Vegan German Christmas Dinner

Here we have a vegan spin on the traditional German Christmas dinner. This dish has an amazingly delicious spectrum of flavours which all perfectly complement each other. The breathtaking aroma will instantly engage all your guests and have them asking for more in minutes!

vegan german christmas dinner

What vegans make for Christmas…

Always a stressful decision to make at this time of year – especially for Vegans! Unfortunately, most of the popular Christmas dinners revolve around animals and animal by-products.

For this reason, I have received a lot of requests for Vegan recipes to make at dinner time on Christmas.

When thinking about which recipes to share, my mind always came back to this traditional German Christmas dish which is based around potato dumplings and pickled red cabbage.

There are plenty of vegan recipes for your standard Christmas roast and the like. These are fine. However after some time, I feel these can get quiet boring and uneventful for such an occasion.

You need a recipe which is exciting, distinctive and absolutely bursting with Christmas flavour.

So if you’re interested in challenging yourself in the kitchen this Christmas and want to totally shock your family and friends with an unbelievably delicious and unique dish – then check out the recipe below and try for yourself!

Vegan experiences in Germany

When I first moved to Germany from Australia, there were all sorts of new dishes I had to get used to. Not to mention an entirely new language to learn with all sorts of confusing words for animals and animal by-products!

One dish that I would commonly see at the dinner table during Christmas would be Goose covered in gravy together with potato dumplings and pickled red cabbage.

Unfortunately I could never eat this dish even subtracting the Goose, as traditionally there is beef stock and butter in the gravy, as well as eggs and butter in the potato dumplings.

I would just have to eat the red pickled cabbage by itself. Depressing, I know..

There were certain ready-made products for vegan potato dumplings that you could buy in Germany. Unfortunately, these are not readily available in London.

But fear not! Here I will show how to make traditional German potato dumplings, as well as traditional German Gravy from scratch – so you can re-create this traditional German Christmas dish and impress your family and friends!

vegan christmas recipe

A little German history…

A traditional Christmas dish in Germany is a potato salad with sausages. The historical context here was that the mother and head of the house did not have much time to cook and therefore it had to be something rather simple.

Over time, other traditional German dishes have become established as Christmas meals, which give a greater feel of a feast. One of the most popular dishes is the combination of roast with gravy, potato dumplings and red cabbage – which I recreate here.

Luckily, it is easy to veganize this dish without compromising on flavour or quality!

german christmas dinner recipe

Favourite Additions & Substitutions

One of the benefits of this dish is that there are just so many ways you can easily adapt it into something new, creative and personal to you!

Some traditional Germans may have an issue with some of these suggestions – but hey, I feel these changes can be an improvement on the classic dish (blasphemy!).

Here are some of my favorite additions and substitutions:

  • For the dish
    • Vegan “chick’n” schnitzel
    • Vegan steak
  • German Potato Dumplings
    • Bread filling (this is a traditional option called Semmelfüllung)
    • Fried mushroom filling
    • Vegan mince filling
    • Cranberry sauce
  • For the German Gravy
    • Raw Sugar
    • Mild mustard
    • Red Wine Vinegar to substitute for the red wine
    • If you are looking for a non-alcoholic version, you can replace the red wine with either more vegetable broth, red grape juice or cranberry juice.

Traditionally at Christmas, this dish would be served with Goose (Gansbraten). At other times of the year it would be served with pork (Schweinerbraten). As vegan alternatives for these products aren’t readily accessible, “chick’n” schnitzel and steak are good alternatives which you can find at most supermarkets.

