woman&home Christmas taste test: The best Christmas food to buy in the shops

These award-winning foods are going to make this year extra special!

Woman and Home taste test 2020

The woman & home Christmas taste tests are an annual event where our expert Test Kitchen taste test hundreds of food and drink products to find the best of the best in everything festive. 

The 2021 winners have now been announced and our pick of the best Christmas food has been revealed for the upcoming festive season.

This year, like last year, the competition was tough, with numerous outstanding contenders for every category. Our expert panel of judges whittled down the entries to the creme de la creme of Christmas buys. 

Discover the results from the 2020 taste tests below. 

Best turkey

(Image credit: Booths, Iceland, Tesco, Waitrose)

In true Christmas tradition, a golden, succulent turkey, cooked to perfection surrounded by your favourite accompaniments is just the best. Taking centre stage of your festive spread, it will provide you with  a special meal on a special day. So, of course,  you want to make sure that you buy the best! Whether you are feeding a crowd (lockdown rules permitting) or having a mini Christmas feast for two, here’s our pick of the best turkeys on the market. 

Tesco Finest British Free Range Heritage Narragansett Whole Turkey, 5.26KG - 6.51KG (serves 10-15)

£36 to £58 | Tesco On sale from 14th December 

This has to be the  ultimate bird - golden skin, moist meat, heavenly flavour and enough for Christmas day plus the boxing day sandwiches. Perfect.

Luxury Truffle Butter Turkey Crown, 1.9kg

£16.00 | Iceland

If you are a turkey non-traditionalist then this is definitely one for you: a tender turkey crown with a rich and indulgent truffle butter topping. 

Waitrose Free Range Bronze Turkey Crown with Thighs, 2.97kg (serves 12) 

£65.00 | Waitrose. Available to pre-order now for delivery between 20 Dec - 24 Dec (top right)

The best of both worlds, made simple. A turkey crown, blanketed in bacon and filled with a sage and onion stuffing, which is served alongside 6 hour slow roasted turkey thighs. All the meat of a traditional turkey without the hassle. 

Turkey Paupiettes, 460g (serves 2)

£8 | Booths. Available to pre-order now for delivery from 22nd December

If you are planning a more modest Christmas this year then we recommend you get these scrumptious and low maintenance Turkey Paupiettes - turkey breast filled with a sage and onion stuffing and wrapped in crisp streaky bacon. 

Best vegan Christmas mains

Best Vegan mains

(Image credit: Aldi, Co-op, Ocado, Lidl)

Serve up the finest, festive, plant-based feast with these carefully selected vegan mains. 

Specially Selected Vegan Wreath, 550g

£3.99, Aldi. Available in store from 21st December

An elegant vegan centrepiece. Chestnut mushrooms, butternut squash and dried fruit are cloaked in golden puff pastry and decorated with Christmas stars. 

GRO Roots En Croute, 412g (serves 2)

£4 | Co-op. Available from 9 December in selected Co-op stores nationwide

Planning a more modest Christmas day? You will love these zesty root vegetable en croutes, packed with flavour plus a rich and flakey pastry casing. 

Artisan Grains Cashew & Cranberry Nut Roast Mix 200g

£2.79 | Ocado

It is the traditional meat-free Christmas main for a reason and this cashew and cranberry nut roast is a particularly delicious option. 

Wicked Kitchen Wellington, 400G

£7.00 | Tesco

Fancy something “meatier”? This perfectly seasoned wellington has all the wonderful texture and flavour of its beef filled counterpart, but it is plant based! 

Deluxe Curried Cauliflower and Kale Tartlets 220g (serves 2)

£1.69 | Lidl. In-stores now 

If you want to add a little bit of spice to your festivities you should try these curried cauliflower and kale tartlets. 

Best vegetarian Christmas mains

Best vegetarian Christmas mains

(Image credit: Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Ocado, Aldi)

We’ve got your vegetarian Christmas sorted with our picks of the best free meat-free mains on the market. 

Sainsbury's Wensleydale Yuletide Log, Taste the Difference 570g

£6.00 | Sainsbury’s

This stunning yule log definitely has the wow factor. Intricate butter enriched puff pastry encloses a delightful Wensleydale, potato and cranberry filing.

Deluxe Festive Pastry Showstopper Feta, Tomato & Pesto Pastry Lattice Wreath, 800g

 £6.99 | Lidl, in-stores now

We adored this show stopping wreath which contains the perfect blend of salty feta, sweet tomatoes and smooth pesto. 

Pieminister Christingle Honey Roast Parsnip, Chestnut, Cheddar & Leek Pie 270g

£4 |Ocado

There is nothing not to love about this pie: from the crisp pastry topped with cheddar, to the honey roast parsnips to the creamy leek filling. We would be happy to serve this next to our perfect roasties. 

Vegetable Parcels, 400g (serve 2)

£1.79, Aldi. Available in store now

Do you only have a couple of vegetarian diners at your table? Then we recommend these lovely chickpea and squash filled pastry parcels. 

Best Christmas Party Food

Best Canapés

Even when celebrating in a smaller group it's fun to have an array of party food. This year we have seen trends emerge for grazing platters and spicy flavours. Delight your guests with these splendid nibbles.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners Canapés

Extra Special Sicilian Giarraffa Olives with Lemon, 150g

£2.20 | Asda

These special green Giarraffa olives are not overly brined giving them the perfect balance of salt enhancing their great fruity flavour. The perfect nibble for when you're feeling peckish!

