Consider vegan Christmas dinner sorted (in fact, the whole Christmas day!) with this list of Christmas breakfast, appetizer, side, main, and dessert recipes. Plus a list of my top tips for surviving Christmas as a new vegan!
Everything Needed For The Best Vegan Christmas Dinner Menu
Whether you’re pulling together a 100% vegan Christmas dinner, catering for meat-free guests, or are just trying to survive another holiday with family as a vegan (and worrying about going hungry), this list of vegan Christmas recipes is perfect for pulling together delicious vegan Christmas dinner ideas or vegan Christmas menu for any holiday event.
While commercial vegan Christmas food offerings have increased tenfold over the last few years, I enjoy making as much as possible homemade. That way, I can cater to all dietary requirements, know precisely what’s in each dish, and honestly prefer the flavor in almost all cases. You can also have fun finding vegan Christmas recipes the entire family will enjoy!
Even better, for those of you who are new to this whole vegan thing (or know someone who is), I’ve also included a list of my top tips for surviving Christmas as a new vegan. Either way, let’s jump right in!
Tips for Surviving Christmas As A New Vegan
- Speak to the host: If they don’t already, let them know you’re vegan. It can’t hurt to ask if they’re willing to tweak a few dishes either. For example, many Christmas side dishes can easily be tweaked. I.e., swap out regular butter or milk, skip the added bacon, etc. If they offer to cater to you, great! If not, move to plan B (below).
- Provide your own food: Bring a couple of ‘must have’ dishes (usually a main and one favorite side). Make enough for several portions. That way, people can try, but they’re not obligated to (more leftovers for you!). The same goes for wine (they aren’t all vegan) and dessert. Bring something everyone can enjoy if possible (like pies /pastries).
- Bring something new: Whether it’s for vegan holiday meals or a Christmas potluck, bring something ‘new’ rather than going head-to-head with a non-vegan dish another guest brings (like mashed potatoes/gravy). This makes guests far more likely to try yours.
- Be prepared for questions: Be prepared, positive, and patient (and avoid being preachy or ‘taking the bait’, to avoid arguments). Reminding them you want to have a lovely day with family/friends but will happily talk about it another time should hopefully nip it in the bud.
- Host your own Christmas: Of course, this means having guests willing to eat your vegan Christmas dishes, but also not having to worry about having nothing to eat or accidentally eating something non-vegan. If your family/friends seem wary, remind them it’s just one year, but it would mean a lot to you. They can always return to the status quo the following year.
And, most importantly, try to enjoy yourself. Christmas isn’t all about the food, so enjoy the time with those you love!
The Vegan Christmas Recipes
Below you’ll find all my top recipes to put together a delicious vegan Christmas dinner menu.
Vegan Christmas Drinks
Along with the usual bottled options, here are a couple of simple vegan Christmas drinks recipes the whole family will enjoy!
All you need is a handful of ingredients and a few minutes to prepare this creamy vegan hot chocolate. Even better, there’s a long list of optional add-ins and toppings to choose from for a warming Christmas drink that’s as simple or decadent as you’d like!
This warm German-inspired mulled wine uses just 6 ingredients and is the perfect punch for sharing with family and guests at Christmas time!
Vegan Christmas Breakfast and Brunch
When it comes to vegan Christmas breakfast, while some families avoid excess food in preparation for the main meal, I love serving a Christmas brunch stocked with toast, fruits, and several sweet treats (below) to start the day off right.
This vegan fruit cake is topped with a delicious chocolate glaze and doubles up as a wonderful Christmas brunch recipe and dessert. Plus, it’s gluten-free too!
These American pancakes are gluten-free and refined sugar-free, stacking American-style pancakes with a delicious apple filling, all topped off with optional vegan caramel sauce. They’re a delicious way to start any day, let alone for Christmas brunch!
If you’re more of a crepe person, wrap the apple cinnamon filling up in these gluten-free, vegan crepes and sprinkle them with moreish cinnamon sugar and a drizzle of vegan caramel.
If you prefer something you can make in advance, these vegan apple streusel muffins are a great choice. They’re easy to prepare, satisfy your sweet tooth, and yet are much healthier than regular muffins with sugar-free icing.
If you love cinnamon rolls and apple desserts, you’ll love these vegan apple cinnamon rolls. Prepare them in advance or bake them in the morning for a sweet and filling treat for a vegan Christmas brunch.
These carrot cake donuts are a brunch must-try. They’re surprisingly healthy (including oil-free, refined sugar-free, and gluten-free) with a baked cake-like consistency yet decadent enough to feel like a treat.
This sweet vegan pastry is filled with a poppyseed and vegan cheesecake filling then topped with a streusel topping for a great make-ahead treat for your vegan Christmas brunch offerings.
Vegan Christmas Appetizers
If you, like me, love to enjoy your vegan Christmas dinner with multiple courses (it’s still a mystery how we eat it all, yet somehow every year we do!), these salads, soups, and other vegan Christmas appetizers are a great way to start the meal!
