Nut Roast is a delicious vegetarian meal, made with a combination of nuts, veggies, and cheese. It tastes even better than traditional meatloaf!
Why You’ll Love It
It’s tastes amazing. The combination of fresh herbs, nuts, and sautéed veggies make this nut roast a dish you’ll be proud to serve at Thanksgiving, or Christmas dinner.
It’s gluten-free. If you’re serving guests who need a gluten-free or grain-free entree, this dish is the perfect option. The nuts replace any need for flour!
It’s filling. Made with vegetables, eggs, cheese, and nuts, this loaf is a great source of protein and fiber.
It’s space saving. The loaf pan takes up minimal space in the oven, in case you need to bake more than one thing for a holiday meal.
You can make it ahead of time. You can sauté the veggies and stir together the nut roast mixture up to 2 days in advance. (See tips below!)
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in nut roast?
- Brown rice
- Fresh herbs
The combination may sound a little unusual, but the resulting flavor and texture are remarkably delicious. It visually resembles a meatloaf, and the savory flavor goes perfectly with your favorite vegetable side dishes.
How to Make Nut Roast
1. Prep the mushrooms.
In a food processor fitted with an S-blade, briefly process the mushrooms until they have a crumbly texture. You may need to do this in 2 batches, depending on the size of your machine, then set them aside.
Chop the onion, garlic, thyme, and parsley, too, so they are ready to go when you need them. If you don’t have cooked brown rice on hand, you’ll also need to cook that. (Try Instant Pot Brown Rice, for a hands-off method.)
Add the olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat, and sauté the onion until it softens, about 5 minutes.
Next, add in the garlic, thyme, and mushrooms. Continue to cook the veggies until the mushrooms release some liquid, about 8 more minutes.
While you wait for the veggies to cook, add the walnuts and pecans to the bowl of the food processor you just used. (No need to clean it first.) Process briefly, until the nuts look like a coarse flour.
Transfer the cooked veggies to a large mixing bowl, then add in a cup of cooked brown rice, the ground nuts, Parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, and black pepper. Stir well, until the mixture looks relatively uniform.
Prepare a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan by lightly spraying it with oil, then press a piece of parchment paper into the bottom of the pan. (The oil will hold the parchment paper in place, and make it easier to remove from the loaf tin later.)
Transfer the nut loaf mixture to the pan, and flatten it with a spatula.
Bake at 375ºF for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the loaf looks golden and feels firm in the center.
You can also use an instant read thermometer, to make sure the center of the loaf has reached an internal temperature of at least 160ºF.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes, then it’s ready to slice and serve. You can serve this with your favorite holiday side dishes, like mashed potatoes, vegan gravy, and cranberry sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use any mixed nuts that you have on hand. Cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and almonds should all work. Just make sure that they are finely ground before you add them into the mix.
You can use any other veggies that you prefer, like chopped carrot and celery.
Yes, you can replace fresh herbs with a third of the amount of dried spices. So, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme would be the same as 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. (1 Tbsp = 3 tsp.)
I don’t have a vegan nut roast recipe for you yet (and I don’t recommend using flax eggs for this one), but be sure to try vegan meatloaf, which is made with lentils and topped with a quick homemade tomato sauce.
Yes, you can saute the veggies, and stir the mixture together. Store that in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours. When you’re ready to bake it, transfer the nut loaf mixture to the loaf pan and bake at 375ºF for 50 to 60 minutes. (Or until the center is cooked through and reaches an internal temp of 160ºF.)
More Holiday Recipes to Try
Easy Cranberry Sauce. Made with fresh cranberries and orange juice, this one tastes better than anything you’d buy from a can. (Try adding orange zest, if you like extra orange flavor.)
Vegan Sweet Potato Pie. This pie tastes better than pumpkin! Top it off with coconut whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg, for a cozy holiday dessert.
Vegan Mushroom Gravy. This blended gravy is thickened by blending vegetables, rather than using flour and vegan butter. The flavor is out of this world!
Butternut Squash Soup. Made with apples and cinnamon, this soup makes an excellent Fall side dish or starter.
Easy Nut Roast (Vegetarian Meal)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 1 pound mushrooms (I used a mix of cremini and shiitake)
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- ¾ cup walnut halves
- ½ cup pecan halves
- 1 cup pre-cooked brown rice
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. (I like to spray the pan with a bit of oil first, to help the parchment stay in place.) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- While the onion is cooking, quickly process the mushrooms in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade to break them down into an almost rice-like texture. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the onion in the skillet, and saute until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates, about 8 more minutes.
- While everything is cooking, pulse the walnuts and pecans in the food processor (no need to rinse it after chopping the mushrooms) until they resemble a coarse flour.
- Transfer the ground nuts to a large bowl, along with the cooked brown rice, parmesan, eggs, parsly, thyme, salt, and 5-6 grinds of fresh black pepper. Add in the cooked mushroom mixture, and stir well to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan, and use a spatula to smooth the top. Cook the loaf at 375ºF until the top is golden and firm, about 40 to 45 minutes. (The internal temperature should reach at least 160ºF.) Let it cool for at least 15 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan, then slice and serve.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The leftover loaf makes a great stuffing/filling for roasted squash, if you want to repurpose the dish!
- If you need a dairy-free loaf, you can try swapping the Parmesan for 3/4 cup bread crumbs instead to help with binding. In that case, I’d season the mixture with at least 1/4 teaspoon more salt to compensate.
- For a vegan recipe, try my Vegan Meatloaf instead. Or my Stuffed Kabocha Squash for another vegan main-entree!
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too! We can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: Have you ever tried a nut loaf before? This is totally NOT something my husband would usually eat, but he tried this and told me he loves it! So I hope it’s a hit with your holiday guests, too.