If you are a vegan, finding the perfect dishes to serve during the holidays can be a bit of a challenge. However, with the growing popularity of veganism, there are now plenty of options for delicious plant-based meals that will satisfy your taste buds and impress your guests. From sweet treats to savory classics, these vegan holiday recipes will make your celebrations all the more enjoyable. Whether you’re looking for appetizers, entrees, sides, or desserts, we’ve got you covered with creative and nutritious dishes that are sure to be a hit.
What Makes a Recipe Vegan?
Being vegan is more than just a dietary choice. It’s a lifestyle that promotes health and sustainability by cutting out all animal products and by-products. This means no meat, dairy, eggs, honey, or any other ingredients derived from animals. If you’re planning a vegan holiday, creating a menu that’s free of animal products may seem challenging, but it’s actually quite easy with the right recipes and ingredients.
The first step to making a recipe vegan is to ensure that all of the ingredients used are free of animal products or by-products. Common ingredients to avoid include beef, pork, chicken, fish, dairy milk, cheese, butter, eggs, and honey. Fortunately, there are plenty of plant-based alternatives that can easily replace these items. For example, you can use tofu, seitan, or tempeh instead of meat. Non-dairy milks like soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk can replace dairy milk in most recipes. Coconut oil or vegan butter substitutes can replace regular butter. And flax or chia seeds mixed with water can replace eggs in baking recipes.
Another aspect of creating vegan recipes is ensuring that cooking methods do not involve any animal products. Common cooking methods to avoid include frying in animal fat, grilling with animal products, or using animal stock for soups and stews. Fortunately, there are plenty of vegan cooking methods that can be just as delicious. Roasting vegetables with olive oil and spices is a great way to bring out their flavors. Boiling vegetables with vegetable stock or water can add flavor to soups and stews. And sautéing with garlic, herbs, and spices can add complexity to any dish.
Creating vegan recipes is all about being creative and thinking outside of the box. By using plant-based ingredients and cooking methods, you can create dishes that are healthy, sustainable, and delicious. From savory roasted vegetables to sweet vegan desserts, your vegan holiday menu can be just as satisfying as any other.
Traditional Holiday Dishes Adapted to Veganism
The holidays are a time for coming together with friends and family to enjoy hearty meals, but for vegans, it can be a time when it feels like everyone is indulging in dishes they can’t partake in. Luckily, with a bit of creativity and some clever substitutions, many traditional holiday dishes can be made vegan-friendly without sacrificing flavor or texture. Here are some examples of popular holiday dishes, including dessert, and how to make them vegan-friendly.
One of the most beloved side dishes at a holiday meal are fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes, but for those avoiding dairy products, they’re often a no-go. However, this vegan mashed potatoes recipe will satisfy even the biggest mashed potato lover.
- Boil 2 pounds of peeled and cubed potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until soft enough to mash
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot
- Add ¼ cup of vegan butter and ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk, then mash until smooth. Add more almond milk if needed for desired consistency
- Season with salt, pepper, and any desired herbs, such as thyme or rosemary
Green Bean Casserole
A staple at many holiday meals, traditional green bean casseroles are laden with dairy and canned soup. To make a healthier, vegan version, try using fresh ingredients and a homemade mushroom sauce.
- Sauté 8 ounces of mushrooms and 1 small chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of vegan butter until soft and browned
- Add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir for about a minute, then gradually whisk in 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- Continue to cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired
- Blanch 1 pound of fresh green beans in boiling water for a minute or two, then transfer to a baking dish. Pour the mushroom sauce over the beans and bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
Stuffing is a warming and filling side dish that is a must-have at holiday meals. By substituting traditional ingredients with vegan alternatives, you can create a flavorful and satisfying vegan version.
- Sauté 1 small chopped onion, 2 chopped celery stalks, and 1 small diced apple in 1 tablespoon of vegan butter until softened
- Crush 10 ounces of seasoned stuffing mix and add it to the sautéed vegetables
- Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and stir until completely combined
- Transfer to a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is crispy and browned
Vegan Apple Crisp
For dessert, apple crisp is a classic and comforting option that can easily be made vegan with a few swaps.
