Dreaming of a meat-free Christmas? We rounded up the 40 best vegetarian and vegan recipes to please all of Santa’s little helpers. From Frosty to the Abominable Snowman, there’s something for everyone.
Starting a meal with crostini gives off instant fancy vibes. All “ooh la la” vibes aside, this Gouda and apple appetizer is easy to make and so tasty! The perfect mix of salty, crunchy, and a touch of sweet from the honey drizzle will make these a go-to party app.
The light green of the avocado and red of the paprika make these elevated deviled eggs a Christmas miracle. The creamy filling pairs perfectly with the sharp dill and mustard flavors. Plus, the pop of green adds to the festive look.
The Grinch himself couldn’t deny these macaroni and cheese bites. This recipe puts the comfort-food classic in pop-in-your-mouth form. Everyone gets to enjoy the light crunch of the crispy baked edges.
Buffalo wings are off the menu for a vegetarian dinner. But you can still enjoy the same spicy flavors with this easy almond recipe! The light snack is a nice break from heavier Christmas fare.
Everything gets better when it’s stuffed with cheese. This brie and puff pastry appetizer is surprisingly easy to whip up, makes your kitchen smell delicious, and will meet the melty cheese quota of any good holiday dinner.
Your guests will wonder if you snuck Martha Stewart into your kitchen to make these gorgeous sweet potato rosettes. In addition to being beautiful, they’re simple to make: You need just five ingredients, and they’re ready to serve in 25 minutes.
This soup is so creamy you can’t even tell it’s vegan! The secret is (*shh*) chickpeas. We spoiled the surprise, but this soup is a winner with or without the twist ending. Your guests will never know the difference.
“The Simpsons” told us you don’t win friends with salad. Then again, Homer never tried this pomegranate and pecan dream. Pomegranate is a beautiful addition to any Christmas table, and the salad features a fantastic mix of homemade candied pecans, blue cheese, and a simple citrus vinaigrette.
If you don’t want to spend Christmas morning worrying about yeast and rising dough, you can still have delicious homemade bread with this cornbread recipe. Fluffy and lightly sweet, this cornbread will earn a yearly spot for your vegetarian holiday meals.
Who knew biscuits without butter could be so dang good? The sweet potato puree holds these biscuits together and keeps them from drying out. Meanwhile, the mix of cinnamon, ginger, and clove gives them a hint of seasonal spice.
Have you tried a cheesy monkey bread? Christmas is the time. This pull-apart bread has a kick of chili powder and black pepper mixed in along with the sweetness of pumpkin puree and maple syrup.
The result is a fluffy dream, and you’ll wonder why you don’t make monkey bread every day.
This is a great alternative to your usual super-sweet sweet potato casserole. Easy to make and very affordable, this hearty side will complement nearly any main dish.
It’s homemade cranberry sauce… with alcohol. What else do we need to say?
Sure, latkes are usually for Hanukkah, but why not get the best of both holiday meals? Be sure to use the canola oil (not chicken schmaltz) version of the recipe to keep it vegetarian.
This comforting recipe is a classic Christmas combo: starch and ooey-oh-so-gooey cheese. Because the only thing better than a potato is a potato smothered in cheese.
Can you have a holiday meal without mashed potatoes? Though the studies haven’t been peer-reviewed (or performed), we think every vegetarian Christmas dinner should have some mash. The tang of the sour cream gives these potatoes a little kick and adds to the classic creaminess.
You can still enjoy delicious gravy without the meat. With a base of mushrooms and garlic, this recipe adds tomato paste and red wine to pack in the flavor. Bonus: It’s gluten-free!
To go with your mushroom gravy, here’s some mushroom stuffing! In case you aren’t a mushroom person, the prevailing taste is still classic Christmas stuffing. The criminis simply add texture and a hint of flavor.
Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and easy to make, this side dish will make everyone happy. With a kick of cayenne to cut through the sweetness, these carrots might become the star of your plate.
If you’re staying keto or doing the Whole30 this holiday season, there are still plenty of tasty options. These shaved brussels sprouts use just a few ingredients to get that perfectly crispy, caramelized flavor. Even if you have an aversion to sprouts, this recipe is worth a try.
