Vegan Christmas Guide

By KD Angle-Traegner / Last Update: October 2020

Vegan Christmas? Yes!

Holidays usually are a time of joy and cheer; however, whether you are a new vegan or an experienced one, the holidays can have challenges.

From holiday festivities with curious friends and family to non-vegan dinners or gifts, there’s a lot to navigate.

This guide has everything you’ll need to plan, create, and enjoy the perfect vegan Christmas

QUICK FACTS

CATEGORY
Holiday

MIN TO READ
3

RECIPES TO MAKE
37

Vegan Christmas Guide

By KD Angle-Traegner / Last Update: October 2020

Vegan Christmas? Yes!

Holidays usually are a time of joy and cheer; however, whether you are a new vegan or an experienced one, the holidays can have challenges.

From holiday festivities with curious friends and family to non-vegan dinners or gifts, there’s a lot to navigate.

This guide has everything you’ll need to plan, create, and enjoy the perfect vegan Christmas

QUICK FACTS

CATEGORY
Holiday

MIN TO READ
3

RECIPES TO MAKE
37

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers (and advice) to some of the most commonly asked questions about having a vegan Christmas.

Holiday tree with decorations and lights

Frequently Asked Vegan Christmas Questions

Our world is a mostly non-vegan one, and navigating it is one of the biggest challenges that vegans face. The holidays are no different.

You may find yourself smack dab in the middle of a situation where you are the only vegan, surrounded by curious friends or family members who may or may not agree with veganism.

While some situations are easy to avoid, others are not, and so there are no blanket answers when dealing with people. But here are a few tips to help you navigate social activities this holiday as a vegan.

1. Bring a Vegan Dish to Share

While some people or organizations will go out of their way to ensure vegan food is available at functions, some, most, a lot won’t. One easy way to solve the problem is to bring a dish to share. Not only will you have something to eat, but you’ll also have the opportunity to introduce vegan food to others.

Be sure to check with the host or hostess of the event to ensure bringing food is appropriate.

2. Offer to Help Cook

Bring along some common substitutes (think vegan butter, plant milk, etc.) and jump into the kitchen to help out.

3. Get Ready for the Questions

People will be naturally curious about your vegan life. Resist the urge to go into a presentation about the many ways we use animals or make remarks about the non-vegan [insert food/drink here].

Instead, keep a few impactful facts handy for any questions people aks you and direct them to gather more information on their own time, outside the holiday. Offer to follow up with additional resources.

Doing so will help keep conversations light, perfect for those festive and merry occasions.

Getting a non-vegan gift as a vegan can create some tricky situations, mainly depending on who the gifter is. They are expressions of love, so the last thing you want to do is hurt someone’s feelings.

You have two options: Accept the gift, or gently refuse it, and there are pros and cons to each. But what if you do accept the non-vegan gift, what do you do with it? Donate it? Regift it?

Since the answers can be deeply personal, I decided to turn to the vegan community to see what they had to say.

One of the best articles I found that explores all the nuances of vegan gift-getting is from my friend Cadry of Cadry’s Vegan Kitchen. Her approach is not only doable, but also it’s filled with wise advice for new vegans and experienced ones, too.

“In the same way that becoming vegan is a learning process, it’s also a learning process for the people in our lives. Over time, people understand when we gently guide with love and compassion.” – Cadry

For me, her approach embodies the same compassion and spirit that make gifts so special. Click to read the full article, Vegan at Christmas: How to Handle Non-Vegan Gifts.

Do you have a vegan question I haven’t answered? Contact me.

 

Vegan Gift Guides

Because you’re going to have to buy them something.

The Art of Vegan Christmas Gifts

Let’s face it, shopping for vegan products can be a little confusing and a whole lot frustrating.

Whether you’re just starting out on your vegan journey, or you’re a seasoned vegan looking for something unique, these gift guides will provide you with valuable information to help you choose products that people will love and fit your ethics.

Find lots of great vegan products by selecting a category below.

Vegan Christmas Gift Guides
 

Shopping Guide

Here are a few fully-prepared vegan options to take center stage at holiday gatherings easily found at natural food markets or well-stocked grocery stores.

Two hands holding a plate of Tofurky Ham and vegetables.

Meat Alternatives for Christmas

We live in the golden age of vegan products; no matter which foods are part of your family traditions, they can be recreated using plant-based alternatives.

Look for these vegan meat alternatives in refrigerated sections of health food stores and well-stocked grocers.

Also, check the freezer section, sometimes the roasts are sold frozen.

