These 20 Vegetarian Christmas Dinner Have More Flavor Than Their Non-Vegetarian Counterparts

Christmas Dinner

December 24th, 2019   |   Updated on June 27th, 2022

That you never need meat to your joyous Christmas feast. Having whole roasted cauliflowers, risottos, casseroles, veggie dishes, and much more, your gut will definitely be fulfilled this yuletide. And as you are at it, be sure to end your meal with these Christmas desserts.

Therefore we’re pros at not just weeknight meals, however, brassy meals for fun! Here we’ve compiled a set of our very best vegetarian Christmas dishes. They truly are fantastic for Christmas  dinner: for example entrees, side dishes, and a couple desserts too.

1. Cranberry Brie Bites

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces Brie (rind removed and chilled)
  • 1 (14×10-inch) sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 4 tablespoons cranberry sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (broken into pieces, but not chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
Steps To Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, these cranberry brie bites are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Prepare the Bites

Gather the ingredients.

Lightly grease a 12-hole mini-muffin tin with 1 tablespoon of butter, then pop it into the refrigerator to chill.

Cut the chilled Brie into 1/4-inch cubes, put onto a plate, and return to the refrigerator.

Unroll the pastry onto a sheet of baking paper, mark into 2-inch squares and cut with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter. Puff pastry goes soft quickly, especially if the kitchen is warm; if this is the case, roll gently onto the baking paper and chill for 5 minutes.

Take the muffin tin and pastry squares out from the refrigerator. Take each square and gently squeeze opposite corners together making sure they do not touch, then plop the square into the muffin tin, one at a time.

Put a 1/2 teaspoon of cranberry sauce into each pastry cup and top with a square of Brie.

Return the filled muffin tin to the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Make The Glazed Walnuts

Heat a small skillet on medium heat. Add the butter and honey (or agave, if using); once the butter is foaming, raise the heat slightly and add the walnuts. Keep the nuts moving around the pan by shaking gently from time to time for 5 minutes making sure they are covered by the glaze.

Tip the glazed walnuts onto a baking sheet lined with paper and use a fork to separate the nuts. Sprinkle with the salt and leave to cool.

Bake The Bites

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Bake in the center of the oven for 18 minutes until golden brown and the cheese melts. Some of the cheese may ooze out and burn slightly; do not worry this adds a little crunch and taste.

Remove from the oven and press a couple of walnut pieces into the melted cheese of each bite. Leave the bites in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove and leave to cool a little more.

Serve and enjoy!


The bites are best served slightly warm, but not hot. The cheese will go hard if they become too cold but can be warmed in the oven (not in the microwave) if this happens. If you like things a little sweeter, decorate with another tiny spot of cranberry sauce.

2. Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Here are the 6 easy steps for how to roast a whole cauliflower head:

Prep the cauliflower. Rinse and pat dry. Remove the outer leaves and cut off the bottom so that it’s flat.

TIP: Cut off the woody center of the bottom stalk, but be careful to not cut too much off, as cooking whole cauliflower requires the head to stay intact.

Make the garlic Parmesan sauce. Stir together olive oil, garlic, Parmesan, basil, parsley, thyme, sea salt, and black pepper.

Bake cauliflower in the oven whole. Cover the dutch oven with lid and bake until the cauliflower is tender and pierces easily with a knife.

Broil whole roasted cauliflower with parmesan. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and broil until the cheese is browned. If you like, sprinkle with fresh parsley for garnish, and/or even additional parmesan.

For a whole roasted cauliflower recipe, roast it 35 to 45 minutes covered, followed by a few minutes under the broiler.

If you want to know how to make roasted cauliflower in the form of florets instead of roasting a whole cauliflower head, try a roasted cauliflower florets recipe instead. This will require much less time in the oven, but a bit more prep time.

How To Serve Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Parmesan

The hardest part of this garlic parmesan roasted cauliflower? Serving it! But don’t worry, I’m here to help.

Here is how to serve whole roasted cauliflower:

Carefully lift the full roasted cauliflower out of the dutch oven and onto a cutting board. I usually use two large forks and lift from underneath.

