How to make an affordable Christmas or roast dinner with Quorn
The Sunday roast is a staple British dish and Christmas dinner is the crowning glory of the calendar year. However, with the cost-of-living crisis, the number of ingredients needed for the perfect roast can soon add up.
This is where Quorn comes in. A meat-free roast dinner could be more affordable overall, which means no one has to cut out the traditional Christmas roast. A simple switch and some savvy shopping could mean you and your family get to tuck into a hearty dinner as well as having more money to spend on presents.
Research shows that the average price of a Christmas dinner for a family of four with a large frozen turkey is £43.09 – a big saving when compared to the average large fresh turkey which costs £67.58. If we adjust the size of the turkey, a roast dinner with a small frozen turkey will set you back £33.89 on average – £52.93 for a fresh small turkey.
How does Quorn compare?
How does Quorn compare? The average price of a meat-free Christmas dinner, including a Quorn Roast is £22.64 – so those who choose to go meat-free could make a huge saving of £44.94 or 66%.
To get an idea of costs, we’ve broken down all the roast dinner essential ingredients, plus
extras that make up the ultimate Christmas feast, here (both meat and meat-free options, based on
feeding a family of four, with leftovers):
- Large Turkey (Frozen) £25.40
- Medium Turkey (Frozen) £20.14
- Small Turkey (Frozen) £16.20
- Large Turkey (fresh) £48.48
- Medium Turkey (fresh) £40.22
- Small Turkey (fresh) £33.83
- Pigs in blankets (meat-based) £2.94
- Quorn Roast £3.75
- Pigs in blankets (meat-free) £3.70
- Roast potatoes (pre-made) £1.41
- Maris piper potatoes (for roasting) £1.60
- Mashed potatoes (pre-made) £0.98
- Russet potatoes (for mashing) £1.65
- Sprouts £1.14
- Parsnips £0.63
- Cauliflower cheese (pre-made) £1.92
- Carrots £0.50
- Broccoli £0.72
- Yorkshire puddings (pre-made) £1.99
- Stuffing mix £0.76
- Gravy granules £1.04
- Cranberry sauce £0.85
Calculations for food prices based on our Christmas Dinner Cost Matrix, providing the average cost of ingredients purchased from the top online retailers according to Statista 2022 data: M&S Food, Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and ASDA, all prices are correct as of the 20th of October 2023. Prices may vary.
Quorn Vegetarian Roast average price based on in-market prices from, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, correct as of the 20th of October 2023. Retail pricing is at the sole discretion of the retailer and may vary.
Meat-free roast dinner recipes
Whether it’s a normal Sunday dinner or it’s Christmas Day, we have some delicious recipes for you.
- Quorn Festive Vegetarian Spiced Roast with all the Trimmings – This showstopper features a glazed Quorn Roast with all the festive flavours.
- Quorn Roast Wellington – Quorn Roast wrapped in mushroom duxelles and pastry for a classic festive centrepiece.
- Quorn Beef Roast Dinner with Roasted Garlic Gravy – For the perfect meat-free roast, our Quorn Beef Roast dinner with a delicious gravy is a winner.
- Quorn Honey Glazed Ham Roast – Does ham belong on the plate of a roast or is it best reserved for Boxing Day and post-Christmas enjoyment? Whatever you decide we have a delicious recipe for a honey-glazed meat-alternative.
- Cranberry and Orange Christmas Quorn Roast – Create a succulent centrepiece that makes the most of these festive fruits.
- Vegetarian Pigs in Blankets with Quorn Bacon and Cocktail Sausages – This festive trimming is not to be missed off plates. Our meat-free recipe ticks all the boxes.
If you have a fridge-worths of leftovers don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do with the remaining food. Go for classics like bubble and squeak, (try either traditional, or our pie version) or build the ultimate Christmas Dinner Sandwich. With a little bit of creativity there are endless ways to use up your leftovers.
How to save money when cooking
Now you have some tasty recipes to inspire your next roast, you’ll need to get your ingredients. There are many ways you can save money on your ingredients.
Discover some great ways to save money when you cook below.
How to save money on ingredients
Too Good to Go reveals that here in the UK, the manufacturing industry wastes 1.5 million tonnes of food – around 16% of the country’s annual food waste! Too Good to Go is an app that allows you to buy unsold food from businesses in the form of magic bags. These bags of food are sold at a fraction of the price they would have been if you picked them off the shelf. Available on Apple and Android devices, download the app to discover great food at a discount.
