How to create a family Christmas feast for under $80

Brought to you in partnership with Woolworths.

I love a challenge, and I also love entertaining, so creating a Christmas menu for under $100 is a fun challenge for me. Last year I made a menu for under $50, and it was generous… but this year I’ve doubled the budget and gone a little bit bigger and fancier, and the entire spread still only comes to $79.28 for eight people. Everything is sourced from my local Woolworths – I actually just order it all online and let it arrive to me. Oh how I love me some home/online shopping!

I’ve shared the menu below, the breakdown of costs and a shopping list – so you can either re-create the whole menu {please do!} or you can pick and choose to what suits you. It was such a delicious early Christmas celebration, with generous portions {and enough leftovers for Hubby to take to work}.

I was inspired by a little Japanese restaurant near my mum’s house and they serve these prawn cups, so I tried to recreate them at home. I think they work so well. They’re the perfect start to a little Christmas party! I made little wonton cups using wonton wrappers. This is easy, and you can make the day before. Heat the oven to 180C, and then get a muffin tin and place a single wonton wrapper in to make a cup. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until golden.

Once cooled, place diced avocado, and chopped cherry tomatoes. Top with a small dollop of Birch & Waite cocktail sauce and then a cooked prawn. Top with a little more cocktail sauce and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. I topped with some micro herbs from the garden, and serve immediately.

We entertain our extended family a lot, and I feel really comfortable feeding the masses {so much easier than intimate dinners!} and the protein is always where I start my planning. Because I wanted to make this an affordable Christmas dinner, I decided to go with pork belly. Everyone loves pork belly, right? I recently learned a game-changing hack from my friend Emily; cook your pork belly in the air fryer! Guys! I’ve done it so many times since, and it never, ever fails. Crispy crackling, every single time! Game. Changer. And it doesn’t dry out the meat.

I also did a bunch of crispy duck fat potatoes too. The duck fat might be the most indulgent thing for this dinner party, but it makes THE best potatoes. I bought these baby potatoes, peeled them, boiled them until just soft, smooshed them with a fork {don’t miss this step, it’s the way to crunchy potatoes}. Then in a baking dish, I put the whole jar of duck fat, into a hot oven at 180ºC. Once the duck fat had turned to liquid, I tossed in the potatoes and let it cook for 30 minutes. 

Asian style salad is a perfect, light and fresh contrast to the indulgent pork belly and potatoes. They go SO well together. I could make my own, but I wouldn’t be able to beat the quality and price of Woolworths pre-cut Asian style salad. They’re only $5 each, and come with crispy noodles and dressing as well. Two of those, it’s very happy days. 

This cucumber salad is another fresh touch, and is so much more delicious than it looks! Promise. I cut two continental cucumbers into slices, and sprinkled with a little table salt and placed in the fridge. Leave them there for at least half and hour, and then drain the water off. Toss in 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of chili oil . Toss to coat, and serve chilled. 

Roast carrots are my weakness, well one of them! I use mini carrots because they tend to be even sweeter. These are tossed in a mix of 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 clove of garlic crushed, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and then roasted at 180ºC for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Once cooked, serve on a platter and scatter with some chopped spring onions. 

The roast pumpkin is a flavour bomb, and has a nice Thai twist. I bought two quarters of kent pumpkin. I cut them into segments, around the same size so that they would roast evenly. I drizzled them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and put them in the oven at 180C and roasted for about 40 minutes. While they were cooking I made a little dressing made up of 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 clove of garlic crushed, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of sweet chili sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and warm through in a saucepan until the sugar had dissolved. Coat the pumpkin with the dressing, and then top with fresh coriander.

To finish, apple pies. These are so stress-free and delicious. That buttery pastry and warm apple filling = magic! And for eight individual pies and a serve of cream, it’s only $7.90 for eight serves. That’s less than $1 each.

And that’s it! Everyone will leave with full tummies and lots of new memories, no doubt, and you won’t have made too big a dent in the budget either.

Woolworths Shopping List

Wonton Wrappers – $3.00 | $0.80 for 8 serves

Avocado – $3.00 | $1.35 for 8 serves

Cherry Tomatoes (punnet) – $3.50 | $1.12 for 8 serves

Birch & Waite cocktail sauce – $3.50 | $0.87 for 8 serves

Cooked Prawns – $22.00 | $7.30 for 8 serves

Sunflower Seeds – $1.60 | $0.16 for 8 serves

Pork Belly – $16.00 p/kg | $26.54 for 8 serves

Duck fat – $6.70 | $6.70 for 8 serves

Potatoes – $2.00 | $2 for 8 serves

Asian style salad – $5.00 each | $10 for 8 serves

continental cucumbers – $1.50 each | $3 for 8 serves

Sesame oil – $8.00 | $0.50 for 8 serves

Apple Cider vinegar – $3.00 | $0.10 for 8 serves

Chili oil – $6.50 | $0.65 for 8 serves 

mini carrots – $1.50 | $3 for 8 serves

olive oil – $7.00 | $0.15 for 8 serves

honey – $5.70 | $0.70 for 8 serves

Garlic – $1.00 | $0.20 for 8 serves

Spring Onion – $2.50 | $0.25 for 8 serves

 Soy sauce – $2.00 | $0.20 for 8 serves

Kent pumpkin – $2.80 each | $5.60 for 8 serves

Cumin – $1.90 | $0.05 for 8 serves

Sweet Chili sauce – $2.00 | $0.07 for 8 serves

Brown sugar $2.65 | $0.07 for 8 serves

Apple Pies – $3.20 | $6.40 for 8 serves

Cream – $3.00 | $1.50 for 8 serves

What are you cooking this Christmas? Did any of these budget dishes inspire you?