Christmas is the time for indulging. It’s the time for comforting, rich, seasonal food that reminds you of family and home. And it’s the time for cheese. In fact, the holidays give you the absolutely perfect excuse to consume, inhale and seriously gorge on your favourite cheeses in scandalously large qualities.
But once you’ve created the perfect, indulgent Christmas cheese board, what’s next? Well, we’ve pulled together the top 10 cheese-related Christmas dinner menu ideas to see you deliciously through the festive season.
Top 10 Cheese-Related Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas
1. Baked Brie with Honey, Jam and Nuts
One of our favourite, no fuss, over-the-top decadent starters for Christmas dinner is baked brie. Just pop the brie into a 180C oven for 10 minutes, then spread a bit of cranberry or Seville orange jam on top, top with walnuts or almonds (or both) and drizzle with honey. You’ll have an oozy, gooey goodness that will leave your guests swooning.
2. Blue Cheese Stuffed Pigs in a Blanket
This retro canapé will delight nannas and kids alike (and all ages in between). After all, what could possibly be better than bacon, sausages and decadent blue in one delicious finger-licking package?
Start with salty chipolatas, and fatty streaky bacon. Then choose the softest, bluest cheese you can find. We love the Nimbin Valley Blue Cow for this, which is like a flavour explosion of fragrant blue and fruity notes. It’s softer texture means it will be easy to stuff into the sausages, too.
Tartiflette is a decadent French dish from the French Alps. Combining potatoes, bacon, brie and cream is already the recipe for something incredible. But add in a dash of cranberry sauce and you’ll be transported to a Christmassy, cheesy heaven.
We like Fromagerie Guilloteau's Le Dauphin direct from France. The flavour is lightly earthy with mushroomy, grassy notes that contrast beautifully with tart cranberry sauce.
To get your hands on the latest French cheese, see what's in our Globetrotter pack this month!
4. Goats cheese, walnut and fig jam tartlets
Tartlets are simple to make, pretty to look at and delicious to eat. Because you can carry one around while mingling, they’re also perfect for your Christmas get togethers. Combining unctuous goats cheese, sophisticated bitter walnuts and sweetly festive fig jam is a perfect combo. Top it with a drizzle of local honey and you’ve got a Christmas winner.
Our choice of goats cheese at the moment is Kris Lloyd's Figaro, which is handmade, including the way it’s shaped.
5. Boxing Day Fondue
Retro, old-school fondue is making a comeback in a big way. Maybe it’s the communal, conversational act of fondue that makes it feel as much an experience as a meal. Perhaps it’s just the delicious nature of melted cheese. We think it’s likely a combination of both. And that makes it the perfect Boxing Day meal.
Fondue is traditionally made with a mix of a nutty cheese, such as comte, emmenthal or gruyere with a creamier one such as fontina, reblochon or port salut. We think the perfect combination is Heidi Tilsit, Marcel Petit Comte, Le Gruyere Swiss Gruyere and L'Artisan Raclette.
6. Cheesy Sprout Gratin
Even dedicated Brussel sprout haters will love this rich, cheesy recipe as part of their Christmas spread. The combination of earthy sprouts, creamy almonds, buttery crème fraiche, salty pancetta and beautiful cheeses, like parmesan and Gouda, is just Christmas on a plate.
For our gratin we choose the winning combo of Pecorino Toscano (with its distinctive crumbly, bitey taste) and Holland’s CONO Gouda, which brings hints of caramel and hazelnuts atop its primary flavours of butter, nuts and salt. Incredible.
7. Christmas Pull Apart Bread
Combining cheese and fluffy soft bread is one of the world’s oldest and most delicious traditions. And cheese-stuffed pull apart bread is a delicious, festive appetiser that will be a show stopping part of your Christmas dinner menu.
While it’s often made with mozzarella, we love to use Apostle Whey’s Plain Havarti cheese. It’s a delightful cheese with a flavour that tends towards cheddar as it matures, and it adds a wonderful element to your cheese bread.
8. Sweet Potato and Fennel Bake
This bake is essentially a gratin as well. It combines the sugary earthiness of sweet potatoes with the anise seed tang of fennel, all topped with the beautiful salty cheese. Recipes traditionally call for parmesan, but we love the slightly milder manchego. Try Grandvewe’s Primavera – Manchego Style and we guarantee your Christmas dinner menu will be all the better for it!
9. Goat’s Cheese Panna Cotta
Rich, tangy goat’s cheese panna cotta is perfect for our hot summer Christmases and a lovely, light ending to a big Christmas dinner. Try it with ripe figs, topped with salty, toasted pistachios and drizzled with local honey.
The best goat’s cheese for this panna cotta is Boatshed’s Black Pearl for its mild, tangy flavour.
Apple Pie Sundae with Cheddar Cheese Crisps
Apple pie is traditionally more of an American Christmas dessert. But when you make it into a frozen sundae, you’ve ventured into Australian Christmas territory. The key here is to choose a strong cheddar cheese that can hold its own against the richness of the sundae and the brown-sugar enhanced tartness of the apple elements.
We use Vintage Clothbound Farmhouse Cheddar, which is matured under cloth for 18 months and whose creaminess, crumble and bite will renew your love for cheddar. Maffra's Aged Cheddar works a delight as well!
Get the recipe from Food and Wine.
Your Christmas Dinner menu is sorted with our cheesy suggestions. And we’ve got all the local and international cheeses you need to make it really spectacular.