Some may consider a vegetarian Christmas dinner unthinkable but when you stop and think about it, most of the sides are already vegetarian anyhow! It’s easier than you think to create a festive meatless feast so satisfying and delicious even die-hard carnivores will love it. In fact, there are so many diverse vegetarian dinner ideas you’ll have a hard time narrowing it down to one meal.
Start your dinner off with bang by serving a colorful red and green Christmas Tree Salad with Pomegranate, Pecans & Raw Chard complete with a toast star garnish. Or turn up the heat with Curried Lentil, Parsnip & Apple Soup. This is one of the most convenient vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas because you can make it ahead of time and freeze it.
There are so many amazing side dishes that you may not even need an entree. Add a little Spanish flair with a Vegetable Paella made with tomatoes, fennel, mushrooms, artichokes, Japanese eggplant, string beans and red pepper. With this spectacular bounty, seafood seems utterly beside the point. Take a cue from Hanukkah dinner and serve crispy Sweet Potato Latkes. For a real showstopper, try Whole Roasted Cauliflower & Whipped Goat Cheese. Before roasting, the cauliflower is poached in a wine sauce — this is definitely not the plain old boring cauliflower you’re used to!
This Christmas Pie is one of the heartiest vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas. It’s got mushrooms, dried cranberries, butter beans, chestnuts and hazelnuts seasoned with garlic, thyme and English mustard then baked in a flaky crust. Jamie Oliver’s Mushroom & Squash Vegetarian Wellington is another pastry and veggies option that’s packed with flavor. And last, but definitely not least, Mushroom Thyme & Lentil Pies are beautifully baked in the flakiest crust of the bunch.
If you’re one of those cooks who enjoys improvising, a Winter Vegetable Torte is totally versatile and easily modified to suit any taste. Use thinly sliced sweet potatoes to separate the layers and pile on your favorite veggies and cheeses.
Finally, we’ve got two dishes featuring a couple of the meatiest vegetables you’ll find. Creamy Creole Eggplant Casserole packs a spicy Creole punch while Cheesy Butternut Squash Casserole has a little kick of cayenne pepper and it’s topped with crisp crumbled cornbread. Pure heaven!
Photo 2 courtesy of Food Network.com