9 FAVORITE Plant-Based Christmas Recipes
Just in time for Christmas, I’m bringing you some of my 9 FAVORITE Plant-Based Christmas Recipes that will be on my table this holiday season. From Beet White Bean Hummus and Sonoma Kale Salad to Sage White Bean Veggie Balls with Pomegranate Mandarin Sauce and Beet Red Velvet Cake, I’ve got you covered for your plant-based (vegan) Christmas menu planning. These recipes have all been hand-made in my kitchen (the photos above were shot in my dining room), with lots of love and care. They have all gotten the thumbs up from my family, who always gives me approval before a recipe appears on my blog. Even if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, these plant-based Christmas recipes are a great option for you to make your menu just a little bit more plant-based, and offer more choices for your diners. I’m sending you wishes for a happy holiday season this year, spent with those you love.
Eat and Live Well,
9 FAVORITE Plant-Based Christmas Recipes
Beet White Bean Hummus (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
This plant-based hummus really has the wow factor, thanks to the addition of earthy, sweet beets. Just put it on your table, and watch people say “ah”, and then devour it, because it’s as yummy as it is pretty—plus it is packed with plant-powered nutrients, including beet phytochemicals, plant protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Serve it with veggies and whole grain pita as a pretty appetizer.
Sonoma Kale Salad with Red Grapes and Mushroom-Red Wine Vinaigrette (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
The savory, mellow flavors of sautéed mushrooms tame this Sonoma Kale Salad with Red Grapes and Mushroom-Red Wine Vinaigrette, all with the bright, sweet pop of red grapes. This salad will make you think of sunny afternoons picnicking in a vineyard! One of my favorite things to do, considering I live in California. The thing that I love most about this salad is that you create a savory warm mushroom-red wine vinaigrette in the sauté pan, which you then toss into the salad. This warm vinaigrette gently tenderizes the kale leaves, while providing a rich, umami flavor.
I really love a creamy squash soup on my holiday table. And by roasting the squash before making a soup, you can maximize the sweet, earthy flavors of squash and let them shine through in the soup bowl. This Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Hazelnuts is all that and more. Completely plant-based (vegan), the soup is quick and easy to make. Just roast the squash in the oven or on a grill, sauté the veggies and herbs in a pot with broth, and then whiz it all up in a blender. Garnish with crunchy, nutty hazelnuts, fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar, and EVOO to make the soup really sing. And, if you have a smoker, try smoking the squash to add a hint of sweet-smokiness to the soup.
Sage White Bean Veggie Balls with Pomegranate Mandarin Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
I love the veggie “meatball” trend, which features little savory balls of beans, veggies, and grains baked into golden perfection, as in this recipe for Sage White Bean Veggie Balls with Pomegranate Mandarin Sauce. These little veggie balls disappear so quickly—even my carnivore friends snatch them up. The sauce, made with pomegranate and mandarin orange, is just the perfect amount of sweet and tart, offering a wonderful accompaniment for the earthy flavors of the veggie balls.
Jansson’s Temptation (Swedish Potato Casserole, Vegan)
In Sweden, the most beloved dish has to be Jansson’s Temptation (in Swedish, Janssons Frestelse). In short, people refer to it as “Janssons”, as in, “I can’t wait to taste the Janssons!” It is pure comfort food bliss, and is at the head of every Christmas table. The dish is a traditional creamy potato anchovy casserole (my version swaps anchovies for capers and uses plant-based cream) named after Pelle Janzon, a foodie Swedish opera singer of the early 1900s. Since the 1940s when the recipe was published, it has become a classic Swedish favorite. My husband’s Swedish recipe has been turned into a vegan classic, which appears on our holiday table each year.
Instant Pot Vegan Mashed Potatoes (Gluten-Free)
Everyone loves fresh, home-style mashed potatoes, right? They are the perfect plant-based, comfort food side on your holiday menu to everything from lentil patties to home-made veggie balls. Plus, one medium potato is packed with nutrition power: fiber, potassium, and vitamins B6 and C, as well as a serving of carbohydrates. This Instant Pot version makes getting your Christmas cooking done even faster.
Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Not to give canned cranberry sauce a hard time, but you just don’t know what you’re missing until you try a good, old-fashioned, fresh cranberry relish for your holiday or comfort food table. This Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish is simple and easy—just 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of your time, and you’ve got a bright, tart, aromatic, cheerful accompaniment for savory dishes at your table. The citrus adds a pop of flavor and aroma to this relish, which calls upon a package of fresh cranberries, in season in the fall and winter months. This recipe is 100% plant-based (vegan), gluten-free, and light in sugar, too. It will soon be a favorite on your holiday menu!
I love the retro culinary trend of red velvet cakes, but don’t really like the idea of using artificial colorings in my recipes. So, I started looking at Mother Nature to lend a ruby hue to my cocoa-kissed, plant-based (vegan) cake and stumbled across the good, old-fashioned beet! If you’ve ever cooked with beets, you know how powerful that deep ruby natural coloring is! Yet, in this Vegan Beet Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries, you would never guess that it has pureed beets in it (I served it at a party and nobody suspected!). Beets are rich in special antioxidant compounds linked with health benefits. Not only is this recipe void of artificial colors, it is light in sugar, contains no dairy or eggs, and includes chia seeds, flax seeds, almond meal, and dark chocolate. You can make it gluten-free by swapping the wheat flour for a gluten-free flour, like sorghum flour. Basically, this is a dessert you can feel pretty good about. The fresh raspberries (you can substitute a seasonal red fruit when these aren’t in season, such as pomegranates seeds or cranberries) and vegan cream cheese sauce brightens up this easy dessert, too. Try making it as cupcakes for a fun alternative.
Winter Pomegranate Ginger Sparkler (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
If you’re looking for an alcoholic drink full of winter cheer, here’s the beverage for you! It’s bright with the flavors of pomegranate juice, ginger beer, and mint—with a touch of vodka. Serve it in mason jar glasses filled with crushed ice and a festive straw. You can make a large batch to serve it at a party, too.
For other plant-based Christmas recipes, check out some more of my favorites: