14 Vegan Recipes for a Cozy Winter Holiday Feast
The holiday dinner table is a place for laughs, good cheer, and home cooking, but it can also be a place to broaden the culinary horizons of your friends, family members, and loved ones by serving some celebratory plant-based recipes.
There are many misconceptions about plant-based, vegan, and vegetarian cooking, but these are easily dispelled when you serve skeptics delicious food. Any comfort food recipe can be reinvented without animal products, and the same techniques and ingredients can be used to reimagine traditional holiday meals.
In preparation for the joyous season ahead, start honing your skills by cooking up some plant-based holiday recipes that every type of eater will enjoy. We’ve got appetizers, side dishes, subtle-sweets, mains, and lavish desserts, from coconut Brussels sprouts gratin and roasted chestnut soup to mushroom Wellington and cranberry poached pears. Make this year’s table colorful, delicious, and plant-forward.
Butternut Squash and Pear Crostini
Elegance made easy. This fun finger-friendly appetizer from Fork in the Kitchen is sure to impress. A pleasant balance of salty and sweet, the butternut squash, Cheddar cheese (feel free to use a plant-based alternative), and pear complement each other nicely.
For the Butternut Squash and Pear Crostini recipe, click here.
Candied Ginger Sweet Potato Muffins
Does anything say “festive holiday cheer” like fresh-from-the-oven candied ginger sweet potato muffins? Bursting with flavor, these muffins are perfect for family brunches or for post-meal noshing. Barley and rice flours, along with flax meal, add a special texture and feel to the muffins, while the sweet potato and pumpkin purees and candied ginger contribute a spicy sweetness that’s simply addicting.
For the Candied Ginger Sweet Potato Muffins recipe, click here.
Cranberry Poached Pears
Let the aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove swirl through your kitchen with this festive recipe for poached pears from Veggie Converter. Throw all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer the pears for an hour. Take the pears off the heat and let them stew in the cranberry mixture for another 30 minutes. Dessert is served!
For the Cranberry Poached Pears recipe, click here.
Coconut Brussels Sprouts Gratin
A spin on a classic, this recipe for coconut Brussels sprouts gratin from Bon Appetit adds a tropical flare that your holiday guests will ponder fondly long after the meal is over. Using coconut milk and Brussels sprouts instead of cream and potatoes makes this a delicious plant-based alternative for everyone’s favorite side dish.
For the Coconut Brussels Sprouts Gratin recipe, click here.
Easy Chocolate Fudge
Life doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when you’re making dessert. Thankfully, this recipe for easy fudge brownies from Blondelish requires only a handful of ingredients—all of them being plant-based. With a base of nut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil, this plant-based recipe is more flavorful than your average batch of fudge.
For the Easy Chocolate Fudge recipe, click here.
Holiday Stuffed Squash
The food you serve for the holidays should strike a balance between festive and delicious. This recipe for vegan stuffed butternut squash from Alpha Foodie has both points covered. The stuffing calls for a mix of toasty seasonal staples like chestnuts, cranberries, and chestnut mushrooms, along with a seasoning blend of cinnamon, sage, and parsley.
For the Holiday Stuffed Squash recipe, click here.
To make a traditional Wellington involves wrapping an animal protein—either beef or paté—in puff pastry, then baking until golden brown. This vegetarian- and vegan-friendly version created by Delicious Everyday, replaces the meat component with Portobello mushrooms and caramelized onions. The puff pastry gets its dramatic golden sheen from a vegan egg wash consisting of aquafaba (chickpea water), nut milk, a bit of oil, and some maple syrup.
For the Mushroom Wellington recipe, click here.
Pomegranate Butternut Squash
Pomegranate seeds add a pop of color, tartness, and crunch that elevates this appetizer into something very festive. Set this side dish down on the holiday table, and let the compliments roll in.
For the Pomegranate Butternut Squash recipe, click here.
Roasted Chestnut Soup
Safely recreate the magical feeling of chestnuts roasting on an open fire by doing all the roasting in your oven. This recipe Apron Strings is just what you want to be sipping on a frosty winter’s night. The soup gets its smooth, silky texture from a quick purée in the blender. You can swap out the Greek yogurt for a non-dairy variety to make this recipe totally plant-based.
For the Roasted Chestnut Soup recipe, click here.
Spinach Shepherd’s Pie
The perfect recipe for meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans alike, this roasted garlic parsnip and spinach shepherd’s pie from Robin Asbell will be the main event of any celebratory feast. It’s creamy, savory, and full of interesting textures and flavors. Trust us: this recipe is the ultimate crowd pleaser.
For the Spinach Shepherd’s Pie recipe, click here.
Strawberry Coconut Almond Coffee Cake
This strawberry coconut coffee cake can be the centerpiece of the dessert table or the star of next-day’s breakfast. But regardless of when your serve it, this recipe from Sharon Palmer is sure to wow anyone who gets to taste it. Entirely plant-based, the secret ingredient in this holiday treat is aquafaba (chickpea water), which can be used as a replacement for egg whites.
For the Strawberry Coconut Almond Coffee Cake recipe, click here.
Vegan Holiday “Ham”
Make a stunning centerpiece for your holiday table with this recipe for maple-glazed vegan holiday ham from Sunny Side Hanne. A base of wheat gluten and chickpea flour is pumped-up with an array of seasonings and ingredients that includes tahini, tomato pasta, maple syrup, nutrition yeast, and ground cloves. The sweet-smoky glaze adds another level of flavor and color, making this one handsome vegan ham.
For the Vegan Holiday “Ham” recipe, click here.
Vegan Holiday “Roast”
Just because you’re eating plant based or vegan, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a warm and comforting holiday roast. This recipe for vegan holiday roast from Vegan Huggs is as pretty as it is inventive. A combination of wheat gluten, pinto beans, miso paste, and vegan Worcestershire sauce gives this roast a superbly savory flavor, while a glaze of barbecue and teriyaki sauce adds just the right amount of sweetness.
For the Vegan Holiday Roast recipe, click here.
The snickerdoodle is a cozy cookie, and this plant-based version from Sharon Palmer certainly lives up to its reputation. Easy to whip up, these cookies use chia seeds, plant-based milk, and vegan butter, but one can argue that the plant-based version tastes better than the original.
For the Vegan Snickerdoodles recipe, click here.
Wishing you and yours a happy and safe plant-based holiday season. If you’re looking for more meatless recipe inspiration for the holidays, check out our recipe gallery.