Vegan Christmas Dinner
From main dishes to sides to desserts, over 20 deliciously festive holiday recipes for an amazing vegetarian or vegan Christmas dinner.
Last week while shopping at Trader Joe’s, I overheard two women chatting about hosting holiday meals. They sounded, understandably, stressed. One woman said to her friend, “at least you don’t have to feed the vegans.” Like those who choose not to eat animals are some breed of strange aliens. Her friend laughed that she had gluten-free guests coming, which was “just as bad.” I totally get it. We have family members who are gluten-free, lectin-free, legume-free, nightshade-free, and vegan. Oh my, it can be hard to put together a menu that makes everyone happy!
I wanted to give this Trader Joe’s shopper some ideas for her vegan guests, but refrained. I wanted to tell her that eating vegan or vegetarian isn’t really weird or difficult at all. Everyone eats vegan foods all the time: fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, pulses, grains. Everything from apples to potato chips to Oreos are vegan. And personally, I’m totally happy just loading up on sides when we are at guests’ homes.
Whether you’re hosting a vegetarian or vegan guest for a holiday dinner, or are 100% vegetarian or vegan yourself, I wanted to help get you started on a menu. I’ve selected a few favorite options in each category: main course, side dish, and dessert. So you can customize your own perfect vegan Christmas dinner menu. If you need even more help this year, Whole Foods has a vegan holiday dinner menu you can order online here and pick up in store. Set out a pot of mulled wine and enjoy.
Vegan Christmas Dinner Main Course
Traditional Christmas dinner main courses include rich and heavy dishes like roasts, turkey, and beef Wellington. On the last Christmas that I ate meat, about 6 or 7 years ago, I made a “fancy” beef tenderloin. My husband and I both got horrible food poisoning and are happy to have moved on from beef. Let’s look at some hearty main dish recipes that would be perfect for Christmas dinner.
Mushroom Wellington with portobello mushrooms, butternut squash, and spinach feels so fancy and festive. Even more so without the beef, I think.
Mushroom Quinoa stuffed in acorn squash boats feels so special and tastes amazing.
This Vegan Lentil Loaf is one of our most popular recipes! It’s like meatloaf, but meatless.
If you’re Italian like we are, have lasagna on Christmas isn’t weird – it’s wonderful. This red and green Vegan Lasagna is made with an almond based ricotta and layers of veggies.
If you’re craving something simple and cozy, curry is a great option. You can make this Easy Yellow Curry with Chickpeas and Butternut Squash early and keep it warm in a slow cooker. I would top with a few pomegranate arils for a festive holiday touch.
Instant Pot Risotto with Roasted Vegetables is another beautiful holiday main course.
Tamales are a Mexican Christmas classic. This black bean version is naturally plant-based.
Vegan Christmas Dinner Side Dishes
This addictive creamy baked Spinach Artichoke Dip is a crowd-pleaser and surprisingly vegan, gluten-free, and paleo.
Looking for a show-stopping Christmas appetizer? Sparkling Cranberry “Brie” Bites are perfect! I recommend using Kite Hill cheese here.
Avocado Bruschetta gets the best reviews and is naturally red and green.
Speaking of bruschetta… this Authentic Tomato Bruschetta is another naturally red and green recipe everyone loves.
Beet Salad with Oranges and a citrus dressing makes a lovely winter salad.
This Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Pomegranate is so pretty and protein-packed.
Want something warmer? Curried Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Soup is super comforting and cozy.
Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with truffle salt are so surprisingly creamy and flavorful.
Homemade Cranberry Chutney is the perfect accoutrement for that Veggie Wellington, or to serve with cheese (Treeline cheese shown here) and crostini.
Vegan Christmas Dinner Desserts
This Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake is my happy place. It’s made with a creamy cashew base.
How cute are these Mini Vegan Pecan Pies? They continue to get rave reviews here on the site.
Apple Crumble Pie is filled with cinnamon apples and topped with a gluten-free oatmeal topping. It’s just as tasty the next day.
These Classic Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies are irresistible. They aren’t one of my typical healthier cookies, they’re the decadent sugary variety. And they are so worth it for a special occasion.
This Vegan Cranberry Cheesecake was so fun to make and eat. It’s made with natural ingredients and is also gluten-free and paleo. I wasn’t sure the kids would like it, but they loved it!
I’ve saved the easiest and perhaps most decadent Christmas treat of all for last. These Chocolate Truffles are so rich and silky, and easy to make in advance. They’re perfect to set out at the end of the night with coffee.