Simple + Healthy Vegan Christmas Recipes (Ultimate List)

by Alena
Nov 28, 2019
2K Shares

Feeling puffy and overstuffed during the holidays isn’t the jolliest of experiences. Enjoying a good time with loved ones while feeling comfortable in your body sounds more like a win-win to us – which is why we’d love to share our favorite simple and healthy vegan Christmas recipes with you this year.

Yes, it’s a stressful time for everyone and indulgences are totally on the agenda. But how about making some steps towards healthier plant-based versions of traditional Christmas recipes?

Maybe even try a simple vegan Christmas side to share with everyone?

“Spread the love and spread health too”, is our attitude. And trust us, our families have been grateful that we basically took over and now make a healthy vegan Christmas dinner for everyone – it’s our loving and non-material gift to them, so to say.

If you’re a new vegan, we totally get that you might be particularly nervous about this time of year. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas often feature dead animals as the centerpiece of the table which can be horrifying.

But apart from trying to channel your inner guru and remain your calmest and jolliest self, there are also some practical steps you can take to ensure you’ll have great food. Let’s start this by telling you how to have a good Christmas experience as a vegan.

111+ Unique Vegan Gift Ideas

How To Have A Vegan Christmas 

First of all, don’t mention why you’re having such issues with animal products right when everyone’s eating. Believe us, the timing is awful. It’s best to not talk about food at all during the actual feast and keep any arguments, if possible, until later or even another day.

Now, let’s see how you can navigate the actual food situation!

There are some typical dishes that are served around Christmas which are either often already vegan or can easily be veganized by making a few swaps – using margarine or oil instead of butter, plant-based milk instead of dairy milk or vegetable stock instead of chicken or beef stock.

Vegan-Friendly Christmas Dishes

If any of these are likely to be served by someone else, you can talk to them ahead of time and ask if they can make an easy food swap so the dish is vegan-friendly and can be enjoyed by everyone at the table.

For a list of non-vegan ingredients to look out for, check our vegan Thanksgiving recipe post below.

The Best Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Make Healthy Vegan Christmas Recipes

Instead of just trying to fiddle your way through the dishes that will be served during dinner, you can also get proactive – which is why you’re probably here and want to check out simple and healthy vegan Christmas recipes.

We recommend you bring one of the following dishes (or several!) to any Christmas party or gathering so make sure you have something to eat. 

Speaking from experience, most people will be very curious to know what “special food” you have there and want to have a bite – which is why it’s always better to bring a larger portion so you’re prepared to share with others.

This can be a wonderful occasion to show friends, family or colleagues how amazing vegan food can taste and that it doesn’t have to be so different from what everyone is used to eating.

If you can organize and host the Christmas celebration yourself, even better!

Choose from our following list of mostly simple but always healthy vegan Christmas sides, treats and dinner recipes. Everything’s entirely plant-based and made with real-food ingredients that are typically easy to find.

No matter if you’re more of a traditional person (vegan wellington, anyone?) or would love to experiment with entirely new ideas like a one-bowl winter Buddha Bowl, we’re positive our following list of vegan Christmas recipes will inspire you to get into the kitchen.

Healthy Vegan Christmas Sides

Some of the following side dishes will seem familiar to you which perfectly exemplifies how easy it is to recreate classic Christmas recipes in a healthy and vegan way! You’ll find all things pumpkin, baked and cozy in this section. Most will be perfect to bring to someone else’s house, too!

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe by Lazy Cat Kitchen

Using a mix of regular white potatoes and sweet potatoes, this classic side dish offers more than just a vegan twist! We love the simplicity of the recipe and the ingredients which are very wholesome and easy to find. The creamy cashew sauce is sure to make everyone quickly get over the dairy-free part of this delicious dish.

