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Ultimate Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes

Thanksgiving and Christmas are those special holidays when we really want the food to be not only delicious but also beautiful. Whether cooking for the immediate family or for social gatherings, the pressure to impress is real, especially when you’re plant-based.

vegan seitan mushroom roast on platter with potatoes and carrots

That is why I want to share this list of Ultimate Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes to make the holidays a bit merrier.

Before the Thanksgiving holiday a few years ago, I was putting my menu together and wanted to really come up with a beautiful food display. We had no less than three family gatherings to attend and, though my husband and I aren’t the only plant-based eaters, we are definitely the minority.

Sometimes when people know you’re vegan, they expect that the dishes you’ll contribute to the social or family gathering are likely going to be a salad and fruit tray. As a plant-based nutrition educator with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, I love to break that myth all to pieces.

Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes

The following is the amazing Thanksgiving dinner I made that year, and the food was a show-stopper at functions I attended.

So, if you are looking for the very best vegan Christmas dinner recipes, look no further! I’m going to show you what I made and even include a list of other options after each entree.

Main Dishes I Prepared 

  • Mushroom Seitan Roast with potatoes, carrots, onions
  • 10-Minute Brown Gravy
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Broccoli Salad
  • Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake with Frosting

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Dinner Centerpiece

The ‘centerpiece’ is where so many of us feel stuck for the holidays. We’ve been so accustomed to having a big turkey or ham in the middle of the table, it seems like something is missing if a very large object isn’t occupying that middle space.

vegan mushroom roast with brown gravy being poured over it
Vegan Mushroom Seitan Roast. Click photo to see full recipe on FatFreeVegan.

Normally, I don’t feel this way at all. If the table is full of food, who cares what’s in the center? However, if you just really want to make a big impression, this Mushroom Seitan Roast from Susan at Fat-Free Vegan will fill that center spot in a large and impressive way.

When I first saw it on Susan’s page, I thought it was such a beautiful display but worried that the recipe would be very detailed and require a ton of ingredients. I am happy to say that I was very wrong, because it’s not a difficult recipe at all.

How to make mushroom seitan roast

You simply have to mix the dry ingredients like vital wheat gluten and oats, and spices in a large bowl and add diced mushrooms.

Vital wheat gluten, spices, and mushrooms in a large bowl.

Vital wheat gluten is similar to normal wheat flour, but is made by hydrating the wheat flour to activate the gluten (the main protein in wheat), and then processing it to remove everything but the gluten.

In a blender combine soy sauce, garlic, and spices and blend until smooth.

soy sauce, tahini, garlic, and spices in blender.
Soy sauce, tahini, garlic, and spices in a blender.

Next comes the fun part, in my opinion. It’s combining the dry ingredients, mushrooms, and blender-mixture in a very large bowl to knead together into a ball like this.

uncooked seitan mushroom roast
Mushroom seitan loaf ingredients kneaded into a ball.

Then shape into a loaf, wrap in parchment paper, followed by foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, turn it over to bake another 25 minutes, and it’s done. Click photos to see full recipe on FatFreeVegan.

vegan roast in foil before baking
Mushroom loaf wrapped in parchment paper then foil for baking.

One thing I did that Susan didn’t have in her recipe was that I added diced potatoes, onions, and baby carrots to the dish. To do this, I steamed the vegetables in a steaming basket on my stove.

steamed potatoes and carrots in steamer basket
Diced potatoes, onions, and carrots in steaming basket.

I couldn’t figure out a feasible way to cook the veggies with the roast, but that’s okay because they were just as delicious once covered with the brown gravy over this loaf. So savory!

slice of vegan roast on plate topped with veggies
Mushroom roast served with potatoes, carrots, and onions.

UPDATE: Recently (2020), I came up with my own Perfect Vegan Roast with roasted veggies that turned out fabulous.

vegan roast with roasted potatoes and carrots in cast iron baking dish
Perfect Vegan Roast

10-Minute Vegan Brown Gravy

I decided to use a brown gravy with this vegan dinner roast and vegetables, rather than the lighter colored gravy recipe Susan used with hers.

brown gravy being poured over mashed potatoes close up

This is such a simple gravy recipe to make and it’s amazing served over mashed potatoes, pasta, biscuits, and on everything else you can think of.

