chestnut roast


Preparation: 45 mins

Cooking: 2 hours

Serves: 6 as a main course

Can be vegan



For the stuffing:
75g butter/vegan margarine
1 large white or brown onion, finely diced
225g vacuum-packed/cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
125g breadcrumbs
100g rolled oats
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

For the roast:
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ tsp tahini
1 tsp garlic purée (or fresh garlic)
½ tsp dried thyme
1½ tsp onion powder
1½ tsp dried sage
½ tsp vegetarian/vegan miso paste
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
150g vital wheat gluten
225ml vegetarian/vegan vegetable stock

For the glaze:
75ml apple juice
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp date syrup
50g butter/vegan margarine
Pinch of salt

To serve:
Roast potatoes and vegetables
Vegetarian/vegan gravy


1. First, make the stuffing. On a low heat, melt the butter or vegan margarine and fry the chopped onion until soft but not starting to brown. In a large bowl, add the onion to the rest of the stuffing ingredients. Add 3 tbsp cold water and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.

2. To make the roast, place all of the roast ingredients, except the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast and vegetable stock into a large bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher until they resemble a rough paste. Ensure the beans are well mixed through the herbs and flavourings.

3. In another bowl, mix together the vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast. Make a well in the centre and add the bean paste. Mix thoroughly until it starts to come together into clumps. At this point it is best to start bringing together to dough with your hands. Add the stock, little by little, until you have flexible, but not sticky, dough.

4. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes. The dough should end up stretchy and slightly rubbery. When the dough starts to feel very firm, flatten it out with your hands and a rolling pin into a rectangular shape, until it is approximately 1 inch thick.

5. Place the stuffing mix in a strip down the centre of the dough, leaving space all around the edges. Roll up the stuffing in the dough, trying to cover the stuffing entirely. (You will need to squeeze and press the dough together around the edges). Using your hands, shape the dough into a cylinder shape.

6. Wrap the dough in cling film, baking parchment or foil, making sure it is secure at both ends. At this point you can tie string around the wrapped dough at intervals to create a more authentic roast shape. Place the parcel into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, turning every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking and adding more water if necessary.

7. Carefully remove from the pan and remove the wrapping. The roast can be cooled at this point to cook when you’re ready. To do this, leave at room temperature for an hour, cover with cling film or foil, then refrigerate. The roast can be frozen at this point too, if you’re making it ahead, and then defrosted thoroughly in the fridge before the next step.

8. When you’re ready to cook your roast, preheat your oven to 200⁰C/gas mark 6. Place the roast in an oiled oven dish, then cover the whole dish in foil. Cook for 20 minutes from cold or 10 minutes straight from the boiling stage.

9. While the roast is cooking, make the glaze. Place all of the glaze ingredients into a pan and simply melt on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often to ensure it doesn’t burn.

10. Remove the roast from the oven, uncover, and then brush generously with the glaze. Return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until starting to crisp and turn golden brown. Don’t leave the roast in the oven too long as it will dry out.

11. When the roast is cooked, slice and serve with roast potatoes, gravy and vegetables.


© The Vegetarian Society