Isn’t the best gift a belly filled with healthy, delicious, plant-based food?
If there’s ever a time to jettison guilt and pull on the stretchy pants, then this season is it. Get ready for your holiday table to burst with colour and flavour. We’ve got the best festive vegan holiday dishes every table needs this year.
Vegan Holiday Dishes
1. Baked Squash
Jamie Oliver has really upped the ante on his vegan offerings in recent years (Check out his “Veg” cookbook for proof). This recipe uses cranberries, chestnuts, red wine, and allspice for a truly festive flavour. Additionally, the colours look sensational, making it look fabulous in the centre of the table. It doubles as a side dish, so it’s worth making even if you have other ideas for a main.
2. Pan-fried Brussels Sprouts with Tofu Bacon
Guaranteed, anyone who claims not to like sprouts has simply had a bad experience. Over-boiled and soggy, so that all of the colour is leached out of them? No thanks. Roasted or fried? Sublime. This recipe adds texture thanks to tofu bacon and caramelised onion. It’s a moreish combination, so you’ll definitely be back for seconds.
3. Vegan Pigs in Maple Parsnip Blankets
These are a festive table favourite, so it’s a good idea to make double quantities. You’re likely to end up nibbling on them long after the official meal is over! Meatless sausages are easy to find in the supermarket and, wrapped up in ribboned parsnips, they’re a taste sensation.
4. Whole Roasted Cauliflower
‘Meat substitutes’ or ‘faux meats’ are all very well, but why bother when you could be eating this instead? This whole roasted cauliflower not only tastes great, but thanks to the walnuts, it packs in a protein punch, too. Vibrant broccoli and colourful spices boost its showstopper table appeal, guaranteed to bring the oohs and aahs.
5. Nut Roast Wreath
For anybody who thinks they can’t face another nut roast, think again, because this wreath will convince you otherwise. It looks pretty and festive, thanks to the addition of veggie embellishments. Many festive meals take hours to prep; this, on the other hand, only takes 20 minutes. This means that you get to spend less time in the kitchen and more time making merry with your loved ones. The addition of seeds gives it a nice crunchiness, too. In short, consider the Soggy Nut Roast Ghost of Christmases past a goner.
6. Vegan Stuffing
Nothing says ‘holiday feast’ quite like stuffing, so it’s important that you get it right. Herbs pack this dish with flavour; in addition, its dry bread requirement means you can use up a slightly stale loaf. The result? Less waste AND a super-crunchy top.
7. Herbed Scalloped Potatoes
What’s a roast without a side of potatoes? There are several reasons why these humble tubers are a favourite. They carry other flavours well, they are comforting and, above all, they are versatile. In this recipe, enjoy them in a bubbling creamy sauce and add fresh herbs for colour and extra zing.
8. Spiced Red Cabbage
Its colour alone makes red cabbage a glorious accompaniment; in addition, it contains ten times more vitamins than its green counterpart. Spices, such as cloves, star anise, and nutmeg add festive flavour while grated apple adds some sweetness. In other words, this dish is as festive as they come.
9. Hasselback Potatoes
No apologies for adding another potato recipe to the mix because these are so impressive, yet so easy to make. In addition, the kale, beans, pesto and artfully placed cherry tomatoes give the dish an extra festive pop. Allow at least one potato per person, or risk incurring some serious wrath!
10. Coconut Snowballs
Gluten-free, alcohol-free, sugar-free, no-bake and, of course, vegan. How many boxes do you want ticked? These snowballs are the perfect accompaniment to a hot drink; in the same way, they’re an ideal sweet treat when you can’t face much more than a mouthful more food. In addition, once you’ve removed the mixture from the fridge, you can hand over the ball-shaping to little helpers, if you have them.
11. Vegan Mince Pies
Is it even Christmas if you haven’t had a mince pie yet? In this recipe, the pastry is perfectly crisp and light thanks to coconut oil. In addition, they’re filled with a boozy homemade mincemeat, so you don’t even need to scan labels for suet content. For best results, make your mincemeat at least a day, if not several weeks, before.
12. Vegan Plum Pudding
Coconut oil does the job of suet in this recipe, while aquafaba steps in for eggs. Oddly enough, plum puddings rarely contain plums. However they are packed with a variety of dried fruits. Treacle and dates provide the pudding with a dense sweetness, while brandy (or the alcohol of your choice) gives it a boozy, festive twist. Alcohol isn’t essential though, so don’t worry if you’re teetotal. Finally, if you are going the alcohol route, have a crack at serving this ‘flaming’ for a real flourish.
13. Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
For hanging on the trees, for gifting, for stuffing in stockings and, most importantly, for leaving out for Santa: gingerbread is a festive must. Shortening gets switched out for vegan butter and the amount of ginger gets upped in this recipe. There’s no requirement to make them into gingerbread people shapes, of course, but if you do? Here’s a trick. Firstly, turn some upside down so that the ‘head’ is at the bottom. Then, add a blob of red icing to the head – around where the forehead would be. Then ice the legs to look like antlers. Can you see what’s happening here? Add eyes and you have got yourself a cute little floppy-eared reindeer.