MasterChef star Courtney Roulston's Christmas feast on a budget

·3-min read

Courtney Roulston first rose to fame after competing in Series 2 of Masterchef in 2010 and returned to our screens this year in MasterChef: Back to Win.

The 39-year-old is also a Coles ambassador and Host of Farm to Fork TV. Here the chef shares with Yahoo Lifestyle her go-to buys for a budget-friendly Christmas feast.

masterchef courtney roulston
Courtney starred on the most recent MasterChef series 'Back to Win'. Photo: Instagram/courtneyroulston

Christmas can be one of the most expensive times of the year. After the year we’ve had in 2020, I think it’s safe to say that the purse strings are quite tight for millions of Aussie families.

I’m a big believer that great food does not have to cost a lot of money, you just need to be a savvy shopper and know how to get creative in the kitchen.

Here’s my guide to putting on a Christmas feast that the Family will love, and so will your wallet!


For many, it’s just not Christmas without a sticky glazed ham sitting proudly on the table.

A half ham will only cost around $30-$40, with plenty of leftovers to enjoy in the days after Christmas in sandwiches, fried rice, breakfast recipes and salads - They are the gift that just keep on giving!

courtney roulston christmas ham
All Coles brand Hams are 100% Aussie pork. Photo: Instagram/courtneyroulston

For something a little more indulgent, Coles’ award-winning product of the year from Crackling ham will have a saving of $10 in the lead up to Christmas. This combines the best of both worlds with tender ham on the inside with crispy crackling on the outside!


Here’s where you can make four delicious vibrant vegetable dishes to sit nicely alongside the ham and make a big impressive looking Christmas table.

My first is roast potatoes- I don’t know anyone that does not like a crispy roast golden spud and they only cost a few dollars per kilo. If you want to put a twist on them, try adding a cup of vinegar to the water when you pre boil them before roasting. They make the most delicious salt and vinegar potatoes and a few herbs scattered on top before serving will make them look a million dollars.

I also love doing a platter of roasted carrots. You can get a 1kg bag of carrots for under $2 and they are so delicious roasted with some cumin seeds and a little oil and salt. Dress them up with some dried cranberries, toasted seeds and torn mint leaves before serving.

A beautiful looking dish that is only a few dollars in the making.

masterchef courtney side
Courtney loves a serve of roast carrots. Photo: Instagram/courtneyroulston

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with serving frozen peas - they’re one of the greatest value for money items and are simple to prepare.

Just boil for a few minutes and drain. It’s all in the presentation, so try dressing them with some extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and some crumbled feta cheese.

My last piece of the puzzle is pickled red cabbage. Glorious vibrant cabbage that has been pickled in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt and water. Simply boil the pickling liquid and pour over shredded cabbage. This can be made a few days before Christmas and the sweet, sour crunchy cabbage goes so well with ham. A single cabbage will stretch a very long way and again is only a few dollars to buy.

courtney roulston christmas feast
Courtney also loves green peas and red cabbage as cheap sides. Photo: Instagram/courtneyroulston

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