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.

Loison Panettone Albicocca e Zenzero, 500g

£19.99 | Lakeland 

We really enjoyed this light, fluffy panettone. It’s flavoured with apricot and ginger. It wasn't too sweet, so perfect for an opulent festive breakfast.

Crosta & Mollica Apricot Panettone, 500g

 £11| Ocado 

The chic retro packaging won us over on first sight, but it's what's on the inside that counts. So under the vibrant packaging, we were delighted to discover a light, fluffy panettone bestrewn with a generous amount of sweet candied apricot.

Best mince pies

The perfect festive treat. These are guaranteed to convert even the mince pie scrooges out there.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners mince pies

Speciality mince pies, pack of 12

£15 | Bettys

The best mince pies we have ever tasted. Mincemeat with a sweet almond topping. They come in a double-layered box which brought us joy.

The Authentic Bread Company mini mince pies, 12

£6.45 | Able & Cole

We can't resist these little cuties from Able & Cole. They are ideal balanced on a saucer enjoyed with a cup of tea or as a sweet party canapé. A real allrounder: great mincemeat filling and delicious light pastry.

Specially Selected Millionaires Mince Pies, pack of 6

£1.49 | Aldi 

These are a real crowd pleaser and they’re from Aldi so amazing value.

The Best Blackforest Crumble Topped Mince Pies, 6 pack

£2.00 | Morrisons

Chocolate and mincemeat is a heavenly combination, as these pies demonstrate handsomely. The perfect gateway pie, for those who are as yet unconvinced by the power of rich festive bakes.

 Taste the Difference 6 Mince Pies, 6 pack

£1.50 | Sainsbury’s 

Generous mince pies with a great flavour and packed to the brim with mincemeat.

Best ready-made Christmas starters

Because frankly, Christmas is already busy enough, save yourself the hassle of rustling up another course with these gorgeous ready to go beauties!

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners starters

Specially Selected Pate Bowls, 280g

£3.49 | Aldi 

Generous, rich-tasting pates in veggie or meaty options, in real china dishes that can be reused.

Irresistible Scottish Smoked Loch Trout with Whisky & Honey, 100g

£4.00 | Co-op

Why not mix it up and try smoked trout for something a little different this year. We loved the sweet honey and subtle whisky flavour of this one from Co-op.

Champagne and scallop crowns


Scallops bathed in a rich creamy sauce with a good wine flavour and lovely pastry.

Higgidy Very Merry Parsnip Pie, 250g

£3.80 | Waitrose and Ocado 

This perfect pie has a fantastic festive flavour and the ideal pastry to filling ratio. Great as a starter or a veggie main.

Tesco Finest Four Coquille St Jacques, 520g, Serves 4

£12.00 | Tesco 

Sumptuously creamy with a subtle chilli kick. Not only do these taste amazing, but they also look incredibly impressive on the plate.

Best smoked salmon

It's a Christmas classic, great as a luxury starter or for fancy canapes. However, you plan on serving it, this lot gets our vote.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners salmon

Bleiker’s Bucks Fizz Smoked Scottish Salmon, 100g

 £6.00 | Booths

Marinaded in champers and orange oils, this delicate salmon has a beautiful scent and real gold leaf for added luxury.

Loch Fyne Bradan Orach Smoked Salmon, 200g

£9.99 | Ocado

When we say smoked salmon this is what we’re dreaming of, a wonderful smoky flavour and a melt in your mouth texture. It’s pure smoked salmon perfection.

Tesco Finest Smoked Scottish Salmon With Malt Whisky, 100g 

£4.80 | Tesco

If you are a whisky fan then this is the salmon for you. Nice chunky slices mean this would look excellent on canapes.

Iceland Luxury Frozen Smoked Salmon, 300g 

A very generous portion ideal for a buffet platter. We were pleased by the lovely thick slices that would work beautifully with a sauce. Don't be put off by the fact this is frozen. Because of the increased demand at Christmas, much of the supermarket smoked salmon has been frozen and defrosted before it reaches the shelf.

Heston from Waitrose Citrus Gin Smoked Salmon, 100g

£6.99 | Waitrose

We loved the distinctive citrus flavour and the gold finish that makes this salmon instantly more special and will add decadence to your Christmas breakfast or canapé in a matter of seconds. Good firm texture, fairly heavy on the smokiness.

Best cranberry sauce and Christmas condiments

It's Christmas, pull out all the stops. These tasty sauces will elevate your meal.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners condiments

Christine Ferber Pinot Noir Jelly, 220g

£8.50 | souschef.co.uk

This spectacular wine jelly is the perfect accompaniment to goose or red meat. And a dollop added to gravy wouldn’t go amiss.

Firebox Glitter Cranberry Sauce, 408g

 £4.21 | Amazon

Add a touch of glitter and glam to your Christmas table with this glitzy cranberry sauce.

Potts Cranberry Sauce With Wild Cranberries & Honey, 250ml

£2.75 | Ocado

As you would expect this sauce goes fantastically well with turkey and goose. It also has a lovely honey sweetness making it an excellent addition to a festive cheeseboard.

