Now Reading
What’s in a Traditional Australian Christmas Dinner

What’s in a Traditional Australian Christmas Dinner

As the holiday season draws near in Australia, families eagerly anticipate the special and time-honored tradition of a Traditional Australian Christmas Dinner. This culinary experience serves as a quintessential expression of the country’s cultural tapestry, bringing together diverse influences that have shaped its unique heritage.

Infused with the spirit of the season, this celebratory feast not only showcases an array of seasonal ingredients but also emphasizes the importance of an outdoor ambiance, reflecting the cherished Australian tradition of festive gatherings in the open air. It is within this setting that generations come together, sharing not only delectable dishes but also creating lasting memories in the warm embrace of family and friends.

In This Article

Key Takeaways

  • The focal point is a diverse main course with roast meats like turkey, chicken, lamb, or ham—some prefer hot roasts, while others opt for cool glazed ham.
  • Christmas in Australia means a seafood highlight with prawns, oysters, and lobster, showcasing the nation’s coastal abundance and culinary diversity.
  • Colorful salads, featuring mixed greens and barbecue traditions with grilled meats, sausages, and vegetables, add a laid-back, outdoor charm to the festive table.
  • Desserts feature Pavlova—a delicate meringue with whipped cream and fresh fruits—and the classic Trifle, a layered masterpiece offering visual appeal and diverse textures.
  • A carefully curated beverage selection includes white wines, sparkling wines, local and international beers, and festive cocktails. Non-alcoholic options ensure inclusivity for all guests.

What Do Australians Eat in Christmas

Main Course of Australian Christmas Dinner

  • Roast Meats: The focal point of the feast is a selection of roast meats, such as turkey, chicken, lamb, or ham. Preparation methods vary, with some opting for the classic hot roast, while others choose the cool succulence of glazed ham.
  • Seafood Variety: With Christmas aligning with the Australian summer, seafood takes prominence. Prawns, oysters, and lobster bring a maritime influence to the Christmas table, reflecting the nation’s proximity to the bountiful seas.
  • Salad Assortment: To complement the richness of the meats, Australians incorporate a colorful array of salads. A Christmas salad featuring mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado provides a refreshing counterpoint, alongside inventive options like potato salad and coleslaw.
  • BBQ Tradition: Barbecues, a quintessential Australian tradition, infuse the Christmas feast with laid-back, outdoor charm. Grilled meats, sausages, and vegetables contribute to the festive atmosphere with the smoky aroma of summertime festivities.

Desserts of Australian Christmas Dinner

  • Pavlova Tradition: The sweet conclusion of an Australian Christmas centers around Pavlova—a delicate meringue creation adorned with whipped cream and a variety of fresh fruits, embodying the essence of a festive Australian summer.
  • Trifle: The dessert repertoire extends to the classic Trifle—a layered masterpiece combining sponge cake, fruit, jelly, custard, and whipped cream, known for its visual appeal and diverse textures.
  • Christmas Pudding: Despite the warmth, many Australians uphold the tradition of Christmas pudding—a dense, dark fruitcake laden with dried fruits and spices, often served with a velvety drizzle of brandy sauce or custard.
  • Ice Creams: Embracing the holiday heat, Aussies turn to refreshing and chilled desserts. A variety of ice creams and sorbets offer a cool respite, concluding the festive feast on a sweet note.

Additional Options

  • Mince Pie: Mince pies, with their flaky pastry and spiced fruit filling, add a nostalgic touch, recalling British culinary influences in the Australian Christmas spread.
  • Gingerbread: The dessert tableau expands with gingerbread cookies shaped into festive motifs, adding a whimsical touch to the culinary celebration.
  • Lamingtons: Although not exclusive to Christmas, Lamingtons—sponge cake squares coated in chocolate icing and desiccated coconut—remain a beloved Australian treat.

Beverages of Australian Christmas Dinner

  • Wine and Beer: The beverage selection carefully orchestrates flavors, including white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, sparkling wines, and a variety of local and international beers.
  • Cocktails: Festive cocktails take center stage, injecting the celebration with a burst of flavor, ranging from fruit-infused concoctions to timeless classics like Mojitos and Pimm’s.
  • Non-Alcoholic Drinks: For those abstaining from alcohol, a thoughtful array of non-alcoholic options ensures inclusivity. Mocktails, iced tea, fruit punch, and soft drinks cater to diverse preferences.


In Australia, Christmas is a culinary journey that weaves together diverse flavors, cultural traditions, and shared moments. Whether it’s the tantalizing aroma of a barbecue, the sweetness of Pavlova, or the clinking of glasses in a festive toast, a Traditional Australian Christmas Dinner reflects the nation’s rich culinary heritage and the joy that defines the season Down Under.

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure

© 2019 The Gastro Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top