This post includes Vegan Holiday Recipes if you’re hosting vegetarian or vegan guests this holiday season. If you’ve never made anything vegan, it can be a bit intimidating at first. But, once you have a few under your belt, it will be easier to adapt recipes to be vegan, or to come up with your own. Fortunately, there are more vegan products available in supermarkets these days, so you can often find vegan substitutes for dairy products that many holiday recipes call for, including nut milk and coconut milk, vegan sour cream, vegan cream cheese, vegan cheeses, and plant-based butter substitutes.
If you’re entertaining a crowd, it’s easier to make recipes that everyone will enjoy, rather than focusing on making vegan friendly foods just for your vegan guest, on top of everything else you’re preparing. There are plenty of foods that are naturally vegan that work well at parties. Choosing these options is a win-win because it will be less work for you, and it will make your vegan guest happy that you were thoughtful when planning your holiday menu.
Vegan Holiday Recipes for Appetizers
Vegan holiday recipes for appetizers that work well for holiday parties include hummus, muhammara (leave out the breadcrumbs if it contains eggs) and dips like Warm Roasted Garlic and Artichoke Dip or baba ganoush (roasted eggplant dip).
A beautiful vegan (or mostly vegan) grazing platter would be perfect for nibbling on while people are waiting for dinner. This grazing platter has grilled artichoke hearts, muhammara, baba ganoush, pan-seared shishito peppers, marinated olives, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots and assorted crackers. The idea is to put a variety of snacks of different colors, shapes, sizes and textures on a platter. Visually, it’s stunning, and your guests will appreciate the thought that went into creating such a beautiful presentation.
Vegan Holiday Recipes for Soups
Vegan holiday recipes for soups are often easy to adapt from non-vegan recipes. Chicken broth can be substituted with vegetable broth, and heavy cream can be substituted with coconut cream or cashew cream.
Vegan Holiday Recipes for Main Courses
I find vegan main courses the most challenging, especially with a holiday theme. I have seen vegan turkey products at the supermarket, but my personal choice would be to make something completely different, not try to recreate a turkey product using vegan ingredients. The idea is to make something special for your vegan guest so they don’t end up eating just side dishes. The main course should include some protein, whether from grains, legumes or nuts/seeds.
Stuffed winter squash, stuffed peppers or stuffed mushrooms are all beautiful presentations. The fillings can be a simple mixture of grains (e.g., quinoa, wild rice, millet, black rice, barley, brown rice, bulgur), vegetables, (e.g., bell peppers in assorted colors, corn, sweet potato, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, spinach, dried fruits (e.g., cranberries, raisins, apricots, figs, dates), and nuts/seeds (e.g., toasted pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts), and/or legumes (e.g., chickpeas, black beans, lentils). Season with herbs to infuse the pilaf with wintry fragrance (e.g., thyme, sage, rosemary).
Vegan Holiday Recipes for Side Dishes
Vegan holiday recipes for side dishes are usually pretty easy to adapt. Stuffing can be made with vegetable broth, and recipes calling for butter can be substituted with extra virgin olive oil or vegan buttery spread. Mashed sweet potatoes are delicious made with coconut milk and a beautiful assortment of roasted root vegetables accommodates everyone’s dietary needs. Salads are easily adaptable to vegan and cranberry sauce is often naturally vegan.
Mashed Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes (you can use regular sweet potatoes too)
Butternut Squash Apple Kale Salad (substitute vegan buttery spread or olive oil for butter)
Vegan Holiday Recipes for Desserts
I find Vegan holiday recipes for desserts a little tricky because they cannot include eggs or dairy products. Dairy products are fairly easy to substitute as there are many more vegan dairy-alternative products available in supermarkets. I find coconut cream or cashew cream work especially well as substitutes for whipped cream. Poached pears with cashew cream make an elegant ending to any meal. Apple pie or apple crisp are easily made vegan using either olive oil or vegan buttery spread in place of butter. Non-dairy ice cream (made with coconut milk or almond milk) can be found at many supermarkets.
I’d love to hear what you’re making your vegan guests this holiday season. Please share in the comments below.