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2023 Holiday Guide: Find The Best Gifts for Vegetarians and Foodies!

Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD

What’s the best gift for your favorite vegetarian?!  

Well, the short answer is that depends….

Do they love to cook?  Love food puns?  Are they setting up a new kitchen? 

Let my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide give you lots of ideas.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time curating lots of basic, whimsical, quirky, and imaginative gifts from around the internet. 

Some are items I have in my own home, and others are things I would like to have or know someone else who would love it.   I’ve indicated the items that I’ve used personally throughout this guide. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use this guide to give you ideas, rather than treating it like a definitive list. 

I’m sure there are great gifts out there I’ve never come across.

Let me know if there’s an awesome product you love that everyone else should know about.

Every product is linked for your convenience, but know that some links are affiliate links, meaning if you buy after clicking a link in this guide, I may earn a percentage of sales at no extra cost to you.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Gifts for the Home Chef

Kitchen gadgets and tools can make fun gifts, especially for someone setting up a new kitchen or just setting out on their own.

Depending on the person you’re buying for, gift ideas can range from basic to high-tech to quirky.

High-quality chef’s knife or knife set

If your budget allows, a good chef’s knife would make an excellent gift for a foodie that’s just starting to set up their kitchen.  It’s amazing the difference in your knife skills when using a good knife versus the $35 one you picked up at Wal-Mart.

I love my Wusthof chef’s knife and often recommend it as my top choice.  

A knife set would be nice as well, but honestly, I rarely use anything other than my chef’s knife and a paring knife!

Alternatively, a good knife block can help keep your giftee’s knife in good shape! The one I use is pictured below. It’s held up for a few years now.

Vegetable spiralizer for creative veggie noodles

Spiralizers were super popular a few years ago. While I don’t like the idea of pretending vegetables are pasta, the fun shapes can make picky eaters more willing to try them.  

I have the OXO Good Grips Tabletop Spiralizer that’s always worked pretty well, though I don’t use it that often.  I used it to make my garlic parmesan zucchini.  It’s pretty easy to operate and clean. 

There are cheaper options, like the Veggetti, and fancier options, such as this one from Zyliss, as well.

Alternative cooking Appliances for quick or Easy cooking

You guys, I fought against dedicating precious counter space to an air fryer for a long time. We finally got a small, cheap one and proceeded to use it constantly. We beat that thing up so much that when it was time to get a new one, we went with the “big guns.”  

My Ninja DualZone AirFryer is awesome, works way faster than our older, cheaper one, has additional settings (such as broil, bake, and dehydrate), and even includes a thermometer that can be inserted into food to make sure it gets to a safe temperature before you eat it.  Highly recommend.

For a slow cooker, I’ve had my Comfee Multi Cooker for a few years, and it’s still going strong.  90% of its use is as a rice cooker. I’ve never used the saute and steam features on it, actually, so I can’t speak to them. 

I chose this slow cooker after my major brand slow cooker just stopped heating. I’ve had this one longer now than I had the other one, and it was significantly cheaper.

Other options to consider are good blenders, food processors, Instapots, and stand mixers.  Many of these come in a range of price options and features.

eco-friendly kitchen items that align with a vegetarian lifestyle

More and more, people are choosing to reduce their meat intake in an effort to reduce their impact on our planet.  These next options are specifically vegetarian but would likely be appreciated by a carbon-conscious veg*n. 

Reusable food storage Options

Silicon reusable food storage bags come in many sizes to store washed produce, leftovers, snacks, and the lunch you take to work.  Just make sure not to throw them out accidentally!

Reusable bowls and food covers can make good stocking stuffers.  You can find beeswax wraps and silicone options pretty easily.

Bamboo Tools and Utensils

The use of bamboo in place of other materials, such as wood or plastic, is a great eco-friendly option! Bamboo is highly renewable, grows quickly, doesn’t require pesticides, breaks down (unlike plastic), and takes considerably less water to grow than most trees.  

There are a few downsides, though. Bamboo is commercially grown in China, so there is considerable transport involved to get it here to the US. Additionally, as its use has gotten more popular, land that was once diverse in plant species is being cleared to grow only bamboo. 

Ultimately, the choice to use items made from bamboo is up to the individual.

So what would a food vegetarian like?

