Try this savoury baklava recipe then check out our sweet version of baklava. We've also got plenty more vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas, including our beetroot tarte tatin, vegan nut roast, vegan pigs in blankets and vegan wellington

This vegetarian Christmas main can be easily doubled in size if you have a crowd to feed – just use a larger baking tray. To make it vegan, simply swap out the butter for olive oil, and use a vegan feta-style cheese, or just leave it out.


  • 1kg butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • olive oil
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, white part chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 180g pack cooked and peeled chestnuts, chopped
  • 150g soft white breadcrumbs
  • a handful coriander, finely chopped
  • 50g sultanas
  • 100ml vegetable stock, hot
  • 2 x 270g packs filo pastry
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • 1 tsp black onion seeds or black sesame seeds
  • to drizzle runny honey
  • a pinch dried chilli flakes, (optional)
  • sea salt flakes


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the squash onto a baking tray with 2 tbsp of olive oil and lots of seasoning, then toss. Bake for 10 minutes then add the chickpeas, cumin seeds and harissa, stir everything and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the squash is just tender. Cool, then use a fork to mash ½ of the chickpeas. Turn the oven down to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

  • STEP 2

    Heat another 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Cook the onions, leek and garlic for 10-15 minutes or until softened. Put ½ the mixture in a bowl with the chestnuts, breadcrumbs, coriander, sultanas and stock, mix well and season. Stir the remaining onion and leek mixture into the squash and chickpeas.

  • STEP 3

    To assemble the baklava, trim the filo sheets so they fit neatly into a deep 25cm x 35cm baking dish or roasting tin. Brush the dish with melted butter. Brush 4 of the filo sheets with melted butter then layer up in the bottom of the dish. Add 1/3 of the squash mix, 1/3 of the chestnut mix and 1/3 of the crumbled feta.

  • STEP 4

    Top with another 4 sheets of buttered filo and add another 1/3 of each mix. Top with another 4 sheets, then the remaining mixtures, then finish with a final layer of 4 buttered sheets.

  • STEP 5

    Cut a classic bakalava pattern into the pastry all the way through to the bottom layer (see picture on p11). Sprinkle with the onion seeds then bake for 30-40 minutes or until the baklava is deep golden and crisp. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chilli flakes and sea salt flakes before serving in wedges.


Janine Ratcliffe Portrait
Janine RatcliffeFood director

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 5 out of 5.1 rating