Vegan Life | Recipes

15 Best Vegan Christmas Recipes Christmas Dinner Ideas and More for 2020

November 18, 2020

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complete vegan christmas menu with breakfast dinner dessert

Are you looking for some new vegan recipes to make 2020's Christmas dinner table better than ever? Maybe you're a new vegan wondering where to start with Christmas meals. Or maybe you have vegan guests coming for the holidays and you have no idea what to prepare. No matter why you're here, I'm glad you are!

I've put together the best of my time-tested, tried and true vegan Christmas recipes right here for you. From Christmas breakfast to sugar cookies to holiday dinners, you'll find a recipe that you and your family will love!

Vegan Christmas Breakfast Recipes

1. Vegan French Toast

vegan French toast on a plate with bananas and raspberries
French toast with fruit and powdered sugar

Is there anything more "Christmas-y" than French toast? It's the perfect holiday morning meal: sweet, delicious, easy, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This vegan version tastes just like the classic, using a few secret ingredients to get the right texture and flavor.

2. Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes

Vegan "buttermilk" pancakes with syrup and strawberries
Vegan butter and maple syrup are the perfect toppings for these light and fluffy pancakes.

If you don't have any bread laying around for French toast, you can always make pancakes instead! The ingredients for these pancakes are common household staples, so you probably have them in your fridge or cupboard. They're also quick and easy to make, so you can have a sweet breakfast treat while also enjoying Christmas morning with your family.

Vegan Christmas Appetizer Recipes

Never overlook appetizers and snacks on holidays! They keep everyone happy (including the chef!) while waiting on the main meal to be prepared.

3. Vegan Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip in a pan with bread
Vegan spinach and artichoke dip

Did you know that more people make spinach dip at Christmas than at any other time of year? It's a warm, delicious treat that also goes well with the football games that are usually played on Christmas day (at least here in the US). This vegan version uses cashew cream and fresh spinach for a creamy, cheesy snack that will have everyone asking you for the recipe.

4. Cranberry and Cashew Cheese Crostini

Cranberry and cashew cheese crostini on a cutting board
Cranberry and cashew goat cheese crostini

If you didn't get enough cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, try this appetizer. It's fancy-looking and delicious, but also easy to make! You can make the cranberry sauce ahead of time, so when it's time to serve, you can just toast the baguette slices, and then top it with some cashew cheese, walnuts, and cranberry sauce. It's an easy way to keep everyone happy while waiting for dinner, but it also works for holiday parties too.

Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes

5. Stuffed Shells with Tofu and Spinach Ricotta

Stuffed shells in a casserole dish
Vegan stuffed shells with tofu and spinach ricotta

If you're looking for a Christmas dinner main course that's impressive and delicious, but also not too stressful to make, try these stuffed shells. They're a comforting classic that everyone will love.

6. Lentil Loaf with Oats and Vegetables

Lentil loaf on a cooling rack, sliced, with knife and towel in background.
Vegan lentil and veggie meatloaf

I started making lentil loaf a few years ago for Thanksgiving, then gradually changed it into my current recipe. This is the recipe that everyone always asks for (both vegans and meat-eaters). This loaf is tender and flavorful, and you can make it gluten-free by using panko breadcrumbs.

7. Vegan Lasagna with Carrots and Zucchini

Lasagna slice on a plate
Lasagna is a crowd-pleasing main dish that everyone can agree on.

Lasagna has always been one of my favorite meals. So when I got my first apartment, it was one of the first things I learned to cook. However, when I went vegan, finding a good vegan recipe wasn't as easy as I had hoped. I eventually made my own, which is so good that you won't miss the original. While this version uses carrots and zucchini, you can also use lentils instead for a "meatier" flavor. Or, make the lasagna with half vegetables and half lentils so your guests can choose which version they prefer!

8. Butternut Squash Casserole

Butternut squash on a plate with casserole in background
This butternut squash casserole provides a great balance for heavier holiday dishes.

This casserole is filled with flavorful butternut squash, leeks, kale, pecans, and cashew cheese. Even with all that flavor, it's still healthy and not too filling! It provides a nice balance to heavier holiday dishes.

9. Maple-Butter Roasted Carrots with Spiced Cashew-Tahini Sauce

Roasted rainbow carrots on a pan with cashew-tahini sauce
Rainbow carrots add a pop of color to any holiday dinner.

This Christmas side dish is a show-stopper (it's especially beautiful with rainbow carrots), but it's surprisingly simple to make! Carrots are roasted in a slightly sweet maple-butter glaze with lemon juice, then dipped in a flavorful sauce with a base of cashew cream and tahini.