This Bamboo Cutting Board comes with a lifetime guarantee! It comes with 3 boards of different sizes and has a groove all the way around to reduce mess on your countertop.

Someone setting up a new kitchen would love a set of cooking utensils. This set is 100% bamboo and includes a countertop holder. You also have the option to swap the holder with a set of bamboo tongs.

Bamboo flatware can be an interesting alternative to traditional metal options.  This is a set of 4 (forks, knives, and spoons). You can also find portable options meant for 1 person

Brightly colored bamboo dishes are dishwasher-safe and suitable for any temperature of food. This option is a set of 2.

Amazon also has options made from wheat straw if you really want to go outside the norm.

Stinkin’ cute Kitchen Utensils

Looking for something for your quirky cooking cousin?  Check out some of these options!

Subscription Boxes and Services

Subscription boxes are a fun way to give someone a repeated gift throughout the year.  These can be meal kits, samples of different spices and foods, and even cosmetics and accessories!

Vegetarian meal kit delivery services

Purple Carrot – this is the first brand I think of for vegetarian (actually, vegan) meal kits. They have the traditional meal kits (similar to Blue Apron), but also have the option for low-prep meals and already-prepped meals for those super busy days.

Additionally, they have the “plantry” where you can add on vegan milks and snacks. To gift Purple Carrot, you could order a subscription for the lucky recipient, or you can select a gift amount ($50-1,000) and let them pick from the options

Green Chef – This brand focuses on certified organic recipes and does have an option for a plant-based plan. Additionally, they employ registered dietitians, and you get a free consultation with your first month!

Marley Spoon – Brought to you by Martha Stewart, this company is leading the way in sustainability with a focus on carbon neutrality and 100% recyclable packaging.  Additionally, as I went through the different companies and their menus, this one, by far, looked the best!

There’s a lot of variety, which is sometimes lacking when you order from a company that isn’t specifically vegetarian. Make sure to click “Make my box vegetarian” when you start the checkout process.

Vegetarian Snack Subscription Boxes

Urth Box is a vegan snack box with options for 1, 3, 6, or 12-month subscriptions.  Boxes range from 6 to 28 snack options, depending on which size you choose.

Each box is a surprise, but you could find snacks such as chips, nuts and seeds, candies, mini meals, and even teas or other beverages. Click the link or enter the code SNACKHAPPY10 for 10% off your first payment.

Universal Yums is such a cool concept!- snacks from countries around the world! But each box also includes trivia and cultural activities as well. You’ll get a list of 3-5 countries for your first box, and then you’ll be on the same rotation as everyone else, depending on where their curators are hanging out!

Gourmet spice or seasoning subscription boxes

Burlap & Barrel Spice Club – this quarterly subscription will deliver 4 full-sized spice jars with stories and recipes to inspire you. You’ll also get a free shipping code to place an order in between deliveries.

Spend some time on their website, though. They have a spice quiz to help you determine your faves, recipes, a whole section dedicated to learning about spices, and even a Spotify cooking playlist!

Use promo code “DietitianJenn” to get free Robusta Black Peppercorns in a grinder bottle when you spend $15. Must add the peppercorns before entering the code

Piquant Post – each month, get 4 spices (or spice blends) from around the world, each with a recipe. You can shop their spices based on region, profile (sweet, savory, umami, etc), and goes well with (fish, veggies, etc). Their recipes are similarly cataloged.

Use Promo Code “SPICE10” for 10% off any length subscription.

Raw Spice Bar – each month, you’ll get a 2 oz spice blend along with a seasonal recipe and their newsletter. And to top it off, you’ll get it all in Eco-friendly packaging! If you love a particular  (chef-curated) blend, you can buy it from their shop as well.

Other Food-themed Subscription Boxes

Seoulbox – this Korean subscription box has fantastic reviews and includes 14 snacks, a cultural guide, 1 drink, 1 vegetarian meal, 1 beauty product, and 1 K-Pop or Korean culture merch! Perfect for your favorite K-Pop fan!

Make sure you pick the vegetarian option. 

German Food Box – Received 6-8 German food products along with traditional German recipes every month! 

The Whistling Kettle – a tea of the month club, with options including premium, adventure, and caffeine-free. Choose the Delux option so that each box has 3-4 samples plus one 4oz box to keep you in yummy tea all month long!

