Vegetarian Wellington

Vegetarian Wellington

vegetarian wellington cross section

And it’s almost Christmas again…how did that happen? We are spending our last evening in Krakow before we go to my parents. I’m down for helping my mum prepare some vegan dishes for Christmas Eve dinner, which is the most important meal of Christmas here.

As we will spend the next 5 days cooped up inside, with a run (or a family walk maybe) thrown in for good measure, we are making the most of the thriving vegan food scene in Krakow before we leave. The standard of vegan food in this city is really great so it’s been a pleasure so far. Before we board the train tomorrow, we are booked in for a delicious vegan sushi lunch and I plan to consume my body weight in rice 😛 .

In case you are still on the fence when it comes to a Xmas centrepiece, I am coming at you with a new suggestion that is roughly based on something that I published 2 years ago – butternut squash Wellington.

This one has a different stuffing, based on chestnuts and comes with a lush cider gravy. Like most dishes of this type it is a bit more time consuming to make but it’s worth it, I promise! You won’t have anyone complaining if you serve them a slice of this golden pastry-wrapped plant goodness with a velvety umami-filled gravy.

vegetarian wellington filling gravy

vegetarian wellington butternut squash

vegetarian wellington assembly

vegetarian wellington top down

vegetarian wellington plate

60 min
60 min
60 min
60 min
  • 15-20 cm / 3-4″ neck of butternut squash*
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1¼ tsp salt flakes, adjust to taste
  • 3 escallion shallots (or 6 small shallots), finely diced
  • 20 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
  • 4 thyme leaves, leaves picked
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 Bramley (sour) apple, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, adjust to taste
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg, adjust to taste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 300 g / 2 cups ready roasted chestnuts
  • 100 g / 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 2 tbsp cranberry sauce or oven roasted cranberries
  • 1 sheet vegan puff pastry**
  • 1-2 tbsp soy milk, to glaze


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 escallion shallots, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly diced
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly diced
  • a good pinch of caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp mushroom soy sauce or vegan Worcester sauce
  • 20 g / 0.7 oz dry mushrooms (I used a mixture of porcini and shiitake), well rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 240 ml / 1 cup vegan cider
  • salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or sugar
  • 1-2 tsp cornstarch / cornflour


  1. Heat up the oven to 200° C / 390° F (180° C / 355° F fan) and line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  2. Cut off the bulbous part of your butternut squash (save it for another use), peel the solid part and cut it in half lengthwise. Brush the two halves with a bit of olive oil on both sides, season with salt and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 35-40 minutes (depending on size), until just cooked all the way through but not too soft. Let the two halves cool down completely.
  3. Heat up 3 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add finely diced shallots, chopped sage, thyme and rosemary. Fry on a low-medium heat until gently caramelised. Add chopped garlic, stir-fry until softened and fragrant.
  4. Add chopped apple and stir-fry until apple has softened.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and maple syrup.
  6. Add in finely chopped chestnuts and toasted pecans. Stir really well to combine.
  7. Add cranberry sauce so that the mixture is moist (but not soggy) enough to hold around the butternut squash. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Allow to cool completely.


  1. Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Once the oil comes to temperature, add shallots, garlic, carrot, celery sticks and caraway seeds. Sauté gently on a medium heat until lightly caramelised, stirring often.
  2. Next add in tomato paste and vegan Worcester sauce, stir well and allow it to cook until caramelised (not burnt) – stirring from time to time.
  3. Next add in porcini, bay leaf, peppercorns, cider and 1 cup (240 ml) of water.
  4. Allow the mixture to simmer gently until it reduces by about half (30-45 minutes).
  5. Season with salt, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup (if needed). Set aside for the flavours to infuse (ideally overnight if you have time).
  6. Strain the mixture and squeeze all of the juice out of the veggies.
  7. Return the liquid to a small pot. Taste and season to taste.
  8. Bring the gravy to a gentle simmer. Thicken it a little by whisking the cornflour slurry in slowly while it simmers.


