These delicious vegan Christmas dinner recipes will please all eaters! From pot pie to vegan gravy to holiday punch, there’s something for everyone.
Looking for vegan Christmas dinner recipes to wow your friends and family? Alex and I started eating a mostly whole food plant based diet years ago. And the hardest part of it was not the weeknight meals: it was the holidays! Most of our friends and family were stumped with how to cook for people who ate tons of vegetables. Fast forward to today, and there’s a lot more understanding around what eating plant based looks like. But it’s still difficult to find really good, delicious and accessible vegan recipes for entertaining.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled our top vegan Christmas dinner recipes! From showy pot pie, to creamy vegan gravy, to the cutest holiday-inspired dessert (scroll down), we think we’ll love all of them. In fact: we promise you will! And don’t forget to end with vegan hot chocolate or hot cider (or the slow cooker version). Let’s get to those recipes.
First up in our vegan Christmas dinner recipes: this stunning pot pie! This one is a fan favorite and is beloved by hundreds all over the globe. Maybe it's the thick, creamy savory gravy, or the caramelized shallots, or the tender sweet potato and mushroom filling. Or maybe it's the crispy pastry crust that's scented with sage. Whatever the case, it's the perfect holiday centerpiece.
Just WOW! This vegan lasagna is majorly good. In fact, Alex and I eat dairy, but we agree: this is our favorite lasagna, period. No matter how you eat, this vegan lasagna will be a hit. Promise. We had a few friends over to try it, and here’s what we heard: “This is so good. I can’t stop eating it. I need another piece!” It's smothered in a zesty marinara sauce, layered with spinach, mushrooms, and our secret ingredient: hummus! Top with a sprinkling of "Parmesan" and it's drop dead delicious.
This vegan shepherd’s pie is the dinner recipe version of wearing a fuzzy sweater and drinking hot mulled cider. It’s cozy comfort food to the max! Imagine: a creamy gravy filled with tender vegetables, lentils and scented with fennel and sage. Then a fluffy layer of Yukon gold potatoes, topped with fresh rosemary. It’s layered together in a baking dish and then baked until golden. This one’s a whole food plant based (WFPB) stunner: perfect for Christmas!
Meatballs and gravy for Christmas? Yes, please! This cozy vegan recipe is perfect for a "meat and potatoes" approach to Christmas dinner. The meatballs are made from vegetables, chickpeas and spices. For a vegan take, you'll use our Easy Vegan Gravy, a brown gravy that's full of savory flavor. Put them together, and you won't miss the meat in the least.
Stuffed squash is another perfect vegan Christmas dinner recipe that makes for a lovely centerpiece. The squash is roasted until tender, then filled with a quinoa stuffing made with walnuts, fresh sage, and leeks. It's full of wintery flavor and perfect for a special dinner.
Moving on to vegan Christmas dinner sides...what's not made more perfect with a side of salty, crispy Brussels sprouts? Yes, this really is the BEST way to make Brussels sprouts, roasted in a very hot oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. They come out perfectly crisp, and even former Brussels sprout haters are converted with this one. (If you've got a pressure cooker, Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan are also tasty.)
These braised vegetables taste like they’ve been roasting under a chicken all day long! But they’re fully plant based and healthy, bursting with flavor that takes cozy to the next level. They're the perfect side dish for a vegan Christmas dinner, with the jewel toned purple onion and orange carrot. Ready to get braising?
Here’s a green salad idea that’s flavorful and versatile: arugula beet salad! It features jewel-toned roasted beets with baby arugula, all covered in a zingy citrus vinaigrette. Add thin-sliced shallots and toasted walnuts, and it tastes sophisticated with minimal effort. All you need to do is cook the beets!
What's better than a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside potato? To us, the mushy stuff just doesn’t compare. (Though these Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes are close!) We’ll show you how to make our favorite roasted potatoes, red potatoes that are baked until crispy with garlic powder then showered with fresh herbs.
Want a uniquely impressive healthy side dish? Try these roasted onions! Baking onions in a hot oven mellows their flavor until its deeply caramelized and sweet. Pair that with a hint of balsamic vinegar and herbaceous fresh thyme, and…just wow! Those simple flavors make an effortless side dish that goes with almost anything.
Mashed potatoes are a classic Christmas dinner recipe: but what about mashed SWEET potatoes? Here sweet potatoes are mixed with Yukon gold potatoes and garlic to make the perfect sweet and savory combo. Using standard potatoes helps to achieve the perfect fluffy and creamy texture. Perfect drowned in vegan gravy! (See below.)
This vegan gravy comes together in just 15 minutes, and it's creamy and thick! The savory flavor comes from soy sauce and fennel seeds, which bring in savory and meaty elements. (Sub liquid aminos for soy-free.) You'll want to pour this on just about everything! Try it on our Vegan Mashed Potatoes.
Want the best vegan side dish ever? This roasted vegetables recipe results in the most colorful sheet pans that will please even the most veggie-wary eaters. They’re healthy, plant based, vegan and gluten-free, and even better: beautiful and delicious! It makes 2 sheet pans and takes only 30 minutes to roast. If you're prepping for Christmas dinner, you can roast ahead and then reheat in a 400F oven prior to serving.
