The Engineer’s Guide to Christmas Dinner

Welcome to the ultimate step-by-step guide to Christmas Dinner!


Christmas is fast approaching! If you’re like me, you’re looking forward to the day but looking for ways to make the preparation as simple as possible. My suggestion to make the day and the lead up to it as easy as possible is to run it like a project.

This is the ultimate, Engineer’s approach to the big event – prepping as much in advance to mean the big day is as easy as possible. We’ll give you Timeline / Gantt Charts, Recipes with printable recipe cards and all the tips, tricks and hacks to get ahead and enjoy the day.

Anyway, without further ado……

Scope of Delivery

The scope is to supply Christmas lunch to 8 people with the following dishes:

  • Roast Turkey with stuffing and Gravy
  • Roast Potatoes
  • Honey Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
  • Bacon and Chestnut Brussel Sprouts
  • Christmas Pudding with Custard

However, the recipes are all scale-able, so if you are serving more or less, they can easily be adjusted.

Project Plan

We’ve split the project plan into 2 parts, The Big Picture and The Detail. The key to simplifying your Christmas is to make as much in advance as possible. Unfortunately the options for preparing well in advance are limited but there are still some opportunities to make things in advance, namely the pudding and the gravy. We can then make full use of Christmas Eve to reduce the load on the 25th.

The Big Picture

Christmas Lunch - Big Picture-page-001

The Detail

When it comes to the detail, you’ve got 2 options:

  1. Front Load your project and do as much in advance – RECOMMENDED!
  2. Standard Delivery and leave most of the work until the day

Note: Both options require gravy and pudding to be made in advance

1. Front Load
 Pudding Prep

Christmas Lunch Christmas Pudding Prep Oct-page-001

Gravy Prep

Christmas Lunch Turkey Gravy Prep Dec-page-001

Christmas Eve

Christmas Lunch Front Loaded 24th-page-001Christmas Lunch Front Loaded 24th-page-002

Christmas Day

Christmas Lunch Front Loaded 25th-page-001Christmas Lunch Front Loaded 25th-page-002

2. Standard Delivery

 Pudding Prep

Christmas Lunch Christmas Pudding Prep Oct-page-001

Gravy Prep

Christmas Lunch Turkey Gravy Prep Dec-page-001

Christmas Day

Christmas Lunch Standard Delivery 25th-page-001Christmas Lunch Standard Delivery 25th-page-002

Bill of Materials

These are your shopping lists. You can either print them out and take them to the shops or save yourself the hassle and order online. Avoid overstocking by doing a quick inventory of your cupboards first!

ShoppingList1-page-001ShoppingList2-page-001ShoppingList3-page-001ShoppingList3-page-002Equipment List


Pretty simple eh? So without any more hesitation, here’s the all the recipes you’ll need:


Here’s everything you need! Just right click the buttons to save to your hard-drive.

Bill of Materials PDF Shopping List 1

PDF Shopping List 2

PDF Shopping List 3

PDF Equipment List

Project Plans


PDF The Big Picture

PDF Plum Pudding

PDF Turkey Gravy

Standard Delivery

PDF Christmas Day

Front Loaded

PDF Christmas Eve

PDF Christmas Day

Project Files (.mpp)

MPPStandard Delivery

MPPFront Loaded

Recipe Cards PDFRoast Turkey

PDFSausage and Apple Stuffing

PDFMake-Ahead Turkey Gravy

PDFRoast Potatoes

PDFRoasted Brussel Sprouts

PDFHoney Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

PDFPlum Pudding

PDFBrandy Custard


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