Using a fork to hold the whole baked cauliflower with one hand, carefully cut the cauliflower. You can slice the cauliflower into “steaks” (large circles) or cut it into thin wedges, kind of like a pie. I prefer wedges, but it’s up to you!

3. Apple Salad

  • ½ cup Raisin
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ¾ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 3 Bananas (sliced)
  • 1 cup Pecan (chopped)
  • 5 Red Apples (chunks)
  • 2 cups Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 cup Sweet Pineapple (chunks)

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to blend.
Refrigerate the salad.

Apple Salad is ready to serve.

4. Creamed Spinach


Heat 25g butter in a saucepan, then add 1 finely chopped small onion and cook for 5 mins until softened.

Stir in 2 tbsp plain flour and cook for 2 mins, then slowly start to whisk in 200ml full-fat milk. When it has all been incorporated, gently cook for 5 mins until the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, place two 200g bags spinach in a large colander. Pour over a kettle full of boiling water until the leaves have wilted (you may have to do this twice).

Place the spinach in a clean dishcloth, squeeze out any excess liquid, then roughly chop. Stir into the sauce with 100ml single cream, gently heat, then finely grate over some fresh nutmeg and season well.

5. Christmas Cabbage

  • 1 large red cabbage (about 1kg/2lb 4oz)
  • 25g butter
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • finely grated zest and juice 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 150ml port
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Peel off the outer leaves of the cabbage then cut into quarters and slice out the core. Use a sharp knife or the slicing attachment of a food processor to thinly slice the cabbage.

Heat the butter in a large saucepan, then tip in the onions and gently fry until softened, about 5 mins. Add the orange zest to the pan along with the cinnamon stick, then cook for 1 min more. Add the shredded cabbage, then pour over the port, red wine vinegar, orange juice, and 150ml water.

Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook for 45 mins-1 hr until the cabbage is softened.

6. Mashed Cauliflower

  • 25 m
  • 4 servings
  • 98 cals
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Add All Ingredients To List

Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat; cook and stir garlic until softened about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer half the cauliflower to a food processor; cover and blend on high. Add remaining cauliflower florets, one at a time, until vegetables are creamy. Blend in garlic, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, salt, and black pepper.

7. Mushroom Risotto

  • 6-8c. vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter divided
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 16 oz. button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme stems removed and minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1 c. Fresh Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 3/4 c. frozen peas thawed
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Start by warming the vegetable broth. Either in a large bowl in the microwave or in a medium saucepan over medium heat bring to a simmer.

In a large pot heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until tender. Add 1 tbsp butter, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms have softened and are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter and add the arborio rice. Stirring on medium heat, cook the grains until the are lightly brown and start to toast about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine has absorbed.

Add one cup of broth at a time to the rice and stir frequently until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue to add one cup of broth and allow the rice to absorb after each addition. Stir often and cook until the risotto is al dente and not mushy. You may not need all of the broth.

Add the mushrooms, parmesan, and peas back to the rice and stir. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve while warm.

8. Christmas Queso

  • 2 pounds queso blanco-style processed cheese, such as Velveeta Queso Blanco, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, such as Rotel
  • 1 jar diced pimientos
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped finely
Tortilla Chips, For Serve

Add the cheese to a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the diced tomatoes and chiles, pimientos and jalapenos and mix. Pour into a chafing dish to keep warm.
Serve with tortilla chips.

9. Honey-Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

For The Brussels Sprouts
  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, bottoms cut and outer leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
For The Honey Balsamic Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • freshly shaved parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place cleaned brussels sprouts on a sheet pan and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl stir together olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour olive oil mixture over brussels sprouts and mix until well combined.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender and slightly charred.
  6. In the meantime prepare the Honey Balsamic Glaze
  7. Combine honey, vinegar, and brown sugar in a saucepan.
  8. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  9. Remove from heat and let cool at least 5 minutes.
  10. Pull brussels sprouts out of the oven and transfer to a large bowl or platter.
  11. Pour prepared honey balsamic glaze over the brussels sprouts and toss to combine.
  12. Add freshly shaved parmesan cheese over the brussels sprouts and serve.

