Australia’s Top 20 Most Popular Christmas Dishes

by Ella

Christmas in Australia is a unique and vibrant celebration, blending traditional customs with local flavors and ingredients. The holiday season occurs during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, which influences the festive menu. Australians enjoy a variety of dishes that range from barbecued delights to fresh seafood, complemented by traditional roasts and delectable desserts. This article explores the top 20 most popular Christmas dishes in Australia, highlighting their ingredients, preparation methods, and cultural significance.

Australia’s Top 20 Most Popular Christmas Dishes

1. Prawns

Prawns are a quintessential part of the Australian Christmas feast. Fresh, succulent, and often served chilled, they are a perfect fit for the summer climate.


Prawns can be grilled, barbecued, or boiled and are typically served with a variety of dipping sauces, including aioli, cocktail sauce, and garlic butter. They are often garnished with lemon wedges and fresh herbs.


Prawns symbolize the relaxed, outdoor lifestyle that many Australians enjoy during the Christmas season. They are a staple at beachside barbecues and family gatherings.


2. Roast Turkey

Roast turkey remains a beloved centerpiece at many Australian Christmas dinners, echoing traditional European influences.


The turkey is usually seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices, then roasted until golden brown. Stuffing, made with breadcrumbs, herbs, and sometimes fruits, is often added for extra flavor.

Roast turkey connects Australian families with their European heritage and is often accompanied by classic sides like roasted vegetables and gravy.

See Also: How to Make a Roast Turkey

3. Christmas Ham

A glazed Christmas ham is a festive favorite, offering a blend of sweet and savory flavors that appeal to many.

The ham is typically scored and glazed with a mixture of honey, mustard, brown sugar, and cloves. It is then baked until the glaze is caramelized.

Christmas ham is a versatile dish that can be served hot or cold, making it ideal for the Australian summer. It is often enjoyed in sandwiches and salads in the days following Christmas.

4. Pavlova

Pavlova, a meringue-based dessert topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream, is a quintessential Australian Christmas treat.

The meringue is baked until crisp on the outside and soft inside. It is then topped with whipped cream and a variety of fresh fruits, such as strawberries, kiwi, and passionfruit.

Named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this dessert is a symbol of lightness and elegance, perfect for the summer season.

5. Seafood Platter

Seafood platters, featuring a variety of fresh and cooked seafood, are a popular choice for Australian Christmas celebrations.

Common components include prawns, oysters, lobster, crab, and smoked salmon. These are often served with lemon wedges, sauces, and fresh herbs.

The seafood platter reflects Australia’s coastal heritage and abundance of fresh seafood, making it a festive and refreshing option.

6. Barbecued Meats

Barbecued meats, including beef, lamb, and chicken, are a staple at Australian Christmas gatherings.

Marinated in a variety of spices and sauces, the meats are grilled to perfection and served with an array of sides like salads, bread rolls, and sauces.

The barbecue, or “barbie,” is an iconic part of Australian culture, symbolizing the laid-back, outdoor lifestyle enjoyed during the Christmas season.

7. Fruit Mince Pies

Fruit mince pies are small, sweet pies filled with a mixture of dried fruits, spices, and brandy.

The filling is made from a blend of raisins, currants, sultanas, and mixed peel, combined with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This mixture is encased in shortcrust pastry and baked until golden.

Fruit mince pies are a nod to British Christmas traditions and are often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.

8. Trifle

Trifle is a layered dessert that combines sponge cake, fruit, jelly, custard, and whipped cream.

The sponge cake is soaked in sherry or fruit juice, then layered with fruit, jelly, custard, and topped with whipped cream. It is often garnished with nuts or chocolate shavings.

Trifle is a festive and visually appealing dessert that allows for creative variations, making it a favorite at Christmas celebrations.

9. Roast Pork

Roast pork, often served with crispy crackling, is a popular dish at Australian Christmas feasts.

The pork is seasoned with salt and herbs, then roasted until the meat is tender and the crackling is crispy. It is typically served with apple sauce and roasted vegetables.

Roast pork is a hearty and flavorful dish that adds variety to the Christmas table, complementing other traditional meats like turkey and ham.

10. Mangoes

Mangoes, with their sweet and juicy flesh, are a summer fruit that features prominently in Australian Christmas celebrations.

Mangoes can be served fresh, in fruit salads, or used in desserts like mango pavlova and mango sorbet.

