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An array of vegetarian snacks such as hummus, garlic mushrooms, rye bread, oranges and candy canes on a table.

How to have the tastiest vegetarian Christmas dinner

When most people think about Christmas dinner, images of pigs in blankets and turkey with all the trimmings sat in the middle of the table in all of its festive glory, immediately spring to mind.

Most people might think this, but not everybody eats this. Not if you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

This article is for all you all-year round and Christmas vegetarians, who won’t be tucking into turkey on Christmas Day or any other day, come to think about it… This article is aimed at showing you how to cook up the tastiest vegetarian Christmas dinner – enjoy!

Vegetarian Christmas recipes for you to try:

Vegetarian Christmas starters:             

1. Halloumi, carrot & orange salad1


  • 2 large oranges
  • 1½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1½ tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil, plus extra for frying
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 225g block halloumi, sliced
  • 100g bag watercress or baby spinach


  1. Cut the peel and pith away from the oranges. Segment the orange, catching any juices in a bowl. Add the mustard, honey, vinegar, oil and some seasoning to the bowl and mix well.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel carrot ribbons into the dressing bowl and toss gently. Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan and cook the halloumi for a few minutes until golden on both sides. Toss the watercress through the dressed carrots. Arrange the watercress mixture on plates and top with the halloumi and oranges.

2. Caramelised mushroom tartlets2


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3-4 tbsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • butter, for spreading
  • 12 slices of thin sliced white sandwich bread
  • 100g grated gruyère or cheddar, for sprinkling


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry over a moderate heat for about 7 mins until soft and golden. Stir in the sugar and seasoning, turn up the heat and add the mushrooms. Sizzle for 5 mins until the mushrooms are golden. Stir in the garlic, then turn off the heat and stir in most of the thyme (save some for sprinkling). Chill this mix.
  2. To make the tartlet bases, cut 7 to 8cm circles out of the bread using a cookie cutter or glass. Butter one side and stick buttered-side down into a 12-hole tartlet tin. 
  3. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 220C/200 fan/Gas Mark 7. Divide the mushroom mixture between the tartlets and top with a sprinkle of cheese. Don’t be too tidy about this – any cheese on the tin will form a lacy edge for the tartlets. Bake for 10 to 15 mins until golden and bubbling. Sprinkle over the reserved herbs and serve.

Vegetarian Christmas mains: 

1. Vegetarian Christmas wreath3


  • 750g sliced butternut squash 750g, sliced
  • Bunch of finely chopped sage
  • Olive oil
  • 250g Ricotta
  • Nutmeg for grating
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative) 75g, finely grated, plus 2 tbsp extra
  • 2 cartons (360g) of croissant dough


  1. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Toss the squash with half the sage, 2 tbsp olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Tip on to a baking tray and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until tender and golden around the edges.
  2. Beat the ricotta, remaining sage, nutmeg, garlic and parmesan together, then season.
  3. Unroll the cartons of croissant dough and cut to make 12 dough triangles. Take the largest baking sheet you have and arrange the triangles in an overlapping circle so the long pointed ends make a star shape.
  4. Pile up the squash in a ring, on top of the overlapping pastry, and dollop the cheesy ricotta on top. Pull each triangle of pastry over the filling, then fold the pointed ends back on themselves.
  5. Scatter over the remaining parmesan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden.

2. Christmas vegetables4


  • 1.5 kg King Edward potatoes
  • ½ a bulb of garlic
  • ½ a bunch of fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2kg parsnips
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • ½ a bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1kg Chantenay carrots , (or use small regular carrots cut in half lengthways)
  • 1 orange


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Peel and halve the potatoes, then parboil in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for 2 minutes, then give the colander a few shakes to fluff up the edges.
  3. Squash the garlic cloves with the back of knife, separate the rosemary into sprigs, then put half to one side. Scatter the rest over the potatoes with the garlic, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, 4 tablespoons of oil and 30g of butter. Toss again.
  4. Tip into a roasting tray and arrange in one layer, then roast for 45 minutes or until golden. Scrub the parsnips clean, then slice in half lengthways. Parboil in boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then drain.
  5. Pick the thyme leaves. Toss the parsnips with the honey, thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper, 10g of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil.
  6. Tip into a roasting tray and arrange in one layer, then roast for 40 minutes or until golden.
  7. Peel the carrots, then place in a pan of cold salted over a high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender, then drain.
  8. Pick and finely chop the remaining rosemary, then finely grate the orange zest and mix together.
  9. Toss the cooked carrots with the remaining butter, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the orange zest and rosemary, then serve.

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Last Updated: 6th October 2020