9 Recipes for a Vegan Holiday Menu

Are you planning a lunch or supper for the holidays this year? Check out our vegan holiday menu ideas!

Whether you replace only some of the animal products in your holiday meal with vegan options or opt for a full on vegan feast, eating more plant-based foods is better for the planet, and often it’s healthier for your body. Raising animals for food – whether we’re talking meat, milk, or eggs – is not the most efficient use of land, water, and resources. Even if you replace just one or two meat- or dairy-based dishes with vegan ones, you’re lightening up your meal’s environmental impact.

There’s a misconception that vegan food equals health food, and that is just not true. In this menu, we’ve got some options that are very healthy and others that are a total indulgence. Of course, it’s important to eat healthy, whole foods, but at a holiday meal I think it’s also important to feel like you splurged a little!

Related Reading: 5 Decadent Vegan Desserts

Our menu is broken out into appetizers and side dishes, a main course, and dessert, and we have a few options for each. That way, you can mix and match to create a crowd-pleasing menu tailored to your tastes and to your guests! You also won’t find any fake meats in this menu. While I personally enjoy fake meat from time to time, I also know that fake meat does not taste like meat, and fake meats tend to have a higher environmental impact than whole foods-based vegan dishes.

Ready to get cooking? Let’s start with appetizers and sides on the next page!



I’ve always loved side dishes – sometimes more than the main event! Here are a few of my favorite vegan sides.

Smashed Potatoes

Serves 6


  • 3 pounds of thin-skinned potatoes, diced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of your favorite non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover them. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.

Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl along with the rest of the ingredients (start with 1/2 cup of your milk). Use a fork or potato masher to mush them to your desired consistency. You can whip them up until they’re creamy or leave them on the chunky side – whatever you prefer! If things are looking a little dry, add the extra milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get them just how you like them. If you overdo it on the milk, no worries! Add more nutritional yeast, a teaspoon at a time, to thicken them back up. Serve immediately.

Pesto-Stuffed Mushrooms

Serves 6


  • one dozen baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews or pine nuts
  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon


Arrange your mushrooms on your serving tray.

In your food processor or blender, combine the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Use a teaspoon to stuff the filling into each mushroom. You can either let the mushrooms marinate like this for about an hour or bake them for 15-20 minutes at 350F.

You can make the pesto up to 5 days in advance, and you can stuff the mushrooms up to a day ahead, if you want to make things easier on yourself.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Serves 6


  • 6 cups fresh spinach, washed and drained
  • 3 green onions, green and white parts, chopped
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 3/4 cup toasted almonds
  • 2 Haas avocados, diced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, green onion, strawberries, almonds, and avocado.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pass the dressing alongside the salad when you’re ready to serve. You can make the salad up to a day in advance, but you’ll want to add the avocado day-of. The dressing will keep for about a week in the fridge.

Homemade Applesauce

Serves 6


  • 6 cups of apples, cored, peeled, and diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional


Combine the apples, water, and cinnamon in your crock pot. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally (every 45 minutes should do it.)

You can serve this hot straight from the crock pot or make it ahead and serve it up chilled. It will keep for a week in the fridge.

Up next: Main Dishes

photo via Thinkstock

lentil loaf


The main dish at a holiday meal is often centered around meat, but it doesn’t have to be! Check out these ideas instead.

Stuffed Winter Squash

Serves 6


  • 3 winter squash of your choice, cut in half, seeds and strings removed. You can reserve the seeds and roast them later!
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage


Drizzle the squash with olive oil and add a little salt and pepper, then roast, cut-side-down, on a baking sheet for 30-45 minutes at 375F, or until the squash is fork-tender.

Meanwhile, whip up your stuffing! Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the garlic and onions. Saute until the onions turn translucent, then add the kale and mushrooms. Cook until the kale turns bright green.

Toss the veggie mixture with the quinoa, pecans, cranberries, and sage. When the squash is cooked, stuff each half with the grain and veggie mixture, then bake at 375F for 15 minutes. Serve immediately. You can assemble your squash up to three days ahead, if you like, and just pop ‘em in the oven on the big day.

Lentil Loaf

Serves 4-6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup beer or white wine – some for you, some for the dish!
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon each dried sage, rosemary, thyme
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until they are soft. Combine the veggie mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, stirring and mashing to create a dough.

Transfer to a greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour – until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the loaf stand for 10 minutes before you flip it out of the pan, slice, and serve. Top with mushroom gravy (recipe follows).

Mushroom Gravy


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat your oil in a large skillet and saute the garlic and onion on medium heat until the onion turns translucent. Add the mushrooms and tamari to the pan, and cook until the mushrooms soften and most of the moisture has evaporated. Add the wine and the vinegar to the pan and cook, and keep stirring until that liquid evaporates, as well, then add the corn starch and water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then remove the gravy from the heat immediately. Give it a taste, and add the salt and pepper, if needed.

Up Next: Desserts

photo by Becky Striepe

vegan brownie

The right dessert is such a nice way to end a holiday meal!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

These brownies have a spicy kick! You can adjust the cayenne to suit your tastes.


  • 1 3/4 cup white wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup almond milk + 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or 1/4 cup coconut nog
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons sunflower seed oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal whisked with 3 tablespoons water – let sit for at least 5 minutes before using


Preheat your oven to 350F, and line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour and baking soda. Set aside. In another medium mixing bowl add the cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, spices and salt. Add the almond milk or nog and mix well. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and the flax meal mixture into the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour, then knead it by hand until itís well combined.

Press the batter to the baking dish, and bake for 35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour before popping the brownies out of the pan, slicing, and serving.

Pumpkin Pie


  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 3/4 cup† cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon organic cornstarch
  • 1/2 block of organic silken tofu

To make the crust: Mix the flours, sunflower oil, water, and salt together in a food processor until marbled-looking.† Then, roll out into a thin layer and place in a pie plate.† Using a fork, make small perforations in the bottom of the dough to allow air to escape while baking.† Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

To make the filling: Mix the remaining ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

To assemble the pie: Pour into the piecrust and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, and let the pie cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. You can also make this up to a day ahead and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake and serve.

Are you cooking up a holiday meal this year? What’s on the menu for you this year?

photo by Becky Striepe

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Sarah M.
Sarah M.2 years ago


Bill K.
Bill K.2 years ago

this year i tried a vegan stuffing recipe - the first stuffing i've had since going vegan. it was delicious.

Carole P.
Carole P.2 years ago

Sounds delish! I love the part about the wine, some for the recipe and some for the cook. That's how I do it too. :)

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal2 years ago

These actually seem tasty...

Christine Stewart

Thanks for all the recipes!

Roger M.
Past Member 2 years ago

Very good. Thanks.

Renee Rekceb
Renee Rekceb2 years ago

sounds good ... but potatoes never get 'smashed', hahaha ... lets just mash them, if that's okay with you :P

Patty B.
Patty B.2 years ago

Sounds delicious ! ...and healthy !

Olivia S.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you...always glad to get new vegan recipes.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton2 years ago