Quick Savory Pumpkin Tart

Recipe by Vegan Family Recipes

Let’s keep the pumpkin theme rolling for a little longer, okay? You’re probably already very familiar with this holiday staple, but we’re sure you haven’t experienced the nearly endless possibilities this delicious squash variety has to offer – for example, a savory pumpkin tart. Yes, pumpkin is fantastic on its own, but pairing it with some puff pastry and garlicky cashew sauce? Uhm, yes, please! Certainly a pretty and unusual side dish you need to try. Our favorite part is that it only takes 10 minutes of prep time!

Easy Festive Vegan Stuffing  

Recipe by Pickled Plum

This delicious herby stuffing is appreciated by vegans and non-vegans alike and can be made one or two days ahead of time to take some of the stress out of Christmas. We love that the ingredients are rather easy to find and that the stuffing will keep in the fridge for up to a week – if it’ll even survive the first outing on the dinner table, that is.

Fluffy Gluten-Free Vegan Cornbread

Woman with white apron cutting freshly baked cornbread into six equal squares
Recipe by Nutriciously

The perfect allergy-friendly comforting side for this occasion! Our simple and gluten-free vegan cornbread recipe can be enjoyed sweet or savory and should definitely be served almost straight out of the oven. The moist inside and crunchy top make for a comforting holiday meal addition that you can use to dip, spread or snack. Completely oil-free and sugar-free but definitely not taste-free!

Green Bean Casserole & Garlic Mushrooms

Recipe by Jar of Lemons

This easy and healthy version of one of the season’s most famous side dishes is unbelievably creamy — and you can put it together in just 10 minutes of hands-on time. With whole food plant-based ingredients such as whole wheat flour, almond milk, cashew butter and lots of vegetables, you can go back for seconds or thirds without having a food hangover the next day! Win-win.

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Recipe by Crumb Top Baking

Have you jumped on board with one of the latest trends? Air Fryers are fantastic kitchen tools that make crunchy and healthy low-fat meals. These butternut squash fries can be made entirely without oil (your choice) and are seasoned with oregano, garlic powder, smoked paprika and some maple syrup. You won’t be able to get your hands off this sweet and spicy side!

White Bean Mashed Potatoes

Recipe by Cotter Crunch

Did you assume we’d include some traditional mashed potatoes in here? Think again. These creamy mashed potatoes have been upgraded with a bunch of protein-rich and satiating white beans as well as some garlic and fresh herbs. Add some more creaminess by using extra coconut milk if you like and this sage-infused mashed magic will be yours!

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples

Recipe by Jessica in the Kitchen

One thing’s for sure: every decent holiday spread needs some roasted Brussels sprouts. How about adding some apple, pecans, thyme and red onion into the mix this year? Let the roasting bring out the amazing caramelized flavor and crispy texture of this tasty vegan side dish. No regrets, pure deliciousness.

Festive Holiday Hummus

Recipe by Well and Full

Now, what would a proper vegan meal be without the holy hummus? This basic plant-protein-rich side doesn’t just call for chickpeas but also features carrots, rosemary and parsley. Garnished with pomegranate seeds, it makes for a pretty and unobtrusive addition to the table, perfect for spreading, dipping or just enjoying by the spoonful.

Rosemary Stuffed Mushrooms

Recipe by Wholly Plants

Finger food is the best food! And what better time to make all things oven-baked? This crowd-pleasing whole food plant-based recipe is completely-oil free and likely to be devoured within minutes. The creamy cashew and spinach filling is wonderfully herb-infused and will have every kitchen smelling like a dream.

Flavorful Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Recipe by Ve Eat Cook Bake

We warned you that there would be a bunch of pumpkin recipes, right? Whereas the holiday time is usually an excuse to feel uncomfortably stuffed and then stuck in a food coma for days, offering this light and flavorful pumpkin soup makes for a different food experience. Not only can you load up on delicious creamy soup, but your body will feel amazing post-holidays! Another plus is that you really won’t be able to mess up this simple yet fantastic recipe. 

