How to Have a Merry Vegan Christmas
Christmas is a time of joy, so what better way of spreading peace, kindness and compassion to our loved ones and our animal friends than by making the big feast deliciously vegan?
A vegan Christmas means celebration, an abundance of delicious food, indulgence, fun and cocktails, (if that’s what you fancy!). It’s about spending time enjoying the cooking process – or having a completely cheatin’ day by choosing one of the many tempting shop-bought delights! Or even sitting back and enjoying being waited on – if you’re lucky enough to have that option!
This guide will help you navigate the special day with easy recipes, fancy recipes, stockists, socialising tips and recommendations for alcohol, starters, mains, desserts – the whole shebang!
Can’t Cook Won’t Cook
It’s very easy to have a merry vegan Christmas – and you don’t have to cook everything from scratch, either! Here are our top tips and quick fixes to veganise your favourites and make this Christmas the best ever!
The supermarkets are now falling over themselves to offer the best vegan centrepieces, appetisers, sides, desserts, sweets, treats, cakes, cheeses, mince pies, chocolates and alcohol. As expected you’ll find the cheapest offerings in Aldi and Iceland and all of the supermarkets have got really inventive and created some delicious and original dishes.
Have a look at our list of the latest supermarket, online and health food shop offerings!
Health food shops
You’ll generally find better quality and original dishes in the independent health food shops. There will also be a range of sweets, treats, cakes, desserts, mince pies, gifts, mock meats, cheeses and centrepieces. Additional dietary requirements are also catered for, including gluten-free, diabetic and sugar-free. Most health food shops offer an ordering service so if you can’t find the item you need, they might be able to get it in for you.
Holland & Barrett
You’ll find these shops in most towns and cities which is really useful for finding a range of vegan gifts, centrepieces, mock meats, cheeses, sweets, treats, desserts, mince pies and chocolate. Additional dietary requirements are also catered for and you can order online.
Pound shops and other saver shops
Many cheaper lines of chocolate, biscuits and other items are sometimes vegan (check the packaging).
Ocado has the widest range of vegan products out of all of the supermarkets. It’s only available online so make sure you book a delivery slot!
These online shops have some really good vegan options:
M&S Plant Kitchen Vegan Festive Wreath (£10)
Morrison’s Vegan Christmas Star Tarte (£5)
Sainsbury’s Plant pioneers no Turkey Parcels (£6)
All of the supermarkets, online shops and health food shops now have absolutely incredible centrepieces. They change and improve each year so check out our blog for the latest offerings.
Nut and seed roasts
Look for Artisan Grains, Suma, Clive’s, Fry’s and supermarket own-brands – buy from health food shops, Holland & Barrett, online and some supermarkets.
Vegan meat-style roasts
Tofurky (assorted flavours), Vbites ‘turkey’ and ‘beef’ roasts, Linda McCartney Beef Roast. You can buy them online, from health food shops, Ocado and some supermarkets. Many of the supermarkets are also offering an own-brand meat-style centrepiece.
Most of the supermarkets now offer a varied range of vegan side dishes, appetisers and light bites. Again, these offerings change each year and the lists are usually released in autumn, so keep an eye out!
Aunt Bessie’s frozen (avoid the goose-fat variety!) and most of the supermarkets have their own-brand versions.
Most prepped versions are fine – look in the free-from chilled and frozen sections for more original/exciting veg dishes.
Bisto, Free & Easy ready-made, Marigold, Naturally Good, supermarket own-brands. Find them in health food shops, online and in the supermarket. Some brands will be gluten-free or offer this as an option.
Gravy top tip!
Make it the day before if possible. Let those flavours party, especially if you add some of these extras below!
Miso – medium or dark
A Japanese paste from large supermarkets or health food shops. Look for brands such as Sanchi, Clearspring, Yutaka, Tideford Organics, Miso Tasty and supermarket own-brands. Rich and strong, add a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired flavour.
Tamari or shoyu soya sauce
Aupermarkets or health food shops. Brands include Clearspring, Essential, Sanchi or Kikoman. Not to be confused with cheaper varieties, this is the soya sauce equivalent of balsamic vinegar! Rich, fermented and no additives, it adds depth of flavour to all sorts of dishes.
Marmite or supermarket own-brands are cheaper but Meridian, Natex and Essential are better quality and (arguably!) taste better.
Red wine, sherry or port
A splash of booze makes all the difference. Even if you generally avoid alcohol, a fair bit of it is burned off through cooking – just make sure the gravy comes to the boil then simmers for a while.
M&S Vegan Christmas Pudding
Morrison’s Crumble Mince Pies
All of the supermarkets and health food shops offer at least one vegan mince pie option and often quite a few more, including iced. Check out the free-from aisle but recipes and brands vary from year to year – read the labels to avoid butter, eggs, milk etc. Online supermarkets, such as Ocado and the vegan-friendly online shops mentioned above will also have a good supply.
Many supermarket brands are vegan – check the free-from aisle. Health food shops and the online shops mentioned above also have plenty to choose from.
Alternatively, Aldi Stollen is often vegan (it depends on the year!).
Alpro Single Cream
Elmlea Double and Single Cream
Oatly Creamy Oat
Ben & Jerry’s (Non-dairy)
Asda Christmas Cottage
Marks and Spencer Chocolate Torte
Morrison’s Vegan Lemon Shimmering Semifreddo
Check out our year-round favourite vegan desserts here!
The supermarkets and health food shops bring out new and exciting dessert options every Christmas so look out for the special ones.
There’s so much amazing vegan chocolate out there now and the choice is increasing all the time!
The best selection is, of course, available from the Viva! Shop, so check out our extensive range of vegan chocolate!
