Vegan Christmas Recipes
Celebrate the holidays with an entirely plant-based menu that everyone will be able to enjoy. From tofu and jackfruit-studded main dishes to incredible chocolate cakes, pies, and cookies, these recipes are a great way to celebrate the holidays this year and bring everyone together around the table this holiday season. You don't have to be vegan to enjoy these fantastic dishes, and you might just find your new favorite recipe to enjoy again and again.
Dark Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Avocado Frosting
This vegan cake (no eggs or butter!) is so delicious that our kids begged for more. The frosting is silky smooth, and the cake is light and loaded with chocolate flavor, and healthy fats.
Rye and Butternut Squash Dressing
Cube the bread a day or two ahead and leave it out on the counter to dry, so it will fully absorb the flavors of the dressing. (If you forget, you can dry it in a 375° oven for a few minutes.) For a moister dressing, use the larger amount of broth. This makes a good main dish for vegans (use kosher rye, which excludes dairy). But it's good with sausage too; add about 1 pound, casings removed, browned and crumbled.
Saran's eye-opening technique here is to pat the tofu dry very briefly, rather than for 20 or 30 minutes. This keeps it moist and creamy inside, and the outside still gets browned. Look for ghee--clarified, toasted butter--at Indian or Asian markets.
Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips with Crisp Root Vegetable Strips
No need to toss those peels in the compost. Roast them with sage leaves and a little oil, and you've got a crisp and ingenious topping. In the mash, the coconut spread brings out the parsnips' sweetness.
Vegan Pavlovas with Pomegranates and Chocolate
Aquafaba, the beany liquid in canned chickpeas, is astonishing stuff; it whips up just like egg whites in recipes. Here, it's paired with coconut cream to create a completely vegan version of pavlova, a crunchy meringue that typically uses egg whites and dairy cream. Don't be afraid of the time - the aquafaba has to chill and the pavlovas have to bake in the oven.
Carrot Osso Buco
In Richard Blais's playful vegan take on osso buco (braised veal shanks), he braises very large pieces of carrots in red wine and mushroom broth until tender. Ground dried porcini mushrooms give the dish rich, meaty flavor.
Molasses Cake with Maple-Sugared Pecans
This ultra-moist, can't-believe-it's-vegan cake is a version of one in Oakland cookbook writer Bryant Terry's The Inspired Vegan. Terry's Tennessee grandmother used a lot of molasses in her cooking, and it's a favorite ingredient for Terry too. You'll have extra candied nuts, but that's okay--they make great snacks.
Chili-Roasted Acorn Squash
Coat acorn squash slices with a mixture of chili powder, cumin, and paprika before roasting them until tender.
Tempeh with Charred Peppers and Kale
Ever tried tempeh? This soybean-based veggie protein is a great option for vegetarian or vegan sandwiches and wraps because of its firm texture and incredible flavor adaptability. We love it here with a quick soy sauce hit, layered over earthy kale.
White Bean and Jackfruit Chili
In the vegan and vegetarian world, jackfruit is a blessing when it comes to adding a hearty touch to typically meaty dishes such as chili. Jackfruit has a mild flavor that is a lot like a blank canvas that easily takes on the flavors of sauces or spices used with it. In the case of this flavorful and cozy dish, spices like coriander, paprika, oregano, and cumin add a warm and toasty edge to this can't-believe-it's-vegan chili. The jackfruit has a shockingly good meaty texture while the supporting flavors lend it an unforgettable quality that simply proves that a meatless chili can actually be very meaty and satisfying.
This creamy and dreamy queso dip is something that even the greatest non-vegans will appreciate. This queso is made with a blended puree of nutty and earthy cashews which lend a hearty flavor to this "cheese." The cashews are soaked for a few hours in water until they soften, and from there get blended up to make a rich and creamy base to this flavorful queso. With spices added in like cayenne pepper and cumin, this dip is the perfect flavorful addition to the appetizer table.
Roasted Broccoli with Pistachios and Pickled Golden Raisins
From the Kitchen of…Rich Landau, Longtime Cooking Light Friend
Rich, chef and owner of Vedge in Philadelphia, offered us this lovely autumn salad, in which bright bursts of sweet-tart raisins accompany each bite of toasted broccoli.
Some version of broccoli, usually laden with cream and cheese, lands on many a Thanksgiving table. But this dish, with its beautifully balanced flavors, is much lighter--and vegan.
Spiced Lemon Quinoa
Back home in South India, Sunset reader Kavita Aiyar's mom made traditional lemon rice scattered with channa dal (a yellow, lentil-like legume). At her home in Silicon Valley, Kavita cooks quinoa instead of rice and adds spinach or other greens, "basically California-izing it," she says. She suggests split peas instead of the dal because they're easier to find. You can serve the recipe as a side dish or a vegan entrée.
Roasted Squash Salad
Top winter greens with roasted butternut squash for a clean, light meal.
The Ultimate Unbaked Brownies
These incredible brownies are a lot of things all at once: they're no-bake, vegan, and gluten-free. They're also incredibly delicious, and feature a luxurious layer of chocolate ganache on top.
Banana-Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies
These great cookies are gluten-free, vegan, and are also incredibly delicious. If following a strict gluten-free lifestyle, be sure that your baking powder is gluten-free, as some varieties contain trace amounts of gluten.
Pumpkin-Orange Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
If you're a fan of pumpkin desserts, look no further than these festive cookies. Fresh-squeezed orange juice and orange zest give these naturally colored pumpkin cookies a bright and crisp edge to compliment the deep fall flavors found in pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The milled flaxseed in this recipe provides a binder in place of using eggs and also provides some healthy omega-3's. These cookies are gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and can easily be made vegan by using vegan chocolate chips, and just as well can also be made nut-free by subbing the almond milk for water or regular milk.
Chocolate Infinity Pie
This pie has it all. It's full of chocolate flavor, has a silky-smooth texture, and it's also gluten-free. Also, to make this pie vegan, be sure to use vegan chocolate chips. With this fantastic pie recipe, everyone gets to indulge.