This vegan nut roast recipe makes a delicious vegetarian main dish for the holidays and great alternative to bean and lentil-based meatloaf.

Two slices of vegan nut roast topped with cranberry sauce on a small plate.

Features

  • dietary needs: vegan, gluten-free and oil-free
  • amazing vegetarian main dish for the holidays and family meals
  • top with a balsamic tomato glaze or go with cranberry sauce for the holidays
  • can be made in advance and frozen
  • “meaty” flavour and texture
  • easy to make with minimal prep time

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • ground flax – needed for binding, I wouldn’t recommend substituting with something like chia as it would be too wet
  • mushrooms – adds umami, “meaty” flavour, they don’t overpower it with mushroom flavour and they’re very finely chopped so you don’t notice them in the final loaf….if you’re not a mushroom fan, I think you’ll still enjoy it!
  • dried herbs – you’ll need sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano and cumin….cayenne is optional but recommended for just a little heat! If you’re missing one of these…no biggie, but use them all if you have them
  • soy sauce or tamari – if you need the recipe to be gluten-free, make sure you use gluten-free tamari or even coconut aminos
  • tomato paste – can be substituted with tomato sauce or ketchup
  • oatsrolled oats or quick oats work here, be sure to use gluten-free certified if that’s a concern
  • nuts – I recommend walnuts and pecans but a combination of 2 cups of mixed nuts and seeds such as brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds and cashews works (I found almonds too hard in this recipe)
  • brown rice – you’ll need 1 cup of pre-cooked short-grain brown rice, I recommend making this the day before

Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.

Overhead view of 2 slices of vegan nut roast on a plate.

Before You Start: If you don’t have brown rice prepared, start cooking that now as it may need up to 45 minutes or even a little longer as slightly over-cooked is actually preferable. I recommend making the rice the day before and storing overnight in the fridge.

Step by Step Instructions

When you’re ready to proceed, preheat the oven to 350 F and line a standard-sized loaf pan with parchment paper so it sticks out well over the sides. You’ll need this to lift the loaf out once baked.


Step 1. Mix the ground flax and water and set aside for a few minutes.

Step 2. Get all the veggies chopped up and add them to a large pot on the stovetop with either 2 tbsp of olive oil, vegan butter, water or broth.

Spend a little time properly dicing the veggies, you don’t want big chunks in the final loaf.

Chopped mushrooms, celery, onion and garlic in a large saucepan.

Cook the veggies for 5-6 minutes, then stir in the herbs and cook for another couple of minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and tamari and turn off the heat.

Quick Note: While I usually cook oil-free, I like olive oil or butter here to really bring out the flavours. For oil-free, it’s totally fine to use water or broth.

Sauteed veggies mixed with herbs in a large pot.

Step 4. While the veggies are cooking, add the oats and nuts to a food processor and blend into a grainy consistency.

Add the rice and flax and pulse briefly to combine. You don’t want to totally pulverize it. Is should be well combined but not too fine and definitely not mushy.

Step 5. Dump the contents of the food processor into the pot with the cooked veggies. Spend a few minutes mixing it all up until it’s very well combined.

Raw mixture for making a vegetarian nut roast mixed up in a large pot.

Step 6. Scoop the mixture into the prepare loaf pan and spend a few minutes really pressing it down into the pan.

Top with your choice of glaze. The roast can be topped with either a tomato or cranberry glaze. I love the cranberry glaze for holidays but I use the tomato glaze any other time of year.

  • Cranberry Glaze: Use 1/2 cup of whole berry cranberry sauce or my quick and easy homemade cranberry sauce.
  • Tomato Glaze: Mix 1/2 cup ketchup or tomato sauce with 2 tbsp of maple syrup and 1 tbsp of apple cider or balsamic vinegar.

Bake the loaf for 60 minutes

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then lift out and onto a cooling rack for another 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

FAQs


What are nut roasts made of?

Nuts! The rest of the ingredients can vary from seeds such as sunflower and flax, to breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, oats, rice and a variety of vegetables. This version is vegan and uses oats, rice, flax and vegetables to bind the loaf and add flavour and texture.

How long does nut roast keep in the fridge?

The loaf stores well in the fridge for up to 6 days either whole or in slices. Simply reheat in the oven or microwave as needed. You could even fry it up in a pan if you wanted! Top with gravy for some amazing leftovers.

