Vegan Christmas dinner: Your guide to a completely free-from feast

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  • If you’re vegan then you might be looking for some vegan Christmas dinner inspo, and we’ve got just the thing.

    Christmas is a time for treating yourself and sharing food with friends and family, and being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on festive feasting. Whether you are a vegan yourself, or have a vegan Christmas guest, we’ve got the low-down on how to make your vegan Christmas dinner this year one to remember, for all the right reasons.

    Because the holidays are always such a busy time we’ve gone for a bit of a mix of make it and fake it. We know there are some things you’ll want to make yourself, and some bits that are easier to pick up at the shops so in each of our sections we’ve picked out our favourite supermarket products as well as some of our most popular vegan recipes to try at home.

    In our vegan Christmas dinner round up you’ll find everything you need to throw a fab free-from dinner – including starters, mains, desserts, and the all-important Christmassy treats.

    Ready to do some research? Here are our favourite vegan Christmas dinner ideas.

    Vegan Christmas dinner

    The traditional Christmas lunch is heavy on meat and often sneaks in a lot of butter. Check out these handy tips and tasty recipes and you can have a vegan Christmas lunch that everyone will love.

    Vegan Christmas starters

    Make it: Beetroot, Pomegranate and Parsnip Soup

    This deep purple, velvety soup is a winter warmer that will go down a treat with meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. Everyone else will have so much meat to come that having a lighter soup to start might even be a welcome change.

    Fake it: M&S Butternut and Beetroot Filo Parcels

    Festive spiced red cabbage and beetroot is layered with creamy squash and wrapped in crisp filo pastry to make this easy supermarket vegan starter the perfect thing to kick off your Christmas lunch. Available in stores nationwide.

    Vegan Christmas mains

    We’re not going to pretend that the whole family will swap to having an entirely vegan Christmas dinner, so when it comes to the main event, we’d recommend making or buying an individual, vegan-friendly main that can be enjoyed alongside the usual accompaniments.

    Make it: Chestnut Bourgignon Pie.

    Most brands of shop bought puff pastry are suitable for vegans, unless they are the all-butter variety, making pies a perfect choice for a vegan main. This one combines earthy mushrooms with rich wed wine for an indulgent main.

    Fake it: Sainbury’s Three Nut and Mushroom Roast

    Nut roast is a vegetarian classic, and this version from Sainsbury’s gets it right. Rich and nutty with a great texture that isn’t too dry at all. The redcurrant and port gravy finishes it off with a final luxurious, tasty flourish.

    Fake it: Tesco Finest Cauliflower Wellington

    For something different, try this veggie Wellington from Tesco. The turmeric spiced whole cauliflower is paired with a mushroom and butternut squash duxelle and wrapped in golden puff pastry.

    Vegan sides

    If you are catering for a vegan Christmas guest, why not make a couple of side dishes that are vegan friendly, but taste so good that everyone else will enjoy them too.

    Make it: Quinoa and Vegetable Stuffing

    This is a great stuffing option that is packed with flavour and lighter than traditional stuffing. It will work equally well with vegan mains and with the classic turkey and trimmings, too.

    Make it: Christmas cabbage

    Christmas dinner isn’t complete without some red cabbage, and our boozy cabbage recipe is perfect for a colourful vegetable side with a kick, that is also vegan.

    Make it: Roast potatoes

    Roast potatoes are often cooked in duck or goose fat at Christmas, but our recipe uses olive oil and gives you perfectly crisp roasties every time.

    Fake it: Bisto Veggie Gravy

    You can whip up an easy vegan gravy using Bisto Vegetarian Gravy Granules, and make other sauces suitable for vegans by replacing butter with dairy free spreads. Use wine (checking it is vegan friendly) and vegetable stock to add extra depth of flavour.

    Vegan Christmas puddings

    No Christmas dinner is complete without a sweet treat (or two) to tuck into. You can always have one vegan Christmas dessert option, as well as a traditional Christmas pudding or Yule Log. We bet that these will be a hit with the whole family and even non-vegans will be going back for more.

    Make it: Vegan Christmas Puddings

    These vegan puds are made using vegetable suet, and taste just as good as a classic pud. These individual sweet figgy puddings are perfect for when you only have one or two vegans to feed.

    Fake it: Irresistible Christmas Pudding

    If you don’t fancy making your own, the good news is that this Co-op pudding is suitable for vegans! This classic Christmas pud is made with vegetable suet instead of classic suet, and is rich with fruit, nuts and a good hit of Brandy.