10. Garlic Butter Potatoes

  • US Customary – Grams
  • 2 lb potatoes – see note 1
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • For the garlic butter
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400ºF/200ºC.
  2. Cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes, there is no need to peel them.
  3. Bring a pan of water to the boil and then add 1 tbsp of salt.
  4. Add the potato cubes and bring the water back to a simmer. Simmer the potatoes for 5 minutes then drain well and set them aside to dry out a little.
  5. Whilst the potatoes are drying make the garlic butter.
  6. Peel and finely mince the garlic.
  7. Place the butter into a cold saucepan and add the garlic.
  8. Place the pan over very low heat and allow the butter to slowly melt and cook the garlic. The garlic wants to soften but never color. This will take around 10 minutes.
  9. Once the garlic has softened remove the pan from the heat and set it to one side.
  10. Place a large ovenproof skillet/frying pan over high heat and pour in the oil.
  11. Once shimmering add the potatoes. Shake the pan gently to fully coat the potatoes with oil. Then leave them over high heat, untouched for 2 minutes to start to crisp.
  12. Give them a gentle toss and cook again for 2 minutes.
  13. Transfer the skillet of potatoes to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until crispy and golden.
    Remove the skillet from the oven.
  14. Add the chopped parsley to the garlic butter then spoon the butter over the hot potatoes.

Serve immediately with black pepper. (You probably won’t need salt due to the generous salting of the potato water)

11. Glazed Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut the leaves and stem off the cauliflower so it sits flat. Place in a large baking dish and surround with tomatoes, onion wedges, and green beans. Season veggies with salt and coat with oil.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together balsamic and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Let simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Brush glaze all over cauliflower, reserving some for basting.

Roast until golden and tender, about 1 1/2 hours, periodically basting with glaze.

Garnish with parsley before serving.

12. Vegetarian Lasagna

lasagna reheats brilliantly. Epic meat-free food for carnivores!


Roasted Vegetables (Note 1):

  • 500 g / 1 lb pumpkin , 2cm / 4/5″ cubes
  • 2 large zucchinis , cut into 2cm / 4/5″ chunks
  • 2 onions (any type) , cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • Salt and pepper

Spinach Ricotta:

  • 250 g / 8 oz frozen chopped spinach , thawed
  • 500 g / 1 lb ricotta (Note 2)
  • 1/2 cup / 50 g grated parmesan (or 3/4 cup shredded cheese)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg, optional (fresh or powder)
  • 1/2 tsp each Salt and pepper


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small onion , finely chopped (any, I use brown)
  • 700 g / 24 oz tomato passata (Note 3)
  • 400 g / 14 oz crushed tomato
  • 1/2 cup / 125 ml water
  • 3/4 tsp each dried thyme and oregano (or basil, parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (can omit / adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper


  • 330g / 11 oz jar roasted red pepper strips, drained (Note 4)
  • 375 g / 13 oz fresh lasagne sheets (Note 5)
  • 300 g / 3 cups shredded mozzarella (or MORE!)


Roasted Vegetables:

Preheat oven to 200C/390F.

Place vegetables on the tray, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper. Toss.

Roast for 25 minutes, turning at 15 minutes, until tender and browned.

Remove from oven, loosen from tray with spatula while warm (can stick when cools).


Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 3 minutes until golden.
Add passata, crushed tomato, water, dried herbs, chilli, salt and pepper. Stir. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Adjust salt at the end. Add a teeny touch of sugar if it’s a bit sour, depends on the quality of tomatoes used. Remove from the stove and let cool for 5 minutes before using it.

Ricotta Mixture:

Place ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.


Preheat oven to 160C/320F.

Spread a ladle of tomato sauce on the base of a large baking dish (Note 5).

Cover with lasagna sheets, tearing as required to fit.

Top with roasted vegetables, scatter over red peppers. Spoon over 2 1/2 cups of Sauce, then sprinkle with half the cheese.

Cover with lasagna sheets. Spread over Ricotta mixture.

Cover with lasagna sheets. Pour over remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden. If using dried lasagna sheets, stick a knife in the middle to ensure it’s cooked – if it needs longer, cover and stick it back in the oven.

Rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

13. Cheesy Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 c. grated Gruyere
  • 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. low-sodium chicken stock

Preheat 375 degrees F. Spray large skillet with cooking spray.

