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Four vegan cooking pros reveal their favorite Christmas recipes

For many, meat is part of the festive meal at Christmas, but whether classics or new interpretations - vegan chefs show the variety of plant-based cuisine for the holidays. They reveal their favorite recipes

Purely plant-based recipes for the holidays also create a festive atmosphere - but without
Purely plant-based recipes for the holidays also create a festive atmosphere - but without animal

Table of contents

  • Caramel apple pie bars from American chef Chloe Coscarelli
  • Niko Rittenau suggests a classic: Festive roulades with red cabbage and dumplings
  • Creamy salad soup, hearty oven-braised stone fruit and grain risotto by Sophia Hoffmann
  • Vegan herring salad and baked apples don't just bring back Jérôme Eckmeier's childhood memories

Plant-based holidays - Four vegan cooking pros reveal their favorite Christmas recipes

Traditionally, a lot of meat ends up on the plate at most Christmas dinners - beef roulades or roasts, for example. In most cases, the meat comes from animals that are kept in fattening facilities and have often never seen the light of day in their entire lives.

Beef is also a real climate polluter: according to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, one kilogram of beef produces 13.6 kilograms of CO2 equivalent. One kilogram of soy granules, on the other hand, only produces one kilogram of CO equivalent per kilogram. So how about a purely plant-based menu for Christmas for the sake of the environment? Four vegan chefs give us some ideas:

Caramel Apple Pie Bars from American chef Chloe Coscarelli

Chloe Coscarelli is a well-known, award-winning vegan chef from the USA. She shares colorful, plant-based recipes on her blog, on social media and in her book "Viva Italia Vegana". Chloe Coscarelli loves apple pie and shortbread cookies at the holidays. For her favorite Christmas recipe, she simply combined the two.

Caramel apple pie bars

A mixture of typical Scottish shortbread and apple pie

Tip: The bars are best if you chill them in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before serving.


For the shortbread:

240 g type 550 wheat flour; 225 g vegan margarine; 115 g organic cane sugar; 1⁄2 tsp sea salt.

For the apple filling:

5 apples, peeled and thinly sliced; 115 g vegan margarine; 170 g cane sugar; 1 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon; 1 tsp vanilla extract

Also: Vegan ice cream to serve (optional)



  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Lightly grease a square baking tin (20x20cm) and line with baking paper - it should hang over the edges. In a food processor, mix the flour, margarine, sugar and salt until crumbly. Set half of the dough aside, press the remaining dough into the tin and bake for 18 minutes.

Apple filling:

  • Place themargarine in a medium saucepan with the apple pieces and fry over a medium heat until the apples are soft, about ten minutes. Do not forget to stir. Add the sugar and increase the heat. Simmer for ten minutes until the mixture is caramelized, stirring frequently. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for around ten minutes.
  • Pour the apple filling over the baked crust. Crumble the saved shortbread dough over the top, leaving some of the dough in larger lumps and allowing some of the apple filling to see through. Bake for 30 minutes. Chill in the fridge.
  • Once cooled and set, lift the baking paper to release the bars from the pan and remove from the mold. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and serve with vegan ice cream. Store in the fridge.

Tip: The recipe can also be baked with gluten-free flour.

Note:The original recipe uses the unit of measurement cup, which we have converted. You can find a conversion table here, for example .

Recipe idea by: Chloe Coscarelli, video instructions on Instagram.

Niko Rittenau suggests a classic: Festive roulades with red cabbage and dumplings

For nutrition expert Niko Rittenau, Christmas can be a hearty time. He provides his followers with tips for a balanced vegan diet on his social media channels. Together with vegan chef Sebastian Copien, Niko Rittenau has already published several books, including "Vegan Nutrition for Beginners".

This festive recipe, developed by Sebastian Copien, is suitable for beginners to plant-based cooking. For Niko Rittenau, it is his favorite Christmas recipe because: "This dish delivers hearty, meaty flavors without the ethical and ecological problems associated with meat production and also convinces non-vegans across the board."

