December 14, 2021
From The Beet

Christmas advent calendars are now half-empty, which means it’s time to plan those dishes you’ll be serving, bringing, and enjoying as you celebrate with family and friends and open presents around the tree. It’s the most wonderful (and stressful) time of the year when some of your friends and family are vegan, plant-based or avoiding dairy for reasons of their own.

Before racing to the supermarket for your holiday ingredients, here’s your guide to planning the most delicious plant-based recipes, that are as festive as they are easy to make. So somewhere between wrapping, setting your holiday table, and answering every question your kids or significant other may have about all the crazy aunts and uncles, cousins, and relatives who are about to show up in your lives, stay merry! 

With this guide, we’ve made it easier than ever for you to plan your entire plant-based menu in advance with the consideration of the vegan eaters, anyone watching their cholesterol, or those with dairy allergies or other types of dietary restrictions.

Your Guide to the Best Vegan Christmas Recipes

We arranged an easy-to-follow guide to vegan Christmas recipes, featuring everything from small bites to main courses, festive cocktails, and cheerful desserts – so you will slay this feast and enjoy the day. The proof is in the pudding – or should we say the dairy-free buttercream frosting?

The exciting, unexpected part about the Christmas holiday celebrations, unlike most other holidays, is that everyone’s menu looks different – influenced by your own family traditions. So, whether you’re used to great grandma’s homemade Shepherd’s Pie that’s been passed down for generations or your uncle’s favorite honey-baked ham as a main, we have alternatives that are just as good, if not better, and lean healthier than the real thing.

In addition, we also rounded up more than five of our most popular vegan Christmas cookie recipes so Santa can refresh himself with a tasty treat and a glass of oat milk, and more than five other festive desserts – everything cheery from cupcakes to ‘cheese’ cakes made with completely dairy-and-egg-free ingredients.

The party doesn’t stop there: Before the food coma sets in, make sure to enjoy a holiday cocktail or two (just don’t plan to drive home! since these are stiffer than they taste)! Check this Christmas list twice, then get cooking, and have a very happy holiday!

Vegan Christmas Cookies

Cookies during the holidays are a sign of joy and love. This Christmas, make a batch or two of your favorite vegan cookie recipe and wrap them like a present to give to your loved ones, or simply serve them fresh-from-the-oven at the holiday party.

Just because you have an allergy or dietary restrictions doesn’t mean you have to miss out on holiday treats or Christmas cookies. These thumbprint cookies are secretly paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free as well. These caramel cookies are fit for any and all types of eaters!

These vegan cookies are fudgy, chocolatey, and so delicious, with no dairy added. They are also super easy to make and only take only half an hour. So you can feel relaxed and festive!

Ring in the holiday cheer with these mini gingerbread cookies and wrap them with ribbon to complete the festive presentation. They make a perfect gift for the relative who has everything.

Your classic ginger molasses cookie just got a major upgrade! These gluten-free, paleo, vegan cookies taste just like the traditional ones, and are nut-free. Bring these to a cookie swap and you’ll wow the traditional holiday bakers. A welcomed treat to anyone with allergies!

Make these peanut butter cup cookies for anyone who loves Reece’s, and these are vegan! These grain-free cookies are also gluten-free. (No time to bake? if you’re in a pinch buy either Lily’s Sweets or Justin’s, both are vegan and delicious.) A wonderful indulgent holiday treat!

These shortbread swirl cookies make the perfect holiday treat: Wrap them in boxes tied with ribbon as gifts for friends and neighbors – if they last that long. They’re so melt-in-your-mouth good, there may not be any left, so it’s better to make a double batch.

The Best Vegan Christmas Desserts

The dessert table is one of the most picturesque displays at the holiday party, and when you make these special treats, you can be sure that all the children will love to call first dibs on who gets to eat one of the snowmen off the eggnog cake. (Be sure to make enough!) This holiday, choose from these 5 of our favorite vegan desserts – or simply make them all.

