Christmas Dinner Starter Ideas for Three Course Meal?

I'm hoping you clever ThriftyFun people can help me out here. I'm making a family dinner for Xmas for 6 people. While I have the turkey and trimmings plus the Xmas pudding all sorted out, I have no idea what to serve as a starter.


It's a three course meal, for my guests. I would like something I can prepare ahead and freeze so its less hassle for me on the day. I'm going to do this singlehanded with no help at all.

One guest is vegetarian and eats no eggs, but eats dairy stuff and another doesn't like blue cheese, but mayo is OK.

Last year I made broccoli tartlets and they were a hit, but I don't really want to do the same thing again. Any suggestions please?

I would really appreciate some feedback, as pasta for starters is too filling and a hassle to do at the last minute as well. Thanks for any help.

By cettina from Malta, Europe

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November 9, 20090 found this helpful

Hi! these recipes are from the Pepperidge Farm website. I think you could use any prepared puff pastry sheets from your local market. The first is for Artichoke & Herb Tarts.


1 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (2 sheets)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke heart, drained and chopped
1/2 cup diced roasted sweet red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Thaw the pastry sheets at room temperature for 40 minutes or until they're easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with vegetable cooking spray.

Stir the cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese until the ingredients are mixed. Stir in the artichokes, red pepper and parsley. Season to taste.

Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the sheet into a 12-inch square. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the edges of the pastry with water. Fold over the edges 1/2 inch on all sides, pressing firmly with a fork to form a rim. Prick the pastry thoroughly with a fork. Repeat with the remaining pastry.


Divide the cheese mixture between the pastry crusts and spread to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Sprinkle each with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Time-Saving Tip: Use 1/2 cup of shelf-stable grated Parmesan cheese for the fresh cheese.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the cheese filling up to 5 days in advance.

The second is for Olive Crisps.
1 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons tomato paste
6 tablespoons olive tapenade
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk.

Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 10x10-inch square. Spread half the tomato paste on the pastry. Top with half the tapanade. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese and half the Parmesan cheese. Starting at one side, roll up like a jelly roll, only to the center. Roll up the opposite side to the center. Brush between the rolls with the egg mixture, then press the rolls together. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.


Cut each roll into 20 (1/2-inch) slices, making 40 in all. Place the slices, cut-side down, onto baking sheets. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Brush the slices with the egg mixture.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.

You might also consider stuffed mushrooms or antipasto skewers. Happy Thanksgiving and good luck!

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November 10, 20090 found this helpful

2 options we tend to use here are:
broth which can be made weeks before and frozen or prawn cocktail: Use stemmed glass dishes, if you have, and line with lettuce, add prawns mixed with Marie Rose Sauce. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.


Another option is to make melon boats: Take a thin slice of orange and thread a cocktail stick through it (for a mast and sail) and stick it into a slice of melon. This makes a light, refreshing starter.

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November 10, 20090 found this helpful

How about nice salad with lettuce, spinach, etc. and an assortment of dressing and toppings on the side?

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November 10, 20090 found this helpful

How about a nice squash soup I am not sure what is seasonal in your area but canned pumpkin makes a wonderful bisque. I really don't use a recipe for mine basically : basically a medium onion sauteed in butter and 32oz of chicken or vegetable stock then mix the pumpkin in and top off with a little salt and pepper and cream to taste- should make enough for six - serve with very crusty bread or croutons- hope this helps

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November 11, 20090 found this helpful

What great ideas! I knew I could count on all of you at thriftyfun. I still have a couple of weeks of grace before I get started, so please, if you have any more ideas, they will be very welcome.


I'm thinking i could even mix and match ideas such as the fresh melon boats with another salad or making tarts with a side salad, etc.the more ideas I get, the better! Thank you all so much!

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November 28, 20090 found this helpful

I like to start out with a simple crudite' plate of uncooked veggies and a dipping sauce (good for your vegetarian,) and also, I like a simple plate of sliced cheeses and deli meats, and cold sausages with crackers.

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December 9, 20120 found this helpful

Why not try a butternut squash soup. It's a beautiful creamy soup, easy to make and freeze beforehand. A little goes a long way and it is really delicious. The recipes are readily available on the net.

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