Vegetable Wellington - Feast on this! | Hurry The Food Up

Vegetable Wellington – Feast on this!

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Vegetarian main course on a festively-decorated table

Well, this is it people – the big one! It’s our main Christmas meal this year – and we’ve held nothing back. With drum rolls a plenty, we’re very proud to present: the vegetable wellington!

With turkeys everywhere, certainly a joint of beef or two and even the odd goose, meat isn’t exactly in short supply at Christmas.

It’s the time of year that can be tough on vegetarians (I still get the odd craving for pigs-in-blankets, but then I read this article on industrial pig farming and remind myself why I don’t eat meat).

When I say a tough time of year, obviously I mean in a food sense. And I think the main reason for that is the lack of alternatives.

When we don’t have decent alternatives for something we like, we do one of the following:

  • skip the ‘missed’ item altogether – for example we eat a Christmas roast, but without the main.
  • eat a poor, packaged replacement we grab off the shelf at the last minute.
  • give in and eat meat.
Main ingredients – spinach, sweet potato, chestnuts, leek, onion and soft cheese
Ingredients being cooked in a frying pan

While none of these are the end of the world, wouldn’t it be great to have something to look forward to for that special occasion that is the equal of, or even better than meat?

The vegetarian wellington is the answer.

What is a Vegetable Wellington?

A vegetable wellington is the vegetarian-friendly version of beef wellington, a popular English dish dating back to the 1800’s (don’t worry we aren’t about to give you a history lesson!).

The wellington is actually very much like a pie. The filling, in our case a flavourful vegetable and chestnut medley, is wrapped in pastry and baked until golden. They are usually shaped like a log which is then sliced up, but you can also make them round or even create multiple mini-wellingtons. 

This dish makes the perfect meatless centrepiece for a big meal around the festive season, or just enjoyed as part of a roast style dinner. It also presents the opportunity for showcasing your pastry skills and wowing guests as you cut into that flaky golden masterpiece at the table 😉

This alternative is here to show that vegetarians no longer get the short straw – indeed, we’re in this for the win.

PS. If you’re looking to go vegetarian, or are already vegetarian and struggling, make sure you check out the 30 Day Veggie Transformation – it’s everything you need to keep you on the right track, and is especially good to help with losing weight!

Rolling the ingredients into puff pastry

Vegetable Wellington – Vegan or Vegetarian?

Vegans, don’t look away yet! This recipe uses only one animal product – a small amount of soft cheese. If that isn’t your thing, simply don’t add it. The wellington still tastes GREAT. We’ve tried it. Several times.

And of course, the veggie wellington isn’t just for Christmas – it’s perfect for any occasion where you want to replace a cut of meat with a hearty vegetarian or vegan alternative.

The Health Benefits of Chestnuts

A firm festive favourite, chestnuts appear in a number of forms around Christmas – including the filling of our veggie wellington. The great news is not only do they taste fantastic, chestnuts actually pack some health benefits too!

For their size:

  • Chestnuts are high in vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, copper and some important amino acids.
  • They have a relatively high fiber content, which helps to control your blood sugar level and aids digestive health.
  • They contain high levels of healthy fats like linoleic acid, but as a whole are actually one of the lower-fat types of nut.
  • They contain a higher amount of complex rather than simple carbohydrates – this provides a more sustained release of energy, helping to avoid those highs and lows you get with simple carbs.

If you want to know more check out this article on the health benefits of eating chestnuts.

It’s not just the chestnuts adding a health kick to our vegetarian wellington recipe. You can learn about the health benefits of sweet potatoes here or visit this article for the health benefits and nutritional value of spinach.

Vegetarian wellington on a christmas table

Vegetable Wellington FAQ’s

If you’re new to the world of the wellington hopefully these FAQ’s answer any questions you might have. If not, just let us know in the comments section.

Can you freeze vegetable wellingtons?

