BIG list of best value Christmas food: Smoked salmon, party food, turkey & alternatives

Getting ready to do your Christmas big shop? Here’s my guide to the best value savoury foods that you’ll love for your festive table, including smoked salmon, party food, turkeys and trimmings, alternative main meals, vegan and vegetarian options, and treats for the cheeseboard.

As always, this is a mixture of my own reviews and the results of national awards to give you a good overview of the whole of the market in 2019. I’ve tried to avoid items that have sold out or are very hard to find, but please bear with me because some of these might still go out of stock in the next few days. If you see something you like, don’t hang about.

Best flavour & value smoked salmon 2019

The classic starter and buffet treat has seen some strong competition in this category. Here are the best offerings from the supermarkets.

best value and flavour smoked salmon Christmas 2019

  • Co-op Irresistible beech & oak smoked salmon (100g), £5.00. BBC Good Food Awards winner, Good Housekeeping 2nd place 77/100, Olive magazine bronze medal. Testers loved the woody flavours from the beech and oak smoking, and the smooth texture. < PENNY’S PICK & outright winner
  • Waitrose 1 Chestnut Smoked Scottish Salmon (100g), £5.99, but on offer for £3.99. Good Housekeeping 3rd place 75/100. Tender slices of fish with a mild smoky flavour. Also at Ocado. < BEST VALUE OFFER
  • Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference kiln dried Hebridean smoked salmon (100g), £4.35. Olive magazine gold medal, BBC Good Food Awards highly commended – a less fatty texture than some, thickly sliced and with a good balance of smoke and salt.

Best of the rest:

  • Lidl Double Smoked Salmon (100g), £3.49 in store only. Good Housekeeping joint 4th 74/100. Pleasantly smoky but a bit salty. < LOWEST PRICE PER 100g
  • Aldi Exquisite Rope Hung Smoked Salmon, £4.99 for 200g, on sale from 19th Dec. < PENNY’S PICK, moreish and well flavoured.

Best flavour & value party food

2019 saw the return of the crumpet, and a slew of innovative vegetarian and vegan offerings.

best canapes party snacks Christmas 2019

  • M&S 10 pulled ham & rarebit crumpets, £7.00. BBC Good Food Awards winner, Quality Food Awards highly commended. Creamy, mustardy rarebit, subtle notes of bitter ale, salty-sweet glazed ham hock and light crumpet base.
  • Lidl Deluxe King Prawns with Marie Rose & Brandy Sauce, £TBC, in store only. Quality Food Awards winner.
  • Tesco Finest prawn roses (pack of 10, 180g), £5.00, also in 3-for-2 offer. BBC Good Food Awards highly commended, Which? Magazine 6th place. Well presented, crispy filo pastry and spicy prawn filling.
  • Aldi Specially Selected red Thai chicken skewers, pack of 8, £3.29, in store only from 12th Dec. Which? Magazine 2nd place. Attractive, moist chicken in crunchy crumb with well flavoured sauce.

Best vegetarian & vegan canapés

Best party food vegetarian vegan canapes 2019

  • Asda Vegetable gyoza with soy and chilli dip, 10 for £2.00 (vegetarian). BBC Good Food Awards winner, Olive magazine silver medal. Crisp-edged, Japanese-style gyoza dumplings with a rich, savoury filling and flavourful soy-ginger dipping sauce.
  • Iceland No Bull burger sliders, 8 for £4.00 (vegan). BBC Good Food Awards winner. A mustardy kick, fresh tomato chutney and tender vegan patty
  • M&S 10 porcini & truffle crumpets, £7.00 (vegetarian), in store only. Which? Magazine winner, BBC Good Food Awards highly commended. Light, fluffy toasted crumpets, intensely mushroom-flavoured pâté and a good hit of truffle flavour.

Best of the rest:

  • Waitrose & Partners vegan mini beet wellingtons (pack of nine, 232g), £7.00 (vegetarian) also in 4-for-3 offer. BBC Good Food Awards highly commended. Flaky, buttery pastry shell and earthy filling, sprinkled with a beetroot crumb.
  • Aldi vegan pumpkin bites (200g), £1.99 in store only. BBC Good Food Awards highly commended. Crunchy coating and a perfectly seasoned sweet chilli-flavoured filling.

