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!
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!
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!
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!
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:
- Vegan Thai red curry
- Vegan mushroom matar masala
- Easy vegan mango “chick’n” curry
- Roasted tofu, veggies and chickpea wraps
- Creamy vegan cauliflower soup
- Healthy vegan chilli sin carne
Please feel free to check out all my vegan recipes here for more inspiration in the kitchen!
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!
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