This Nut Roast en Croûte is perfect for Christmas dinner. My take on the classic nut roast is packed with toasted nuts, squash, mushrooms, and festive herbs, all encased in a shortcrust pastry. This is a great showstopper dish that will no doubt impress your vegetarian guests.
This is exactly what we have for Christmas lunch, everyone loves it. It’s packed with all the flavours of Christmas and all the flavours of a classic nut roast, we’ve just elevated it a bit! Packed with toasted nuts, mushrooms, squash, and feta this nut roast en croûte is packed with flavour.
For Christmas lunch, we serve this with all the trimmings. A good cranberry sauce is also on the cards as it actually goes really great with a slice of this nut roast as is a good vegetarian gravy. For St. Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day we will have this nut roast cold with some good red onion chutney. Christmas sorted!
Ingredients for Nut Roast en Croûte
- Nuts – I use a mixture of nuts including walnuts, almonds, and cashews. I find that the cashews add a little sweetness and creaminess however you could use any nuts here. Pistachios and brazil nuts would work very well too. I also add chestnuts to the filling.
- Mushrooms – I use chestnut mushrooms for this but you could add in some wild mushrooms too if you like.
- Vegetables – Carrots and butternut squash are perfect in this nut loaf. I like these to be chopped up a little on the rustic side, however, I have also chopped everything quite fine and that works very well too.
- Herbs – For the herbs, well it has to be rosemary and sage to get those Christmas flavours. I also add dried oregano.
- Feta – The creaminess that feta brings to this nut roast is perfect, so I wouldn’t recommend leaving it out.
- Pastry – The nut roast is encased in shortcrust pastry then baked until golden brown. I use a ready-made ready rolled pastry, you can make your own pastry if you wish but it’s Christmas, it’s busy and I don’t have time for that. I make no apologies for making my life easier.
How to Make this Nut Loaf
Cook the veggies – Heat oil in a large sauté pan, add the onion and carrot and cook until soft. Then add the mushrooms, butternut squash, and salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Next, add the garlic and herbs and crumble in the chestnuts. Cook for about 5 minutes then take it off the heat and leave to cool.
- Toast the nuts – While the veggies are cooking toast the nuts in a large frying pan for about 5 minutes. Once you see them browning remove from the heat.
- Blitz the nuts – Add the toasted nuts to a food processor and blitz until they are a rough crumble.
- Combine the filling – Add the nuts to the squash and mushroom pan. Then add the breadcrumbs and egg to the mixture and mix well, finally add the feta and mix again.
- Making the nut roast en Croute – Unroll the pastry then roll it out a little more. Place the mixture onto the pastry and using your hands shape it into a sausage shape leaving room on the edges of the pastry.
- Finishing touches – Fold over the pastry, then fold up the edges. Turn the en croûte upside down onto the baking tray.
Now is the time to add any pastry decorations you wish to add or to patch up any rips or holes in the pastry. Brush the pastry with milk then place it on the middle shelf in the oven and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, turning the tray around halfway through cooking.
Top Tips for Making the Best Nut Roast en Croûte
- Leave the filling to cool – if the filling is too warm it will start to melt the pastry and make it difficult to work with.
- Have cold hands – when wrapping the pastry around the nut roast it is important to have cold hands. I seem to always have warm hands so I run the cold tap over my hands until they cool down a bit before working with any pastry.
- Buy the pastry – Christmas is a busy time so I recommend buying a pre-rolled pastry. It will save you so much time and energy!
- Nuts – this recipe is very adaptable, you can use most nuts in this so feel free to use your favourites.
- Milk wash – If you want a golden brown nut roast en croûte then be generous with the milk wash. You can sub the milk for an egg wash if you wish.
- Have extra pastry – cracking and splitting happens, I always keep some extra pastry to patch up any splits. It’s also nice to decorate the nut roast too.
Can I Freeze this Nut Roast? Yes, you can freeze this nut roast. You can freeze it before you cook it if you want. You will need to freeze it on a tray for about an hour first then transfer to a freezer-friendly container and it will keep for up to a month. Defrost completely the night before cooking. Please note that the consistency may alter slightly if you do freeze this.
