Make your Christmas feast extra special with these stunning gluten-free starters. We'll have double helpings of that beetroot terrine, please

Our 22 best-ever gluten-free Christmas Day starters include fun courgette pizza boats, elegant walnut and stilton tartlets with flaky gluten-free pastry and juicy little mushroom burgers. And they all take less than an hour to prep. Happy entertaining! 

 

1. Beetroot and goat’s cheese terrine

A layered four-ingredient Christmas starter that looks like it takes hours of prep, but only takes 45 minutes. And you can do most of it the day before – simply slice up and serve. Get the recipe for beetroot and goat's cheese terrine

 

2. Gorgonzola and pear salad with caramelised walnuts and radicchio

Gorgonzola and pear salad with caramelised walnuts and radicchio

Via: Sainsbury's Magazine/Photo: Craig Robertson

Drizzle red wine vinegar dressing over ripe pears, creamy blue cheese and caramelised walnuts to make the easiest Christmas salad ever. Get the recipe for gorgonzola and pear salad

 

3. King prawns with a cucumber, lemon zest and dill dip

Every Christmas party needs a prawn cocktail. This recipe uses ready-cooked king prawns – and it's so simple to put together, even the kids can have a go at making it. Get the recipe for prawns with a cucumber, lemon zest and dill dip.

 

4. Courgette pizza boats

Who needs cauliflower pizza when you can have courgette pizza boats with chunky chorizo tomato sauce, oozy mozzarella cheese and fresh basil? YUM. Get the recipe for courgette pizza boats

 

5. Ginger carrot soup

Gwyneth Paltrow's ginger carrot soup

Via: PR

This ginger carrot soup is Christmas cheer in a bowl. It's gently spiced with garam masala and cumin, and you can have it from hob to table in less than 40 minutes. It's all about easy entertaining this Christmas. Get the recipe for ginger carrot soup.

 

6. White bean soup with candied vanilla bacon

White bean soup with candied vanilla bacon

Via: Sainsbury's Magazine/Photo: Tara Fisher

Candied vanilla bacon is the answer to every dinner party – especially when you sprinkle it over a bowlful of creamy white bean soup (top tip: Save some bacon to snack on later while you get the rest of dinner ready). Get the recipe for white bean soup with candied vanilla bacon.

 

7. Grilled avocado with houmous

There's a new way to serve houmous, and that's piled on top of a grilled avocado. Blended with fiery harissa paste, the houmous offsets the creamy avocados perfectly. Bye-bye avo on toast! Get the recipe for grilled avocado with houmous

 

8. Quick Moroccan-spiced mackerel salad with broccoli rice

Make a big platter of this beautiful broccoli rice salad with smoked mackerel, ras el hanout spiced pumpkin seeds and juicy pomegranates. Your gluten-free guests won't be the only ones helping themselves to seconds. Get the recipe for quick Moroccan-spiced mackerel salad with broccoli rice

 

9. Smoked salmon, pea and parmesan mini frittatas

Smoked salmon, pea and parmesan mini frittatas

Via: Sainsbury's Magazine/Photo: Faith Mason

Put your batch cooking skills to use this Christmas and make a whole load of smoked salmon frittatas in one go. They can be served warm or cold, so are especially handy if you're in charge of bringing starters to a friend's Christmas party. Serve with a salad for a starter, or gently warmed through for a leftovers brunch. Get the recipe for smoked salmon, pea and parmesan mini frittatas.

 

10. Christmas roast vegetable soup with stilton

It looks like soup, but tastes like perfectly caramelised Christmas roast vegetables. It's basically a roast in a bowl. Serve with crusty gluten-free bread and a crumble of your favourite cheese. Get the recipe for Christmas roast vegetable soup with stilton.

 

11. Lemony lentil salad with griddled halloumi

Pan-fried golden halloumi cheese is the most brilliant thing that can happen to a salad. Toss it with pre-cooked lentils, watercress and juicy pomegranate seeds for an effortless Christmas sharing platter starter. Did we mention this is a 10-minute recipe? Get the recipe for lemony lentil salad with griddled halloumi.

 

12. Warm pickled veg with seared tuna and herbs

Warm pickled veg with seared tuna and herbs

Via: Sainsbury's Magazine/Photo: Dan Jones

Lightly pickled fennel bulbs, radish and mange tout are a brilliant accompaniment to the oily fish in this easy recipe. Swap in mackerel or salmon instead of tuna if you prefer. Get the recipe for warm pickled veg with seared tuna and herbs.

 

13. Indian-spiced sweet potato cakes

Grated paneer cheese is the special ingredient that makes these sweet potato cakes melt in your mouth. Indian spices complement the naturally sweet potatoes and the cooling yogurt dip brings all the flavours together. Who said anything about sharing? Get the recipe for Indian-spiced sweet potato cakes.

 

14. Walnut tartlets with stilton and dried cranberries

Gluten-free flour is whizzed with an almost equal quantity of walnuts to make extra flaky gluten-free tartlet shells. We love these warm or cold, so make them a couple of days ahead (and you can taste test a few along the way). Get the recipe for walnut tartlets with stilton and dried cranberries.

 

15. Caramelised onion, cheese and hazelnut salad

Caramelised onions and toasted hazelnuts are tossed together with soft goat's cheese in a Dijon mustard dressing for a light Christmas starter. Get the recipe for caramelised onion, cheese and hazelnut salad.

 

16. Mushroom burgers

Ditch burger buns and make gluten-free burgers with juicy mushrooms instead. Sweet potato burger patties are sandwich between portobello mushroom 'buns' to make the cutest burgers ever. Get the recipe for mushroom burgers.

 

17. Brussels sprout and cheddar soup

Brussels sprout and cheddar soup

Via: Sainsbury's Magazine/Photo: Martin Poole

If you'd like to take a break from blue cheese this Christmas, try sharp cheddar and Brussels sprout soup for starters. Serve with your favourite gluten-free bread and leave a bowl of grated cheddar on the table to sprinkle on top. Get the recipe for Brussels sprout and cheddar soup.

 

18. Polenta Christmas tree pizzas with turkey, stuffing and mozzarella

Polenta Christmas tree pizzas make a fun Boxing Day starter that uses up leftover gluten-free stuffing, cooked turkey chunks and mozzarella cheese. Get the recipe for polenta Christmas tree pizzas with turkey, stuffing and mozzarella

 

19. Supergreen soup with cashew cream

Supergreen soup with cashew cream

Via: PR

This vibrant soup gets its popping green colour from broccoli, baby spinach and frozen peas. Sever with a generous swirl of vegan cashew cream. Get the recipe for supergreen soup with cashew cream

 

20. Stilton pâté

One bite of this silky stilton pâté is all it takes to fall in love with Christmas all over again. It's studded with red peppercorns, pistachios and bay leaves so it looks the part too. Get the recipe for stilton pâté.

 

21. Mushroom and chestnut soup with truffle oil

Cook Mushroom and chestnut soup with truffle oil

Via: Sainsbury's Magazine/Photo: Ria Osborne

This indulgent truffle mushroom and chestnut soup is best served in cute tea cups for a trendy Christmas starter. Get the recipe for mushroom and chestnut soup with truffle oil.

 

22. Polenta with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms

Crispy polenta squares are topped with balsamic tomatoes, mushrooms and blue cheese chunks. Just remember to serve it in small portions so your guests save room for the main event. Get the recipe for polenta with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms.

 

Get more inspiration for gluten-free Christmas dinners and spectacular gluten-free desserts.