10 festive recipes for a Down Under Christmas

An old Aussie classic - prawn cocktail
An old Aussie classic - prawn cocktail  Photo: Getty Images

This is sponsored content by Arnott's 

Australian Christmas is a unique affair, with warm weather, the beach and backyard barbies at the heart of our festive tradition. Here are 10 essentials to ensure you have a deliciously Aussie holiday season.

Christmas oysters with Chardonnay dressing

'Tis the season to be shucking fresh oysters, relishing the unmistakable taste of the ocean, and savouring all that's delicious about a summer Christmas. Oysters are one of the superstars of Australia's awesome ocean bounty, and their aura of indulgence and celebration suits the season perfectly. The briny bivalves become super-festive with a dressing based on another Australian favourite: Chardonnay.

Prawn and octopus salad

Whether you're at the beach or celebrating in your own backyard, ocean fare is Australia's seasonal signature. Salads make great sense when the mercury's rising; they complement all your barbecued dishes, and this one packs an extra punch with a salsa that really makes your seafood sing.

Christmas Wreath Pavlova

Turn a traditional pav into an edible Christmas centrepiece.

Turn a traditional pav into an edible Christmas centrepiece. Photo: Emiko Davies

As Australian as Waltzing Matilda, Pavlova is arguably our national dessert, so every Aussie Christmas celebration should have one. This wreath-shaped Pav makes a glorious Christmas table centrepiece in shades of snowy white and berry red, and thanks to its delicious, glossy mulled wine syrup, it tastes like pure Christmas too.

Prawn cocktail

This old fave is an absolute must during the silly season, and can be adapted to suit just about any taste. Seen here with an Asian-inspired twist, our country's best-loved chilled crustaceans benefit from the added zing of a zesty lime and minty dressing, and beckon you to indulge in an ocean-infused festive feast.

Tropical fruit glazed Christmas ham

Adam Liaw's glazed ham with a tropical twist.

Adam Liaw's glazed ham with a tropical twist. Photo: William Meppem

Ham is a Christmas favourite that works just as well in hot climates, as it's perfect for relaxed grazing all day long, easy to include in a picnic and can be enjoyed cold. This recipe from TV cook Adam Liaw is a sweetly tropical take on the traditional dish, and the fruity glaze showcases the best of our Australian summer seasonal fruits, including mango, rambutan and passionfruit.

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Christmas coleslaw

A pretty picture of jewel-bright festive green and red, and topped with pomegranate seeds like miniature Christmas baubles, this dish looks as good as it tastes. Packed with vibrant fresh vegies, it's a celebration of Aussie produce that pairs well with meats or seafood, or stands alone as a healthy, tasty Christmas crowd-pleaser.

Ice cream Christmas pudding

A North Pole and elf favourite, ice cream pudding!

A North Pole and elf favourite, ice cream pudding!

Nothing says Christmas like a pudding bursting with festive flavours: cinnamon, nutmeg, sultanas, rum and cherries. But a traditional Christmas pudding can seem far too heavy a proposition on a hot day – especially if you've already tucked into a couple of hearty courses. This pudding takes all the beloved tastes of the original, and translates them into a chilled-out treat that's sure to delight the whole family - without sending them into a post-feast slumber.

Gingerbread biscuits

Close your eyes and breathe it in: the warm, inviting aroma of gingerbread, enticing enough to fill even the most festively challenged Scrooge with the spirit of Christmas. Make your own adorable iced gingerbread biscuits in cute shapes, and watch kids of all ages go wild for this tasty yuletide snack.

Crackers and cheese

No celebration is complete without Arnott's Jatz or Arnott's Savoy.

No celebration is complete without Arnott's Jatz or Arnott's Savoy. 

Snacks and simple-to-prepare treats make life – and Christmas – so much easier. Crackers can be dressed up with your favourite cheeses, condiments and spreads as part of a banquet of tempting light bites, and no Carols by Candlelight platter is complete without Arnott's Jatz or Arnott's Savoy – Australia's favourite cracker. We've heard the big guy in the red suit is partial to this tasty favourite, so you'd best be sure to leave some out by the tree to ensure Santa's well looked after on Christmas night.

Christmas Mule

On a scorching Christmas day, it's hard to warm to creamy winter-friendly cocktails. Eggnog? No thanks. Instead, serve up this long, cool, festive tipple that still delivers a delicious hit of festive spiciness, but in a refreshing format that's perfect for balmy summer celebrations.

There is No Substitute for Arnott's who have been making your favourite Aussie biscuits for over 150 years. Arnott's Jatz and Arnott's Savoy are the favourite Aussie tradition for the festive season, or for watching the tennis, or for summer days at the beach, or… any occasion!