Cranberry-Glazed Nut Loaf

When it comes to Christmas dinner, for me, nothing can beat a nut loaf served with a big pile of roasted veggies and onion gravy ♥ 

My mum made me my first nut roast for Christmas when I was 12 and it was by far the best Christmas dinner I’d ever had! In contrast to turkey (which I’d always found pretty bland), the nut roast was packed with beautiful flavours and textures. Since then, I’ve always chosen to have nut loaf as the centre piece of my Christmas dinner… and for many years now, my mum has chosen it over turkey too!!

In fact, pretty much everyone I know loves a nut roast, regardless of whether they’re vegetarian, vegan or not, so this is a great meal to serve to friends and family over the Christmas holidays, or as a special Sunday roast dinner.

The nut loaf recipe I’m sharing today has be my family’s all-time favourite. It’s the one we’ve chosen as the centre piece of our Christmas dinner for the past ten years or so. We only make it at Christmas (to keep it ‘special’) and I’m already looking forward to tucking into it again this year!

Not only does it taste delicious, but it is easy to make too! It also stores really well, which means you can make the loaf a few days in advance of Christmas (or Thanksgiving) then simply heat up some slices before serving. The last thing I want to be doing in the Christmas holidays is slaving away in the kitchen and missing out on the fun, so this kind of ‘make ahead’ meal really suits me!

This Cranberry-Glazed Nut Loaf has proven to be popular with our lovely readers too. I first posted this recipe back in December 2013 and I’ve absolutely loved reading your feedback and seeing your photos on social media. Thank you so much to everyone that’s taken the time to do this. It means a lot to me!

This blog post was in desperate need of updating (especially since we moved our website to a new format this year) so I’m really happy to have finally found the time to do so. This is one recipe that I’m sure my family is going to be making for many years to come!

Cranberry-Glazed Nut Loaf

This nut loaf is perfect for sharing with friends and family over the festive holidays or as the centrepiece to a Sunday roast dinner. It can be made two or three days in advance and warmed through in the oven or a microwave just before serving. It also makes a delicous sandwich filling served with caramelised onion chutney or sweet pickle.
Hands-on Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, English
Keyword: Lunchbox Ideas, Vegan Christmas Dinner, Vegan Dinners, Vegan Roast Dinner, Vegan Sandwiches, Vegan Thanksgiving
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 250 g / 1½ cups cashew nuts
  • 125 g / 1¾ cups fresh wholegrain bread
  • 200 g / 1 cup red lentils
  • 500 ml / 2 cups vegetable stock (broth)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large red onion (160g) finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks (140g) finely diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 100 g / 1 cup mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 TBSP tomato purée (paste)
  • 40 g / ⅓ cup wholemeal (whole wheat pastry) flour or chapatti flour
  • 2-3 TBSP fresh parsley finely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP each of pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • 4 TBSP cranberry sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan) / 375F.
  • Grease a large (3lb) loaf pan (about 24cm x 13cm x 7cm in size) and line with a strip of non-stick baking paper to cover the bottom and long sides. Leave a little excess paper hanging out to make it easy for you to lift out the loaf. (Alternatively you can use a non-stick loaf liner).
  • Pulse the cashews in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then place in a large mixing bowl. Process the bread into breadcrumbs, then add to the mixing bowl.
  • Place the lentils in a fine mesh sieve and wash under running water, agitating them with your hand until the water runs clear.
  • In a pan, bring the vegetable stock and lentils to the boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the lentils have become a soft purée and all the water has been absorbed. Stir regularly towards the end of the cooking time to prevent the lentils from sticking.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) and cook the onion and celery until they start to soften. Add the garlic, mushrooms and sage, and cook for a further three minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and flour, then remove from the heat.
  • Add the contents of the frying pan to the mixing bowl with the cashews and breadcrumbs. Add the cooked lentils, parsley and salt, and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Gently press down and level the top. Sprinkle with pine nuts and seeds, and press them into the loaf. Spread the cranberry sauce on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes. When ready, the loaf should feel firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes, before turning out and slicing (it will firm up more as it cools). If you’re making it ahead of time, you can leave it in the pan until completely cooled.
  • This loaf will keep for five days in the fridge, and for weeks in the freezer. If you’re not planning on eating the loaf in one go, you can slice it and freeze it in portions. The loaf can also be served cold and makes a great sandwich filling.

Pin for later ⬇️

If you have any leftovers, I can highly recommend stuffing them into a sandwich or pitta bread, along with some caramelised onion chutney or sweet pickle. My family calls this our ‘Boxing Day’ sandwich. It’s delicious!!