This vegan carrot soup is smooth and creamy, lightly spiced, and light enough to fill you up without weighing you down for your plant-based Christmas dinner.
If you’re looking for a soup to impress, this vegan French onion soup I perfect. It’s rich and flavorful, topped with a decadent cheesy toast topping – perfect for impressing as a vegan Christmas potluck recipe or vegan Christmas appetizer!
This classic-turned-vegan is a delicious vegan Christmas appetizer that’s somehow super creamy and yet light and satisfying at the same time.
Roasting the cauliflower adds a fantastic depth of flavor to this simple, creamy, vegan soup. It’s perfect for serving as a vegan Christmas appetizer alongside a slice of crusty bread or a simple leafy green side salad.
You can make this super simple creamy pumpkin soup with canned or fresh pumpkin (or butternut squash). It’s light and tasty and can be prepared on the stovetop, in an Instant Pot, or with a crockpot as part of your healthy Christmas dinner!
For a truly special vegan Christmas appetizer (or party dish), it’s time to pull out this vegan cheese fondue. It’s perfectly creamy, gooey, and cheesy, and can be topped with pickled red onions and served with crudites, bread, crackers, and more!
If you like to put out some nibbles before the main Christmas dinner, this vegan French onion dip is an excellent finger-food choice. It’s creamy and flavorful and can be paired with crackers and crudites as a simple snack.
This spinach artichoke dip is one of my favorite go-to’s for special occasions like the holidays, New Year’s Eve, etc. It’s rich, creamy, and will impress vegans and non-vegans alike (in under 30 minutes)!
Potato salad is a traditional Christmas Eve side dish for my family, but will often make an appearance on Christmas day, too. It’s creamy, satisfying, and delicious but also light and oil-free!
Instead of potatoes, you can enjoy this light and creamy pasta salad. It’s also oil-free with a vegan ranch dressing and a simple light appetizer before your vegan Christmas dinner.
Christmas Dinner Sides
These vegan Christmas recipes for side dishes combine some family favorites (like mash, gravy, and other vegetable sides) with potentially some interesting never before tried options.
No vegan Christmas dinner would be complete without a big bowl of creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes (plain, with garlic, herby with rosemary, etc). And no one would guess it’s vegan!
Skip the mushy boiled sprouts this year for lightly caramelized and super tasty air fryer sprouts. You won’t regret it (and may even find some new fans!).
Whether you want a mashed potato alternative or just another way to celebrate potatoes at your vegan Christmas dinner, you won’t regret trying this super creamy and rich scalloped potato dish!
For a fun change on your regular roast potatoes, why not try these crispy Hasselback potatoes instead? They’re simpler to make than they look and are naturally vegan.
Perhaps it’s a cultural thing, but in my eyes, you can never have too many potatoes at your Christmas table (or in your life)! These stuffed potato dumplings can take the place of mashed potato or make for an interesting vegan side dish for vegans and non-vegans to enjoy, doused in plenty of gravy!
The last of my potato options, I promise. These crispy potato dumplings are popular across Germany and Austria and will pair well with gravy and your favorite Christmas side dishes.
This classic Thanksgiving side is just as at home as part of your vegan Christmas dinner table, too. Plus, this version is made entirely from scratch, so no canned soups or packaged crispy onions here!
Swap out your regular steamed vegetables for these vegan creamed peas and carrots that will be loved by the entire family.
This hearty, protein-dense quinoa casserole can double up as both a side and main, perfect for sharing at your vegan Xmas dinner.
No Christmas meal would be complete without a hearty topping of gravy. Luckily, this simple vegan gravy is quickly prepared and packed with flavor.
Prefer a creamy mushroom sauce? Then you’ll love this one. It’s ready in under 30 minutes and packs in comfort and umami.
Vegan Main Dishes
After several years of trying (and being disappointed by) commercial ‘vegan Christmas main’ offerings, often highly processed, I decided to make my own. Whether you want something that’s a meat alternative, something 100% plant-based or a non-traditional vegan/ vegetarian holiday meal, here are some of my top choices.
If you’re someone who actually prefers the sides over the mains at Christmas time, then these crispy oven-roasted cauliflower steaks in breading are the perfect ‘main’ for you. They’re easy to make, low-carb, gluten-free, and great for anyone wanting to enjoy a healthy Christmas dinner!
For another light and healthy, low-carb option, you might enjoy these balsamic grilled mushroom steaks. They’re super simple, require just a handful of ingredients to make, and won’t weigh you down.
If you prefer something a little heartier, then there’s never a wrong time for a slice of comforting vegan meatloaf, even as a vegan Christmas main dish. It also contains tons of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and is freezer-friendly!
These simple plant-based sausages are made primarily from pantry staples (including beans, nuts/seeds, oats, and plenty of seasoning). I recommend making them in advance to reheat at your vegan Christmas dinner.
While it’s not exactly a typical Vegan Christmas main, this lentil-stuffed eggplant is hearty, wholesome, and simple to prepare!
