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Brits plan to use shortcuts for Christmas dinner this year, including pre-prepping the veg and using ready-made sauces so they can spend more time with family loved ones.

A study of 2,000 adults found making the stuffing in advance, using instant gravy, and buying a turkey crown instead of a whole bird, are also among the popular festive hacks.

Other time-saving techniques include buying frozen roast potatoes and pre-chopped vegetables.

More than four in 10 are planning to use shortcuts with the dinner this year to allow them to spend as much time as possible with the loved ones.

The research, from the ‘Nation’s Conversations’ series by McCain, found people will typically use five shortcuts – with 45 per cent using more than they did last year to make Christmas dinner.

Mark Hodge, from McCain, said: “This year, we understand that Christmas will be a bit different.

“But as the new research from the Nation’s Conversations series has found, people are still determined to spend quality time with their families, and this means embracing hacks and shortcuts more than ever – such as using our McCain Roasts.

“Christmas is always a wonderful time to come together, reflect and celebrate with those around us, and despite the year we’ve had, it’s clear that remains true this year.”

The study also found that not having to cook as much food is going to be the thing that is most different about Christmas dinner this year.

When it comes to the dinner itself, roast potatoes came out as the most popular ‘trimming’ – beating carrots and stuffing.

But 32 per cent will also serve mashed potato and 11 per cent even have mustard.

A further 61 per cent refuse to go without roast potatoes, 39 per cent won’t give up turkey and 43 per cent feel the same about pigs in blankets.

However, in doing things their own way this year, 12 per cent will opt for pork and 10 per cent are choosing fish.

Adults plan to spend an average of two hours and 20 minutes in the kitchen this year, but believe certain cooking hacks will save them up to 49 minutes in total.

It also emerged that while two fifths recognise that Christmas will be different this year, they are still looking forward to the big day.

A third of adults said they will be hosting for fewer people compared to previous years, but a tenth will be cooking dinner for the first time ever.

And an optimistic 12 per cent are looking forward to having more time for conversation around the table rather than cooking and hosting.

McCain has partnered with Sunday Times best-selling author and parenting blogger, Rachaele Hambleton – ‘Part-Time Working Mummy’.

Rachaele said: “Christmas is always a hectic time, but it’s also a time to come together as a family and reflect on the year gone by.

“As the Nation’s Conversations research by McCain has shown, despite Christmas looking a little different this year, many people are still looking forward to it and will be embracing new things.

“We usually have lots of family over on the day, but this year it’ll just be us, however there are a lot of us, and we have a lot of varying diets.

“So I have a few hacks up my sleeve to help the day run smoothly, including using McCain’s delicious roast potatoes, to ensure we spend as much quality time together as a family as possible.”


  1. Use instant gravy
  2. Prepare vegetables the day before
  3. Use frozen roast potatoes
  4. Make the stuffing in advance
  5. Use frozen Yorkshire puddings
  6. Buy pre-made sauces e.g. bread sauce, cranberry sauce etc.
  7. Buy a turkey crown rather than a whole turkey
  8. Make the pigs in blankets the day before
  9. Use frozen vegetables
  10. Write down all the elements/timings for Christmas dinner
  11. Set the table the night before
  12. Use a vegetable steamer to save space on the hob
  13. Buy ready-made cauliflower cheese
  14. Buy pre-chopped vegetables
  15. Make a cold starter to avoid using the oven
  16. Cook the turkey overnight slowly
  17. Soak vegetables overnight
  18. Buy a ready-prepared turkey
  19. Microwave vegetables
  20. Mix up the Yorkshire pudding batter in advance