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Our Top Vegetarian Christmas Dinner Ideas

21 Sep 2022 by Liz Tod

Read time: 7 mins.

Are you vegetarian or are you entertaining someone who is this Christmas?

Vegetarians often feel over-looked at Christmas and say they feel like ‘after thoughts’, especially at venues, so check out these simple, tasty vegetarian Christmas recipes.

Being meat-free doesn’t mean taste-free!

Before we go into our best vegetarian Christmas recipes, here are a few of reportedly the top bug bares for vegetarians. Perhaps helpful to know if hosting a vegetarian at Christmas!


Did you realise:

  • That many vegetarians get fed up with people commenting on their Christmas dinner stating how good it looks BUT they wouldn’t eat it themselves?!
  • That people assume you LOVE mushrooms if you’re vegetarian?
  • That mince pies are often made with beef suet?
  • That vegetarians are not always on the lookout for ‘meat substitutes’?
  • Vegetarians get tired of having risotto as their only choice in a restaurant?


So here are our 5 best vegetarian Christmas recipes….


Vegetarian Christmas recipe 1: Christmas nut roast

A nut roast that is NOT bland or dull!  The beauty of this recipe is that it’s easy to make and can be frozen for up to 3 months or chilled for up to 3 days.

Serves 4-6 people.

Oven temp 180’C or gas mark 4. Preheat.



  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes (oil reserved), drained and chopped
  • 2 garlic, crushed
  • 50g dried apricots, chopped
  • 200g mixed nuts, chopped
  • 50g mixed seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of salt and pepper



  1. Cook the lentils in plenty of water for 15 minutes, then drain using a fine sieve. While the lentils cook, heat a little of the sun-dried tomato oil in your largest frying pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes.
  2. Add all the other ingredients, except the seasoning, to the pan. Stir really well, add the cooked lentils and stir again, seasoning to taste.
  3. Line a loaf tin (approximately 20cm x 10cm) with non-stick baking paper and spoon in the mixture. Bake for 50 minutes and allow to cool slightly before removing and cutting into thick slices. Delicious.

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Packed full of nuts, seeds and lentils, this nut roast is a great source of plant based protein. Photo by Peter F on Unsplash.


Vegetarian Christmas recipe 2: Squash and ricotta croissant wreath

Don’t be put off as soon as you see pastry’s involved!

You can get ready-made croissant dough pastry. It’s an easy recipe and looks impressive!

Oven temp 180’C or gas mark 6. Preheat.

Serves 10.



  • 750g butternut squash, sliced
  • a bunch sage, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • 250g ricotta
  • a grating nutmeg
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 75g parmesan (or veggie alternative), finely grated, plus 2 tbsp extra
  •  2 x 360g packets of croissant dough (Jus-rol do them).



  1. Toss the squash with half the sage, 2 tbsp olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Tip onto a baking tray and roast for 30-40 minutes until tender, and golden around the edges. Cool.

  2. Beat the ricotta, remaining sage, nutmeg, garlic and parmesan together, then season.

  3. Unroll the packets of croissant dough and cut through the perforations to make 12 dough triangles in total. Take the largest baking sheet you have and arrange the triangles in an overlapping circle so the long pointed ends make a star shape.
  4. Pile up the squash in a ring, on top of the overlapping pastry, and dollop the cheesy ricotta on top. Pull each triangle of pastry over the filling, then fold the pointed ends back on themselves.

  5. Scatter over the remaining parmesan and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden.
  6. Enjoy!


Combine croissants and Christmas with this festive dish. Photo by Kavita Joshi Rai on Unsplash.


Vegetarian Christmas Recipe 3: Cranberry and lentil bake

A very festive but simple dish in a ramekin that can be made up to 2 days before serving. Serve alongside roast potatoes and vegetables.

Oven temp 180’C or gas mark 6. Preheat.

Serves 1 but can be scaled up.