10. Vegan Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Vegan sour cream mashed potatoes in a bowl with chives and sour cream on top
I like Kite Hill's vegan sour cream, but use any vegan sour cream that you like the flavor of in these creamy vegan mashed potatoes.

Make this side with Yukon gold potatoes for a creamy take on a classic holiday dish. Kite Hill vegan sour cream provides a delicious tangy flavor that melts into the buttery potatoes just like the real thing. These mashed potatoes are so good, you won't believe they come together in less than 30 minutes!

Vegan Christmas Treats and Desserts

Some of my fondest childhood Christmas memories are of the multitude of sweets and treats we got to indulge in once a year. At my grandmother's house, we would help her bake chocolate chip cookies, then each of my aunts would bring their own batches of cookies over. After dinner, we were allowed to go down into the basement where the cookies were all stored in tins on top of long folding tables, and we could pick any cookies we wanted. Here are some of my favorite vegan versions of these classic holiday treats.

11. Vegan Sugar Cookies

Decorated sugar cookies
Sugar cookies are not just delicious, they're fun for children to cut and decorate.

Probably the most iconic Christmas cookie is the roll-out sugar cookie, cut into Santa, angel, and snowman shapes. These vegan sugar cookies have a buttery decorator icing that can be colored or topped with vegan sprinkles.

12. Apple Crisp

Vegan apple crisp on a plate with non-dairy ice cream next to a dish of apple crisp
Apple crisp is yummiest when served with vanilla ice cream. I like Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss, or NadaMoo vanilla non-dairy ice cream (NadaMoo shown in photo).

Apple crisp is the easier but equally delicious sibling to apple pie, with a crumbly oat topping that everyone loves. This recipe can also be made gluten-free by replacing the flour with oat flour. Enjoy it with a vanilla vegan ice cream like NadaMoo or Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss.

13. Chewy Brownies

Vegan Chewy Brownies
Vegan chewy brownies

If you've been trying to find a recipe for chewy vegan brownies that can go toe-to-toe with any non-vegan brownie out there, try this one. It's super moist, chewy, and fudgy, and tastes just like the brownies we made from a box as children.

14. Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

vegan cream cheese frosting on cupcakes
These carrot cake cupcakes with vegan cream cheese frosting are a favorite treat during the holidays.

These carrot cake cupcakes are loaded with walnuts, coconut, and raisins and then topped with a vegan cream cheese frosting that tastes pretty close to the real thing. (Feel free to leave out the walnuts, coconut, or raisins if any of them aren't your thing.)

This recipe is derived from a recipe I developed in my former life as a cupcake baker; the carrot cake cupcakes in particular had what I would describe as a cult-like following. So maybe skip these if you're worried about developing a habit.

15. Hot Cocoa with Vegan Marshmallows

Hot cacao and maca root with chocolate and cinnamon, wrapped in a towel
Hot cacao and maca root with all the toppings!

This hot chocolate is made with raw cacao (but feel free to use regular cocoa) and maca root (optional) for stress relief. Use a milk frother to make the almond milk nice and frothy, and then top with vegan marshmallows, cinnamon, and chocolate shavings for an extra-special Christmas treat.

15 Best Vegan Christmas Recipes

Yield1 Christmas Meal

Prep Time60 minutes

Cook Time60 minutes

Total Time2 hours


  1. Plan your holiday meals well in advance, and choose any recipes you like from the list.

  2. Prepare your recipes according to the instructions, then serve and enjoy!

Notes & Hints

Check the notes of each recipe for make-ahead options; many recipes can be prepared in advance and then finished with little work on the day you're ready to serve them!

Nutrition Data

Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe; Calories: 0Fat: 0 g.; Saturated Fat: 0 g.; Cholesterol: 0 mg.; Sodium: 0 mg.; Carbohydrates: 0 g.; Fiber: 0 g.; Sugar: 0 g.; Protein: 0 g.; Vitamin A: 0 mcg. RAE; Vitamin B12: 0 mcg.; Vitamin C: 0 mg.; Vitamin D: 0 mcg.; Calcium: 0 mg.; Iron: 0 mg.; Potassium: 0 mg.; Zinc: 0 mg.

Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.

Four vegan dishes: Creme Brulee, Detroit-style pizza, General Tso's Tofu, and Lemon Tart

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Steph Sunshine

Hi! I'm Steph, and I love to explore vegan food, health, and of course, the world. I'm sharing my best vegan recipes, and things I've learned and loved from my travels and health journeys.

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