Easy Christmas recipes with Simon Delaney

Aviva Home Insurance

Christmas is special for many reasons, but let’s be honest, the food is one of the absolute best parts! The magic of Christmas dinner will be taking place in our own kitchens this year, so we wanted to find a way to make it extra special (and tasty) for each of you.

We’ve enlisted the help of none other than cook extraordinaire, Simon Delaney to whip up some delicious recipes to help you create a taste of home this Christmas. We’ve got a starter, main course and dessert guaranteed to impress everyone in your home this Christmas Day.


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Smoked salmon with Guinness treacle bread

Serves 6-8


  • Butter, for greasing
  • 55g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 400g stone-ground wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 250ml Guinness
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 rounded tsp black treacle
  • Porridge oats, for sprinkling

To serve:

  • Butter
  • 200g smoked salmon
  • Fresh dill, chopped, or fresh chives, snipped
  • Lemon wedges
  • Black pepper
  • Mixed leaves, dressed
  1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4.
  2. Grease two 450g loaf tins with butter, then coat the insides with flour, shaking out any excess.
  3. In a large bowl, sieve together the flour and the bicarbonate of soda. Stir in the salt and sugar.
  4. Place the buttermilk and Guinness in a measuring jug and stir in the egg and treacle.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine well using a wooden spoon. The mixture will be quite wet.
  6. Divide the mixture between the prepared loaf tins and spread out evenly using a butter knife or spatula. Slash a line down the centre with a knife so that it will crack evenly while cooking, then top with a generous sprinkling of porridge oats.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until the bottoms of the loaves sound hollow when tapped, rotating the tins halfway through. Turn out onto a wire rack and set aside to cool.
  8. To serve, slice the brown bread and spread with butter. Top each slice with some smoked salmon, some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add plenty of black pepper and serve two slices per person, with extra lemon wedges and some dressed mixed leaves on the side.

Per Serving: 303kcals, 7.2g fat (3.4g saturated), 46.1g carbs (2.5g sugars), 13.7g protein, 6.4g fibre, 1.012g sodium

Main course

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Traditional roast turkey with gravy, golden roast potatoes and bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts

Serves 10


The turkey:

  • 1 x 5-6kg turkey 
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 300g butter, softened
  • Olive oil, to drizzle

The roast potatoes:

  • 120g goose fat
  • 2.5kg Rooster potatoes, peeled, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
The Brussels sprouts:
  • 1kg Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed, larger ones halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 rashers, chopped
The gravy:
  • Reserved turkey juices from the roasting tin
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 120ml white wine
The turkey:
  1. Preheat your oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. Lift the loose skin at the tail end of the turkey and remove the bag of giblets. Season the cavity of the turkey generously with salt and pepper and push the lemon and onion chunks inside.
  2. Place in a large roasting tin, breast-side up, and pat the skin dry with kitchen paper. Use your hands to loosen the skin from the breast meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Repeat with the skin on the legs, working from the lower side of the breast out towards the leg. Rub half of the butter in under the skin. Tie the legs together with twine.
  3. Melt the remaining butter and brush it over the outside of the skin. Season well with salt and pepper. Pull the loose skin at the tail end of the turkey back up so that it covers the cavity opening as much as possible; use a toothpick to secure it if necessary.
  4. Tent the turkey loosely with foil and roast for 20 minutes per 450g of weight, or until a thermometer registers the internal temperature at 75˚C and the juices run clear. Remove the foil for the final hour of cooking time.
  5. Transfer the turkey to a plate, cover with two layers of tin foil and add one or two clean tea towels on top. Allow to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes before carving.
The roast potatoes:
  1. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Season with salt and bring the pot to the boil for ten minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Place the pot back on the heat and leave to steam dry for one to two minutes, shaking the pan to rough up the edges of the potatoes.
  2. Add the goose fat to a large rimmed roasting tray and place in the oven (at the same temperature as the turkey, 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6) for ten minutes to get it really hot.
  3. Carefully add the potatoes to the roasting tray with the hot goose fat. Season well and sprinkle with the rosemary. Roast for 45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until they are crispy and well browned, turning halfway through.
The bacon-roasted Brussel sprouts:
  1. Place the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Transfer to a large, rimmed baking tray – there should be enough space for them to lie in a single layer. Scatter the bacon pieces over the sprouts.
  3. Roast (at the same temperature as the turkey, 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6) for 20-25 minutes until golden and lightly caramelised, rotating the tray and tossing the sprouts halfway through.
The gravy:
  1. While the turkey is resting, use a spatula to scrape the pan juices into a measuring jug. 
  2. When the fat rises to the top of the cup, skim off four tablespoons of fat and pour into a saucepan over a medium heat. Discard any remaining fat.
  3. In a small cup, mix the cornflour with the white wine. Stir until the cornflour has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining pan juices to the fat in the saucepan and whisk together.
  4. Whisk the cornflour mixture into the saucepan and cook for five minutes, whisking until the gravy thickens. Season to taste and serve with the roast turkey.

Per Serving: 1031kcals, 55g fat (24.5g saturated), 53.8g carbs (3.8g sugars), 81.3g protein, 8g fibre, 0.811g sodium


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Sticky toffee pudding

Serves 6-8


  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 100g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 125ml full fat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 180g pitted dates, finely chopped

For the sauce:

  • 150g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 25g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 400ml boiling water
To serve:
  • Vanilla ice cream, cream or custard
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Grease and butter a 1.5L capacity baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and the muscovado sugar.
  3. Pour the milk into a measuring jug and add the egg, vanilla extract and melted butter. Beat together with a fork to combine well. Pour this mixture over the sugar and flour and stir to combine. Fold in the dates.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. To create the sauce, sprinkle the muscovado sugar over the pudding and dot with the butter. Pour over the boiling water and transfer to the oven without stirring. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pudding is spongy and has a rich sauce underneath.
  5. Serve with vanilla ice cream, cream or custard.

Per Serving: 350kcals, 9.1g fat (5.3g saturated), 63.9g carbs (44.7g sugars), 4.2g protein, 2.5g fibre, 0.07g sodium

#Simonsays, we’re giving away some €200 Perx gift cards to help cover the cost of your Christmas dinner food shop. Head over to our Facebook now to see how you can enter the competition. Good luck!

Did you know, that with Aviva home insurance your contents cover automatically increases by 10% through the month of December? Get your quote today.

Just in case that wasn’t enough, we have even more recipes to bring a taste of Christmas this year… if you have a sweet tooth prepare to get very excited!

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