Wensleydale Creamery Seasonal Truckles, 200g 

£3.00 | Wensleydale Creamery 

Top marks to the Wensleydale Creamery for their impressive variety of flavoured Wensleydale. Who would have thought that Orange & Champagne or Stem Ginger would be such a scrumptious treat in cheese.

10 BBQ Pork Cornbread Stacks, 210g

£7.00 | M&S

Perfectly seasoned with chunky corn pieces and a touch of spice, these moreish morsels are very impressive on taste.

Extra Special Gran Antipasto, 120g

 £3.00 | Asda

This generous selection contains three delicious Italian cured meats. They all have great flavours and the salami is satisfyingly chunky. Wrap around a chunk of cheese and secure with a cocktail stick for an easy party bite, or serve as an accompaniment to the latest party food trend, a grazing platter. 

Waitrose Pork & ‘Nduja Croquettes 10 pack, 300g

£6.00 | Waitrose

These scrumptious spicy pork meatballs are coated in a pleasing breadcrumb crunch and would certainly appeal to meat fans who can handle the heat!

Best Christmas crisps and nibbles

We are on board in a big way with the truffle flavoured crisp trend. They are the perfect bougie nibble to accompany a glass of bubbles, but have you tried the latest fancy thing? Move over truffle, caviar is in town!

four of the best Christmas nibbles Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners Christmas crisps and nibbles

Torres Caviar Crisps, 110g

£3.99 | souschef.co.uk

For the ultimate crisp luxuriousness, we recommend Torres Caviar Crisps. You have to experience them once!

Peter’s Yard Sourdough Bites, 90g

£2.00 | Sainsbury’s

A wonderfully versatile crisp/cracker hybrid. They come in three flavours: Sour Cream & Chive, Cyder Vinegar & Sea Salt and Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper.

The Best Steak and Black Truffle Crisps, 150g

£1.00 | Morrisons

A rather pungent but enticing whiff, truffle is seemingly the crisp flavour of 2020, finally something good to come out of this year!

Espelette Luxury Nut Mix, 1.35kg

£39.95 | belazu.com

Enough to keep them going all Christmas! This is a mammoth bag of truly luxurious nuts.

Waitrose Black Truffle Hand Cooked Crisps, 150g

£1.33 | Waitrose

These had a more authentic mild truffle flavour than others we tasted meaning that the lovely potato flavour could shine through too. But it was the good crispy crunch that won us over!

Best Christmas sweet treats

Best Christmas cake

This was a highly contested category this year, our panel tried so many greats. But these six blew us away.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners Christmas cake

Royal Iced Bell Christmas Cake, 1kg

£25.00 | Bettys

Packed with plump sherry infused vine fruits and finished with a sweet stencilled bell design. A grown-up cake with minimal icing and maximum cake.

Chocolate Fruit & Nut Cake, 800g

 £15.00 | M&S 

Chocolate lovers rejoice. This rich and buttery chocolate fruit cake would be a lovely dessert served with port.

Taste the Difference Holly Wreath Christmas Cake, 900g

£11.00 | Sainsbury’s 

Not just a pretty cake, this classic Christmas fruitcake is rich, moist and full of flavour.

Tesco Finest Rich Fruit Cake, 907g

£10.00 | Tesco 

We were big fans of this one. Lovely rich nutty brandy flavour but with a marvellous light texture.

Specially Selected Luxury All Over Iced Cake, 1kg

£6.99 | Aldi 

Chic, simple but effective design with a subtle shimmer that would look lovely on any Christmas table. Good even layers of icing and marzipan with lovely rich, spiced fruit cake. Doesn't taste overly boozy so a good option for the whole family.

 Waitrose Trio of Christmas Cakes

 £35.00 | Waitrose 

A charming trio of cakes to please all tastes. One is a chocolate cake, another plain sponge and the third is a perfectly spiced Christmas cake with the ideal balance of icing to marzipan. The cute characters are sure to be a hit with the kids.

Best Christmas pudding

The proof is in the pudding, you will not be disappointed with these. All excellent choices for the finale to the festive feast.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners Christmas pudding

Specially Selected 30 Month Matured Christmas Pudding, 907g

£9.99 | Aldi 

Rich and boozy with a generous quantity of fruits and nuts. Perfect served with a greedy helping of cream but custard would be just as good. 

Bettys Classic Christmas Pudding, 360g

 £12 | Bettys

In three sizes, this pudding delivers with huge chunks of booze-soaked fruit. This luxurious pud is a Christmas staple for Food Director Elisa Roche, she orders one every year.

Organic vegan Christmas pudding, 450g

£12.45 | Riverford 

This luxurious pudding is the perfect balance. It’s packed to the brim with fruit, without being overly sweet.

Best pannetone

The classic Italian Christmas bread is becoming increasingly popular. We love it as a breakfast bread, but it's also a fantastic dessert and great with a cuppa. Contemplate using any leftover pannetone in trifle or tiramisu.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners Pannetone

Battistero Panettone Gift Tin, 1kg

£7.50 | Booths

A showstopper of a panettone in its huge festive tin. The perfect gift to bring to the relatives.

Waitrose Apricot and Peach Bellini Panettone, 750g

£6.66 | Waitrose 

Two of our favourite Italian things, Peach Bellini and Panettone, rolled into one. Great taste and texture. Toast it or toast with it!

The Best Classic Fruit Panettone, 750g

£7.00 | Morrisons 

The perfect fluffy texture and just the right amount of fruit. We’ll be heading to Morrisons again for our panettone this year.