Want something fresh to contrast those roast-y flavors? This shaved Brussels sprout salad is the perfect pair. Plus, it's red and green, making it perfect for Christmas dinner! Shaved Brussels sprouts are feathery and sweet, and paired with tart pomegranate seeds, crisp apple and a tangy vinaigrette, it's a vibrant confetti for your holiday table.
One of our favorites for special dinners like Christmas is delicata squash. This unique variety of squash that's extraordinarily sweet and cooks quickly. The skin is edible, so you don't even need to peel! It's an oblong shape that makes it perfect for cutting into half moon-shapes. Mix with olive oil and salt and roast them in a hot oven. They come out sweet and tender: in just 20 minutes! The perfect vegan side dish.
These lemony roasted green beans are the easiest side dish! They come out tender and lightly browned, with a zesty hit from the lemon zest. These go perfectly with just about any meal, but they're a perfect vegan side dish for Christmas dinner. (If you've got an Instant Pot, try Instant Pot Green Beans with Lemon.)
This spinach apple salad is as easy as it is tasty, and perfect for a vegan Christmas dinner! No one will believe it took minutes to put together. Start with a bed of greens and add crisp apple and pear. Our best balsamic vinaigrette covers it in tangy sweet goodness. And the best part? Maple-glazed walnuts! Just 1 to 2 minutes in a hot skillet with maple syrup makes the nuts come out shiny and lightly sweet.
Meet our other favorite holiday cocktail: the Christmas Margarita! This bright red drink is absolutely stunning to look at, and the sweet tart flavor is crisp and refreshing. It’s got all the character of the classic margarita, but a beautiful new look and nuance to the flavor!
Looking for a memorable signature Christmas cocktail? This Christmas martini is where it’s at: sweet tart, drinkable and beautifully festive! This martini is the perfect fit for entertaining. It’s easy to mix up and the color is beautifully brilliant from the cranberry juice. You can also make it as a pitcher for easy prep.
The coziest Christmas drink of them all: mulled cider! This apple cider is simmered with whole spices until it's full of warm spiced flavor. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and star anise make the best wafting aroma possible. Everyone will want a mug of this one! Add a splash of rum if you'd like. You can make it in a slow cooker, Instant Pot, or on the stove.
If you'd rather go boozy, we've got you covered too! This apple cider sangria works for Christmas dinner too: and it's full of cozy flavor. It pairs sparkling apple cider with red wine, orange and cinnamon. In a word: wow. And don't forget the garnish: a rosemary sprig, orange slice, and cinnamon stick!
Want to make a show-stopping apple pie…that’s vegan? It’s 100% possible and delicious. Meet this classic vegan apple pie! No one would guess that this pie is fully made of plants, because it’s so satisfying. A flaky, golden vegan pie crust encloses a filling that’s so full of cozy spiced flavor, you won’t want the bite to end.
This healthy peanut butter buckeye balls recipe takes the classic chocolate peanut butter buckeyes and adds a healthy twist! Essentially peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate, they’re little bites of heaven. Instead of the traditional butter and sugar, this recipe uses Medjool dates: large, sweet dates that are used to make natural sweets like Larabars and raw brownies. Add a little peanut butter, and voila — instant buckeye filling!
Last up: vegan Christmas dinner dessert recipes! These almond thumbprint cookies are perfectly festive, with an almond flour base and a homemade jam filling. Top them with powdered sugar icing for a festive glaze!
Last but not least: what vegan Christmas dinner would not be complete without this holiday affogato recipe? It's a play on the traditional Italian dessert, where espresso is poured over vanilla ice cream. Here, you'll make vegan peppermint ice cream (or use storebought to keep things simple), then top it with a vegan homemade hot chocolate. It's pretty darn delicious, if you ask us!
A few more Christmas & plant based resources
Here are a few more of our favorite resources for Christmas and holiday recipe planning:
Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix all-purpose flour, kosher salt, baking powder, and sage. Measure 1/2 cup of room temperature coconut oil and then drop small blobs of the coconut oil into the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut it into the flour mixture until a coarse meal texture is obtained.
Sprinkle 7 tablespoons ice water over the flour, mixing gradually with fork until the dough sticks together. Add additional water by the tablespoon until the dough comes together with your hands, but is not sticky (add a bit more water or flour if necessary). Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate in a covered container until the filling is ready, or at least 30 minutes.
Make the filling: Slice the shallot into rings. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans, shaking them dry. Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat and pour in olive oil until the bottom of the skillet is just covered. Add the shallot and beans to the skillet in a single layer. Cook without stirring for 3 to 4 minutes until the bottoms are browned and crispy, then stir and cook without stirring for another 4 to 5 minutes until crispy and fully browned. Remove from heat and add a pinch of kosher salt.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, onion, pepper, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. When tender, reduce the heat to low. Add the spices and flour and stir until the vegetables are coated. Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, and kosher salt. Stir for about 4 minutes until the broth thickens into a sauce. Remove from the heat and add the crispy beans and shallots. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Pour the filling into a deep dish 9” pie pan or small baking dish, or into several smaller baking dishes.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured surface until it is large enough to cover the pan. Work quickly as the dough is easiest to work with while it’s just come to room temperature. Drape the dough over the pan and remove excess dough. Lightly crimp the edges (it’s a rustic pie, so it doesn’t have to be perfect!). Cut 4 small slits to vent for steam in the center of the crust. In a small bowl, mix a few drops of water with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lightly brush it over the dough.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes before serving.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.