Doisy & Dam Jingle Ballers
Golden Crunch Cinder Toffee
Fabulous Free From Factory Dairy Free Fudgee Bites
All of the supermarkets have a range of vegan chocolate, stocking fillers and advent calendars – some are accidentally vegan and lots are intentionally vegan. Have a look in the free-from aisles and also in the main chocolate aisles for a wide range of options.
Health food shops and online shops will have the widest range of vegan chocolate, specialist products and also diabetic and sugar-free treats.
Check out our guide to vegan chocolate.
Marks and Spencer Gianduja Bars
iChoc White Nougat Crisp Bars
Again, you’ll find the best selection in the Viva! Shop, so have a look at our delicious range of sweets and treats!
Candy Kitten Gourmet Sweets
Mallow Vegan Marshmallows
Fabulous Free From Factory Dairy Free Fudgee Bites
Online shops, health food shops and supermarkets all have an excellent range of confectionery – check out the free-from aisles and regular confectionery aisle.
Here are some of our favourites from the shops.
Sour Skittles (regular are vegan too)
Fizzy strawberry laces (check out supermarket own-brands and discount shops)
Chewits Rainbow Wands
Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles
Aldi Vegan Thai Roses
Marks and Spencer Mini No Chicken Kievs
Morrisons No Pigs in Blankets
Every Christmas the supermarkets bring out new and exciting vegan starters, party food and snacks. Check out our list for the latest offerings!
You can also go to each supermarket website and type ‘vegan’ into the search bar – this will pull up a list of all their vegan items. Some party foods and snacks are available year-round; Indian snacks are often vegan (eg veg samosas, onion bhajis, veg pakoras), some Chinese snacks (eg veg spring rolls and various filo parcels), vegan sushi and sausage rolls (eg Linda McCartney, Fry’s, VBites, supermarket own-brands).
Vegan cheese is at an all-time high in terms of flavour, texture and variety! There are just so many to choose from.
Nearly all of them have a range of own-brand vegan cheeses and often some of the other brands too eg Violife, Daiya etc. Check out the free-from section in the chilled aisle.
Health food shops and online
Here you’ll find the best vegan cheeses around, including the major brands and also specialist and artisan nut cheeses.
Here are a few of our favourite vegan cheeses for Christmas:
Bute Island Sheese Wensleydale Style with Cranberries
Nutcrafter Aged Black Pepper
Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese
Tesco Alternative to Jalapeno & Chilli Cheddar
Violife Epic Mature
Bute Island Sheese Blue French Style
Many brands of champagne are vegan, including Lanson Rose, Moët & Chandon and Aldi’s Veuve Monsigny. Vegan prosecco and cava is also widely available. Most of the supermarkets are now labelling all of their vegan products, which makes life much easier!
- Bailey’s Almande Dairy Free Almond Drink
- M&S Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur
- M&S Vegan Chocolate & Coconut Cream Liqueur
- Besos De Oro
Besos de Oro
Marks and Spencer Gold Liqueur
Other helpful websites
Barnivore — the go-to vegan alcohol directory!
Vegan Womble — contains lots of useful and very up-to-date info about ‘accidentally vegan’ products, including supermarket own-brand vegan lists.
My Vegan Supermarket — the biggest database of vegan products in the supermarkets and also has a Christmas section!
Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and to cook up a storm for friends, family or to enjoy alone. We have so many delicious recipes for all abilities so there really is something for everyone.
Have a look at the Christmas section on Viva! Vegan Recipe Club for starters, mains, desserts and drinks! Here are a few of our favourites below:
Our top Christmas starters
Our top Christmas mains
Our top Christmas desserts
Our top Christmas puddings, cakes and truffles
Our top Christmas cheeses
You can also have a go at making six different types of cheese with The Big Vegan Cheese Making Kit. The kit contains the recipes and equipment to make Mozzarella, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Halloumi, Feta and Parmesan. Simply combine cashews or macadamias with the ingredients in the kit – along with a little almond milk – and you’ll be eating your own homemade vegan cheese in no time – some recipes take less than half an hour!
Our top Christmas tipples
Don’t forget to buy a copy of our Deliciously Vegan Christmas Guide for your perfect Christmas kitchen assistant!
Over 25 recipes including scrumptious starters, luscious mains, tempting sides and heavenly desserts; including truffles, Christmas cakes and cheese!
Our gorgeous, expanded guide has everything you could possibly want for your Christmas feast.
- Take a delicious vegan dish (either bought or home-cooked) to share at a non-vegan event. Most people really like trying new food and often end up being envious of the vegan options!
- Don’t be afraid to discuss the eating arrangements with the host in advance. If they’re nervous about catering for a vegan then you could either cook a dish yourself to bring along, buy one of the many excellent shop-bought options, send over some delicious recipe suggestions from Vegan Recipe Club or send them a copy of our Deliciously Vegan Christmas Guide for inspiration.
- We can’t say if it’s a good idea that you discuss veganism around the Christmas dinner table – because it depends so much on who is doing the communicating and the mood of the situ! But if the mood is negative it can be a good idea to suggest a time later in the day and to approach the subject in a calm, open-minded way.
- When discussing veganism with non-vegans it’s great to aim for connection with the other person. Listen to their story and try to give them your full attention and then you can inspire them with any answers to queries they have.
- Over-informing doesn’t usually go down well as people only have certain capacity to take on board new information or ideas – try just a few simple ideas – positive ones are good at the Christmas table! Food can be a wonderful way to inspire and start a non-threatening conversation.
- Most people think it’s normal, natural, necessary and nice to eat meat and we’re asking for a shift in consciousness which people can’t do until they feel safe enough to do so.
We wish you a very merry vegan Christmas! Love The Viva! Team xxx