The abundance of mangoes during the Christmas season highlights the tropical climate of Australia, making them a refreshing and festive addition to the menu.

11. Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding, also known as plum pudding, is a rich, steamed dessert made with dried fruits, spices, and suet.

The pudding is traditionally prepared weeks in advance, allowing the flavors to mature. It is steamed for several hours and often served with brandy butter or custard.

Christmas pudding is a classic British dessert that has been adopted in Australia, symbolizing the enduring influence of British culinary traditions.

12. Lobster

Lobster, with its delicate and flavorful meat, is a luxurious addition to the Australian Christmas feast.

Lobster can be grilled, boiled, or served chilled, often accompanied by melted butter, lemon wedges, and fresh herbs.

The inclusion of lobster reflects Australia’s rich marine resources and the preference for fresh, high-quality seafood during the festive season.

13. Beetroot Salad

Beetroot salad is a vibrant and nutritious dish that adds color and flavor to the Christmas table.

Beetroot is typically roasted or boiled, then combined with ingredients like feta cheese, walnuts, and fresh greens. It is dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.

Beetroot salad showcases Australia’s fresh produce and the emphasis on healthy, colorful dishes during summer.

14. Roast Chicken

Roast chicken, seasoned and cooked to perfection, is a versatile and popular dish at Christmas gatherings.

The chicken is seasoned with herbs and spices, sometimes stuffed, and roasted until the skin is crispy and the meat is juicy. It is often served with gravy and roasted vegetables.

Roast chicken is a comforting and familiar dish that appeals to many and complements other festive meats like turkey and ham.

15. Potato Salad

Potato salad is a classic side dish that is a staple at Australian Christmas barbecues and picnics.

Boiled potatoes are mixed with ingredients like mayonnaise, mustard, onions, celery, and fresh herbs. It is often served chilled.

Potato salad is easy to prepare and transport, making it ideal for outdoor celebrations and family gatherings.

16. Yule Log (Bûche de Noël)

The Yule log, or Bûche de Noël, is a traditional French dessert that has found a place in Australian Christmas celebrations.

A light sponge cake is rolled with cream or buttercream filling, then decorated to resemble a log. It is often adorned with festive decorations like meringue mushrooms and powdered sugar.

The Yule log adds a touch of European elegance to the Christmas table and is a fun, decorative dessert that appeals to all ages.

See Also: Making the Perfect Christmas Log Cake

17. Chocolate Crackles

Chocolate crackles are a popular and easy-to-make treat, especially loved by children.

Made from a mixture of rice bubbles (puffed rice), cocoa, coconut, and copha (solidified coconut oil), chocolate crackles are formed into small clusters and set in the refrigerator.

These treats are a nostalgic favorite, often made for Christmas parties and festive gatherings.

18. Lamingtons

Lamingtons are a classic Australian dessert made from sponge cake coated in chocolate and rolled in coconut.

The sponge cake is cut into squares, dipped in chocolate icing, and coated with desiccated coconut. Sometimes, they are filled with jam or cream.

Lamingtons are a beloved Australian treat, bringing a sense of national pride to Christmas celebrations.

19. Gingerbread

Gingerbread, in the form of cookies or houses, is a festive favorite that brings a sense of warmth and tradition to the holiday season.

Gingerbread dough is made with spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, then rolled out and cut into shapes or used to build gingerbread houses. It is often decorated with icing and candies.

Gingerbread adds a creative and interactive element to Christmas, as families often gather to decorate gingerbread houses together.

20. Fresh Fruit Salad

A refreshing fruit salad, made from a variety of seasonal fruits, is a light and healthy way to end a Christmas meal.

Common ingredients include mangoes, berries, melons, kiwi, and grapes. The fruits are cut into bite-sized pieces and sometimes garnished with mint or a splash of citrus juice.

Fruit salad highlights the fresh, vibrant produce available in Australia during summer and offers a healthy option amid the rich festive fare.


Australia’s Christmas culinary traditions are a delightful blend of local ingredients, seasonal flavors, and multicultural influences. From fresh seafood and barbecued meats to traditional roasts and decadent desserts, the festive menu caters to diverse tastes and preferences. These 20 popular Christmas dishes not only satisfy the palate but also reflect the unique spirit and lifestyle of an Australian Christmas, making the holiday season a memorable and joyous occasion for all.



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