Vegan Noms

Vegan Holidays

Festive-looking cookies amid some Christmas decorations

As the festive season approaches, many individuals find themselves immersed in a whirlwind of holiday preparations. From decorating homes with twinkling lights to gathering loved ones around the table for a scrumptious feast, these cherished traditions evoke a sense of warmth and joy.

In recent years, there has been an increasing shift towards plant-based lifestyles, driven by concerns for animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and personal health. With this growing awareness, individuals who embrace veganism seek to align their values with their holiday celebrations. And why not? The holidays should be a time when everyone can partake in the joyous spirit, regardless of dietary preferences.

In this guide, we aim to inspire and assist those who wish to embark on a journey of celebrating festive occasions with plant-powered traditions. Whether you are a lifelong vegan, someone exploring a compassionate lifestyle, or a host accommodating diverse dietary needs, this collection of ideas and recipes will ensure that the holiday season remains rich in flavor and merriment.

Embracing Vegan Traditions for Traditional Holidays

As the holiday season brings cherished traditions, it can be heartwarming to reimagine these customs through the lens of veganism. By embracing plant-based alternatives and finding creative solutions, it becomes possible to honor the traditions while staying true to compassionate choices. Here are some ideas on how to infuse veganism into traditional holidays:

Decking the Halls with Sustainable Decorations:

Embrace the spirit of sustainability by using eco-friendly and cruelty-free decorations. Opt for ornaments made from recycled materials or natural elements like pinecones, dried flowers, and fabric scraps.

Instead of using traditional holiday wreaths made from animal products such as feathers or dried animal hides, create a beautiful wreath with fresh or dried fruits, festive foliage, and ribbon.

Savoring Plant-Powered Feasts:

Transforming traditional holiday dishes into delectable vegan feasts is easier than you may think. From Tofurky to savory lentil loaves, explore the wide range of plant-based protein alternatives available to craft a centerpiece that will delight both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Make a vegan spin on classic sides like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce by using plant-based butter, vegetable broth, and vegan-friendly substitutions.

Don’t forget the desserts! Indulge in mouthwatering vegan pies, cakes, and cookies made with plant-based ingredients such as coconut milk, almond flour, and dairy-free chocolate.

Crafting Handmade Vegan Gifts:

Christmas gifts wrapped in craft paper and twine ribbons

Tap into your creative side and spread the joy of veganism by crafting handmade gifts. From DIY vegan bath bombs to homemade vegan chocolates, there are countless possibilities to share your passion for cruelty-free living.

Consider gifting vegan cookbooks or culinary resources to inspire loved ones to explore plant-based recipes and embrace a more compassionate lifestyle.

Sharing Acts of Kindness:

The holidays are a time for giving, and what better way to celebrate vegan values than by engaging in acts of kindness? Volunteer at a local animal shelter or food bank, organize a vegan bake sale to raise funds for a vegan charity, or host a holiday gathering where guests can learn about veganism and its positive impact on the world.

Embracing Mindfulness and Gratitude:

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important to take a moment to pause, reflect, and practice gratitude. Consider starting a gratitude journal where you can jot down daily reflections on the blessings in your life and the positive impact of vegan choices on animals, the planet, and your well-being.

By embracing vegan traditions during traditional holidays, we can create a more inclusive and compassionate festive atmosphere. These ideas are merely a starting point, and as you embark on your own journey of vegan holiday celebrations, remember to infuse your unique creativity and personal touch.

Person holding a present

Let compassion and gratitude guide you as you reimagine and reinvent cherished customs, ensuring that the warmth of the holiday season is shared with all, vegan or otherwise.

Vegan Recipes for Special Occasions

Appetizers and Starters

Festive Stuffed Mushrooms: Create bite-sized delights by stuffing cremini mushrooms with a mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs, and vegan cream cheese. Roast them until golden brown for a mouthwatering appetizer that will leave your guests craving more.

Sweet Potato Crostini: Elevate your holiday feast with this elegant starter. Sliced sweet potatoes topped with caramelized onions, vegan cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs will add a burst of flavor and vibrancy to your table.

Main Courses

Lentil Wellington: A vegan twist on the classic beef Wellington, this dish features a savory lentil and mushroom filling wrapped in flaky puff pastry. Serve with a side of rich mushroom gravy for a show-stopping centerpiece that will impress even the most discerning palates.

Stuffed Acorn Squash: Celebrate the flavors of the season by filling roasted acorn squash halves with a delectable mixture of quinoa, roasted vegetables, cranberries, and pecans. Drizzle with a maple-ginger glaze for a sweet and tangy finish.

Side Dishes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze: Turn this humble vegetable into an irresistible side dish by roasting Brussels sprouts until caramelized and tender, then drizzling with a tangy balsamic glaze. The combination of crispy sprouts and sweet-sour glaze is sure to delight your taste buds.

Vegan Stuffing: No holiday meal is complete without a hearty stuffing. Combine crusty bread, sautéed vegetables, herbs, and vegetable broth for a flavorful dish that will satisfy everyone at the table, vegans and non-vegans alike.


Vegan Pumpkin Pie: Indulge in the quintessential autumn dessert by making a vegan pumpkin pie. Use a dairy-free pie crust and a velvety pumpkin filling made with coconut milk and aromatic spices. Top with a dollop of vegan whipped cream for the perfect finishing touch.

Chocolate Peppermint Tart: Delight your guests with a decadent chocolate peppermint tart. A crisp chocolate crust filled with a smooth peppermint-infused ganache will satisfy any sweet tooth. Garnish with crushed candy canes for a festive touch.

