It’s been eight years since we started collecting recipes on this website, and over those years we’ve accumulated quite a few holiday recipe ideas. We thought it was finally time to do a big, comprehensive round up of our absolute favorites. We’ve got you covered on mains and hearty sides, as well as lighter sides, soups, salads, dessert, and drinks. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season :)
v = vegan, gf = gluten-free, veg = vegetarian, vo = vegan option
Mains and Hearty Sides
There’s something so grand and ritualistic about a holiday table centerpiece that took time, care and anticipation. Since most such centerpieces involve meat, one can feel a little left out during the peak of a celebratory meal if meat is not their jam. In this recipe, we applied this grand, ceremonious approach to braising a head of cauliflower. Someone even made a video outlining the entire braising process.
Baked Latkes (v, gf)
Latkes are my ultimate weakness, but I’ve always dreaded the long and smoky process of frying them. My love for latkes is so strong though, that I had to come up with an easier path to that crispy, golden potato goodness. These baked latkes are SO much easier to make than the traditional fried kind, since the oven does all the main work for you. The flavor and texture are not compromised one bit, I promise. The recipe also includes a beet salad with an avocado mayo, which is to die for.
This healthful but hearty lasagna employs spaghetti squash in place lasagna noodles. There’s mushrooms, mung beans, kale, carrots, tomato sauce, and an easy almond ‘cheese’ as well.
If you’ve never tried braising leeks, you are in for a serious surprise. They are amazing, especially served over a hearty cauliflower and white bean mash. If leeks are not your thing, consider making the mash alone and serve it as a side, to up your holiday mash game :)
I can’t say enough about this gratin comprised of layers of sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and caramelized onions, showered with spices and coconut milk. It’s easy to make but so beautiful and satisfying at the same time.
This will forever be my favorite fall/winter salad. It’s all about the contrast of flavors: aromatic black rice, nourishing spiced cauliflower, juicy grapes, and a slightly spicy miso dressing full of umami. Sprinkle in some pomegranate seeds for an extra festive look.
Sorghum Beet Risotto (v, gf)
This vibrant risotto would make for an excellent side dish at a holiday table, especially if you don’t know what to do with that forgotten bag of sorghum in the back of your pantry :)
Another alternative (aka riceless) risotto option. This one uses riced kabocha squash in place of actual rice. It’s luxuriously creamy, warming, and overall impressive.
This vegan quiche comes together quite magically, with no crust, eggs or cream to speak of. Chickpea flour acts similarly to the egg-cream foundation of traditional quiche and solidifies into a sort of custard when baked at a high temperature. Add a studding of silky root vegetables and greens to that, and you’ve got yourself the perfect, healthful and delicious fall/winter quiche.
Soups and Sides
This is butternut squash soup elevated. The addition of cranberries and pear is as delicious as it is unexpected. There’s a special ingredient that will help aid digestion during a big meal, too.
A soup that’s both grounding and fortifying, and good enough to serve as an unexpected, colorful starter at the holiday table.
Another stunning, colorful soup option.
We love mashed potatoes, but we also love pairing a bowl of mashed potatoes with another, more interesting mash made with underutilized root vegetables. Both celeriac and parsnips are so uniquely flavored and healthful, it’s no wonder that they make for some delicious mash. Serve it with the Braised Holiday Cauliflower for the ultimate plant-based holiday meal.
Miso-Date Ghee Brussels Sprouts (veg, gf)
This recipe teaches you how to make your own ghee (golden, clarified butter that has a higher smoke point than normal butter and is low in lactose and casein / not vegan), as well as how to make miso-date ghee, which is too delicious for words. It’s great on roasted Brussels sprouts, as well as everything else in this world.
A healthful take on nachos, with crispy sweet potatoes taking the place of tortilla chips. Great for self-serve style, snack-heavy parties. If you don’t want to go through the intricate process of making sweet potato chips, roasted sweet potatoes will work perfectly in their place.
This salad is simple but effective: visually stunning, healthful and delicious. Plus, you’ll want to sprinkle that almond cheese on everything!
