This vegan nut roast is the perfect vegan main dish for special occasions! Made with a mix of veggies, mushrooms, nuts and seeds, it’s packed with savory flavor and easy to make.
Chilly days have me craving hearty vegan dinners. This is especially true with the holidays approaching! I’m always on the lookout for a super savory vegan main dish. Do you feel the same? Well it’s time you tried a vegan nut roast!
What is a Nut Roast?
Depending on where you live, nut roast (also sometimes called a nut loaf) might be totally new or totally unfamiliar to you. Being from the U.S., I just learned about the whole concept a few years ago — these savory vegetarian roasts more popular in the U.K.
A nut roast is pretty much what it sounds like: a meatless roast, in the shape of a loaf, that’s made primarily from nuts. Think of it as a vegan alternative to meatloaf. It’s traditionally a Christmas roast, but I think it’s perfect for any holiday, and even weekend dinners throughout the year.
Recipes for these roasts will vary and you might find any number of other ingredients, including rice, pulses, veggies, dried fruit, and seasonings.
The flavor is (not surprisingly) nutty! For those wondering, it does not generally taste like meat. The specific flavors depend on what you put into your roast, but to give you a general idea, it tends to have the kind of mild savory flavor that you might expect from Thanksgiving stuffing.
What You’ll Need
- Olive oil. You could substitute another high-heat oil if needed, but olive will give your roast the best flavor.
- Cremini mushrooms. Button mushrooms will work as an alternative in a pinch.
- Dried herbs. We’re using thyme, sage and rosemary. You can substitute with fresh herbs if you’d like, but definitely double the amounts if you do.
- Dry sherry. You can leave this out and skip step 7 of the recipe if you prefer to cook without alcohol.
- Panko breadcrumbs. Oat flour can be substituted for a gluten-free version of the recipe, but cut the amount down by about 2 tablespoons.
- Nuts & seeds. I chose walnuts, pecans, and sunflower seeds for this recipe, but you really could use many different nuts or seeds. To switch things up, try subbing hazelnuts, cashews, pine nuts, and/or pumpkin seeds.
- Ground flaxseed. This acts as a binder in the roast, so don’t leave it out.
- Salt & pepper.
- Balsamic vinegar.
- Accompaniments. Try topping your vegan nut roast with my simple vegan gravy, vegan mushroom gravy, or spiced wine cranberry sauce.
How to Make a Vegan Nut Roast
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
- Heat some oil in a skillet and add a layer of sliced cremini mushrooms. Cook them for a few minutes, until they start to brown on the bottoms, then flip and cook them for a few minutes more. Be patient and avoid constantly stirring the mushrooms — they need time to sit on the hot surface in order to brown.
- Take the mushrooms out of the skillet and diced carrots, onion, and celery. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes until they start to soften up. Add minced garlic and cook everything for a minute more.
- Return the mushrooms to the skillet and add dried herbs, along with a bit of sherry.
- Bring the sherry to a simmer and let it reduce by about half.
- Take the skillet off the burner and let your veggie mixture cool for a few minutes before transferring it to a food processor bowl, along with panko breadcrumbs, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, ground flaxseed, and balsamic vinegar.
- Pulse the food processor until everything is finely chopped and well mixed. Taste-test the mixture and season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Make sure the mixture is chunky enough to retain some texture, but fine enough so you can really compact the ingredients when packing it into a loaf (otherwise it might not hold together!)
- Transfer the entire mixture to an oiled loaf pan. Press it down, smooth out the top with a spoon, and pop it into the oven.
- Bake your roast until it’s hot in the center.
- Serve your roast plain, or with your favorite topping, like the vegan gravy shown in the photos.
Leftovers & Storage
Leftovers will keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator, or about 3 months in the freezer. Store the slices in a sealed container and reheat them in the microwave, or in an oven heated to 350°F until hot.
More Vegan Holiday Main Dishes
- Vegan Chickpea Meatloaf
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- Vegan Vegetable Wellington
- Vegan Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells
- Vegan Pot Pie
- Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
Savory Vegan Nut Roast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1 cup diced celery (about medium stalks)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt, to taste (I used 1 teaspoon)
- Vegan gravy (optional)
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms in an even layer.
- Let the mushrooms cook for about 5 minutes, until browned on the bottoms, then flip and cook them for 5 minutes more. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and transfer them to a plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Give it a minute to heat up, then add the onion, carrots and celery.
- Cook the veggies for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened up a bit.
- Add the garlic to the skillet. Cook it for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.
- Return the mushrooms to the skillet and add the thyme, sage, rosemary, and sherry. Bring the liquid to a boil.
- Lower the heat and allow the sherry to simmer for about 4 minutes, until most of it has evaporated. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the mixture cool a bit while you gather the remaining ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 9-inch loaf pan.
- Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade. Add the breadcrumbs, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar.
- Pulse the food processor until the ingredients are finely chopped and well mixed, stopping to scrape down the inside of the bowl as needed.
- Taste-test the mixture and season it with salt to taste.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Smooth out the top with a spoon.
- Place the pan into the oven and bake the roast for about 55 minutes. It should have darkened and firmed up when it’s done. You can test it by inserting a toothpick into the center. It will come out hot when the roast is done.
- Transfer the roast to a cooling rack and let it cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before carefully removing and slicing it.
- Transfer slices to plates. Serve alone, or topped with vegan gravy.