6 Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes That'll Add Something New To Your Spread This Year
I don't know about you, but when I think about Christmas dinner, I think of meat, cheese, cream, bread, and tons of baked goods. No, Santa's big day isn't traditionally a mealtime paradise for vegans or those trying to maintain a plant-based diet. But even for those of us who aren't strictly vegan, all those super rich foods can sometimes wreak havoc on the digestive system, and they're more than a little lacking in the fresh veggies department. Trust me, I love a nice glazed ham as much as the next gal, but this year, vegan Christmas dinner recipes are on the top of my list to make for the holiday feast.
Whether you're hosting a big shindig at your house or you're planning to head over to grandma's crib — where there is sure to be a rack of lamb and loaded mashed potatoes waiting for you — give some of these delicious vegan dinner ideas a try as an alternative to the regular, holiday mealtime staples. While people might scoff at your vegan dishes at first, you know they're going to be making extra room on their plate for some of these, not to mention asking for the recipe on the sly.
1. A Christmas Wreath You Can Actually Eat
And you thought wreaths were only for your front door! Make one out of herbed stuffed potatoes like above, or try your hand at a delicious dinner centerpiece that's easy to serve and beautiful AF, filled with spinach, tofu, and festive pine nuts.
Garnish with cranberries and sprigs of herb, and you have yourself a vegan Christmas masterpiece.
2. Creamy Baked Pasta With Spinach
The truth of the matter is, everybody wants comfort food during the holidays, right? Something cozy, warm, and filling, but won't necessarily sit in the stomach like a brick. Luckily, there are tons of nutritious, super delicious vegan recipes for baked pasta that can be made as a side dish, or of course, for the main event.
My personal favorite comes from Andrea Nordby at The Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal delivery service that has an extensive library of vegan recipes to choose from. This one in particular includes whole wheat pasta, tons of spinach, and tofu for that soft and creamy ziti experience without the meat and cheese.
3. Shepherd's Pie
Nothing says winter like shepherd's pie, right? I love this one in particular from Jamie Oliver because it's hearty, an easy-to-share crowd-pleaser, and packed with delicious vegetables and lentils. Plus, it's topped off with nutrient-rich sweet potatoes instead of your run-of-the-mill spuds.
Whip this up for your holiday charades night with a side salad, and I can guarantee your friends won't be able to get enough.
4. Potato Gratin
A vegan alternative to this famously cheesy, creamy holiday dish? Yes, please!
Go heavy on the roast veggies like in the video above, or make it with mushrooms and slice those potatoes extra thin. You'll enjoy loads of flavor with the help of herbs like rosemary and thyme, in addition to plenty of moisture from a healthy dose of olive oil. Serve as a side, or simply go veggie-heavy and make it the main course of the whole feast.
5. Winter Squash And Lentil Stew
Stews are filling and nutritious, and IMHO, they make for a lovely main dish for a holiday meal that keeps the crowd happy. Not to mention, they aren't especially labor-intensive, so you have time to do all that last-minute gift-wrapping you'll probably procrastinate doing.
6. Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower is such a deceptively simple vegetable, and it can kind of take on the identity of just about any food — rice, wings, or in this case, a classic Christmas roast. While you will probably want to do this as a side dish, I have definitely filled up my belly hardcore before on a big roasted cauliflower, especially when it's garnished with toasted nuts and served with lots of other delicious, veggie-based dishes.