Whether you’re a full-time vegan or vegetarian or simply trying to cut back on your meat consumption, these 12 tasty recipes should help ensure you still have a delicious Christmas Day.
If you’re vegetarian, vegan or simply trying to eat less meat, Christmas can be a bit of a minefield. The classic Christmas dinner often centres around turkey, while traditional sides like pigs in blankets and goose fat potatoes are hardly veggie-friendly.
So, we’ve traversed the four corners of the internet to find 12 vegetarian recipes that feel special enough for Christmas but don’t contain any meat products. Some of them are vegan, while others need just a few tweaks to make them totally plant-based.
Mix and match from our selection of starters sides and mains to create a Christmas Day menu that vegetarians and meat eaters alike will love.
We’ve even added in a few ideas for Boxing Day dinners to keep you meat-free and satisfied beyond the 25th.
Whet your appetite: Christmas Day starters
More and more people are serving starters with their Christmas dinners, so here are a couple of our favourites to get you going.
We’ve opted for light and easy recipes that still feel special. After all, you don’t want to spoil your appetite before the main arrives.
Maybe we’re biased but we think our butternut squash soup is the perfect light-yet-warming dish to start your meal. It’s also adaptable, so you can swap the squash for sweet potato or pumpkin if you prefer.
We finish ours with a few spoons of crème fraiche to make it richer, but leave out this one ingredient and the recipe is suitable for vegans.
Juicy tomatoes, fresh basil and salty olives make the perfect topping for this vegan bruschetta recipe from Ceara’s Kitchen.
This recipe is practically foolproof which, let’s face it, is exactly what you need on a day as busy as Christmas.
The main event: Vegetarian Christmas dinner mains
Meat may be the traditional Christmas dinner centrepiece, but that doesn’t have to be the case. These three recipes are just as mouth watering as a roast turkey and are sure to please even the most committed of carnivores.
3. Jamie Oliver’s famous nut roast
The nut roast is a classic vegetarian main course at Christmas and this Jamie Oliver creation has been recommended to us more than once.
The list of ingredients may look long but don’t be put off by that. This recipe takes effort but not too much. And after all, it is a special occasion!
Vegetarians love it, meat lovers love it, you will love it.
For anyone worried they’ll miss the meat, the powerful umami flavours of this portobello mushroom and puff pastry creation will prove them wrong.
The recipe includes instructions to make your own vegan pastry but you’ll find premade options in most big supermarkets these days, too.
While the other recipes on this list are just part of the meal, this one delivers the whole thing.
If you’re looking for an easy vegan roast dinner, this is the recipe for you. It uses frozen roasties and ready-made stuffing balls as well as shop-bought cranberry sauce. And did you know that most brands of gravy granules are actually vegan?
We absolutely adore this vegan roast dinner and think it’s perfect for any time of year – not just Christmas.
All the trimmings: Christmas side dishes
Because what is Christmas dinner without more sides than you can shake a stick at?
Ditch the pigs in blankets and tuck into one of our elevated vegetarian recipes that make plants the star of the show.
Don’t boil your carrots this Christmas. Instead, toss them in honey and mustard and roast them ‘til they’re sweet, sticky and delicious.
5 ingredients, barely any prep time and an end result that looks and tastes fantastic. This is the kind of recipe we can get on board with.
Everyone loves a good roastie, but many of us are wedded to the classic goose-fat method. Ditch the animal fat without losing out on flavour by opting for these paprika-spiced beauties.
Of course, you could simply roast your tatties in vegetable oil, but we just love how special the spices make these crispy potatoes taste.
They're also much healthier than your average roast spud, which can only be a good thing.
First things first: there is nothing wrong with packet stuffing. There is so much to do at Christmas, you should cut whatever corners you feel like.
However, if you want to make your stuffing special, this American-style vegetarian version is quite the showstopper. The recipe makes a huge quantity so consider halving it.
9. Vegan gravy from The River Cottage
A roast is not really a roast without a fantastic gravy, so take the time to make this outstanding version from The River Cottage. It takes a while but it’s absolutely worth the effort.
The deep flavours of this gravy pair beautifully with any roast dinner so it’s a great option if you’re catering for both veggies and meat eaters at the same meal.
After the event: Boxing Day feasts
We all know Christmas is about more than just the day itself. Make your boxing day special with one of these decadent, meat-free (and healthy) meals to feed a crowd.
Cosy and creamy, comforting yet packed with goodness, this recipe is the perfect treat for Boxing Day. Serve it alongside leftover veg from the day before.
Impressive enough to serve to guests at a sit-down dinner yet simple enough to spoon into bowls and eat in front of the TV, we can’t recommend this pasta bake enough.
If you’ve been put off by bad vegetarian lasagnes in the past, this recipe should change your mind.
With courgette, carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, onions and spinach, it’s absolutely packed with vegetables. It also uses cottage cheese instead of bechamel, making it decidedly healthier than your average lasagne.
If you’re vegan, there’s an option in the recipe to remove the dairy products.
Don’t be put off by the thought of baking – this tart uses ready-rolled puff pastry, saving you time and effort.
You top the pastry with tangy goat’s cheese and a sweet homemade onion chutney, bake for 25 minutes then sprinkle with fresh rocket and toasted pine nuts. It’s delicious, fairly easy and looks very impressive.
More recipes you might like...
If you're looking to build more vegetarian meals into your diet, here are some of our favourites: