21 Delicious Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes

Explore the best vegan-friendly dinner ideas for Christmas, including appetizers, mains, side dishes, and desserts.

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by
Sarah Bullard, MS, RD, LD
— Signos
Dietitian and Nutrition Writer
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Updated by

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Science-based and reviewed

Published:
June 11, 2024
December 4, 2023
— Updated:

Table of Contents

Are you eating vegan and looking for new recipe inspiration? Are you planning a vegan dinner this holiday season and feeling overwhelmed?

While holiday meals are not traditionally vegan, you will be pleasantly surprised that many meal courses are vegan or only require minor ingredient substitutions to fit into a vegan diet

In this article, you’ll find some of the best healthy vegan recipes to add to your Christmas dinner menu. From appetizers to desserts, there is something for the whole family to enjoy.

Healthy Vegan Dinner Recipe Ideas for Christmas Holidays

Vegan Christmas Starters

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1. Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms with Artichokes and Kale

Created by a plant-based dietitian, this Italian-style appetizer is a guest-pleaser. Enjoy these vegan stuffed mushrooms and the fresh flavors of garlic, wine, artichokes, and herbs. 

She offers quick substitutions and ingredient notes to help you make these even as a novice cook. Each stuffed veggie is balanced with protein, fat, fiber, and lower carbohydrates.

Nutritional Information for one stuffed mushroom: 63 calories, 3 g of fat, 8 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of fiber, and 3 g of protein. 

2. Vegan Red Onion Soup

Try this nutritious vegan soup to get your Christmas dinner started. This simple beginner onion soup recipe will save you time and energy. 

This recipe uses red onions, garlic, vegetable broth, lemon juice, olive oil, whole-grain bread, walnuts, pesto, and oregano. It only takes 20 minutes to make from start to finish. 

Nutritional Information for one bowl: 298 calories, 25 g of fat, 15 g of carbohydrates, 2.5 g of fiber, and 4 g of protein. 

3. Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Serve these crisp cauliflower wings at your meal. They are spicy and flavorful versions of traditional buffalo wings. All your guests will enjoy this healthy starter

You can make these vegan Buffalo wings in the oven or the air fryer. You can prepare the vegan ranch dip ahead of time or purchase a vegan version.

Nutritional Information for one serving: 118 calories, 1 g of fat, 23 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fiber, and 4 g of protein. 

4. 3-Ingredient Pesto Star Bread

This naturally vegan bread is fluffy and flavorful and only takes 30 minutes. This Pull-Apart Star Bread is pretty for Christmas parties with the green accent from the pesto. You will shape the dough into a star shape before baking.

You can make the pesto or buy it from the store. The dough is pre-made as well. Star bread is a quick vegan option when you have no time to prepare or cook. 

You could even change the sauces to tomato and pesto for red and green. Sprinkle on some nuts or sun-dried tomatoes as well.

Vegan Christmas Main Dishes

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1. Vegan Stuffed Shells

These Vegan Stuffed Shells are a spin on traditional comfort food with tofu ricotta for the stuffing, pasta sauce, and vegan mozzarella on top.

All ages will enjoy this simple but delicious pasta centerpiece. These take 40 minutes to make so you can have more time to enjoy with your guests. 

They contain spinach for some added vegetables and are a well-balanced meal that will help your blood sugar levels stay stable. 

Nutritional Information for three shells: 323 calories, 10 g of fat, 43 g of carbohydrates, 7 g of fiber, and 16 g of protein. 

2. Panko Breaded Tofu Cutlets

Breaded Tofu Cutlets are marinated, seasoned, coated in panko breadcrumbs, then lightly pan-fried until golden. These tofu cutlets are inspired by pork cutlets that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. 

The tofu is protein-rich, making it a great vegan main course. Each slice is big enough for one portion. These cutlets take just under an hour of total time.

Nutritional Information for one cutlet: 317 calories, 12 g of fat, 35 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of fiber, and 16 g of protein. 

3. Stuffed Peppers with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

Stuff Peppers with Butternut Squash, Great Northern Beans, and Quinoa to create a colorful and nutritious meal. Consider using red and green peppers for Christmas. They are vegan, low-fat, and heart-healthy. 

This recipe can be prepared ahead to save time on your Christmas dinner. The stuffed peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in a covered dish in the freezer for up to three months. 