VineOh! – a monthly wine club where you can get 4 or 6 full-sized bottles of red, white, sweet, or mixed wines.

Sfoglini Pasta of the Month – I mean, who wouldn’t want to open a box of 6 different pastas every quarter?  Your giftee will get 3 semolina pastas and 3 specialty pastas, along with 6 recipes and stories every 3 months.

The pastas are guaranteed to be vegan, but the recipes may not be, but let them inspire you!

Non-Food Veg*n Friendly Subscription Boxes

Petit Vour – vegan makeup, delivered monthly. Start by filling out a profile questionnaire (don’t worry, there are gift-giving options), and your recipient will get 4 beauty products delivered every month.

You can also get curated boxes if subscriptions aren’t your thing. Examples include age-defying, summer glow, and date night essentials.

Love Goodly – This is a bi-monthly subscription box, with the option of a VIP upgrade. The boxes include 4-5 products, which are primarily skincare and makeup-related. However, you may get occasional surprises such as jewelry, chocolate, or snacks. Most products will be full-sized, with occasional deluxe-sized or sample-sized thrown in here and there.

They also have single-box options available.

Other similar companies are Better Beauty BoxKinder Beauty Box, Medusa’s Makeup, and Nourish Beauty Box.

Culinary Classes and Workshops

Veecoco – This online vegan cooking school is a monthly membership that has over 800 lessons spread among 23 courses, such as vegan pastry, vegan cheese, bread making, and cuisines from various cultures. There’s even a course on brunch and one on and easy cooking.

Gift cards include 1, 3, and 6-month subscriptions.

CozyMeal – Online or In-Person cooking classes.  There’s even an option to have the chef/instructor come to you, depending on your area and availability. With as much online learning as we’re doing lately, it may be fun to buy 2 tickets and experience an in-person class with your gift recipient!

Create Academy – Anna Jones teaches the Ultimate Guide to Vegetarian Cooking. This learn-at-your-own-pace course includes about 5 hours of instruction time and a downloadable workbook. If you need more gift inspiration, Create Academy has lots of options for you to look through.

Vegetarian Cookbooks

Cookbooks have a huge range, from beginner to complicated, and across multiple concepts. Here are a few that look good to me, as well as some of my favorites.

People often forget that Amazon started as a bookstore first! There are lots of book options for you to explore if these aren’t quite what you want.

Vegetarian Cookbook for Beginners – This book has 600 recipes, including breakfasts, snacks, soups/stews, main dishes, and desserts, and has very good reviews. There is a print and an ebook version available.

How To Cook Everything Vegetarian – This is part of a successful series of highly rated cookbooks from Mark Bittman. It has both vegan and vegetarian options, across a variety of different cuisines.

Crock-Pot Vegetarian Recipes – I picked this book up at Half-Priced Books, on a whim, because I was tired of only finding soup recipes for vegetarians.  You’ll still get those soup recipes, but you’ll also find casseroles, dips, pasta, and more.

National Geographic Kids Cookbook – My son got this cookbook as a gift a couple of years ago. While not strictly vegetarian, most of the recipes are, and the ones that aren’t could be easily adapted if needed.  For example, switching canned lentils for ground beef in the Not-So-Sloppy Joes on page 96. 

The book is arranged by the month, so there’s a good chance you can find some seasonal recipes here, too!

The Ethnic Vegetarian – This is another one of my Half-Priced Books finds, found years ago.  It is full of recipes from “Africa, America, and the Caribbean,” all adapted to a vegetarian diet. Examples include Jerk Tofu, Portobello Muffuletta, Tanzanian Fried Cabbage, and Egyptian Chickpea Sesame Spread.

The author even put together sample menus to put the different recipes together. Highly recommend this one! 

Food and Ingredient Gifts

The Truffleist – For your favorite truffle lover, look for unique ingredients such as truffle hot sauce, truffle everything seasoning, and truffle fondue. You can even get them a truffle cutter, or let them choose with a gift card!

Specialty Honey – There are a lot of options here! Red Belly Honey is produced by bees that are fed hemp nectar, creating a naturally CBD-infused honey. Cloister Honey has a larger line of products, including whipped and infused honeys.

Big Island Bees, based in Hawaii, has more products than you can imagine, including body care products and tea.

