This juicy chestnut roast recipe makes a stunning vegan centrepiece for your Christmas dinner. Moist, festive and deeply delicious - perfect with gravy and all the trimmings!
🍽 Why you will love this recipe
These pretty individual nut roasts are just perfect for Christmas dinner. That's partly because they are moist, juicy and packed with festive flavours, but also because they are prepared a day ahead, so you just need to pop them in the oven on the big day, with no stress in the kitchen.
The roasts are actually based on a mushroom risotto mixture. Nut roasts can be dry and claggy, and are often packed with eggs and cheese to moisten them. But these little vegan chestnut roasts are so juicy and full of flavour, complemented by the earthy chestnuts.
You can also make up a batch to freeze, then just pop one or two in the oven when you want a speedy roast dinner.
📝 What you need
Chestnuts This recipe uses pre-cooked chestnuts, and the easiest way to buy those is a packet as pictured above. These are not sweetened in any way so perfect for this festive roast.
Porcini Mushrooms These dried mushrooms are packed with deeply savoury umami flavours. Any dried mushrooms will do if you can't find porcini - you can often find mixed dried mushrooms in supermarkets.
Fresh mushrooms Any variety will do, they are chopped so small there's no need to buy anything fancy. I like to use chestnut or flat cap mushrooms as they have dark gills which give a deeper brown colour to the roast.
White wine adds a lovely oomph to the risotto base, but if you prefer to leave it out just add more stock or water instead.
I made my chestnut roasts in a muffin tin for little individual portions, but if you prefer you could make one large roast in a loaf tin instead.
You could also make one large wreath-shaped roast with a round savarin tin like this one, or get creative with any novelty Christmas shaped tins or moulds you have around the house!
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Chestnut Roasts
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in boiling water and set aside. Trim and finely chop the onion and celery, and fry gently with garlic and oil.
Finely chop the mixed mushrooms and add to the pan. Cook until liquid has released and bubbled away. Add risotto rice then wine and chopped porcini along with their their soaking liquid. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock little by little, stirring regularly until the rice is cooked through.
Whilst the risotto is cooking, roughly chop the chestnuts.
Cook the cranberries with the light brown sugar in a frying pan for 3-4 minutes until just softened. Grease muffin tins and spoon a layer of cranberries into each of six holes.
Stir the chestnuts, breadcrumbs and vegan cheese into the risotto mix.
Spoon the chestnut roast mixture over the cranberries and press down firmly. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes, then remove foil and cook for a further 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, turn out and chill until required. To serve, return the roasts to the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and piping hot throughout.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
This recipe is designed to prepare ahead so get cooking the day before you plan to serve these chestnut roasts, then just pop them in the oven to reheat on the day.
You can leave the cooked roasts for up to 24 hours in the fridge, just make sure they are piping hot throughout before serving - a cooking thermometer is handy for this.
Yes - this freezes well, however as it contains rice you do need to make sure that the roasts are frozen straight after cooking. SO you can make a batch and freeze any you won't be using, but don't freeze leftovers that have been cooked then reheated. For full guidance on freezing rice see the Food Standards Agency's website.
Yes absolutely - this works well with all sorts of nuts. I like a mixture of walnuts and hazelnuts, or cashews are delicious too.
🍽 If you liked that...
.... you might also enjoy these vegan recipes from The Veg Space:
Chestnut Roast with porcini & cranberries
For the mushroom risotto base:
- 15 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 stick celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 75 g risotto rice
- 4 tablespoon white wine
- 250 ml vegetable stock
- 120 g fresh mushrooms chestnut or flat mushrooms or a pack of mixed mushrooms are ideal.
For the chestnut roast:
- 180 g ready-cooked chestnuts
- 20 g breadcrumbs (that's about half a slice of bread if you're making fresh)
- 60 g vegan cheese I used Violife Epic Mature
- 1 lemon
- fresh rosemary and thyme
For the cranberry topping:
- 150 g cranberries either fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
To make the mushroom risotto base:
- Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in a mug of boiling water and set aside to soften.
- Peel, trim and finely chop the onion and celery. Peel and crush the garlic. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry gently for 3-4 minutes until soft.
- Chop the mixed mushrooms and add to the pan. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the risotto rice, then the white wine. Finely chop the porcini mushrooms (they should be soft by now), and strain the soaking juice through a sieve into the pan.
- Add the vegetable stock a little at a time, stirring regularly, until the rice is cooked through. This will take 20-25 minutes. If you have used up all the stock before the rice is cooked, keep add boiling water as needed.
To make the chestnut roasts:
- Whilst the risotto is cooking, chop the chestnuts. Make the breadcrumbs, finely chop the rosemary and pick the thyme leaves from the stalks. Grate the vegan cheese and the zest from the lemon.
- When the risotto is cooked, stir the chestnuts, breadcrumbs, herbs, cheese and lemon zest through the risotto to make your chestnut roast mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
To make the cranberry topping:
- Put the cranberries into a frying pan with the sugar and cook over a medium heat until they are just turning soft and sticky - this will take 3-4 minutes.
- Brush each hole of your muffin tin with a little oil. Divide the cranberries between each of the six muffin tins, spreading them out so they cover the bottom of each hole.
To assemble and pre-cook the roasts:
- Spoon the chestnut roast mix over the cranberries and press down firmly, levelling off the top.
- Cover the muffin tin with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- When they are cool enough to handle, turn out of the tins onto a baking tray. You may need to run a knife around the edge of each roast, but they should come out in tact. Chill until needed, (up to 24 hours).
When you want to serve the roasts:
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until piping hot throughout and golden brown.
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