Vegan Christmas dinner: How to celebrate a vegan Christmas
Are you cooking for vegan guests this Christmas? Wow them with a menu everyone can enjoy!
We all know that turkey won’t be an option…but it’s important to remember that many other aspects of a Christmas dinner also contain animal products.
You’ll need to make sure that side dishes, sauces, gravies, condiments, and any drinks (including alcohol) are vegan-friendly.
Ready to get started? Discover how to make the perfect vegan Christmas dinner below.
Vegan Christmas starter recipe
This warming winter soup is ideal for kicking off a spectacular three-course Christmas dinner – and it’s suitable for the whole family.
Serves: 4 people
Time: 45 minutes
- 1 large onion, cut into 8 chunks
- 3 garlic cloves
- 675g of diced parsnips
- 1 x 5cm piece fresh ginger, grated
- 2 plum tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1.2l vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 fresh red chilli
- Optional: crusty bread roll to serve
Preheat the oven to 220˚C/fan 200˚C/gas 7.
Mix the olive oil, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ground turmeric, chopped deseeded chilli, grated ginger and mustard seeds in a bowl.
Add the 8 chunks of onion, garlic cloves, diced parsnips, and the quartered plum tomatoes and combine well.
Spread the above ingredients over a heavy baking tray, then roast for 30 mins until tender.
Once the ingredients in the oven are done, add them to a food processor or liquidiser with half of the vegetable stock mix, then blitz until smooth and creamy.
Pour this mixture into a large pan with the other half of vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper, then heat until it starts to simmer ever so slightly.
Take the pan off the heat and then garnish with cumin seeds to finish.
Should I cook two mains?
While everyone can enjoy these vegan dishes, some people prefer meat in their Christmas dinner.
We think the easiest way to cater for vegans and omnivores at Christmas is to cook two main dishes, and then ensure that all side dishes are vegan-friendly.
If you make vegan side dishes, you won’t need twice the serving platters and table space! This means everyone can enjoy their favourites and still share the eating experience of Christmas too.
For some delicious vegan main meal inspiration, here’s a great recipe for healthy and tasty butternut squash that’ll easily serve two hungry vegans.
Stuffed butternut squash with Christmas herbs recipe
Looking for some vegan Christmas main course inspo? We’ve got just the thing. Super hearty and healthy, this stuffed butternut squash recipe makes for the perfect plant-based showstopper.
Serves: 4 people
Time: 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 190˚C.
Prepare the squash by cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds. Place it on a baking tray (cut side up) and brush the flesh with olive oil.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the flesh is soft, at 190˚C.
While it’s cooking, drain and rinse the tinned beans or chickpeas and mash them in a big bowl.
Make breadcrumbs from the slices of bread, break the walnuts into pieces and chop the cranberries. Combine everything with the tinned beans.
Once the butternut is cooked, scoop most of the flesh out leaving enough so the skins don’t collapse.
Add the cooked squash to the mixture, combine well, and then spoon it back into the squash halves.
Bake for a further 15 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned. Enjoy!
Let’s be real: side dishes are the best part of any Christmas meal. If you’re not loading your plate with a bit of everything, you’re missing out.
We’ve taken a festive favourite – pigs in blankets – and turned them into a vegan side dish everyone will want to get their hands on.
Vegan pigs in blankets
We’re swapping bacon for vegan puff pastry in these plant-based pigs in blankets. The recipe serves 16, but we recommend you get in there quick!
Serves: 16 people
Time: 25 minutes
Heat oven to 190°C/375°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
If you are using crescent rolls, separate the dough into triangles. If you are using puff pastry, cut the dough into triangles.
Spread jam/chutney of choice along the flat, long side of the triangle (if using).
Place the half sausage on top, parallel to the flat, long end of the triangle, and roll to wrap the dough around each sausage half.
Place on a lined baking sheet, seam side down and repeat with each roll.
Brush lightly with aquafaba and sprinkle with a few sesame seeds.
Bake 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown and serve with your favourite dip.
Maple roasted brussel sprouts
Everyone has brussel sprouts at Christmas, but for an extra treat, why not give them a maple roasted makeover?
Time: 50 minutes
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Trim down the stems of the sprouts and make sure to remove any outer leaves that have wilted.
Cut the sprouts in half.
Add the sprouts, oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Toss the mixture to make sure they’re all evenly coated.
Spread out the sprouts onto a large, greased baking tray in a single layer.
Roast for 15 minutes, then remove and stir the sprouts, trying to flip over as many as you can.
Pop them back in the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.
After this, take them out of the oven again. Drizzle the maple syrup over the sprouts and stir to coat.
Roast for 8-10 more minutes and voila!
