Meat-free Christmas: Hearty nut roast

Close Up Of Man Taking Vegetarian Nut Roast Out Of Oven For Christmas Dinner

A nut roast is a classic alternative to a meaty Christmas dinner. The sprouts, potatoes, and other veg are all the same as you’d expect – but you replace the roast bird with a delicious roast nut loaf. It’s a rich, flavoursome, savoury dish which is both filling and warming – perfect for Christmas Day! Best of all, it’s not difficult to make. Here’s our recipe for the perfect nut roast (this recipe will serve 4, but you can up or down the ingredient amounts to suit):


  • Olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • Butter (15g. For vegans, try avocado or coconut oil)
  • 3 eggs (vegans can use mashed chia seeds or one of the growing number of egg substitutes on your supermarket shelves)
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 150g of your favourite savoury nuts
  • 100g lentils
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 100g mature cheddar cheese (for vegans, try cashew cheese instead)
  • Pinch of parsley


1.       Prepare the oven and tray

Heat your oven to 180/C. Line a 1.5 litre loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2.       Prepare your ingredients

Lightly beat the eggs, finely chop the mushrooms, celery, pepper, onion, and garlic. Grate the carrot and the cheese. Roughly chop the nuts.

3.       Start frying

Add the olive oil and butter to a large frying pan and heat until the butter is melted. Add the celery and onion and cook until they soften.

4.       Add the garlic and mushrooms

Stir in the garlic and the mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes.

5.       Add the pepper and carrot

Stir in the chopped pepper and grated carrot. Cook for three minutes.

6.       Add the herbs

Stir in the oregano and paprika. Cook for about a minute.

7.       Add lentils and liquids

Add the lentils and tomato puree and stir in for about a minute. Then, pour in the vegetable stock and simmer until the mixture reduces to a reasonably dry consistency (this should take around 20 minutes to half an hour). Turn off the heat.

8.       Add the rest

As the mixture cools, stir in the breadcrumbs, the nuts, the cheese, and the eggs. Season to taste. Stir well, so that everything is nicely mixed in.

9.       Bake

Spoon the mixture into your loaf tin, and smooth it down. Cover with foil and bake for 30 mins. Then, to brown the top, remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes.

And voila! A gorgeous Christmas nut roast is yours for the eating. Add a pinch of parsley to garnish, and serve with red wine/port gravy, a spicy tomato jus, or any other sauce which takes your fancy. Nut roast is a very versatile dish which will go well with any number of sauces. It also chills and reheats beautifully, so you can return to the leftovers on Boxing Day and they’ll be just as good as they were the day the loaf came out of the oven.

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