Olive oil and Vinegar – for my “fancy stuff,” I’m partial to Secolari. I’ve used the blackberry balsamic vinegar and the Koroneiki Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the blog for my Olive Oil Bread Dip.

Fancy Schmancy Cheese – if you live in an urban area, you can probably find a good grocery store with lots of options. You can go all out and make a mini charcuterie board if you want.

You can find a huge collection of cheeses at iGourmet. You can shop by region, wine pairing, or other pairing options (ie. chocolate, crackers, spreads). They even have cheese subscription boxes, which sound awesome but are a bit on the pricey side.

Just make sure you know what your vegetarian recipient is comfortable eating.

Hot Sauce – this is becoming a more popular gift idea, so you may be able to pick up a variety of hot sauces at your favorite store. However, FuegoBox has gift boxes ready to go for you, as well as a subscription option.

Infused Salts – add a little fun to your salt! You can buy a gift box from Jacobson Salt Co, or make your own if you’re feeling crafty!

Personalized Gifts

Etsy is a treasure trove of potential for personalized gifts.  Here are a few that I found that I would love to get!

Personalized Wooden Cookbook: This creator gives you several style options for both the cover and the paper inside, several size options, and you can pick the words on the cover. She has excellent reviews on Etsy.

Personalized Recipe Tea Towels – I actually really love this idea!  Do you have a handwritten recipe from a loved one?  Submit the picture, and this creator will make a beautiful, decorative tea towel. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous!

Cute, Custom Aprons – choose between 4 colors and 6 design options, pick a text color, and what you want it to say. This would be perfect for the perpetual hostess.

Personalized Kitchen Sign – This cute sign can be made in 2 colors. It’ll perfectly complement a kitchen without taking up too much space.

Engraved baking dishes – 4 styles with customizable text on a glass baking dish!

Obviously, I just picked a couple of ideas that I liked. Etsy has a seemingly unending group of creators and crafters, so you’re sure to find a unique gift. To find the options above, I simply searched “personalized kitchen.”  Poke around to find what you like!

Remember, when ordering gifts from Etsy, that the merchandise is often handmade and requires time to be made and shipped. This is not the place to get last-minute gifts!

Household decor

Vegetable Themed Wall Art – Honestly, these are so cute, it’s making me wish I had more wall space in my kitchen!

Macaron Storage Case – these little cases would be perfect for storing your jewelry when traveling. You could also potentially carry medication in your purse. Maybe mints, or any other odds and ends that are always all over the place. Or is that just me?

Lemon or Lime Wedge Carpet – How cute would this look next to a toddler bed? Or as extra cushion while washing the dishes or brushing your teeth?

French Bread Pillow – Definitely a gift for your slightly off-beat friend!

Metal Wine A Little Wall Decor – You know there’s definitely someone in your life this would be perfect for!

Vintage Mushroom Shower Curtain – I would totally have this if I was single.  Doubt I could get it past the hubby, though.

Eat Plants, Save The Planet Wall Decor – This is so cute but simple enough to fit in with existing decor.

Fruit of the Planet Tin Sign – Perfect for a farmhouse-inspired decor

Vegetable Window Valence – It’s a little busy, but perfectly fitting for a vegetarian!

Eat Plants, Not Friends Throw Pillow – This has the cutest cartoon farm animals!

Clothing and Accessories

Variety pack of fruit-themed earrings – What a fun stocking stuffer! Or even a gift for a younger family member with recently (healed) pierced ears.

Sterling Silver Pineapple Necklace – How pretty is this necklace?

Cute Mango Socks – You guys! This is from my own Etsy shop!

Meet Me at the Farmer’s Market Tote – In black and natural canvas, this is a super cute reusable bag!

Retro Fruit Printed Wedge Sandals – I love the color of these!

Mamacado Shirt – I know the shirt description is for a pregnancy announcement. But isn’t this a fun alternative to all those “mama bear” shirts?!

Be Kind to Every Kind Shirt – Simple enough to fit in with most wardrobes

A-Line Dress with Vintage Printed Vegetables – I love an A-Line dress! There’s one with fruit, too!

A more modern shape with fruits and veggies – Every print available is food-themed!

I hope that this guide gave you some great ideas! Let me know if you got something amazing for your favorite food vegetarian.

Don’t forget your Dietitian Jenn wrapping paper!

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