Indulgent Vegan Recipes for Christmas Dinner
This year, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of British people who are cutting down on meat and dairy foods and going vegan. This Christmas will be no different, as thousands of people turn their backs on turkey and instead choose kinder options for the Christmas table.
These delicious recipes, from savoury dishes to traditional cake, will be perfect for impressing your friends and family this festive season:
These traditional Scottish savoury biscuits are delicious with all sorts of toppings – try them with our Smoky Seaweed Pâté. (Make them gluten-free by using certified gluten-free oats.)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
230 g fine oatmeal (or ground rolled oats) + extra for the work surface
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
40 g dairy-free margarine (eg, Pure)
5 Tbsp hot water
- Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Mix the oatmeal, salt, and bicarbonate of soda together in a large bowl.
- Rub in the margarine until no lumps remain, then add the hot water. The mixture should clump into a soft dough.
- Sprinkle some oatmeal onto a work surface and divide the dough into 2 balls. Roll each one out into a rough circle about 5 mm thick. (If you want to, trace around a small plate to make the circle perfect.)
- Cut each circle in half, then cut each half into 3 triangles. Place the cakes on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Smoky Seaweed Pâté (Gluten-Free)
If you’re frustrated with the extravagant price of seaweed pâté in the shops, make your own! It’s really easy, and you don’t even need access to a beach.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
10 sheets nori seaweed, cut into small squares
50 ml water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
100 g smoked tofu, cubed
50 g dairy-free margarine (eg, Pure) + extra to top pâté bowls (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bay leaves, lemon wedges, and freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
- Add the nori, water, soy sauce, lemon juice, tofu, and margarine to a food processor and blend until the mixture becomes smooth. Add the salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon the pâté into 4 small pots.
- If desired, melt a small amount of margarine and pour over each pot to create a seal (a traditional way to conserve pâtés). Place a bay leaf or lemon wedge in the melted margarine and chill in the fridge until firm.
- Top with freshly ground black pepper and serve with oat cakes or warm crusty bread.
Chestnut and Red Cabbage Stir-Fry (Gluten-Free)
This quick, bright, and zesty Christmas meal with lots of flavour won’t leave you obliged to loll on the sofa all afternoon.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
½ tsp finely grated ginger root
1 red chilli pepper, chopped (optional)
1 small red cabbage (about 500 g)
2 carrots, cut into thin strips
Juice of 2 oranges
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
200 g unsweetened chestnuts, peeled
1 handful cranberries
2 Tbsp soy sauce
Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and chilli pepper (if using) to a large frying pan and stir over medium-low heat until the garlic starts to brown.
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, chop off the base, cut into quarters, and then cut each quarter into thin slices. Add to the frying pan along with the carrots and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the orange juice, red and yellow peppers, chestnuts, cranberries, and soy sauce and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Serve hot over rice and garnish with sesame seeds.
This recipe may seem complex, but it’s actually really easy to make compared to something fussy like a sponge. Similarly, the marzipan looks intimidating but is very much like Plasticine. And it’s well hidden under the icing anyway. Go on – surprise yourself!
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
340 g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed allspice
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
70 g dairy-free margarine (eg, Pure)
170 g brown sugar
480 g mixed dried fruit (eg, currants, sultanas, and raisins)
30 g mixed peel, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
280 ml plant-based milk
40 ml brandy (optional)
150 g icing sugar, sifted + more for the work surface
200 g marzipan
1 Tbsp apricot jam, mixed with ¼ tsp hot water
2 Tbsp aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas)
½ tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Combine the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, and spices in a large mixing bowl and rub in the dairy-free margarine until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the brown sugar, dried fruit, peel, zest, and plant-based milk and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into a deep cake tin lined at the bottom with baking paper and bake for 1 hour. Then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and bake for another 40 minutes. Test to see if the cake is cooked in the middle by inserting a skewer in the centre (the skewer should come out clean). If needed, place back in oven until fully cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Turn the cooled cake upside down, prick the surface a few times with a skewer, and slowly pour on the brandy, if using. Set aside.
- Sprinkle a work surface with some icing sugar and roll out the marzipan into a sheet larger than the cake. Use a pastry brush to spread the apricot jam on one side of the sheet and place the sheet jam-side-down over the cake. Smooth down the marzipan with your hands, starting from the top. Cut out any folds at the sides and fill in any holes with trimming.
- Beat the aquafaba and vanilla essence with an electric whisk for 30 seconds and then start adding the icing sugar, one spoonful at a time. When all the sugar is added, you should have a thick, glossy icing.
- Spoon this mixture onto the marzipan and spread with a palette knife.
- Serve the cake right away or store in an air-tight tin for up to 2 weeks.
Makes 10 servings
Mulled Wine (Gluten-Free)
A Christmas classic that makes the whole house smell lovely. Not a bad way to get rid of a mediocre bottle of wine, too.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
1 bottle red wine
70 g soft brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
A few cloves
1 orange or tangerine, sliced
- Heat the wine, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
- Taste and add more sugar, if desired.
- Strain into heatproof glasses and serve immediately with a slice of orange or tangerine in each glass.
Note: The longer you leave the wine to warm, the less alcoholic it will be because the alcohol boils off before the water. Some people add damson gin just before serving to make up for this.
Makes 4 servings
We’ve got loads of resources to help you have a fully vegan Christmas without missing out on any of the festive fun. From the wide variety of meat-free roasts on the market to restaurants around the UK that offer vegan options for Christmas dinner, it’s never been easier to enjoy a cruelty-free holiday season.