Starting with creamy baked brie and with a centerpiece of your choice of pasta, casseroles, or stuffed mushrooms. And don’t forget dessert!
We’ve rounded up a complete vegetarian Christmas dinner menu so you can gift yourself—and your guests—a plant-based feast that actually satisfies. Our best vegetarian Christmas dinner options start with appetizers like spiced nuts and baked brie, progress into hearty vegetarian Christmas dinner recipes including pastas and casseroles, and finish with seasonal desserts. No one will miss the beef tenderloin, ham, or roast turkey when you add these vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas to table.
Apple-Pomegranate Topped Brie
We melt any time baked brie makes an appearance at a party. Instead of hiding under a coat of puff pastry, this vegetarian Christmas dinner menu starter is dressed up for the season. Pomegranate, maple syrup, pecans, and apples team up in the topping. Bake until gooey, then serve with an array of crackers and a mix of red and green apple slices.
Bourbon-Brown Sugar Nuts
Ensure everyone eases into the evening in good spirits with this easy vegetarian Christmas dinner snack idea. It’s spiked with caramel-forward bourbon, which plays nicely with the brown sugar and sweet-spicy seasonings. To trim down on day-of duties, round up any type of nut (we like almonds, pecans, or walnuts) and make a big batch up to a week before the gathering.
Party Crostini Bites
Since they’re ultra-customizable based on dietary preferences and season, plus easy to enjoy while mingling, crostini recipes are one of the best vegetarian Christmas dinner appetizers. Start with a platter of sliced baguette, mini naan, or party rye, then choose one or a few of our recommended topping recipes. The winter salsa, hot honey apple, blackberry goat cheese, and roasted boozy pear variations are all meat-free and fitting for the occasion.
Carbonara-Style Pasta with Peas and Shiitake “Bacon”
If you’re on a mission to get to the presents—or Christmas dessert—ASAP, this vegetarian pasta will save the day. Ready in just 25 minutes, the speedy vegetarian Christmas dinner recipe feels celebratory and special. Why? This restaurant-quality entrée showcases spaghetti enrobed in a rich “sauce” made with eggs, cheese, and a splash of starchy pasta water. Pan-fried garlicky mushrooms join the party, standing in for the Carbonara-classic pancetta, and are joined by a bright pop of peas.
Test Kitchen Tip: For this pasta, or any of these vegetarian Christmas dinner recipes that call for Parmesan cheese or another hard cheese, look for “vegetarian rennet” for the label to ensure it doesn’t include any animal products. Or opt for a plant-based cheese substitute.
Mushroom-Sweet Potato Moussaka
This savory sweet potato casserole is more than a vegetarian Christmas dinner idea; it’s a vegan one! In place of the lamb you’d find in traditional moussaka, try roasted mushrooms. Those play nicely with a warmly-spiced tomato sauce, and things only improve when you add a crown of cashew cream-infused mashed sweet potatoes.
Sourdough Pasta with Herbed Brown Butter Sauce
Here’s a lovely way to share a gift with Mother Nature: reduce food waste. These homemade noodles make the most of sourdough discard so you don’t have to toss it. True, this vegetarian Christmas dinner recipe takes a bit more TLC than boxed tagliatelle. But we promise that the unique flavor and tender-yet-chewy texture is so worth it! Although lovely with any pasta sauce, the egg noodles truly shine once tossed with an herbaceous and nutty brown butter sauce.
Mile-High Meatless Lasagna Pie
In Northern Italy, and now, many American households, homemade lasagna is a Christmas Eve or Christmas staple. Admittedly, the layered casseroles are a labor of love—which makes them the perfect thing to bust out on a leisurely holiday afternoon. To make sure that no one misses the meat, we designed this vegetarian Christmas dinner recipe so that it’s heavy on the veggies and stacked high with noodles, sauce, and cheese.
Air-Fryer Mushrooms with Balsamic, Thyme, and Goat Cheese
Save precious oven and stove space by preparing this easy vegetarian Christmas dinner in your air fryer. The convection heat of the countertop appliance gives the creminis a craveable fried-like consistency, and their natural umami flavor gets even better when matched with a sweet and tangy sauce and salty goat cheese crumbles.
Test Kitchen Tip: Enjoy this as a side dish or spoon over risotto or polenta to make these mushrooms a meal.
Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
In addition to fitting the red and green color scheme, this Brussels sprouts recipe allows you to check off two dishes in one: fruit salad and vegetable side. Apple slices and dried cherries or cranberries not only look showy here, but their sweet-tart flavor also complements the caramelized, cayenne-dusted sprouts. Just before serving this warm vegetarian Christmas dinner recipe, toss those produce picks and a handful of pecans with your choice of vinaigrette.
Fresh Citrus and Cranberry Salad
If a leafy green salad is more your style, this bright vegetarian Christmas dinner side dish is an excellent option for a winter meal. (Psst…Since it can be assembled and refrigerated up to two days before the big feast, we especially adore serving this vegetable and fruit salad for parties!) A bed of arugula creates a refreshing, peppery base for in-season citrus and fresh or frozen cranberries.
Multigrain Roll Wreath
This vegetarian Christmas dinner side dish is certainly centerpiece-worthy! All it takes to transform simple yeast bread rolls into something showy and special enough for Christmas: our easy step-by-step instructions that coach you through how to fashion them into a circular shape. To complete the wreath recreation, decorate the seed-sprinkled rolls with a bouquet of fresh green herbs and a few cherry tomatoes.
Gingerbread Cookie Bars
We’re firm believers that no Christmas menu, including a vegetarian Christmas dinner menu, is complete without cookies. But rather than fussing over tray after tray of gingerbread cookies, we prefer an easy batch of holiday bar cookies with all of the same warm baking spices and plenty of molasses. Follow our lead and you’ll have 24 sugar-dusted servings—all ready at once and from the same baking pan.
Candy Cane Swirl Fudge
Invest a mere 15 minutes of prep time (and allow for a couple hours on ice) and this peppermint-flavored homemade fudge is ready to party. Freezer-friendly for up to two months, the easy vegetarian Christmas dinner dessert tastes like a candy cane. But instead of that crunchy, crumbly consistency, this showy marbled treat has the texture of a toothsome, tender fudge.
Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake
In other minty-fresh news, this might just be our best vegetarian Christmas dinner dessert. The Bundt cake format, and the three forms of chocolate in the ingredient list, make this chocolate masterpiece look far more difficult than it is to execute. But it actually asks for just 20 minutes of hands-on time—and that includes the seconds it takes to shower the cooled cake with “snowflakes” of crushed peppermint candy.