When I met Mr TS back in 1988 I was delighted that he too was vegetarian and even more delighted to get my hands on his well thumbed copy of the original Cranks Recipe Book. Cranks brought the nut roast to the vegetarian Christmas table and it has never left mine – not for me the jumped up goat’s cheese salad, the noodles and tofu or the rice stack, I want something substantial and richly flavoured and I want to serve it up with roast veggies, gravy and bread sauce while wearing a paper hat and a tinsel scarf! So, alongside the compulsory cheese and lentil loaf which 3 of my children insist upon, I serve up a savoury nut roast shaped in a festive tin – something like this Vegan Christmas Roast…

Vegan Christmas Roast - A Fabulous Vegan centrepiece for your festive feast

That beauty is my Cashew and Chestnut Roast, moist and delicious with the addition of butternut and carrot mash and completely and utterly vegan. I cooked it yesterday to welcome my vegan boy home from Uni for the holidays and it went down a treat. I jazz up festive roasts because I think we eat with the eye as well as the mouth and nose and this is a delight for all the senses so here you go, Chestnut and Cashew Nut Christmas Wreath, a Vegan Christmas Roast to make your mouth water!

Vegan Christmas Roast - the best vegan nut roast for your festive table

Chestnut and Cashew Nut Roast – Vegan Christmas

A moist, deliciously savoury Vegan Christmas Roast made with cashews, chestnuts, butternut squash and carrots it is a perfect centrepiece for a very merry vegan Christmas!
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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Chris @thinlyspread


  • 1 medium onion , finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 g /10oz butternut squash , peeled and roughly chopped
  • 200 g /8oz carrots , roughly chopped
  • 150 g /5oz cashew nuts
  • 150 g /5oz cooked and peeled chestnuts
  • 120 g /4oz breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp light tahini
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried rosemary , sage and thyme
  • 1 tsp yeast extract
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsps paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs and cranberries to decorate


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
  • Fry the onion in the oil until soft and just beginning to colour
  • Add the garlic and fry gently for a further two minutes
  • Steam or boil the carrots and squash until soft, mash thoroughly
  • Grind the cashews and chestnuts in a food processor – not too much, you want ground nuts rather than nut flour
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Press into a greased 900g/2lb loaf tin or ring mould
  • Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour
  • Remove the foil and bake for a further ten minutes
  • Leave to stand in the tin for 10 minutes
  • Turn out onto a board (or glass cake stand as I have here)
  • Decorate with rosemary sprigs, fresh thyme and cranberries
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The beauty of this vegan roast is that it can be made in advance and frozen – either cooked or uncooked. I prefer to freeze it uncooked. 
When I’m making a roast in a shaped tin to freeze I line the tin with clingfilm, spoon in the roast mixture, wrap the cling film over the top and freeze it in the tin. Once it has frozen I take it out of the tin and wrap it well in foil before putting it back into the freezer until I need it (thus freeing up my tin for other goodies!). 
When you come to cook this one remove the cling film and foil, pop the roast on a baking tray, cover it with the foil and roast it at 180 for 1 hour and 15 mins, take the foil off and roast it for a further 10 minutes or so to allow the top to brown and crisp up a bit. 
You can also defrost it overnight and then do the same as above but reduce the cooking time by about 15 minutes. I think it’s better defrosted and cooked if you have time to do that.


vegan Christmas roast - a moist, savoury nut roast filled with chestnuts, cashews and butternut squash

We’ve already eaten this vegan Christmas roast so I have another recipe up my sleeve for Christmas Day itself because you just can’t have too many roasts at Christmas! It is a richly flavoured nut roast interspersed with layers of chestnut and red wine puree, garlicky spinach and butternut squash with chilli. I serve it in a brioche tin topped with chestnuts, cranberries and herbs like a great big midwinter crown and I will get around to writing it up here one day (I’ve made it every year for the last 25 years but it still hasn’t appeared on Thinly Spread!)

If you want to keep track of all my vegetarian and vegan offerings over the festive period do follow me on Instagram and on Pinterest where I post pictures of all my dishes and recipes!

If you like this Vegan Christmas Roast why not Pin it For Later?

Vegan Christmas Roast - a moist roast with chestnuts, cashews, butternut squash and carrots presented as a decorated Christmas wreath - Happy Vegan Christmas!


Wishing you all a very Happy Vegan Christmas from all of us at Thinly Spread! 

I’m sharing this Vegan Christmas Roast with Meat Free Mondays at Tinned Tomatoes – do go and check out all the other vegetarian and vegan recipes on offer!





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