Veggie, Vegan and meaty alternatives to pigs in blankets
Pigs in blankets are surely one of the best bits about Christmas. There are lots of other creative variations to go for, including both veggie and vegan options, as well as other meaty alternatives.
So, if you're looking to put a twist on the traditional Christmas dinner this year, opting for pigs in blankets made up of completely different ingredients is a great idea. To give you some inspiration for your alternative festive treats, Denby have shared the best and most luxurious types of pigs in blankets.
Veggie stuffing in puff pastry blankets
For a new twist on an old classic, replace the usual pork sausage with another favourite festive side dish — stuffing! Not only is this a delicious and filling treat, but it can easily be made veggie too. Plus, there are so many ways to customise it to make it suit your taste. For example, you could opt for a sage and apple stuffing to give the meal a hint of sweetness, or a mushroom and walnut stuffing if you're looking for a nutty flavour.
And to complement your stuffing 'pigs', wrap them in a buttery puff pastry 'blanket'. While pastry isn't traditional in this country, it's used in the US version of pigs in blankets, alongside sausage. To do this, simply shape your stuffing into balls, roll your pastry out and cut it into small strips, then wrap them around the middle of the stuffing balls. Finish off by cooking them on a baking sheet until the pastry becomes golden. Make sure to add egg wash on top to achieve that perfect golden colour.
Chicken wrapped in carrot blankets
If you're looking for a meaty option , why not try out a chicken cocktail sausage as filling instead? As well as being a tasty alternative, chicken can be a great healthy addition to your Christmas dinner as it's low in saturated fat, especially in comparison to red meats.
A tasty 'blanket' for these chicken bites is carrot. While this may sound peculiar, carrot is actually a great healthy alternative to bacon. Carrot bacon has a delicious smoky taste to it, and it even looks pretty similar too!
To make carrot bacon, start by slicing your carrots lengthways using a potato peeler — you should end up with wide, thin strips, like bacon rashers. Then, marinate the strips in any flavours of your choosing (paprika, black pepper, and garlic work particularly well) in a large bowl. Once the bacon has been marinated for five minutes, cook it in the oven on a baking sheet until it looks wavy, and wrap it around your chicken sausages. Make sure to not cook the carrot bacon for too long, as it will become too hard and won't wrap around the chicken.
Vegan sausage in sundried tomato blankets
To make a fully vegan treat that all the family will enjoy, opt for plant-based sausage filling for your pigs in blankets this year. There are so many different options of vegan sausage for you to choose from, such as sausages made of mashed vegetables, beans, or even meaty tasting soy or pea-protein sausages.
To add extra flavour to your vegan sausages, wrap them in sundried tomato blankets. These have a lovely tangy flavour that will perfectly complement your vegan sausage. And making these alternative pigs in blankets is incredibly simple too! Simply prepare the sausages according to the cooking instructions, leave to cool, and then wrap a large sundried tomato around the sausage and secure it with a cocktail stick. Make sure to opt for tomatoes which are large enough to wrap around your 'pigs'.
Halloumi in aubergine blankets
The filling for this veggie alternative to pigs in blankets is one of the nation's favourite cheeses, halloumi! This mouth-watering salty treat is popular amongst vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Plus, it has a chewy consistency that makes it the perfect filling for pigs in blankets.
Halloumi wrapped in aubergine 'blankets' works incredibly well. The aubergine has a subtle but tasty flavour, and it's the perfect texture for wrapping around the halloumi. And one of the best things about this vegetable is that it can absorb other flavours very well, so you can make it to suit your taste by experimenting with sauces and marinades.
To make this tasty alternative, start by cutting your aubergine lengthways into very thin slices and covering them in oil and any other flavours you want. Bake them until they are a pale golden colour, wrap them around the halloumi sticks. Then, simply bake them for around 5 to 10 minutes until the halloumi is cooked through, and serve!
Glazed carrots in pastry blankets
This delicious alternative works well for a Christmas dinner too. The carrots soften when cooked, making them a great texture for pigs in blankets, and they soak up flavour perfectly. Marinate them in vegetable stock, soy sauce, mustard, paprika, and garlic powder for a few hours to give them a lovely smoky taste.
To complete these pigs in blankets alternative, wrap them in puff pastry, brush them in milk or egg wash, and cook for ten minutes on a baking sheet until the pastry becomes golden brown. If you want to make these pigs in blankets vegan-friendly, simply opt for vegan puff pastry and brush them in almond milk.
Linda Salt from Denby says:
"Pigs in blankets are a classic Christmas treat, and the perfect addition to any meat-eaters plate. But why not mix it up this year by opting for one of these alternatives instead? Meat-eaters will love the chicken wrapped in carrot blankets, but they're sure to enjoy the veggie and vegan alternatives too, such as the glazed carrots in pastry blankets or the vegan sausage wrapped in sundried tomato.
"If you're looking to push the boat out even further, create a delicious dip to pair with these dishes. For example, a sweet chilli dip would complement the aubergine-wrapped halloumi perfectly.
"And whether you're cooking these untraditional pigs in blankets for your Christmas dinner or a festive party, they deserve to be served in style. Opt for a stylish ceramic serving platter alongside a rice bowl for the dip."
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