Christmas dinner favourites from Aldi to Sainsbury’s taste tested – we rate the best

We are just a week away from the biggest feast of the year and our mouths are watering at the thought of a ­delicious Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

You may have picked out your turkey, or your favourite alternative, but what about the rest? The parsnips, the pigs in blankets, the brandy sauce and the all-important spuds?

Our festive foodies have been busy testing all the ­supermarket buys to take some of the guesswork out of your preparations, and give you a helping hand with some ready-made shortcuts.

Here is our guide to the best of this year’s yuletide fare – elasticated waistline and party hats not included.


Asda Extra Special blood orange & gin Scottish smoked salmon, 120g, £4 .

Strong, bright flavour with citrus burst. Yum. ★ ★ ★ ★

Aldi Specially Selected exquisite rope hung Yorkshire peat smoked salmon, 200g, £4.99 .

Nice and smoky, but a salty aftertaste. ★ ★

Tesco ready to eat smoked salmon slices, 300g, £5.

Strong but not overpowering smoky taste and a flaky texture. ★ ★ ★ ★

Lidl Deluxe beechwood smoked wild sockeye salmon, 150g, £4.99

Thickly sliced but very smoky and very woody. ★ ★ ★


Aldi Specially Selected goose fat roast potatoes, 800g, £2.49

Perfectly smooth and fluffy, with a golden coating. Very rich. ★ ★ ★ ★

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference chunky maris piper roast potatoes, 450g, £2.70.

Thick and chunky. Crispy on the outside but they are a bit difficult to chew. ★ ★ ★

Co-op crispy potato slices, 300g, £1.50

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Great alternative to a roastie. ★ ★ ★ ★

Asda Extra Special goose fat roasting potatoes, 800g, £2.65

Lovely colour. Crispy but also fluffy inside. ★ ★ ★ ★

Claire with daughters Betsy, (left) and Alice, (right)


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Asda Extra Special 12 British pork, sage & caramelised onion stuffing balls (gluten free) 350g, £2.75

Like very sagey meatballs. ★ ★

Tesco Finest sage & red onion stuffing mix, 130g, £1.40

Herby and soft with a satisfying crunch. ★ ★ ★

Co-op Irresistible ciabatta crumb cranberry and apple stuffing, 125g, £1.69

Nice blend with apple and cranberry, but a tad greasy. ★ ★ ★

Iceland Paxo Nation’s favourite sage and onion stuffing mix, 340g, £2

A classic, homely and herby flavour. ★ ★ ★ ★

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference pork, maple and cranberry stuffing with sourdough croutons, 381g, £3

Hearty texture with a good balance of pork and spices. ★ ★ ★ ★

Aldi Specially Selected pork, chestnut and festive fruit stuffing tree centerpiece, 503g, £4.99

The pork and cranberry overpower the chestnut. Doesn’t quite feel like stuffing. ★ ★ ★

WINNER Lidl Deluxe cranberry stuffing, 300g, £2.79

Delicious. Great, soft texture with a lovely fruity Sweetness. Keeps its moisture. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Iceland Luxury turkey gravy, 350g, £1.50

Rich with a nice blend of turkey and peppery flavours. Slightly greasy. ★ ★ ★

Asda Extra Special beef gravy, enriched with merlot, 350g, £1.50

Dark, thick and rich. ★ ★ ★ ★

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference turkey gravy with mushroom, sage & onion, 350g, £1

A bit of a washout. Too much mushroom. ★

Aldi Specially Selected turkey gravy, 500g, £1.69

Strong turkey and pepper flavours, but with a slight artificial taste. ★ ★ ★

Morrisons The Best turkey gravy,500g, £2

Thick, rich gravy, but slightly bland. ★ ★ ★ ★

Lidl Deluxe seasonal gravy, 400ml, £1.59

A bit like school dinners. ★

Tesco Finest turkey gravy, 350ml, £1.50

A herby, thick gravy with only a subtle turkey taste. ★ ★ ★

WINNER Co-op gravy granules for meat, 500g, 79p

Dissolves well into a rich, smooth gravy. Not too salty or overseasoned.