  1. Place the sheet of pastry in front of you so that the longer edge runs parallel to the work bench (I used a Jus Roll puff pastry sheet, which measures 23 cm / 9″ by 35 cm / 13.5″ cm). You will place your filling in the horizontal middle of the pastry. The width of the area designated for the filling is determined by the width of your butternut squash (mine was 8 cm / 3″ wide).
  2. Mould some of the filling in a rectangle.
  3. Place the two halves of the butternut squash on top of the filling so that the cut ends touch each other in the centre – you may need to trim them so that they aren’t longer than the filling area.
  4. Mould the rest of the filling over the butternut squash using your hands, making sure you compact the filling as you go along.
  5. Once the filling is in place, make a series of 2.5 cm / 1″ diagonal incisions in the pastry on both sides of the stack to be able to create a braid at the top. See photos and video under this post for more details.
  6. Fold both end (top and bottom) flaps up, like you would wrap a present and then braid the strips over the top of the filling, alternating sides. If you end up with big gaps at either of the ends, patch them up with leftover pastry. This method works great here as it prevents slack in the pastry and allows for tight wrapping despite the slightly irregular shape of the filling. The tiny gaps in between the braids allow the steam to escape and prevents the vegetarian Wellington from bursting while in the oven.
  7. Brush the pastry with soy milk.
  8. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the pastry is beautifully puffed and golden. Serve with gravy and your favourite sides.

 *When choosing a butternut squash, bear in mind the dimensions of your pastry sheet. Mine was 23 cm / 9″ wide so I needed a filling that does not exceed 19 cm / 7.5″ so that there is a sufficient pastry margin left at both ends. You can either use the solid part (i.e. cut off the bulbous part where the seeds are) of a very long squash or two solid halves of a short one put together like I did here.

**I know that Jus-Rol and Pepperidge Farm are definitely vegan and that Dufour definitely isn’t. If in doubt, check the packet for more details.