Festive roulades with red cabbage and potato dumplings

If you like it hearty and classic, you can serve vegan roulades with red cabbage and potato dumplings at Christmas

Ingredients (for 2 portions):

For the roulades:

2 large soy big steaks; salt; freshly ground pepper; 2 tbsp coconut oil (neutral in taste); 1 small carrot, peeled; 2 g gherkins; 100 g smoked tofu; 2 tbsp medium-hot mustard

For the sauce:

1 small leek, trimmed; 100 g carrot, peeled; 150 g celeriac, trimmed; 1 large onion, peeled; 1 organic potato (100 g); 100 g coconut oil (neutral in taste); 1 sprig rosemary; 2 tbsp spiced yeast flakes (see page 119 Tip); 25 g beluga lentils (or other lentils); 300 ml dry red wine (or 250 ml mild stock mixed with 50 ml aronia juice); 2 tbsp tomato puree; 1 l mild vegetable stock, plus a little stock to deglaze; 2 tbsp soy sauce; 2 tbsp pickle stock; 1 tsp mustard

For the red cabbage:

1 small head (500 g) of red cabbage; 1 large apple (Boskop); 1 small onion, peeled; 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar; 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp sugar; freshly ground pepper; 1 tbsp coconut oil

For the potato dumplings:

300 g floury potatoes, peeled; salt; 300 g dumpling dough half & half (from the chiller cabinet); 11⁄2 tbsp cornflour (for the cooking water)


  • Scald the soy steaks with boiling water and leave to stand for 10-30 minutes.
  • For the sauce, wash the leek thoroughly and cut into rings. Cut the carrot and celery into 1 cm pieces. Quarter the onion and cut the potato into 5 mm thick slices. Place everything in a bowl with the oil, rosemary, yeast flakes and lentils.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 °C top/bottom heat. Heat a large ovenproof roasting tin on the hob over a high heat. Add the contents of the bowl and fry for 5 minutes until dark brown, deglaze with 100 ml wine and remove the drippings from the bottom with a wooden spatula. Allow the wine to reduce completely. Add the tomato purée and fry for 3 minutes until dark brown, deglaze with 100 ml wine, remove the drippings and reduce the wine. Brown everything again, deglaze with the remaining wine (100 ml) and reduce, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, drain the soy steaks, rinse with cold water and squeeze by hand. Cut the steaks in half horizontally on a chopping board. Season the four half-thick steaks all over with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the steaks for 1-2 minutes on each side until you can see clear roasting marks . For evenly roasted flavors and a nice texture, weigh the steaks down with a pan.
  • Place the steaks on a chopping board. Cut the carrot, cucumber and tofu into very fine strips (julienne). Brush the top of the steaks with mustard, cover with tofu, cucumber and carrot and roll up tightly; secure with toothpicks or kitchen string.
  • Heat the pan again. Add the roulades with the remaining oil (1 tbsp) and fry for 5-10 minutes until brown on all sides. Deglaze with a little stock and release the drippings.
  • Remove the roasting tin from the oven, pour in 500 ml of stock and release the juices. Place the roulades on top of the vegetables, half of them should be in the stock, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the roulades over and cook for a further 20 minutes. Pour in the rest of the stock (500 ml), turn the roulades again and cook for another 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, finely slice the cabbage and coarsely grate the apple. Halve the onion and cut into fine strips. Knead all the ingredients for the red cabbage, except for the onion and oil, thoroughly by hand in a bowl, seal airtight and leave to stand for 30-60 minutes. Squeeze out the cabbage by hand and collect the juice. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the cabbage and sauté for 4 minutes. Pour in the squeezed juice and simmer for 15 minutes; season with salt, pepper and sugar; keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, for the dumplings, finely grate the 300 g potatoes and immediately knead with your hands with 1 teaspoon of salt to prevent them from browning; cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Spread out a clean kitchen towel, place the potatoes on it, untwist the towel and squeeze the liquid out of the mixture; about 150 g of grated potatoes should remain.
  • Knead the grated potatoes and dumpling dough well in a bowl. Heat 4 liters of water in a pan, mix the starch with a little of the water and stir into the boiling water, add a little salt and bring to the boil. Form four dumplings from the dough with moistened hands and place in the water. Reduce the heat and cook the dumplings in the boiling water for about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat, the dumplings can stand for up to 40 minutes until you need them.
  • Remove the roasting tin from the oven and place the roulades on a plate. Pour the liquid through a sieve into a blender jug, add about a quarter of the roast vegetables and puree until smooth. Reduce the sauce in a pan to the desired consistency, season with soy sauce, cucumber stock and mustard and leave the roulades to stand briefly in the sauce.
  • Serve two roulades, dumplings and sauce per person on a plate.


The dumplings require considerably less effort than completely freshly made dumplings, and they are worlds better than dumplings made from 100% ready-made dough. If you want to make your own d umplings, boil 300 g of peeled potatoes, allow to steam well and press through a ricer. Leave the mixture to cool until lukewarm, then knead with the squeezed potato flakes and 2 teaspoons of potato starch and season. Cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes, shape and cook as described. It is advisable to make a test dumpling. If it falls apart, work more starch into the dough.

Recipe idea from: Niko Rittenau, Sebastian Copien: "Vegan nutrition for beginners. The most important basic knowledge and quick recipes." DK-Verlag, 272 pages, 19.95 euros.