Vegan Turkey Alternatives
Vegan Ham Alternatives

Do you make a vegan product that isn’t listed? Contact me.

Dairy-Free Milk

Dairy-Free Egg Nog

You’ll spot vegan eggnog brands in two places: alongside their dairy-based counterparts in the refrigerated section of the grocery stores, and in aseptic packaging with other shelf-stable milk.

Vegan Egg Nog Brands
  • Almond Breeze
    Nog (Almond Milk)
  • Silk
    Nog (Soy Milk)

Vegan Eggnog / Photo: Figgy and Sprout

Vegan Egg Nog Recipes

Finding vegan eggnog in stores is pretty easy these days, but making homemade versions can be immensely satisfying.

These recipes use spices, fruit, and nuts to create that familiar custard-like texture and authentic taste of traditional eggnog.

Here are recipes to try:

Do you make a vegan product that isn’t listed? Contact me.

Vegan Whipped Cream

If your family traditions are anything like mine, pumpkin pie always made an appearance on the holiday table. My mother would serve generous slices of our favorite pie with — and this is my favorite part — mounds and mounds of whipped cream. It was dessert, perfected.

In my family, we favored the whipped cream that came in those blue plastic tubs. Any chance I got, I would grab the biggest spoon possible and eat as many mouthfuls as I could. To this day whipped cream remains one of my favorite foods.

I stopped eating dairy-based whipped cream when I went vegan, and at that time there wasn’t a vegan version that had the same thick, luscious creaminess of my childhood favorite.

That was, until now.

CocoWhip - Vegan Whipped Cream - Vegan Thanksgiving Guide - Your Daily Vegan
Coconut Whipped Topping

So Delicious Dairy-Free CocoWhip is everything that is right and good about whipped cream. It’s thick and creamy, so it reminds me of the dairy whipped cream of my childhood. And nope, I’m not even being paid to say that. I just love the stuff, and I think you will too. Look for it at health foods and natural grocers in the freezer section. You’ll defrost the whipped cream in your fridge for a few hours before you use it.

But even frozen — yeah I tried it — it is superb.

Homemade Food Coloring (All Natural + Vegan)

Because artificial colors are everywhere.

A variety of bowls and jars with various homemade food dyes in them (red, green, yellow, blue, purple).

How to Make Homemade Food Coloring

I am not a fan of artificial food colors.

These toxic chemicals masquerading as food, artificial food colors are possible through the wonder of chemistry and the industry of oil drilling. Studies have shown various adverse health effects from ingesting them. And, did you know that artificial food colors undergo animal testing to ensure their safety as a food additive?

It’s true.

Relatedly, animal testing sucks and can yield dangerous results when physicians treat patients using medicine based on the results of these studies.

Artificial Food Colors Are Everywhere

Every time a holiday approaches, the artificial colors go on sale. Magazines, blogs, and videos feature impossibly cute and creative treats made with a variety of unnatural colors achieved through the magic of artificial colors.

There’s a better way; make bright, vivid colors at home.

A Better, Plant-Powered Rainbow

Look at those colors! Yellow, red, purple, green, and even blue. Easy to make, these colors come from everyday ingredients found in your fridge or pantry. Trust me, it’s not complicated or expensive.

Click here for the full step-by-step homemade food coloring tutorial.

 

Vegan Christmas Recipes

Find something delicious to eat.

Savory Vegan Christmas Recipes

  1. Green Bean Almondine
    Veggie Desserts
  1. Vegan Strata
    Sweet Simple Vegan
  1. Vegan Wellington
    Vegan Huggs
  1. Maple-Glazed Vegan Ham
    Sunnyside Hanne
  1. Shepherd’s Pie
    My Pure Plants
  1. Vegan Holiday Roast
    Seven Roses
  1. Herbed Scalloped Potatoes
    Vegan in the Freezer

Sweets & Treats Vegan Christmas Recipes

  1. Christmas Fruitcake
    Strength & Sunshine
  1. Salted Chocolate Honeycomb
    Veggie Desserts
  1. Ginger & Pear Sticky Toffee Pudding
    The Vegan Larder
  1. Christmas Pudding
    A Virtual Vegan
  1. Candy Cane Chocolate Cake
    Woman In Real Life
  1. Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Muffins
    Delightful Adventures
  1. Frosted Eggnog Sugar Cookies
    Vegan Guide to the Galaxy
  1. Mini Wreath Cakes
    Vegan Dollhouse
  1. Chocolate Gingerbread Cake
    Vegan Richa
  1. Snowball Cookies
    Where Do You Get Your Protein?
  1. Christmas Tiramisu
    Quite Good Food
  1. Christmas Fruit Cake w/Frosting
    Rhian’s Recipes
  1. Peppermint Bark
    Pink Fortitude
 

Savory Vegan Christmas Recipes

An overhead photo of an iron skillet with green beans sitting on a wooden table.

