This easy Nut Roast is a delicious and hearty vegetarian or vegan main to serve at your next holiday gathering! The lentil and nut loaf is a meat-free meatloaf that's full of flavors and textures. You'll love serving it sliced with gravy.
Nut roast (aka nut loaf) is a traditional meat-free dish usually served during the holidays. It's a perfect veggie (or vegan) option for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or you can serve it up any night of the week!
It is made with nuts, vegetables, and herbs and baked to perfection.
We love serving the nut loaf with a side of vegetables or potatoes. It also freezes really well, so I often make it ahead of time, or an extra batch for the freezer.
What makes nut roast so special is that it is packed with nutrients and flavor! The nuts and vegetables give the roast a nutty and earthy flavor, while the herbs add a touch of sweetness. It is also very filling and satisfying, making it the perfect dish to enjoy during the colder months.
The mix of mushrooms, nuts and lentils gives this vegetarian meatloaf a wonderful texture, while the herbs give it a great flavor.
If you are looking for a show-stopping vegetarian dish to make for your next Christmas or Thanksgiving feast, give this nut loaf a try! This nut roast is also easily vegan.
Are you looking for more holiday main dishes? Try Mushroom Wellington, Portobello Mushroom Steaks, Onion Tarte Tatin, Stuffed Butternut Squash, Creamy Brussels Sprout Filo Pie, or Vegan Shepherds Pie.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Nut Roast is easy to make and can be made ahead of time during the busy holiday season.
This nut loaf is packed with nutrients and healthy fiber.
You can customize the types of nuts and seasonings to make it your own.
It's perfect for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!
This nut roast is easily vegan with just a few simple swaps (detailed below).
- Vegetables - A mix of celery, onion, garlic, and mushrooms all come together to add texture to the loaf along with nutrients and aromatic flavor.
- Mixed Nuts - You can use any nuts you enjoy for this recipe including walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds.
- Olive Oil - Used to help toast the nuts in a skillet along with the mushrooms to get them to the proper texture.
- Dried Seasonings - You'll need smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, sage, salt, and pepper to properly season the loaf and to add savory herb flavor.
- Vegetable Stock - The stock helps the loaf mixture to be moistened enough to be poured into a loaf pan while adding lots of flavor.
- Red Lentils - Adds additional binding texture along with thickness, protein, and fiber.
- Tomato Puree - Adds a layer of natural acidic tomato flavor.
- Eggs - Helps bind the nut loaf together so it sets properly while baking. Vegan: swap to flax 'eggs' (see below).
- Dried Breadcrumbs - Helps bind the ingredients together while giving it a bread-like texture.
- Grated Cheddar - Adds a cheesy flavor throughout. Vegan: leave out or swap to vegan cheddar (store-bought or homemade vegan cheddar).
Please see the recipe card below for quantities.
Wondering how to make this Nut Roast recipe? It's easy! Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare for baking: Heat the oven to 180C. Line a 1.5-liter/2lbs/8-inch x 5-inch x 4-inch loaf pan with baking parchment paper. Set aside.
Process the nuts and vegetables: Quarter the onion and chop the celery into a few smaller pieces. Add them to the food processor along with the nuts and pulse to chop it all finely. Pour it into a bowl. Add the mushrooms to the food processor (no need to clean it first) and pulse a few times to chop finely.
TIP: If you don't have a food processor, you can chop it all very finely by hand with a knife.
Cook the nuts and vegetables: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, stir in the chopped nuts mixture and mushrooms, and cook for 7 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the minced garlic, paprika, oregano, thyme, and sage, and cook for an additional minute.
Simmer the vegetables and lentils: Stir in the vegetable stock, lentils, and tomato puree and bring to a boil. Next, you'll need to reduce the heat to low, cover it with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are soft. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Assemble the nut loaf: Once the mixture is cool, stir in the beaten eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, and pepper, and mix well. It should be a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread it evenly to the edges, and press it down gently.
Cook, cool, and slice: Cover the pan with foil, place in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes or until set. Allow the nut roast to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before turning it out and slicing.
If you don't have a food processor, you can finely chop all the ingredients by hand. Just be sure to chop the nuts very finely, so they don't overpower the loaf.
When you're cooking the broth with lentils, stir it often, so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom of your pan. If necessary, you can add a little more water to ensure the lentils are soft.
Your nut loaf is fully cooked when you insert a skewer and it comes out clean.
Let your nut roast cool for at least 15 minutes after baking, because slicing it while still hot may cause it to crumble and not properly set. You can make it the day before, slice it and then just heat the slices before serving (in the oven or in a frying pan).
You can serve this recipe at a holiday meal alongside a batch of Vegan Mashed Potatoes.
Pair your nut roast with a Brussels Sprouts Christmas Tree at a Christmas feast.
Instead of using vegetable stock, you can use mushroom stock to concentrate the flavor.
To make this recipe vegan, replace the cheese with nutritional yeast, or vegan cheddar, and replace the eggs with flax or chia eggs.
Use different types of vegetables in this roast, including sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, or squash.
Add dried fruit to the nut roast, including raisins, cranberries, or diced apricots for a light sweet flavor.
This nut loaf can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs. Be sure to check the rest of your ingredients for any wheat.
Leftover nut roast can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
To freeze, allow the nut roast to cool completely and slice it into individual serving slices. Wrap each serving tightly in cling film and place in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat, place nut roast slices on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated for about 15 minutes. Reheat in the air fryer for 10 minutes at 400F. Reheat in a frying pan with a little oil or butter until golden on each side.
Yes, nut roast can be made a day or two in advance. Simply assemble as instructed store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking.
Yes, nut roast can be eaten cold and makes a great addition to a picnic or packed lunch. If you’re taking it to go, slice the nut roast before packing so it’s easy to eat on the go.
This depends on the type of diet you follow. Nut roast is a good source of protein and fiber and is lower in saturated fat than many types of meat.
More Vegetarian Holiday Side Dishes
- Vegan Stuffing with Sage
- Green Beans Almondine
- Vichy Carrots (Carottes à la Vichy)
- Mashed Celeriac (Celery Root)
- Swede and Carrot Mash
- Fried Potatoes and Onions
- 1 onion
- 1 cup celery
- 9 ounces mushrooms (250g) any variety: button, chestnut etc..
- 1 cup mixed nuts (150g)walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds etc...
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable stock (300ml)
- ½ cup red lentils (100g)
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
vegan replacement: 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 9 tablespoons water and let sit for 5 minutes
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs (100g)
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (100g)
vegan replacement: omit, or use vegan cheddar or 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a 1.5 litre/2lbs/9x5-inch loaf pan with baking parchment paper.
- Quarter the onion and chop the celery into a few smaller pieces.
- Add them to the food processor along with the nuts and pulse to chop it all finely. Pour it into a bowl.
- Add the mushrooms to the food processor (no need to clean it first) and pulse a few times to chop finely.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then stir in the chopped nuts mixture and mushrooms, and cook for 7 minutes, stirring often.
- Stir in the minced garlic, paprika, oregano, thyme, and sage and cook for a further minute.
- Stir in the vegetable stock, lentils and tomato puree and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are soft - be sure to stir it often so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. TIP: If necessary, add a little more water to ensure the lentils are soft.
- Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
- When the mixture is cool, stir in the beaten eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt and pepper, and mix well. It should be a thick paste.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread it evenly to the edges and press it down gently.
- Cover the pan with foil, place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes or until set.
- Allow the nut roast to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before turning it out and slicing.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.