christmas dinner place mat at table

Student-friendly Christmas dinner alternatives

If you’re staying in your student accommodation this Christmas, you might be wondering what to cook up for the big day. If you don’t fancy cooking a whole turkey and all the trimmings just for one person, check out these great festive alternatives.

1. Christmas pizza


What could be better than the student favourite of a pizza, combined with some Christmas delights? Whether you want a meat feast or a vegetarian option, home-made or pre-made, this is a satisfying Christmas dinner alternative to suit all taste buds.

Don’t fancy cooking? Give a takeaway option such as Pizza Hut a go. Their Christmas pizza features chicken, stuffing and even a gravy base. Or buy a pre-made Christmas pizza from the supermarket such as Morrison’s; which is topped with Christmas diner favourites including turkey, cranberry sauce and even pigs in blankets!

If you want to get creative and put your cooking skills to the test, make your own pizza from scratch. The great thing with making your own is you can tailor the toppings to your own tastes. But it’s not just toppings you can get creative with. Why not go all out and try making a Christmas-themed shaped pizza such as a Christmas tree or snowman?

2. Christmas tacos

cooking tacos for christmas dinner

Who said you have to stick with tradition for your Christmas dinner? Why not have a festive fiesta by adding a Mexican twist to your Christmas meal?

Yes, Christmas tacos are not only super quick and easy to make, but they taste delicious too. And as with the pizza option, you can pretty much tailor the tacos to your tastes. Whether you choose chicken, pork, beef or even turkey for a meat filling, or vegetables and halloumi as a vegetarian option, the combinations are endless.

Check out this simple turkey taco and cranberry salsa recipe or these festive tacos from Jamie Oliver.

3. Turkey fried rice

turkey fried rice for dinner

If you’d rather be relaxing with your feet up and bingeing on festive films than cooking this Christmas, this could be the meal for you.

Turkey fried rice is a speedy alternative solution to a Christmas dinner. It’s quick and requires little effort to make, but still contains the key festive ingredient; so, you can get your annual turkey fix.

Whilst many recipes suggest using shredded leftover turkey, you can instead fry up some turkey steak or breast meat.

4. Turkey steak dinner

turkey steak for christmas dinner

If you’re a sucker for tradition and still want a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, but don’t want to cook up a whole turkey, you can.

Instead of buying a whole turkey, simply buy individual turkey steaks. The steaks will be much cheaper, easier and quicker to cook. In terms of the trimmings, rather than buying pre-packed ones, select your own; that way you can buy just enough for one person.

5. One-tray Christmas dinner

christmas dinner on a plate

One of the big stresses of cooking a Christmas dinner can be the timing and having enough room to cook everything at once. Plus, you end up using every pot and pan in the kitchen; which is never fun when it comes to the washing up.

So, to avoid the hassle of cooking and washing up, follow a simple one-tray Christmas dinner recipe. This means all of your festive favourites from brussels sprouts and parsnips to pigs in blankets are cooked together at the same time – in one dish.

6. Mushroom wellington

mushroom wellington dinner

Whether you’re a vegetarian or turkey just doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are so many meat-free alternatives to the traditional Christmas dinner. And a great option is a mushroom wellington.

It might take a little more preparation and cooking time than some of the other suggestions listed above, but it’ll be worth the wait. It’s a perfect warming winter meal guaranteed to satisfy and fill you up.

What will you be cooking for the big day? Share your recipes and pics with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #HoHoHost. Keep an eye on our news page for even more great festive tips. 

Getting serious about the environment we live in.

To become more ‘environmentally friendly’, Host is launching the #HostEnvironmentalPledge campaign to encourage responsible behaviour and drive sustainability across our sites throughout the UK and Ireland.

It’s a simple campaign! For every percent we reduce our overall utilities (electric, water and gas) consumption by we donate to one of our nominated charities.

Show me all news

Latest news

News flash! Student life in Exeter

Thinking about choosing the University of Exeter for your studies? Find out what student life in Exeter is like.

Student life in Exeter - Student accommodation Host

News flash! The benefits of studio living for Masters students

POV: You've just finished your degree and thinking about the next steps in your education. Shall you go travelling? Get work experience? Or even maybe continue your education and do a Masters degree? If a Masters degree sounds like your next step, have you thought about living arrangements? Have you outgrown the idea of flat sharing in halls? Why not consider the convenience and independence of a studio for your Masters year? Read on for the benefits of studio living for Masters students.

The benefits of studio living for Masters students
Host - Student and undergound
Student life in Coventry

News flash! Student life in Coventry

Student life in Coventry couldn’t be simpler. It is easy to get around and is only one hour from London by train and 20 minutes from Birmingham. Whether you want an endless shopping experience or a late-night adventure, Coventry can provide you with that with minimal effort. And it’s so much more convenient when your home at the end of it is just a few minutes away.