1. Green Bean Almondine
Veggie Desserts

A plate of strata sitting on a wooden table with a casserole dish and ingredients in the background.

2. Vegan Strata
Sweet Simple Vegan

An overhead picture of a vegan wellington with a bowl of peas and condiments in the background.

3. Vegan Wellington
Vegan Huggs

A closeup of a vegan ham that has been sliced and sitting among slices of charred pineapple.

4. Maple-Glazed Vegan Ham
Sunnyside Hanne

5. Shepherd’s Pie
My Pure Plants

A holiday roast sitting in a casserole dish surrounded with roasted potatoes.

6. Vegan Holiday Roast
Seven Roses

Scalloped potatoes in a red casserole dish sitting on a wooden table with a stack of plates, cutlery, and napkins nearby.

7. Herbed Scalloped Potatoes
Vegan in the Freezer

Overhead picture of holiday table filled with food.
A pink plate with three pieces of toast topped with vegan smoked salmon.

10. Vegan Smoked Salmon
When Sweet Becomes Healthy

A cutting board sitting on a wooden table with a piece of parchment paper wrapped lentil loaf sitting on top with a knife and condiments sitting in the background.

11. Vegan Lentil Loaf
The Minimalist Vegan

 

Sweets & Treats Vegan Christmas Recipes

1. Christmas Fruitcake
Strength & Sunshine

Pieces of chocolate honeycomb sitting on a parchment paper on a wooden table.

2. Salted Chocolate Honeycomb
Veggie Desserts

4. Christmas Pudding
A Virtual Vegan

5. Candy Cane Chocolate Cake
Woman In Real Life

Three muffins on a cooling rack with a flower and holiday ornaments sitting on a wooden table.

6. Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Muffins
Delightful Adventures

A group of cookies sitting on a counter, one has a bite taken out of it.

7. Frosted Eggnog Sugar Cookies
Vegan Guide to the Galaxy

Several mini wreath cakes sitting on a black table with a black background.

8. Mini Wreath Cakes
Vegan Dollhouse

A close up of a loaf of chocolate gingerbread cake sliced open sitting on a wooden cutting board.
A red cup with white polka dots filled with snowball cookies sitting on a counter with one cookie broken open sitting in front.

10. Snowball Cookies
Where Do You Get Your Protein?

Four servings of tiramisu served in martini glasses with festive red and white decorations in the background.

11. Christmas Tiramisu
Quite Good Food

A closeup of an iced fruitcake decorated with miniature santa figurines and dusted with powdered sugar.

12. Christmas Fruit Cake w/Frosting
Rhian’s Recipes

Chunks of peppermint bark stacked on top of each other sitting on a red tablecloth with crushed candy canes artfully arranged around them.

13. Peppermint Bark
Pink Fortitude

 

Vegan Christmas Cocktails, Drinks & More

Find something fresh and festive to drink.

Festive-looking holiday cocktails

Can Vegans Drink Beer, Wine & Spirits?

If you’re unfamiliar with vegan foods, it might surprise you to learn about animal ingredients hiding in your favorite beer or wine. Some beer and wine go through a clarifying process that uses animal products such as isinglass (fish bladders), egg whites, or gelatin. And because alcohol is commonly exempt from labeling requirements that other food products have, these ingredients are rarely listed on the packaging.

Luckily, there’s an easy-to-use website for that. Without a doubt, Barnivore is the go-to website to check the vegan status of most beer and wines.

Thankfully, you can find vegan-friendly beer, wine, and liquor at almost any store.

Here are a few popular brands that are suitable for vegan imbibers.

Vegan Beer
  • Blue Moon
  • Budweiser (except the Clamato Chelada)
  • Coors & Coors Light
  • Corona
  • Heineken
  • Miller Lite, High-Life & Genuine Draft
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon
  • Sam Adams Ale (except Cherry Wheat, Honey Porter, or Latitude 48)
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • Stella Artois
  • Yuengling

A lot of craft beers are also vegan. Just ask your bartender or check Barnivore before ordering.

Vegan Wine
  • Frey Vineyards (all varieties)
  • Orleans Hill (all varieties)
  • Sutter Home (Riesling, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and Chenin Blanc)
  • Yellowtail (red wines only; not the white or the rosé)

It isn’t always apparent which wines are vegan or vegan-friendly by the label. Unless it’s vegan status is listed on the label, I strongly recommend checking Barnivore before purchasing.

