Everyone loves a good Christmas dinner. After the excitement of opening presents under the tree, what could be better than taking time to relax and enjoy some delicious food with all the family? Of course, the bigger your family, the more likely you’ll be cooking for someone with special dietary requirements, but these days there are so many ‘alternative’ Christmas dinner ideas, it’s fairly simple to come up with something to please everyone.
Vegan dishes are in particularly high demand at the moment, with more and more people making the decision to cut animal products from their diet every year. Luckily, the range and quality of vegan food has improved along with demand, so whether you’re cooking for a vegan guest, or you’ve become a vegan yourself this year, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice with the array of delicious festive food on offer.
Start your Christmas dinner the right way with these delicious appetisers. Full of bold flavours but never heavy, our favourite festive starters are the perfect way to whet your appetite without filling you up.
For a classic soup with a Japanese twist, try this broccoli soup with miso and oyster mushrooms. With a dash of zesty lime, salty soy and fiery miso heat, the complex flavours of this deceptively simple soup are a revelation.
Add a touch of luxury to another old favourite with our recipe for potato cream with caramelised leek and saffron. A deconstructed version of leek and potato soup, this impressive starter combines creamy potato soup with the aromatic sweetness of leeks caramelised in sugar and saffron.
For the main event, it just has to be turkey, so treat the vegans in your life to some delicious vegan turkey. Our recipe for tofurky roll with mushrooms is made with seasoned tofu in a golden pastry case with a creamy mushroom centre.
Or for a warming vegan supper, perhaps on Christmas evening, try a Jerusalem artichoke and roasted pumpkin double layer cream soup. Made with hearty winter vegetables and topped with a generous pistachio topping, this gourmet soup is as eye-catching as it is delicious.
For these recipes and many more, check out our guide to vegan Christmas dishes.
Vegan Side Dishes
No Christmas dinner is complete without an array of tempting side dishes. Your guests are sure to want a second helping of these vibrant and tasty accompaniments.
For a vegetable dish that’s packed with flavour, nothing beats a real Sicilian caponata. Made with meaty aubergines and piquant capers cooked in a sweet and sour tomato marinade, caponata tastes even better if cooked the day before and left for the flavours to develop overnight.
Add a little east Asian flair to your traditional Christmas dinner with our recipe for fried tofu with sesame seeds and spring onions. This tasty side is seasoned with an aromatic mix of stock, soy and vegan oyster sauce and fried until perfectly crisp.
If you like a hunk of bread to mop up your Christmas gravy, you’ll be pleased to know that classic Italian focaccia is completely vegan. Drizzle with olive oil and add a sprinkling of herbs and sea salt for the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
Give your roast potatoes the tapas treatment with our patatas bravas recipe. This classic Spanish dish pairs crisp and fluffy diced roasties with a rich, spicy tomato salsa, flavoured with garlic, onions and tabasco.
There’s always room for dessert. Treat your sweet-toothed vegan friends to one of these indulgent festive ideas.
Your guests might never guess, but our favourite pecan pie is both vegan and gluten free. With a gooey maple syrup filling inside a crumbly pastry case, topped with crunchy pecans and a dusting of cinnamon, this tasty slice of pie is patisserie at its most irresistible.
For a lighter dessert, or as a palate cleanser between courses, a classic lemon granita is perfect. A fragrant mound of crushed ice, made with zesty lemons and pure mineral water, this old Sicilian favourite is the ultimate refresher after a heavy meal. Serve in margarita glasses with a sliver of lime zest.
If you like a fruity dessert, you’ll love this traditional Thai recipe for sweet sticky rice with fruit. Made with juicy mangoes and nectarines and sweet coconut cream, it feels truly decadent without being too heavy.
For the ultimate chocolate treat, this vegan chocolate cheesecake with strawberries is pure indulgent luxury. Made with a golden biscuit base, velvety chocolate ‘cheesecake’ filling, and topped with fresh strawberries, a slice of this vegan treat is enough to satisfy the sweetest sweet tooth.
If you like to keep your Christmas dinner traditional, then only Christmas pudding will do. Our favourite recipe for vegan Christmas pudding is rich and fruity, made with vegetarian suet and treacle, and bursting with candied peels and dried fruits soaked in brandy. The perfect end to the perfect meal.