Asda Extra Special 10 pigs in blankets, 210g, £2.75

Not that tasty, with a springy texture. ★ ★ ★

Lidl Party time! chipolatas in blankets, 10, 270g, £2.49

Generous and tasty portion of bacon, and mildly seasoned sausage. ★ ★ ★ ★

Co-op Irresistible smokey & succulent posh pigs in blankets, 240g, £3.25

A generous bacon portion. ★ ★ ★ ★

Aldi Specially Selected pork & apple pigs in beds, 456g, £3.99

Overwhelmed by the bed of sausage meat. ★ ★

Morrisons The Best pigs in blankets, 210g, £3

Crispy bacon balances well with the sausage, which has a nice flavour. ★ ★ ★

Tesco Finest pigs in blankets, 210g, £2.60

The sausage is heavily seasoned, but works well with plenty of bacon. ★ ★ ★ ★

Iceland Luxury 12 perfect pigs in blankets, 252g, £3

The sausage has a nice texture, but is a little bland. The portion of bacon is very small. ★ ★

WINNER Sainsbury’s 14 British pigs in blankets, 175g, £2.50

Perfectly crisp with a pleasant, peppery aftertaste.


Co-op Root Veg Roasting Tray, 380g, £2.10

Parsnip, carrot, swede and red onion are a nice lift. ★ ★ ★ ★

Tesco parsnips, 500g, 42p.

These were fine but nothing more. ★ ★

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference parsnip rosti stars with a twist of orange zest, 190g, £2.50

Nicely crunchy and sweet but a tad dry. ★ ★ ★

Morrisons The Best baby parsnips with wholegrain mustard and wildflower honey glaze, 600g, £3

The skin left on is a nice touch and they have a firm but soft texture. ★ ★ ★ ★

Iceland honey roast parsnips, 750g, £1.75

The honey doesn’t overpower the parsnip. ★ ★ ★

Aldi Specially Selected honey and mustard parsnips, 600g, £2.49

The honey and mustard is bland, but there’s a nice skin. ★ ★ ★

JOINT WINNERS Asda Extra Special honey & mustard parsnips, 600g, £2.65

Sweet and tasty with a fab texture. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Lidl Deluxe roasted parsnips in an orange blossom honey flavoured glaze, 600g, £1.79

Chunky and well seasoned. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Co-op British Brussels sprouts, 50g, £1.10

Pretty average. In need of extra sprucing up. ★ ★ ★

Aldi specially selected Brussels sprouts gratin with chestnuts and a crunchy ciabatta crumb, 450g, £2.49

Sprouty flavour is masked by the gratin sauce. ★ ★ ★

Tesco peeled Brussels sprouts, 200g, £1.25

A subtle flavour, not too bitter, but a few went soggy. ★ ★

Lidl Oaklands Brussels sprouts, 500g, 79p

Fresh and firm.★ ★ ★

The right food can compliment your Christmas decorations for a full on festive day

Sainsbury’s shredded sprouts and onion with chestnuts and rosemary butter, 320g, £2

Crunchy and buttery, but chestnut flavour is overpowering. ★ ★ ★ ★

Morrisons best Brussels with chestnuts & butter, 500g, £1.75

Soggy and bland. ★ ★

Iceland luxury Brussels with bacon and stilton, 600g, £2.50

The recommended cooking time overdoes the sprouts. Cheesy sauce is tangy but overpowering. ★ ★ ★

WINNER Asda extra special Brussels sprouts with bacon, 600g, £2

As good as it gets. Bacon was a bonus. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Asda Extra Special 9-month matured luxury Christmas pudding, 400g, £4.50

Moist, crumbly, packed with fruit. ★ ★ ★ ★

Lidl Favorina 6 months matured Christmas pudding, 800g, £3.49

Very rich, lots of fruit. ★ ★ ★

Co-op Irresistible 12-month matured Christmas pudding, 400g, £4

Not all that tasty and a bit chewy. ★ ★

Tesco Finest 12-month matured Christmas pudding, 100g, £1.50

Small and cute, but a bit too boozy and nutty. ★ ★

Aldi Specially Selected exquisite lavishly crafted 30-month matured Christmas pudding, 907g, £9.99

Pleasant texture. ★ ★ ★ ★

Morrisons The Best 9-month matured Christmas pudding, 400g, £5

Just the right amount of fruit and nuts, but tastes a bit bland. ★ ★ ★

Iceland 6-month matured Christmas pudding with cider, sherry and rum, 454g, £2.25.

