The perfect vegetarian christmas nut roast

Struggling with an idea for a vegetarian Christmas dinner? This tasty nut roast served with delicious plum sauce could be the answer to your Christmas dinner prayers. It's so good, you may just find yourself making it next year and the year after...

Chestnut and mushroom roast with plum sauce

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes

(Serves 6)


  • 4 oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 350g (12oz) mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 55g (2oz) ready-to-eat prunes, chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon and juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 250g (9oz) can peeled cooked chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 175g (6oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 dessert apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated

For the plum sauce:

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 4 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
  • 200ml (7fl oz) red wine
  • 6 large, firm red plums, halved, stoned and sliced crossways


  1. Melt half the butter in a large saucepan. Add the bay leaves, garlic, onion and celery. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, prunes, lemon zest, juice and seasoning, then cook, uncovered for about 20 minutes. Stir frequently until the mushrooms are reduced and the mixture is moist.
  2. Stir in the brandy and boil for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and mix in the chestnuts, parsley, thyme and half the breadcrumbs. Adjust the seasoning then remove the bay leaves, mix in the egg and set aside.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan and cook the leek, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, then add the apple and remaining breadcrumbs.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) and line and grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin. Place half the mushroom mix in the tin. Put the leek mix on top and add the remaining mushroom mix, pressing each layer down well. Cover with lightly oiled foil and bake for 1 hour, until the mixture is slightly risen and spongy to the touch. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes. Set aside for 15 minutes.

For the sauce:

  1. Put the orange zest and juice, redcurrant jelly and wine in a small pan and heat, stirring, until the jelly has melted. Boil for 2-3 minutes to reduce by about a third. Reduce to a simmer and add the plums.
  2. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until tender, then remove the pan from the heat. Turn the loaf out, cut into slices and serve with the sauce.
Nutrients per serving
  • Calories 337
  • Carbohydrate 48g (of which sugars 21g)
  • Protein 7g
  • Fat 10g (including saturated fat 5g)
  • Fibre 5g
  • Vitamins B6

Need dessert inspiration? Try this BBC good food Christmas pudding recipe, for a great end to your Christmas meal.
Top image via: Zero Waste Week