Looking for a hearty plant-based centrepiece to serve for Christmas? Try these recipes for vegan roast chicken, smoked ham, mushroom wellingtons, and festive logs!
I remember feeling a whole fluster of festive jitters the first time I decided to cook plant-based for the holiday season …
But, in what felt like a Christmas miracle at the time, I quickly realised that it was as simple as making a few swaps in the menu – because there’s an easy-to-make vegan version of just about every traditional dish you could think of (as well as lots of store-bought options)!
If you’re going home-cooked this year and want your plant-based main to absolutely knock people’s stockings off, you can’t go wrong with one of these cosy, comforting centrepieces.
I’ve split them up into two categories, vegetable-based roasts and ‘meaty’ vegan roasts, so you can take your pick:
Veggie-Style Roasts & Festive Logs
A cross-section of this pumpkin wellington showcases every delicious layer, all the way from the garlicky breadcrumb stuffing in the middle, through to the buttery mushrooms and golden puff pastry on the outside.
This has been my go-to festive recipe for years, and it’s never once failed to impress – even the meat-eaters. My extended family straight-up demands that I bring a mushroom wellington every holiday season now, so be warned … Make it “just once” and you might find yourself locked into a lifetime contract!
Would you believe this gorgeous cauliflower dish only calls for five ingredients? It’s such an easy one to make! Roasted cauliflower practically melts in your mouth – and a warming blend of spices makes it even more at home among a festive spread.
Infused with aromatic herbs, the toastiness of roasted hazelnuts, and plenty of hearty spices, this mushroom and curried lentil roast makes for a super satisfying Christmas centrepiece. If you’re feeling creative, try experimenting with different pastry decorations on top!
‘Meaty’ Vegan Roasts
You wouldn’t know to look at it, but every inch of this roast ‘turkey’ – from the orange and sage stuffing, to the crispy rice paper skin and decadent, honey-mustard style glaze on top – is completely made from plants!
Isn’t it wild how accurately seitan can replicate the taste and texture of meat? This show-stopping vegan roast chicken is perfectly succulent and makes putting together a classic-looking Christmas plate so easy. Just add seasonal veg!
This juicy, shiitake-stuffed meatloaf recipe calls specifically for Beyond Meat, but you could just as easily swap in whatever brand of plant-based beef you like. We’re big fans of Birds Eye and V2 (which you can find at Coles) and Impossible mince (from Woolworths).
Another deceptively plant-based roast that 100% looks and tastes the part! This vegan pork tenderloin is made with a clever blend of mushrooms, tempeh, oats, and spices – with grated beetroot adding a tinge of pink, and liquid smoke bringing that signature ‘roast’ flavour.
If you’re after a salty, smoky mock meat that hits the same spot as a traditional Christmas ham, this seitan recipe is the holiday hero you’re looking for! It’s surprisingly easy to make, and guaranteed to impress even the most meat-loving of dinner guests.
Don’t forget the gravy!
You can find lots of vegan-friendly gravy mixes in major supermarkets and online these days – or you can make your own from scratch if you’re feeling fancy. Try our recipe for red-wine infused mushroom gravy or this highly rated classic vegan gravy by Nora Cooks. They’re both deliciously rich and would be the perfect drizzly accompaniment to any of the plant-based roasts on this list!
Need more inspiration for your Christmas menu?
Whether you’re still looking for festive sides, salads, vegan cheeses, platter ideas, pastas, ‘seafood’ alternatives, Christmas puddings, mince pies, or other sweet treats, or drinks, we’ve got you covered with all the recipe ideas you could ever need.
There’s also a sleigh-full of store-bought vegan roast options in major supermarkets and online that are perfect for simplifying your festive feast – so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time indulging with your loved ones. (Which, in the end, is what Christmas is really all about!)
Check out our festive plant-based product guide here to add some time-saving treats to your shopping list.
Header image: © Zacchary Bird