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!

easy vegan turkeyless roast
You don't have to be a good cook to have the best vegan Christmas dinner!

Stockists

Supermarkets

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

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!

Online shops

These online shops have some really good vegan options:

The Main Event

marks and spencer festive wreath square vegan main

M&S Plant Kitchen Vegan Festive Wreath (£10)

morrison's christmar star tarte vegan main

Morrison’s Vegan Christmas Star Tarte (£5)

sainsburys plant pioneers no turkey parcels vegan main

Sainsbury’s Plant pioneers no Turkey Parcels (£6)

Centrepieces

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.

 

Sides

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!

Roast potatoes

Aunt Bessie’s frozen (avoid the goose-fat variety!) and most of the supermarkets have their own-brand versions.

Other veg

Most prepped versions are fine – look in the free-from chilled and frozen sections for more original/exciting veg dishes.

Gravy

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!

 

Gravy Extras

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.

Yeast extract

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.

Christmas Pudding, Mince Pies, Christmas Cake

marks and spencer christmas pudding vegan

M&S Vegan Christmas Pudding

morrison's crumble mince pies vegan

Morrison’s Crumble Mince Pies

aldi vegan stollen

Aldi Stollen

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.

vegan recipe club mince pies recipe
Vegan mince pies from Vegan Recipe Club

You can also try making your own with our delicious mince pie recipe from our very own Vegan Recipe Club!

Christmas pudding

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!).

Accompaniments and extras

Cream

Alpro Single Cream

Alpro Single Cream

elmlea double and single cream

Elmlea Double and Single Cream

Oatly Creamy Oat

Oatly Creamy Oat

Check out our full guide to vegan cream.

Ice Cream

alpro ice cream

Alpro

ben and jerry vegan ice cream

Ben & Jerry’s (Non-dairy)

cornetto vegan ice cream

Cornetto (Vegan)

Custard

alpro custard

Alpro

birds vegan custard

Birds

oatly custard

Oatly

Check out our guide to vegan custard.

Desserts

Asda Christmas Cottage dessert

Asda Christmas Cottage

marks and spencer chocolate torte

Marks and Spencer Chocolate Torte

Morrison's Vegan Lemon Shimmering Semifreddo

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.

Chocolate and other treats

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 chocolate

Doisy & Dam Jingle Ballers

golden crunch bites vegan

Golden Crunch Cinder Toffee

sea salted fudge bites vegan

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.

vego bar

Vego Bars

m&s vegan friendly chocolate

Marks and Spencer Gianduja Bars

ichoc vegan chocolate

iChoc White Nougat Crisp Bars

Other confectionery

Again, you’ll find the best selection in the Viva! Shop, so have a look at our delicious range of sweets and treats!

candy kittens strawberry

Candy Kitten Gourmet Sweets

vegan vanilla marshmallow bites

Mallow Vegan Marshmallows

vegan fudge bites

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.

skittles sour

Sour Skittles (regular are vegan too)

fizzy strawberry laces

Fizzy strawberry laces (check out supermarket own-brands and discount shops)

chewits rainbow wands

Chewits Rainbow Wands

starburst

Starburst

rowntrees fruit pastilles

Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles

Party food and snacks

Aldi Vegan Roses

Aldi Vegan Thai Roses

marks and spencer mini no chicken kievs

Marks and Spencer Mini No Chicken Kievs

Morrisons No Pigs in Blankets

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).

Cheeseboard vegan-style

Vegan cheese is at an all-time high in terms of flavour, texture and variety! There are just so many to choose from.

 

Supermarkets

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

Bute Island Sheese Wensleydale Style with Cranberries

Nutcrafter Aged Black Pepper (although they’re all amazing!)

Nutcrafter Aged Black Pepper

Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese

Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese

Tesco Alternative to Jalapeno & Chilli Cheddar

Tesco Alternative to Jalapeno & Chilli Cheddar

 

Violife Epic Mature Vegan Cheese

Violife Epic Mature

Bute Island Sheese Blue French Style

Bute Island Sheese Blue French Style

Have a look at our full list of the best vegan cheeses!

Drink

Bubbles

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!

Other highlights

  • Bailey’s Almande Dairy Free Almond Drink
  • M&S Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur
  • M&S Vegan Chocolate & Coconut Cream Liqueur
  • Besos De Oro
baileys almande dairy free

Baileys Almande

Besos de Oro Chocolate

Besos de Oro

Marks and Spencer Gold Liqueur

Marks and Spencer Gold Liqueur

Many wines, beers and ciders are also suitable – there are so many it’s impossible to list them all. Increasingly, wine shops and departments have a vegan list.

Check out Viva!’s Vegan Wine Club – all items are vegan and lovingly sourced from independent vineyards around the world.

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!

Home cooking

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

roasted beetroot cashew cheese crostini

Cashew Cream & Beetroot Crostini

Recipe

pigs in sundried tomato blankets

Vegan Pigs in Sun-dried Tomato Blankets

Recipe

Parsnip and Potato Rosti

Parsnip & Potato Rosti with Vegan Cream Cheese & Cranberry

Recipe

Our top Christmas mains

Easy Vegan Turkey-less Roast

Easy Vegan Turkey-less Roast

Recipe

Chestnut, Mushroom & Red Wine Pithivier

Chestnut, Mushroom & Red Wine Pithivier

Recipe

Individual Nut Roasts

Individual Nut Roasts

Recipe

Our top Christmas desserts

Vegan White Chocolate & Raspberry Baked Cheesecake

Vegan White Chocolate & Raspberry Baked Cheesecake

Recipe

chocolate and raspberry torte

Chocolate & Raspberry Torte

Recipe

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Recipe

Our top Christmas puddings, cakes and truffles

Hillside's Christmas Cake

Hillside’s Christmas Cake

Recipe

Martin Shaw's Christmas Pudding

Martin Shaw’s Christmas Pudding

Recipe

Christmas Brandy Truffles

Christmas Brandy Truffles

Recipe

Our top Christmas cheeses

White Cheddar Cashew Cheese, Artisan-style

White Cheddar Cashew Cheese, Artisan-style

Recipe

Pink Peppercorn Cashew Cheese

Pink Peppercorn Cashew Cheese

Recipe

Walnut & Miso Cheese

Walnut & Miso Cheese

Recipe

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!

vegan cheese making kit

Our top Christmas tipples

baileys

Vegan ‘Baileys’ Irish Cream Liqueur

Recipe

Christmas Old Fashioned

Cranberry Mojito

Recipe

Christmas Old Fashioned

Christmas Old Fashioned

Recipe

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.

Tips for having a stress-free, sociable, vegan Christmas

  • 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.

Recommended reading:Beyond Beliefs: A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians and Meat Eaters.

Recommended workshop: CEVA (Centre for Effective Vegan Advocacy – increasing the impact of vegan advocacy worldwide to build a more powerful vegan movement) – have a look at dates and locations!

We wish you a very merry vegan Christmas! Love The Viva! Team xxx

Scroll up