  • 25g dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • 125g cooked puy lentils
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed or finely grated
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • ½ tbsp chopped parsley
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cornflour



  1. Oil and line the base of a 200ml ovenproof ramekin with a circle of baking parchment. Put the cranberries in a small pan with the wine and cook for a couple of mins over a medium heat until the cranberries are plump and the wine syrupy. Pour into the base of the ramekin and set aside.
  2. Put the lentils in a bowl and roughly mash about half of them with a fork. Heat the oil in a small pan and cook the onion for 6-8 mins over a medium heat until softened. Stir in the garlic, herbs, paprika and cloves and cook for another minute.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the lentils, tomato purée, soy and cornflour, stir everything together well, then spoon into the ramekin, pressing down gently with the back of a spoon.

    Can be chilled for two days, or freeze for up to two months, with the ramekin covered. Defrost in the fridge before cooking.
  4. Put the ramekin on a baking tray and bake for 15 mins. Leave to cool for 1 min, then turn out onto a plate.

Cranberries are often found in festive British and Canadian dishes. Photo by Rasa Kasparaviciene on Unsplash.


Vegetarian Christmas Recipe 4: Potato, shredded sprout and chestnut gratin

A wonderfully Christmassy meal that could be served as a side dish too.

Oven temp 160’c or gas mark 3.

Serves 8.



  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 400ml double cream
  • 400ml whole milk
  • 1 onion, cut into four thick slices
  • 1 bay leaf, scrunched up
  • a few knobs of butter, plus extra for the dish
  • 1kg floury potatoes, very thinly sliced
  • 250g whole cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped into chunks
  • 250g Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 125g cheddar, grated
  • grating of nutmeg


  • Squash the peeled garlic cloves with the blade of a knife, then put in a large saucepan with the cream, milk, onion slices, bay leaf and 2 tsp sea salt. Bring to the boil over a low heat. When the mixture is bubbling, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 1 hr.
  • Butter a large, deep baking dish well.  Sieve the infused milk over a bowl and discard the onion, bay leaf and garlic. Arrange a layer of the potatoes in the dish, then scatter over some of the chestnuts, sprouts, cheese and a little nutmeg. Drizzle over some of the infused milk mixture. Repeat until you’ve used all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of potatoes, then cover with the last of the infused milk mixture. Dot over a few small knobs of butter.
  • Bake the gratin for 1 hr 15 mins on the middle shelf of the oven until golden and crisp on top. A knife inserted into the middle should slide in easily. Leave the gratin to rest for 10 mins, then serve.

Gratin’s make an extra cheesy vegetarian Christmas feast. Photo by jeffreyw via Flickr.


Vegetarian Christmas Recipe 5: Christmas Pudding 

Simple, straightforward and delicious. Can be prepared in advance.

Serves 8-10.

Need a steamer.



  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup finely grated butter (about 115g/4oz)
  • 1 cup fresh brown breadcrumbs (from around 4 thick slices of bread)
  • 1 cup light muscovado sugar
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, chopped plus extra to decorate
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • butter, for greasing

For the butterscotch sauce:

  • 85g butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract



  • For the pudding, empty the first six cups and the nuts, if using, into a mixing bowl with the spices, then stir in the milk and egg. Once well combined, tip into a buttered 1.5 litre pudding bowl.
  • Cover with a double layer of buttered foil, making a pleat in the centre to allow the pudding to rise. Tie the foil securely with string, then place in a steamer or large pan containing enough gently simmering water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Steam, covered with a lid, for 2½ hours. Check the water level during cooking, topping up if necessary. If you are preparing this pudding ahead, remove the foil, let it cool slightly, then wrap in cling film and then fresh foil. If you are serving it immediately, unwrap and invert onto a deep plate.
  • For the sauce, put everything in a pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring. Allow to bubble away for 2-3 minutes, still stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is pale caramel in colour and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. Pour the sauce over the pudding and decorate with the whole mixed nut

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A vegetarian Christmas pudding you won’t be able to resist. Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash.


Are you going to try one of these top vegetarian Christmas dinner recipes? Let us know how you get on!

And if you’re looking for vegetarian Christmas present ideas, we’re here to help.