Photo shows a three-way split between a burger, a beet and citrus salad, and a tomato soup
From your starter to what to do with your leftovers, here's your vegan Christmas dinner menu. | Rebekah Sarah, Sonya Sanford, Luce Hosier for LIVEKINDLY

Soup, Salad, Dinner, and Leftovers: How to Do Christmas Dinner

These four vegan recipes make planning your Christmas dinner menu easy so you can focus on the festivities instead.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And at that, it’s also beginning to look like many of us are going to be celebrating the holidays with scaled-down gatherings in our social bubbles. But what that doesn’t mean is forgoing a feast. So, we’ve gathered together four plant-based recipes for your holiday menu: a salad bursting with wintery flavor, a soul-warming tomato soup, a hearty veggie lasagna, and a Christmas dinner sandwich. Enjoy!

Photo shows a salad of roasted beets and various slices citrus fruits topped with pistachios and mint
Citrus fruits, roasted beets, pistachios, and mint come together in perfect harmony. | Sonya Sanford for LIVEKINDLY

Winter Citrus Salad

Beets and citrus fruits taste best in the colder months when they’re in season. Here, the earthy flavor of roasted beets is combined with a trio of bright, citrus-y flavors from clementine, Cara Cara orange, and blood orange. A sprinkling of toasted pistachios adds a pleasant crunch while a simple Dijon vinaigrette enhances, but doesn’t overpower, the flavors of the produce.

Beet, Citrus, and Pistachio Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

By LIVEKINDLY

15 mins to prep
Yields 46
Vegan
Vegetarian
Gluten-Free

Ingredients

  • 5 (2 pounds) medium-sized beets
  • 1 clementine or tangerine
  • 1 Cara Cara orange or navel orange
  • 1 blood orange
  • ⅓ cup shelled or toasted pistachios
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon maple or agave syrup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. 1
    Roast the beets at 375°F until tender, about 45 to 60 minutes. Roast them whole, either wrapped in foil or in a covered baking dish. Once roasted, allow to cool, and then peel the beets. This can be done up to two days in advance. Alternatively, you can use pre-cooked packaged beets. Slice the beets into wedges or rounds, depending on the size of the beet. In a medium bowl, toss them with a drizzle of oil and a generous amount of salt.
  2. 2
    Peel the clementine and slice it into circular pieces, about ¼”-½” thick. For the oranges, slice the top and bottom off of each orange, and then slice the peel off by following the curve of the orange from top to bottom in sections. Remove all of the white pith from the outside of the fruit. Slice the oranges into rounds, about ¼”-½” thick.
  3. 3
    Roughly chop the toasted pistachios.
  4. 4
    To make the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, Dijon, garlic, maple syrup, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the oil, and whisk continuously until the dressing comes together and is emulsified, and thick. Taste, and adjust to your liking.
  5. 5
    You can also top the salad with a sprinkle of flake salt, freshly ground pepper, or fresh herbs to garnish. Salad can be made several hours before serving and can be served chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Needed equipment: Baking sheet, knife, whisk or fork.

Image shows a bowl of tomato soup topped with a swirl of coconut milk, chili flakes, and fresh basil
Sourdough is a must-have companion to this creamy tomato soup. | Luce Hosier for LIVEKINDLY

Creamy tomato soup

Tomato soup conjures memories of long days and chilly evenings made better by its rich, savory presence, even if it’s from a can. But, there’s joy to be had from making it yourself. This recipe starts with sauteing carrots, onion, and garlic, then simmering it in broth with balsamic vinegar, coconut milk, paprika, and basil to build flavor. In the meantime, fresh tomatoes are oven-roasted to bring out a smoky, umami flavor, then blended. Mix it all together and serve with toasted sourdough and fresh basil.

Creamy Tomato Soup

By LIVEKINDLY

40 mins to prep
10 mins to cook
Yields 46
Vegan
Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ pounds tomatoes, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3½ cups vegetable stock
  • Fresh basil to serve (optional)
  • Toasted sourdough, to serve (optional)
  • Pinch of chili flakes (optional)

Preparation

  1. 1
    Begin by preheating the oven to 355F. Scatter the halved tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  2. 2
    Meanwhile, in a large pan on a medium heat add the remaining tablespoon of oil along with the diced white onion.
  3. 3
    Cook for a few minutes before adding the carrot and garlic. Combine and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  4. 4
    Next add the balsamic vinegar, coconut milk, salt, paprika, dried basil, and vegetable stock. Turn the heat to low and leave to simmer.
  5. 5
    When the tomatoes are cooked, place them in a blender along with the liquid in the pan. Blend until smooth.
  6. 6
    Now pour the soup back into the pan and heat through until hot.
  7. 7
    Serve with toasted sourdough, a swirl of leftover coconut milk, fresh basil, and a pinch of chilli flakes should you wish. Enjoy!
Photo shows a slice of zucchini lasagna with plant-based meat sauce on a fork
This noodle-free lasagna with plant-based meat sauce is bursting with flavor. | Chelsey Johns for LIVEKINDLY

Veggie lasagna with ‘meat’ sauce

Lasagna is a classic crowd-pleaser for a reason: it tastes amazing and the ingredients you use are relatively flexible. Here, zucchini takes the place of traditional pasta, but the resulting dish is no less satisfying thanks to layers of vegetables, rustic plant-based meat bolognese, and a dairy-free béchamel-esque sauce. Cheese lovers: top this with a generous amount of vegan parmesan.