Vegan Spirits

Hard liquors like tequila, bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum are vegan, as are nearly all distilled spirits except those with a cream base or those with honey. 

Here are a few common brands:

  • Absolut Vodka
  • Grey Goose Vodka
  • Skyy Vodka
  • Appleton Estate Rum
  • Bacardi Rum
  • Malibu Rum
  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Beefeater Gin
  • Cazadores Tequila
  • Hornitos Tequila
  • Patron Tequila
  • Black Velvet Whiskey
  • Jim Beam Whiskey
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey
Make Your Own Merry Cocktail

If something premade doesn’t tickle your fancy, try making your own very vegan Christmas cocktail. I gathered up a few recipes to help inspire you.

Vegan Christmas Cocktails

 
Festive-looking holiday cocktails

Can Vegans Drink Beer, Wine & Spirits?

If you’re unfamiliar with vegan foods, it might surprise you to learn about animal ingredients hiding in your favorite beer or wine. Some beer and wine go through a clarifying process that uses animal products such as isinglass (fish bladders), egg whites, or gelatin. And because alcohol is commonly exempt from labeling requirements that other food products have, these ingredients are rarely listed on the packaging.

Luckily, there’s an easy-to-use website for that. Without a doubt, Barnivore is the go-to website to check the vegan status of most beer and wines.

Thankfully, you can find vegan-friendly beer, wine, and liquor at almost any store.

Here are a few popular brands that are suitable for vegan imbibers.

Vegan Beer
  • Blue Moon
  • Budweiser (except the Clamato Chelada)
  • Coors & Coors Light
  • Corona
  • Heineken
  • Miller Lite, High-Life & Genuine Draft
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon
  • Sam Adams Ale (except Cherry Wheat, Honey Porter, or Latitude 48)
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • Stella Artois
  • Yuengling

A lot of craft beers are also vegan. Just ask your bartender or check Barnivore before ordering.

Vegan Wine
  • Frey Vineyards (all varieties)
  • Orleans Hill (all varieties)
  • Sutter Home (Riesling, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and Chenin Blanc)
  • Yellowtail (red wines only; not the white or the rosé)

It isn’t always apparent which wines are vegan or vegan-friendly by the label. Unless it’s vegan status is listed on the label, I strongly recommend checking Barnivore before purchasing.

Vegan Spirits

Hard liquors like tequila, bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum are vegan, as are nearly all distilled spirits except those with a cream base or those with honey. 

Here are a few common brands:

  • Absolut Vodka
  • Grey Goose Vodka
  • Skyy Vodka
  • Appleton Estate Rum
  • Bacardi Rum
  • Malibu Rum
  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Beefeater Gin
  • Cazadores Tequila
  • Hornitos Tequila
  • Patron Tequila
  • Black Velvet Whiskey
  • Jim Beam Whiskey
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey
Make Your Own Merry Cocktail

If something premade doesn’t tickle your fancy, try making your own very vegan Christmas cocktail. I gathered up a few recipes to help inspire you.

Vegan Christmas Cocktails

Mugs of Glühwein
Mug of vegan butterbeer

2. Hot Vegan Butterbeer
Plant Power Couple

Two bottles of homemade liquor
Two hot chocolate peppermint shots
An overhead view of two cocktails sitting on top of a white and grey counter garnished with apple slices.
Wooden tray of cocktails

6. Winter Bourbon Mash
Minimalist Baker

Glasses of coquito

7. Vegan Coquito
Neuoritc Mommy

A clear glass with an apple pie cocktail with a bottle of liquor and cinnamon sticks in the background.

8. Apple Pie on the Rocks
Vegan Yack Attack

A closeup of two red cocktails in clear glasses with ice sitting on top of a round silver platter with a spoon which is sitting on a wooden table.

9. Pomegranate Swizzle
Vegan in the Freezer

Glasses of mojitos

10. White Christmas Mojito
Half Baked Harvest

Cocktailsb

11. Cranberry & Orange Cocktail
Sweet Simple Vegan

 
A collage of holiday images used for Pinterest

Truth in Advertising

I am committed to providing accurate information to the vegan community. Meticulously researched, the vegan topic explored in this guide contains the information available at the time of publishing.

I don’t just say it; I source it too.

Reviews and updates happen when new material becomes available.

Please contact me if you find incorrect data.

Photo Credits

Article photos: Adobe Stock
Recipe photos via recipe authors and used with permission.