10 Vegetarian Christmas Recipes

Vegetarian Christmas Recipes for the Holidays that are gluten free to boot
Here are a hand-picked few of my favorite gluten-free vegetarian recipes.

Winter Solstice has blessed us with a turning point. Daylight now grows longer inch by inch. Or is that minute by wintry minute? In spirit, I suspect, it is both. Christmas is almost here, and the season celebrating rebirth, light, and sliding into credit card debt is in full swing. Carolers are caroling. Gift wrappers are gift wrapping. Egg noggers are nogging. The shiny New Year crouches right around the corner.

And recipes are flooding my in-box for... ham. Roast beef. Rack of lamb. Wait a duck fat glistening minute, here.

Where are the vegetarian Christmas recipes?

I can't be the only person not forking a slab of meat on Christmas day. I can't be the single solitary soul who doesn't treasure bacon fat like it's a princess tiara. I'm not alone in my imaginings of a fresh and lively meatless Christmas dinner--- am I?

Okay. Okay. I get it. I honestly do. I realize I'm in the minority here. That to most folks celebrating the winter holidays in all their myriad and nuanced diversity, meat is the centerpiece of celebration. I acknowledge that. I even accept that. Just because I've been a vegetarian 78% of my life doesn't mean I bury my head in the sand of denial. I cope. I deal.

I go with the flow.

But just so you know? The UN thinks vegetarianism is not only a cool idea, it may be necessary to save the planet. So here's ten of my favorite vegetarian and vegan recipes for Christmas. With love.

Vegan Christmas recipes
For more vegetarian recipes see my Thanksgiving Recipes post.

10 Vegetarian Christmas Recipes

Easy, beautiful entrees for a vegetarian Christmas include elegant vegan soups, creative quinoa salads and homespun casseroles. For starters-- here's a couple of tasty gluten-free appetizers and vegan snacks to get the peace party rollin'.


Almond salad is raw and vegan and delicious
Almondy vegan salad anyone?

This raw almond spread some might call a not-tuna salad. But if the term not-tuna offends you to the core as it did one reader (perhaps due to its deep sea swimming reference to canned Charlie himself), tell your vegan guests it's a light and fresh nutty pate. The gluten-free crackers speak for themselves. There won't be a crumb left.

Gluten free hazelnut crackers and cream cheese spread
Vegan cream cheese with chopped fresh herbs.

I can't tell you how many times I've made this vegan cream cheese spread since learning I could indulge in soy again. Choose a brand that uses non-GMO soybeans for their cream cheese, such as Vegan Gourmet. The crackers are made with hazelnut flour (if you cannot find hazelnut flour, try almond flour).

Make soup.

Vegan dairy free potato soup recipe
Creamy potato leek soup is elegant and dreamy.

How about a bowl of snowy white soup to warm you on a Christmas day? We cook our vegan dairy-free potato leek soup in our trusty old Crock Pot. It doesn't get any easier. And it frees you to do more important things. Like lure a certain someone to the mistletoe. You can also find more vegetarian soup recipes here.

Vegetarian mulligatawny soup is gluten free and dairy free
One of favorite soups- worthy of Christmas.

Serve an orange crush of gorgeous flavors when you ladle out this complex, spicy vegan soup. Mulligatawny is especially hearty when you add a scoop of hot cooked jasmine rice to the bowl. Top it all off with chopped red onion, fresh cilantro, a dab of vegan sour cream or crisp shredded apple. Pair this with a loaf of my grainy Pueblo Bread and you have a satisfying meal.

Find even more soup recipe ideas in my Soups and Stews index.

...to go with soup? Bread.

Gluten free rustic bread loaf
Rustic, gluten-free Pueblo Bread is perfect with soup.

Gluten free cornbread recipe
Gluten-free skillet cornbread.

Cornbread is a versatile gluten-free bread. You can bake it in an iron skillet or divide it into muffins. You can spike it with green chiles or jalapenos. Or sweeten it up with cinnamon and vanilla. You can add sweet potato puree for a moist and deeply golden treat. The choice is yours. So get creative. Find more bread and quick bread recipes here.


Quinoa salad with refreshing lime and mint
Light and lovely quinoa salad with lime and mint.

When all is said and done, I don't believe any soul would turn down a well made quinoa dish- vegetarian or not. Quinoa is a complete vegan protein, and can handle any flavors you toss at it. Go light and refreshing- an attractive idea after all the holiday indulgences, no?- with this lime and fresh mint salad, or get snazzy with this Red Quinoa and Butternut number studded with festive cranberries. Find out how to cook quinoa in a rice cooker, worry-free, and cruise more quinoa recipes here.

Roasted Potatoes

Vegan roasted potatoes recipe that is gluten free
Roasted potatoes with personality.

Christmas means roasted potatoes for many. But what if you're shunning the gravy inducing roast? How about this vegan toss-together combo of potatoes, onion, garlic, tomatoes, olives and raisins--- with some hot pepper flakes thrown in to kick it up Sicilian style? One of my spur of the moment inspirations that we love.

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage

Vegetarian stuffed cabbage
Quinoa stuffed cabbage with sweet potato, Baby.

