Eating vegan doesn’t mean you need to miss out on a mouthwatering delightful Christmas meal! Here’s a list of traditional Christmas meals made vegan.
1. Mushroom Wellington
- 4 large portobello mushrooms stalks trimmed and cleaned
- 3 large onions peeled and chopped
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 300 g baby spinach (10 ½ oz)
- 4 sprigs of thyme leaves picked
- 1 vegan puff pastry
- 1 tbs dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Vegan Egg Wash
- 1 tbs aquafaba (chickpea water)
- 1 tbs almond or cashew milk
- 1 tsp neutral flavoured oil
- ½ tsp maple syrup or brown rice syrup
Place a large frying pan over a low to medium-low heat. Add the 1 /2 tbs of olive oil followed by onion and reduce heat to low. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are golden brown. Keep an eye on the onions to make sure they don’t catch.
Remove the onions from the pan and return the pan to the heat. Add the baby spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from the baby spinach from the pan and leave to cool.
Increase the heat to medium/high and return the pan to the heat. Add the remaining olive oil and place the mushrooms, top side down. Cook until lightly golden (about 5 minutes) before turning over and cooking for a further 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from the heat, and drain on paper towel top side up as they will release a lot of liquid as they cool. Transfer the onions, spinach and mushrooms to the refrigerator and cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit). Place a sheet of baking paper on the baking tray and then place the puff pastry sheet on top. Spread half the caramelised onions over the middle third of the pastry, making sure to leave an extra 2cm (¾ inch) border at the edge of the pastry. Top with half of the baby spinach. Spread the dijon mustard over the mushrooms and season well with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms on top of the spinach. Top the mushrooms with thyme and the remaining baby spinach and onions.
Very carefully roll the pastry over the top of the mushroom mixture until you have a log. Press down to seal the edges. Roll over the log so that the seam is facing the bottom.
To make the vegan egg wash whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Very lightly coat with the vegan egg wash. Place the pastry in the freezer for 10 minutes before repeating with another layer of vegan egg wash and freezing the pastry for a further 10 minutes.
Place the pastry back on the baking sheet and tray and place in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and flakey.
2. Vegan Lasagna
- 16 lasagna sheets
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium sized white onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large eggplant 14 ounces, evenly cut and cubed
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 9-12 ounces vegan meat alternative crumbles
- 28 ounces jar or can of tomato sauce
- 14 ounces jar or can of tomato sauce
- 2 cups vegan ricotta
- 3 cups shredded vegan mozzarella
- basil for garnish optional
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then cook lasagna noodles according to directions on the box, swirling every now and then so they don’t stick together.
Set aside a cup of vegan mozzarella cheese (this will be for the top layer).
While pasta is boiling (it took 10 minutes for me) heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and fragrant. Add the chopped eggplant, salt and pepper, and cook for another 10 minutes until the eggplants is soft enough that the wooden spoon or spatula can slice right through it.
Add in the vegan beefless crumbles/veggie chunks/crumbled veggie burgers and stir to combine. Cook for about 3 minutes. Depending on yours, you may need to add a bit more salt at this point. Taste and add accordingly. Reduce heat to medium low, add in all the tomato sauces and stir to combine, for about 3 minutes. Taste and add salt accordingly. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a 13” x 9” pan, add 1/2 cup of “meat” marinara sauce mixture on the bottom and spread with a spatula to create an even bottom layer. Cover the bottom with about 4 lasagna noodles lengthwise, overlapping a bit. This will be your first layer.
Next, add about some of the “meat” marinara sauce mixture (just ensure you have enough for 4 even layers) and then 1/3 of the vegan ricotta, and about 1/3 of the remaining vegan mozzarella on top of the ricotta.
Repeat layers until you’ve reached the top layer. Add the remaining meat sauce on top then sprinkle/spread the previously set aside 1 cup vegan mozzarella over it.
Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes covered. Then broil for about 3-5 minutes of low broil to brown the cheese on top. Top with basil, and allow to set up on the counter for about 10 minutes before cutting into slices. Cut into 9 or 12 even slices. Serve and enjoy!
3. Maple glazed Vegan Ham
- 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves important!
- 2 tbsp tahini or smooth peanut butter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 4 drops liquid smoke
- 1 cup vegetable broth, warm or hot not cold
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 drops liquid smoke
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4-1/3 cup apricot jam depending on how sweet you like it
- 1 pineapple cored and sliced into rings
- 2 navel oranges sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1/3 cup cloves for garnish, optional
Mix up all the ingredients to your glaze and set aside. It will be strongly flavoured. Play with the balance of flavours to your own taste.
Heat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients (the first 7 ingredients) until combined.
In another bowl stir together all the the wet ingredients (tahini trough vegetable broth) until smooth.
Pour the wet into the dry and stir until a dough forms. If you’re using the stand mixer the place the dough in the stand mixer and allow it to knead with the dough hook for 6 minutes on medium speed. The texture is much better when using the stand mixer as it makes for a denser loaf.
If you are kneading by hand then you will need to knead for 10 minutes until the dough is super dense and rubbery.
Here is how to get the ham shaped vegan ham. Roll the seitan dough into a ball and place it on a square of plastic wrap. Then enclose it and pull the plastic tight around it until it is a smooth roast like soap. Then remove it from the plastic, brush it with 1 tablespoon of the marinade and wrap it tightly in aluminium foil. The dough will try to expand during baking. The more you constrict its “rise” the denser and toothsome the final texture.
Bake for 50 minutes at 350, turning every 15 minutes to ensure even baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. You can store it at this point wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Once completely cool, score the outside of your Vegan ham into a diamond pattern with a sharp knife and insert a clove into the center of each diamond. See photo. Place the roast on a baking pan and surround with sliced pineapples and oranges. Brush with glaze.
Bake 15 minutes at 375 Fahrenheit brushing with glaze as often as possible until fully heated. If you desire a brown exterior the place under the broiler on high for 4-5 minutes. Serve with any extra glaze.
4. Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
- 3 large organic sweet potatoes (thoroughly washed + peeled and roughly chopped into big chunks)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or vegan butter // if avoiding oil, omit or sub vegetable broth)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (depending on sweetness of potatoes)
- 1 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil (if avoiding oil, sub water or vegetable broth)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils (rinsed and drained)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn
- 2 whole portobello mushrooms (stems removed and sliced in 1/4-inch slices)
- 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil or avocado oil (sub water if avoiding oil)
- Pinch each sea salt and black pepper
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce to medium-high heat and cook for 15-20 minutes or until they slide off a knife very easily.
Once cooked, drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Use a masher or fork to mash until smooth (see photo). Add coconut oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the sweetness of sweet potatoes, add a bit of maple syrup to taste (optional). Loosely cover and set aside.
While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 C) and lightly grease a 9×13-inch (or similar size) baking dish (or more baking dishes, as needed, if altering batch size).
If adding (optional), add portobello mushrooms to a shallow dish or large Ziplock bag. Top with balsamic vinegar, oil (optional), salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss to combine and let marinate for 5 minutes.
Next heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onions, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned and caramelised – about 4-5 minutes.
Add a pinch each salt and pepper. Then add lentils, vegetable broth, and thyme and stir. Bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (20-30 minutes).
(If adding mushrooms) while lentils cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a dash of oil and the mushrooms with their marinade. Spread into an even layer and cook on one side for 2-3 minutes. Then carefully flip and cook on other side for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat and set aside.
In the last 10 minutes of cooking the lentils, add the frozen veggies, stir, and cover to meld the flavours together. Drain off any extra vegetable stock (there shouldn’t be much). Taste and adjust flavour as needed, adding more salt and pepper for overall flavour.
Transfer the lentil mixture to your oven-safe baking dish and top with portobello mushrooms (optional) then mashed sweet potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork and season with another crack of pepper and a little sea salt (and more thyme if desired).
Set on a baking sheet to catch any overflow and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned on top and the edges are bubbling.
Let cool briefly before serving. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken. Let cool completely before covering, and then store in the fridge up to 4-5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheats well in the microwave or in the oven.
You can sub 1 tsp dried thyme per 2 tsp fresh thyme.
5. Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men
- 1 batch flax egg (1 Tbsp (7 g) flaxseed meal + 2 ½ Tbsp (37 ml) water as original recipe is written)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 3 Tbsp molasses
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (softened)
- 3/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 – 1 3/4 cups gluten-free baking / pancake mix
- In a large mixing bowl, prepare flax egg by mixing flax and water and letting rest for 5 minutes.
- Add softened butter, molasses, almond butter, brown sugar, salt, spices, baking soda and beat on low with a mixer, or vigorously whisk.
- Add gluten free baking mix to the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir until well combined. Your dough should hold its shape when pressed, but not feel dry. I found that 1.5 cups (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) was about the perfect amount, but this will depend on your blend.
- Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (preferably overnight).
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees (176 C). Carefully roll out dough to a little thicker than 1/8 inch between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment/wax paper, generously sprinkling the bottom layer and the top of the dough with white or brown rice flour before rolling. You don’t want it too thin or they’ll be too crisp.
Remove top sheet and, working quickly, dip your cookie cutters in rice flour and cut out shapes. Next, lift the plastic wrap (with all of the dough) and place it on a baking sheet or large plate and freeze for 5 minutes to let them firm up. This will make them easier to transfer to your baking sheet for baking.
Next, use a lightly floured spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a baking sheet, working quickly. Leave 2 inches for spreading.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they appear only slightly browned on the edges. They’ll continue firming up as they sit on the pan. Let rest on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Once cooled, decorate with frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar. I think a perfect, simple frosting option is piping on a mix of 2 cups icing sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter, and 1-2 Tbsp almond milk (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Just make sure it’s on the thicker side so it doesn’t run.
Store covered at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer term storage. The batch should make between 25-35 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter / or if you decide not to cut them and roll them into balls.
If you don’t want to cut them out into shapes (as it is a bit onerous with the dough being so tender), after chilling, simply roll 1 Tbsp amounts of dough into balls, freeze for 5 minutes, then bake for 10-12 minutes.
6. Vegan Mince Pies
- 175 g (6oz) currants
- 175 g (6oz) raisins
- 175 g (6oz) sultanas
- 175 g (6oz) dried cranberries
- 100 g (3.5oz) candied mixed peel
- 100 g (3.5oz) coconut oil
- 220 g (1 ¼ cups) light brown soft sugar
- 50 g (1.75oz) almonds chopped
- 1 large bramley apple (or other variety of cooking apple) peeled, cored and grated
- the finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 1 ½ tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 240 ml (1 cup) port, rum, whisky or brandy
Coconut Oil Pastry:
- 400 g (3 + ⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 60 g (½ cup) icing (powdered) sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 200 g (7oz) cold coconut oil (or vegan BLOCK butter/margarine) cut into small pieces
- 50 ml (3 Tbsp + 1 tsp) cold vodka
- 2 Tbsp cold water (plus extra as needed)
- non-dairy milk for brushing
You ideally need to prepare the mincemeat the day before you bake the vegan mince pies. Start by placing the currants, raisins, sultanas, cranberries, mixed peel, soft brown sugar, almonds, coconut oil, grated bramley apple, spices and orange zest and juice in a large saucepan.
Heat gently, stirring, until the coconut oil has melted then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little then stir in the booze of your choice. Ladle it into two large, or four regular sized sterilised jars and set aside until completely cold (overnight is best).
To make the coconut oil pastry, place the flour, icing sugar, salt and orange zest in a food processor and pulse to combine.
Add the cold, diced coconut oil and blend until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make sure that no lumps of coconut oil remain; you may need to blend it in two batches if your food processor isn’t very big.
Add the cold vodka and 2 Tbsp water and blend again until the pastry starts to come together. You can add a drop more water if needed. Bring the pastry together with your hands.
Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured surface and use an approx 10-11cm cutter to cut out rounds (I cut round the base of a small tart tin with a sharp knife as I don’t have a cutter big enough). It may be easier to roll out a quarter of the pastry at a time rather than all of it in one go. (If the pastry is too soft then you can pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up a little but don’t let it get too cold or it will be hard to roll out.)
Line a 12 cup muffin tray with strips of baking parchment – this makes it easy to get the baked vegan mince pies out of the tin. Gently press the pastry rounds into the prepared tin.
Fill each one with a heaped spoonful of the mincemeat – be generous but don’t fill them right to the top as it will bubble up as it cooks.
Re-roll the pastry trimmings and use a cutter the same size as the cavities in your muffin tin to cut out six rounds. Use a star cutter to cut a star out of the centre of each round.
Top each of the mince pies with either a star or a round. If you are topping them with a round then brush the edge of the pastry with water and press the top down firmly around the edge to seal.
Place the tray of mince pies in the freezer for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
Brush the tops of the mince pies with a little non-dairy milk then bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Use the strips of baking parchment to lift them out of the tin onto a wire rack and leave to cool before eating. Don’t leave them to cool in the tin as any mincemeat that bubbles over will cement them in!