Nutritional Information for one-half pepper: 114 calories, 2 g of fat, 21 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of fiber, and 5 g of protein. 

4. Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a comforting and filling food. This vegan, meatless version has brown lentils, onions, garlic, peas, carrots, corn, green beans, and garlic-mashed potatoes. 

Prep time is only 20 minutes, with 50 minutes of baking time.  This recipe includes lentils rich in fiber, iron, B vitamins, and minerals. The peas, carrots, corn, and green beans provide vitamins and more filling fiber. This recipe contains a whopping 22 g of fiber per serving. 

Nutritional Information for ⅙ of the recipe: 440 calories, 10 g of fat, 70 g of carbohydrates, 22 g of fiber, and 19 g of protein.

Vegan Christmas Sides

1. Beets and Brussels Sprouts Salad

This beautiful salad has Christmas vibes with red beets, green Brussels sprouts, and kale! It will add color and nutrients to any meal. 

This recipe uses an air fryer to roast the pickled beets to preserve your oven and stovetop for other recipes. The total time to make this dish is less than 30 minutes. 

This light and flavorful salad will complement any meal and may expose some of your guests to new foods like beets, kale, or Brussels sprouts. 

2. Plant-Based Stuffing

Technically, stuffing is stuffed into a turkey, while on the side, it is called dressing. Either way, it’s tasty. Adding nuts and plant-based sausage makes this a higher-protein vegan side dish. 

Include wild rice, Jasmine rice, onion, celery, fresh herbs, apples, dried fruit, pecans, and apple cider for a delicious and nutritious stuffing or dressing. 

The fruit adds color and texture to the stuffing/dressing. Enjoy alongside many of the mains listed above. 

3. Creamy Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Many people associate holiday meals with mashed potatoes. These creamy, dairy-free mashed potatoes include some ingredients to boost gut health (beans and garlic).

Use gold potatoes, white beans, garlic, oat milk, vegan butter, and seasonings. Preparation and cooking time totals around 35 minutes, comparable to most mashed potato recipes. 

Nutritional Information for ⅙ of the recipe: 170 calories, 3.5 g of fat, 31 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fiber, and 5 g of protein.

4. Roasted Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Yes, another Brussels Sprouts recipe, but this one is cooked.  Made with only eight ingredients and ready in 30 minutes, guests will enjoy the tangy maple balsamic glaze. 

Brussels sprouts are “in season” in fall or winter and appear in holiday meals. 

To prepare ahead of time, trim the Brussels sprouts up to three days in advance and store them in the refrigerator. The maple balsamic glaze can be prepared two weeks in advance and then stored in the refrigerator. 

Nutritional Information for ¼  of the recipe: 147 calories, 7 g of fat, 19 g of carbohydrates, 4.5 g of fiber, and 5 g of protein.

5. Lemon Garlic Roasted Green Beans

A vegan alternative to green bean casserole is these roasted green beans. This side dish is ready in no time, uses minimal ingredients (green beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper), and takes less than 20 minutes. 

The simple ingredients make it versatile for many food allergies. This vitamin and fiber-rich side will complement other heartier sides. 

Nutritional Information for ¼  of the recipe: 48 calories, 1 g of fat, 9 g of carbohydrates, 3 g of fiber, and 2 g of protein.

Vegan Christmas Dips

1. Vegan Hummus Layered Dip

Layered Hummus Dip elevates hummus to a new level, topped with cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, vegan cheese, and olives. 

You can serve tortilla chips, crackers, pita bread, bell pepper slices, carrots, or celery sticks. Triple this quick 5-minute recipe for a crowd. You can purchase pre-made hummus or easily blend chickpeas to create this dip, depending on your skill and time. 

Nutritional Information for one serving: 127 calories, 7 g of fat, 12 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of fiber, and 6 g of protein. 

2. Vegan Spinach Dip

This delicious, shareable dip is sure to please. It is easy and can be made three days before your busy holiday meal. Vegan cream cheese makes it simple to mix.

A favorite way to serve this spinach dip is in a bread bowl. When preparing the bowl, cube the removed bread and serve on the side of the dip. You can serve it with vegetable slices, crackers, and chips. 

Nutritional Information for one serving: 195 calories, 17 g of fat, 7.5 g of carbohydrates, and 5 g of protein. 

