Vegetarian Christmas dinner

Norway have a vast array of traditional dishes that are served during the Christmas holiday. The selection will vary according to where in the Norway you are from, and also according to the practices of each family. Common for most of it is that it is not suitable for vegetarians.

If you want to know more about the traditional Christmas food in Norway, go to this page for a good overview. If you want to learn how to cook a Christmas dinner the vegetarian way, adapted to the customs of my own family, continue reading.

My normal menu for a Christmas meal when I celebrate in Norway with my family is cashew nut roast, soy patties, boiled potatoes, rutabaga mash, Brussels sprouts and red wine sauce.  All recipes are included in the end of the post.

vegetarian christmas dinnerI also make home made vegan marzipan and marzipan chocolate candies for Christmas. The traditional pepperkake (gingerbread cookies) and gløgg are some of my favorites. Gløgg is the Norwegian mulled wine. You can buy it in bottles as a sweet syrup with spices, and you mix it with water and red wine if you want it with alcohol.

Even when I travel, I sometimes bring a taste of traditional Norwegian Christmas with me. Gløgg and pepperkake was highly appreciated when I threw a small Christmas party by the house I stayed in Ghana last Christmas.
gløgg og pepperkake

Cashew nut roast

cashew nut roast

Cashew nut roast is tasty and easy to make. It can be made of all kinds of nuts, and a mix is often good. You can also mix in chunks of nuts or vegetables if you wish. The roast can be kept refrigerated for a few days before serving, or it can be frozen.

– 350 g cashew nuts
– 150 g hazel nuts
– 150 g bread
– 1 onion
– 4 cloves of garlic
– 4 tbs corn flour
– 1.5 dl vegetable broth
– oil for frying
– salt and pepper

Crush the nuts with a blender. Chop the onion and cook it until soft. Chop the bread (any kind of bread can be used) and mix all of the ingredients  together. You can use a blender if you want the mixture totally mash, or you can just mix it together in a bowl if you prefer a chunky mixture.

Spoon the mixture over to an oiled bread baking form, and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 2 hours. Cool down the roast before you remove it from the form. The roast may be served directly from the oven, or be cooled down in room temperature. For reheating: Slice the roast in slices, and heat them in the oven or by frying it in a pan with oil.


Cashew nut roast with red lentils wrapped in butter dough
97 - Nut roast and soy patties

– 300 g cashews
– 100 g pistachios
– 100 g dry red lentils
– ½ squash
– 1 onion
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1/2 -1 chili
– 1 handful of oatmeal
– 3 tbs maize or potato flour
– 1 dl vegetable broth
– 1-2 tsp ginger powder and coriander powder to taste
– salt and pepper to taste

– sesame seeds
– butter dough (some brands are vegan, some not)

Soak the red lentils in water for at least 1 hour, drain the water and mash them in a blender. Crush the nuts in a blender. I use both cashews and pistachios which are roasted with salt – but you may also use natural nuts. Chop the onion and squash and cook until soft. Chop the bread, and mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and let it set for about half an hour to let the oatmeal soak up the liquid. The dough is supposed to be soft, but it should stick well together.

Split the dough in two. Add one half to an oiled bread baking pan.

Make a square of the butter dough, and spread sesame seeds, salt and pepper over the dough. Spread the rest of the nut mixture over the dough, and make a roll.

Bake the butter dough rolls  on 200°C for about an hour. The last 15-30 minutes you can cover it with a piece of aluminum foil to avoid it getting burned on top. Serve the roast, or cool down in room temperature before you refrigerate it.


Soy patties with ginger and nutmeg
christmas soya patties and cashew roast2

– 150 g soy mince or soy chunks
– water for softening
– 0.5 dl soy milk
– 2.5 dl oatmeal
– 1 clove of garlic
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp pepper
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– 1 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1 tsp cardemomme
– oil for frying

Boil the soy mince in lots of water, and cool down in cold water. Drain off the water. If you use soy chunks, blend them before you use them in the mince. Add soy milk, crushed garlic, oatmeal and the spices to the mince. Mix well, and let rest for 15 minutes for the oatmeal to set the mince. The consistence of the mince should be firm when ready. Form small patties (about 1 big tbs of mince) which you fry in a pan with oil. Fry them 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. The patties can be served fresh and warm, or you can freeze them. Tastes great served with vegetables, or as a part of your Christmas dinner.


Red wine sauce

This delicious red wine sauce give that extra piff to a good meal.

– 5 dl red wine
– 2 shallots
– 8 dl vegetable broth
– 150 g butter or vegan margarine
– 2 tbs soy sauce
– 1-2 tsp salt
– 1-2 tsp pepper
– 2 tsp sugar
– 1-2 tbs corn flour
– 0.5 dl water

Chop the shallots in small pieces and fry in a pan for a few minute. Add the red wine, and let simmer until the liquid is reduced to thin syrup. Add the vegetable broth, and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Whisk the corn flour with water and add little by little to the sauce while boiling until it has the consistence you wish. Add salt, pepper, sugar and soy sauce to taste. If you don´t use all the sauce at once you can freeze it in portions for your next meals.


Rutabaga mash

Adapt the Rinse and cut  rutabaga in slices. Boil it in lots of water until soft. Drain off the water, and mash the rutabaga in a blender or with a fork on a plate. Mix in s soy milk, butter (or vegan margarine), salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix everything together, and bring to boil.



Boil the potatoes, or fry potato boats in the oven.


Brussels sprouts

Boil  in water for about 5 minutes, then drain off the water and mix in some salt or butter so all sprouts are covered.


What is your favorite vegetarian Christmas food?

About the Author Elin

I´m an Oslo based web publisher with passion for communication, travel and a green lifestyle. When I travel, I prefer to go slow, sustainable, and “live like a local”. Why slow? It is about challenging the cult of speed, and to enjoy the small things in life and to live in the present.

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