Vegetarian Christmas Dinner Alternatives: Veggie Wellington, Pan-Fried Sprouts, Christmas Pudding

For vegetarians, Christmas can be a bit of a nightmare.

Surrounded by turkeys, pigs in blankets and vegetables cooked in all kinds of fats, it's nigh-on impossible not to end up with some sort of animal protein in your face.

But, as all veggies and vegans know, there's more to Christmas than turkey.

We've pulled together some of our favourite recipes to help you celebrate the festivities meat free...

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Veggie Wellington

Courtesy of Andy Waters, via Great British Chefs


Veggie Wellington

2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm chunks

1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked

1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked

2 red onions, peeled and sliced

100g of chopped peeled chestnuts, optional

2 slices of sourdough bread

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 lemon, zest and juice

10g of butter

250g of button mushrooms, finely sliced

200g of baby spinach

50g of pine nuts

500g of puff pastry

1 egg

2 tbsp of milk

200g of curly kale

2 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil

3 pinches of salt

2 pinches of pepper

Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Serves: 10


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
  • Put the sweet potato in a large roasting tray along with a splash of olive oil.
  • Grind together the rosemary and thyme lightly for 1-2 minutes with a pestle and mortar. This helps to release the flavour. Then scatter over the sweet potato.
  • Make sure the tray with the sweet potato is covered with tin foil and place in the oven for approximately 45 minutes until soft. Once soft, remove from oven and leave to cool.
  • In the meantime, heat olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onions along with a pinch of salt and pepper for flavouring.
  • Gently cook the onions until lightly brown and soft.
  • Add the crumbled chestnuts to the lightly brown onion and cook for further 2 minutes.
  • Toast the sourdough bread until dark and golden. Tear the toasted bread into small chunks and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
  • Add the toasted bread to the pan with the onions and chestnuts. Once combined, add the lemon zest and remove the pan from the heat.
  • To prepare the mushrooms, begin by melting the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid from the mushrooms has cooked off.
  • Squeeze in a little lemon juice to the mushrooms. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the contents into a blender and blend into a paste.
  • To prepare the kale, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Tear the kale into small pieces and add to the water for 2 minutes. Then add the spinach and cook for another 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.
  • Use a large bowl to mix the kale and spinach with the pine nuts, a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • To assemble your Wellington, roll out the puff pastry on a sheet of baking parchment until approximately 40cm x 30xm. Once equally rolled, spread out the mushroom paste on top.
  • Mix together the spinach, sweet potato and onion-bread mixture. Use a spoon to place it in a thick line down the middle of the rolled pastry, on top of the mushroom paste, leaving a gap at either side so you can join up the edges of the Wellington.
  • Hold one side of the baking parchment and lift it, with the pastry, towards the centre of the Wellington so the filling is half covered.
  • Peel the baking parchment back, leaving the pastry in place and then repeat this process with the other side. The pastry should overlap in the middle when complete.
  • Beat the egg with the milk and brush it over the folded pastry to seal the join.
  • Fold up the ends of the pastry so the filling doesn't leak out, then carefully roll the Wellington onto a baking sheet, with the seal underneath. Brush all over with the remainder of the egg mix.
  • Put in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes until puffed up, golden brown and hot through the middle.

Potato Dauphinoise

Courtesy of Aine Carlin, Keep it Vegan

Serves 4


vegan butter, for greasing

4 large potatoes (about 750g), cut into 3mm slices

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

300g soya cream

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C/gas mark 4. Grease a 19cm baking dish.
  • Arrange a layer of potatoes in the base of the dish, season, sprinkle over a third of the garlic, drizzle with a third of the cream and top with some of the grated nutmeg. Repeat these layers twice more.
  • Place the dish on a baking tray and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for a further 30 minutes.

Pan-Fried Paprika-Spiced Sprouts

Courtesy of Aine Carlin, Keep it Vegan

Serves 2–4


2–3 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

200g Brussels sprouts, finely sliced

1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin

1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika

30g fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium-sized, non-stick, heavy-based frying pan. Add the shallots, season and gently sweat for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook gently for 1–2 minutes, ensuring it doesn’t brown.
  • Add the sprouts to the pan and cook for several minutes, adding a little more oil if necessary. Sprinkle over the cumin and smoked paprika. Mix thoroughly and cook for 5 minutes or until the sprouts are just tender.
  • Add the parsley to the pan, season and stir. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds just before serving.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apple

Courtesy of Aine Carlin, Keep it Vegan

Serves 6–8


1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 red onion, roughly chopped

1 red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled,

cored and chopped into

medium chunks

60g granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

salt and freshly ground

black pepper

pomegranate seeds

chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve


  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion to the pan, season and sweat for several minutes until it begins to soften.
  • Add the cabbage to the pan, stir to incorporate and add the red wine vinegar, as well as a little more seasoning. Cover and sweat for several minutes. Add the apples, sugar, nutmeg, allspice, star anise and cinnamon stick. Season again and stir thoroughly. Cook, covered, over a low heat, for around 2 hours, until the cabbage is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if it starts to stick.
  • Discard the star anise and cinnamon stick, taste for seasoning and serve sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Christmas Pudding

350g ground almonds

2 free range organic eggs

50g coconut oil or vegan butter

100ml date syrup

200g pears

100g raisins

50g currents

150g apricots

100g dates

1 orange

1 lemon

250ml water

2 chia t-bags

1 star anise

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ginger

Tea Syrup:

1 cup of stewed chia tea

¼ cup of coconut palm sugar

¼ cup of date syrup


  • Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C
  • Dice the dried fruit and put into a bowl. Boil the kettle and pour 250ml of hot water over 2 chia tea-bags. Leave to stew for 30 minutes.
  • Chop the pear into small 1 cm cubed chunks and add to the dried fruit.
  • Pour the stewed tea over the dried fruit with the zest and juice of the orange and just the zest of the lemon. Also into the bowl add the star anise, cinnamon and ginger. Leave to one side until all the tea has been absorbed by the fruit.
  • In a separate bowl mix together the oil or butter in with the ground almonds. Add the beaten eggs to the mixture until corporated. Add the date syrup.
  • Take out the star anise out of the mixture and put into a blender or food processor. Blend half of the mixture until a chunky mixture add back into the rest. Mix this into the almond mixture and mix until corporated.
  • In a pudding bowl butter the inside then line with baking paper in the bottom of the bowl and all around the sides. Pour the mixture in and then cover with a muslin cloth and secure with either an elastic band or string.
  • Fill a deep baking tray with boiling water and put the pudding bowl into it – make sure the water comes up to as high as possible on the bowl. Put into the oven and cook for 4.5-5 hours. Make sure you top up the water in the baking tray so it stays high up on the sides. If the top of the muslin starts to go brown just put some tin foil over the top to stop the top of the pudding burning.
  • To make the syrup put all ingredients into a pan and leave until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is the desired consistency.
  • Serve with chia syrup, pomegranate coolie and cashew cream for the ultimate decedent Christmas pudding.