19 Last-Minute Vegan Festive Recipes from Around the World

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Jess Turner

Do you celebrate a holiday this time of year? From Hanukkah to Thanksgiving to Christmas to Diwali, there are a lot of traditional foods floating around this time of year – and we figure it’s a perfect opportunity to share delicious extra special vegan food from all around the world, whatever you may be celebrating – even if you’re just celebrating eating more plant-based food and wanting to show your friends how great it is!

So what do vegans eat on the holidays? What can you cook for a last-minute family gathering?

Here are 19 of our go-to festive recipes, some traditional and some not-so-traditional, all great for rich, delicious flavors and for sharing at big, cozy dinners with loved ones.

1. Hearty Vegan Holiday Roast

What do vegans make their meat from? And is there a vegan substitute for turkey? We can all enjoy delicious, satisfying meat replacements from a wide variety of plant-based ingredients, even on the holidays. This succulent roast is made with wheat gluten, or seitan, which has one of the most authentic meaty bites we’ve ever encountered. This vegan holiday roast is sure to impress any meat-loving dinner guests! We make a huge difference when we choose to leave animals like rescued turkey Thelma off our plates on the holidays.

2. Challah

Making and breaking bread together is a time-old tradition on all kinds of holidays around the world, and this beautiful braided bread often eaten on Jewish holidays is a delightful project to make and enjoy with family or loved ones. Just check out that golden shine!

A table with a beautiful golden challah - a large braided bread
Challah with date syrup, apples, and cinnamon

3. Vegan Yorkshire Puddings

Despite their name, these traditional British puddings are a classic savory accompaniment to Christmas meals. Beautifully crunchy on the outside, and a handy little edible gravy-boat, these vegan Yorkshire puddings are bound to steal your heart.

4. Broccoli Quiche

The perfect way to add some green veg to festive meals, this broccoli quiche incorporates the goodness of broccoli and tofu, and the savory yum of the perfect pastry crust. This is also one to save for getting kids to eat their greens all year round!

5. Creamy Vegan Queso

What can the guests snack on while you’re putting the finishing touches to a perfect vegan holiday spread? Only the best vegan queso in town. The blend of smooth cashews, cheesy nutritional yeast, and creamy vegan milk makes for a simple, quick, and am-az-ing vegan cheese perfect for dipping.

6. Stuffed Bell Peppers 

Let’s keep it colorful and plant-based with these stuffed bell peppers. This is a vibrant centerpiece that’s bursting with flavor, and even nutrients!

Six baked bell peppers stuffed with vegan filling on a table
Stuffed Bell Peppers

7. Leek Pakoras

Pakoras are crispy South Asian spiced fritters classically sold by street vendors, which make a delicious and interesting addition to any family feast. Who could resist?

8. Homemade Vegan Sausages

Back to the main event with hearty and satisfying vegan sausages. Made without seitan and using just the surprising ability of nuts and mushrooms to magic up a vegan meat replacement that will have people coming back for more! These sausages are also easily adapted into sausage rolls, simply cover with puff pastry and bake to golden perfection.

A plate of vegan sausages, mashed potato, and peas on a wooden table
Vegan Sausages

9. Roasted Vegetables with Thyme

Of course, roast vegetables are an inexpensive and yummy staple at festive meals. Here is a recipe for the best roasted veggies, with thyme, salt, and pepper. Add or replace with rosemary for a slightly different seasonal take.

10. Homemade Vegan Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream without dairy and without an ice cream maker? Your wish is granted! This creamy, dreamy vegan ice cream uses coconut milk as the base and can be customized a million different ways. Chocolate, vanilla, cookie dough, Christmas ice cream with a fruity cinnamon-ginger-orange combo? You betcha! Just start the night before you want to serve it.

Vegan ice cream in a glass with caramel and nuts on top
Homemade vegan ice cream à la Challenge 22

11. How about some pie with that ice cream?

Sweet, spiced, and with a classic crumbly pie crust, this vegan pumpkin pie is perfect for Thanksgiving, or any other wintery gathering.

12. Collard Greens

Delicious, nutritious leafy green veg for that calcium-hit. The perfect side dish to freshen up any heavy Christmas dinner or other festive occasion, and an often overlooked seasonal vegetable to bring into your regular rotation.

A bowl of collard greens, leafy green veg
Collard Greens

13. Smoky Portobello Tacos

Colorful, fresh and zingy, these vegan tacos are filled with portobello mushrooms, Spanish rice, and drizzled with jalapeño cashew sauce. Fun to assemble and even more fun to enjoy together!

A table set with open tacos covered in mushrooms, fresh salad, Spanish rice, and a pot of vegan sauce on the side
Vegan Smoky Portobello Tacos from Purple Carrot

14. Protein-Packed Pea Soup

A wonderful side, starter, or light lunch the day after! Legumes, including peas, are a great source of protein and iron, to keep you going until after the January sales…

A bowl of green pea soup served with bread and fresh herbs
Pea Soup

15. Vegan Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping

Savory American biscuits top this ever-so-hearty bake. A scrumptious and simple recipe with lovely herby flavor and melt-in-the-mouth biscuit topping.

A piping hot oven dish with a vegan pot pie topped with savory American biscuits
Pot Pie with Black Pepper Biscuit Topping by Vegan Richa

16. Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Comfort food at its finest, whatever the time of year. Silky smooth vegan cheese sauce and filling pasta are always a match made in heaven. Also a great easy dish to serve any picky eaters in the family!

A table set with a  pink bowl filled with vegan mac and cheese and a gravy jug in the background
Vegan Mac and Cheese

17. Mushroom Turkish Pides

What is a pide? An oval-shaped flatbread, akin to a Turkish pizza, which can be topped with (vegan) meat and cheese. This recipe gets its vegan meaty bite and umami kick from chunky mushrooms, peppers, smoked paprika, and tomato paste.

Mushroom and onion pides (Turkish-style small pizzas) in a baking tray with fresh cilantro
Chunky Mushroom Pides by Bosh!

18. Chickpea Omelette

What to eat the morning after? This chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour omelette will give you strength and make for a bright and breezy vegan breakfast. Easy to sneak any leftover seitan sausage, collard greens, and cranberry sauce into too, mmm!

A freshly cooked vegan chickpea flour omelet with tomatoes and vegetables
Chickpea Omelette

19. Vegan Rugelach Pastries

And the last stop in our world tour brings us to: rugelach. These delightful pastries have their origins in Jewish tradition and are popular in Israel, as well as with the Jewish diaspora worldwide. For this recipe simply find a vegan puff pastry in the store, wrap your tasty fillings inside, bake, and wow your dinner guests with these vegan delights!

vegan rugelach, Israeli pastries with chocolate and nuts
Easy Vegan Rugelach by The Edgy Veg

Still looking for more holiday tips, ways to make flexible meals to satisfy vegan and non-vegan guests, or support to get through the holiday season as a new vegan? Join our next Challenge group!

Trying vegan has never been so easy! Join!

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