Easy Festive Chestnut Bites

Recipe by The Hungry Herbivores

One of our favorite childhood memories revolves around looking for chestnuts in our local forest. So, this ingredient is a must for a cozy and complete winter menu in our books! These chestnut bites are a perfect “nibble of Christmas” – featuring onion, garlic and cozy winter spices as well as a crispy cornmeal coating. Try pairing them with some cranberry sauce!

Pistachio-Crusted Cheese Ball

Recipe By Jessica in the Kitchen

Every festive spread calls for some delectable cheese – nut cheese, that is. Not only is this version cruelty-free and full of healthy fiber instead of being just a blob of fat, but your tummy will also be much happier digesting this nutty goodness! Complete with a pistachio crust, this white wine and herb-infused ball of nut cheese is a hit at every party. Highly recommended!

Easy Winter Kale Salad

Recipe by From My Bowl

Let’s not forget to include some crunchy greens here! This easy everyday kale salad looks stunning and features straight-forward plant-based ingredients that you’re very likely to already have at home. Not only can you make it up to 3 days in advance, but it is also budget-friendly and easily customizable.

Easy Vegan Christmas Dinner Ideas

Getting to the main part of a delicious Christmas feast, we’ve hand-selected satiating and beautiful healthy vegan recipes such as Shepherd’s pie, vegan lentil loaf, stuffed acorn squash (of course) and a beautiful vegetable Wellington. There are also simple one-bowl options for those of you who aren’t planning a fancy party!

Curried Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Recipe by The Endless Meal

This beautiful Christmas dinner option isn’t just your usual Shepherd’s Pie. Offering tons of flavor thanks to curry spices and caramelized tomato paste, this recipe takes a classic dish to the next level. This satiating family-friendly meal comes with a good load of veggies, lentils and chickpeas and is topped with creamy coconut mashed sweet potatoes.

Rice & Tempeh Stuffed Acorn Squash

Recipe by Emilie Eats

Here comes the next round of winter squash! Go preheat the oven because this colorful and flavorful roasted goodness is a must this year during Christmas. Stuffed with wild rice, tempeh (the most delicious way to eat soy!) and pomegranate as well as some fresh herbs, this easy recipe cannot go wrong. Oh, and don’t forget the generous drizzle of tahini before serving!

Vegan Vegetable Wellington

Recipe by Connoisseurus Veg

How about this stunning flaky puff pastry beauty for your Christmas centerpiece? Nobody will miss the meat after having a taste of the sweet and savory mixture of mushrooms, butternut squash, pecans and rice. We love that it’s easily customizable and if you end up with too much filling, you can enjoy it on its own. If you’re not super keen on the whiskey (keep in mind the alcohol will cook off), you can just leave it out.

Easy Roasted Winter Bowl

Recipe by Nutriciously

Not every festive occasion calls for an extravagant menu. Maybe you want to just cook for yourself or your partner and keep things healthy and simple this year? These easy roasted winter bowls are perfect for that. Delicious any day of the year, this recipe is totally customizable and features in its original version classics such as quinoa, kale, red cabbage, orange, walnuts, sweet potatoes and roasted chickpeas.

Cranberry Stuffing Topped Festive Pot Pies

Recipe by The Hungry Herbivores

How about combining two festive classics – stuffing and pot pies – to make the ultimate healthy, delicious and surprisingly easy Christmas magic that is cranberry stuffing pot pies? We don’t see how you could go wrong with this. Everyday staples like dried herbs, onions and veggie stock mixed with wintery ingredients such as butternut squash, parsnip and chestnuts, combined ino an oil-free and mouth-watering recipe. Everyone will be all over these in no time.

Spinach Almond Ricotta Cannelloni

Recipe by About That Food

Pasta is the right choice for any day of the year, right? We’re usually not ones to get the casserole dish out of the cupboard for weeknight dinners but occasions like Christmas definitely call for a scrumptious lovingly prepared plant-strong main meal. These cheesy, creamy spinach-filled almond ricotta cannelloni definitely make for a wonderful impression and are the perfect comfort meal for young and old alike.

