I’m a vegetarian and it is the holidays, therefore, I am sharing with you all my favorite vegetarian holiday dishes.
Imagine if that was my intro? Y’all know I am more long-winded than that!
I’ve been a vegetarian since 2018 for many reasons ranging from how meat makes my body feel to ethical and sustainable reasons, which is why I am writing this post. Sure, it is fun to share recipes with people. But, I also want to encourage you all to eat less meat in your lives, specifically around the holidays and I want to share some new recipes with my fellow veggies out there.
I am not trying to get you to cut out meat completely. I am suggesting that if you are concerned about the impact that the meat industry makes on the planet, you can make simple, infrequent changes in your diet that will lessen your impact on the environment.
If you aren’t interested in eating less meat, maybe someone you love that you will be spending time with is and you are in need of some good recipes. I got you covered.
Besides these recipes being meat-less, they are tasty, easy to make and meals that can feed a lot of people. They are also perfect for the holidays and for colder days.
Most sides are already vegetarian. I love mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole, but consider including cole slaw, deviled eggs and cranberry sauce to your meals for some variety. It is not only nice to have dishes that are cold, refreshing and crisp with more heavy dishes, but these serve as good vegetarian protein options as well.
- A Charceuterie Board – This is an appetizer that everyone will love! Logan and I went to a restaurant in New Zealand that exclusively sold cheese boards and meat pies, and we haven’t looked back ever since. Here’s what I make sure to have on my charceuterie boards: a variety of cheeses in texture and taste; a grainy cracker, a seeded cracker and a plain cracker; grapes; nuts; dried fruits; and lastly, a tart jam. You can also add in meats of your choosing, of course. The contents of your charceuterie board will never go to waste because you can use the leftovers to make other meals during the following days, so it is a great choice for the holidays. (Example pictured above on the right.)
- Katie Lee’s Cornbread Stuffing – I quite literally saw Katie Lee making this recipe on TV and my mom and I have been making it at every chance we get since then. Don’t skip the herb butter section of this recipe, it takes the dish to the next level. (P.S. This is a great side to bring to a work holiday luncheon.) (Pictured above on the left.)
I think most people think that vegetarians eat tofurkey during the holidays, but, to be honest, my plate is usually filled with sides. Here are some alternatives to ham, turkey and other meat dishes, as well as some breakfast options.
- Basil Tomato Bisque – Soup is lovely for colder days and it is something you can make and let it sit while you are doing other things. This bisque is easy, but tasty and is made better with a grilled cheese sandwich, obviously.
- Cheesy Hash Browns – This one is stupid easy to make, but a real crowd pleaser. You can add jalapeños, bell peppers, mushrooms, sausage…the possibilities are endless! You can even prepare it the night before and pop it in the oven Christmas morning while you are opening presents. I just subsitute the cream of chicken soup for cream of mushroom soup and add in whatever crunchy cracker-like topping I have and call it a day!
- Cinnamon Rolls – If you are looking for something that is hands-on and good for the whole family to get involved with, try making your own cinnamon rolls. The prep is worth it because these are simply divine.
- Cookie Baked Oatmeal – I have been loving baked oatmeal lately because it feels like you are having dessert for breakfast. There are tons of recipes online for baked oatmeal, but I would recommend finding recipes that suggest using a blender. It’s louder, but easier. (Pictured above on the right.)
- Gourmet Mushroom Risotto – If you want to bring out the big guns and show your loved ones that you have taste and can make a decadent meal, make this bomb risotto that my bestie Claire has perfected. Your loved ones will love something different and hearty during the festive season. (Pictured above in the middle.)
- Lasagna – As another easy dish to make for a large group of people and something that can easily be made vegetarian, lasagna is an easy choice. You can either use plant-based meat or a variety of vegetables to make your chunky sauce layer. I usually do bell peppers, onions and mushrooms in my sauce. I also highly recommend using no boil lasagna noodles or zucchini to make life easier for yourself.
- Sheet Pan Pancakes – Instead of making what feels like hundreds of individual pancakes for a big holiday breakfast, make these sheet pan pancakes that are way less hands-on, but just as tasty and customizable as your everyday pancake. (Pictured above on the left.)
Yeah, I know, desserts are usually vegetarian. But, I still want to share some of my favorite, easy recipes with you guys.
- Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake – The name of this dish might not be so appetizing, but I can assure you it is delish. You literally dump the ingredients into a baking dish. What could be better? There a lot of variations of dump cake online if you would rather have different fruits.
- Cinnamon Sugared Almonds or Mixed Nuts – I’ve mentioned this recipe before, but it is a super tasty treat that everyone will love.
Here are two recipes that I will be trying this holiday season because they sound damn good.
- Cranberry Lime Mojito – Doesn’t this sound so good and refreshing? Definitely gonna try it.
- Mushroom Wellington – Just call me a vegetarian Gordon Ramsay. This sounds like it will not be easy to make, but that it will feed a lot of people and will be the main dish of my dreams.
I hope you have the best meals of your lives this holiday season and don’t punish yourself for eating what you want or indulging in something that you wouldn’t normally eat.
I also want to remind you to ask your loved ones and guests about their dietary preferences and restrictions before you plan out your meals. There is nothing worse than not being able to eat anything you are being served or being told to eat something you really don’t want to.
Let me know if you make any of these dishes. Happy Holidays!