Calgary·Food and the City

Try this Christmas dinner-in-a-jar recipe if you're working through the holidays or saving leftovers

Although you could layer your favourite ingredients in any order you like, this is what Calgary Eyeopener's food columnist Julie Van Rosendaal assembled in a wide glass jar from top to bottom.

Save leftovers this way to feed anyone who can't stop by for supper this holiday season

A layered dinner in a jar could make for a fun gift after Christmas, Julie Van Rosendaal says. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Christmas Tinner, a nine-layer holiday meal packaged in a tin can, was a brief sensation back in 2013 with a limited release by retailer GAME in the United Kingdom.

It was manufactured for gamers too busy on their consoles over the holidays to spend time making an elaborate meal.

Christmas Tinner was made up of, from top to bottom, scrambled eggs and bacon, mince pies, turkey and gravy, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts (or broccoli) with stuffing, roast carrots and parsnips, and Christmas pudding on the bottom.

Julie Van Rosendaal gave Calgary Eyeopener host David Gray a Christmas dinner in a jar. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

I couldn't resist making my own version for David Gray on the Calgary Eyeopener on Tuesday morning.

Although you could layer your favourite ingredients in any order you like (considering which flavours might best complement each other), this is what I assembled in a wide glass jar from top to bottom:

Puff pastry lid

This is sort of a deconstructed mince pie.

To do this, unroll a sheet of puff pastry and cut circles slightly larger than you want. I did this by putting a plastic lid on the sheet and cutting around it with a paring knife.

Place as many as you want to bake on a cookie sheet.

Cut a couple slits in the top. Brush lightly with beaten egg.

Bake at 400˚F for 10-15 minutes or until golden.


I had a container of homemade in the fridge, but store-bought works just fine.

Chopped or shredded leftover roasted turkey

Mincemeat almost comes across as cranberries when eaten alongside the meat.


It needs to moisten the turkey.

Mashed potatoes

Because ditto.


You could do Brussels sprouts cooked any way you like them, but I find peas easy, friendly and easy to layer. They also look nice and bright green through the jar.

Peas and potato add a spot of colour to the layered dinner. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Cranberry sauce

Red and green!


Of course.

Mincemeat tastes like cranberries when eaten next to poultry meat, Julie Van Rosendaal says. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Carrots and/or rutabaga

I cut mine into chunks and cooked them on the stovetop with a splash of water and lump of butter until they were soft enough to roughly mash with a fork.

I decided to put them alongside the fruitcake on the bottom because carrots and butter also go in cake.

Fruitcake or plum pudding

The ingredients are almost identical, only plum pudding is steamed on the stovetop instead of baking in the oven. Dessert on both ends!

Make this Christmas dinner-in-a-jar for anyone too busy to make supper on Dec. 25, Julie Van Rosendaal says. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

So there you go, a complete dinner you can eat with a fork from a jar, sitting on your couch.

It would be a great way to pack up the leftovers or send someone who might be working and unable to sit down to a proper dinner.

Happy holidays!

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener


Julie Van Rosendaal

Calgary Eyeopener's food guide

Julie Van Rosendaal talks about food trends, recipes and cooking tips on the Calgary Eyeopener every Tuesday at 8:20 a.m. MT. The best-selling cookbook author is a contributing food editor for the Globe and Mail, and writes for other publications across Canada.