Smoky squash, lentil and date nut roast

Christmas nut roast

  • serves 6
  • Easy

A nut roast but not as you know it – packed with umami, smokiness and sweetness from squash, lentil and dates, we think this is our best ever!


Try our Christmas nut roast then check out our vegan nut roast, beetroot tarte tatinmushroom pithiviers and more vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas.



  • butternut squash 400g, cut into 2cm cubes
  • smoked paprika 3 tsp
  • garlic 2 cloves, skin on
  • sage 2 leaves, finely chopped
  • olive oil 2 tbsp, plus extra for the tin
  • onion 1, finely chopped
  • chestnut mushrooms 200g, finely chopped
  • tomato purée 2 tbsp
  • soy sauce 2 tbsp
  • red lentils 125g
  • vegetable stock 300ml
  • medjool dates 4, pitted and sliced
  • soft white breadcrumbs 50g
  • mixed nuts (pecans, walnuts and brazil nuts work well) 150g, chopped
  • eggs 2 large, beaten


  • butter 3 tbsp
  • pecans or walnuts 50g
  • sage 4-6 leaves
  • runny honey 1 tbsp
  • smoked paprika a pinch
  • medjool date 1, sliced


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Toss the squash, 1 tsp of the paprika, all the garlic and sage, and 1 tbsp of olive oil with some seasoning on a roasting tray and cook for 20 minutes until tender and lightly golden at the edges.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 10 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes until all the moisture has evaporated and they begin to turn golden. Stir in the remaining 2 tsp of paprika, all the tomato purée, soy sauce, lentils and stock, and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the stock has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Stir the dates, breadcrumbs, nuts and eggs into the cooled lentil mixture, add some seasoning, then fold in most of the roasted squash, leaving 6-8 cubes for the topping. Squeeze the garlic from the skins, and fold through the mix.

  • Step 4

    Oil and line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the tin, packing it down with the back of a spoon. Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes until golden-topped and coming away from the sides of the tin. Rest for 10 minutes before inverting the nut roast onto a serving platter.

  • Step 5

    While the nut roast is resting, melt the butter in a frying pan until foaming, then fry the nuts and sage for 2 minutes until the sage is crisp, then briefly stir in the reserved squash pieces, the honey, paprika and sliced date. Spoon over the nut roast to serve.

Head here for more veggie Christmas mains

Savoury Baklava Recipe for Vegetarians

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 546
  • Fat 36g
  • Saturates 8.3g
  • Carbs 36.5g
  • Sugars 21g
  • Fibre 7.1g
  • Protein 15.5g
  • Salt 1.2g