Step away from the nut roast and wow your vegan (and non-vegan) guests with these fabulously festive and super-satisfying chestnut recipes…

vegan chestnut recipe

Vegan Chestnut and Shallot Tarte Tatin Recipe

Serves 6


  • 320g roll of pre-made puff pastry
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 banana shallots, skin removed and halved lengthways
  • 1 x 180g pouch Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 thyme sprigs, plus extra to serve
  • 2 rosemary sprigs


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
  2. Cut the roll of pastry into a circle 2.5cm larger than your pan. Lightly dust with flour, place on a sheet of non-stick baking paper on a tray or board and chill for 20 mins, or until you need it.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch ovenproof, non-stick pan. Add the shallots, cut side facing up, and cook for 5 mins over a medium heat until starting to char on one side. Add the chestnuts, then sprinkle over the brown sugar and flip the shallots over, arranging everything neatly in the pan to ensure there are no gaps.
  4. Lower the heat, then add the balsamic vinegar, thyme, rosemary and a splash of water. Simmer for 5mins or until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat.
  5. Place the chilled pastry on top, tucking it into the edges of the pan, using a wooden spoon to help you if it’s too hot. Bake for 25-30 mins, or until the pastry is golden brown. Set aside for 5 mins to cool slightly.
  6. Wearing an oven glove, place a large plate or board over the top of the pan and, once secure, quickly flip to turn out the tart. Sprinkle over some fresh thyme sprigs and serve.
chestnut vegan recipes

Vegan Winter Chestnut Salad Recipe

Serves 2


  • 160g savoy cabbage
  • 1 x 250g pouch of Merchant Gourmet Spiced Grains & Chestnuts with Wild Rice & Cranberries
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 30g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 30g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 10g thyme, leaves removed


  1. Finely shred the cabbage and place in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and blanch for 4-5 mins or until vibrant green and softened slightly. Drain well and return to the bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the grains in the microwave as per the packet instructions. Add to the bowl with the olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Toss together with the pecans and cranberries, reserving some to serve, then divide between two bowls.
  3. Top with fresh thyme leaves and the remaining pecans and chopped cranberries.

Gaz Oakley’s Vegan Braised Chestnut and Grain Wellington Recipe

Vegan chef Gaz Oakley puts a plant-based spin on the traditional Wellington.

Serves 6


  • 1 leek, chopped roughly
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 10 shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp sage, dried
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, dried
  • A bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp plain flour (of gluten-free flour)
  • 125ml vegan-friendly red wine
  • 195ml vegetable stock
  • 2 x 250g pouches of Merchant Gourmet Spiced Grains & Chestnut
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbs miso paste
  • 1 tbsp cranberry sauce

For the pastry:

  • 1 roll of pre-made puff pastry
  • 30g plain flour

For the glaze:

  • 60ml milk
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • Pinch sea salt

For the red pepper dressing:

  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 350g roasted red peppers, from a jar, drained
  • 1 tsp sage, dried
  • 1 tsp rosemary, dried
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For the caramelised red onion:

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil or water
  • 3 red onions, peeled, halved and finely sliced
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs thyme, chopped, plus extra for garnish

Garnish with:

  • Crispy sage leaves
  • Vegan feta (optional)
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Pomegranate seeds


