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Vegetarian Food: What Do You Serve a Vegetarian For Christmas / Thanksgiving Lunch?

Posted on | October 31, 2011 | Comments Off on Vegetarian Food: What Do You Serve a Vegetarian For Christmas / Thanksgiving Lunch?

What do you serve a vegetarian for Christmas lunch? The prospect of cooking for a vegetarian guest on any occasion fills most people with dread. But Christmas day? Well the word “panic” springs to mind. But really, there is no need to worry. (No, REALLY!) I am a vegetarian myself and I can assure you that most of us vegetarians don’t have two heads nor is there anything peculiar about our taste buds. We simply choose not to eat meat. That’s all. Apart from that we’re perfectly normal. Most vegetarians are perfectly understanding. We are used to being faced with limited choices – even in the best restaurants. We have seen it all before and are adaptable. We are not expecting you to come up with some weird vegetarian cordon bleu masterpiece for our Christmas lunch. We don’t want you to panic. We are quite a harmless lot really.

There is, perhaps, one secret you should know though. – Most of us can’t stand nut roast!

Which Type of Vegetarian?

Vegetarian or vegan? Firstly,don’t try to categorize a vegetarian. We are all individuals and as such we all choose to eat different things. Just because someone is NOT a vegetarian doesn’t automatically mean they will like liver, right? Well similarly all vegetarians like different things. Some vegetarians just don’t eat red meat, but they will eat poultry and/or fish. Some vegetarians eat eggs, some don’t. Most vegetarians do eat other dairy products; milk, cheese, butter, cream, but some do not. Therefore it is wise to treat your vegetarian guest as an individual. Instead of worrying about what they will or won’t eat, simplyaskthem. Yes, vegetarians can speak – and they can speak in English too. (Well, mostly!)

What to cook a Vegetarian for Christmas

Christmas lunch is a special meal and our plates are full of many delicious trimmings aside from the turkey. Most of these trimmings are suitable for vegetarians and, take it from me, your vegetarian guest will be so delighted with all this marvellous fare they won’t be overly concerned by what meat substitute you have provided for them.

As I mentioned, I am a vegetarian. Personally I don’t choose to eat red meat or poultry. Here are some examples of what I have had for my Christmas lunch in the past instead of turkey. (Your vegetarian guest will similarly have eaten food before and will therefore be easily able to suggest to you something that they like too.)

Salmon fillet

Lemon sole

Tuna steak

Vegetarian sausages (I recommend those by Quorn)

Sage & onion turkey style Escalopes (by Quorn – frozen)

Chicken style fillets in breadcrumbs (by Quorn – frozen)


By far the best part of Christmas lunch is all the delicious trimmings that are served up. With simple care in preparation your vegetarian guest will be able to tuck in to these delights too. Don’t cook your roasties in lard or meat fats. A vegetable equivalent is available in most supermarkets if you prefer a solid fat or simply use an oil. If you are stuffing your turkey then make some stuffing in a separate container for your vegetarian guest.

Roast potatoes

Mashed potatoes (check your vegetarian eats milk and butter)

Roast parsnips

Swede roasted or mashed

Stuffing (make sure it doesn’t contain suet – most don’t these days)

Brussel sprouts



Cauliflower cheese (check your vegetarian eats cheese)


Yorkshire pudding (check your vegetarian eats eggs and milk)

to name a few!


If you are making your Christmas gravy with meat juices then simply make your vegetarian guest a separate gravy using plain Bisto or gravy granules that are suitable for vegetarians.

Christmas pudding

Check that your Christmas pudding does not contain suet and is suitable for vegetarians (most ready made puddings are suitable for vegetarians these days) If yours is not, then simply buy your vegetarian guest an individual sized pudding.
Check that your vegetarian eats custard or cream.

Tea Time Treats

If you are having a vegetarian over for a tea-time cold buffet-style meal then there are plenty of things that you can serve them. Quorn do a great range of vegetarian alternatives. If you are in the UK, Sainsburys stock a large range in their chilled section. Vegetarians will also eat many of the meat free foods you eat. Here are a few suggestions.

Vegetarian ham style slices (Quorn) (ideal for sandwiches or salad)

Vegetarian turkey style slices (Quorn) (ideal for sandwiches or salad)

Vegetarian chicken style slices (Quorn) (ideal for sandwiches or salad)

Vegetarian beef style slices (Quorn) (ideal for sandwiches or salad)

Vegetarian cocktail sausages (Quorn)

Vegetarian scotch eggs (Quorn)

Vegetarian pork style pies (Quorn)

Cheese and pineapple

Cheese and onion rolls

Meat free quiches

Vegetable spring rolls (frozen)

Vegetable fingers (frozen)

Onion bhajis

Vegetable samosas


Pasta salads

Rice salads

Potato salad


Mixed pickles

Pickled onions

Red cabbage


to name a few!

The Quorn vegetarian products come ready to eat so it couldn’t be simpler to cater for your vegetarian guest. It doesn’t need to be complicated to be good. Your guest will be suitably impressed that you have gone to the trouble to search for these foods and buy them.

You see there really is no need to panic if you have a vegetarian coming for Christmas day. We vegetarians don’t want you to go to too much trouble for us, so stop stressing and pour yourself a glass of wine and have a very Merry Christmas. All you really should be worrying about is how long to cook the turkey! – Ah, but then I can even help you with that too. See my article on Turkey cooking times.