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.
I had intended to share a nut roast recipe with you guys during this past holiday season. Nut roast is kind of a Christmas thing! But I didn’t get around to it.
Well now Easter is approaching, and lately I’ve been seeing headlines on social media about how people are putting their Christmas lights and watching Christmas movies in an effort to bring some cheer in light of the craziness that’s going on in the world right now. It seemed like a good opportunity to get that nut roast recipe in, so I jumped on it!
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. Nut roasts, from what I understand, are 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.
Recipes for nut roast vary and you might find any number of other ingredients, including rice, pulses, veggies, dried fruit, and seasonings.
What Does Nut Roast Taste Like?
Nut roast is savory and (surprise!) nutty. For those wondering, it does not generally taste like meat.The specific flavors depend on what you put into your nut 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.
How to Make Nut Roast
My nut roast recipe includes mushrooms and veggies, which need to be precooked before blending and baking.
Start by cooking the mushrooms. 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.
Take the mushrooms out of the skillet and add some veggies: carrots, onion, and celery. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes until they start to soften up. Add some garlic and cook everything for a minute more.
Return the mushrooms to the skillet and add some 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 some 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.
Transfer the entire mixture to an oiled loaf pan. 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 smothered with vegan gravy.
Nut Roast Tips & FAQ
- Nut roast is pretty delicate, and slicing can be tricky! It will hold together best if you let it sit for a bit before serving, or even make it a day in advance.
- Can this roast be made gluten-free? Yup! Just use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.
- 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.
- Can I substitute a different variety of nut/seed? Probably! But keep in mind that walnuts, pecans, and sunflower seeds are all relatively soft. I wouldn’t recommend using something harder, like almonds. Pecans, brazil nuts, or pine nuts would all probably work well.
Savory Vegan Nut Roast
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.
- 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
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/4 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.