- Peel and chop 8 cups of apples and layer them in a baking dish
- In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and ½ cup of vegan butter until crumbly
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the apples and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the apples are soft
New Vegan Recipes to Try for the Holidays
The holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy vegan food with loved ones. If you’re looking for unique and delicious recipes to try for the holidays, look no further. Here are a few vegan recipes that you may not have tried before.
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Who doesn’t love gingerbread cookies during the holidays? These vegan gingerbread cookies are a healthier alternative to traditional cookies loaded with butter and eggs. The recipe makes about a dozen cookies.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ cup molasses
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar (optional)
Mix together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the molasses, maple syrup, applesauce, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and fresh grated ginger. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, and stir until combined. Cover the dough and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out the dough using a cookie scoop or tablespoon and roll into balls. Place the balls onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar once cooled (optional).
Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole is a classic holiday dish, but many recipes are heavy on the butter, cream, and sugar. This vegan version is creamy, sweet, and flavorful.
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Boil the sweet potatoes in a pot until they are fork-tender. Drain and mash the sweet potatoes in a bowl. In a separate bowl, scoop out the solid part of the chilled coconut milk and whip using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the whipped coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, maple syrup, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix until combined.
In a small skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat until melted. Add the chopped pecans and stir until toasted. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the greased baking dish, and sprinkle the top with the toasted pecans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
Vegan Mushroom Gravy
Gravy is a staple for many holiday meals, but traditional gravy is made with animal products. This vegan mushroom gravy is rich, savory, and delicious. Pour it over your favorite holiday dish!
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, and cook until soft and browned. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and continue to cook until the onion is translucent. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the skillet, and stir until coated. Gradually pour in the vegetable broth, thyme, salt, and pepper, stirring until the flour is dissolved and the gravy thickens. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the gravy is rich and flavorful. Serve hot.
Ingredients Every Vegan Kitchen Should Have during the Holidays
It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is upon us, and for vegans, it can be a bit daunting to navigate all the traditional dishes and recipes. But fear not! With a well-stocked pantry, you can create delicious and festive meals that will satisfy both vegans and non-vegans alike. Here are some essential ingredients every vegan kitchen should have during the holidays:
1. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a staple in every vegan kitchen. It’s a deactivated yeast that is often used as a cheese substitute in vegan recipes. Nutritional yeast is not only delicious but also packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins. During the holidays, nutritional yeast can be used to make vegan mac and cheese, gravy, and even cheesy bread.
2. Canned Pumpkin
Canned pumpkin is not just for pumpkin pie. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in soups, stews, and baked goods. Canned pumpkin is high in fiber and Vitamin A, making it a healthy addition to any holiday recipe. Use it to make vegan pumpkin bread or add it to your favorite soup recipe for a festive twist.
Aquafaba is the liquid found in a can of chickpeas. It can be used as a vegan substitute for egg whites in many recipes, including meringue, macarons, and even eggnog. Aquafaba also works as an excellent binder in recipes, making it a great addition to vegan meatballs, burgers, and stuffing.
4. Miso Paste
Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste that adds a rich umami flavor to any dish. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in soups, marinades, dressings, and even desserts. Miso paste is also high in protein and probiotics, making it a healthy addition to any dish. During the holidays, use it to make a miso gravy or add it to mashed potatoes for a unique twist on a classic dish.
Cranberries are a classic holiday ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. They’re high in fiber and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to any recipe. Use them to make a festive cranberry sauce, add them to stuffing, or mix them into a holiday salad.
These are just a few essential ingredients every vegan kitchen should have during the holidays. With these staples on hand, you’ll be able to create delicious and festive vegan dishes that everyone will love.
How to Show Non-Vegans that Vegan Holiday Dishes Can Be Just as Good
Veganism is becoming increasingly popular, with more people than ever choosing to adopt a vegan lifestyle. However, there are still many non-vegans who are skeptical about the idea of veganism. One of the biggest misconceptions that non-vegans have is that vegan food is bland and boring. In this article, we will give tips for serving vegan dishes in a way that will impress and satisfy non-vegan guests.
