A wonderful centrepiece for a meat-free Christmas dinner – our Nut Roast with Cranberries and Pistachios is our favourite thing to have with a good helping of delicious gravy and all the other compulsory trimmings! Made with two types of mushrooms and green lentils, and generously studded with pistachios and dried cranberries, this Vegetarian Roast is a good-looking Christmas main that will impress both with the flavours and textures!
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Cranberries and Pistachios: A Perfect Christmas Combination
You will probably notice a theme in this year’s Christmas recipe collection: I use pistachios and cranberries in everything! Unsurprisingly so, pistachios are my favourite nut. Not only extremely buttery and tasty, but pistachios also add to the aesthetics of dishes too with their bright green colour. Cranberries are, of course, a Christmas tradition, but they add that little bit of tart sweetness that is just great in this vegetarian roast.
Why Use Two Types of Mushroom in This Vegetarian Sunday Roast?
Another one of my favourite ingredients is dried porcini mushrooms (also known as ceps). The deep, nutty flavour of porcini is hard to beat, but in this roast, it’s also about the tiny bits of texture that rehydrated porcini provide.
Chestnut Mushrooms, on the other hand, are used for moisture. Whilst they are fried in the pan to dehydrate them a little bit, they give this Vegetarian Roast a lovely moist texture that makes it easier to cut without it crumbling.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- green lentils: we used fried lentils, that we cooked from scratch, but tinned drained green lentils will work in this vegetarian Sunday roast too.
- chestnut mushrooms: can be replaced with your basic closed-cup mushrooms.
- dried porcini mushrooms: an absolute must in this vegetarian roast recipe, both for the flavour and the texture.
- breadcrumbs: use fresh breadcrumbs made with stale bread, panko breadcrumbs or your regular shop-bought breadcrumbs. Note though, that dried breadcrumbs will absorb more moisture, so you may need some extra gravy with your Meat-free Christmas dinner.
- brown onion: can be replaced with red onion, white onion or a couple of small shallots.
- Cheddar cheese: choose sharp mature Cheddar.
- soy sauce: light or dark.
- dried cranberries.
- pistachio kernels: unsalted.
- dried thyme: or other herbs like rosemary, oregano or a mixture.
- butter: we used unsalted.
Method: How to Make Vegetarian Roast?
Cook green lentils following instructions on a packet. Once cooked, drain and leave to cool down.
In the meantime, pour hot water over dried porcini mushrooms, just enough to submerge and leave for 15-20 minutes for the mushrooms to rehydrate. Then chop them finely.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over low heat. Melt the butter in the pan, then add the onions and sautee for 6-7 minutes until softened. Add the chopped chestnut and porcini mushrooms, a pinch of salt and cook for a further 7-8 minutes until the water has released and evaporated.
In the meantime, chop the cranberries and pistachios roughly. Coarsely grate cheddar cheese.
Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan.
Mash the cooled lentils into a rough paste (if you have a food processor, just blitz them for a few seconds). Add the cheddar, cranberries, pistachios, breadcrumbs, thyme, soy sauce, 2 tablespoon of water and onions & mushroom mixture to a large bowl and mix. It may look a little dry but that’s ok.
Line a small (1.5-2lbs) loaf tin with baking parchment (we highly recommend Bacofoil Baking Parchment)and grease lightly with vegetable oil.
Add the roast mixture to the tin, pressing down into the corners and smoothing out the surface.
Place the roast in the oven for 40-45 min. The top should have browned and the roast should be firm when pressed. Leave the roast to cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
Gently turn the roast out onto a chopping board, let it cool slightly and cut into thick slices.
What To Serve With Vegetarian Roast?
First thing’s first! You have to have gravy! Lots of it! But also this Vegetarian Roast goes beautifully with some cranberry sauce (find our cranberry and grapefruit sauce here). For other delicious Christmas side dishes, have a look at some of our absolute favourites below:
If you’re looking for Christmas side recipes, maybe we can tempt you with some of our favourites below:
- Garlicky Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction
- Balsamic-Glazed Red Cabbage Steaks | A Perfect Christmas Dinner Side
- Hassleback Potatoes
- Mustard Brussels Sprouts
- Slow-Cooker Red Cabbage
Other Christmas Recipes
If you are looking for more ideas to spoil your family and friends with over the festive period, we have a Christmas recipe collection, featuring delicious Christmas-themed foods from around the world, including:
- Christmas Eclairs with Orange Crème Diplomat and Cranberry & Pistachio Topping
- Festive Gammon with Grapefruit Glaze and Cranberry & Grapefruit Sauce
- Gingerbread Cheesecake with Ginger Biscuit Base and Caramel Sauce
- Galette Des Rois with a British Christmas Twist
Vegetarian Roast (Nut Roast With Cranberries)
- Food processor (optional)
- 100 g dried green lentils
- 150 g chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
- 30 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 60 g dried breadcrumbs
- 1 brown onion finely chopped
- 80 g cheddar cheese coarsely grated
- 20 ml soy sauce
- 40 g dried cranberries roughly chopped
- 50 g pistachio kernels roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 20 g butter
- Cook green lentils following instructions on a packet. Once cooked, drain and leave to cool down.
- In the meantime, pour hot water over dried porcini mushrooms, just enough to submerge and leave for 15-20 minutes for the mushrooms to rehydrate. Then chop them finely.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan over low heat. Melt the butter in the pan, then add the onions and sautee for 6-7 minutes until softened. Add the chopped chestnut and porcini mushrooms, a pinch of salt and cook for a further 7-8 minutes until the water has released and evaporated.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan.
- Mash the cooled lentils into a rough paste (if you have a food processor, just blitz them for a few seconds). Add the cheddar, cranberries, pistachios, breadcrumbs, thyme, soy sauce, 2 tablespoon of water, onion & mushroom mixture to a large bowl and mix. It may look a little dry but that's ok.
- Line a small loaf tin with baking parchment and grease lightly with vegetable oil.
- Add the roast mixture to the tin, pressing down into the corners and smoothing out the surface.
- Place the roast in the oven for 40-45 min. The top should have browned and the roast should be firm when pressed. Leave the roast to cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
- Gently turn the roast out onto a chopping board, let it cool slightly and scut into thick slices.
- Serve the roast with lots of gravy and all your favourite vegetables.
This vegetarian roast is truly satisfying. All of the ingredients come together to make a truly hearty meal.
Thanks for much for the feedback, Mairead! Glad you liked it 🙂
I could eat this roast every day… any day really. Love all the ingredients used here!
🧡 Thank you!
This roast is packed full of my favourite flavours. Can’t beat the crunch of pistachios with juicy cranberries.
Yes! Pistachios and cranberries are our absolute favourite Christmas flavour combination! 🙂
I am saving this recipe for later – once I have enough cranberries. It’s definitely high on my to-try list now!
Thanks, Dionne! Let us know if you make it – would love to hear your feedback! 🙂
I started making nut roasts for my vegan family members last year for Christmas and I must admit I’m impressed with the taste. I would love to try my hand at your version because it looks so inviting.
I really hope you try this version, maybe you can cook it for your vegetarian family members and friends? But to be honest, I think even meat -eaters will enjoy this recipe 🙂