Roasted Parsnip and Pomelo Salad (v, gf)
Earthy, nourishing parsnips go so well with juicy, bittersweet citrus. The combination is especially irresistible when sprinkled with spiced and toasted walnuts and raisins. Use grapefruit if you can’t find pomelo.
This is three favorite Thanksgiving pies in one: apple, pecan and pumpkin. It’s decadent and impressive, and a definite crowd-pleaser. (Also pictured in slice form at the beginning of this post).
Concord Grape Fruit and Nut Cake (v, gf)
Slices of this fruit and nut cake make for a great accompaniment to a cheese plate, as well as an awesome gift basket component.
The super-festive appearance of this decadent, frozen fudge basically speaks for itself.
The universally loved combination of rum and raisins is elevated by a sweet and subtly salty orange and miso glaze in this vegan bundt recipe we developed for Food & Wine.
Sweet Potato Caramel Nougat (v, gf)
Oh man, this nougat! Not as sticky or sweet as traditional nougat, this one has a caramel-like complexity from our trademark sweet potato caramel. There is a studding of toasted nuts and cookie crumble throughout each slice, too. Great for homemade gifts or party platters.
Upside Down Citrus Polenta Cake (v, gf)
This cake is a crowd pleaser through and through. It’s got it all in terms of stunning looks and bright, special flavor.
These elegant, black and white chocolate pudding cups are easy to put together, but very impressive and full of whole food ingredients.
If you are looking for a grand and fun cake project, but still want something wholesome and not too sugary, look no further than this stunner of a cake.
In this recipe, we’ve updated the old school treat with the use of healthful ingredients, and the beautiful, floral flavors of hibiscus and orange blossom. Serve these Turkish delights alongside tiny tongs at a holiday party for the ultimate, fancy dessert experience :)
This tart is worth making just for the vegan date toffee alone, but combine that with a (vegan) buttery crust and caramelized bananas, and you’ll forever be everyone’s favorite host.
Parsnip Cake with Candied Kumquats (veg, gf)
Another crowd favorite from a few years ago, this cake is like carrot cake, but made with parsnips in place of carrots. The parsnips yield their moisture and delicate flavor to the cake dough, which is then layered with a cream cheese frosting and topped with candied kumquats. This recipe can easily be veganized – just use maple syrup in place of honey to candy the kumquats and make the frosting.
All the components of this dessert can be made ahead of time, and assembled later. The cashew cream is not your average cashew cream, either – it’s extra-fluffy with the help of a special ingredient.
This delicate white chocolate mousse tart is flavored and colored with the juice and zest of blood orange. You also have the option of skipping the crust and making the mousse alone. Just distribute it amongst little ramekins for individual servings.
Pumpkinseed Butter Goji Cookies (v, gf)
These cookies are crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and incredibly buttery throughout. Their unexpected green coloring looks beautiful, contrasted by the red topping of goji berries.
Winter squash does beautifully in ice cream, especially the naturally sweet, bright orange kabocha squash. In this recipe, kabocha ice cream is swirled with a simple, tart cranberry sauce and topped with maple pecans. This recipe can easily be vegan – just use maple syrup in place of honey.
Miso Caramel Popcorn (v, gf)
It’s entirely possible to make really good caramel popcorn at home! This popcorn is sweet, salty, and incredibly addicting – you’ve been warned :)
Rosemary Hot White Chocolate (v, gf)
This hot white chocolate is both cozy and decadent, with unexpected, warming notes from rosemary and a perfectly smooth, frothy consistency.
Quick Persimmon Eggnog (v, gf)
This is eggnog for both the adventurous and the health-conscious. Much lighter than the original, but still perfectly creamy and satisfying.
Spiced Kombucha Moscow Mules (v, gf)
This is the perfect winter cocktail for those of us who don’t drink alcohol, but still want to participate in the celebratory ritual of clinking glasses and toasting with something special and delicious.
Pear Cranberry Chai (v, gf)
This cozy chai is brewed with the addition of pears and cranberries, which takes the flavor to the next level. Simply put, it’s the best chai we’ve ever had.
H A P P Y H O L I D A Y S ! ! !