Now as I’m sure you know, Christmas is a time that can bring a lot of anxiety to anyone who has chosen not to consume animal products. So below are some of my favourite vegan/plant-based recipes to share with loved ones at Christmas time.
I’ve included a range of recipes that are perfect for our Australian Summer Christmas including lots of fresh salads and plant-based meals to share with even the fussiest family members. There’s also some heart-warming vegan Christmas dishes that would sit perfectly in a Winter Christmas feast as well.
To help make things even easier for you over the festive season I have another blog with some great tips for how to survive Christmas or Festive meals with your non-vegan family, which can often be an emotive topic. The article also shares a few tips on how to nourish and give a li’l love to yourself during this often ironically hectic and stressful time of year.
Heirloom Tomatoes. Image source: Nisha @rainbowplantlife
My Favourite Festive Plant-Based (Vegan) Christmas Recipes
The focus of my recipe recommendations is on Festive foods – foods that look great and taste great, fabulous plant-based meals that your (non-vegan) family would love to share with you. For me the focus at Christmas is on celebration, and enjoying time with family.
These are festive foods and this post is really about embracing the fun of Christmas and giving you and your loved ones ideas for how to engage in the foodie traditions in a plant-based or vegan way. I work with people with a range of different health needs, so, as always, bear in mind whether you might need to tweak these recipes slightly based upon things we might have discussed in our consultations.
I’m personally not a fan of mock meats, I never will be. They just seem so alien and unnatural to me. So hopefully these recipes inspire you to make something delicious (using real plant wholefoods) to share with your loves ones and make them go, hmm vegan food is pretty darn tasty! Why haven’t I done this before??
Some of these recipes below are similar (see lentil loaves for example). But I’ve given you a few options to let you find your own personal faves.
Vegan Christmas Main Course Dishes
The Lentil, Mushroom & Walnut Roulade has been a staple at our Christmas Table the past few years. I make mine without oil as there’s enough in the pastry and it turns out absolutely fine! I also add a decent ½ a cup of walnuts and sometimes use different mushrooms: swiss brown, oyster, shiitake etc
- Lentil, Mushroom & Walnut Roulade
- Tomato Lentil Loaf
- Butternut Squash Egg-free Quiche
- Classic Stuffing
- White Bean and Thyme Pot Pies*
- Ultimate Lentil Loaf
- Pumpkin Casserole – prep before Christmas
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Lentil and Cashew Loaf
- Vegan Pot Pies*
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Lentil, Mushroom & Walnut Balls with Cranberry Sauce
- Rainbow Rolls
- Cheesy (Vegan) Heirloom Tart*
- Festive Pot Pie
- Vegan Sausage Rolls*
* Top Tip: you can also purchase reduced fat versions of pastry from your regular supermarket chains or wholemeal/spelt versions from health food stores such as Dr. Earth (in Newtown)
For anyone who doesn’t want to make their own Vegan Roast, the Susie Spoon’s, Grain Meats Co Field Roast (available at Dr Earth, Newtown) and Cruelty Free Shop Vegan ‘Roasts’ are apparently quite good and are made from more natural ingredients than some of the alternatives. I haven’t tried them yet so if you do make sure you let me know your favourite!
Vegan Christmas Salads
- Best Shredded Kale Salad – a festive salad in Christmas colours!
- Festive Grilled Peach Salad – Arugula is Rocket
- Orzo Salad – Bell Pepper is Capsicum
- Barley and Chickpea Salad
- Middle Eastern Festive Salad – a personal fave topped with grilled zucchini, asparagus and extra avo
- Zucchini Gratin – gluten free, dairy free
- Asparagus and Shitake Mushroom Rice Salad
- Mango Macadamia Salad – for a nuttier flavour and a burst of extra nutrients replace oil with 1 Tbs tahini
- Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad
- Festive Potato Salad – omit or halve the oil, add Za’atar and serve with coconut yoghurt and lemon rind
Barley & Chickpea Salad. Image Source: Caroline Trickey @healthyhomecafe
Vegan Christmas Sides
- All purpose ‘cheese’ sauce
- ‘Creamy’ Mash
- Smoky Harissa Eggplant Dip
- Rosemary Beetroot Chips you can also bake these oil-free or pop them in the dehydrator for a raw version!
- Creamy Spinach & Kale Dip
- Crispy Garlic Brussel Sprouts, served with coconut bacon you can also buy commercial coconut bacon if you’re time poor such as the one from extraordinary foods
- Green Bean Casserole
- Pumpkin Hummus
Top Tip: get creative with hummus: try making avocado hummus, kale hummus, olive tapenade hummus, beetroot hummus, pumpkin hummus or my personal favourite roasted red pepper hummus (recipe soon to come!)
Rosemary Beetroot Chips. Photo Source: Minimalist Baker
Vegan Christmas Desserts
- Raspberry & Caramelised Nut ‘Ice Cream’ Pudding – also low FODMAP
- Christmas Pudding
- Gingerbread – swap vegan butter for extra almond butter or ¼ cup olive oil
- Whipped ‘Cream’ – make festive by adding a dash of pure maple, lemon juice and rum
- Summery Berry Fruit Salad
- Mini Pumpkin Pies
- Raw Chai Bars – scroll down page to Recipe 9
- Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Rum Balls – gluten free, refined sugar free
- Summer Pudding – I use wholemeal rye bread, you can omit the red wine if you choose or replace with 100% grape/pomegranate juice
- Healthy Pumpkin Pie – blend steamed/roasted pumpkin tinned pumpkin is more American based
- Salted Caramel Apple Donuts – swap coconut nectar for pure maple or date syrup
- Vegan chocolate brownies with sweet potato frosting – using coconut oil instead of shortening or use blended cashews instead for healthier alternative
- Pumpkin Bread with Maple Tahini Icing – swap oil for extra virgin olive oil or 1 ripe avocado, swap cane sugar for date syrup or pure maple syrup
- Dairy Free Cheesecake
- Fresh Raspberry Pudding
- Watermelon Gelato
- Brandy Custard – This one is so simple – just no frills Custard Powder +Plant Milk +/- Maple Syrup + Brand
Top Tip: For a coconut alternative with cream try “cashew cream” made with soaked cashews blended with optional maple and/or rum
vegan rum balls by audrey @unconventionalbaker
Vegan Christmas Drinks
- Eggless Nog – use fresh coconut flesh
- Festive Chai Latte
- Grapefruit Green Smoothie
- Iced Matcha Latte
- New Year Glow Smoothie Bowl
- Morning Green Matcha
- DIY cranberry cocktail
- Vegan Sweet Potato Thickshake
Vegan Nog. Image Source: Minimalist Baker
Have yourself a merry plant-based Christmas!
So there you have it. A collection of my fave vegan/wholefood plant-based festive recipes to delight your senses and wow your family on Christmas day. Don’t forget to check out my blog on hot tips to survive heated arguments or stigmatism and make the most of this gratuitous day.
Happy Holidays Beautiful People!
Post by vegan (wholefoods plant-based) dietitian Amber Sewell-Green