Best flavour & value turkey 2019

Looking for a good deal on the traditional Christmas centrepiece? Here are the award winners.

best value christmas 2019 whole turkey

  • ASDA Extra Special free range Norfolk bronze turkey (serves up to 10), £28.36. BBC Good Food Awards winner (whole turkey) – very classic turkey, a plump, golden-coloured bird with moist, juicy and full-flavoured meat. < BEST VALUE larger turkey, if you want to pre-order and be sure of the price.
  • ASDA Stuffed Turkey Crown Roast in Bag with Pork Sage & Onion Stuffing (serves 6), £12.50 on offer for £9.50. Good Housekeeping 2nd place 79/100. Flavoursome turkey meat and well-herbed stuffing with quality pork. < BEST VALUE for smaller families
  • M&S Collection The Perfect Turkey (serves 12-14), £65.00. BBC Good Food Awards winner (ready made turkey centrepiece) – a pork, sage and onion-stuffed turkey crown in the centre, plus deboned bacon-wrapped thighs.
  • Lidl Deluxe Broadland Free Range Bronze Turkey Medium, £unknown, in store only. Quality Food Awards winner. Probably the lowest priced winner, but information is scarce.

Best of the rest:

  • ASDA Extra Special British turkey parcel with truffle flavoured pork stuffing (1.4kg serves 8), £23.00. BBC Good Food Awards highly commended (ready made turkey centrepiece). Praised by judges for its moist turkey meat, crisp, smoky bacon, and ‘porky and punchy’ stuffing.
  • M&S Collection traditionally dressed free-range Devonshire bronze turkey (serves 8-10), price £54.00 – £74.25. BBC Good Food Awards highly commended (whole turkey) < if you like a deeper, gamier flavour then this meaty turkey is for you, but by heck it’s pricey.

Best value cranberry sauce


  • Asda Extra Special cranberry sauce with port, £1.39 for 230g, on offer for £1.00. BBC Good Food awards winner, Olive magazine gold medal. Good balance of sweetness and bitterness, depth of flavour, a slightly jammy texture and whole cranberries. < BEST VALUE
  • Aldi Specially Selected cranberry & orange sauce with ruby port, 230g for 99p, in store only. BBC Good Food awards highly commended. Nice balance of sweet, sharp and spicy flavours with a subtle bitter edge.

Best pigs in blankets

best pigs in blankets Christmas 2019

Best of the rest:

  • Lidl Deluxe yard-long pig in blanket, 400g for £3.99, in store only. BBC Good Food Awards highly commended. Double coil of smoky, juicy, Bratwurst-style sausage wrapped in crispy bacon.
  • Aldi Specially Selected Chipolatas Wrapped in Bacon, £2.59 for 6, in store only. Good Housekeeping 3rd place. Classic juicy sausages tightly wrapped in smoky bacon.
  • Aldi Specially Selected three little pigs, 288g for £2.99, in store only from 19th December. BBC Good Food Awards highly commended. Trios of caramelised onion British pork cocktail sausages wrapped in rashers of honey cured smoked bacon.

Best non-turkey meat centrepiece

Seems to be all beef this year…

best alternative meat centrepiece Christmas dinner 2019

  • Aldi Specially Selected beef rib joint with salt & pepper seasoning (1.1-2.7kg), £12.99 per kg. In store only from 21st Dec. BBC Good Food Awards winner. This two-bone rib joint looks impressive on the table and is special enough to serve as an alternative to the usual Christmas turkey. < BEST VALUE, but low stock levels.
  • Asda Extra Special Bone-in Beef Rib with Wild Garlic Butter 950g, £19.00 (£20.00 per kg). Quality Food Awards highly commended. Rich beef dripping herby crust, finished with a sprig of rosemary, aged 21 days.
  • Tesco Aberdeen angus dry-aged sirloin wing rib (1.5-2.5kg), £35.00 per kg. BBC Good Food Awards highly commended. This three-bone sirloin roast has been dry-aged for extra beefiness, and is a good size for a large party.

