These plant-based holiday recipes are perfect for your healthy Thanksgiving menu and Christmas dinner! From dairy-free garlic mashed potatoes to a healthier version of traditional cranberry sauce, these recipes are filled with whole plant foods and packed with tons of flavor. Give them a try this year!
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I don’t know about you, but I love big family dinners, especially around the holidays.
But if I had to name one thing that I don’t particularly love about holiday dinners, it’s that all of the delicious food we tend to eat is usually very unhealthy. From meat-heavy main dishes and casseroles loaded with butter to highly processed breads and sugar bomb desserts, the typical holiday menu is quite the unhealthy feast.
So if you’d like to include some healthy, plant-based holiday recipes in your Thanksgiving and Christmas menus this year, then you’re in the right place. Here are nine of my absolute favorite plant-based holiday recipes that I know you’ll love just as much as I do!
9 Delicious and Healthy Plant-Based Holiday Recipes
These recipes are sure to be a hit, even with your non-vegan friends and family members. They’ll never know that these recipes are actually healthy because they’re so delicious and packed full of flavor!
1. Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce with Maple Syrup and Fresh Apples
I don’t know how often normal people eat cranberry sauce, but I make a batch at least once per week all during cranberry season. I think I may have a slight cranberry sauce problem! 😉
Even though I have several different recipes for cranberry sauce in my meal planning binder, I tend to gravitate toward this recipe in particular. It uses maple syrup instead of processed sugar, and the addition of apples gives it a slight crunch.
2. Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts is one of Josh’s favorite side dishes. His eyes always light up when he sees them on the dinner table, and he routinely asks me when we’re going to have them again.
I have to admit, it is a pretty awesome recipe. When I take it to family gatherings and social events, I usually have at least a few people ask me how to make it. They’re always surprised that it only requires four ingredients! How easy is that?
3. Warm and Spicy Stovetop Cinnamon Apples
I’m a sucker for cinnamon apples. Most recipes are loaded with butter or oil, but my healthy version is the perfect oil-free treat! I always hear good things about these stovetop cinnamon apples, but the best part is that they’re super quick to make.
4. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Simple, smooth, and creamy, my garlic mashed potatoes could give traditional, dairy-filled mashed potatoes a run for their money!
Here’s how to make plant-based garlic mashed potatoes:
- 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into one-inch cubes (I leave the skins on)
- 1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are nice and soft.
- Drain the potatoes and add them to a large bowl with the garlic powder and a little salt and pepper.
- Slowly add the almond milk while you mash the potatoes with a potato masher until you achieve your desired consistency.
- Add more salt and pepper as needed and enjoy!
5. Easy Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Traditional stuffed peppers usually take about an hour to bake in the oven, but not these beauties! I recently mastered the art of quick-cook stuffed peppers, and I just can’t get enough.
What I like most about these quinoa stuffed peppers is that they’re a beautiful addition to your plant-based Thanksgiving or Christmas table, especially when you use bright red bell peppers. They just look so festive!
6. Creamy Mushroom Risotto
I took this creamy mushroom risotto to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner last year, and it was a huge hit! Everyone who ate it absolutely loved it. Personally, I can eat bowl after bowl of this plant-based risotto, but I’ll do my best to save some for the rest of the family this year.
I tend to leave out the olive oil when I make this recipe, so if you’re trying to avoid as much oil as possible too, then you can use a little bit of water or vegetable broth to sauté the onion and garlic.
7. Sweet Summer Kale Salad
This is definitely my favorite kale salad recipe. It’s sweet and tender, unlike the dry, tough kale salad recipes you usually see. It’s always a hit when I bring it to family gatherings and other social events, and I routinely have people ask me for the recipe!
The only caveat is that it does call for a little bit of olive oil, so if you’re trying to avoid oil, simply omit it and see how you like the texture.
8. Fresh Balsamic Tomato Salad
So fresh and flavorful! I love making this tomato salad recipe all year long, but the red color from the grape tomatoes make it especially festive at Thanksgiving and Christmas. And the best part is that it takes less than 10 minutes to throw together. It’s perfect if you need a quick vegan side dish to go with the rest of your plant-based holiday recipes.
9. The Best Healthy Vegan Banana Bread
There’s just something about banana bread that makes me think of colder weather. Maybe that’s why I love making a loaf of warm, dense, banana bread around the holidays.
Most banana bread recipes call for highly processed ingredients such as white flour, sugar, oil, and eggs. But not my recipe! This healthy vegan banana bread has nothing but good stuff in it. And it tastes as good as it looks!
Final Thoughts on These Plant-Based Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes
Don’t let the holidays completely derail your health goals. You can still enjoy some of your favorite unhealthy foods, but try to enjoy those indulgences with a generous helping of whole plant foods too. Your body will be much happier if you give it the kind of food it really wants!
Add a couple of these plant-based holiday recipes to your Thanksgiving and Christmas menus this year. I guarantee your family will love them! And when you try them, be sure to let me know how they turned out for you by leaving a comment below!
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