SUPERMARKET shopping at Christmas can be hectic. By opting for a recipe box, you’ll receive step-by-step instructions, easy to follow time plans, pre-measured ingredients and great quality produce, conveniently delivered to your door.
Whether you’re a complete kitchen novice or would just like to take some of the pressure off, these boxes are designed to make everything as straightforward as possible.
From traditional turkey to meat-free alternatives, our food team has tested the competition to give you all the information you need, in order to choose the right one for you.
What to consider when buying a Christmas recipe box
Chances are guest lists are still a little up in the air right now. However it’s important to consider how many you’ll be catering for. Some of these boxes are for a fixed amount of people, while others can be scaled up.
Take stock of what your box contains. All will provide the main course, but not all come with a full array of sides and trimmings, so you may find you need to do an additional shop. However, many brands allow you to ‘add-on’ extras such as vegetables or dessert to save you a trip.
These days we’re well trained in taking our own bags to the shops, however, when ordering food online, there’s no need to turn a blind eye to single-use packaging. We’ve contained one plastic-free box below, however some brands still have some work to do. All boxes arrived well insulated to ensure produce stays fresh, often with reusable ice packs which ups the eco-credentials.
We’ve included order cut-off dates below, along with the latest delivery slot, which is often a few days before Christmas, to ensure your dinner arrives in time. Don’t worry, produce will have a long enough expiry date for you to enjoy on the big day, and all deliver nationwide.
How we test
We entrusted each box to four or five households who were asked to follow the cooking instructions to the letter. They were assessing each for delivery and packaging, value for money, quality of ingredients, and most of all taste! Not only did the finished results need to look great on the table, we also wanted our creations to fill the house with a delicious aroma.
These are the top-rated Christmas recipe boxes for 2020.
Overall Score: 93/100
Morton’s have thrown the whole kitchen sink at this one. Each environmentally-friendly, biodegradable-insulated box contains the brand’s signature, free-range bronze turkey breast, which was beautifully moist with a crisp buttery skin. To accompany our bird, there were also pigs in blankets, herby pork and chestnut stuffing, gravy, tart cranberry and bread sauce, leaving you to just add veg. They’ve even taken care of starters and dessert with smoked salmon and a traditional christmas pudding. Just add blinis and brandy butter, respectively.
With enough for turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day, as well as smoked chicken and duck breast to add to the spread, this is a superb box, packed with top quality produce for a tasty festive feast.
Delivery information: Available to order now, order by 18th December, last delivery date 22nd December.
Overall Score: 92/100
If this is the first time you’ve been left in charge of Christmas lunch, HelloFresh is here to save the day. The box comes with a thorough booklet of step-by-step instructions, including a time plan and prepare-ahead suggestions. The feast consists of lemon and rosemary butter-basted turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing and a thin gravy. Veg-wise there’s the obligatory roast potatoes, as well as festive spiced red cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli and maple roasted root veg. A particular highlight was the brussels sprouts which had been given a makeover in a pancetta and hazelnut gratin.
There’s also the option of adding on chocolate orange cheesecake pots for dessert, as well as a cheese platter, which is handy, although you’ll still have to come up with a starter by yourself.
Despite the number of dishes, our testers felt this was a well organised box (albeit with a little too much plastic!), packed with flavoursome dishes, and with enough for leftovers. Not bad for under £20 a head!