Can you make nut roast in advance?

Sure! You can make prepare the roast in advance and store overnight before baking. After baking it can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Can you freeze nut roast?

Yes. I would recommend baking the roast before freezing. After it’s baked, let it cool completely then wrap well in foil and store in a freezer-safe bag or container.

When you’re read to enjoy it, thaw it overnight in the fridge then reheat in the microwave or oven.

What should I serve with nut roast?

For a holiday feast, serve with vegan gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, stuffing and roasted brussels sprouts.

For an everyday meal, serve with steamed or roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes or a light salad.

Sliced open nut roast on a cutting board showing inside texture of loaf.

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Close up of a sliced nut roast on a cutting board showing inside of loaf.

Vegan Nut Roast

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

This vegan nut roast recipe is perfect for Christmas dinner or anytime of year for a hearty and delicious, plant-based meal that’s perfect for feeding a crowd.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Nut Roast

  • 1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice (250 g)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax (14 g) mixed with 4 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil (or water for oil-free)
  • 2 cups finely chopped mushroom (150 g)
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced (200 g)
  • 1 cup diced celery (150 g)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce (30 mL)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste or sauce (40 g)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (100 g)
  • 1 cup walnuts (150 g)
  • 1 cup pecans (150 g)

For Cranberry Glaze

For Tomato Glaze

  • 1/3 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (reduce to 1 tbsp if using ketchup)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. If you don’t have cooked brown rice on hand, make that first as you’ll need up to 45 minutes. I would recommend cooking the recipe the day before and storing in the fridge overnight for best resutls.
  2. When you’re ready to proceed, preheat the oven to 350 F and line a standard-sized loaf tin with parchment paper so it sticks out over the sides.
  3. Mix the ground flax with the water in a small bowl and set side for a few minutes.
  4. Heat the oil or butter in a large frying pan or saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat.
  5. Add the mushroom, garlic, onion, celery, salt and pepper.
  6. Saute the veggies for about 4-5 minutes, stirring often, then add all of the herbs and spices, stir well, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Stir in the tamari or soy sauce and tomato paste. Turn off the heat.
  8. While the veggies are cooking, add the oats, pecans and walnuts to a food processor and process into a grainy consistency. You don’t want them totally pulverized but they should be fairly broken down. A few larger pieces left behind are ok.
  9. Add the cooked rice and flax egg to the food process and pulse a few times to combine. Again, don’t completely pulverize it, we want some texture in the final loaf.
  10. Dump the contents of the food processor into the pot and stir well until it’s thoroughly combined.
  11. Firmly press the mixture into the lined loaf pan, using your hands or the back of a wooden spoon to press and flatten.
  12. Either prepare the cranberry sauce or mix the tomato glaze ingredients together in a dish.
  13. Spread either the cranberry sauce or tomato glaze evenly over the loaf.
  14. Bake for 60 minutes.
  15. Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for 10 minutes. Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the loaf out of the tin and onto a cooling rack.
  16. Let cool for an additional 20-30 minutes before carefully slicing. The long it sits the firmer it will be and better it will hold together. Don’t worry, it will still be hot when you slice it open!
  17. Enjoy right away or see notes for storing.

Notes

  • Make Ahead: If you want to prep ahead of time, the loaf can be prepared the day before and stored overnight in the fridge before baking.
  • Storing: After baking, let cool then store in the fridge for up to 6 days. I like to slice it before storing so I can just grab and heat a slice as needed. If freezing, let cool then wrap well in foil and store in a freezer-safe bag or container. Foil isn’t totally necessary but it will prevent it from forming ice crystals. You can freeze it whole or in slices. Thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen.
  • Reheating: Reheat the baked loaf in the microwave or oven until heated to your preference. Slices can also be heated in a pan on the stovetop.
  • Glaze: Cranberry glaze is recommend for a holiday nut roast, otherwise, I like the tomato glaze for everyday use. Both are delicious though!
  • Nutrition facts do not include glaze. For a lower-calorie loaf, try my chickpea loaf which has just 200 calories per slice.
  • Serve with vegan mushroom gravy, green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, brussels sprouts and sweet potato casserole for a holiday feast.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 341
  • Fat: 27 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 8 g

Keywords: nut roast, nut roast vegan