The Best Recipes for a Vegan Christmas Dinner

Plant-based options that even meat eaters want to try (Image: Louise Ha)

With less than two weeks until the big day, it’s time to start thinking about what’s going to be on the menu.

Of course, all the classics are likely to pop up around the dinner table – from one succulent turkey and Crispy potato put pigs in blankets.

And there’s no denying that Christmas dinner is often a meat-heavy meal – so what if you had a vegan participating this year?

No worries, there are plenty of plant-based carnival options out there that are easy to make and are sure to delight meat-eaters.

We asked botanical chef Bettina Campolucci Bordi to share some of her favorite vegan Christmas recipes.

She rounded up four different plates – including a main course, a side of veggies, all those all-important potato dishes, and an alternative Christmas cake selection.

Here are her recommendations for some vegan Christmas dinner recipes.

Plant-roasted seeds with apple and cranberry compote recipe

A delicious nut roast (Photo: Louise Ha)

Bettina said: ‘This dish is great in the sense that it is appropriately centered and can be enjoyed by everyone.

‘It’s equally delicious the next day when you make it and can also be turned into hash or pressed between slices of bread to make a sandwich. “


For roasting seeds:

  • 2 onions (about 300 g), peeled and cut into 3-4 cm
  • 1/2 small suckling pig (about 200 g), peeled and cut into 3-4 cm long pieces
  • 1 small sweet potato (about 150 g), peeled and cut into 3–4 cm . pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small leek (about 160 g), washed and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 minced purple onion
  • 350g mushrooms (like chestnuts or oysters)
  • 50 g herb leaves (such as rosemary, thyme and sage) chopped, finely chopped
  • 120g cooked whole grain rice (prepared according to package instructions)
  • 200g cavolo nero or kale, stem removed and chopped
  • 120g ground almonds (almond powder)
  • 160g walnuts, chopped (plus a handful, toasted, to serve)
  • 4 tablespoons cold ground flaxseed 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For pan-fried cavolo nero:

  • 200g cavolo nero or kale, shredded and stem removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a little salt
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil

For the apple and cranberry compote:

  • 4 red apples (such as Braeburn or Royal Gala), 100 g fresh or frozen cranberries, peeled, diced
  • 3 cm grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • lemonade
  • 100 ml of water


1. Cook beets, turnips, and sweet potatoes in a large pot of boiling water for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, then puree.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet (pan) and cook the leeks, garlic and shallots for about 5 minutes until tender. Add mushrooms, herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper, and fry for another 5-10 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 220°C (430°F/gas 8).

4. Mix the vegetable mixture, mushroom mixture, cooked rice, cavolo nero, ground almonds, walnuts, and flaxseeds together in a large bowl with a spoon until smooth.

5. Line a 900g loaf pan with parchment paper, then pour in the mixture. You can also use fancy, patterned Christmas nonstick pans, but I recommend you use olive oil to brush the insides (can’t line this with parchment because it will mask the pattern).

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F/gas 6), then bake the loaf in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes.

7. Remove the loaf from the oven, then remove from the pan along with the paper (if using). Flip the loaf over onto a baking tray (pan) lined with parchment paper.

8. Mix tamari/soy sauce with maple syrup and mustard, then spread on loaf before placing in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

9. To cook a side dish with cavolo nero, massage the leaves with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt until tender. Heat a medium skillet (pan), add some olive oil and garlic and fry the cavolo nero for 5 minutes. Add the tamari/soy sauce and sesame seed oil, then set aside.

10. To make the smoothie, put apples, cranberries, ginger, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a large saucepan, then pour in the water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until mixture is soft and chewy, and all liquid has been absorbed.

11. Once the beans are ready, let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

12, Serve on a plate with sautéed cavolo nero and apples, cranberries, and ginger, then top with some toasted walnuts.

Crush Brussels sprouts with vegetarian garlic mayo

Sprouts… but not as you know (Photo: LOUISE HA)

Bettina said: ‘This is the only way to eat Brussels cabbage: crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside with the extra crunch from the sesame seeds.

