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15 Christmas Dinner Alternatives for Vegetarians

We’re finally down to Christmas crunch time for the year but that doesn’t mean people aren’t doing lots of last minute preparations and cooking! This year, our last minute recipe search is for great vegetarian Christmas dishes because we just found out that some of our guests recently gave up eating meat. We’ve already planned to make several vegetarian side dishes, so our guests are covered there, but what about the main entrée? Vegetarians aren’t going to take part in the turkey aspect of the meal, so what can you make for them instead?

Are you on the search for some good vegetarian turkey alternatives too? Then check out these 15 awesome veggie based recipes that we found during our last minute search!

1. Truffled mushroom and chestnut wellington


Are you a bit of a whiz in the kitchen and you’re looking for something a little more gourmet and “main dish” than just more steamed vegetables with salt and butter? Then we definitely think you should take a look at this truffled mushroom and chestnut wellington recipe from Mildred’s Recipes! It’s a satisfying meal paired with all of the delectable vegetarian side dishes you’ve already got on the menu.

2. Herbed cauliflower gratin


Perhaps you’re okay with making a few more vegetarian side dishes as long as they’re satisfying, filling, and completely delicious? Then we’d suggest taking a look at this delicious gratin from The True Spoon! They show you how to prepare it from pureed cauliflower and a wonderfully fragrant blend of herbs, as well as how to bake it in the oven.

3. Rosemary lemon focaccia


Speaking of things that will make sure everyone stays filled up and tied over until the rest of dinner, delicious homemade breads are a great option for vegetarian friends too. We always like to make sure that there’s a lot of flavour involved though! That’s why we’ve made this mouth watering rosemary lemon focaccia bread so many times. Find out how it’s done on Yup, It’s Vegan.

4. Mushroom seitan roast


Perhaps you’re actually quite experienced with vegetarian and vegan cooking and you’re accustomed to working with actual meat alternatives to make diet-friendly versions of classic dishes? Then we have a feeling this loaf, which is akin to classic meatloaf, won’t be much of a challenge for you! Take a look at how Fat Free Vegan made this mushroom seitan loaf with a flavourful veggie gravy.

5. Warm caramelized onion and kale dip


We’ve always been huge fans of making our families dip appetizers to eat while they wait for Christmas dinner to be finished and served. We especially like dips, though, because they’re so easy to make as a vegetarian dish. They’re also satisfying with the right bread or crackers for people who might be skipping the meat in the entrée. Find out how this caramelized onion dip is made on Yup, It’s Vegan.

6. Vegan creamy kale soup with spicy roasted chickpeas


Serving a soup with your Christmas dinner might not sound like a classic element in the holiday tradition, but we love making sure our vegetarian guests are taken care of and feel just as full as everyone else at the end of supper. This soup recipe featured on Connoisseurus Veg  is actually a vegan one but it’s delicious no matter your diet. They’ll teach you how to make a cream soup with kale and spicy roasted chickpeas.

7. Savoury mushroom pancakes


If you’ve never had a savoury pancake then we’re sorry to tell you that you’ve been missing out! That’s why we’d suggest giving this mouth watering vegetarian mushroom pancake recipe a try. It’s a great way to serve someone a satisfying main dish while still making sure it’s within their dietary restrictions. Harriet Emily shows you how to make both the pancakes themselves and the fragrant mushroom and lentil topping.

8. Sweet potato hash


Whether you’re vegetarian or not, potato hash is always a great side dish. It’s also the kind of side dish that, for real potato lovers, often takes over as the centre of the meal. That’s especially true if you make it with sweet potatoes the way A Sweet Pea Chef did here! They show you how to roast the potatoes just right, as well as how to season and garnish them.

9. Lentil bolognese


Maybe your family skips the standard “traditional” Christmas meal all together and chooses a different “family favourite” style meal every year instead? Then spaghetti is an amazing option and it’s also something that can be easily (and deliciously) altered into a meat-free meal. For example, check out how Harriet Emily made the tomato sauce for their spaghetti using lentils to fill it out rather than ground beef!

10. Wintry mushroom, kale, and quinoa enchiladas


Spaghetti isn’t the only turkey alternative meal that’s great for large family dinners like Christmas! We find that Mexican food makes an awesome treat for a special occasion as well. Enchiladas happen to be our favourite dish, but we only recently discovered that they’re also quite simple to make in a vegetarian style, just like everything else you’ve seen on this list so far. Find out how to make them satisfying with mushroom, kale, and quinoa on Food 52.

11. Vegan beet wellington


Were you very intrigued by the wellington idea we showed you earlier because you’ve had meals of that style before that you really enjoyed, but you’ve never actually been a huge fan of mushrooms? Then perhaps you’d like to try another kind of wellington instead! We recently made this beet version from Yup, It’s Vegan for another family gathering and it went over very well, even with the guests who aren’t vegan or vegetarian.

12. Sesame quinoa tofu


Maybe you’re looking for something heavier than the average vegetarian side, like when you include rice or potatoes for carbs, but you know your guests are trying to watch their calories as well as their dietary content? Then here’s a healthier alternative that will certainly fill tummies but is still vegetarian and healthy! Simple Veganista guides you through the process of making a sesame quinoa tofu that will take great with just about any other side dish or entrée feature, meat or no meat.

13. Vegan lentil Shepard’s pie with parsnip and potato mash


Where we’re from, one of the most popular alternatives to a fully turkey dinner on Christmas eve or Christmas day is Shepard’s pie. Some people make it with ground beef and others make it with full chunks of steak! For families with vegetarian members and guests, however, there’s another alternative too that will still get you that great Shepard’s pie taste. Food 52 teaches you how to make a Shepard’s pie with the same great fluff potato topping but a filling made from lentils and parsnip instead of steak or ground beef.

14. Vegan mushroom stuffing


Not everyone’s stuffing is made with actual meat or prepared inside the bird like the traditional recipe, but that doesn’t mean it’s not prepared with some kind of meat based broth. If you’re expecting guests who don’t eat meat and meat related products, we’d suggesting making this alternative vegetarian mushroomstuffing recipe from The True Spoon instead. You’ll be surprised how everyone around the table eats this one up.

15. Creamy pumpkin pasta with peas and walnuts


Are you the kind of fall and winter lover who will take any opportunity you possibly can to enjoy a seasonal pumpkin recipe because that’s your favourite flavour and you want to enjoy as much pumpkin as you can before the spring comes and it’s all out of season again? Then you’re going to love this turkey alternative meal idea from Hummusapien! Their creamy pasta dish features pumpkin, peas, and walnuts for a deliciously holiday appropriate blend.

Do you know someone who has vegetarian family members coming for dinner over the holidays and who could use some help finding recipes that will work for everyone? Share this post with them to give them lots of new, delicious ideas to consider!