Happy holidays and welcome to this epic vegan Christmas dinner ideas roundup! On this page, you’ll find a carefully curated selection of entrées and side dishes chosen from the best vegan Christmas recipes to help you put together your holiday menu.
I’m a bit of a traditionalist so I like my Christmas dinner to be fairly close to the real holiday classics, albeit sans meat, dairy, or eggs. That means all the traditional sides and something delicious to stand in for the turkey.
I’ll take all that and more, please. With the beautiful show-stopping vegan recipes in this post, contributed by the most talented food bloggers on the web, we’ll all be spoiled for choice this holiday season.
I’ve also included some quick advice on designing your menu, planning ahead, and decorating your table. Scroll down to see everything or use the links below to jump to where you want to be.
- What do vegans eat for Christmas dinner?
- What types of recipe ideas are on this list?
- Planning your menu
- Menu ideas
- Main course recipes
- Side dishes
- Decorating the holiday table
What do vegans eat for Christmas dinner?
In many ways, a vegan Christmas dinner can be quite similar to a traditional one, with plenty of potatoes and vegetable sides (although there are frequently more vegetable sides than there would usually be).
Generally, the turkey is swapped out for a vegan main dish. Popular vegan food choices to replace the turkey with including a vegan roast (seitan for example), vegan meatloaf, Tofurkey*, or a vegan wellington.
*Tofurkey is a vegan version of turkey made from a mixture of tofu and seitan.
What types of recipe ideas are on this list?
For this list, I’ve chosen to focus on the main course or entrée recipes for Christmas, and have put together a delicious selection of recipes primarily focused on traditional USA/UK/Ireland-style Christmas cuisine.
I’ve also curated some simple vegan sides and lovely desserts to pair with your holiday meal.
Planning your menu
For your vegan Christmas dinner menu, consider the following information.
Appetizers are not always needed with Christmas dinner, personally I only ever have them when I have quite a number of guests around for our holiday meal, but it can also be useful to have one or two easy to make vegan ones to trot out should your meal be delayed (quite possible when juggling cooking so many components at once).
If you don’t use them on the day you can always enjoy them with leftovers the following day and have some extra time off from cooking!
For Christmas dinner for up to six people, I would recommend two vegan mains – this is because quite often many households will also have non-vegan family members at the table for Christmas so having two options will ensure the whole family is well-catered to.
I also just like to have two main dishes as when I was growing up we usually had two meat dishes, turkey and ham, so it makes it feel a little more traditional for me.
I’d also recommend two potato sides, roast potatoes, and mashed potatoes are the traditional ones. In my house, I often make a gratin instead of mashed potatoes, as nobody is that fond of them, and a gratin can also be made the day before.
Of course, if you’re also having sweet potatoes you may want to cut back to just one potato dish.
Then consider at least three to four vegetable sides when feeding six people. If there will be fewer people at the dining table then two or three should suffice. Think carefully when choosing these and consider how much space in the oven or on the stovetop you’ll have to cook things at the same time.
Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment but if you’re not making anything suitable for serving it with (Tofurkey, seitan roast, etc.) then it’s fine to omit it. Will you be adding vegan gravy as well?
If you’re worried about having enough hobs or oven space to prepare dishes, see which ones can be made ahead of time and then reheated at the last moment.
What will you be having for dessert? Vegan Christmas cake (Irish style), vegan pudding, trifle, tiramisu, something completely different? Whatever you decide to serve, if making it, make it ahead of time.
Everyone loves vegan Christmas cookies but a special meal calls for a showstopping finish so I save cookies for breakfast and snacks on this special day (and pair with my homemade spiced vegan hot chocolate mix of course, also perfect for gifting).
Write it down!
Once you’ve actually decided on what you’re going to be having for your festive meal, make two lists: a shopping list, and a list of when you’ll be making/cooking everything, for how long, and at what temperature.
I make as many dishes as possible early on the 24th of December so that I’m free on Christmas eve and don’t need to spend as much time in the kitchen on Christmas day.
On the second list with timings, I’ll usually have something like “24th December: Prepare potato gratin, remove outer leaves and cut the bottom off sprouts, make vegan stuffing, etc.” for the pre-Christmas day meal prep.
Then I’ll also plan ahead and write down the timing for Christmas day e.g. “25th December: 4:00 p.m. Preheat oven to 400ºF. 4:10 p.m. Add potato gratin to the oven. 4:30 p.m. parboil potatoes for roasting 4:50 Roast potatoes in the oven 5:00 p.m. Vegan wellington in the oven” and so on and so forth.
I highly recommend doing this as otherwise, it can be easy to lose track of all the dishes you are preparing.
Planning your Christmas menu is actually very easy once you break it down. There’s a basic menu which should suit two – four people, and then add on dishes as needed to feed a larger cloud.
A basic vegan Christmas menu to feed two to four could consist of:
1 main course dish + 2 potato dishes + 2 vegetable sides + optional + dessert
To break it down further…
One main course dish: Choose from the main course recipes below the one that is most appealing to you. One piece of advice I would give is that if feeding a mixed bunch (meat-eaters, vegans, vegetarians etc.), they seem to mainly prefer wellington-style recipes inmy experience, while vegans are more appreciative of mock meat dishes. For groups larger than four I usually recommend two main course dishes.
Two potato dishes: You can do two regular potato dishes or one sweet potato and one regular potato, whichever you prefer. Do choose two dishes that have very different textures though. You can look at the potato recipes included on this page in the side dish section, and think along the lines of roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, hasselback potatoes, potato croquettes, potato gratin etc.
Two vegetable sides: Yes I know potato is a vegetable, but when I say two vegetable sides I mean two non-potato vegetable based sides such as brussels sprouts, carrot and parsnip mash, roasted carrots etc.
Optionals: Here I’m talking about dishes which don’t really make up a large part of the meal but are traditional favorites and these mainly consist of stuffing/dressing, cranberry sauce and gravy. You’ll find vegan versions of these perennial favorites in the side dish section below. Choose at least one, or all three if they take your fancy!
Dessert: For a gathering of up to four people, or even six if it’s a large dish, one dessert is perfectly fine. In Ireland we traditionally have Christmas cake (recipe included in desserts section), and for larger gatherings trifle and plum pudding are added as well.
- Vegan wellington, roast potatoes, vegan potato gratin, roasted brussels sprouts, mashed carrots, vegan sage and onion stuffing, vegan gravy, Irish Christmas cake.
- Vegan turkey recipe (seitan or Tofurkey), mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, glazed carrots, roasted squash,cranberry sauce, gravy, vegan gingerbread cake.
- Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, vegan potato gratin, green bean casserole, mashed butternut squash, gravy, vegan pecan pie.
- Butternut roast, roast potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, miso glazed brussel sprouts, tempeh sausage stuffing balls, vegan Christmas pudding.
Main course recipes
Vegan pot pies, wellingtons (who doesn’t love puff pastry?), and roasts are some of the additions to this sumptuous list of the best vegan Christmas dinner recipes. How many will you choose for your Christmas menu?
With 18 recipes to pick from, you should be able to find your perfect main course (or two)!
From brussels sprouts and vegan gravy to butternut squash and green beans, these delicious side dishes feature simple ingredients.
Delicious food deserves a delicious vegan Christmas dessert! Consider one of these showstoppers to finish off your meal.
Decorating the holiday table
Of course, now that you’re going to be having all this wonderful holiday food, it would be fantastic if your table looked good enough to do justice to all the cooking and effort that will be going into this meal, the highlight of the festive season.
How you decorate your table will depend entirely on how large the table is. I highly recommend figuring out your table space and arrangement once you’ve decided on the menu. Set empty serving plates and regular plates on the table and see how much space you have to play with.
For both smaller and larger tables, a good idea is some inexpensive melamine gold or red charger plates under the guests’ dinner plates, and some nice cloth or paper napkins and napkin rings in keeping with your color scheme.
If using paper ones, it can be a fun idea to do some paper napkin origami (like with this Christmas tree napkin fold).
How you decorate the center of the table will depend entirely on the size. For less space where you can only really fit the serving plates, try a runner down the middle and some sprigs of greenery and vegan candles (like these lovely mistletoe ones) dotted between the serving platters or bowls.
If you have more space then try a larger runner (you can either use a cloth one or create a simple disposable one with a roll of crepe paper – try sprinkling some glitter on it!) and either a large centerpiece or several smaller ones in a row.
For your centerpiece (or centerpieces) think greenery, pine cones, poinsettia, burlap ribbon, vegan candles, holly, ivy, candy canes….you can even add in some small Christmas tree decorations or baubles.
Remember to add a little height to your table decorations or the larger dishes will block the view of your carefully thought out table decor.
I hope this post has been of some use to you. Let me know in the comments below what you are planning on having for your Christmas dinner, or take a picture on the day and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian). For some easy Christmas planning, you can also check out my Vegan Christmas recipes board on Pinterest.
Don’t forget to show some comment love on the recipe pages I know you’ll be trying and loving, which many amazing bloggers contributed to this roundup.