- For the best results make sure that you follow the recipe closely. As always, I highly recommend using the gram measurements (with a digital scale), rather than the cup conversions. Cup measurements are simply not accurate enough for baking and I cannot guarantee the best results if you use them.
- Make the mincemeat at least the day before you want to bake the mince pies; but you can make it weeks or even months in advance if you like.
- It is best to make the coconut oil pastry shortly before assembling the pies as it needs to be at room temperature to roll it out.
- If you don’t want to use coconut oil in the pastry then you can swap it for vegan block butter instead (NOT the spreadable kind in a tub).
- Remove the baked mince pies from the tin while they are still hot as otherwise any filling that bubbles over can make them stick.
7. Vegan Tiramisu with Kirsch and Cherries
For the cake layers:
- Basic vanilla cake
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee (cooled)
- ¼ cup kahlua (or other coffee liqueur)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
For the cherries:
- 1 heaped cup fresh cherries pitted (around 200-250g/7-9oz)
- 1 tablespoon kirsch
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar
For the vanilla cheesecake filling layers:
- ½ cup cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours)
- 500 g soft tofu drained (approx. 1.1lb)
- ½ cup coconut oil (melted if solid)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 3-4 tablespoon kirsch to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or natural vanilla extract)
- Fresh cherries
- ¼ cup cocoa for dusting (approx.)
Start by making the cake, using Sam Turnbull’s recipe for basic vanilla cake. Make the cake in a single cake tin, and check for doneness from about 20 minutes onwards. The cake is done when golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a cake rack, then cut into 2-3cm/1in thick chunks or slices.
While the cake is cooking, brew some strong coffee and set aside a cup of it to cool in a shallow mixing bowl. Add the kahlua and maple syrup to taste.
Pit the cherries by slicing them in half and removing their stone. Toss with 1 tablespoon of kirsch and 1 teaspoon of raw sugar, then set aside. Give them a stir every now and then while you’re getting everything else ready.
Make the cheesecake filling by blending everything except the coconut oil until smooth. Adjust flavour with a little more kirsch if desired. Then pour the coconut oil in while the blender is running, and blend until combined.
To assemble the tiramisu, very briefly dip the cake chunks/slices into the coffee syrup (or drizzle it over the cake if you’re using larger slices), then arrange them in the bottom of serving glasses or a larger serving dish. You want the cake to be moist but not soaked. Sprinkle about half of the cherries over the cake, followed by a generous layer of vanilla cheesecake filling. Repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of vanilla cheesecake filling.
Dust the top of the tiramisu with cocoa, using a sieve to sprinkle it evenly. Wipe the edges clean if necessary, then chill for at least six hours or overnight until set.
Garnish with fresh cherries and serve.
- Serves 10 individual martini glass sized portions.
- Prep time is based on hands-on time – it does not include soaking, cooling or chilling time.
8. Tropical Christmas Fruit Cake
For the Fruit Mince
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
- 1 cup de-stemmed figs, sliced finely
- 1 cup dried apricots, diced
- 1 cup pitted prunes, sliced
- 1 cup dried coconut
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or paste
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh organic lemon zest
- 2 ripe mangoes
- 1/2 peeled pineapple
- 1/4-1/2 cup water (more if your mangoes and pineapple are small, less if they are large)
- 1/2-1 teaspoon mixed spices (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
For the Cake
- 1 cup raw almonds, ground (this will make about 1 1/4 cups almond meal)
- 1 cup fruit mince (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup dried shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly crushed by hand
- 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the Frosting
- 1/3 cup, plus 1 3/4 tablespoons raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours
- Scant 1/2 cup light agave nectar or coconut nectar
- 2 1/4 tablespoons shaved raw cacao butter
- Add all of the dried fruit, coconut, coconut sugar, spices, zest, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl with a sealable lid.
- Add the mango and pineapple to a blender and blend until smooth, then add to the dried ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Place the lid onto the bowl and let sit for up to 4-5 days. Stirring it once a day. The longer it sits, the more the flavors develop.
- Use in any desired desserts.
To Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 355°F.
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly, then press into a small greased ring tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out dry.
- Let cool completely before trying to remove from tin. Then, place the cake into the refrigerator because you want it to cool when you frost it.
To Make the Frosting
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until super smooth and creamy.
- Blending will make the frosting a little bit warm so let it cool for a while, then gently pour it over the top of the cold cake so that it just drizzles down the sides. Put it back into the refrigerator to semi-set the frosting, then add some decorations to the top if you wish, like berries and nuts.