24 g
29 g
4 g
6 g
61 g
*per serving
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5 reviews, 21 comments
Hi Ania! I'm making this recipe for a faux-mas dinner party this weekend and I can't wait to knock my guests' socks off with all this deliciousness <3 I have a couple questions for you:
- Is it OK to replace the dried mushrooms with fresh mushrooms (how much?) in the gravy?
- Do you have any suggestions on how to repurpose the gravy vegetables after they've been strained from the liquid?
    Hi Nayla,
    Great to hear that you are planning to make this, I hope it will go down well. With regards to your questions, here are my answers: 1) no, not really. porcini are especially flavorful type of mushroom and they are dried so all the flavour is very concentrated and so they contribute way more flavour to the stock than any fresh mushrooms ever could. I would not skip them personally. 2) In terms of the veggies, you can simply blend them and add to a soup or pasta sauce although by the time you are done with them they will have lost most of their flavour, mind you. They can still have a thickening effect, for example. Hope this helps! Ania
      Thanks Ania! It helps! Now the recipe calls for 7oz of dried mushrooms—that's actually 200g, not 20g. I will err on the side of 20g / 0.7 oz because I see in one of your other gravy recipes ( you specified 0.5 oz dried porcini mushrooms. It's too bad because I went out and bought a $16 8oz bag of dried mushrooms!!!
        Oh I am so sorry Nayla, it's totally a typo. I will correct it now. Good news is that they don't spoil provided they are kept in an air-tight jar away from moisture (and that they do not contain any bugs when you buy them, of course). Since you bought so much (sorry, my fault completely) I would pop a lot of them into air-locked bags and into your freezer. This will keep them fresh for longer. They are delicious in soups, stews, sauces, lasagne , risottos, dumplings and gravies to name just a few.
Ann Powell:
I love the write ups for this recipe.
For Christmas meal this year I have a family who are divided in food tastes
So I was wondering if I could make your gorgeous sounding recipe for my two Vegetarian family members and freeze it for a couple of days to give me space to cook other foods? Also if I make your cider gravy would that freeze well?
Thank you
    Thank you Ann. If it's just a couple of days, you don't need to freeze (although you can if you wish) as there are no animal products in this so it does not spoil quickly at all. If you were to freeze (yes, gravy is fine to free although freezing dulls the flavours so you may want to overseason a little), I would recommend freezing separate elements but leaving the pastry work and baking till the day it is served as it will be tastier that way. Hope this helps! Ania
David SM:
I made this for Christmas Day for two people and brought the leftovers to family on Boxing Day everyone complimented on the stuffing and how tasty it was.
It was a fantastic centrepiece and didn’t just look great but tasted great too.
The cider gravy was absolutely delicious made it on Christmas Eve and let it develop before finishing on Christmas Day.
Another fantastic dish thank you and a happy new year to you Ania and I look forward to exploring more dishes from this site in 2023
    Thank you, David! I am delighted to hear that this Welligton and the gravy were such a success at your family Christmas, that makes me truly happy! Thank you for taking the time to let me know that the recipe was a hit in your household and I will do my best to deliver plenty more flavour and texture in 2023 :) > Happy New Year! x Ania
I prepared this dish twice this month, one for friends and once for my family, everyone loved it :) I am excited to try other Wellington recipes from your site!
Merry Christmas!
Wesołych Świat!
    I am so happy to hear that this dish went down so well with your friends and family, Rafał! How nice of you to cook for everyone and I hope you will enjoy making my other recipes too. Hope you had a lovely Christmas with your nearest and dearest. x Ania
I'm giving review just for the cider gravy.
This was so simple and the flavours were great. I found it a little sweet so added a dash of dry sherry to counteract that
    Thanks Maggie, I am happy to hear that you enjoyed it. Apple cider vinegar is added at the end to counteract the sweetness, but sherry sounds great too and I'm glad that you made it suit your palate. Thank you for taking the time to review. x Ania
Sam Smakman:
Dear Ania, this recipe has been a great succes over Xmas here in Amsterdam. It has been a big job fixing the Wellington and making the gravey from scratch, but it was worth the effort. My non vegetarian daughters were impressed with the centerpiece. Combined with stewed pears (stoofpeertjes) and the Brussels Sprouts and baked potatoes this festive meal was close to perfect! Thanks! Sam
    Thank you, Sam! I'm so happy to hear that it was such a success, even amongst meat eaters in your house. The entire meal sounds lovely indeed. x Ania
Can this be made ahead & frozen then cooked on the day ?
    Hi Sharon,
    It's hard for me to be sure as I've never done that. You can certainly make the gravy and stuffing ahead of time and freeze it (you may want to overseason a touch as freezing tends to dull flavours), but I am not sure about freezing cooked squash (it may change its texture). I would definitely advise against wrapping the pastry around the filling until you are ready to bake as it is likely to make it soggy. Hope this helps! Ania
This butternut squash Wellington is amazing! I made it for the first time on Christmas Day and it was the main even for our dinner. Everyone loved it so much they want to have it for Christmas again next year!
    Thanks so much for your kind words, Amanda! I'm delighted to hear that this vegan wellington went down so well with everyone that you plan to make it next year too! That's amazing to hear, I'm so chuffed! x Ania
Hi this recipe looks amazing and am very keen to try for Christmas Day, have just realised with the cider though, does it matter if it’s a cloudy or sparkling cider? Thanks
    I don't think it matters that much. I used gold Cornish Orchards cider, which is sparking cider. Hope you'll enjoy the dish! Ania
Kianna Adams:
Hi Ania, looking forward to trying this recipe! For the gravy, what kind of cider did you use? Apple cider, an alcoholic cider beverage? Just want to make sure I'm doing this right - thanks and Merry Christmas!
    Hi Kianna,
    Yes, I used an apple cider (alcoholic). Hope you'll enjoy it! x Ania
Love your site!
Id like to present this lovely looking recipe at a dinner party, though regrettably can't get chestnuts easily in Aus, any alternative suggestions?
Helen Egan
    Hi Helen,
    Thank you, I am so happy to hear that you enjoy my blog. With regards to your question, you could go with mushroom duxelles like in this recipe or a mixture of wilted spinach, nuts, olives etc. like I did here. Hope that helps! Ania
That gravy alone is amazing, let alone with the festive pastry. Happy Christmas 🎄
    Thank you, Sally! Very Merry Xmas to you too. x Ania
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