Hearty Vegan Lentil Loaf

Vegan Meatloaf Ready to Eat
Recipe by Nutriciously

As Christmas is all about love, why not swap the beautiful animals on the table for a much healthier, easier and cheaper version of a meatloaf? Each serving of this lentil loaf offers 19 grams of plant-strong protein, 10 grams of fiber, double the omega-3 that you need for the whole day – and a whole lot of savory, chewy, flavorful goodness.

Roasted Squash Farro Salad

Recipe by Running On Real Food

This meal brings all of the delicious food groups of a plant-based diet together. You’ve got the nutty whole grain (farro), the starchy vegetable (squash for the win!), sweet and sour fruit, crunchy leafy greens and some wholesome fats and proteins (yay for tahini). This colorful bowl of joy is the perfect choice to bring to a Christmas party, can partially be made days in advance, and ensures you stay well-nourished during any celebration.

Sweet Potato & Kale Pot Pie

Recipe by My Quiet Kitchen

Wanting to keep your vegan Christmas dinner really healthy? This sweet potato and kale pot pie is comfort food at its most wholesome. Featuring a simple almond flour crust and a colorful veggie stuffing, it’s naturally oil-free, gluten-free and whole food plant-based. Don’t skip the meaty soy curls and mushrooms, which give the recipe a nice bite. Plus, the well-rounded garlic, thyme, sage and smoked paprika seasoning will make every healthy meal taste like heaven.

Healthy Vegan Christmas Treats

Let’s round up this beautiful Christmas menu with some delicious and actually pretty healthy vegan treats. From Christmas pudding to chocolates, different types of cookies, pies and cakes, these mouth-watering recipes will make vegans and non-vegans alike very prone to just a little overindulgence.

Cardamom Cranberry Cookies

Recipe by Nutri Planet

These one-bowl grab-and-go cookies offer all the warming delicious Christmas spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cranberries but without any added sugar or oil! Sweetened with whole dates and some liquid stevia drops, they are a healthy and easy Christmas treat. Plus, they are made with oat flour and nut butter which makes them gluten-free and super chewy at the same time!

Chocolate Sweet Potato Muffins 

Recipe by Resplendent Kitchen

More oil-free and gluten-free vegan goodness to devour! These beautiful and decadent chocolate sweet potato muffins don’t taste “healthy” at all and make for a wonderful indulgence during Christmas time. The combination of pumpkin pie spice, cocoa powder, sweet potato and tahini (yes!!) is really something else!

Wholesome Cinnamon Buns

vegan whole wheat ciannon roll on white plate with a fork in it next to a hand
Recipe by Nutriciously

Can you imagine a better smell filling your kitchen than some warm, fluffy and nutty vegan cinnamon rolls? Our easy and wholesome recipe has only 8 basic ingredients plus all the wintery spices you want. No milk, oil, dairy or refined sugar required for these sweet holiday-friendly buns.

Gluten-Free Vegan Pecan Pie

Recipe by From My Bowl

From just looking at this scrumptious vegan pecan pie, you wouldn’t think that it’s actually grain-free, gluten-free, oil-free and refined sugar-free! Only 8 delicious and healthy plant-based ingredients such as coconut milk or white sweet potatoes and 15 minutes prep time are needed to make this nutrient- and flavor-dense Christmas treat happen.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies on top of each other next to some crumbles and almond milk on a grey surface
Recipe by Nutriciously

Looking for a whole food plant-based cookie recipe that’s very healthy for you and still deliciously chewy and crumbly? These gluten-free vegan oatmeal chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies tick all the boxes. You can customize them to your liking, using a different nut butter or add-ins such as raisins, cranberries or coconut flakes.