Creamy salad soup, hearty oven-baked stone fruit and grain risotto by Sophia Hoffmann

Author and chef Soph ia Hoffmann from Berlin uses regional and seasonal products in her recipes. Anyone who wants to try her vegan cuisine will probably be able to sample her dishes at her restaurant "Happa", which is currently in the planning stage.

She shows how it is possible to conjure up a winter menu from regional and seasonal ingredients, even at Christmas: "I love reinterpreting familiar seasonal ingredients and achieving delicious results with a few simple preparation tricks. Salad becomes a creamy soup, slowly melted onions add umami to winter risotto and braising something in red wine and rosemary is always a good idea. All of the recipes are easy to prepare and make you full and happy." The following recipe ideas come from her book "Zero Waste Kitchen".

Creamy salad soup

If you don't like a classic salad, try the creamy salad soup

Ingredients (for 2 portions):

1⁄2 or 1 small head of lettuce or 2-3 handfuls of lettuce / spinach leaves; 1⁄2 onion or 1 small piece of leek or 1-2 spring onions (optional); 3 tbsp frying oil or olive oil; a few roughly chopped stalks of parsley or some roughly chopped fresh basil (optional); 3-4 tbsp tahina (sesame paste); salt; 1 dash of acid (vinegar or lemon juice); 1 pinch of sugar or 1 tsp syrup as required.


  • Remove the outer leaves from the head of lettuce. Divide the lettuce into individual leaves, wash, spin dry and cut into coarse strips. If using, peel the onion, clean the leek or spring onion, wash and roughly chop everything.
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the lettuce and, if using, the onion, leek or spring onion and herbs for 2-3 minutes. Pour in water so that everything is just covered and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Blend with tahini in a blender or with a hand blender in a tall mixing bowl. Season with salt and acid (vinegar or lemon juice). If the taste is too bitter, sweeten a little.


Garnish: Croutons made from stale bread or pan-roasted seeds or nuts (e.g. pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds) go well as agarnish.

Zero-waste version: pureed with leftovers, such as a pre-cooked potato or a few spoonfuls of cooked pulses, the soup becomes creamier and more filling.

Grain risotto with apple and melted onions

The apples give the risotto a nice fruity note

Simple and delicious: apples and onions are regional and provide a varied consistency and variety of flavors: sweet-sour-umami crunchy-creamy-soft-delicious!


6 tbsp vinegar; 2 tbsp sugar or syrup; salt; 1-2 apples (depending on size), diced, 6 tbsp frying oil or olive oil; 4 medium-sized onions, of which 1⁄2 onion diced, the rest cut into fine strips; 300 g pearl barley or whole grain (e.g. wheat, barley, spelt, soaked overnight); 1 l vegetable stock; pepper


  • Heat the vinegar, 6 tbsp water, the sugar and 1⁄2 tsp salt in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Pour this marinade over the diced apples and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan and sauté half the diced onion for a few minutes.
  • If you are using (soaked) grain, drain it and rinse briefly under running water. Add the cereal to the onion cubes. Deglaze with the stock, bring everything to the boil and cook over a low heat for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the onion rings very slowly over a low heat. Continue to fry for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that they caramelize nicely and are soft as butter at the end.
  • Remove the apples from the marinade and fold into the cooked cereal, keeping a small portion for decoration. Season the risotto with salt, pepper and a little marinade. Serve with the caramelized onion rings as a topping and the remaining diced apple. The remaining marinade can be used in salad dressings.

Oven-braised stone fruit in a red wine bath

Oven-baked stone fruit is a great accompaniment to cereals


200 g stone fruit (e.g. apricots, mirabelle plums, damsons, plums); 1-2 red onions depending on size; optionally 2 cloves garlic; 200 ml red wine; 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary or 3 tsp dried rosemary; 1 tsp salt.

Stone fruit such as apricots, mirabelle plums, damsons or plums taste delicious and are suitable as a sweet and savory side dish to cooked rice / cereals or vegetable dishes. It can also be kept very cold in the fridge for a few days. You can also omit the wine or replace it with grape, plum or apple juice.


  • Preheat the oven to 200 °C top/bottom heat.
  • Wash, halve and stone the stone fruit. Halve and peel the onions and cut into wide strips. Peel the garlic and cut into fine strips.
  • Place the stone fruit, onions, garlic, red wine and rosemary in a casserole dish, season with salt and mix well.
  • Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 200 °C until the fruit is soft and juicy.
  • Either enjoy straight away or leave to cool and store in a screw-top jar.

Recipe ideas from: Sophia Hoffmann: "Zero Waste Küche.", ZS, 248 pages, 24.99 euros and Sophia Hoffmann: "Die kleine Hoffmann: Einfach intuitiv kochen lernen.", ZS, 240 pages, 22.99 euros.