In a small bowl mix together 1 cup Gruyere, breadcrumbs, parsley and 3 to 4 tbsp olive oil. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine butter, garlic, thyme, remaining Gruyere, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Fold in sweet potatoes until well coated. Arrange sweet potatoes with a slight overlap in the skillet. Pour the stock into a bowl to collect any remaining bits and pour over potatoes.

Sprinkle Gruyere breadcrumb mixture in an even layer over the potatoes. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 20 minutes. For deeper golden color, broil for the last few minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

14. Spinach Maria

  • 2 c. chopped frozen spinach
  • 1 med. onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • 3/4-1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

(Use more or less according to taste)

Cook spinach according to directions and drain on paper towels. Saute onion in butter until tender. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add spinach, Parmesan and pepper. Cook several minutes until well blended. Place in a greased casserole dish, cover with bread crumbs and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

15. Pretzel Rolls

Dough: Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for the baking sheet
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling
Water Bath:
  • 1/2 cup baking soda

For the dough: Combine the milk and 6 tablespoons of the butter in a pot. Stir in the sugar. Scald the milk mixture slightly by heating it almost to a boil. Turn off the heat and let cool until just warm to the touch, about 10 minutes.

Add the flour, yeast, baking soda and salt to the milk mixture in the pot and stir until well combined. Cover the pot with a dishtowel and place in a warm spot in the kitchen. Let the dough rise for an hour or so. It should roughly double in size.

Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll each into a neat ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with a dishtowel and set aside in a warm place to rise for another 20 minutes.

For the water bath: While the dough is rising, bring a pot with 10 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the baking soda.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small pot or in the microwave.

Working in 3 batches of 4 rolls each, drop the dough balls into the water and boil for 30 seconds. Transfer the boiled balls to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.

To bake the rolls: Transfer the rolls to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, make a small “x” in the top of each roll. Brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until deep brown, about 15 minutes.

16. Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

  • 3/4 cup white or button mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 small yellow or white onion (minced)
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Gather the ingredients. In a large skillet, melt the vegan margarine and add onion and mushrooms. Saute for just a minute or two over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, Bring to a simmer or a low boil for just a minute to help it thicken up, then reduce the heat again to low.

Stir frequently. then add the vegetable broth and soy sauce. Slowly add flour, stirring well to combine and prevent lumps from forming. Keep on stirring, just like you would when preparing a regular gravy.

Add seasoning, salt, and pepper, stirring consistently. Allow to cook for another few minutes, stirring regularly, until the gravy thickens. Remove it from the heat.

17. Roasted Garlic and Kale Stuffing

  • 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved crosswise
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves torn
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped sage
  • 2 tbsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley
  • 10 c. torn baguette or other crusty bread, dried overnight
  • 1 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 c. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, divided
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Preheat oven to 400° and lightly oil a 3-quart baking dish.
On a large square of aluminum foil, drizzle garlic with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap up foil and roast until garlic cloves are very soft, 40 to 50 minutes. Unwrap and let cool, then squeeze cloves from peels and set aside. Reduce oven to 350°.

Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add shallots and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add white wine and simmer until almost evaporated about 1 minute. Add kale a few handfuls at a time and cook, tossing, until wilted, about 4 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl, then add herbs, baguette, roasted garlic, and half the Parmesan and toss to combine.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 cups broth. Pour over bread mixture and toss until evenly moistened, adding more broth ¼ cup at a time until baguette pieces seem hydrated (you might not use it all).

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish, drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Cover dish with foil and bake until a knife inserted in the center of the stuffing comes out warm, 30 to 35 minutes. Increase oven to 425° and continue baking until top is deeply golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

18. Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, then roughly chop. In same pan with bacon fat, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussels Sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss bacon back into the pan. Serve immediately.

19. Balsamic-Glazed Parsnips

  • 6-8 medium carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 medium parsnips (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon 60-70% tub-style vegetable oil spread
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Step 1

Cook carrots and parsnips in a covered large saucepan, in a small amount of boiling lightly salted water for 7 to 9 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and return to the saucepan. Add vegetable oil spread and gently stir until melted.

Step 2

For the glaze, stir together vinegar, honey, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Add the glaze to the vegetables in the saucepan, gently tossing to coat. Cook and gently stir about 1 minute or until heated through.