The festive season is upon us. And this is the time of year where many of us love to have gatherings where friends can come round for drinks and nibbles. We’ve got a list of Christmas party food ideas for you!
Of course, you can bring a bit of turkey, the bird, to your festive buffet table. But, for much of this list, we’re bringing a bit of Turkey, the country, to the table.
A few Christmas buffet ideas that may well be a talking point amongst your friends and family.
Some are well-known Turkish recipes. Some are decidedly international recipes. But all will come together to make a great Christmas buffet food table.
Festivities In Turkey
Where have our Christmas party food ideas come from?
Well, in many parts of western Turkey, at least, December is the time when Turkish people and foreigners alike will decorate their trees.
And dig out any other festive decorations that have been hidden away since the previous year.
In Fethiye, the Çalış Christmas Fair at the beginning of December attracts thousands of shoppers, both Turkish and international.
And we’re all there for our festive decorations and other treats.
Christmas & New Year
In our house, we are doing all this in preparation for the main event on 25th December.
For our Turkish friends, they are doing this in preparation for the main event, New Year’s Eve.
Various local restaurants around Fethiye will advertise their Christmas menus. They’ll also advertise their Yılbaşı Menüsü – the New Year’s Eve menu.
This New Year’s Eve menu is often a set menu with a fixed price. And, amongst other courses, features an array of meze dishes for the table.
We’ve taken inspiration from the meze selection on these types of menu. And added some dishes that we would have on offer for friends, too.
Make Your Party Food Ahead Of Time
Most of the dishes can be made ahead of time.
So you can spend more time enjoying yourself with guests rather than rushing around in the kitchen.
Many are also dishes that go well with other foods such as şiş kebabs and cold meats – yes, turkey included.
And, of course, you can just add piles of fresh crusty bread to the table, too!
Christmas & New Year’s Eve Food Ideas
So, if you’re having a get together over the festive season and are looking for some Christmas party food ideas, here’s our list of suggestions…
Christmas Party Food Ideas With A Flavour Of Turkey
Bring a bit of Turkey to your Christmas buffet table. You can even add a bit of turkey to the mix, too, if you like.
Soup might not seem an obvious Christmas party food but it's a popular Turkish New Year's Eve food.
If you've got lots of guests who are going to be standing or sitting around outside, warm them up with some soup in a cup!
A bowl of spicy red lentil soup is a Turkish classic and a favourite for many.
If you have vegetarians and vegans coming to your festive, this is a soup that everyone can enjoy.
Soup is easy to make ahead, so it saves you work on the night with your Christmas buffet.
Pickles with everything from your leftover cold meats to your cheese board.
Perfect Christmas party food. In Turkey, turşu is not just New Year's Eve food. It's a staple.
Pickles are also eaten in some bars with a glass of beer. Give your guests a treat!
Also, check out our recipe for pickled red cabbage if mixed pickles are not your thing.
Every festive buffet table needs dips.
In Turkey, whether it's New Year's Eve food or a gathering at other times of year, there will be more than one yoghurt-based salad or dip on the table.
We've chosen garlic yoghurt with carrots because it's loved by many.
You can also make it feel more like Christmas party food by adding crumbled walnuts over the top, which is a traditional addition here in Turkey.
Add muhammara to your Christmas buffet and get your guests talking. Guaranteed to pique the curiosity.
Nuts are synonymous with Christmas and this recipe is packed with them!
Muhammara is rich and flavoursome, making it ideal Christmas party food.
Let's move onto seafood for Christmas buffet ideas.
We know pate isn't Turkish but ezme (as in the famous Antep ezmesi) is. Ezme is any food that has been smashed and blended together to make a paste.
Swap the smoked trout for mackerel if you like for this füme alabalık ezmesi.
And so the same applies for chicken liver pate - tavuk ciğeri ezmesi. Increasingly popular in Turkey.
For us, pate is perfect food for a Christmas party.
There are few people who don't like hummus.
If you want to go that extra mile with your Christmas party food, this article also contains an option for hot hummus with pastırma.
It's a winner!
Gavurdaği salad is a salad from the southeast of Turkey.
It's made our Christmas party food list because it pairs perfectly with grilled and cold meats.
If you're adding şiş kebabs to your Christmas buffet, this salad is their best friend.
It's also full of festive colour. And, again, the walnuts are very present.
Let's also not forget that other festive ingredient. Gavurdağı salatası is also a celebration of the pomegranate!
And Turkish people traditionally eat pomegranates on New Year's Eve.
It's Christmas, of course we're having Brussels sprouts - Brüksel lahanası.
Give them a flavour of Turkey by sautéing them with sucuk and seasonal chestnuts.
A great side dish for your Christmas buffet or New Year's Eve food table.
If sautéed Brussels are not your thing, try them roasted instead.
Two recipes for you, here; one vegetarian and one vegan.
Both recipes will give your Christmas buffet table a flavour of Turkey.
Look no further than Turkish cheese rolls for Christmas buffet ideas. Perfect finger food! And quick to cook, so you can serve them hot and crispy.
Sigara böreği is a regular on the Turkish New Year's Eve food table.
Christmas party food can never involve too much yufka (filo).
Prepare these seafood filo triangles - muska böreği - ahead so they can just go out on the buffet table when your guests arrive.
Kumpir (baked potato) is a famous Turkish street food. This twice baked potato is perfect Christmas party food.
Use small potatoes so people can have them as finger food.
Make them ahead of time. Then heat and crisp up in the oven when your guests arrive.
How about some authentic Turkish chicken shish kebabs on your Christmas party food table?
You can make the kebabs ahead of time - they will keep for three days, cooked (or 2 days, uncooked) in the fridge.
Make up lots for your guests and serve hot or cold as finger food.
Many of the dips and salads listed above make perfect accompaniments for shish kebabs.
We know chutney isn't Turkish - but it's a perfect accompaniment to the cheeses on your Christmas cheese board.
Add some Turkish cheeses to the collection.
And again, you can't have a buffet table filled with Christmas party food and not have homemade mince pies there.
Not Turkish - but it is Christmas.
For a flavour of Turkey, experiment with yufka - filo pastry - cases to make a 'festive fruity börek.'
Not everyone likes a mince pie. So here's a Turkish alternative for guests looking for something sweet; revani.
Ideal Christmas party food because we have festive citrus flavours.
And, again, the nuts make an appearance in the form of pistachio, hazelnuts and/or walnuts.
Christmas or New Year's Eve parties need a recipe for mulled wine - or sıcak şarap as it's called here in Turkey.
Give your warming comfort drink a bit of a festive kick with some extra rum or brandy.
As with our list of Turkish aubergine recipes, this list will grow and evolve in the future.
We have a few recipe ideas for our festive Turkish buffet table for this year that we haven’t made, yet.
We’re looking forward to experimenting and making this list bigger and better!