The opener to your Christmas dinner will set the tone for your meal, whether it's a smart fennel and lobster salad dotted with pomegranate or roast squash filled with oozing goats' cheese, with rustic bread for dipping. You may want to start as you mean to go on; with plenty of meat like our Vietnamese pork balls, or you might prefer something a bit lighter, in the way of smoked salmon, crab or lobster. We've got plenty of seafood options that your guests will love and that range from really quick and simple to something a little more elaborate to really impress.
When you've got a really meaty main it's sometimes nice to go vegetarian with your choice of Christmas starter for a bit of variety. If you choose to avoid meat altogether or are catering for someone who's vegetarian, our stilton and celery soup is ideal as it's the perfect winter warmer and is full of beautifully balanced flavours.
We've picked our best starter recipes, with many you can make ahead and serve when you're ready as well as some that you can make at the table and get everyone stuck in for a more informal day. We've also selected some vegetarian starter recipes, so that everyone can enjoy the meal.
A Camembert tart (pictured) is a wonderful festive starter - it oozes warm melted cheese in the middle and is is surrounded by a lovely, light tart on the outside. The pastry base is wonderfully golden and you can easily slice it up and dish it up! Make this lovely starter with minimal effort for a lovely two-in-one type dish that's ideal served with a side of salad! Your guests will be so impressed!
Click through for more Christmas Day starter recipes...
Satisfying, healthy low calorie meals - perfect for a light meal or for the 5:2 diet, including 300 calorie meals and 200 calorie meals
Christmas dessert recipes for an impressive finale, including orange and cranberry cheesecake, chocolate and Florentine torte and mulled berry tart
Christmas cheesecake recipes that will make a wonderful alternative Christmas dessert, including nougat cheesecake and a baked orange and cranberry cheesecake
Low fat dessert recipes including chocolate and coffee mousse, blackcurrant sorbet and zingy melon salad
Christmas cake recipes to make ahead of Christmas, including a simple traditional fruit cake recipe, Christmas cake recipe with a twist and ideas for how to decorate a Christmas cake