Whether you like yours hot or cold, crumbly or firm, the humble mince pie is deemed by many of us Brits as an essential part of Christmas. And hey just because you follow a vegan diet, doesn’t mean you should be deprived of such a treat. Fear not – we’ve been busy tasting a variety of vegan mince pies to reveal the best options available this Christmas, meaning no one has to miss out.
So why are mince pies unsuitable for vegans? Well, in the classic mince pie recipe, beef suet is often included within the ingredients list. Even with many retailers now substituting the traditional suet for butter (which is obviously suitable for veggies) we went looking for versions containing vegan suet (or none at all) as well as a pastry made completely free-from dairy products.
*SPOILER ALERT* we found gin mince pies…
ASDA Mince Pies, 97p/pack of 6
The folks at ASDA felt so strongly about making their mince pies inclusive for all that they totally revamped their classic recipe to make it vegan. With a crumbly pastry that tastes like butter, it’s hard to believe these little beauties are vegan. Waitrose Christmas Gluten Free Mince pies, £2.50/pack of 4
We take our pastry to filling ratios very seriously around here. The verdict on Waitrose’s gluten-free mince pies is that they have got the ratio spot on: their pies’ tasty filling is equally balanced with a good, firm pastry. The sprinkled sugar on top adds a nice crunch too. Thumbs up, Waitrose!
The Authentic Bread Company Luxury Mince Pies, £5.05/pack of 4
A vegan mince pie that tastes like proper shortbread – come again?! These delicious little mouthfuls are filled with an apple and brandy mincemeat and are encased using a shortcrust pastry that could easy be mistaken for luxury all-butter shortbread. They are quite crumbly, so be prepare to hoover the crumbs.
The Co-op Mince Pie, 90p each
As soon as we spotted a pie the size of our fist, we knew it was love. No one wants their pie to be finished in just two bites and this shortcrust pastry pud will not leave you disappointed. Perhaps a little light on the filling – but that’s not a bad thing if you prefer a higher pastry to filling ratio.
Holland & Barrett Mince Pies, £3/pack of 4
During our search, we may have found the trifecta of alternative mince pies: Holland and Barrett’s festive offering is vegan friendly, gluten free and wheat free too – but honestly, you’d never tell. Their shortcrust pastry cases are lovely and crumbly plus each star-topped pie is packed full of fruit. The extra sprinkling of icing sugar on top makes them the prettiest out of the bunch.
Lottie Shaw’s Deep Gin Iced Mince Pies, £5.65 for 4
Yep, you heard that right. GIN MINCE PIES. The addition of sloe gin to Lottie Shaw’s mincemeat will leave you feeling rather festive and the layer of bright white fondant on top makes a pleasant change from a traditional pastry-topped design. Please snack responsibly…
Meridian Vegan Mince Pie Filling, £3.49/320g
If you’re a traditionalist however and prefer to make your own pastry for homemade mince pies each year then why not pick up a jar of Meridian’s mince pie filling – it’s entirely vegan and super convenient. PS it also tastes fabulous warmed up in the microwave then added to a scoop of ice cream.
Inspired to get baking? Try some of our homemade mince pie recipes:
Shopping for a vegan this Christmas? Check out our vegan gift guide!
Despite being suitable for vegan diets, make sure you always read the label before buying. Mince pies should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.