Can I Make the Ahead of Time? Yes, you can make the filling a day ahead of time, just keep it covered in the fridge. You can make the entire dish a day or two ahead and cook it then reheat it in the oven until the centre is piping hot.
How Long will this Keep? This will keep for up to 4 days. Leave it to cool then transfer to the fridge. Reheat it in the oven, you may want to cover the pastry in foil first. Heat until the filling is piping hot.
What to Serve with this Nut Roast en Croûte
If we have this Nut Roast en Croûte for Christmas dinner then I will serve it with all the trimmings. This will include roast potatoes, honey roasted carrots and parsnips, Brussels sprouts and gravy. This dish is really great cold the next day too, so I serve it buffet style with chutney and any other leftover veggies.
More Festive Vegetarian Recipes:
- Vegetarian Sausage Rolls
- A Warm Winter Salad of Roasted Kalettes and Stilton
- Puff Pastry Mince Pie Squares
- Stuffed Squash
- Mushroom Quiche
Did you make this Nut Roast en Croûte recipe? Rate it and leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
Nut Roast en Croûte
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion (200g) finely chopped
- 2 carrots (230g) peeled and finely chopped
- 200 g chestnut mushrooms wiped clean and finely chopped
- 400 g butternut squash cut into small cubes
- 3 fat cloves of garlic minced
- 1 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
- 150 g mixed nuts I used walnuts, almonds and cashews
- 1 x 180g pack of roasted chestnuts
- 1 large egg
- 80 g feta cheese
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 small slices of white bread turned into breadcrumbs in a food processor
- 1 x 320g roll of ready rolled shortcrust pastry + more for any decorations or patching up
- 3 or 4 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 200/180 degrees 392F. I use a fan assisted electric oven please adjust temperatures according to your own oven.Lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil.
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, add the onion and carrot and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft, at least 10 minutes.Then add the mushrooms, butternut squash and salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Now add the garlic and herbs and crumble in the chestnuts. Cook for about 5 minutes then take it off the heat and leave to cool.
- While that mixture is cooking toast the nuts in a large frying pan for about 5 minutes. Once you see them browning remove from the heat then add to a food processor and blitz until they are a rough crumble. Add the nuts to the squash and mushroom pan.Next, add the breadcrumbs and egg to the mixture and mix well, then add the feta and mix again.
- Unroll your pastry, then using a rolling pin roll it out a little more.Place the nut and veggie mixture onto the pastry and using your hands shape it into a sausage shape, leaving room along the edges, enough room for the pastry to fold over. Please see the photo.
- Fold the pastry over the filling, then fold up the ends. Turn the en croûte upside down onto the baking tray.Now is the time to add any pastry decorations you wish to add or to patch up any rips or holes in the pastry.
- Brush the pastry with the milk then place on the middle shelf in the oven and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, turning the tray around halfway through cooking.Once the pastry is golden brown all over then remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before removing from the tray.
- Serve straight away with all the trimmings.
- Pastry - I use a pre-rolled ready-made shortcrust pastry. Cold hands are essential when handling pastry if you're like me and have warm hands then rinse your hands under the cold tap for a few minutes.
- Nuts - I use a mixture of my favourite nuts, you can change them up if you wish. Just remember to keep the quantity the same.
- Test Run - Please do a test run of this beforehand if you are planning to have it for Christmas dinner. Just to make sure you like it.
- Can I make it ahead - You can make the filling a day ahead of time, just keep it covered in the fridge.
- Can I make this vegan? This can easily be made vegan. Omit the cheese, use your favourite vegan shortcrust pastry. Use a flax egg to bind the mixture and use plant milk to glaze the pastry.
- Freezing/Storing - This nut roast en croûte is suitable for freezing. You can freeze it before you cook it if you wish. You will need to freeze it on a tray for about an hour first then transfer to a freezer-friendly container. It will keep for up to a month. Defrost completely the night before cooking. Please note that the consistency may alter slightly if you do freeze this.
- Nutrition - Nutritional information is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It is based on one serving.
*This recipe was first published on December 18, 2018. It has now been updated with a step by step guide, expert tips and nutritional information.