If you’ve been vegetarian or vegan for a long time, you probably used to find holiday celebration meals a little complicated. Inspiration for vegetarian (let alone vegan) holiday food was hard to find, everyone else had spent days looking forward to the big roast, and your less tactful relatives would wonder out loud why you couldn’t just eat what everyone else was having.
Luckily, vegetarian and vegan food has improved a lot since then, and it’s now much more likely that you won’t be the only person with an alternative diet at the table. In recent years, more and more people are seeing the benefits of plant-based diets, and these days you’re more likely to be spoiled for choice than lacking in inspiration. This New Year’s Eve, whether your family is vegetarian, or just looking to try something new, we’ve got a family-sized feast of vegetarian and vegan meal ideas that even your steak-loving uncle will want to try.
For more vegetarian recipes and ideas all year round, stay up to date with our vegetarian recipe page.
Vegetarian and vegan appetisers
Herb crêpes with mushrooms and spinach: start your meal the right way with these deliciously herby crêpes, stuffed with a creamy mushroom and spinach filling.
Marinated tofu coated with sesame seed brochettes: these irresistibly crispy tofu skewers are marinated in a sweet honey glaze and coated with lightly toasted sesame seeds for a satisfying crunch.
Pumpkin, sage and ricotta mug cakes: with their fluffy soufflé-like texture and sophisticated flavours, you’d never guess that these ingenious mug cakes are actually made in the microwave. These tasty cups take just minutes to make, giving you more time to spend with your guests.
Eggplant and tofu millefeuille: this beautifully seasoned appetiser combines meaty eggplant and creamy tofu for an explosion of textures and flavours.
Stuffed white cabbage: these elegant cabbage leaf parcels are stuffed with Italian cheeses and served with an aromatic vegetable gravy. Remember to check that the cheese is vegetarian when buying your ingredients for this dish.
Vegan, gluten-free fritters: these crispy fritters are full of meat-free flavour, with lentils, diced onion, carrot and parsnip, umami-rich soy sauce and a toasty sesame seed coating.
Eggplant tower with tofu and vegetables: brighten up your New Year’s table with these simple but colourful vegan towers, made with fried eggplant slices, sautéed vegetables and creamy tofu.
Potato cakes with carrots and sweet cabbage: these clever potato-based canapés are both vegan and gluten-free, with an Asian-inspired carrot and cabbage filling, flavoured with soy sauce and rice vinegar.
Onion bhajis with chutney: if you like Indian flavours, you’ll love these deliciously crispy bhajis, served with a sweet mango chutney for dipping.
Vegetarian and vegan main courses
Vegetarian lasagne: classic Italian flavours, without the meat. This well-loved pasta dish is sure to leave everyone satisfied.
Ravioli with herbs: the beauty of this elegant pasta dish is in its simplicity. It takes minutes to make, but the flavours speak for themselves.
Risotto with squash and Gorgonzola: rich, creamy and satisfying, this risotto dish is full of comforting winter ingredients, and packs a real savoury punch.
Pea risotto: satisfying but light, this fragrant risotto is made with aromatic vegetables, sweet garden peas, basil and mint for a fresh and tasty main course.
Chickpea meatloaf: who says vegans can’t enjoy meatloaf? This comforting family favourite goes meat and dairy free with chickpeas, aromatic vegetables, and plenty of herbs and spices.
Brussels sprout quiche: this tasty slice of quiche is full of surprises. Not only is that creamy filling suitable for vegans, but the pastry case is gluten-free too.
Tofurkey roll with mushrooms: perfect for celebrations, this vegan Wellington has a creamy mushroom centre wrapped in homemade tofurkey and a golden pastry casing.
Homemade seitan with mushrooms and white wine: used in many modern meat substitutes thanks to its deliciously meaty texture, seitan can easily be made at home, and makes the perfect vegan ‘steak’, complete with a creamy white wine and mushroom sauce.
Vegetarian and vegan sides
Grilled tomatoes with a breadcrumb and olive crust: this simple grilled tomato dish will add flavour and colour to any meal.
Stuffed zucchini with cheese soufflé: what’s more impressive than a soufflé? Try a soufflé baked inside a zucchini. This side dish has real wow factor, and it tastes pretty great too.
Vegetable tajine: this popular Maghrebi dish is steam-cooked and perfectly spiced for tender, fragrant vegetables.
Mashed sweet potatoes: some of the best holiday dishes were vegetarian all along. Tuck into some good old fashioned mash alongside your modern veggie faves.
Green bean casserole: another vegetarian-friendly holiday tradition, this is a classic green bean casserole, made with sautéed mushrooms and sour cream instead of soup, for a more luxurious feel.
Vegan potato salad with chives: this tasty potato salad is made with vegetable stock, mustard and herbs for a satisfyingly savoury flavour.
Fried plantain chips: these decadently crispy, slightly sweet plantains are perfect for any celebration. They’re also super easy to make, and completely gluten-free.
Quinoa salad with roasted pumpkin: roasted pumpkin is the star of this simple side dish, well-seasoned with salt, pepper, and thyme, and served with toasted quinoa.
Vegan millet burgers with kohlrabi and herbs: these herby millet patties can be served as burgers or fritters, and make the perfect side for a celebration meal.
Vegetarian and vegan desserts
Christmas yule log cake: this luxuriously chocolatey Yule log is the perfect end to any holiday meal.
Orange dessert with vanilla cream: a creamy layered dessert made with sweet orange compote and vanilla cream, with a burnt caramel topping.
Blueberry clafoutis: this soft custard-flavoured cake filled with juicy blueberries is dessert heaven in every bite.
Nougat cake with raisins: for something a little more subtle, try these aromatic, nut-flavoured cakes, filled with juicy raisins.
Chocolate panforte: this traditional Italian dessert is made with nuts, dried fruits, chocolate and honey.
Cranberry pinwheels: with their striking red pinwheel design, these cranberry-filled cookies are sure to attract plenty of attention.
Gluten-free chocolate pear cake: moist chocolate cake and juicy pear are a match made in heaven. This delicious dessert is also vegan and gluten-free, so almost anyone can enjoy it.
Vegan chocolate hearts: more confectionery than actual dessert, these cute chocolate hearts are the perfect after-dinner treat to enjoy with your coffee.
Christmas dried fruit compote: simple but delicious, this festive fruit compote has the unmistakable flavours of the holiday season.