Perfect Vegetarian Nut Roast (fool-proof recipe)
HurryTheFoodUp is reader-powered. If you click through using links on our site we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
A vegetarian christmas dinner classic, the humble nut roast has at times gotten a bad rep over the years for supposedly being bland and dense. Unfairly so, if you ask me!
While some people may balk at the prospect of no turkey with your Christmas roast, I think a delicious, moist, flavorful nut loaf is an absolute treat and the perfect meat-free centre piece!
What is a nut roast, first of all? If you haven’t had one before, imagine a vegetarian meat loaf, made with a nut mixture, legumes, vegetable stock and fresh herbs, baked in a loaf tin and served in slices.
There are a million different ways to make a nut roast depending on the flavor combination / texture that you are after. This nut roast contains cashews and peanuts and is flavored with oregano, thyme, parsley and basil. It’s my absolute favorite to whip out on special occasions.
The other great thing about nut roasts is that they are super easy to put together. A few ingredients have to go in the food processor or be gently fried, but after that it’s mostly just a case of mixing everything together, whacking it in a tin, and baking. Simple as anything!
I love the rich flavor of cashew nuts and think they work super well in nut roast. However, they can be quite expensive, so feel free to swap them out for a different kind of nut, if that works better for you!
One of my favorite silly fun facts is that peanuts aren’t technically nuts, they are legumes like beans and lentils! However, in culinary terms they are used as nuts. For this recipe, you can use plain roasted peanuts or shake it up a bit and use a bag of spiced peanuts.
Bread crumbs help to bulk out the roast and absorb the flavors. I would recommend making bread crumbs from stale bread and most shop-bought bread crumbs will be too fine.
Eggs play the important role of binding the nut roast together. If you are vegan, you can use flax eggs or chia eggs instead.
Vegetable stock adds flavor and moisture to the dish. For this recipe, you can either mix the stock with water, or, if you have it, with marmite! Marmite adds an extra kick of umami.
I use oregano, parsley, basil and thyme to season this nut roast. Fresh is always best, but dried works well too of course!
I like to stir in a bit of cheddar to add a bit of tang and some gooey goodness. You are welcome to use a different type of cheese if you have a preference, but I would recommend sticking to hard/semi-hard cheeses and steering clear of soft cheese like brie or mozzarella.
How many calories are in this nut roast?
This nut roast contains 443 calories per serving, and it contains 19g protein per serving.
Here’s a quick overview of the nutritional data:
I’m not too fussed about the health benefits with this one – it’s the holiday season, I’m here to indulge in good food! So, while I haven’t monitored the macros as closely as usual, this is by no means an unhealthy dish! Especially compared with traditional meat based Christmas dishes.
For starters, nuts are super good for you and a great addition to any diet. Secondly, there is a solid amount of protein (19g) and fibre (5g) in each serving of this dish.
How to make the best nut roast
- Grind: crush the nuts either by hand or in a food processor. If making the breadcrumbs, process them now too. Mix nuts and breadcrumbs together in a large bowl. If crushing by hand, you can use the bottom of a glass bottle to crush the nuts in a bowl.
- Fry: Dice the onions, then fry them over a medium heat in a generous amount of olive oil. Add to the nut/breadcrumb mix.
- Add: Combine the rest of the ingredients (eggs, herbs, cheese, vegetable broth, garlic) and mix well.
- Rest: Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
- Roll: Roll it into a cylinder and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, or press into a prepared loaf tin. Cook for 40 minutes (check it at 30 minutes, to avoid it drying out!).
Got questions? I’ve got answers!
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes! You can make the nut roast mix on Christmas eve and store it in the fridge, to cook the next day. This is a great alternative to cooking everything on the day, as it frees up more time to enjoy yourself outside the kitchen on the big day!
How do I store and reheat this nut roast?
Leftover nut roast can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes! You can also cut it into individual slices and freeze those for up to a month.
What to serve with a vegetarian nut roast?
Tomato sauce or gravy are great drizzled over a nut roast. All your traditional Christmas side dishes go well with nut roast too – cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding!
What does a nut roast contain?
Nut roasts usually have a base of nuts, legumes, bread crumbs and sometimes mushrooms. They are seasoned with fresh or dry herbs and usually onion and garlic.
Are nut roasts healthy?
Depends on what you put in it! Most nut roasts are somewhat healthy because they are made with primarily whole food ingredients. They can be quite high in fat, because of the fat content of nuts.
However, nuts come with a whole host of other health benefits, so you could say it balances out! Either way, it’s Christmas – no need to sweat it too much!
What do you eat with a nut roast?
Normal Christmas sides (the vegetarian ones!). Gravy, roasted root vegetables, stuffing, brussell sprouts, cranberry sauce. Some people like to spread tomato paste on top of their nut roast, or prepare a smoky tomato sauce to drizzle over it.
Nut roast variations and alternatives
This roast can be made gluten-free if you use gluten-free bread for the breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you could use oats or ground almonds!
You can also switch up the ingredients – why not try pumpkin seeds or brazil nuts? Or give chestnut mushrooms or red lentils a go? If you try anything out, let me know what the best results you came up with were in the comments!
What our readers are saying
Another excellent recipe from this great team! Thank you. I substituted walnuts because I didn’t have any peanuts and it was really great.Paddy ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
What a fantastic recipe and so easy to make too. We made this yesterday and it is by far the best nut roast/roll we have ever eaten. We made the whole roll, so as there are 2 of us we have enough for 3 meals and as you say we can freeze some.Susie and Martin ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I made this at the weekend and my son said it was the best nut roast ever! He’s taken the leftovers home with him – I made him the big 6 servings just for him 🙂Sue ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
More festive recipes
Check out our vegan christmas recipes, complete with set menus to inspire you! Includes recipes like our crispy brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar , colourful christmas slaw and perfect roast potatoes.
- ¾ cup cashews
- ¾ cup peanuts (roasted or spiced)
- 5 slices wholegrain bread (whole wheat, crumbled; 5 slices = ca. 220g)
- 1 large onion
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ⅕ cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- 1 tsp thyme, dried
- 1 tbsp parsley, dried
- 1 tbsp basil, dried
- 5 oz cheddar cheese (mature cheddar is great)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F.
- Crush or grind the nuts (you can use a food processor to save time) then mix with the breadcrumbs. If you don’t have all the proper equipment (we don’t) then use the end of a glass bottle crush the nuts in a plastic bowl.¾ cup cashews, ¾ cup peanuts, 5 slices wholegrain bread
- Dice then fry the onion in plenty of oil. When the onions have turned clear, add them (and all the oil!) to the mix.1 large onion, 3 tbsp olive oil
- Add in the eggs, crushed or grated garlic, salt, pepper, broth, herbs and grated cheese.2 eggs, 2 cloves garlic, Salt and pepper to taste, ⅕ cup vegetable broth, 1 tsp oregano, dried, 1 tsp thyme, dried, 1 tbsp parsley, dried, 1 tbsp basil, dried, 5 oz cheddar cheese
- Mix again then knead well.
- Let it stand for 15 minutes.
- Roll into a roll shape.
- Place in baking tray and cook for 40 minutes at 180°C (check it after 30 mins, you don’t want it getting too dry).
- Done! Enjoy your veggie replacement.
I hope you have enjoyed making this incredible nut roast and that it made an awesome main dish for your Christmas dinner! It’s one of my favourite ever vegetarian Christmas dinner recipes 🤗
Let me know what you thought in the comments! Nothing better than a delicious easy nut roast to complete a roast dinner!