Vegan herring salad and baked apples don't just bring back Jérôme Eckmeier's childhood memories

Jérôme Eckmeierhas already cooked in restaurants in France, Austria and England. In his dishes, he cooks with regional organic products. Anyone who wants to cook like a professional can learn from him in cooking courses. Eckmeier likes to keep things classic for the festive season and prefers to cook dishes that remind him of his childhood. The following recipe ideas come from his book "Vegan. Does you good - tastes good."

Vegan herring salad with smoked tofu and beetroot

A herring salad without fish works quite simply

Ingredients (for 4 portions):

For the salad:

1 kg waxy potatoes; 1 red onion; 2 sour apples; 200 g smoked tofu; 4 beet (pre-cooked and vacuum-sealed); 1 small jar of pickles (370 ml); 2 nori leaves

For the dressing:

250 g oat cream; 2 tbsp cucumber water (jar); 1⁄2 tsp Dijon mustard; 1-2 tsp agave syrup; 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice; 1 tbsp white wine vinegar; 1 msp ground caraway seeds; salt, freshly ground; black pepper; 2 tbsp freshly chopped dill + a little more for sprinkling; lemon wedges for garnish


  • Wash the potatoes thoroughly, cook in salted water with the skin on. Then drain, allow to evaporate, peel while still hot and cut into bite-sized cubes.
  • In the meantime, peel and finely dice the onion. Quarter the apples and remove the cores. Pat the smoked tofu dry with kitchen paper. Cut the apple pieces and tofu into bite-sized cubes. Drain the beet and also dice. Drain the cucumber (reserving the cucumber water) and finely dice. Cut the nori leaves into fine strips or pluck into small pieces. In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes, onion, apples, tofu, beet, cucumber and nori leaves. For the dressing, mix the oat cream with the cucumber water, mustard, agave syrup, lemon juice and vinegar and season with caraway seeds, salt and pepper. Mix the dressing with the dill and stir into the salad until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Cover the salad and leave to infuse in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the veggie herring salad from the fridge at least 15 minutes before serving, mix well again, divide between plates, garnish with lemon wedges and serve sprinkled with dill.

Baked apples with vanilla sauce

Baked apples don't just remind Jérôme Eckmeier of his childhood

Ingredients (for 4 portions):

For the baked apples:

2 tbsp raisins; 3 tbsp rum; 4 apples (Boskop); 4 speculoos; 8 vegan dominoes; 2 tsp chopped almonds; finely grated zest of 1⁄2 organic orange; 1 tsp speculoos spice; 2 tbsp margarine + a little more to grease the tin; 2 tbsp dark raw cane sugar.

For the vanilla sauce:

500 ml oat or soy drink; 1-2 tsp liquid vanilla extract (depending on concentration and preference); 2 tbsp sugar; 1 pinch salt; 2 tsp cornstarch


  • Soak the raisins in the rum for at least 30 minutes before using.
  • Generously remove the core of the apples. This works best with an apple corer. Place the speculoos in a cling bag and crush into crumbs using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Cut the dominoes into small cubes and mix with the speculoos crumbs, the soaked raisins and rum, the chopped almonds, the orange zest and the speculoos spice.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C fan oven. Grease a medium-sized baking dish with a little margarine, place the apples in it and fill with the mixture, stuffing lightly. Cover each apple with a small piece of margarine and sprinkle with a little raw cane sugar. Bake the baked apples in a hot oven (center) for 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the vanilla sauce. To do this, bring the vegetable drink, vanilla extract, sugar and salt to the boil in a pan over a medium heat. Mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of cold water until smooth and add to the boiling vanilla mixture, stirring constantly. Bring the sauce to the boil again and keep warm until ready to eat, but do not boil any further.
  • Serve the baked apples hot straight from the oven with the vanilla sauce.

Recipe ideas from: Jérôme Eckmeier: "Vegan. Tut gut - schmeckt gut.", DK Verlag, 192 pages, 19.95 euros.

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Read also:

  1. The vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli suggests serving her caramel apple pie bars with vegan ice cream as a dessert for a purely plant-based Christmas menu.
  2. In Germany, nutrition expert Niko Rittenau recommends a vegan version of festive roulades with red cabbage and potato dumplings as a hearty and sustainable alternative to traditional meat dishes during Christmas.
  3. For Top news, it was reported that according to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, one kilogram of beef produces 13.6 kilograms of CO2 equivalent, while one kilogram of soy granules only produces 1 kilogram of CO2 equivalent, making a plant-based menu a more environmentally friendly choice for Christmas dinner.




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