No matter what you celebrate, the holidays are known as a time of giving, kindness, and being thankful. What better way to show kindness and compassion than by sparing animals’ lives? Here’s everything you need to celebrate a compassionate, vegan holiday dinner this year! There’s a vegan version of everything, and making your favorite holiday recipes animal-free is usually just a simple matter of swapping out animal-derived ingredients for vegan ones.

Classic Christmas and Hanukkah Recipes

Vegan Ham

Okay, so this isn’t really a “recipe,” but what vegan holiday dinner would be complete without a vegan ham or roast? Check out our list of vegan ham options. Or, if turkey is more your thing, there’s a ton of vegan turkeys and roasts out there! Here’s where to buy them. Cook these roasts according to instructions on the box.

Tofurky, ham, vegan

Garlicky Mashed Potatoes

vegan, holiday, mashed potatoes

Ingredients 

  • 5 large potatoes, washed, peeled, and diced
  • 14–16 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • 3/4–1 cup soy milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Place the potatoes and whole cloves of garlic in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Drain, place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, and mash until smooth.
  • Serve hot with vegan gravy.

Makes 4 to 5 servings

Creamy Gravy

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1–2 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke, optional

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, melt the vegan butter over medium heat.
  • Sauté the onion for a few minutes until browned, then add the flour and garlic salt and sauté for another 8 to 9 minutes.
  • Gradually add the cornstarch mixture, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a separate saucepan and add the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, pepper, and liquid smoke.
  • Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve warm

Don’t want to cook? Try a store-bought vegan gravy!

Green-Bean Casserole

green beans, holiday, vegan, recipe

Ingredients 

  •  ½ medium onion, diced
  •  ¾ cup chopped button mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  •  Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1½ cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 2½ Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. cold water
  •  1 28-oz. can cut green beans
  • 1 6-oz. can French-fried onions

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a skillet, sauté the onions and mushrooms in the vegetable oil over medium heat. Season with the salt and pepper.
  • In a large saucepan, warm the soy milk and bouillon cube over medium-low heat, stirring until the bouillon dissolves, ensuring it doesn’t come to a boil. Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl, add to the pan, and stir well.
  • Quickly add the green beans, sautéed vegetables, and about half the French-fried onions and stir well.
  • Pour into a casserole dish and top with the remaining French-fried onions. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.

Makes 4 to 6 Servings

Holiday Stuffing

vegan, stuffing, holiday

Ingredients 

  • 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Optional: 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup diced apple, 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 12-oz. bag herb-seasoned, cubed vegan stuffing (try Pepperidge Farm brand, which is available almost everywhere)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a large pot, melt the vegan butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the broth and the cranberries, apples, and pine nuts, if using. Then add the vegan stuffing and mix lightly.
  • Spoon into a greased casserole dish. Cover and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Divine Latkes

Ingredients 

  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oil, for frying

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Form patties about 3 inches in diameter.
  • Warm the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add the patties and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer to a paper towel in order to absorb any excess oil.
  • Serve hot with vegan sour cream or applesauce.

Makes 4 servings

Vegan Noodle Kugel

vegan, holiday, recipe

Ingredients 

  • 12 oz. wide noodles, such as farfalle
  • 15 oz. silken tofu
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 4 apples, cubed
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain.
  • Using an electric mixer or a blender, cream the tofu with the agave nectar, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger until smooth.
  • Place in a large bowl and add the noodles, raisins, apples, and applesauce. Mix well.
  • Pour into a large baking pan with high sides and bake for 25 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Christmas Morning Mug Pancakes

holiday breakfast, pancake in a mug, oreo, peppermint, christmas, easy, quick recipe

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 flavored nondairy ‘holiday milk’ (we used So Delicious Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Bisquick or any other vegan pancake mix
  • Maple syrup, to taste (optional)
  • Crushed candy canes, for garnish (optional)
  • Crushed Oreos, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  • • Combine the nondairy milk, applesauce, and peppermint extract in a microwave-safe mug.
    • Add the cocoa powder and Bisquick and stir until well combined.
    • Put in the microwave and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
    • Drizzle with maple syrup and/or crushed candy canes and Oreos and enjoy every blissful bite.

Makes 1 servings

Holiday Cookies

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 drops peppermint extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup crushed candy canes
  • Optional: 1 cup melted vegan chocolate chips, additional crushed candy canes

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the vegan butter and sugars. Mix in the applesauce, vanilla, and peppermint.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix in 1 cupful at a time to the sugar mixture, then stir in the crushed candy canes.
  • Scoop about 2 tablespoonfuls of the dough at a time onto a prepared baking sheet and flatten with the palm of your hand.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Place on wire racks to cool.
  • Dip in the melted chocolate and top with crushed candy canes, if desired

Makes 20 to 25 cookies

Four-Ingredient Fudge

Two words: Four-Ingredient Fudge!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 12 oz. vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 mini candy cane, crushed, optional

Instructions

  • Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In a small pot, simmer the coconut milk for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the coconut oil and stir until melted.
  • Add the vegan chocolate chips and stir until melted.
  • Remove from the heat, then continue stirring until thick.
  • Add the vanilla extract and combine well.
  • Pour into the baking dish, garnish with the crushed candy cane, if using, and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Vegan Essentials

For more tips to help get you through Thanksgiving, check out these vegan staples:

Nondairy Milk

Original and unsweetened varieties of soy milk can replace cow’s milk in any holiday recipe, including mashed potatoes. Soy milk is available at many grocery stores as well as some Walmart and Target locations. Almond, cashew, coconut, oat, and rice milks are great options as well.

Boxed Vegan Stuffing

Check the ingredients, but many stuffing mixes are already vegan. Just substitute vegetable broth when you’re cooking.

Vegan Butter

Several brands of vegan butter are available. Earth Balance and Smart Balance Light with Flaxseed Oil are popular options.

‘Egg’ Nog

Enjoy your favorite holiday drink vegan-style by picking up one of these delicious beverages: So Delicious coconut ilk-based nog, Silk soy-based nog, Califia Farms almond-based nog. You can also find pumpkin-spice creamers and lattes from So Delicious and Califia Farms.

Egg Replacers

Apple Sauce | Stacy Spensley | CC BY 2.0 

For baking recipes in which eggs are used to add moisture, you can easily replace them with bananas or applesauce. Use one mashed banana or ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce to replace one egg.

For leavening and binding in cookies, breads, cakes, muffins, and cupcakes, try baking soda or boxed egg replacer.

Pre-Made Desserts

Daiya makes frozen vegan cheesecakes that come in a wide variety of flavors, such as pumpkin spice, key lime, chocolate, and strawberry. Claim Jumper and Marie Callender’s both make “accidentally vegan” pies in flavors like apple, cherry, peach, and raspberry, which can be found at some Walmart, Safeway, and Target locations.