Indulge in “cheesecake” that’s actually good for you. (Or at least better for you!) This no-sugar-added recipe calls for using Medjool dates instead of all that added sugar. Instead of dairy, you will use coconut milk, or your favorite nut milk, since these have the same consistency and texture as the real thing. The filling is creamy without the cream since you’ll use soaked, raw cashews blended into a cheese-like texture. This cake is almost like a chilled mousse, with a smooth layer of sinful chocolate.

Warm, spiced, velvety, crumbled carrot cake is always a winner. Your guests will love getting served their carrot with cashew icing cake in individual containers! This recipe sets standards for a healthier, delicious, plant-based, gluten-free cake that everyone will love.

If you’re looking to expand your vegan bread-making skills beyond cinnamon rolls, then this is the perfect recipe for you. A classic star bread made entirely egg-free and dairy-free that’s twisted with dairy-free vegan chocolate hazelnut spread that makes this vegan star bread an absolute showstopper.

These chocolate peppermint bars are full of holiday flavor and minty freshness. With a deliciously oaty chocolate crust and a super smooth dairy-free chocolate peppermint filling, these easy and gluten-free bars are a crowd-pleaser for even the non-vegan folks!

If you love eggnog (without the eggs and cream of course), then you’ll absolutely adore this vegg-nog cake. It has all of the flavors of the classic holiday drink yet is made entirely egg-free, dairy-free, and in cake form! Make sure to make enough snowmen to go around!

What’s green, wears a red Santa hat, and is fluffy and surprisingly sweet? No, not the Grinch, but these vegan pistachio Santa hat cupcakes! These grain-free cupcakes are dairy-free and full of nutty and “buttery” flavor. Topped with vegan buttercream frosting, they are the perfect holiday treat! Open up the cake to let the bright green pistachio color peak out!

Vegan Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner looks different for everyone, so we rounded up five different vegan recipes perfect for the main course or side dish. Let’s start with an updated classic Sheperd’s Pie.

This vibrant sweet potato and lentil Shepherd’s pie is packed with hearty vegetables and savory spices like thyme and rosemary. It’s guaranteed to fill your kitchen with warm and cozy aromas that will put you in a festive mood. The lentils make it healthy, so go for seconds.

Normally eat lasagna on Christmas day? Switch it up with this easy-to-make vegan lasagna soup. This recipe is amazing because you get the best of both worlds: The deliciousness of lasagna and the comfort of steaming soup. Make an extra batch to keep around for leftovers.

These vegan scalloped potatoes are as delicious as they are easy to make Woohoo! All you need is twenty minutes to prep the dish which requires slicing potatoes thin and mixing the cheese-flavored sauce.

When you’re looking for the perfect side dish to complement all of your holiday mains, this vegan broccoli and wild rice casserole is a winning choice. This dish is made with vegan butter, soy milk, and non-dairy cheese for the ultimate cheesy, gooey-tasting indulgence. All you need is 15 minutes to prep the ingredients and let the rice cook slowly for 45 minutes, and it will be rich and satisfying, almost like a risotto.

These beautiful vegan mini spiral veggie tarts are perfect as individual little main dishes for the holidays. You can serve them with a big green salad, roasted brussels sprouts, or any of your favorite festive side dishes.

Merry it Up with Vegan Christmas Cocktails

Festive Christmas cocktails are just a shake and a stir away. Make one of these five seasonal drinks as your signature pour to welcome guests to your holiday get-together or family dinner.

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For those who love a tart, bitter, sour drink, make them this plant-based whiskey soup and strain the liquid into a martini or old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a citrus peel.

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For all your gin lovers, there’s nothing better than a foamy fizz. For this drink, pour the mixture into a highball glass and top with club soda and lemon for garnish.

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Forget the honey, but still enjoy this vegan Bee’s Knees and strain this drink into a coupe glass.

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Shake this martini like you’ve never shaken one before, and that’s the secret to the perfect martini. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with olives.

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Actually, this drink is made with almond milk. Pour the warm mixture into a glass mug and garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon stick.

Now that your entire Christmas menu is planned out and checked off your to-do list, we can also assist with last-minute gift ideas for the vegan or eco-minded on your list with our guide to 33 gifts or our list of stocking stuffers for under $25.