Rosebud Preserves Ampleforth Beer Fruit Chutney, 198g

 £3.95 | rosebudpreserves.co.uk

A rich and fruity chutney with a hint of spice pepped up with beer from Ampleforth Abbey. Serve with the classic British cheeses, Wensleydale, Farmhouse Cheddar or Stilton.

Scarlett and Mustard Cranberry Sauce, 600g, jar with spoon & tag

£7.95 | scarlettandmustard.co.uk*

This bright red sauce could pass as homemade. It contains whole cranberries and would be the perfect accompaniment to your festive feast. *Exclusive offer: Get 15% off any orders with code W&H15

Best Christmas desserts

Drop it all! These elegant desserts are designed to impress. But they taste as good as they look.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners desserts

Specially Selected Chocolate and Salted Caramel Layered Bar, 350g


Another elegant dessert, perfect around Christmas. We enjoyed the rich chocolate flavour.

 Golden Balls, 620g

 £12.00 | M&S

A pudding with a name to get them all giggling. This impressive, glittering stack of profiteroles is super sweet but, hey, it's Christmas!

Waitrose Queen of Trifles, 360g

£12.00 |Waitrose

We were pleased to discover that all of the flavours associated with a trifle were present with the inspired additions of a crunchy light feuilletine base.

Best Christmas food gifts

Best food stocking fillers

We adore these cute tasty gifts, perfect as a little thank you to give to those who have helped you this year.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners little presents

Waitrose Salted butterscotch mallow, 100g

£3.00 | Waitrose

Utterly delicious. These were so good they converted even the marshmallow sceptics on the panel.

Tracklements Rhubarb & Apple Chutney, 220g

£3.60 | www.tracklements.co.uk

Tasty and goes very well with cold cuts. Neither too sweet nor too tart as some chutneys are. It would make an ideal gift for a savoury fan.

Doisy & Dam Vegan Truffles, 144g

£4.99 | Holland & Barrett

Deliciously rich and silky smooth, everyone will be fighting over these chocs, not just the vegans!

Lindt Teddy Jumper Edition, 200g

£4.99 | Lindt

Loving the jumper design for Christmas, a lovely new twist that will update your stocking filler.

Tesco Finest Sticky Toffee Pudding Filled Cookies tin, 200g 

£4.00 | Tesco

These moreish biscuits would make for a lovely gift, they come in a fun reusable tin. It’s almost impossible to just have one, with a gooey caramel centre these didn’t hang around long!

Best Food hampers

Really spoil them this year with these fabulously indulgent hampers.

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners hampers

Bah Humbug! Hamper

£85.00 | Dukeshill 

Good enough for the queen! These hampers have a royal warrant, and we can vouch for her majesty having impeccable taste as every single thing in it was wonderful, especially the cooked hams and salmon.

Luxury Hamper 

£59.99 | Aldi 

Wow, this is bursting with a selection of Aldi's Christmas favourites. We think it's fantastic value. Aldi has a foodie hamper for every taste including a vegan hamper. Prices range from £19.99 to £99.99.

Belazu Hamper 

£49 | Belazu

The ideal source of inspiration for the adventurous chef. Belazu supplies an amazing array of unique ingredients all ethically and sustainably sourced from all over the world.

Harvey Nichols Champagne Breakfast Hamper

 £85.00 | Harvey Nichols 

Always the stylish choice. This generous hamper provides an opulent breakfast for the lucky recipients.

The Absolute Classics Hamper

 £85.00 | Hotel Chocolat 

Being keen chocolate fiends it’s hard to resist this sensational chocolate-filled hamper, it’s top of our wish lists.

Best food advent calendar

No longer just for the kiddies. Advent calendars are a lovely way to spoil yourself or your loved ones in the runup to the big day!

Woman and Home Christmas taste tests 2020 winners advent cals

OffBlak 24 Days of Tea Calendar, 24 x 60g Tea Pyramid Sachets

 £19.99 | Holland & Barrett

Packed with refreshing natural herbal and fruity teas, it's the ultimate gift for a loved one who is cutting back on the booze.

Lindt Pick & Mix Advent Calendar, 325g

£12.00 | Lindt

A decadent chocolate selection. A brilliant option for anyone who loves the classic Lindt truffles but wants some variety. We are obsessed with the mint flavour.

That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar, 72cl

£49.95 | Master of Malt

With a different gin nestled behind each door, this calendar is such a fun way to sample an array of gins without committing to the whole bottle.

Love Cocoa Advent Calendar, 261g

 £17.00 | Ocado

Filled with 24 delectable chocolates and an exciting extra surprise behind door 24. And if you need more convincing: three trees are planted for each purchase.

The best Christmas drinks

Christmas is a fantastic time to discover new drinks and indulge in some old favourites. At this time of year, there are many opportunities to raise a glass and toast good tidings. We have included a range of spectacular non-alcoholic options too for those avoiding the alcohol.

Wine to pair with Christmas dinner

Don't let your dinner down! If you're finding it hard to choose between them, any of these bottles could take pride of place at your festive feast.