Yes, this recipe freezes well. The best way to freeze it is to cook all the ingredients and then place them in the pastry as usual. Then freeze. Then when you get it back out of the freezer the pastry will cook ‘fresh’ and the insides will be hot again too. Just let it defrost for an hour or two first.

Can this be made vegan?

You can definitely use this recipe to make a delicious vegan wellington! Simply omit the soft cheese in the recipe and make sure you choose a vegan puff pastry – you may be surprised how many brands of puff pastry contain no eggs or dairy. 

Can I swap out the chestnuts?

As festive as chestnuts are, they aren’t everybody’s favourite nut and can sometimes be tricky to find. Whilst we’ve not tried it ourselves, mushrooms are likely the best substitution. Or if you’re not a fan of mushrooms, you could experiment with tofu or chopped nuts instead.

What should I serve with a veggie wellington?

If you’re making this dish in place of meat for a Christmas or roast dinner then you’ll be pleased to know that this recipe works beautifully with traditional sides like potatoes, vegetables and (veggie) stuffing. Why not check out our recipes for Honey Glazed Carrots and Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic which make perfect festive side dishes?

What sauces would you serve this with?

We would suggest serving with a vegetarian gravy, or you could also serve it up with something traditionally festive like cranberry sauce.

Puff pastry on a silver tray close up

What our Readers are Saying

Tried this recipe last Christmas and it was gorgeous. Actually made it as well as a normal beef Wellington and they complement each other brilliantly.

Vicky ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I made this last Christmas and my adult vegetarian daughter has been begging me to make it all year. I held out, making this a greatly anticipated classic.

Cathleen

Pastry cut open to show fillings

This vegetable wellington recipe has been lovingly developed and practised many times over the last few weeks, and we’re very pleased to put it out there.

As it’s Christmas, I’m off to work on my veggie pigs-in-blankets. Dates wrapped in aubergine haven’t quite cut it – yet. But I’ll get there.

Have a great Christmas!

Vegetable Wellington - Feast on this! - vegetable wellington christmas edition #vegetarian #Christmas | hurrythefoodup.com
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4.92 from 12 votes

Vegetable Wellington

This veggie wellington alternative to the meat main course is not here to compete, it’s here to win. This is the future.
Course Mains
Cuisine British
Time 1 hour
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Calories 776kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 ½ cups chestnuts (cooked and peeled)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp thyme, fresh (1 tbsp dried)
  • 2 clove garlic (diced)
  • 150 g salad cheese (a soft cow’s milk cheese, a little like feta. If you can’t find it, use feta instead)
  • 600 g puff pastry (2 large sheets)

Instructions 

  • Chop the leek and onion finely and fry softly in butter. While they’re cooking, dice the sweet potato and then add to the pan after five minutes, along with the garlic and thyme. Cook gently for another five minutes. Crush the chestnuts with a fork or masher and also add to the pan. Cook for another two minutes. Finally, add the spinach and turn off the heat, stirring often.
  • After it’s cooled a little, crumble the soft cheese into the mixture.
  • Pour the cooled mixture into cling-wrap into a ‘log’ shape (one for each sheet of pastry).
  • Wrap tightly and let cool in the fridge for an hour.
  • Lay out your puff pastry and roll the filling into the middle.
  • Use a brush a little water onto the edges of the pasty as you fold it together, then use a fork to squish the edges together.
  • Cut off any leftover pastry into festive shapes and add to the wellingtons.
  • Bake for 35 mins on 180°C/360°F 🙂

Notes

If you enjoyed this, make sure you check out the rest of our Christmas collection. With everything from mulled wine to THE perfect potatoes, you’re in good hands.
NOTE: the nutritional information supplied uses all ingredients and feta cheese 🙂

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegetable Wellington
Amount Per Serving
Calories 776 Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Fat 48g74%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 595mg26%
Potassium 500mg14%
Carbohydrates 75g25%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 6873IU137%
Vitamin C 25mg30%
Calcium 185mg19%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Dave

From the UK to Germany with many stops along the way. Food without meat is the best type of food. And I plan to share it!