1. Plan in advance
If you are hosting a holiday meal, make sure you plan your menu in advance. This will allow you to create a well-balanced meal that includes a variety of vegan dishes. Make sure you have enough servings for everyone, as many non-vegans may be curious to try vegan food. It is also important to consider any dietary restrictions your guests may have.
2. Choose flavorful ingredients
Vegan food can be just as flavorful as non-vegan food, if not more so. When choosing your ingredients, opt for a variety of herbs, spices, and seasonings. This will give your dishes depth and complexity.
3. Make substitutions
If you are making a non-vegan recipe, there are often easy substitutions you can make to veganize it. For example, you can use plant-based milk instead of dairy milk, or tofu instead of chicken. There are also many vegan meat substitutes available that taste just like the real thing.
4. Serve with confidence
When serving your vegan dishes, do so with confidence. Explain how the dish was made and what ingredients were used. This will help to open your guests’ minds to the idea that vegan food can be just as good as non-vegan food. Encourage them to try everything on offer and to keep an open mind.
5. Showcase delicious vegan desserts
Non-vegans often think that vegan desserts are boring and lacking in flavor. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Vegan desserts can be just as delicious and indulgent as non-vegan desserts. Make sure you have a variety of vegan dessert options available, such as vegan chocolate cake, vegan cheesecake, and vegan ice cream. This will show your guests that vegan food is not only healthy but also delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vegan Holiday Recipes
If you’re new to veganism, the thought of preparing a vegan holiday meal can be daunting. However, with the right resources and a little bit of creativity, you can create a delicious and satisfying spread that will impress all of your guests. Here are some common questions regarding vegan holiday recipes, along with helpful answers.
What are some good substitutes for animal products?
- Butter: Vegan butter substitutes include Earth Balance, Miyoko’s, or homemade nut-based butters such as cashew or almond butter.
- Cream: Coconut cream, cashew cream, or soy cream are great substitutes for dairy cream.
- Cheese: Brands such as Daiya, Follow Your Heart, or Miyoko’s make vegan cheese substitutes. You can also make your own nut-based cheeses with recipes found online.
- Eggs: Applesauce, mashed bananas, silken tofu, or flax or chia seeds mixed with water are common egg substitutes.
How can I make my vegan dishes more flavorful?
One of the best ways to add flavor to vegan dishes is through the use of herbs and spices. Popular options include garlic, onion, cumin, smoked paprika, rosemary, and thyme. You can also experiment with adding different types of vinegar or citrus juices. Another tip is to season your food well with salt, as this can bring out its natural flavors.
Where can I find vegan holiday recipes?
There are many great resources available for finding vegan holiday recipes. Some popular websites that feature vegan recipes include Minimalist Baker, Oh She Glows, and VegNews. You can also find recipes on social media platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest, or by picking up a vegan cookbook from your local library or bookstore.
What are some tips for cooking a vegan holiday meal?
- Plan ahead: Make a detailed shopping list and meal plan beforehand so that you have everything you need and don’t feel rushed on the day of.
- Take shortcuts: Don’t be afraid to use pre-made items such as veggie burgers or store-bought sauces to save time and effort.
- Get creative: Experiment with different flavor combinations and try new recipes to keep things interesting and exciting.
- Ask for help: Enlist the help of family and friends to make the cooking process more fun and less stressful.
What are some vegan holiday main course options?
Some traditional vegan main course options include stuffed squash or pumpkin, lentil loaf, or vegetable pot pie. You can also find vegan roast options from companies such as Tofurky, Gardein, or Field Roast.
What are some vegan holiday dessert options?
|A classic holiday dessert made vegan by using coconut milk instead of cream and a flaxseed egg.
|A warm and comforting dessert made with apples, cinnamon, and oats.
|A rich and decadent treat made with coconut cream and dark chocolate.
Overall, there are a plethora of vegan holiday recipe options available. With a little bit of preparation and creativity, you can create a meal that is both delicious and satisfying for all of your guests. Happy cooking!
Happy Vegan Holidays!
Thank you for reading our article about delicious vegan holiday recipes. We hope that it has inspired you to create your own vegan feasts this holiday season. Remember, choosing plant-based meals not only benefits your health, but also helps protect the planet and its animals. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check back for more tips and recipes on vegan food. Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!