orange glaze (£22) and a chocolate orange and maple bauble cake (£13) to name a few of the products.

Available online now and in-store for collection from 20 December.

For an indulgent meal that spares no detail, head to Waitrose for your Christmas food shop. 

Some of its must-haves to add to your menu are the British venison wellington that’s topped with porcini mushroom, brandy and thyme, juniper and blackberry (£30), pork and pancetta Christmas crackers (£14 for 2) for pre-dinner snacking and seafood and lobster thermidor pâté (£20). 

If you’re leaving it to a free-for-all buffet for guests to help themselves, we’d recommend dishing up  the cider cured ham with apple and bay (£25), and 70-piece party pack (£35), which includes n’duja croquettes, sticky beef teriyaki meatballs and mac and cheese cups.

While there's fewer vegan options, for meat-eaters you're spoilt for choice at Waitrose

Finish off your meal with a hearty slice of chestnut and pear with rum panettone (£8).

If you’re vegan, try the festive filo swirls (£15) made with Moroccan inspired spiced vegetables with apricots and raisins, a classic vegan nut roast (£5) with a side of Chantenay carrots and parsnips (£6) and some vegan no pigs in blankets (£6).

Polish it all off with a hearty serving of vegan iced fruit cake (£13).

Available online and in-store now

Another exciting launch includes the Baileys apple pie Irish cream liqueur (The Bottle Club, £22.99), a new, festive twist on the classic tipple.

It has flavours of warm, spiced apple pie and cinnamon that can be a sumptuous topping on your Christmas pudding or drunk on its own post-cheeseboard. 

Drink it neat or over ice

We think it would also make a fetching gift in a Secret Santa for a Bailey’s super fan too.

For more food and drink, read our guide to the best Champagne, prosecco and sparkling wines for all occasions

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