I intend to post a separate recipe for the potato dumplings with fried mushroom fillings in the future – so be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and sign up to my Newsletter so you are notified when this recipe comes out!

traditional german cuisine vegan recipe

Prep & Cooking Tips

  • For peeling the potatoes, you can either do this before or after they’ve boiled. My preference is to peel them beforehand, as otherwise you need to wait for the potatoes to cool off after boiling to then peel them (which wastes time).
  • For the pickled red cabbage, it is possible to do this from scratch. Personally, both in England and in Germany, I’ve found that nothing tastes better than the pickled red cabbage out of the jar. It will also reduce the amount of cooking time for this dish.
  • Traditional German gravy is quite light in texture and is not meant to be a thick sauce. If you desire a thicker gravy, I recommend adding in an extra teaspoon of flour once all ingredients are in the pot and letting it simmer for 5 minutes. If the gravy is still not thick enough, repeat the process until the gravy is at your desired level of thickness. But don’t add too much extra flour in at one time – otherwise you may ruin the gravy.

Looking for more healthy vegan dinner ideas?

If you like this vegan German Christmas dinner recipe, you might also like:

Please feel free to check out all my vegan recipes here for more inspiration in the kitchen!

vegan potato dumpling recipe

If you tried this vegan German Christimas dinner recipe and loved it as much as I did, please feel free to let me know by leaving a comment and a rating below. I also love seeing remakes of these recipes, so be sure to tag me @voach_thevegancoach and use the hashtag #voachrecipes if you post your creation on Instagram!

Never want to miss out on new amazing vegan recipes? Then be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and sign up to my Newsletter so you are notified when the next delicious and nutritious vegan recipe is up!

Vegan German Christmas Dinner

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Voach Course: DinnerCuisine: GermanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Resting Time

1 Hour

25 Minutes

A delicious and unique vegan spin on the traditional German Christmas dinner. This dish has an amazingly delicious spectrum of flavours which all perfectly complement each other. The breathtaking aroma will instantly engage all your guests and have them asking for more in minutes!


  • For the German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelknödel)
  • 50 Oz. 50 white potatoes, peeled

  • 5 Oz. 5 cornstarch

  • 4 tbsp. 4 extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp. 1 salt

  • 1/2 tbsp. 1/2 ground black pepper

  • 1/2 tbsp. 1/2 ground nutmeg

  • Optional: Fresh parsley as garnish

  • For the German Gravy (Bratensoße)
  • 5 Oz. 5 brown mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 large 1 red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 medium 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 medium 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped

  • 1 1 bay leaf

  • 2 2 stems of thyme

  • 1 tbsp. 1 plain flour (preferably specified for sauces)

  • 1/2 tbsp. 1/2 plain flour mixed with 1.5 tbsp. of water (flour mixture)*

  • 1 tbsp. 1 extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbsp. 2 dark soy sauce

  • 1 tsp. 1 vegan margarine (can also substitute with a tsp. of olive oil)

  • 4 cups 4 vegetable broth

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 vegan red wine / red wine vinegar

  • For the Pickled Red Cabbage (Blaukraut)
  • 10 Oz. 10 pickled red cabbage (drained weight from the jar)

  • 2 tbsp. 2 apple sauce (or apple mousse)