Zucchini Lasagna With Plant-Based Meat Sauce

By LIVEKINDLY

25 mins to prep
1 hour 15 mins to cook
Yields 6
Vegan
Vegetarian
Dairy-Free

Ingredients

Vegetable Layers

  • 5 large zucchini
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves

Tomato Sauce

  • 1½ cups textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 1½ cups boiling vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups crushed canned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Creamy Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1-1 ½ cups soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Preparation

    Creamy Sauce

    • 1
      In a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter before whisking in the plain flour until a paste is formed.
    • 2
      Add the soy milk a little at a time and continue to whisk. You may not need to use all of the milk, so just stop when the sauce is thick, creamy and spreadable. Remove from the heat.

    Lasagna

    • 1
      Preheat your oven to 355F and prepare a 13-inch x 10-inch baking dish.
    • 2
      Cut the ends off your zucchini and carefully cut it lengthwise into long, thin slices, about a quarter of an inch in width, before setting aside.
    • 3
      In a large bowl, combine the TVP with the boiling stock. Cover with a lid or plate for a few minutes so that the liquid can be absorbed.
    • 4
      In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over high heat before adding the onion and garlic. Once the onion starts to become translucent, add the TVP.
    • 5
      Cook until the TVP starts to darken in color and then add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, dried herbs, and vegan Worcestershire sauce.
    • 6
      Reduce the heat to medium and continue to stir occasionally.
    • 7
      Add to the bottom of your baking dish a layer of zucchini slices, trying to arrange them so there are very few gaps.
    • 8
      Add half of the tomato sauce on top and spread it out evenly before adding half of the baby spinach leaves.
    • 9
      Repeat this with another layer of zucchini slices followed by more tomato sauce and baby spinach leaves before adding a final layer of zucchini slices on top.
    • 10
      Carefully spread the white sauce on top and put in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. You want the edges to be golden brown and bubbling.
Photo shows a sandwich featuring a crispy vegan chicken patty, dairy-free cheese, and cranberry ketchup on a burger bun
The best way to handle leftovers: put them on a sandwich. | Rebekah Sarah for LIVEKINDLY

Christmas burgers

What if you could have all of the flavors of the traditional Christmas dinner in a sandwich? You’ve come to the right place. This festive burger features plant-based buttermilk chicken, cranberry ketchup, and vegan bacon, all served on a roll. It’s also a great use of leftovers and forgiving, so feel free to flex your creative culinary brain muscles! Have a leftover plant-based roast? Slice it into thin cuts, heat it up in a skillet, and enjoy. (P.S., you should absolutely use that leftover stuffing as a condiment.)

Christmas Burgers

By LIVEKINDLY

Yields 4
Vegan
Vegetarian

Ingredients

For the burgers

  • 4 store-bought vegan chicken patties (or your Tofurkey or vegan Christmas roast, cooked and sliced) 
  • 4 hamburger buns

For the vegan buttermilk

  • 1 cup oat or soy milk
  • 3-4 drops lemon juice

For the breading

  • 1 cup white flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • Cooking oil, for frying

For the cranberry sauce

  • Cranberry jam
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 small onion

For assembly

  • Cooked stuffing
  • 4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Vegan cheese
  • Vegan bacon

Preparation

  1. 1
    In a medium bowl, mix the milk and the lemon juice in a jar or bowl until well combined. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes. After this time, the milk will thicken and curdle into your vegan buttermilk.
  2. 2
    In another medium bowl, mix the white flour with all of the spices.
  3. 3
    Pour your oil into a large pot, and heat until it measures 350F on your thermometer.
  4. 4
    Dunk the vegan chicken into the liquid batter first, letting the excess drip off. Then place it in the dry batter to coat evenly. Repeat the process, dredging the vegan chicken in the liquid and then dry batters.
  5. 5
    Carefully place vegan chicken into the hot oil. Fry for three to four minutes, or until golden-brown, flipping halfway. Remove from the hot oil with tongs and place on a dish towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining piece of battered chicken.
  6. 6
    For the cranberry sauce, thinly slice your onions and caramelize. Once cooked, combine your caramelized onion, cranberry jam and ketchup together and mix until thoroughly combined.
  7. 7
    To assemble your burger, spread one tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise on both buns. Then, layer with 1/4 cup of shredded lettuce, vegan chicken, vegan cheese, vegan bacon, stuffing, and cranberry ketchup.