Time to Read: 13 minutes
The holidays are coming, and you can have your best meal yet with these vegan holiday recipes that are not only compassionate - they’re totally tasty.
Let’s face it, no matter how cute you have decorated your home and no matter how great a playlist you’ve created for guests to dine to, the food at the gathering can make or break a holiday party.
Whether your guests are vegan or not—and no matter what you’re celebrating—the right vegan holiday recipes will make for a memorable time for you and your guests.
These tasty treats will have friends and family coming back for seconds, and maybe even thirds without the guilt of non-vegan recipes.
So strap on that apron and get ready to warm up your home and hearts of your guests with some tasty vegan holiday recipes.
1. Mushroom, Lentil, and Wild Rice Timbales
Whether you use these timbales as an appetizer to a classy dinner, or as a snack at a casual gathering, this vegan recipe is sure to be a hit.
The timbales, which usually take a total of 80 minutes to prepare and cook, can stand on their own or be spread on crackers.
The recipe below makes 6 servings, and with only 131 calories per serving, your guests will be glad and guilt-free!
You can also add vegan mushroom gravy to the timbales as well, for some extra taste.
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 large slices bread (may be gluten-free)
- 2 cups mushrooms, quartered (about 10 large)
- 1/2 cup silken tofu (light, firm or extra-firm Mori-Nu, preferred)
- 3 cloves garlic, quartered
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch, or arrowroot
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sliced mushrooms for garnish (optional)
- Make ahead: 1 cup cooked lentils (from about 1/2 cup dried) and 1 cup wild rice (about 1/2 cup before cooking)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 6 ramekins with canola oil or cooking spray and have ready a large baking pan that will hold them (9×13-inch should work). Place one nice-looking mushroom slice in the bottom of each ramekin, if desired.
- Saute the onion in a non-stick pan until it begins to brown. Set aside.
- Place the bread in a food processor and pulse until it turns to crumbs. Add the mushrooms, tofu, garlic, sherry, and water and blend until fairly smooth. Add the lentils and process again until smooth. Add the tomato paste, herbs, cornstarch, and salt and process until well-blended. Add the onions to the processor and pulse to include them but do not over-process (you want them to retain some texture.)
- Scrape the contents of the food processor into a bowl and add the cooked wild rice. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Divide the mixture among the oiled ramekins and smooth the tops with a spoon. Set the ramekins in the large baking dish and add hot water to the dish, taking care not to splash it into the ramekins.
- Bake uncovered until tops are brown and crusty and middles seem moderately firm when pressed with a finger–about 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Run a thin knife around the edges and invert the ramekins onto serving plates.
2. Nutty Curry-Stuffed Squashes
Crunchy and colorful, these single-serving squash halves will draw guests in by the scent alone.
The recipe below yields 6 servings for 3 pumpkins, although you can also go all out with your guests and give each person a mini pumpkin of their own!
Try pairing this dish with a Chardonnay for a special gathering.
- 3 small sweet dumpling squashes or mini pumpkins (about 13 oz each)
- 1 teaspoon canola oil, plus extra for pans
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 medium jalapeno, chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup millet
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons shredded/desiccated unsweetened coconut
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the squashes in half from the stem to the tip. Scoop out the seeds and place them cut-side down on oiled baking sheets/trays.
- Bake for 10 minutes (they will not be completely cooked).
- Take the pans out and flip the squash halves over. When they have cooled slightly, use a spoon to cut into the flesh, loosening it in spots but leaving it in the shell so that the sauce will permeate the whole squash. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
- In a 2-qt saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, ginger, and mustard seeds and saute over medium-high heat until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon and stir until they are fragrant. Add the millet and stir to coat, then add the ¼ cup water, the milk, and salt and bring to a boil. When it boils, cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook until the millet is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the nuts, then stuff the mixture into the squashes. Sprinkle each with 1 tsp coconut.
- Bake the squashes until the filling is set and bubbling and the squashes are easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Let them cool slightly before serving.
3. One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Everyone loves a good chocolate chip cookie. Is a holiday party even complete without them?
Sweetened with pure maple syrup, your guests will never know they don’t contain any regular granulated cane or brown sugar in the dough.
These jumbo 4-inch cookies are not only vegan, but also gluten-free. Even better, they only take 20 minutes for prep time and cook for 10 minutes.
So in 30 minutes, you can have an irresistible vegan holiday recipe to serve at any party.
- 1/2 cup (120 g) natural smooth almond butter (no subs)
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (105 mL) pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) virgin coconut oil, softened but not hot
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (50 g) gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (50 g) gluten-free oat flour
- 1/4 cup (33 g) arrowroot flour/starch
- 1/4 cup (25 g) almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- (150g) 55% non-dairy dark chocolate (about 1 1/2 bars)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a very large (approx. 21 by 15 inch) baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients (almond butter, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla) until completely smooth.
- Stir the dry ingredients (oats, oat flour, arrowroot, almond flour, baking soda, and salt) into the wet mixture, one by one, until thoroughly combined. The dough will be a bit wet/oily, but this is normal.
- Chop the chocolate into small chunks. Set aside 3 tablespoons (for topping the cookie dough later), and stir the rest of the chocolate into the batter until combined.
- Using a large retractable cookie scoop (or simply a spoon and your hands), scoop mounds of dough (about 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough per cookie). Add each onto the baking sheet, about 3 inches apart, as they’ll spread a lot while baking.
