Looking for a flavorful, vegetarian feast this Christmas? You’ve come to the right place! This delicious Christmas Nut Roast Recipe will delight even the pickiest eater. Packed with festive ingredients like chestnuts, squash, apples, and dried cranberries – it’s easy to make and tastes irresistible. So what do you say? Wanna whip up a veggie masterpiece this holiday season?
Why You’ll Love This Christmas Nut Roast
- It’s easy to make. This Christmas nut roast recipe may have a few steps, but still, it’s easy to make.
- It’s vegetarian. It’s a great vegetarian option for your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. It’s also great for your regular Sunday roast!
- It’s incredibly Delicious. Yep, this butternut nut roast is packed with flavor and will be sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
- You can make it ahead. Best of all, this nut roast can be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to serve.
- It’s a great alternative to turkey. Sometimes, we just don’t want Turkey at Christmas. If that’s you this year, this Christmas Nut Roast Recipe is an excellent alternative to traditional roast beef or turkey.
For more butternut vegetarian recipes, I’ve got plenty more where this came from. If it’s warm and cozy your looking for, then my Roasted Butternut and Carrot Soup is a winner. If you’re craving something a little more hearty, then it’s got to be my Butternut Squash Lentil Stew.
Here’s the list of ingredients you’ll need from the grocery store to make this delicious and nutritious Christmas Nut Roast recipe:
- Nuts and Seeds: I’m using Hazelnuts, cooked chestnuts, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in this recipe as they’re a great flavor and texture combo. Plus, you really can’t get more festive than chestnuts. That said, feel free to use any unsalted nuts and seeds you love to eat.
- Veggies: I use a mix of butternut squash and red onion in this recipe. But vegetables like parsnips, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, and carrots are all great alternatives.
- Fruits: I like to use an apple plus some unsweetened dried cranberries to sweeten what would otherwise be a super-savory dish.
- Garlic: I use two large garlic cloves to boost the flavor of this delicious nut roast. Feel free to add more or less as you’d prefer.
- Herbs and Seasonings: Lots of aromatic herbs are needed to pack flavor into a nut roast. I’ve opted for a mix of dried thyme, parsley, and sage in this recipe, a trio that lights up the dish. But if you have some fresh herbs on hand, they would be a lovely substitution. I also add tamari to season the nut roast. It adds plenty of umami flavor and enhances the salty flavor, so you don’t need to use as much salt.
- Vegetable Stock or Vegetable Broth: Adds moisture to the nut roast so it doesn’t become too dry as it bakes.
- Eggs: Eggs bind the nut roast, so it’s not too crumbly when slicing. Plus, they’re an excellent source of protein.
- Brown Bread: brown bread is processed into breadcrumbs in this recipe using a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use ready-made brown/wholemeal breadcrumbs. Just check the ingredients list to make sure they are natural. If you do have a food processor, you can turn any whole-grain bread into breadcrumbs for this recipe. Something like sourdough or artisan bread would add a fantastic flavor and a good dose of fiber!
- Maple Syrup: Finally, a splash of natural maple syrup for that hit of sweet maple flavor is a fantastic addition to round off the savory umami flavors. If you don’t have maple syrup, you could sub with honey. Or, leave it out altogether if you’re looking for a more savory dish.
How to Make a Christmas Nut Roast: Step-By-Step
Here’s how to make a Christmas Nut Roast in ten illustrated steps:
Take a large sauté pan and dry-toast the hazelnuts for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat, then pour the hazelnuts out onto a plate, and set aside.
Add the olive oil to the empty pan and fry the onion until it softens and starts to crisp.
- Add Garlic
Add the garlic and fry for an additional 1 minute.
- Add Squash
Then, add the butternut squash, thyme, parsley, sage, and vegetable stock to the pan. Turn the heat down and let it simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes until the squash softens.
- Add Apple
Now, add the apple and the to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Food Processor
Add the chestnuts, eggs, and bread to a food processor, along with half the toasted hazelnuts and half the pumpkin seeds. Blitz until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the remaining half of the toasted hazelnuts and pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
Add the sandy wet mixture to the frying pan, along with the dried cranberries, tamari, maple syrup, and the remaining roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts and pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Season with salt and pepper, and give everything a good stir.
- Prepare To Bake
Pour the nut mixture into the prepared loaf tin and press down firmly.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes until golden brown. Once cooked, the nut roast should be firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool for 20-30 minutes, allowing the nut roast to firm up before removing from the tin. Then, slice, serve and enjoy!
