12+ Non-Vegan and Vegan Recipes On the Menu for Our First Plant-Based Christmas Dinner

top view of table set up for christmas dinner

By Jillian Lankford

My family celebrated our first Thanksgiving as vegans last month. There were some ‘hits’ on the dinner table, and certainly some ‘misses’ we won’t be revisiting any time soon. The trickiest task however, was trying to reassure our non-vegan family members the holidays can taste just as good without a roast beast. Luckily, this Thanksgiving, and the last 7 months, I have gained enough experience through the world of vegan cooking to prep us for a decadent, plant-based Christmas feast our meat eating relatives will be talking about into the new year. Here are a few vegan recipes and non-vegan recipes I have turned plant based that will be making an appearance at our first plant-based Christmas dinner.

Appetizers

  1. Feta, Tomato and Basil Skewers w/ Trader Joe’s Vegan Feta Cheese
@traderjoesgoesvegan

If you haven’t tried Trader Joe’s Vegan Feta cheese, stop what you are doing – after you read this article – and buy some. It is the best cheese replacement I’ve found that is an almost exact flavor profile match to the real thing. And because I love it so much I’ll be dicing this delicious briny block into cubes, sticking them in between a grape tomato and a fresh basil leaf. With a little olive oil, this easy app pairs well with the next recipe.

2. Four Ingredient Greek Yogurt Flat Bread

A mix between buttery grilled pita bead and soft naan bread. I can not find the video from Pinterest I learned this recipe from years ago but here are the four simple ingredients:

1 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup Greek Yogurt

Replace the Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup vegan yogurt. I found unsweetened plain Forager Cashewmilk works best. Mix dry ingredients then fold in yogurt. Knead on a floured surface. Roll into 10 -12 balls and press into 1 – 1 1/2 in. discs by hand. Fry in vegan butter. I use Miyoko’s Creamery Hint of Salt Cultured Vegan Butter for this step.

This saucy dressing/dip is the perfect center piece to a veggie and cracker platter. I almost never have all the ingredients to recipes I find on a whim so I replaced the fresh parsley and chives with 1 Tbs of dried parsley I had on hand. We have tried several plant-based mayo replacements but always come back to the Kroger Simple Truth Plant Based Mayo because of its consistency. This recipe will not work with a liquidy mayo replacement. It is worth finding the right one and making a few batches to refrigerate for sandwiches and burgers another day.

I came across this recipe and loved the pairing of cranberry sauce and caramelized onion. The tofu marinade and savory dressing make the perfect holiday combination. But instead of making a sandwich I fold the ingredients into mini squares of flaky puff pastry and serve as an appetizer with a side of the savory sauce to dip. A pretty substantial appetizer to hold over the family while they play games or unwrap gifts.

This recipe might sound time consuming – don’t fret! Trader Joe’s has a Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip you can use in place of the savory dressing and onions. Just fold tofu and cranberry sauce into the pastry and serve the onion dip on the side – game changer and time saver!

Sides

Photo Credit: Spend with Pennies

Simply use vegan butter.

Super vegan and love the bees? Sub maple syrup or agave for honey.

Main Course

It is tough to entertain non-vegans with an average plant-based bowl of your favorite vegan mixings and call it Christmas dinner. So we told our family to bring a ham just in case they think they want to pass up these tasty meatloaf balls. What do you think will be leftover?

You can’t have a holiday dinner without the gravy and just because your vegan doesn’t mean you have to let it go. This recipe works well on steaks, chicken, roasted veggies, and those delicious mashed potatoes above. Don’t have cremini mushrooms? Use white mushrooms. No fresh herbs? Replace with 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp of dried.

Dessert

This is one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes I have hung on to for years. Luckily, I have not stopped baking them since becoming a vegan. Replace egg with 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce and use vegan butter instead. I recommend Earth Balance buttery sticks. I personally cut the sugar down to 1 cup plus the small amount for dusting. You do not miss the extra 1/2 cup, I promise. These cookies are what the whole family craves.

10. The Best Pie Crust Ever (from my very own book of recipes)

I have no author for this recipe I found years ago. If you know the origin comment below!

This is my go to for anything pie crust related. To make it vegan all you have to do is use vegan butter and sub 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce for the egg. This recipe makes two pie crusts that are simply to die for. The following recipes will fill our crusts this holiday.

Only has 9 ingredients! If you don’t have brown sugar I found coconut sugar works just as well if not better.

Make this and the pumpkin pie and use just the one can of coconut milk with no leftover waste. Instead of boiling the sweet potatoes, I bake them with the skin on in the oven at 400 degrees for roughly an hour. Careful – when this pie is complete you can’t eat just one slice!

Sticking to a plant-based life style doesn’t have to be difficult around the holidays. With a little bit of browsing and taste testing every holiday can be a tasty vegan holiday too.

From my family to yours MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY Vegan NEW YEAR!

Not a vegan cookie but definitely a vegan cutie.

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