Foods have two dates on them: the ‘use by’ date and the ‘best before’. The use-by date is the recommended time to have consumed the item before it can turn bad, whereas the best-before date is a time when the product will taste the best. Consuming items after the best before date is safe and Approved Food specialises in selling a range of products at a discount, simply because they’ve passed this best-before date.
Odd Box creates fruit and veg boxes using rescued vegetables and fruit to prevent them from going to waste. Odd Box reveals that before fruit and veg have even left the farm, over 3 million tonnes is wasted. The fruit and veg is perfectly fine, it may be just a bit of an odd shape or size. You could rescue up to 9 varieties of veg in each box you buy.
- X-Small Fruit & Veg Box: £11.49
- Small Fruit & Veg Box: £14.49
- Medium Fruit & Veg Box: £17.49
- Large Fruit & Veg Box: £22.49
Another company here to offer you discounts on veg due to it not meeting the aesthetic requirements of supermarkets. Grab yourself some wonky veg, with boxes available to feed up to five people. Large boxes should feed 3-5 people. These cost from £10.49 and can arrive every two weeks.
There are a range of supermarkets, all selling products at different prices. Be sure to sign up for their loyalty schemes where you can earn points and discounts when you shop. If you use these throughout the year, you can accumulate enough points and vouchers to get a nice discount on your Christmas shop.
How to save money on cooking
Dinner needs to be cooked every day, and while this is an unavoidable cost, there are ways you can save. While some of the suggestions may need a little investment, over time, they can be very rewarding.
Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is a cost-effective way to cook food. With a range of settings including air fry and roast, it’s the perfect kitchen gadget to cook the perfect roast vegetables including parsnips, carrots and let’s not forget the roast potatoes (all the must-haves on our Christmas dinners!).
Thanks to being a small compact cooking machine, it doesn’t require a lot of time to preheat so you can use it for less time.
Using the UK Price Cap from October 2023, the electricity rate works out at £0.27 per kWh (including VAT) so the cost of an air fryer compared to a standard no-fan oven works out at the following:
- Air Fryer: 41p per hour
- Oven: 81p per hour
Similarly, you can cook a turkey in an air fryer in 2.2 hours, which will cost around £0.90 depending on your make and model. An oven, by comparison, will cost you £2.43 to cook a turkey. While you may have to initially pay extra to purchase an air fryer, with a saving of 62% in cooking costs, it could be a purchase worth serious consideration.
It’s not just veg and turkey that an air fryer can be used for. We also love our air fryer Christmas Wellington, an easy to make festive centrepiece.
Use a slow cooker to prepare anything the night before
While at first glance you may think a slow cooker uses more power – as it’s on for hours – it’s actually a very cost-effective cooking method. Slow cookers cost 9p an hour to run and Uswitch estimates the average power usage is around 1.3 kWh over eight hours, a big difference to the average 2.2kWh used by an oven over the same time. One of the best things about a slow cooker is that you can prep an entire meal. Why not check out our range of casserole and stew recipes to whip up the perfect dinner for the colder months.
Use your oven during off-peak hours
Energy experts at Endsea have revealed that between 12pm and 8am is the optimum time to use your oven. While 8am-10am, 2pm to 6pm and 10pm to midnight are flat-rate hours and can also be affordable. We don’t expect family dinner to be at 11pm, but why not try meal prepping in the morning and late afternoon? Off-peak hours are the cheapest, so bear that in mind when cooking your Sunday roasts or in the run up to Christmas when you want to save as much as possible.
For meal-prep ideas, check our range of vegetarian and vegan recipes.
Cook several dishes at once
One great way to save money when using your cooker is to cook multiple dishes at once, perfect for all those Christmas trimmings. Utilise space in the oven and cook several dishes at once to avoid having to get the oven pre-heated time and time again. When using the hob, why not use a steamer with different layers to utilise space and use a single ring to heat multiple pans.
How to save on kitchen gadgets
We know that there are a range of kitchen gadgets that can make cooking more affordable. If you have these – perfect! You can start cooking right away. If you don’t, you might be wondering what the value is in purchasing cooking equipment. If you don’t have gadgets such as an air fryer, slow cooker or microwave, don’t miss out on sales such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day. Also, keep a look out for when new models are released as the older ones will usually be reduced.
Ready to plan your next roast dinner or prep for your Christmas feast? We hope our tips and tricks will help you save! Check out our blog for the latest news and recipes and discover more tasty goodness from Quorn.