Vegan Christmas dinner main course ideas – including pot pie, risotto, arancini, and eggplant parmesan. Many of the recipes can be made in about a half an hour, and several have an air fryer option. That means more time celebrating and less time cooking.
When the holidays come around, there’s a draw to make a vegan Christmas dinner that’s festive and maybe even a little fancy.
Today’s main course ideas for holiday dinners offer just that. They’re worthy of being a centerpiece on your dinner table, no matter what you celebrate.
(Not celebrating anything? That’s fine too! They’re delicious any day of the year.)
Plus, many of these main courses can be made in a half an hour or so. And after you’ve chosen your entrée, fill out the rest of your meal with these Christmas dinner side dishes.
Creamy mushroom risottoVegan risotto is a rice dish that really feels like an indulgence. With velvety cashew cream, mushrooms, and seitan sausage, it can be served as a main course or hearty side dish.
To make it gluten free, simply leave out the seitan. Or replace it with Beyond Meat sausage or white beans.
Mushroom & sausage arancini
Make things easy on yourself and use leftover risotto for vegan arancini. It has all of the creamy goodness of risotto, but with the added crisp crunch of bread crumbs. This arancini recipe can be made in the oven or air fryer.
To make it gluten free, leave out the seitan and use gluten-free bread crumbs.
I’ve also made it without the seitan in the risotto, but with a vegan meatball in the middle. It’s a fun surprise in the center! (If you break a thawed Gardein meatball in half, it’s just the right size. And it stretches the bag out that much further.)
Serve them as your holiday main course with marinara or as an appetizer.
Vegan crab cakes
Elegant vegan crab cakes are made with artichoke heart and chickpeas. They’re finished with a dollop of lemon dill aioli.
I recommend frying these cakes for best results. However, they can also be baked or made in the air fryer.
Feel like making them well ahead of time? They freeze well too!
Vegan fried chicken
Lean into the kitschy & fun vibes of the holidays with vegan fried chicken. It’s served on a skewer – drumstick style. Then it’s breaded and fried. It even includes a crispy “skin” for maximum textural appeal!
If you need more vegan comfort food in your life, this is the answer.
Curried baked falafel bowl
They may look like adorable gingerbread men cookies, but don’t be fooled! They are actually baked falafel with a peanut dipping sauce.
These gluten-free curried falafel have the flavors of cumin, coriander, garlic, and sriracha.
Serve them in a brown rice bowl with broccoli. Or have them as a festive appetizer!
If you live in a warm weather climate, why not fire up the grill at Christmas with vegan skewers?
These seitan and veggie kebabs include many traditional holiday favorites in deconstructed form. There’s lemony seitan, stuffing, potatoes, and even sweet potatoes with marshmallows.
If your oven has been working overtime this season, why not give it the night off? Vegan eggplant parmesan comes together quickly in the air fryer.
This dinner party-worthy dish is made by coating eggplant slices in panko, seasonings, and non-dairy parmesan. (To make it gluten-free, use gluten free bread crumbs.)
The slices get crisp in the air fryer. They are then topped with marinara and non-dairy mozzarella. Serve with your favorite pasta.
Chicken-style vegan pot pie
Vegan pot pie is always a crowd pleaser. It’s filled with carrots, onions, celery, peas, and chicken-style seitan in a creamy cashew sauce.
As a time saving bonus, this pot pie is made using store-bought frozen pie crusts. (And yes, there’s a top and bottom crust!)
In normal years, this is a good one to bring to holiday potlucks in an insulated carrier. I brought one to Thanksgiving in a carrier. And my pot pie stayed warm for two hours in it!
Mini vegetable pot pie
Or make a top crust from scratch and serve your guests adorable mini vegetable pot pies. They are filled with carrots, onions, celery, and your choice of chickpeas or Great Northern beans.
The vegetables are enveloped in an indulgent creamy cashew sauce.
Lasagna in the air fryer
If you’re having Christmas dinner for one or two, make individual vegan lasagna in the air fryer. It’s layered with your favorite jarred pasta sauce, tofu ricotta, zucchini, fresh basil, and spinach.
Plus, it’s ready in only 30 minutes thanks to the air fryer!
Mediterranean pasta with tomatoes & vegan feta
Here’s another noodle option!
Polenta stacks with squash & cashew cream
Here’s a great way to use some seasonal produce this holiday season. Make vegan polenta stacks with barbecued delicata squash.
Each layer also includes a creamy dollop of thick cashew cream. An eye-catching gluten-free entree for your holiday table or dinner party!
Roasted gnocchi with chunky almond pesto
There’s no reason to spend hours over the stove to make a holiday-worthy dish. Roasted gnocchi comes together in only 25 minutes.
Roasting gnocchi gives it a fabulous texture and bite that you can’t get from boiling it alone. Toss it in almond pesto for a satisfying and colorful Christmas dinner.
Air fryer stuffed peppers
Air fryer stuffed peppers are deliciously cozy and hearty. They’re loaded with veggie sausage, marinara, rice, onions, garlic, and Italian spices.
Cauliflower steaks with romesco sauce
Make vegetables the star of the dish with vegan cauliflower steaks. This gluten-free meal is served with lentils and flavorful romesco sauce.
Buttered noodles with red wine mushrooms
When the winter wind is biting, cozy up to a bowl of vegan buttered noodles with red wine mushrooms.
Pappardelle is tossed in garlicky non-dairy butter. Then it’s finished with red wine-infused mushrooms and a smattering of chives.
Content updated December 4, 2020. Originally posted December 11, 2019.