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10 meat-free mains for the holidays

Flavourful, festive plant-based dishes that all guests will enjoy.

It’s no secret the turkey is the star of the holiday feast. However, with more and more people choosing to eat less meat in favour of plant-based diets, cooking a meat-free holiday entrée for your guests that actually tastes good can be an overwhelming task. Whether it’s a whole head of roasted cauliflower, stuffed delicata squash or honey-glazed tofu, these recipes are a huge improvement from the spongy and bland tofurkey plant-based eaters are used to being served. Even the meat eaters will forget about the turkey in favour of these alternatives.

1. Vegan Cranberry Portobello Pot Roast by The Rhubarbians

A white dish with mashed potatoes and pot roast on a white surface with a red-and-white tea towel underneath

This Vegan Cranberry Portobello Pot Roast will be a hearty luxury to any plant-based eater. Paired with creamy mashed potatoes, this pot roast is the ultimate cozy holiday meal.

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2. Walnut Mushroom Wellington with Carmelized Onions by Cooking With Parita

A green floral plate with a sliced wellington and miniature star cutouts

The combination of the caramelized onions and flaky pastry in this Walnut Mushroom Wellington will be the star of the dinner table. This comforting dish will impress the eyes and the tastebuds!

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3. Herbed Tofu Cutlets by Plant You

A white plate with crusted tofu pieces over mashed potatoes

Unlike the cliché way tofu is often prepared, this recipe utilizes a variety of textures and festive flavours to make you forget you aren’t eating meat. Make this as a main dish or as an appetizer at holiday feasts.

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4. Vegan Chickpea Pot Pie by From My Bowl

A slice of pot pie on a speckled plate

A healthy and hearty spin on a classic dish, featuring chickpeas, potatoes, celery and thyme all wrapped in a flaky pie crust. A simple dish to make, but very easy to impress with!

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5. Butternut Squash, Leek and Gruyere Tart by From a Chef’s Kitchen

A tart on top of a countertop with a tea towel

This winter-flavoured tart is a perfect dish for a holiday entrée or any other time during the winter season. Enjoy as a part of a holiday dinner, or even for Christmas morning brunch.

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6. Vegan Lentil Meatloaf by Sweet Simple Vegan

A sliced lentil loaf on a white platter

This meatloaf is packed with vegetables and savoury seasonings. It isn’t just meat-free but also gluten-free and oil-free. One thing this meatloaf isn’t is free of is flavour, with its use of tamari and festive aromatics. Jasmine from Sweet Simple Vegan suggests serving with her creamy vegan mashed potatoes and her mushroom gravy.

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7. Whole Roasted Cauliflower by Short Girl Tall Order

A dish of roasted cauliflower sprinkled with green herbs and pomegranate seeds

This whole cauliflower is marinated with parsley and sumac, and topped with maple tahini sauce and pomegranate seeds. Your guests won’t be able to tell the difference between this and turkey when you start carving into it.

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8. Portobello Mushroom Steaks with Peppercorn Sauce by From My Bowl

A plate with portobello mushroom steaks and potato wedges

These Portobello Mushroom Steaks are juicy and substantial entrees with a flavourful peppercorn sauce. Great to make for individual portions, or for a group!

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9. Stuffed Delicata Squash by The Rhubarbarians

A black plate with stuffed squash halves and a blue napkin visible on the edges

These stuffed delicata squash halves combine all the prime holiday flavours in their mushroom and lentil stuffing. From pecans, squash, cranberries and rich herbed mushrooms, it is the holidays in one bite.

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10. Glazed Tofu Roast by Yup, It’s Vegan

A glazed tofu roast on a wooden cutting board with sliced orange pieces

Emulating the flavours of the classic holiday ham with cloves and spicy orange glaze, Shannon from Yup, It’s Vegan calls this tofu “irresistible”.

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