As far as vegan Christmas recipes go, this one is one of my staples. I have to give a shoutout to my beautiful step Mum for this delicious cashew nutloaf recipe. She made it for Christmas one year, back when I was vegetarian, so the original recipe contains dairy cheese and eggs.
It’s become something that I craaaave every Christmas so I had to find a way to veganise it… so here it is!
The awesome thing about this vegan nutloaf is that it can be served warm OR cold, however it definitely holds together better when served cold. Which makes it a perfect Australian Christmas recipe!
Down here in my part of the world, the only white we see at Christmas time is the sand on the beach. So naturally, on a 30 degree Celcius (that’s POSITIVE!) day, our Christmas spreads look vastly different to our Northern friends!
At least in my family, our Christmas food involves lots of fruit platters, salads and cold (sometimes warm) finger foods.
This is an awesome dish for either scenario as it can be served warm or cold. It’s great for sharing and makes a tasty addition to whatever else you have on offer on the big day!
You will need a food processor for this one. If you’re new to vegan cooking, a decent food processor would probably be my Number 1 recommendation to add to your kitchen appliances, if you don’t already have one. It really does come in handy for soooo many good vegan recipes.
Basically, this recipe involves two separate mixtures: A cashew nutmeat mix and then a ‘cheesy’ capsicum & leek mixture, which is sandwiched between two layers of the nutmeat to make the loaf.
A good meltable vegan cheese is a key ingredient for the middle layer. There’s a good chance you’ve noticed by now that these have become very easy to find, even in major supermarkets.
My personal favourite vegan cheese brand is Sheese, which is a Scottish brand that is available in most major supermarkets in Australia and the UK. And if you live in North America you’re lucky – you guys have a huge choice of plant based cheeses.
However, vegan cheese is still a bit more expensive than its dairy-based counterpart, so if you’re on a budget I suggest you start making your own cheese! There are a number of ways to make meltable vegan cheese at home. Check this link for my vegan cheese recipes so far (more to come!). You can use my meltable vegan mozzarella recipe for this nutloaf, just follow the suggestions for adding a little more flavour to make it more like a tasty cheese 🙂
Some Final Tips
- You can swap the cashews for walnuts, or even use half and half! The flavour and results are very similar.
- Use gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of sourdough to make this a gluten free nutloaf.
- Substitute ground chia instead of ground flaxseed if you prefer.
- I highly recommend using the optional liquid smoke – my Stepmum’s original recipe uses smoked cheddar, so if you can’t get a meltable vegan smoked cheese, this is an easy way to add a smokey flavour. If you enjoy a smokey flavour you will use this stuff a LOT in your plant based cooking!
- The finer you grind your nuts, the better the loaf will hold together. But feel free to leave a few chunks if you want added texture.
- Bookmark this in your “Awesome Vegan Christmas Recipes” tab!
A plant based Christmas is the best kind of Christmas. Wishing you and your loves the Merriest one of all 😉
Served warm or cold, great for sharing
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 200 grams button mushrooms finely sliced
- 150 grams green beans stringed and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves finely chopped
- 300 grams cashew nuts
- 1.5 cups sourdough breadcrumbs (or gluten-free)
- 3 tbsp ground flax meal mixed with 9 tbsp water to make 'flax eggs'
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 small red chilli (optional) deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 small leek finely chopped
- 1 medium red capsicum finely chopped
- 2 tbsp ground flax meal mixed with 6 tbsp water to make 'flax eggs'
- 3/4 cup grated, meltable vegan cheese tasty or cheddar-style
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/4 tsp salt
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan-forced).
Prepare your flax eggs by whisking 3 tablespoons of the ground flax with 9 tablespoons of water in one bowl, and 2 tablespoons of ground flax with 6 tablespoons of water in a separate bowl. Set aside to thicken.
Grease and line a 20x8cm loaf pan with baking paper.
Process the cashews to a fine crumb in a food processor then add to a large mixing bowl.
Heat the coconut oil in a frypan over medium heat, then add the mushrooms, leek, green beans and chilli (if using) and cook, stirring for around 5 minutes until ingredients are softened.
Transfer to the mixing bowl along with the ground cashews, then add the breadcrumbs chopped sage, 3 of the flax eggs, 1/2 tsp of salt and a few cracks of pepper (if you like).
Heat the other tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat in a frypan and add the diced onion and capsicum. Cook for around 5 minutes until both are softened.
Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in the vegan cheese, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke, 1/4 tsp salt and a few cracks of pepper (if you like). Once these are well combined, add in your remaining 2 flax eggs and stir well with a fork to combine.
You now have your two mixtures in separate bowls ready to press into the loaf pan. Start with half of the nutmeat mixture and press firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan.
Press all of the filling mixture evenly into the pan, followed by the remainder of the nutmeat mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for at least half an hour in the pan before turning and slicing to serve warm, OR - allow to cool completely in the fridge to serve as a cold finger food. Either works well, but it will hold together better when cooled 🙂