  • 1/2 tsp. 1/2 ground cinnamon


  • For the German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelknödel)
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. At this time, peel all the potatoes.
  • Place the peeled potatoes into the pot of boiling water and cook until the potatoes are tender (you should be able to pierce through them comfortably).
  • Once the potatoes are tender, let them cool in a colander for 15-20 minutes or until they are cool enough to be held in the hands. If you wish to hasten this process, you can place the boiled potatoes into a bowl of cold water for 3-5 minutes.
  • Place the potatoes into a large bowl and mash well with a potato masher. If there are any large clumps remaining after mashing, simply remove these by hand. Small clumps are fine to remain in the bowl as these dissipate later in the process.
  • After mashing the potatoes, pour in the olive oil and add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix together well with a hand-held whisker or a large wooden spoon. Next, add the cornstarch and mix thoroughly until there is no powdered starch remaining. The mixture should be smooth and slightly flexible.**
  • Place the bowl in the fridge and let it sit for at least 1 hour. ***
  • Just before time is up, bring a large pot of water to a level which is just below boiling. ****
  • Once an hour’s time has passed, take out the bowl from the fridge and set on the kitchen benchtop. Then scoop out a handful of the potato mixture with your hands and roll into medium-sized balls. Set each ball aside onto a plate until all the mixture has been used.
  • Place each ball into the pot of water and cook until the ball rises to the top of the water. This typically takes approximately 15 minutes. Once the balls have risen to the top, scoop them out and place onto a plate and let them cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • You now have your German potato dumplings! To finish off, garnish the dumplings with some fresh parsley on top.
  • For the German Gravy
  • Heat 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil in a pot on medium-high heat for 1 minute.
  • Once the oil is heated, add in the onions, mushrooms and a pinch of salt into the pot and cook for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Next, add the carrot, celery, vegan margarine, bay leaf and thyme into the pot and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add in tablespoon of flour nd stir well with the vegetables. Let it cook for another 3 minutes.
  • After this time, pour in the vegetable broth, soy sauce, red wine and the flour mixture into the pot and stir well.
  • Reduce the heat and let the gravy simmer for 20 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally during this time.
  • The gravy is now ready! Next step is to sieve the gravy through a colander into a separate bowl.
  • For the cooked veggies remaining in the colander: Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems and then place the remaining cooked veggies into a separate bowl for the meantime.
  • For the Pickled Red Cabbage
  • First step is to drain the jar of pickled red cabbage through a colander.
  • Put your pan on the stove on medium-high heat.
  • Throw the pickled red cabbage, apple sauce and ground cinnamon into the pan and toss together so all ingredients and mixed well.
  • Cook for 3 minutes whilst stirring occasionally. Then set aside and get read to assemble the meal!
  • Assembling it all together!
  • Place two potato dumplings and a scoop of pickled red cabbage onto a plate.
  • Then scoop the cooked veggies leftover from the gravy and put on the side next to the pickled red cabbage (or directly on top of the potato dumplings).
  • Now pour the gravy on top of the potato dumplings until there is gravy covering the entire plate.


  • * It is important to mix the flour and water together (with a fork) so that there are no hard clumps of flour when you add it to your gravy during the cooking process.
  • ** For this step, I always mix with my hands to make sure all ingredients are mixed together well and the mixture has the right consistency. If you do not wish to use your hands, you can continue to use the whisker or large wooden spoon.
  • *** During this waiting time, you can prepare the gravy and pickled red cabbage!
  • **** Look at the water. If there are very small bubbles coming to the top of the water – you’ve got it right! If it is aggressively bubbling, turn it down a notch. Otherwise you will have mashed potatoes on your hands!
  • TO STORE THE POTATO DUMPLINGS: The potato dumplings can stay in the fridge for up to 48 hours in a sealed container. They can also be frozen in a freezer zip lock bag for up to 2 months. Remember to wait until the potato dumplings have completely cooled off before storing.
  • TO STORE THE GRAVY: The gravy can stay in the fridge for up to 24 hours in a sealed container. Otherwise, you can freeze the gravy for up to 4 months. Again, wait until the gravy has completely cooled off before storing.
  • TO STORE THE PICKLED RED CABBAGE: The pickled red cabbage can stay in the fridge for up to 48 hours in a sealed container. I would not recommend freezing as the texture alters too much once frozen.
  • NUTRITION: Servings: 1 | Calories: 682kcal | Carbs: 116g | Sugar: 15g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 21g | Sat Fat: 4g | Omega 3’s: 15% DV | Fibre: 12g | Net Carbs: 103g | Vitamin A: 90% DV | Vitamin C: 50% DV | Vitamin D: 83% DV | Vitamin E: 19% DV | Vitamin K: 15% DV | Folate: 10% DV | Calcium: 11% DV | Iron: 80% DV | Copper: 92% DV | Potassium: 68% DV | Magnesium: 30% DV | Zinc: 31% DV Nutrition information is calculated automatically and is an estimate only

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