3. Butternut Squash Dip

This Butternut Squash Dip is perfect for cold days. This creamy, flavorful, healthy dip is vegan, oil-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free. 

The only thing to plan for is the butternut squash, onion, and bell peppers to bake for 30 minutes. The recipe is simple blending after that. 

A cast iron skillet is a great baking and serving pan for this dip. Serve with pretzels, crackers, or vegetables. 

4. Vegan Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

This beautiful green and red dip takes cranberry sauce to a new level. It is delicious and unique, with jalapeno, cilantro, and fresh cranberries on top of vegan cream cheese. 

The topping can be made up to 2 days in advance and then just put on top of vegan cream cheese when ready to serve with bread or crackers.

Nutritional Information for ¼ serving: 192 calories, 11 g of fat, 25 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fiber, and 3 g of protein. 

Vegan Christmas Desserts

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1. Vegan Peanut Butter Brownies -Instant Pot Recipe

Competition for the oven and stovetop are premium when cooking a large meal. These Peanut Butter Brownies are a perfect vegan dessert recipe in your Instant Pot.

These brownies are much lower in sugar and saturated fat than your typical brownies. Only ¼ cup of maple syrup and ¼ cup of vegan, dairy-free chocolate chips are used, with no other sugar sources.

My favorite part of this recipe is that it takes about an hour to make it with only 10 minutes of actual cooking time. The Instant Pot does the rest of the work. 

Nutritional Information for 1/8 of the recipe: 225 calories, 13 g of fat, 26 g of carbohydrates, 3 g of fiber, and 6 g of protein. 

2. Skinny Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

Another healthy, vegan dessert recipe that doesn’t use the oven! I love utilizing different appliances for all-hands-on-deck meals. 

This registered dietitian-created recipe uses real food and simple ingredients. It is a perfect dessert that is low-calorie and delicious while incorporating the holiday flavors (apples, cinnamon, and pecans) you love. 

This recipe requires 10 minutes of preparation and two to three hours in the slow cooker. You can also switch to the “keep warm” setting for one hour so guests can enjoy this dessert warm. 

Nutritional Information for 1/8 of the recipe: 277 calories, 8 g of fat, 60 g of carbohydrates, and 2.5 g of protein. 

3. Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

This spin on cake will boost your plant-based foods and nutrients with sweet potatoes and ground flax. This is a perfect holiday cake with an orange glaze to drizzle on top. 

While this recipe uses sweet potato, you can easily swap it for pumpkin puree. Both vegetables are good sources of fiber and vitamin A. 

This cake bakes for almost an hour and a half but is meant to be made ahead of time. Once the cake is completely cool, the icing is drizzled on top. You can make the cake a couple of days before the event and ice the day of. 

4. White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Christmas cookies are often on the Christmas dessert line-up. These chewy and sweet cookies have golden brown crispy edges, and the red cranberries add to the festivities. 

Use dairy-free white chocolate chips to make these vegan chocolate cookies. Boost your anti-inflammatory foods using cinnamon, old-fashioned rolled oats, and cranberries. 

Nutritional Information for one cookie: 241 calories, 10 g of fat, 36 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of fiber, and 2 g of protein. 

If you want to view more healthy and delicious Christmas dinner recipes, click this link.

A Vegan Christmas Dinner Sample Menu You’ll Love

This vegan menu line-up is colorful and combines various textures and flavors. Even non-vegans will enjoy the delicious recipes. It also utilizes other kitchen tools like an Instant Pot, Air Fryer, and Slow Cooker to free up prime oven and stovetop real estate. 

Click on each for the recipe, or look above in the recipe round-up for more details about each one. 

If you need breakfast inspiration, click for some healthy Christmas recipe ideas.

Learn More About Staying Healthy during the Holidays with Signos

Swapping to healthier vegan options and using whole-food ingredients can help control blood sugar spikes. All of your guests can enjoy vegan options this Christmas dinner. 

A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can help you know how your body responds to different foods and more plant-based options and help you see the benefits of lower sugar intake. 

A Signos’ CGM can help you improve your health. Take a quick quiz to determine if Signos fits you well. Learn more about nutrition and healthy habits on Signos’ blog.

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References

About the author

Sarah Bullard is a registered dietitian and nutrition writer with a master’s degree in nutrition. She has a background in research and clinical nutrition, personalized nutrition counseling, and nutrition education.

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