- Press the remaining 3 tablespoons of chocolate onto the tops of the cookie dough mounds, evenly distributed. (Reshape the cookie dough mounds if they flatten a bit.)
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (I prefer 8 1/2 to 9 minutes for gooey and soft cookies), until the cookies are spread out. If you prefer a crispy cookie, bake for about 12 minutes.
- Cool the cookies directly on the baking sheet for about 5 to 6 minutes.
4. Risotto alla Milanese with Peas
If you love rice and pasta, try out this vegan Risotto recipe.
This basic but delicious dish normally is made with saffron, Parmesan cheese, and veal marrow.
However, the vegan recipe below will be just as memorable for guests as the real thing (if not more)!
- 1 Tablespoon Margarine
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 Red Onion (finely diced)
- 1 Tablespoon & 1 Teaspoon Fresh Parsley (finely diced)
- 1 Cup Arborio Rice (some packages say Risotto on them - some don’t but if you can’t find Arborio look for Risotto)
- 1/2 Cup White Wine
- 3 Cups Better Than Bouillon Vegan Chicken Broth (made per directions on the package - if you can’t find this - you can always use your favorite Vegan Broth)
- 1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast or Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Basil
- Dash of Nutmeg (optional - it can make it taste a bit more cheesy in a kinda rustic-earthy way)
- 1 Cup Frozen Peas
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- In your non-stick skillet, heat margarine and olive oil over a medium heat until margarine is melted. Then cook red onion and Parsley in the warm olive oil for about 5 minutes - stirring constantly until red onion is tender. ??
- Stir in Rice, but make sure to stir the rice constantly while it cooks.
- Once the tips of the rice are translucent, stir in the white wine. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes while the white wine is absorbed by the rice.
- Reduce heat to around a simmer, and stir in 1 cup of the Better Than Bouillon.
- Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes while you stir constantly and make sure your rice doesn’t stick to the sides.
- Once the bouillon has been absorbed by the rice, pour in another cup of faux chicken bouillon.
- Stir the Rice constantly, and when the second cup of bouillon has been completely absorbed, add your final cup of fake chicken bouillon.
- Continue to stir the rice and scrape the sides of your skillet to make sure the rice isn’t sticking. Each cup will take a little longer to absorb.
- Remove your skillet from the heat once your final cup of bouillon has been absorbed. Make sure your rice is tender and the mixture is smooth and creamy. (If your rice still looks a little soupy, it’s not ready)
- Stir in nutritional yeast, black pepper, basil, nutmeg and frozen peas. At this point, check for flavor and add a few dashes of salt or pepper per your own taste.
5. Pumpkin Pecan Pie
Complete your holiday dessert buffet with this smooth and creamy pie.
This holiday vegan dessert serves 12, so get ready to go in for seconds if your party is small.
After creating the pie and letting it cool, try topping it with non-dairy topping and decorating with pecans as you please!
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 1 (16-ounce) package extra-firm lite silken tofu, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup pecan halves, divided
- Non-dairy topping (optional)
- Pulse flour, pecans, salt and sugar in a food processor until pecans are finely ground.
- Add shortening and pulse until almost combined, then add 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse until just blended.
- Gather dough into two balls then press each into a disc.
- Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for several hours until firm.
- When ready to make the pie, set one disc out at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough into a (10- to 11-inch) circle and carefully transfer to a (9-inch) pie plate.
- Press crust back together where needed and crimp edges as desired; chill until ready to use. (Reserve remaining pie dough for another use.)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Blend tofu in a food processor until creamy and smooth.
- Add pumpkin, sugar, 1/4 cup of the syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and purée until smooth; set aside.
- Reserve 8 pecan halves as a garnish then toss remaining pecans with remaining 2 tablespoons syrup and arrange evenly on the bottom of the pie shell.
- Pour pumpkin filling into pie shell and bake until just set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
6. Raw Cranberry Sauce
There’s no such thing as a holiday party without cranberry sauce, right?
Lucky for you, not only is this yummy condiment vegan, but it’s super simple with few ingredients to buy.
Try adding the tart fresh flavor of the dish to savory main courses or sides!
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 (16-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, about 4 cups
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- Place dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.
- Let them sit 15 minutes to soften.
- Drain dates and place in a food processor.
- Add cranberries and orange juice, and process until evenly chopped.
- Chill until ready to serve.
- Keeps refrigerated up to 3 days.
7. Tahini-Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Rich and creamy mashed potatoes have always been a fan favorite. Only with this dish, you don’t have to worry about dairy!
Pair this classic side dish with any holiday main course, such as a roast.
Quick tip: Add an extra tablespoon or two of tahini to the mashed potatoes and pair them with Middle Eastern dishes.
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1Â½-inch chunks
- 7 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 cup plain unsweetened soy milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan, cover with cold water by 1 inch and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat, partially cover pan, and simmer until potatoes are very tender. This usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain, return potatoes and garlic to pan and add tahini.
- Mash potatoes with a potato masher or large fork until very smooth.
- Place over low heat and stir in soy milk, lemon juice and salt; add a little more soy milk if the potatoes are too thick.
- Spoon it into a bowl and garnish with sesame seeds.
- What vegan holiday recipes have you tried? Tell us what recipes won your heart, and which were total fails in the comments below!