  1. First up, make the filling (which I usually make the day before serving). Add the leek, garlic, red pepper, carrots and mushrooms to a food processor and blitz until they’re chopped small. Preheat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the leek mix to the pan and sauté for 3 mins or until golden.
  2. Stir in the tomato purée, sage, rosemary, bay leaf, salt and pepper then add the flour. Cook the flour out by stirring constantly for about a min.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and vegetable stock. When the liquid comes to a simmer, add the Merchant Gourmet grains and chestnut pouches, soy sauce, miso paste and cranberry. Let the mix bubble away for 10-15 mins or until the liquid has thickened up, then transfer the mixture to a container to cool completely.
  4. On the day of serving, add all the glaze ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together. Dust a surface with flour and roll out your pastry approximately 30x30cm, then cut it in half.
  5. Make sure your filling is completely cool (ideally fridge cold) and spoon the filling into the centre of one of the pastry rectangles, leaving a 3cm border around the filling. Brush the border with a little ofthe glaze then place the other pastry rectangle neatly on top. Seal the borders together with your fingers, then trim the edges to keep it neat. You can crimp the edges with a fork and use Christmas-themed cutters with any off-cuts of pastry to top the Wellington. Brush over a little glaze. Then set the Wellington aside until you’re ready to cook it.
  6. Meanwhile, add the red pepper dressing ingredients to a food processor and blitz until it forms a chunky paste. Set aside.
  7. To make the caramelised onions, in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat add a touch of oil followed by the onions. Cook for 3-4 mins, stirring often until they start to soften and colour. Add the sugar, vinegar, seasoning and thyme. Stir well and turn the heat down very low. Cover the saucepan and allow the onions to caramelise for15 mins, stirring every now and then.8To cook the Wellington, place it on the middle shelf in a preheated oven set at 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 for 30 mins. Apply extra glaze 25 mins through cooking.
  8. Serve your Wellington with lots of dressing, caramelised onions, crispy sage, pomegranate seeds, pistachio nuts and vegan feta, plus all your Christmas garnishes.
chestnut vegan recipes

Vegan Potato and Chestnut Boulangere Recipe

Serves 6-8


  • 50g vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 white onions, finely sliced
  • 2 x 180g pouches of Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 1kg Désirée potatoes


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the butter in a large frying pan with the olive oil and add the onions. Cook on a low heat for 40 mins, until soft and caramelised.
  2. Add the chestnuts, thyme, vegetable stock, a big pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering on a low heat while you prep the potatoes.
  3. Thinly slice the potatoes using a mandoline (you can leave the skin on) and grease a 20x30cm baking dish with butter. Put a layer of potatoes in the bottom, overlapping slightly, then scoop out some of the onions and chestnuts from the frying pan with a slotted spoon and spread evenly on top. Repeat the process until everything is used up, finishing with a layer of potatoes and leaving a few slices of onion and chestnuts to go on top
  4. Pour the remaining stock into the dish, along with any leftover onions, then spread everything out evenly on the top. Cut the butter into little cubes and dot around the dish.
  5. Cook in a preheated oven set at 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 uncovered for an hour, or until the top is crisp and a knife easily goes through the potatoes. Cover with tin foil if it starts to burn.
  6. Rest for 10 mins before serving, then serve with some fresh thyme leaves.

Vegan Chocolate Chestnut Cake Recipe

Serves 12


  • 200ml soy milk, unsweetened
  • 10ml lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 x 200g pouch Merchant Gourmet Chestnut Purée
  • 125g coconut oil, melted
  • 150ml maple syrup
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 150ml cream (or vegan alternative)
  • 100g Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp demerara sugar (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and grease a 10-inch bundt cake tin.
  2. Pour the milk into a measuring jug and add the lemon juice. Stir and set aside for 10-15 mins to curdle.
  3. Put the chestnut purée into a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and whisk until nice and smooth. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt, then add to the chestnut purée mix and stir. Add the curdled milk and whisk until the batter is smooth and fully combined, then pour into the bundt tin and place in the oven.
  4. Bake for 25 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Once the cake has cooled, prepare the ganache. Break the chocolate up into small chunks and place in a small saucepan with the cream. Heat gently over a low heat, folding the cream and chocolate together until smooth and glossy. Do not over stir as it may separate. Set aside to cool slightly, but make sure it doesn’t set.
  6. If you’d like, toss the chopped chestnuts together with the sugar.
  7. Pour the ganache evenly over the cake, then top with the chestnuts and serve.

Click here for our top tips on staying fit and healthy during the Christmas period!