Controversial opinion, but I think mince pie season is much much more exciting than Christmas itself.
So, whilst I believe that Christmas should only last for about 3 days, I think that mince pie season should span the whole of November and December.
If you haven’t guessed already, I absolutely love mince pies. Heat them up in the oven and eat them alongside a cup of tea. Even better, with a glass of mulled wine or cider. You just can’t beat it! Especially when you’ve just come in from the horrible cold dreary weather outside.
But that being said, vegan baking can be a challenge. So, unfortunately, I have eaten many rubbish vegan mince pies in my time. That is why I have made it my mission to try them all and present you with my top picks. So you can go straight to your local shop and pick out the best vegan mince pies for a faff-free festive season.
You should also check out my favourite vegan winter recipes.
What is a mince pie?
A mince pie is a sweet pie originating from England that consists of a pastry filled with mincemeat. Nowadays, mincemeat refers to a mix of fruit and spices, but back in the 1300s it did indeed refer to actual meat. Somewhere along the line the meat was removed (thankfully) and replaced with a fully sweet filling. So, these aren’t to be confused with vegan mince meat.
It is traditionally served up at Christmas time and has since become a very popular food all over the world.
Are mince pies suitable for vegans?
Thanks to the removal of meat from the mince pie sometime in the 1700s, the filling may well look vegan-friendly, but there are a few sneaky ingredients in there that may still catch you out.
First of all, some mince pies may still include suet (beef fat) inside the filling. Secondly, many mince pies may use milk and egg for the pastry.
Therefore, you will want to keep an eye out on the ingredients list of most mince pies that you buy. But thankfully, there are now plenty of vegan versions of mince pies that you can buy. So keep on reading to discover my favourite vegan mince pies.
Here are the best vegan mince pies you can buy
These are ranked from best to well, the least good. But they are all worthy vegan mince pies in my eyes.
1. Oggs vegan mince pies
These vegan mince pies may look very humble, but they are quite easily the most luxury vegan mince pies. There is a lovely spicy flavour to the mince, exactly what I want from a mince pie. Plus the pastry fully encases the filling and has a nice thickness to it. Kudos, Oggs!
2. Waitrose vegan mince pies
It is highly unlikely you could get drunk from a vegan mince pie, unless you make them yourself. But if you do enjoy the taste of the booze inside your mincemeat, then these vegan mince pies from Waitrose are the ones for you. The filling is warming and boozy and the pastry holds together well.
3. Co-op vegan mince pies
These vegan mince pies from Co-op are marked vegan, but they don’t put it all over their packaging, which I think is great. Hopefully many people will pick these up without realising they are vegan. Upon eating, you wouldn’t guess they are vegan either. The pastry is nice and crumbly and the filling is lovely and warming.
4. Tesco free from mince pies
These vegan mince pies are little miniature versions which would be perfect for a party or gathering. As these are from the Tesco free from range they are also gluten-free, which you really wouldn’t know unless looking at the pack. They are bite-size but packed full of flavour.
5. Plant Chef vegan mince pies
This is the second vegan mince pie from Tesco, but it is from their fully vegan range, Plant Chef. I thought these looked the best, the design was neat and they held well when removing them from the packaging. They also had a lovely spiced filling.
6. Riverford organic vegan mince pies
These vegan mince pies are perfect for the pastry lovers, as they are less heavy on the mincemeat with thicker pastry. I did find the pastry a little fragile at times though. I love that these are made using organic ingredients, but for me I’d love more filling. I know others who prefer this style though.
7. Holland & Barrett vegan mince pies
These were probably some of the messiest looking vegan mince pies, but they had a really good amount of filling (that you can see is bursting from the seams) and the gluten-free pastry was good. The filling tasted nice, but it could have done with a little bit more spicing. Making these better for anyone who doesn’t like the traditional mince pie filling.