    Festive food

    There is so much more to the festive season that just Christmas day. We’ve got some easy vegan Christmas recipes and shop bought vegan options that will make the rest of the festive season stress free.

    Vegan Christmas party food

    Making your own canapĂ©s is any easy way to have some vegan friendly party bites. By making a variety of different toppings, it’s easy to make a few that are vegan friendly by omitting the dairy or meat.

    Make it: Party cracker bites

    This easy canapé recipe comes with a selection of toppings, and the cucumber and pepper hummus option is vegan friendly.

    Fake it: Linda McCartney Mini Pork & Apple Sausage Rolls

    Everyone loves a sausage roll, and these vegetarian sausage rolls are a great vegan alternative. These pork-style party food bites have a rich and flavourful filling wrapped in crisp puff pastry.

    Fake it: Tesco Bombay Potato Rosti Baskets

    Spice up your vegan Christmas party food with these Indian inspired nibbles from Tesco. These spiced potato bites are packed with flavour, and prove that vegan food doesn’t have to contain strange ingredients you’ve never heard of.

    Fake it: Sainsbury’s Wensleydale-Style Cheese With Cranberry

    For a vegan-friendly cheese board, this coconut based cheese from Sainsbury’s is a perfect dairy free option to include. It has a Wensleydale-like tang and sweetness from the cranberry.

    Vegan christmas sandwiches

    Christmas sandwiches have become a festive staple. With plenty of vegan options available in supermarkets, there is no reason why vegans have to miss out on this Christmas novelty.

    Fake it: Tesco Finest Bubble & Squeak Fritter with Spiced Red Cabbage Roll

    This is something a bit different than the usual nut roast or stuffing filled sandwich. The potato fritter brings moisture and flavour to the sandwich, and it comes with a sachet of coconut ‘bacon’ to add some crunch and a hint of smoke.

    Fake it: M&S Help Shelter Vegan Chestnut Roast Wrap

    This chestnut roast wrap with mixed grains and chutney on a red pepper wrap lets vegans get their festive sandwich fix in a flash.

    Christmas Vegan treats

    Looking for some festive gifts or naughty nibbles that are suitable for vegans? Look no further, there are many high street options that are so easy to come by and will go down a treat.

    Make it: Pistachio Chocolate Bark
    Home made gifts add a personal touch, and this chocolate bark is an easy and delicious sweet gift that is perfect for vegans with a sweet tooth! You could adapt this easy recipe and use any nuts or dried fruits you like. Wrap ’em up in some parchment and festive tissue paper and you’ve got a delicious gift ready to go.

    Fake it: Hotel Chocolat Rare and Vintage Dark Chocolate Wreath

    Hotel Chocolat have a range of luxury chocolates that are completely free from dairy or other animal products. For a truly decadent treat, try this rich chocolate wreath , made from premium Colombian dark chocolate and studded with hazelnuts, almonds and cranberries.

    Fake it: Raw Halo Celebration Boxes

    A range of vegan, raw or superfood chocolates are now available in health food stores, larger supermarkets, and online. We love Raw Halo’s luxury chocolates that come in 12 varieties and are all raw, organic and free from refined sugars. Their celebration boxes contain 9 bars, beautifully wrapped in bespoke foil and presented in a clean white box finished with gold calligraphy, making them the perfect vegan Christmas gift. You might not believe these exquisite chocolates are vegan, but they are all dairy free and approved by the Vegan Society.

    Vegan Christmas ingredient swaps

    Common ingredient Vegan ingredient
    Butter Vegan margarine or spread
    Cream Coconut cream
    Digestive biscuits Rich tea biscuits
    Eggs (baking) 1tbsp chia seeds + 1tbsp water
    Eggs (scambled) Tofu
    Honey Agave or maple syrup
    Meat gravy Bisto vegetable granules
    Milk Nut or soy milk
    Milk chocolate Dark chocolate

    The bottom line is, if you have vegan friends visiting this Christmas – don’t panic! There are plenty of regular food products that you didn’t even realise were vegan. Catering for a vegan doesn’t mean spending a fortune at a fancy health food shop, you can get most things along with your normal supermarket shop. So there you have it, from easy recipes to everyday supermarket items, your vegan Christmas is sorted.

    Will you be making a vegan Christmas dinner this year? Let us know in the comments below!