It tastes like the stuff I grew up eating on mashed potatoes as a kid, but it happens to be vegan and has zero artery-clogging saturated animal fat.

mashed potatoes covered with brown gravy in silver bowl on wooden table

Ingredients in easy vegan gravy

Preparing this gravy is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do. The whole thing is finished in under 10-minutes. The full recipe for 10-Minute Vegan Brown Gravy.

  • Mix all the ingredients, except the thickener and water, in a saucepan and allow to simmer for about 5-minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the thickener and water.
  • After the 5-minutes of simmering, simply whisk the thickener into the pot with the other ingredients to desired thickness, and you’re done.
flour thickener being poured into brown gravy in pan

Once the gravy is thickened, simply pour it over the finished vegan roast and cooked vegetables to serve a beautiful holiday dinner.

Other great vegan dinner recipes | Centerpieces

Holiday Side Dishes

The vegan side dishes served for our holiday meal were Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli Salad. There are many other delicious holiday side dish options as well, and I will list some of my favorites below.

mashed potatoes in black pan on wooden table

I frequently share these mashed potatoes with friends and relatives, and they don’t even realize that they have a fraction of the fat without butter and traditional mayonnaise.

That’s because I use my own Low-Fat Eggless Mayo that requires only 5 ingredients and a blender. The mayo is the secret ingredient in these potatoes.

Broccoli Salad is an easy no-cooking-required dish that I love. When I’m making other big dishes, I like to keep some of the sides very simple, and this is a perfect recipe for that.

Other great vegan holiday side dishes include:

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Vegan Christmas Desserts

For a perfect end to a Christmas dinner, a delicious dessert is a must, and this Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake will not disappoint.

I wish I could tell you that this masterpiece is my recipe but, alas, it is not. It comes from Dreena Burton and happens to be my favorite chocolate cake of all time.

vegan chocolate cake topped with straweberries
Dreena Burton’s Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake. Click photo to see the full recipe.

It is surprisingly easy to make, and you never taste the sweet potatoes even though they are the main ingredient in both the cake and the icing.

sweet potato cholate cake batter in bowl.
Combine cooked sweet potatoes with other cake ingredients in a large bowl.

Simply beat the cooked sweet potatoes with a hand mixer and combine in other ingredients for the cake. Bake and allow to cool while making the frosting.

I use a silicone baking dish so that the cake is completely oil-free. This is the one that I love and use.

9" silicone red baking dish with cake batter inside
9″ silicone baking dish available on amazon. Click to see details. Affiliate link.

Next, combine more sweet potatoes, cocoa powder, sugar, almond nut butter, vanilla, and plant milk in a blender to make the icing. It really is as simple as that!

vegan chocolate icing in blender
Blend together icing ingredients in blender or food processor.

Once the cake has cooled, add frosting and even a few strawberries as I did, if you like. No one will ever know this cake is vegan or has sweet potatoes in it, I promise!

Other Christmas desserts to try:

Holiday Vegan Breakfast Brunch Casserole

Oh, and if you will be attending any breakfast or brunch gatherings, try this amazing Vegan Breakfast Hash Brown Casserole. It is fantastic!

hash brown casserole on blue plate with baking dish in background
Vegan Hash Brown Casserole. Click photo to view recipe.

I hope some of these recipes become favorites for your family and that you are able to WOW family and friends at the social gatherings you’ll be attending this year.

All recipes can be found by clicking photos above as well.

Also, be sure to check out our Holiday Recipes page for more great recipe ideas!

These 46 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes can provide even more holiday cooking inspiration.

Merry Christmas everyone!

*Originally published December 2018.

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Janice Spencer

Sunday 8th of December 2019

I've been trying to access the 20 thanksgiving and Christmas recipes. Have used recipes in the past. But I can't get any of these to open and they sound very good.

Terri Edwards

Monday 9th of December 2019

Hi Janice, is this page pulling up for you? https://eatplant-based.com/vegan-christmas-dinner-recipes/ Which specific recipes aren't pulling up for you and what message it is giving you? They seem to be coming up for me, so I'm wondering what specifically happens when you click on them.

vegan christmas dinner – ERRVR

Sunday 26th of May 2019

[…] Ultimate Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes | EatPlant-Based.com […]

Sandi McMahill

Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Thankyou so very much. Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas. You give so much to all of us and it is very much appreciated. May the year ahead be the best ever for you.......Sandi

EatPlant-Based.com

Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Thank you SO much! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas as well. I am truly looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store!