This recipe can triple up as a delicious vegan Christmas appetizer and/or the main dish, with leftovers perfect for sharing on Boxing day, with a simple side salad.
Another non-traditional vegan Christmas main option for you! This vegan lentil moussaka is super creamy and decadent, plus you can prepare entirely it in advance so you can easily reheat a portion as needed.
This lentil shepherd’s pie already pairs so well with many classic Christmas sides (like roasted veggies, gravy, and more) that it’s an excellent option for your vegan Christmas menu. Plus, you can prepare ahead and reheat it on the day.
I love serving these black bean meatballs with gravy and mashed potato! Top the plate up with the rest of your favorite vegan Christmas side dishes, and you have a super simple meat-free Christmas main!
Like the meatballs, I love serving this rich and flavorful mushroom bourguignon over potato mash and vegetables. That means it’s a perfect option for your Christmas dinner!
Vegan Christmas Desserts
If you’re looking for egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free Christmas desserts, then look no further. There’s something for everyone on this list of vegan Christmas desserts with options including simple apple crisp, streusels, cakes, and more.
No list of vegan Christmas desserts would be complete without at least one gingerbread offering. This time, it’s in the form of a healthy sheet cake topped with a creamy cashew-based frosting.
This apple crisp combines a lightly spiced tender apple filling with a crunchy, gluten-free streusel topping. Serve it with scoops of ice cream, vegan custard, or even some cheeky homemade brandy butter. It’s a simple and delicious vegan Christmas dessert recipe the whole family will love!
This apple strudel is a perfect vegan Christmas dessert if you like pastry. It’s packed with apples, walnuts, and raisins, then wrapped in a gluten-free, buttery, flaky pastry case. Enjoy it warm either alone or with some ice cream or custard.
OR, how about a dessert that combined the streusel topping of the apple crisp AND pastry elements, all with the tender, lightly spiced apple filling?! Plus, it’s gluten-free – so it’s the best of all worlds.
Sweet potato casserole makes for a classic vegan Thanksgiving side or dessert. However, it’s also at home at your vegan Christmas dinner, too (usually as a dessert in this house).
This low-calorie, oil-free, gluten-free cranberry loaf topped with sugar-free icing is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth while enjoying a healthier vegan Christmas dessert option!
Would the holidays be complete without a delicious homemade pecan pie? This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and made healthier without corn syrup and refined sugars. Instead, it’s naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup and contains a pumpkin puree twist!
Tiramisu is one of my favorite go-to dessert recipes for large crowds. It’s creamy, packed with flavor, and optionally spiked with a bit of alcohol. Even better, this version is gluten-free and you can make it entirely from scratch or with store-bought ladyfingers!
These gingerbread tiramisu cups use a homemade gingerbread cake in place of regular ladyfingers. It then tops it with creamy vegan mascarpone and chocolate layers all served up in glasses. So there’s no need to wait for them to set and slice (unlike regular tiramisu).
If you’re looking for a decadent dessert, you can’t go wrong with this creamy caramel apple cheesecake. This recipe combines a simple gluten-free base with a creamy cheesecake filling, sticky tender apple topping, finished off with a caramel sauce drizzle.
This creamy and rich coffee cheesecake with a chocolate ganache topping is the perfect way to end the day, paired with a big mug of vegan hot chocolate.
Sweet Snacks (and Edible Gifts)
These vegan Christmas treats can double up as desserts, snacks, or simple edible Christmas gifts.
If you’re someone who buys family members a box of Ferrero Rocher every single year, why not impress them with this homemade vegan version this year instead? All you need is 8 ingredients for these simple, moreish hazelnut truffles!
This vegan marzipan recipe ditches the egg whites for a simple almond paste that you can add to vegan desserts or shape and decorate into fruits and other objects as a simple, tasty vegan Christmas dessert snack.
You’d be forgiven for thinking chocolate salami is some odd new meat product. Instead, this recipe is simply in the shape of a salami. The filling combines chocolate with nuts and biscuits (similar to rocky road, minus the marshmallows). It’s simple to prepare, contains just a few ingredients, and will be loved by vegans and non-vegans!
Vegan Christmas Cookies
If I haven’t baked at least four batches of cookies over the holidays, then the holidays aren’t complete. Below are four of my current top favorite vegan Christmas cookie recipes.
All you need is 4 ingredients for these traditional lightly spiced, chewy, almond-based cinnamon star cookies. They’re a must-try vegan Christmas cookie for all!
With your choice of filling (jam, chocolate spread, nut butter, etc.), the sky is the limit when it comes to making these simple gluten-free, vegan almond thumbprint cookies. You can even make them sugar-free!
These vegan snickerdoodles are soft, light, and fluffy, with a deliciously crisp cinnamon-sugar coating, perfect for impressing the entire family!
These German Christmas cookies are soft, slightly crumbly, and each comes topped with a single hazelnut. For a simple yet delicious vegan Christmas cookie!