Your vegan guest will not be able to eat the main meat dish at Christmas, but don’t forget that many other aspects of the Christmas Dinner also contain animal products too. You’ll need to make sure that side dishes, sauces, gravies, condiments, and any drinks (including alcohol) are vegan friendly.
Things to remember
- Don’t cook, bake, or roast vegan food in the same dishes or with the same utensils as any animal products
- Use vegetable oil, coconut oil, or olive oil (avoid lard, honey, butter, goose fat)
- Maple syrup or agave nectar are good vegan alternatives to honey
- Use olive oil or vegan margarine in place of butter or margarine
- Avoid adding milk to sauces, mash, or side dishes
- Check the labels of sauces, stuffings, and sides - most are already vegan friendly
- Surprisingly, gravy granules are often vegan friendly but check the label
- Coconut products and Soya are a good dairy replacement for cream
- Check that pastry doesn’t contain butter and uses vegetable fat or vegan margarine only
Cooking two mains
We think the easiest way to cater for vegans and omnivores at Christmas is to cook two main dishes, and then ensure that all side dishes are vegan-friendly.
If you create vegan side dishes, you won’t need twice the serving platters and table space! This means everyone can enjoy their favourites and still share the eating experience of Christmas too.
For some delicious vegan main meal inspiration, here’s a great recipe for healthy and tasty butternut squash that’ll easily serve two hungry vegans.
Stuffed butternut squash with Christmas herbs recipe
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 slices bread
- 1 x 300g tin chickpeas, cannellini beans or butter beans
- 30g walnuts
- 30g chopped dried cranberries
- Fresh chopped thyme (2 tsp)
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190c.
- Prepare the squash by cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds. Place it on a baking tray (cut side up) and brush the flesh with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the flesh is soft, at 190˚C.
- While it’s cooking, drain and rinse the tinned beans or chickpeas and mash them in a big bowl.
- Make breadcrumbs from the slices of bread, break the walnuts into pieces and chop the cranberries. Combine everything with the tinned beans.
- Once the butternut is cooked, scoop most of the flesh out leaving enough so the skins don’t collapse.
- Add the cooked squash to the mixture, combine well, and then spoon it back into the squash halves. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned. Enjoy!