Is this your first Christmas being vegan or gluten-free and you're worrying about how to make your Christmas dinner special? Or perhaps you're entertaining a guest with dietary restrictions and don't know how to cater for them?
Don't worry, I've got your back! I've got a tried and tested full vegan and gluten-free Christmas lunch menu for you and it's so delicious that no-one will even notice that there's anything missing! Oh, and best of all... most of it is make ahead so all you need to do on the day is open presents, sip down that champagne and pop things in the oven!
I have already tested this menu out on my non-vegan, non-gf family and they all loved it and couldn't believe it was all vegan and gluten-free! So, rest assured, this is a menu that you can happily serve to vegans and non-vegans alike.
If you're not vegan yourself, why not do the meat bits but make all the rest of the dishes vegan so that everyone can eat them and your plant-based guest will feel really well catered for with lots of delicious dishes to eat? Honestly, these dishes are so tasty that no-one will even notice!
Since Christmas Day can be pretty busy, I've created most of this Christmas lunch menu to be make-ahead so that you can get organised beforehand and spend Christmas Day opening presents and playing games with your kids rather than stressing in the kitchen.
The Full Vegan & Gluten-Free Christmas Dinner Menu
Canapés and Nibbles
Pick two pretty looking vegan & gluten-free canapé recipes that look like you've gone to a lot of effort and then add a platter of veggie sticks, olives, crackers and dips that the kids will enjoy as well as the adults!
No-one wants to be running around making elaborate canapés on Christmas Day so these are all super easy canapés that taste delicious and look great too! You can make the different parts of each the day before and then just assemble on the day.
If you have a little more time to prepare or want to show off a bit 😁:
I have to admit, I often ditch the starters completely and just do more canapés and nibbles because people are often happy chatting and mingling with a glass of bubbles and nibbling on whatever is near them rather than having to move to the table straight away.
However, if you are a stickler for tradition and like to serve a starter, how about a lovely bowl of soup which you can make ahead and store in the freezer ready to defrost the night before and warm up on the day?
This is where people often get stuck thinking of a vegan and gluten-free show-stopping centrepiece to rival the Christmas turkey! I have been working on the ultimate gluten-free Christmas nut roast recipe and I think I've really nailed it with this Chestnut Nut Roast With Red Wine & Porcini Jus. You can make the whole thing in advance up to the point of moulding it and then just roast it on the day.
Or for a less traditional Christmas lunch, how about some beautiful Mung Bean Stuffed Peppers or even a cosy Vegan Pot Pie for your Christmas main dish? (the pot pie is also a great recipe for using up leftovers on Boxing Day!) Alternatively, you could make this really delicious Vegan Stew with Smoked Tofu and Vegetables that tastes rich and indulgent and can be made ahead of time and frozen ready to simply reheat on the day.
Vegan and gluten-free side dishes really come into their own at the Christmas dinner table and it can be a great way to win over the meat-eaters and persuade them to try out more vegan food! Here are veganised versions of all my old favourite Christmas side dishes that I used to enjoy before I went vegan. All these side dishes taste truly authentic but are blissfully dairy-free and gluten-free!
- Roasted Parsnips with Wholegrain Mustard & Maple Syrup
- Braised Red Cabbage with Apple & Balsamic
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts With A Smoky Dressing (Vegan)
- Carrot & Swede Vegan Side Dish
- Vegan Boulangère Potatoes
- Roast Beetroot with Herbs (Air Fryer or Oven)
- Easy Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Vegan Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans
For the traditional sides:
Sauces and Accompaniments
Christmas lunch would not be complete without the sauces and accompaniments! For me, that means lashings of gravy, creamy bread sauce and a good dollop of cranberry sauce (and enough for seconds and for sandwiches in the following few weeks!).
You wouldn't believe it possible but I've actually managed to develop a delicious bread sauce recipe that's dairy-free and gluten-free (pretty amazing given that the sauce is basically all gluten and dairy!).
I'm really not a fan of Christmas pudding and I find that most others aren't either! So, I prefer serving up a plate of delicious little mince pies with vegan cream and perhaps some gooey fudgey brownies for the kids (and maybe for the adults as well!)? Or you could try a traditional English crumble? You could substitute the blackberries for cranberries in this blackberry and apple crumble recipe and add orange juice to the apple and cranberry mixture and orange zest to the crumble mixture.
Don't forget to serve a big platter of grapes, tangerines and nuts as well so that everyone can graze on them throughout the afternoon.
So there you have it! An amazing vegan and gluten-free Christmas dinner to delight your guests and leave you stress-free on Christmas Day.
It's actually quite easy to veganise the sides and sauces (basically, just use vegetable/rapeseed oil or vegan butter wherever you were going to use butter and you're half way there! - but see my Sides category for more ideas) and then choose a main course to go with it. I love a traditional nut roast which you can decorate to make it look pretty and add some drama to the vegan Christmas table!
You can still do your Christmas turkey for the non-vegans but then make all the sides vegan and, if you really want to please the vegan at the table, do an amazing vegan main to go with it (do enough for everyone to try as I'm sure they'll all want to try it!). I have loads of vegan sides on this website as well as vegan and gluten-free gravy, cranberry sauce, and bread sauce.
Oh so many things! I love to make a big pie with all the leftovers and with a rosti topping from chopping up the roast potatoes and parsnips. And of course you can make sandwiches and wraps with the leftover nut roast, cranberry sauce and a bit of mustard or vegan mayonnaise. Bubble and Squeak is another classic English dish that can be made from leftover veggies, in particular, the potatoes and sprouts. And then once you're thoroughly bored of those heavy Christmas flavours, throw the rest of the leftovers into a stir fry with some soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil!
Absolutely! If you go to print the recipe card, then it should come up with a box saying the number of servings. Just change that number to whatever number of people you need to cater for, and it should adjust the recipe accordingly for you.
I hope this resolves all your fears of catering for a vegan and gluten-free Christmas. If you have any other questions about your Christmas dinner menu, please get in contact or comment on this page and I'll get right back to you! And please, if you use any of my recipes, give them a star rating and let me know how it goes!
Happy Vegan and Gluten-Free Christmas everyone!! x
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