Vegetarian Christmas Recipes from Around the World

christmas dinner

Christmas dinner is a tradition celebrated all over the world; and what’s on offer all across the globe is slightly different. One thing unites these traditions: most feature meat. However, there are ways that you can create a beautiful, delicious and filling Christmas meal without incorporating meat at all! These three vegetarian Christmas recipes adhere somewhat to international traditions, but they’re perfectly suitable for vegetarian diets.

Whether you’re feeding a vegetarian crowd or simply looking to eat healthier at the holidays, take a look at some of our favorite vegetarian Christmas recipes.

An Italian Vegetarian Christmas

Traditionally, Italians serve fish on Christmas Eve and meat on Christmas Day. A vegetarian Italian Christmas is fairly easy to assemble: most appetizers and sides as well as desserts are already vegetarian. The traditional baked pasta — often a lasagna — can easily be converted to include a festive vegetarian choice.

  • Christmas broccoli rape – A delicious braised broccoli rape recipe, perfect as an appetizer or side.
  • Vegetarian lasagna – Spinach and mushrooms add heartiness to this vegetarian lasagna.
  • Panettone – A traditional Christmas cake with a crumb similar to brioche. They can be made with chocolate or dried fruits and are usually served with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

A French Vegetarian Christmas

In France, the Christmas meal is usually preceded with appetizers like foie gras and oysters, followed by a roast poultry like turkey and capon. The only traditional element of this meal that can be included in a vegetarian version is the dessert: a bûche de Noël. Traditional ingredients can be incorporated into a delicious vegetarian version.

  • Roasted chestnuts and Brussels sprouts – Chestnuts are often included in the Christmas meal, stuffed into the roast poultry. They are also found all over France, sold on the street in a paper cone. This dish makes a great appetizer or side.
  • Crêpes with mushrooms and gruyère – Buckwheat crêpes or galettes are traditionally from Brittany. While they’re not often served at Christmas in France, they can be dressed up with local ingredients to make them fête-worthy fare.
  • Bûche de Noël – A French Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the traditional buttercream-filled cake!

An English Vegetarian Christmas

An English Christmas is usually served around a roast beef or turkey. But the rest of the meal tends to be vegetarian. It’s easy to create a delicious vegetarian English-style Christmas, with these delicious Christmas recipes.

Related on Organic Authority:

7 Christmas Traditions from Around the World
A Very Retro Christmas Dinner: What’s Changed Since 1800?
Sleep In! Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas for Christmas Morning

Image: CarbonNYC

Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American writer based in Paris. She is particularly interested in the ways in which the stories of one person, one ingredient, one tradition can illustrate differences and similarities in international food culture. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Paste Magazine, and Serious Eats. Twitter: @emiglia |