Pull out your favorite apron. If you like whipping up festive foods for the holidays, you’ll be delighted with the wealth of recipes for plant-based indulgences. Silky soups. Decadent desserts. Scrumptious sides.
It’s possible to delight and impress your family and friends with delicious dishes that don’t require eggs, butter, meat, and milk. With vegan fare, your holiday feasts — and snacks — are elevated with ingredients that are preferable for environmental sustainability and animal welfare.
To inspire your holiday ventures in the kitchen, vegan enthusiasts and vegan brands offer some of their favorite holiday recipes and kitchen tips.
Perky Fruit Pies
Gretchen Dossa of Fat Badger Bakery is a fan of fruit pies for holiday dinners.
Her busy mom tips include:
- Use crushed cookies for a no-bake pie crust
- Top pies with pieces of dough cut into festive shapes with cookie cutters.
“I’ve tried apple, peach, blueberry, pumpkin, mango, blackberry, strawberry, fruit cream pies. Tart flavors like blackberry or cranberry I like to temper with a more ‘neutral’ fruit like pear … I am partial to adding a bit of good vanilla to my pies. I may have a heavy hand with spice, but pies are something you can really adjust flavors to your liking without ruining the dessert. Switch up the nuts if you don’t like pecan pie. Add peanuts and chocolate (if it) is what you like.”
Wild Mushroom Stuffing
“This wild mushroom stuffing is tender and moist yet a little crunchy. It’s packed with holiday flavors and perfect for your Christmas or Thanksgiving table,” Vora said. “You can make this in a 13×9-inch or 3-quart baking dish, but I recommend using a bundt pan if you have one lying around. It will turn this stuffing into a beautiful wreath shape that’s so festive.”
Vora offered a few other tips:
- If possible, use a mix of mushrooms. If you only use button mushrooms, the stuffing may be a little watery.
- This recipe calls for fresh sage, thyme, and rosemary, but I have also made it with thyme and oregano. Both combos are great, but whatever variety you choose, don’t skimp on the herbs because they infuse the stuffing with a lot of savory, Thanksgiving-y flavors.
- I like to use a hearty rustic bread in this dish, such as a good-quality baguette, French bread, or a ciabatta. Don’t use sandwich bread — it just won’t hold up in this recipe.
- To keep this recipe soy-free, omit the miso paste or use chickpea miso. If you omit the miso paste, you might want to add just a smidgen more salt.
- Use more olive oil if you don’t want to use vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter (I use Country Crock Plant Butter)
- 1 pound wild mushrooms (tough stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- ½ pound button or cremini mushrooms, tough cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 large leeks (white and light green parts only, diced)
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 2 tablespoons thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 flax egg (see Step #2)
- 1 large baguette or loaf of French bread (about 16 ounces, or 8 to 10 cups cubed)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 to 2 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup vegan parmesan (optional)
If that sounds enticing, follow the directions for the stuffing on Rainbow Plant Life.
A few other vegan holiday favorites from Vora:
Sweet Potatoes as Entrée or Dessert
Denise Zheng, who assists with organizing Richmond VegFest, is delighted with a sweet potato recipe she picked out online. The dish features a maple pecan topping. Zheng likes the layers of texture, the flavor, and the versatility of the recipe. “It fits the season with pumpkin spice seasonings. I like how it can be served as an entrée and as a dessert,” she said.
Tammy Haldren, an educator with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program at West Virginia State University, is a fan of Cookie + Kate’s lentil soup recipe she uses professionally and for her family. Even picky eaters like it, she says. “This recipe is so easy and made with mostly pantry staples. I always add kale, rather than spinach or other greens; however, one can certainly add their favorite.”
Nisha Vora of Rainbow Plant Life also recommends her Vegan Cauliflower Soup.
For more vegan soup recipes, read Plant-Based Soups – Super for You & the Planet.
Gingerbread Pumpkin Casserole
- 4 cups pureed pumpkin or winter squash or 3 (15-ounce) cans unsweetened pumpkin or sweet potato puree
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup canned coconut milk
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup minced candied ginger, optional
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Ingredients for topping
- Line a fine-mesh strainer with a thin, clean kitchen towel, and place over a bowl. Scrape pumpkin into strainer, fold edges of towel over the pumpkin, and weight with a small plate or bowl and a heavy can for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a 9 or 10” square baking dish.
- In a large bowl stir together pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut milk, oil, optional candied ginger, flour, fresh and ground ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, allspice, and cloves. Pour into baking dish.
- In a medium bowl stir together cereal, ginger, coconut, and coconut oil. Sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake until browned, about 40 minutes.
More Sweet Vegan Recipes for the Holidays
For more vegan desert recipes, read Yum! Whip Up Scrumptious & Easy Vegan Desserts in a Snap.