The holiday season is my absolute FAVORITE time of year! For me, it’s always meant Christmas Eve with family and friends, and a great Christmas meal.
Contrary to many stereotypes, being a vegan or vegetarian doesn’t mean missing out on a great dinner.
Here are 14 vegan and vegetarian Christmas dinner recipes that will satisfy vegetarians, vegans, and even omnivore family members.
You can listen to us discuss the recipes in episode 399 of our podcast or read on for a summary and links to everything we discuss.
14 Vegan and Vegetarian Christmas Dinner Ideas
1. Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash from Alpha Foodie
Butternut squash is one of those vegetables like Brussels sprouts for me. I thought I didn’t care for it, but it turns out that I may actually like it in the right recipe.
In this recipe from Alpha Foodie, butternut squash is stuffed with rice, mushrooms, and cranberries, making it a filling meal or a great side dish.
2. Vegan Mushroom Wellington from Delicious Everyday
We previously shared this Vegan Mushroom Wellington recipe from Delicious Everyday in our post, 8 Simple Vegan Turkey Substitutes That Don’t Suck, but it got such great feedback here it is for an encore.
The dish features baby spinach, mushrooms, and caramelized onions, all wrapped in a puff pastry.
3. Vegan Tamales from The Gentle Chef
In episode 397 of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we shared 5 Tips for Making Amazing Vegan Tamales Plus 5 Recipes.
One of the featured tamale recipes was from our friend, Chef Skye Michael Conroy (aka The Gentle Chef).
4. Vegetable Pot Pie from Vegetarian Zen
Pot pie is one of my FAVORITE comfort foods. Larissa makes this vegetable pot pie for me at least once a month and it’s always sooooo good, and ESPECIALLY so on a cold winter night.
This one is loaded with veggies and potatoes. I prefer white potatoes but if you’re a sweet potato fan, you can substitute those.
It reheats very well, so you can enjoy this for several days as leftovers.
5. Vegan Shepherd’s Pie from Minimalist Baker
Though shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with meat, this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipe is loaded with veggies and lentils and topped off with fluffy mashed potatoes.
Minimalist Baker is one of our go-to places for simple, mostly vegan recipes. This shepherd’s pie recipe is not only delicious but only takes about an hour of total time (prep + cooking).
6. Mushroom Lentil Loaf from A Virtual Vegan
While how a dish tastes is obviously more important than how it looks, I can’t help but LOVE how this Mushroom Lentil Loaf looks. It just looks so “festive!”
This recipe from A Virtual Vegan calls for lentils, walnuts, and mushrooms and is topped beautifully with cranberries. It’s just begging for a center spot on your holiday table!
7. Vegetarian Lasagna (with Vegan Options) from Vegetarian Zen
Lasagna is one of our favorite celebration meals (we seem to find something to celebrate at least once a month!). Our recipe is vegetarian (because it calls for cheese and eggs) but can easily be made vegan with a few simple substitutions. It reheats well and we have leftovers for days.
Perfect as a Christmas Eve dinner and reheats well as a Christmas lunch.
8. Vegan Pozole from Forks Over Knives
In place of meat, this dish uses hominy, onions, potatoes, carrots, and chile peppers to create a hearty stew that’s sure to keep you warm.
9. Christmas Curry from Jamie Oliver
From Jamie’s website, “It’ll put fire in your belly and tick all the boxes on the pure enjoyment front, which is exactly what you want! “
This Christmas Curry dish definitely deserves a spot on your Christmas menu. It’s loaded with chili, ginger, garlic, onions, and a variety of spices to “put a fire” in your belly.
For me, this might be a little light by itself as a main dish but would certainly do well as a light Christmas lunch.
10. Spanish Vegan Paella from Vegan Huggs
Paella is a Spanish dish traditionally made with meat, but you definitely won’t miss the meat in this vegan version. Vegan Huggs does not disappoint with this colorful smoky meal that’s great as a side or as a main dish.
Note: While not necessary, you can use a paella pan to cook and serve!
11. Nut Roast Recipe from Tesco Real Food
This gorgeous vegetarian bake makes for a delicious Christmas dinner alternative. It’s made with roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, chestnuts, and plenty of mixed nuts.
Serve with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce like this one from Simply Recipes. I love making our own cranberry sauce versus buying off the shelf since many contain preservatives and lots of extra sugar.
We Hope You Saved Room for Dessert!
What would a great Christmas meal be without a great dessert? We’ve got three recipes that we think you’ll love. Because the first one takes quite a bit of prep time, we also selected two easier-to-make options.
So without further ado, let’s hit that dessert table!
12. Christmas Pudding from Mary Berry
The recipe for Christmas Pudding is vegetarian, not vegan (it contains butter and eggs). It’s also a bit advanced, as it takes about 1-2 hours of prep time and over 2 hours to cook. It’s loaded with fruit, fruit peels, and brandy. Well worth the wait!
13. Vegan Christmas Cookies from Nora Cooks
This recipe by Nora Cooks is called “The Best Vegan Sugar Cookies,” but the cookie cutters you use are what bring the season to the cookie!
Outside of the 1-hour chilling time for the dough to firm up, prep time is about 10 minutes, and cook time is 10 minutes as well.
Just a couple of notes on this recipe.
First, not all food dye is vegan, so if you use food dye to color the icing, be sure to check the label for carmine (also known as cochineal), which is made from bugs. Yes, bugs.
Luckily, there are several companies, such as Watkins, that sell natural food colorings derived from veggies like beets and spices like turmeric. Beets, not bugs!
Secondly, Nora recommends using Earth Balance sticks in place of butter as they are easier to bake with. We agree!
14. Gooey and Delicious Vegan S’mores from The Picky Eater
Who doesn’t love a good s’more on a cold winter day? This recipe from The Picky Eater is one that isn’t just delicious but is 100% vegan!
Marshmallows are one of those foods that you may think are vegan, but most off-the-shelf brands are not. In episode 286 of the podcast (Are Fritos Vegan?) we discussed several foods that you may think are probably vegan but are not.
Since most commercial brands of marshmallows contain gelatin (which is boiled skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones…blah!) they are not vegan.
Fortunately, there are several great brands of vegan marshmallows. Our personal favorite is Dandies Marshmallows.
To keep your s’mores vegan, be sure to use graham crackers that do not contain honey, such as Kinnikinnick’s S’moreables Graham Style Crackers.
There are also some great options for vegan dark chocolate. One brand, Hu’s, is also organic and fair-trade.
We hope we’ve given you some great ideas for vegan and vegetarian Christmas dinner recipes. If you’re looking for more ideas, here are a few cookbooks that might help you out.
To all of our friends who celebrate Christmas, we hope you have a merry one!