Remember, these recipes are just a starting point. Let your imagination run wild and add your own unique twists to create the ultimate vegan holiday feast.

Mini chocolate tarts with cherries for toppings

Planning and Hosting Vegan-Friendly Gatherings

When it comes to hosting a vegan-friendly gathering during the holidays, a little bit of planning and preparation can go a long way. By considering the needs and preferences of your vegan guests, you can create an inclusive and enjoyable experience for everyone. Here are some tips to help you plan and host a vegan-friendly gathering:

Understanding Dietary Restrictions:

Familiarize yourself with the basics of veganism. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. Be mindful of hidden animal ingredients in pre-packaged foods, such as gelatin or whey.

Communicate with your vegan guests in advance to understand their specific dietary restrictions and preferences. This will help you tailor your menu and ensure that there are plentiful options for them to enjoy.

Creating a Vegan Menu:

Craft a diverse and flavorful menu that showcases the best of vegan cuisine. Consider offering a variety of dishes, from appetizers and main courses to side dishes and desserts.

Incorporate plant-based proteins such as lentils, beans, tofu, seitan, or tempeh into your main courses. These ingredients can be seasoned and prepared in various ways to provide delicious and satisfying options for your vegan guests.

Emphasize seasonal, fresh ingredients in your dishes. This not only adds a vibrant touch to your menu but also ensures that your dishes are packed with flavor and

Labeling and Presentation:

Clearly label all dishes to indicate whether they are vegan or vegetarian. This will help your guests easily identify which foods they can enjoy.

Consider using separate serving utensils for vegan dishes to prevent cross-contamination with non-vegan foods. This shows your guests that you are conscious of their dietary needs and take their choices seriously.

Pay attention to the presentation of the food. Thoughtfully arranged platters and beautifully garnished dishes make them even more enticing and will be appreciated by all guests.

Accommodating Allergies and Preferences:

Chocolate and marshmallow drink in a red mug

In addition to vegan guests, there may be others with allergies or dietary preferences, such as gluten-free or nut-free. Offer a variety of options that cater to these needs, ensuring that everyone finds something they can enjoy.

Provide a designated area for guests to inform you about their specific dietary restrictions or preferences. This way, you can address their needs and make any necessary accommodations.

Offering Vegan Drink Options:

When planning your beverage menu, consider providing a range of vegan-friendly options. This includes plant-based milks for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, Be sure to read labels and research brands to ensure that the drinks you offer are vegan-certified or made without any animal-derived ingredients.

Vegan Holidays Beyond the Calendar

As the holiday season transitions into a distant memory, it’s important to remember that celebrating veganism extends far beyond the traditional holiday calendar. While Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s may be the focal points of festive gatherings, there are countless other occasions throughout the year that provide opportunities to infuse vegan values into our celebrations.

1. Birthdays with a Vegan Twist: Instead of relying on traditional dairy-laden cakes and buttery treats, surprise your loved ones with delicious vegan desserts. From dreamy coconut cream pies to luscious chocolate mousse cakes, there are endless options to satisfy any sweet tooth while staying true to compassionate choices. Consider hosting a vegan-themed birthday party, complete with cruelty-free presents and plant-based party favors.

2. Summer Cookouts with Vegan Flair: As the weather heats up, so does barbecue season. Whether you’re hosting a backyard cookout or attending a friend’s gathering, embrace the opportunity to introduce others to the incredible flavors of vegan grilling. Serve up mouthwatering plant-based burgers, juicy veggie kebabs, and vibrant salads loaded with fresh vegetables and herbs. Show your guests that vegan food can be just as satisfying and delicious as its animal-based counterparts.

3. Valentine’s Day, Vegan Style: Celebrate love and compassion by planning a romantic vegan dinner for your significant other. Set the mood with flickering candles and soft music as you prepare a gourmet meal made entirely from plant-based ingredients. From rich mushroom risottos to elegant stuffed bell peppers, indulge in a night of culinary delight while spreading the love for veganism.

4. Easter, the Vegan Way: Embrace the theme of renewal and growth that Easter signifies by preparing a vegan feast that highlights the beauty of plant-based foods. Create a spring-inspired menu featuring colorful salads, roasted vegetables, and vibrant fruit platters. Instead of traditional eggs, consider incorporating natural dyes to decorate plant-based treats like chocolate-covered strawberries or coconut macaroons.

5. Fourth of July, Compassion Edition: Independence Day is synonymous with backyard barbecues and festive picnics. Show your patriotism by hosting a vegan-friendly gathering and treating your guests to plant-based versions of classic barbecue fare. From smoky tofu skewers to tangy coleslaw made with vegan mayo, honor the spirit of freedom by making conscious food choices.

Corn and skewered vegetables on a grill

6. Thanksgiving Reimagined: While Thanksgiving may already be known for its vegan alternatives, there’s always room for creativity and reinvention. Go beyond the traditional tofurky and explore inventive dishes like stuffed acorn squash or seitan roasts flavored with herbs and spices. Create a diverse spread of seasonal plant-based sides, such as maple-roasted Brussels sprouts or wild rice-stuffed mushrooms. And of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without indulgent vegan pies, like creamy pumpkin or tangy apple cranberry.

As you navigate the multitude of special occasions that occur throughout the year, let your creativity and compassion guide you. Explore new flavors, experiment with plant-based ingredients, and share your vegan journey with others. The power of veganism extends far beyond the holidays – it is a way of life that can be celebrated every day. By infusing each occasion with plant-powered traditions, you are spreading the message of compassion, sustainability, and the joy of a vegan lifestyle.