‘I’m not a huge fan of sprouts, but I’m a huge fan of them, especially garnished with a bit of mayo. You must create them. ‘


  • 300–400g Brussels sprouts
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Sprinkle with white sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the garlic mayonnaise:

  • 100 g vegetable mayonnaise
  • 1 clove of garlic,
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 220°C (430°F/430/gas 8).

2. Peel off the outer skin of sprouts, wash them. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the sprouts and blanch for 10 minutes until tender. Take care that the sprouts don’t turn a dull green which means they’ve been overcooked. Good drainage.

3. Line a large baking tray (pan) with parchment, then spread the Brussels sprouts on top of the parchment. Make sure the sprouts have enough space in between and use the palm of your hand or the bottom of a drinking glass until it’s as flat as possible. You may see some water coming out of the sprouts as you flatten them, so blot off excess with a paper towel.

4. Drizzle the sprouts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds, then place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until browned.

5. Remove the tray from the oven, flip the sprouts, sprinkle with more sesame seeds and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. You want the sprouts to be golden and crispy.

6. While the sprouts are cooking, mix all the mayonnaise ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

7. When the sprouts are golden, remove from the oven and eat while they are still super crispy, dipping in garlic mayo.

Miso baked potato and onion recipe

Bettina adds: “Patience is the key to this dish.

‘It’s a great way to eat potatoes and onions paired with miso oil, bringing sweetness and saltiness to two of my favorite ingredients. “


  • 4 large baked potatoes 3 large yellow onions
  • 1 large garlic

For base oil:

  • 60 ml olive oil 2 tbsp dark miso 1 tbsp maple syrup and zest of 1 lemon

For the herb crust:

  • 1 piece of toast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a little pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic 10g thyme, leaves removed

For the top layer:

  • 2 green onions, finely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 220°C (430°F/gas 8). Line a baking tray (pan) with baking paper.

2. Peel and halve the potatoes and onions, then ‘hedgehogs’ cut them by slicing the top of each vegetable horizontally and vertically, for a crisscrossing effect.

3. Mix all carrier oil ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

4. Place all herb peel ingredients in a food processor or blender, then set aside.

5. Dip the onion and potato into the flour mixture and cover tightly to let the mixture soak into all the grooves.

6. Cook the potatoes and onions in the oven for a total of 1 and a half hours, covering them with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn oven down to 200°C (400°F/gas 6), remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes. After this time, sprinkle the herb crust over the potatoes and onions, then cook for the last 30 minutes.

7. When the vegetables are ready, remove from the oven and sprinkle with green onions before serving.

Mini Christmas cake recipe

Sweets (Photo: Louise Ha)

Bettina said: ‘Making a Christmas cake is a time-consuming process.

‘Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas cakes, but I enjoy spending time with my family even more. This is a great recipe to make for loved ones or as a gift. ‘


  • 40g ground almonds (almond powder)
  • 40g oats
  • 60g date
  • 200g blanched almonds
  • 50g candy shells
  • 50g glacé cherries (candy)
  • 50g raisins
  • 1 tablespoon marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey

For icing and decoration:

  • 100 g of icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • glace cherry
  • chopped rosemary


1. Place the ground almonds and oats in a food processor or blender and grind to a powder. Put the dough in a large bowl.

2. Place the dates, almonds, candy shells, glacé cherries, raisins, marmalade, cinnamon, spice mix, and whiskey into a food processor or blender and blend until nicely combined. .

3. Add the fruit mixture to the almond/oatmeal bowl and mix until well combined and feels sticky and can form.

4. Shape the mixture into 16 bite-sized balls and place on a plate lined with greaseproof (wax) paper. Place in the refrigerator to harden for 1 hour.

5. Meanwhile, make ice by mixing icing sugar and water into a paste.

6. When the cakes are ready, take them out of the fridge and dip each cake in ice water. Add a glacé cherry on top of each piece and sprinkle with dried petals. They can be made later or eaten right away.

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Tom Vazquez

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