Vegan Roast (or Vegetarian) with Cranberry, Sage and Cashew Nut Stuffing Balls and Tomato Onion Gravy

Vegans need not miss out on a decadent Christmas meal with this epic Vegan roast with all the trimmings! Even staunch meat-eaters have been known to devour this tasty meal – I would happily forgo the usual turkey or ham for this meal!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Lunch, Main
Servings 6
Calories 485 kcal
Dairy Free, Gluten Free


Roast vegetables

  • 400 g pumpkin leave skin on, cut into 2-3cm chunks or 1-2cm thick wedges
  • 2-3 large parsnips peeled, cut into 2cm-thick batons
  • 3 large red onions cut into six wedges each (leave skin on)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Stuffing balls

  • ½ onion finely diced
  • 1 small apple finely diced
  • 80 g butter, melted or use margarine if you want to make it vegan
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves chopped
  • cup cranberry sauce
  • 110 g panko breadcrumbs about 1 ¾ cups (use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you like)
  • ¼ cup milk use soy or almond to make it vegan
  • cup roasted cashew nuts finely chopped
  • 1 egg or use a flax egg* or egg substitute to make it vegan
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Roast balsamic and thyme mushrooms with cranberry and pistachio topping

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons thyme leaves chopped
  • 8-12 large portobello mushrooms stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pistachio nuts finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley finely chopped

Tomato onion gravy

  • ½ onion finely diced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • teaspoons corn flour mixed with 2 tablespoons water


  • Preheat oven to 200degC. Line a large oven tray with baking paper.
  • Toss pumpkin, parsnip and onions with maple syrup and olive oil in prepared tray. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 45-50 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium fry pan on medium heat. Cook onion for 1-2 minutes until soft. Add apple and sage and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes until apples are soft. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add melted butter, cranberry sauce, breadcrumbs, milk, cashew nuts, flax egg/egg substitute, wholegrain mustard, salt and pepper to apple and sage mixture and mix until well combined.
  • Roll mixture into small golf ball sized balls, making sure you roll them quite firmly so that they don’t fall apart when they are roasted. Place stuffing balls in a separate oven tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly roll the stuffing balls in the olive oil to coat. Place in the oven (on a shelf above the vegetables) to roast for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms.
  • Mix balsamic vinegar, maple syrup/agave, garlic, olive oil and thyme together. Take roasted vegetables out of the oven and arrange Portobello mushrooms, gill-side-up, in the oven tray with the vegetables. Spoon balsamic mixture over the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Return to the oven to continue roasting everything for about 15 minutes until mushrooms are soft and vegetables are soft and lightly caramelised.
  • Mix chopped dried cranberries, pistachio nuts and parsley together with a little drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and set aside.
  • To make the gravy, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a fry pan on medium heat. Cook onion until soft, then stir in vegetable stock and tomato paste, and bring to a simmer. Add corn flour mixture and continue simmering, whilst continuously stirring with a wooden spoon (to avoid any lumps forming), for 3-5 minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, arrange roast vegetables, mushrooms and stuffing balls on a large serving platter (or two). Sprinkle cranberry pistachio mixture over roast mushrooms. Serve with tomato onion gravy in a bowl or pouring jug on the side. Toast your fellow Christmas feast companions and dig in!
  • *note: to make a flax egg, mix together 1 tablespoon finely ground flax seed or chia seeds (you can do this in a coffee grinder) with 3 tablespoons water. Mix well and place in the fridge to set for 20-30 minutes until it is ‘gummy’ in texture. Then it’s ready to use!


This is a really tasty way to enjoy a vegan Christmas. Even if neither you or your guests eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, these stuffing balls and roast vegetables will go down a treat! It would also be fairly easy to make a small batch of this vegan roast if you were only catering for one/a few people who eat a vegan diet, or making your own to take to a traditional Christmas lunch.