Transform soggy green bean casserole into this crisp, fun side. The green beans are lightly cooked in a sesame oil and maple syrup mixture. Fried shallots are added on top to bring the yum factor to a whole new level.
Cauliflower is a secret weapon in many recipes. This time, instead of using it to make rice or a keto crust, let the full flavor shine. With only four ingredients, this is a perfect side that’s as healthy as it is delicious.
Start Christmas Day off right with this French toast bake. Even if you do have a big holiday dinner, this recipe is easy to prepare ahead of time. Just pop it in the oven and you have a breakfast that puts any bougie brunch to shame.
A Christmas tradition in many Latinx households, tamales are a fantastic vegetarian holiday dinner option. This recipe uses a delicious mix of zucchini, onion, and cheese — but don’t be afraid to make it your own!
Instead of waiting until you have leftovers to make a pot pie, make a pot pie your main course! This filling, comforting stew is made even better by a crust of cheddar biscuits.
With tomatoes, chickpeas, and quinoa in a perfectly cooked acorn squash, you practically have a whole meal in one recipe. Super filling and very healthy, this could be a go-to dinner year-round.
Even Garfield would appreciate this low carb veggie lasagna. Swap lasagna noodles with eggplant slices to create a hearty, satisfying meal. You can use veggie sausage for extra protein, but it’s just as tasty without it.
Get ready to fall in love with this festive green dish. The broccoli makes the dish heartier, healthier, and more satisfying. It doesn’t take away from the classic pesto flavor either.
Sometimes you just want a big, meaty centerpiece for your Christmas dinner. This vegan meatloaf fits the bill. Add some mushroom gravy and a side of mashed potatoes and no one will miss the roast beast feast.
30. Lentil meatballs
Whether you serve them with spaghetti or all on their own, these lentil meatballs are tasty enough to be the center of your dinner. Plus, they only take about 30 minutes to make!
Somewhere between a pizza and a slice of pie, this sweet-savory tart is a uniquely delicious main dish. The puff pastry crust adds buttery goodness to the mix of pears, walnuts, and goat cheese.
Baking bonus: This tart’s so simple you may want to eat it all 12 days of Christmas. It only takes about 10 minutes to put together and another 30 to bake.
If you want a healthier, low-key Christmas dinner, this grain bowl is your best bet. Sweet potatoes, quinoa, tart cherries, and a homemade apple cider vinaigrette make this bowl a flavor bomb.
If Gordon Ramsay has taught us anything, it’s that risotto is very hard to get right. Thankfully, your guests will never know that this no-stir risotto is made entirely in a Dutch oven.
“Vegan gluten-free fruitcake” sounds like the punchline of a hacky comedian. But trust us — this is a shockingly delicious dessert. We know fruitcake gets a bad rap, but when you make it at home with good ingredients, it’s a delightful Christmas treat.
This pear cake with hints of vanilla and cardamom is the perfect dessert when you want something lighter. Dairy-free and vegan, this cake is fluffy, flavorful, and just a little sweet.
Whether you put it on a piece of cake or pop a dollop in your hot chocolate, this salted honey whipped cream is a delicious complement to any dessert. Using just heavy cream, honey, and salt, this simple recipe gives the traditional topping a flavorful twist.
It’s time to give cranberries the spotlight! The tart holiday fruit gets the starring role in this cake/pie hybrid.
Santa’s not the only one who gets to enjoy cookies at Christmastime. These vegan snowballs (aka wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes) will melt in your mouth. Your guests will say, “I can’t believe it’s vegan butter.”
These are almost too cute. With some clever piping and green food coloring, a classic meringue becomes an adorable Christmas tree. The only reason not to make these is if you hate to hear people saying “These are so cute!” every time they head to the dessert table. Because they will!
You can’t have Christmas without peppermint (sorry, that’s the actual rule). These doughnuts are the perfect solution. Just bake them in a pan and cover them with glaze and crushed peppermint candies.
Bonus: You can have these for Christmas breakfast and dessert.
“You, boy — get me the biggest tofu log you can find,” says Ebenezer Scrooge in a far less popular version of “A Christmas Carol.” We get it. Sometimes you just want a traditional meaty Christmas dinner.
With these 40 vegetarian or vegan options, you’ll get all the festive flavors without the meat. The recipes are so good that even hardcore carnivores will be impressed.