I know stuffed cabbage is old school. Like. Really old school. But there's a reason some folks don't celebrate Christmas without it. I can't think of that reason at the moment, but I'm sure it's a good one. Maybe it's because stuffed cabbage is a delicious make-ahead comfort food well suited for a dark and snowy night. No beef or rice filling here. I've put a twist on this classic recipe using quinoa and roasted sweet potato instead. Vegan deliciousness.

Green Chile Enchilada Bake

Gluten free enchilada casserole
Roasted green chile sauce makes this easy casserole amazingly good.

For our last recipe idea I'm offering this super easy layered enchilada casserole. It's too good not to share, and often overlooked because of it's humble, wallflower nature. You can make it ahead of time and free up your day to go play with your new presents. Or take the dog for a romp in the snow. I use soy cream cheese in the filling. It makes for a delightfully light and fluffy center that cools the spicy fire of the roasted chile peppers (you can make it mild as well).

For Christmas sweets and happy endings see my Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes and my Desserts Index.

Gluten Free Muffin Recipes image

Wishing you and your family
a warm + bright holiday!



Laura said...

These look amazing! Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Kiersten said...

I hope the food I plan on making for the holidays comes out as beautiful as yours!

Anonymous said...

I love your writing and recipes. Vegans rock!
Merry Christmas.

Jeanette said...

What a beautiful post, so inspiring. I just posted a roundup of holiday soups, chowders, stews and chilis, including several of your yummy soups and chowders. Wishing you a lovely holiday season!

Meagan said...


Yolanda said...

There are several recipes here that I want to try, thank you so much. I just began eating vegetarian in September and can't get over how much better I feel. Any suggestions on this to be sure and stock my pantry with, or refrigerator as well as your favorites recipes to try?

thethirtydayvegetarian said...

your blog is exactly what I needed! due to stomach issues I've had to cut out gluten and most fatty foods like meat. it's nice to see you have exactly what I need!

happy holidays!

Melissa Davlin said...

You are definitely not alone! My vegetarian GF Christmas feast includes spinach dip with hazelnut crackers, stuffed mushrooms, roasted delicata squash and a whole lot of cookies. Although I may have to add that potato leek soup to the menu....

Cherieb said...

These recipes all look fantastic. Perfection! Thank you. Have a blessed Christmas.

KRIS said...

Thanks for posting these! It's probably a little late, but I also posted links to a number of (mostly) vegetarian and vegan recipes on my blog: www.glowingnow.blogspot.com
There are plenty of wonderful recipes to be found; no need to feel alone!

melaniemusings2 said...

Wonderful recipes. Thank you. Happy Holidays!

lorrwill said...

This is gorgeous and mouthwatering. Thank you very much for this and very happy holidays to you and yours.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

So many great choices here! Wishing you and Steve a wonderful new year filled with all good things. Thanks for sharing your recipes and creativity with all of us throughout the year. xo

Cinde said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely collection of recipes Karina!

Happy Holidays...

Cinde from the Gluten Free Taste of Home blog

Winnie said...

Beautiful recipes Karina!

The InTolerant Chef said...

It's always nice to make sure there are choices for everyone. These dishes look lovely.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Karina--It's no surprise that every single recipe in your roundup looks divine! Thanks so much for sharing them with us. :-)

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season! xo,

Dinners and Dreams said...

The vegan cream cheese looks rich and delicious. Duly noted!

The teenie foodie said...

These recipes look great, I will definitely try them, throughout the year too!
Love the idea of the quinoa stuffed cabbage, sounds like an interesting combination...
Thanks for these, I needed a soup recipe for tonight, so off to go buy the ingredients for Mulligatawny!

Hope you had a great christmas, xxx
Would love it if you checked out my new gluten dairy sugar free blog,


Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

I love enchiladas, and although I'm not a vegetarian, I bet this would be fantastic even for us meat eating folks!! Karina, I plan on making this soon, and perhaps cut back on my meat intake. Meatless Mondays for the New Year Maybe?? Have a wonderful New Year!

JoAnn said...

Karina, I've loved your blog for years and do sympathize with vegetarianism/vegans. But my PhD is in Environmental Science and I must tell you that there is a another school of thought about saving the planet. That theory holds that our only hope is to go back (as much as possible) to individual gardens for most of our veggies and to allow the planet to heal from the grievous wounds caused by mega-agriculture, which is destroying the top-soil and depleting the aquifers so fast that we face world-wide famines in a few decades. Unfortunately our biology proves absolutely that we are omnivorous. We have to be for optimum health. Even the vegetarian John McArdle (anatomist and primatologist) gave talks to vegetarian groups on the simple fact that we evolved as omnivores. His rationale for being vegetarian himself was based solely on philosophical grounds and he gave these talks because he was adamantly opposed to those in the vegan/vegetarian communities trying to prove that vegetarianism made sense scientifically. But again, regarding saving the planet, please read the book by Lierre Keith (former vegan).

Again, I love your blog and do make MANY of your recipes, although I have been going grain-free (a la Elana Amsterdam) lately for health and weight-loss reasons. ((((((hugs))))), JoAnn

BealcA's Pad said...

Yhank you, I shared it on my #2 blog. The recipes look awesome. I plan to use some of them for the class dinner at church in the morning. Class is vegetarian, so a big thank you again. God bless and have a blessed Christmas.

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