Festive Chocolate Peppermint Tart

Recipe by Evergreen Kitchen

A creamy chocolate filling set in a simple crust and topped with whipped coconut cream and crushed candy cranes – what could spread more holiday cheer than this delectable vegan and gluten-free chocolate peppermint tart? Perfectly showcasing that you can still eat awesome food when living a vegan lifestyle, this creamy and decadent tart is great to feed any crowd.

Creamy Almond & Cashew Nog

Recipe by The Simple Green

Get really cozy this Christmas with a creamy, nutty vegan nog! This delicious drink shouldn’t be skipped during the holidays and can totally be made as a plant-based and guilt-free version. With warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, the delicious creamy nog makes for a great holiday experience everyone will love.

Vegan Christmas Sugar Cookies

Recipe by Sweet Vegan Sara

With just 5 healthy whole food plant-based ingredients, you can whip up the softest vegan Christmas sugar cookies ever in under 30 minutes total. Naturally gluten-free, oil-free and sweetened only with whole fruit, these delicious Christmas treats definitely take your cookie game to the next level. Plus, you can customize this recipe and have all your favorite add-ins such as melted chocolate or sprinkles!

Vegan Christmas Chocolates

Recipe by Monkey And Me Kitchen Adventures

Super easy to make and actually good for you, these chocolate peanut butter Christmas treats are a great pick-me-up during the busy holidays. Completely whole food plant-based, no oil or gluten, and slowly melting in your mouth… kids and grown-ups alike will love them! Another great dessert nobody will notice is actually vegan. 

Vegan Christmas Pudding

Recipe by My Goodness Kitchen

This gorgeous and fuss-free vegan Christmas pudding is made with all the delicious winter fruit – Medjool dates, golden sultanas, dried cranberries and pears. Very easily customizable, you can add your favorite Christmas fixings to this recipe, such as prunes, orange zest or cherries. It does take quite a bit of cooking time and a hefty swig of brandy but the result will be so worth it.

Baked Gingerbread Doughnuts

Recipe by Strength and Sunshine

Oil-free doughnuts? Yup, these babies are oven-baked and feature only healthy ingredients. Naturally gluten-free due to the plantain and arrowroot starch, it comes with all the winter spices (of course!) as well as sugar-free alternatives to sweeten the Christmassy vegan doughnuts. Pretty easy to make and definitely kid-friendly!

Chocolate Amaretti Cookies

Recipe by Gathering Dreams

These cookies a serious childhood throwback, so they had to make our list of the best vegan Christmas recipes. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, they taste so nutty and chocolatey while not overwhelming you with sweetness. The recipe calls for mostly wholesome and very basic ingredients – plus, after just 20 minutes, the cookies are ready to be devoured!

Healthy Gingerbread Bliss Balls

Recipe by Veggiekins Blog

Looking for a truly easy and healthy vegan Christmas recipe? Then these gingerbread bliss balls will be for you. You can make them within just 10 minutes or less (depending on your rolling skills) and they are so easy to customize to your taste or dietary preferences. Not just a mindful and wholesome Christmas treat but perfect for snacking throughout the day or prepping in advance.

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Mousse

Recipe by Running On Real Food

Let’s round up this list with one final pumpkin recipe, because this seasonal veg is just the best! This healthy and easy vegan pumpkin mousse only requires 4 simple ingredients plus a few spices like cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg. It uses a coconut cream and pumpkin (that one was obvious) base and tastes amazing on its own – or you can go crazy with toppings, such as nuts, pecan crumble, granola or coconut whipped cream!

We hope you enjoyed our hand-selected list of the best simple and healthy vegan Christmas recipes! Which of these are you going to try this year? Any great ones we’ve missed? Share with us in the comments below or Pin the recipes for later.

woman in grey vegan shirt with her hands on her hips looking to the left and smiling
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.
dark grey spotted bowl with a variety of vegetables next to small bottle of green smoothie isolated on light background

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