Ofe Nsala by Sisi Jemimah. Christmas dishes
Ofe Nsala by Sisi Jemimah

What creative Christmas dishes do you plan to prepare this season aside from rice?

Are you still spoilt for choice?

Not to worry, there are several other foods that make great Christmas dishes aside from the traditional rice meals.

So, if you are looking to spice up your Christmas menu and wondering what to cook instead of rice, here are some ideas,


Certainly, white soup (Ofe Nsala) is a delicious soup, popular in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is known as white soup because of its light color, due to the absence of palm oil.

However, the authentic Nsala soup recipe calls for fresh whole Cat Fish, which gives this soup its unique taste.

But in the absence of whole catfish, catfish fillets, assorted meat and dried fish can be used.

Meanwhile, Ofe Nsala is also similar to Afia Efere, which is the Efik-style white soup, but the extra condiments added to Afia Efere is what differentiates it from Nsala.


5 small sized raw Yam cubes OR Yam Powder (Potato Puree can also be used)

2 tablespoonsful chopped Utazi Leaves or parsley(optional)

1 tablespoonful ground Crayfish

1 teaspoonful Ogiri or Iru (fermented locust beans)

Quarter teaspoon ground uziza seed

Add Quarter teaspoon ground Uda seeds

Quarter teaspoon ground Ehuru

1 tablespoonful chopped Onions(optional)

Chili pepper/chopped Scotch bonnet peppers

1-2 Stock/Seasoning cubes (Maggi, knorr, etc)

Salt (to taste).

Click here to see how to cook this delicious soup.



A savory water yam and cocoyam dish bursting with many layers of flavours, Ekpang Nkukwo is similar to the Ijebu Ikokore, as they are both pottage dishes.

They are nutrient-packed Christmas dishes that any mum can serve her family.

While Ikokore is only made with water yam, Ekpang Nkukwo is made with both water yam and cocoyam, but heavier on the cocoyam and then wrapped in leaves. You can add a little water yam to give it some fluidity


Cocoyam leaves – you can also use vegetables with broad leaves like Spinach and Ugu

Cocoyam – 70%

Water Yam – 30%

1 tsp – 1 tbs of dry pepper – Cayenne Pepper or use fresh pepper

Ground crayfish

Mixed seafood – crabs, prawns, periwinkles, etc

Smoked fish

Palm Oil


Seasoning cubes

Ntong – Efinrin, scent leaf. You can substitute with basil

Click here to learn how to make Ekpang Nkukwo from scratch



Nigerian Banga soup is a quick and delicious Niger-Delta style palm nut soup.

More so, it is packed with flavours from herbs and spices and also easy to make.

Interestingly, you can have this soup from your kitchen to the table in 30 minutes.

Although, it is very similar to Ofe Akwu recipe (Ibo style) but they use different spices. Banga soup is popularly eaten with starch.

See how you can create this magic in your kitchen this December here:



Moist, tender and bursting with flavours! This is another great alternative for a Christmas Lunch/Dinner.

Basically, grilled boneless chicken can be eaten with almost anything. It is great with salad, pasta, and wraps.

Assuredly, nobody will miss rice when you set this before them.

You may also love our article: Family Fun Spots to Celebrate Christmas in Lagos


Smoked Paprika Substitute with Sweet Paprika

Chilli flakes

Worcestershire sauce substitute with 1tsp brown sugar



Garlic powder

Onion powder

Dried parsley

Boneless chicken thigh fillets

Click here to see how to prepare this yum recipe.


Spaghetti and meatballs, favourite of most Nigerian kids is a great combination that is super easy and quick to make.

Honestly, this recipe is so easy to put together and adaptable too.

All you need is:

1 pack of spaghetti

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

500g Passata substitute with 8 fresh blended tomatoes/pepper mix

a handful of fresh basil

1 tsp Parsley

1/2 tsp ginger granules

1tsp Garlic

1tbsp tomato puree

500g mincemeat

1 tsp bouillon powder

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp Suya spice

Click here to see how to make this delicious recipe.

Sources: Myactivekitchen.com, nigerianfoodtv.com, dooneyskitchen.com, sisijemimah.com