Are you still looking for a vegan main dish for your Christmas menu? Search no longer and make this simple Christmas nut roast! It’s made with lentils, nuts and mushrooms (no chestnuts) and comes together in a food processor. This nut roast recipe is vegan and gluten-free to please everyone at the table (including vegan, vegetarians and meat-lovers)! You may also like this vegan stuffed butternut squash.
What is vegetarian nut roast?
Nut roast is a vegetarian meatloaf alternative made with nuts, grains, vegetables, broth and seasonings. It is baked in a loaf pan and served as slices. It is packed with nutty, earthy flavors that go really well with other vegetarian Christmas side dishes, such as our maple-roasted Brussels sprouts. The texture of a perfect nut roast is relatively soft and moist but it is thick enough to be sliced.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This vegan nut roast recipe is allergen-friendly. It is perfect if you're hosting vegans, vegetarians or people with gluten sensitivity on Christmas or during the holidays.
- It is meat-free but SO DAMN GOOD. This specific nut roast is so tasty and flavorful that even meat-eaters asked for a second round (especially when served with the right sauce, such as this vegan mushroom gravy).
- Nut roasts are festive and look fancy. They are the best main dish to serve on Christmas eve or for Thanksgiving. You can however also serve nut roasts as an alternative to traditional Sunday roasts or meatloaves.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Nuts are the base of this vegan roast. The easiest thing to do is buying unsalted mixed nuts at your grocery store.
- Canned brown lentils help bind to roast while adding moisture and flavor.
- Gluten-free oats and flax seeds hold the loaf together and thicken the mix to prevent it from being too wet. We like to use oats as an alternative to breadcrumbs to make this gluten-free nut roast.
- Vegetables: onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms provide texture and make this gluten-free nut roast super aromatic.
- Vegetable broth: is used to combine all the ingredients and keep the loaf moist while it’s cooking.
- Seasonings: spices such as garlic, all-spice and cinnamon, combined with fresh herbs give the nut roast a final festive touch.
Tips to make the perfect nut roast
- Combine everything in a mixing bowl. Use a food processor to break down the ingredients but do not combine everything in the food processor itself. It would result in a lack of texture. It is much easier to control the thickness and texture of the roast by blending the ingredients one by one and combining them in a mixing bowl.
- Taste the mixture before baking. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Use a 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan. Make sure the pan is relatively narrow to prevent the slices from being short and wide.
- Preferably make the lentil nut roast the day before (or at least 2 hours ahead of time) and reheat it on Christmas eve. This allows the roast to set and firm up and prevents crumbly slices when cutting it.
- If making it on the same day, let it cool down in the pan before slicing. If you didn’t make the loaf ahead of time, leave it uncovered on the countertop for 15 minutes once you take it out of the oven.
- Use a sharp bread knife to cut nut roast.
Step-by-step with pictures
Crush the nuts. Add the mixed nuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until the nuts have the size of peas. You don’t want to grind them too finely. Add the nuts to the mixing bowl.
Blend the lentils, flax seeds, vegetable broth and seasonings. The mixture doesn't have to be perfectly smooth. Small pieces will add texture to the Christmas nut roast.
Combine the ingredients. Pour the lentil mixture into the mixing bowl. You should obtain a thick, slightly wet mixture. Set it aside while you sauté the vegetables.
Wash, peel and chop the vegetables. Wash the carrots, celery and mushrooms. Chop them into very small pieces. Mince the onion. Use a food chopper or food processor (with an S-blade) to save time.
Sauté the vegetables. Add the veggies to a heated frying pan and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir regularly to prevent them from burning. Add them to the mixing bowl. Give it a good mix. Make sure to taste test the mixture and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan. Grease the sides and line the loaf pan with parchment paper before adding the nut roast mix.
Bake the loaf. The cooking time is a critical factor to obtain a moist nut roast that is easy to slice but not too dry. If it’s undercooked it will be soggy or mushy and if it’s overcooked it will be extremely dry. Our tip is to bake the nut roast uncovered for 15 minutes until a crust forms. Then, cover it with foil to retain moisture.
What to serve with nut roast
Nut roast sauce: vegan mushroom gravy
Storage and reheating tips
If you have nut roast leftovers or if you made the roast ahead of time, you can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can store individual slices in an air-tight container or wrap the whole nut roast tightly in cling film.
Cooked nut roast can be frozen for up to 3 months. You can freeze individual slices or freeze the whole nut roast in the pan you plan to reheat it in. Make sure to wrap them well to prevent freezer burn. Let it defrost completely (preferably in the fridge overnight) and warm it up in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°)C for 10 to 12 minutes.
To reheat a nut roast, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Slice the roast and place the slices on a baking sheet. Cover it with aluminum foil and reheat it for 10 to 12 minutes until warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is actually recommended to make vegan nut roast ahead of time. The nut roast continues to firm up as it cools down and can be sliced more easily. This prevents crumbly slices that fall apart. If you're making nut roast for Christmas, simply prepare it in the morning and reheat it in the oven shortly before serving.
Yes, nut roast can definitely be eaten cold and tastes delicious.
The nut roast may crumble and fall apart if the mixture wasn't pressed firmly into the pan or if it is overcooked. Make sure to use a 9x5 inch loaf pan. If you use a longer or wider pan, the loaf will be less high and may cook too quickly. You can also try reducing the cooking time by 5 minutes.
Don’t forget to join the Cooking With Elo newsletter. You’ll get gluten-free and vegan dinner ideas sent right to your inbox.
Christmas Nut Roast (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
- Food processor or food chopper
- Large mixing bowl
- Pan or skillet
- 9x5 inch loaf pan
For the veggies
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 celery sticks
- 8 ounces (250 g) mushrooms
For the nut roast
- 2 cups (300 g) mixed nuts packed
- 1 cup (110 g) gluten-free oats
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- 14 ounces (400 g) canned lentils
- 1 cup vegetable broth or water + 2 teaspoons bouillon powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or dried sage
- Preheat the oven to 350°F fan (180°C).
- Add the nuts to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse several times until they are roughly chopped (see step-by-step pictures in post above).
- Drain the canned lentils. Add the lentils, oats, flax seeds, vegetable broth, garlic powder, nutmeg and thyme to your food processor. Blend until combined. It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth. Add it to the mixing bowl with the nuts and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Wash the vegetables. Peel the onion and the carrots. Roughly cut all the veggies into pieces that fit into your food processor or food chopper.
- Mince the onion and the carrots in your food processor until you get relatively small pieces (see step-by-step pictures). Add them to a pan with oilve oil. Then, chop the celery and the mushrooms and add them to the pan.
- Sauté the vegetables over high heat for 5 minutes while stirring continuously.
- Add the sautéed vegetables to the mixing bowl with the nut roast mixture. Stir until everything is well mixed. Transfer to a 9x5 loaf pan that you greased and lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the nut roast for 50 minutes on the lowest rack of your oven.
- Let the nut roast cool down for 15 minutes before lifting it out of the loaf pan. Preferably wait at least 2 hours before slicing the roast. You can easily make it in the morning or the day before. To serve, reheat the sliced nut roast at 350°F (180°C) for 10 to 12 minutes.
More vegan christmas recipes
If you're looking for inspiration for your vegan Christmas dinner (appetizers, starter, main dishes, sides dishes and desserts), check out our favorite Christmas recipes. This post also includes 2 full menus to make during the holidays.
Loved it? Please rate it!
If you tried this recipe or any other recipe from the blog, make sure to let us know how you liked it by leaving a star rating and a comment below! Your feedback really matters! To never miss a recipe, follow me on Instragram, Pinterest and Facebook.