Very fruity. ★ ★ ★ ★

WINNER Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference winter berry, clementine & gin Christmas pudding, 700g, £9


Co-op Irresistible all butter pastry luxury mince pies, six, £2

Soft crust and sweet filling, with pretty star on top. ★ ★ ★

Asda Extra special Irish cream liqueur mince pies, six, £2

Ideal for fans of Irish liqueur. Very rich so one will do. ★ ★ ★ ★

Tesco Finest all butter pastry mince pies with brandy & port, six, £2

Slightly dry pastry. Mild filling. ★ ★

Aldi Specially Selected rich and buttery frangipane mince pies, six, £1.59

An original idea which works well, but could do with more mincemeat.

★ ★ ★ ★

Lidl Favorina mince pies, 12, £ 1.69

Way too much pastry. Took a couple of bites to get to the filling, which was very cinnamon-heavy. ★

Morrisons The Best deep filled mince pies, six, £2

Nothing to write home about, average all round. ★ ★ ★

Iceland Luxury all butter mince pies, six, £1.89

Rich, buttery shortcrust pastry with just the right amount of fruit in the mincemeat. ★ ★ ★ ★

WINNER Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference mince pies, six, £1.50

Soft, buttery pastry with sweet, subtle mince.★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Asda Extra Special brandy pouring cream, 250ml, £1.90

Fresh, bright and light. A festive taste that won’t overpower the pudding. ★ ★ ★ ★

Sainsburys Taste The Difference extra thick brandy cream, 250ml, £2.75

Creamy and thick with a tangy boozy kick. ★ ★ ★

Morrisons The Best extra thick brandy cream, 250ml, £2

Very thick and creamy, strong hint of brandy. ★ ★ ★ ★

Lidl Deluxe extra thick brandy cream with courvoisier vs cognac, 250ml, £1.89

Extremely rich and verging on too thick, the brandy flavour is overpowering. ★ ★

Aldi Specially Selected extra thick brandy cream, 250ml, £1.75

Nice & creamy but brandy is strong. ★ ★ ★ ★

Iceland Luxury brandy cream made with French brandy, 250ml, £2

A light, creamy texture with a strong but not overpowering brandy taste. ★ ★ ★ ★

JOINT WINNERS Tesco Finest brandy extra thick cream, 250ml, £2.25

Ideal smoothness, thickness and sweetness. Can’t fault it. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Co-op Extra Thick Brandy Cream, 250ml, £2

Really thick and creamy with a rich, delicious boozy nod. Very indulgent. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference snowflake iced rich fruit cake, 900g, £11

Icing shimmer is fab. Lots of fruit but a bit cloying. ★ ★ ★

Co-op shimmering iced Christmas cake, 907g, £8

Delicately decorated and moist, with cinnamon tang. ★ ★ ★ ★

Lidl Favorina top iced Christmas cake, 907g, £4.49

Cake itself is sadly bland. ★

Tesco top iced fruit cake, 907g, £5

Packed with fruit, but heavy on the mixed peel. ★ ★ ★

Aldi Specially Selected brandy infused hand decorated iced fruit cake, 1kg, £6.99

Very crumbly, so doesn’t slice well. Good lot of fruit, with a noticeable alcohol taste. ★ ★ ★

Morrisons The Best iced Christmas cake, 900g, £9

Nicely decorated and holds well when sliced, but heavy on the icing. ★ ★ ★ ★

Iceland top-iced Christmas cake, 907g, £6

Icing is nice but a bit thick, a good amount of fruit with a firm texture. ★ ★ ★

WINNER Asda Extra Special brandy-soaked fully iced fruit cake, 907g, £9

Zesty, citrus infused cake with super soft icing. Moreish. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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