Vegan sticky toffee pudding
Still got room? There’s always space for a sweet treat after dinner.
Christmas pudding isn’t everyone’s thing - and what’s more joyful than a festive sticky toffee pudding? Whether you’re vegan or not, you won’t want to miss out on this Christmas dessert recipe.
Serves: 8 people
Time: 1 hour
- 200g chopped dried pitted dates
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 60g dark brown sugar
- 50g treacle
- 150g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 200ml boiling water
- 80ml neutral oil e.g.vegetable oil
- 60ml unsweetened non-dairy milk
- Pinch of salt
- 120g vegan butter/margarine, diced
- 120g light brown soft sugar
- 25g treacle
- 150ml non-dairy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease your baking dish – this should be around 20-23cm / 8-9in square.
Add the chopped dates and bicarbonate of soda to a large jug or bowl and gently stir in the 200ml of boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes so that the dates soften.
Mix the oil, milk, dark muscovado sugar and treacle to the dates, and make sure not to drain off the soaking liquid.
Blitz with a stick blender it until it’s pretty smooth. But keep in mind, it doesn’t need to be 100% smooth, just ensure there aren’t any large bits of date left. Or, you could transfer the whole mix to a blender it if you don’t own a handheld version.
In a different large bowl, sift the plain flour with the baking powder, ginger and a pinch of salt.
Combine the blended date mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon to create a smooth batter. Top tip: Don’t over-mix it, just stir until there aren’t any lumps of dry mixture left.
Add the batter to the greased baking container, make sure that it is level and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out dry and clean. If it comes out with liquid batter on it, it’ll need a little longer.
Prepare the toffee sauce while the pudding is in the oven. To do so, add the butter, light brown soft sugar and treacle to a pot over a low heat. Stir until smooth and melted.
Pour in the cream and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
Heat the mix to a simmer before removing it from the heat. Option: Add a pinch of salt if you feel it needs it after a quick taste test.
Let the pudding cool in the container for at least 10 minutes before pricking the surface with a toothpick.
Then drizzle over a half to two thirds of the sauce, ensuring that the top of the pudding is fully submerged.
Allow the pudding to cool for 20 minutes then serve with ice cream, custard or single cream – as well as the remaining toffee sauce.
Let’s face it: we’re not just indulging on Christmas Day. What’s more comforting than a treat when it’s cold outside?
Family members turning their nose up at vegan food? Introduce them to these sausage rolls, filled with vegan meat, apple, and sweet caramelised onions.
Just be prepared to make a few more…
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These biscotti get part of their sweetness from stevia, so they’re a lower- sugar option than some Christmas treats.
Pair with a coffee or hot chocolate for ultimate Christmas cheer.
3. Vegan pâté
Pâté is a staple on any Christmas buffet table. But you might find that even meat-free options aren’t suitable for vegans.
Make your own using this easy recipe, filled with mushrooms, walnuts, and herbs.
There’s nothing quite like baking on a winter day. Too early for Christmas music while you whip these up? We’ll let you decide.
1. Deliciously Ella chocolate orange tart
Get your chocolate orange fix! This plant-based tart from Deliciously Ella will please kids and adults, vegans and non-vegans alike.
This cake brings the spice and all things nice. Apple purée makes this wintery loaf sweet and moist.
3. Vegan nut roast recipe
Maybe you’d prefer a nut roast as your Christmas main course. Serve this comforting alternative with all your (vegan) Christmas roast trimmings.
Handpicked content: 12 Christmas baking ideas to try over the holidays
Cooking vegan is a breeze once you’re used to it! But, if you’re starting out, don’t forget about the less obvious mistakes you could make in your vegan Christmas dinner…
- Don’t cook, bake, or roast vegan food in the same dishes or with the same utensils as any animal products
- Use vegetable oil, coconut oil, or olive oil (avoid lard, honey, butter, and goose fat)
- Maple syrup or agave nectar are good vegan alternatives to honey
- Use olive oil or vegan margarine in place of butter or margarine
- Avoid adding milk to sauces, mash, or side dishes – or swap it with a plant milk of your choice
- Check the labels of sauces, stuffings, and sides - most are already vegan friendly.
- Surprisingly, gravy granules are often vegan friendly(but check the label)
- Coconut and soya products are a good non-dairy replacement for cream
- Check that pastry doesn’t contain butter; it should use vegetable fat or vegan margarine only
And that concludes our guide to the best vegan Christmas dinner ideas for your plant-based pals!
We hope you found our recipe ideas inspiring for your meat-free festive feast this Christmas.
Looking for more ways to care for your vegan friends? Have a look at our 10 vegan Christmas hamper ideas for thoughtful gift suggestions.
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Last updated: 24 October 2022