35 Healthy Vegan Christmas Recipes

A traditional Christmas dinner generally includes main dishes like turkey, roast beef, and ham, which are not vegan-friendly foods. However, veggie-based side dishes like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and roasted root vegetables are compliant.

To replace dishes made from animal products, opt for hearty vegetable, grain, and legume-based recipes. These healthy vegan Christmas recipes are fully plant-based, satisfying, and sure to capture the festivity of a traditional holiday meal.

Appetizers

vegan queso sauce

J. Kenji López-Alt / Serious Eats

While waiting for Christmas dinner to be served, graze on some vegan-friendly appetizers. The classics include chips and dip, fruit and veggie plate, and marinated olives. 

Fully Loaded Vegan Queso Dip

This vegan appetizer recipe from Serious Eats contains all the cheesy goodness without the actual dairy. Even non-vegans will be impressed! It’s powered by creamy cashews, starchy potatoes, and savory vegan chorizo. Serve with tortilla chips for a nach-inspired appetizer.

Salads

arugula salad

The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

There’s no better duo than soup and salad. This is an easy way to take a one-course vegan Christmas dinner into one with several courses. 

Winter salads around the holidays often contain fresh ingredients like cranberries, walnuts, arugula, butternut squash, beets, and more. Fortunately, all of these ingredients are naturally vegan. Just watch out for toppings like goat cheese, feta cheese, and honey vinaigrette, as they are animal-based and therefore do not fit the bill for vegan guests.

Red and Green Salad

This light and airy salad recipe from The Spruce Eats is not only made with seasonal ingredients, it also looks festive. It contains a bed of baby arugula with zucchini ribbons for added texture. The pop of red comes from crunchy pomegranate seeds.

Seasoned with herbs like mint and oregano, this vegan salad recipe is a great starter in anticipation of the main dish.

Soups

pumpkin soup

hana/Datecraft/Getty Images

Many soups tend to be vegan-friendly since they’re often made with vegetables and spices. There’s something about crowding around the dinner table with a warm bowl of soup that elevates a meal. These vegan soup recipes offer classic and seasonal flavors that everyone is sure to enjoy.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

This healthy soup recipe from Verywell Fit combines the best of fall and winter flavors. It features pumpkin as the star ingredient as well as seasonal spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Be sure to use vegetable broth and non-dairy half and half to ensure this recipe is fully vegan.

Vegetable Side Dishes

roasted root vegetables

Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD / Verywell Fit

Vegetable side dishes like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and roasted root vegetables have long held their place at holiday dinners. Whether you’re vegan or a lover of vegan recipes, vegetable side dishes pack lots of flavor and impress even the pickiest eaters.

Sweet & Tangy Maple-Roasted Root Vegetables

Glazed carrots and other root veggies are often sweetened with honey, which is an animal product that most vegans avoid. This healthy vegetable side dish by Verywell Fit offers the perfect solution—using maple syrup in place of honey. 

The recipe also calls for balsamic vinegar, offering a depth of flavor. When vegetables are thoroughly seasoned, eating them is good for your well-being and taste buds.

Main Dishes

lentil loaf

The Spruce

When vegans host non-vegan guests, they often worry that their loved ones will leave the dinner table feeling unsatisfied. One way to satisfy meat lovers with a meatless entree is by serving them vegan recipes that resemble classic carnivore dishes like meatloaf and steak. While the vegan versions aren’t exactly the same, they’re a pretty good alternative for those who want to eat less meat but pack in more vegetables.

Easy Vegan and Gluten-Free Lentil Loaf

With this vegan lentil recipe from The Spruce Eats, vegans won’t have to miss meatloaf. Vegans have been making vegan versions of animal products for years, and the main course for Christmas dinner is no different. If you want your vegan main dish to have a “meaty” taste and texture, a lentil meatloaf is the way to go.

This vegan lentil loaf is free of meat, dairy, eggs, and gluten. It gets its bulkiness from cooked lentils, rice, and onions. Flavored with sage, garlic, and plenty of ketchup, this loaf has all the familiar flavors of a traditional meatloaf without the meat.

Sauces

vegan gravy

The Spruce

Sauces can elevate a recipe to the next level. Classic holiday sauces, condiments, and dressings include balsamic vinegar, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Fortunately, many of these sauces can be made with a vegan twist by simply swapping out dairy products for non-dairy milks and butters, along with other plant-based ingredients. 

Basic Vegan Gravy

This flavorful and creamy recipe from The Spruce Eats is proof that vegan recipes don’t have to be complicated and time-consuming. This is a basic vegan gravy recipe that is perfect for beginners because it only takes 20 minutes from start to finish.

You’ll need some basic ingredients like vegan margarine, onions, flour, vegetable broth, garlic salt, cornstarch, and soy sauce. For added flavor, add nutritional yeast, which is an excellent source of vitamin B12, a nutrient often lacking in vegan diets as it is only naturally found in animal products.

This gravy recipe pairs perfectly with vegan mashed potatoes, cauliflower steaks, and meatless roasts.

Desserts

chocolate pudding

Sabrina Modelle / Simply Recipes

Nothing rounds out a filling Christmas dinner like dessert. Vegan dessert options are usually limited so vegans often have to sit out while others enjoy non-vegan desserts. If you’re hosting a Christmas dinner party, vegan or not, including a vegan-friendly dessert option is a great way to make everyone feel included at the end of the meal.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate pudding is a Christmas dinner classic, and vegans don’t have to miss out with this vegan-friendly version from Simply Recipes. It requires just two simple ingredients: coconut milk and chocolate.

While it’s quick and easy to make, the key is to make this dessert recipe ahead of time since it needs approximately four hours to chill. The bright side? Anyone who follows a paleo, keto, or dairy-free lifestyle can enjoy, too.

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