Find the recipe card with exact ingredients and full recipe instructions at the bottom of this page. ⇩
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Sweet Potato and Pecan Nut Roast: A tasty alternative to this recipe is to replace the butternut squash with sweet potato and the hazelnuts with pecans. Delicious!
- Vegan Nut Roast: to make this a vegan nut roast, use flax eggs instead of regular eggs.
- Use Different Dried Fruits: I’m using unsweetened dried cranberries for their natural tartness and sweetness. Dried apricots or raisins also taste amazing. Alternatively, skip the fruit altogether if you’d like a more savory nut roast.
- Use Different Winter Vegetables: This easy nut roast recipe is so adaptable you can swap the squash with various veggies. I’ve tried some fab options: Brussels sprouts, bell pepper, mashed parsnip, and cremini mushrooms. But use what you love.
- Toast the nuts: Toasting hazelnuts is a crucial step in making a delicious nut roast. It helps to bring out their flavor. This will really shine through in your baked nut roast.
- Sauté the vegetables: Another important step in making a nut roast is to sauté the vegetables. This helps to soften them up and bring out their flavor.
- Use a variety of nuts: This recipe uses hazelnuts and cooked chestnuts. Using a variety of nuts will give your Christmas Nut Roast more flavor and texture.
- Chunky or finely chopped? I have gone with finely chopped nuts and chunky vegetables in this recipe, so there is a variation of texture, which I love. Generally, chunkier ingredients can cause your nut loaf to crumble a little when slicing. Finely chopped ingredients are more likely to hold together and slice more easily. In both cases, leaving your nut roast to cool slightly before slicing will help it hold together. Do whatever works for you.
- Firmly pack the nut roast mixture: Firmly packing your nut roast mixture into your loaf pan will produce a nut roast that holds together well and slices easily. But this can mash your ingredients together. If you’re looking for a chunky nut roast, simply put your ingredients into the loaf pan more loosely.
What Can I Serve with Christmas Nut Roast?
Whether you’re serving this Nut Roast as part of a weeknight family dinner or as the main event at a festive holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, there are plenty of delicious vegetarian side dishes that accompany it perfectly. Here are just some ideas:
- Crispy Roast Potatoes
- Honey-Roasted Parsnips
- Honey Glazed Carrots with Orange & Cumin
- Roasted New Potatoes with Garlic, Rosemary & Shallots
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Creamy Cauliflower Mash with Thyme
Thinking of making this recipe? Please drop me a note in the comment section and provide a star rating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I ALWAYS LOVE hearing from you.
Printable Recipe Card
Christmas Nut Roast Recipe
If you love this recipe, rate it with 5 stars below!PRINT PIN RATE
- 1 cup (130 g) hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, small dice
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cups (280 g) butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, small dice
- 3 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1½ teaspoons dried parsley
- 1½ teaspoons dried sage
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) vegetable stock
- 1 apple, peeled, small dice
- 1⅔ cup (180 g) cooked chestnuts
- 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, pepitas
- 2 large eggs
- 4 slices brown bread, torn into small pieces
- ½ cup (65 g) dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons tamari sauce, you could also use regular soy sauce, coconut aminos, or Worcestershire sauce.
- 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoons sea salt flakes
- ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- extra hazelnuts, pepitas, cranberries, and fresh thyme.
- Prepare: Preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC/gas mark 5, prepare ingredients, and line and grease a 2 lb (900 g) loaf tin.
- Toast: Take a large frying pan and dry-toast the hazelnuts for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat, then pour the hazelnuts out onto a plate and set aside.
- Fry: Add the olive oil to the empty pan and fry the onion until it softens and starts to crisp. Add the garlic and fry for an additional 1 minute. Then, add the butternut squash, thyme, parsley, sage, and vegetable stock to the pan. Turn the heat down and let it simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes until the squash softens. Now, add the apple and the to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Food Processor: Add the chestnuts, eggs, and bread to a food processor, along with half the toasted hazelnuts and half the pumpkin seeds. Blitz until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Chop: Meanwhile, roughly chop the remaining half of the toasted hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds.
- Combine: Add the wet sand mixture to the frying pan, along with the dried cranberries, tamari, maple syrup, and the roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds. Season with salt and pepper, and give everything a good stir.
- Bake: Tip the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and press down firmly. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes to crisp up. Once cooked, the nut roast should be firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes, allowing the nut roast to firm up before removing it from the tin.
- To Serve: Serve topped with Cranberry Sauce or smother with vegetarian gravy, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.