This article has been medically reviewed by James Bell

Healthy, nutritious and absurdly tasty food? That’s what I’m all about. I love recipes which are full of flavour but are good for you too. My job in family medicine led me to become a nutrition professional as well, with an aim to get people healthier just by the food they eat.

32 comments

  1. Are you able to make it so your recipes can be pinned? I’m able to save you as someone to follow on Pinterest but I’m not able to save this for future.
    I can’t wait to try your recipes!

    • Hi Sarah! Our recipes should be able to be pinned (I just tested a couple and they’re working fine). Could it be a browser blocker, perhaps? What happens when you try to pin at the moment? Thanks!

  2. Hi What temperature should the oven be?
    thanks

  3. Hi, wanting to make this for Christmas meal, have you tried freezing or making in advance please?

    • Hi Jane! I haven’t actually tried freezing it myself yet, but that’s a very good question, and I will. I think the best way to do it would be to cook all the ingredients and then place them in the pastry as usual. Then freeze. Then when you get it back out of the freezer the pastry will cook ‘fresh’ and the insides will be hot again too. I will definitely try this myself in advance, thanks for the question!

  4. This recipe looks great! I don’t think I’ll be able to find chestnuts where I live. Any suggestions for a substitution?

    • Hi Jenny! Glad you like the look. If you can’t get hold of chestnuts (more and more places seem to sell them pre-cooked and vacuum packed these days) then I’d use another nut like walnut – chopped up. That would fit nicely. You could also try some smoked tofu – I haven’t tried it myself but I bet the flavour fits well!

  5. SALLY TURBERVILLE

    Hi there, it says roll into ‘a log shapes’ – is this meant to create 2 separate wellingtons with the 2 sheets of pastry??

    • Hi Sally, well spotted! Yes, these ingredients are to make two wellingtons – making about six servings. I’ll update that now! Enjoy!

      • 5 stars
        Thankyou!! I didn’t see the reply in time and it actually worked well as one wellington – joining 2 sheets of pastry together – a hit and will definitely make again :0)

  6. Does anyone have a tasty and easy sauce recipe to go with this please?

    • I normally just serve it with vegetarian gravy, but I don’t have a recipe – yet! Will keep my eyes peeled and share as soon as I do 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe last Christmas and it was gorgeous. Actually made it as well as a normal beef Wellington and they complement each other brilliantly Did you ever try freezing it?

  8. I made this last Christmas and my adult vegetarian daughter has been begging me to make it all year. I held out, making this a greatly anticipated classic. I used chopped walnuts as moldy pre packaged chestnuts are a big “no go”.

  9. I just made this but added cranberries, chilli flakes and chestnut mushrooms too. I’ll serve it with red onion gravy. I also roasted my sweet potato first. Can’t wait to have it tomorrow.

  10. 5 stars
    I don’t think that we can’t eat starfish. But really tasty! Thank you for your detailed recipe. It’s very tasty and good for health. It includes all vegetables that I like, especially sweet potatoes. The crispy crust. I will try to make some other shapes.

  11. HI getting ready for Canadian Thanksgiving 2020 can you make just the filling in advance and leave in the refrigerator for a few days? We’re all under pandemic restrictions so I want to make something special for the vegetarian in our family (and the rest of us will be thankful for it as well as we’re all trying to eat more veggie based proteins). Many thanks

    • Hi Susan! The best thing to do would be to freeze it in the pastry (still uncooked) and then when you’re ready to cook, let it defrost for a couple of hours beforehand. Then cook in the oven as normal. Enjoy Canadian Thanksgiving!

  12. You recently shared a Vegan Wellington with totally different ingredients, now I’m torn. Which one do you find tastier? Originally I was going to substitute vegan feta for the cheese, Or just splurge for the holiday and use the real cheese.

  13. 5 stars
    First attempt at making a Wellington. This turned out wonderful. We did not have leeks or chestnuts. But we used lentils to bulk it out. Served with gravy! Can’t wait to make again and try different fillings!

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