If you or any of your Christmas guests are vegetarians, you’ll need to know how to create a meat-free Christmas dinner. Make sure your vegetarian Christmas meal is exciting, delicious, and truly tempting so nobody misses out.
The essential elements of a vegetarian Christmas dinner
Obviously there are certain aspects of a traditional Christmas feast which aren’t suitable for vegetarians, but you can use the basic outline of the main meal to create a meat-free alternative. Think about a hearty centrepiece, several vegetable side dishes, at least one type of potatoes, and lots of sauces.
Vegetarian Christmas starters
Instead of the typical fish or seafood starter, offer your vegetarian guests a light, refreshing first course of peppery, tangy salad leaves (try rocket, watercress, and spinach) with fresh orange and mozzarella. Don’t forget a hunk of quality bread either.
The main meal
Forget a half-hearted nut roast. Offer your vegetarian friends a mouth-watering centrepiece to their main Christmas meal. Choose something hearty and substantial, bursting with Christmas flavours like cranberry, orange, and spices. A homemade vegetable tart made with puff pastry, or a vegetable pie with a pastry or crumble topping are both mouth-watering options.
Of course your vegetarian friends will be able to enjoy all of the side dishes, but make sure they complement the veggie main dish. Don’t overlap side dish ingredients with the main ingredients of your vegetarian offering, and ensure a variety of flavours, textures, and colours. Be sure to avoid adding bacon, anchovies, or other non-vegetarian frills.
The fun stuff
Christmas dinner has to include pigs in blankets, but they’re hardly suitable for vegetarians. Don’t let your veggie friends miss out. Prepare a traditional-style alternative instead, using Quorn cocktail sausages wrapped in Quorn bacon or sundried tomatoes.
Gravy can make or break a Christmas dinner, so make sure your vegetarian guests have a meat-free gravy they’ll love. Here’s a fantastic recipe for a delicious vegetarian gravy:
- Roughly chop up onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms- the amounts will depend on how many you’re cooking for. Fry the veg gently in a large pan with oil, thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary.
- Add port, cranberry sauce, and orange juice to the mixture and cook for a few minutes longer. Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour until the mixture is smooth.
- Add 1 tablespoon of tomato puree and a splash of white wine vinegar. Then add 1.5 litres vegetable stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce it down until its thick enough for gravy.
- Pass it through a sieve and squeeze out all the flavours using the back of a wooden spoon. Serve with your tasty veggie roast!
One final tip: be sure to make more than you need of your vegetarian Christmas treats, in case the meat eaters decide they prefer them!