Best vegetarian & vegan centerpiece 2019

Some tasty offerings for Christmas 2019, things are improving.

best vegetarian vegan Christmas lunch centrepiece 2019

  • Tesco Finest Butternut Squash, Mushroom & Chestnut Wreath, £4.50 for 400g, serves 2 (vegetarian). Good Housekeeping joint winner 82/100, BBC Good Food Awards highly commended.
  • Aldi Specially Selected Vegan Wreath Centrepiece, £3.99 for 550g, in store only, on sale 21 Dec. BBC Good Food Awards vegan winner. Golden, flaky pastry that encases a hearty filling of sweet butternut squash, dried fruit, earthy mushrooms and lentils. < PENNY’S PICK, it’s delicious.
  • Morrisons The Best layered vegetable tart, £4.00 for 500g, serves 2 (vegan). BBC Good Food Awards winner, Which Magazine 2nd place. Butternut squash, spinach and chestnuts on beetroot chutney in crisp puff pastry, hand finished with nuts and pumpkin seeds.

Best of the rest:

  • M&S Ricotta Stacks, £7.00 for 2 (vegetarian). Which? Magazine 3rd place. Baked ricotta stacks topped with mushrooms, leeks and kale, and a creamy white wine sauce.
  • Aldi Spinach, Leek & Cheddar Lattices, £1.49 for 300g, serves 2 (vegetarian), in store only. Quality Food Awards winner, Good Housekeeping 4th place 79/100. Cheesy lattice with crisp, buttery pastry and mildly flavoured but irresistibly gooey filling. < CHEAPEST

Best flavour and value cheeses

best value christmas cheese 2019

  • Morrisons Organic Mature Cheddar, £2.10 for 250g. International Cheese Awards (RC&DA) cheddar gold medal. This supermarket swept the boards at the 2019 Retail Cheese & Dairy Awards, and they also won gold medals for their Farmhouse Cheddar, Medium Cheddar, The Best Mature Stilton, Swiss Le Gruyere, The Best French Comte, French Roule and Old Amsterdam Gouda – so Morrisons is probably the best place to start if you’re putting together a Christmas cheeseboard this year < BEST VALUE RANGE

Best of the rest:

  • Aldi Specially Selected Vintage Crunchy Cheddar, £2.29 for 400g, in store only, International Cheese Awards vintage cheddar gold medal, Good Taste Awards one star, and also a PENNY’S PICK for being delicious and a bit different.
  • Lidl Deluxe Mature Blue Stilton, £2.99 for 220g, or £3.49 for 454g, in store only. Good Housekeeping stilton winner 86/100. This rich, mature blue is smooth and creamy, and melts in your mouth.
  • Lidl Valley Spire Smoked Cheddar, £1.49 for 200g in store only. Quality Food Awards Christmas cheese winner, British Cheese Awards bronze medal.
  • Aldi Specially Selected Extra Mature Gouda, in store only, International Cheese Awards gold medal, Good Taste Awards one star.
  • Aldi Extra Special Truffle Gouda, £3.49 for 180g, in store only from 12th Dec. Insanely moreish and savoury, this was the one I couldn’t stop eating. < PENNY’S PICK.

Ready made cheeseboard

This Ocado offer is excellent but likely to end soon.

best pre selected cheese collection Christmas 2019

  • Waitrose No.1 Cheese Collection, £16.00 for 680g. Olive magazine best ready-made cheeseboard winner. Top notch cheese box contains Saint-Marcellin, Le Crêt Gruyère, Moody’s Rosary Ash Goat’s Cheese, Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton and Vintage Reserve Cornish Quartz Cheddar. < BEST SPECIAL OFFER £9.99 at Ocado.
  • Co-op Irresistible Cheese Selection, £3.35 for 210g, in store only. A smaller selection with Belton Farm Red Fox cheese, Long Clawson Blue Stilton and their award-winning Heritage French Brie < BEST BUDGET OPTION, and excellent quality.


That’s it for today, and I really hope you’ve enjoyed this article. They take a lot of time and care to research and put together so do let me know if you’d like me to keep them coming, either in the comments or on social media. Bon appetit!


Other Christmas 2019 food & drink guides you might like:


Full disclosure: I am not working with any of the above supermarkets in a professional capacity although I have worked on a collaboration with Morrisons in the past. I’ve attended a number of PR events and wine tastings during 2019 and these are my honest opinions, combined with awards from official tasting panels.



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