If you make this Nut Loaf (or any other recipes on my blog), I’d love to hear your feedback and any suggestions for adaptations! Tag your photos with #bitofthegoodstuff on social media and they will find their way to me. You can also connect with me on my social media channels here:
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With love,

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40 thoughts on “Cranberry-Glazed Nut Loaf

  1. Lovely. That’s Xmas dinner sorted! Just got to do my Xmas shopping, send my Xmas cards, put up the Xmas Lights and service Santa’s sleigh. No problem!

      1. Hi Fiona! I’ve always cooked it before freezing it. I then pop it in the fridge overnight to defrost, then either bake the whole loaf again or just warm up slices (covered in foil to stop them drying out). Slices also microwave really well (though I don’t do this anymore as my microwave broke!)

        1. Thanks for speedy response Sharon. Will make this next week and freeze. Veggie CHRISTMAS so easy on the day. No worries about ‘ is it cooked through? Will I poison everyone? Also tastier. Thanks. Fiona

  2. That’s one of the nicest looking nut loaves I’ve seen anywhere, the glossy cranberry glaze makes it particularly attractive. Looks like it’s firm and slices nice and cleanly (I don’t like mushy nut loaf!) with lots of texture too. Great job!

  3. I completely break the veggie/vegan stereotype here but in nearly 10 years of being veggie and 3 years vegan I have never had a nut roast?! I am actually planning on making one this Christmas though, hope it’s good!

  4. Your nut loaf looks awesome! I really like the idea of the cranberry sauce glaze, it certainly adds a lovely finishing touch to an already delicious dish. I’ll have to play around with the veggies a bit to make it ours (my love doesn’t like celery, and I’ve never been able to appreciate mushrooms), but since you’ve done your share of experimenting, I feel confident the recipe can take it and will still turn out great.

    1. Really lovely to hear from you Josiane ♥
      If you whizz the mushrooms in a food processor, you won’t be able to detect them in the roast. However, if you really don’t fancy including them, you could sub with some soy or tamari sauce instead. I’m sure the celery would be fine to omit altogether.
      Here’s wishing you a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year! xx

  5. I made this, what I can only describe as, divine nut loaf the other night. It was quite simply gorgeous, had some left overs for the next again day that we threw in a bap with some peri peri sauce (I know, bit weird but it worked). Yx

    1. Hi Yvonne! I’m so delighted that you liked it 😀 I usually stuff the leftover slices into pittas with chutney and some salad leaves, but I’ve never tried it with a spicy sauce. Will definitely have to give it a try next time round!
      Wishing you all the best for 2014 xx

  6. Thank you for this recipe – this is our first Christmas as vegans and we were wondering what to make. I’ve just taken this out of the oven and had a sneaky taste and it tastes amazing!!

    Merry Christmas! 🙂 x

    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for your feedback. I am over the moon that you liked the lentil and nut roast 😀
      I hope you enjoyed your first Vegan Christmas… May it be the first of many! 🙂
      Wishing you a very happy New Year xx

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this in The Vegan Kind box this month! I’m nibbling my stupendous Sunday Roast right now – it’s scrumptious. I’ve always wanted to try a nut loaf for my open-to-vegan-but-still-meat-eating family and all agree it’s excellent. Many thanks – looking forward to exploring your blog and trying more of your recipes. Happy holidays!

    1. I’m a huge fan of TVK, so you can imagine how excited I was when they asked if they could feature my Nut Loaf in the Christmas box! I am thrilled to hear how much you & your family enjoyed the recipe 😀 I really appreciate you stopping by to let me know. You’ve made my day!
      Here’s wishing you & your family a very happy festive break ♥ xx

  8. Dear Sharon this nut loaf looks completely delicious !!
    Definitely i have to try it !
    Thanks again for this wonderful page and your incredible job,
    ideas and creative articles and recipes,i really enjoy them!!
    Have the most fabulous Christmas and a happy and gorgeous new year !!

    1. Hi Maria,
      Thank you so much for your kind words ♥ I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the recipes 😀 Here’s wishing you a very merry, fun-filled Christmas & happy, healthy New Year xx

  9. thank you for this recipe…just made it ready for tomorrow so thought I would give it a test drive with some roasted veggies for my xmas eve dinner…and it’s lovely! always amazes me when my cooking turns out ok but so far, every recipe of yours that I’ve tried has been fab! thank you and merry xmas 🙂 xx

    1. Yay! I’m so happy to hear that my recipes are working out for you 😀 Thank you so much for stopping by to let me know. Means a lot to me. Really pleased that the nut loaf is a ‘winner’ too ♥ Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful day tomorrow xx

  10. Alison
    April 19, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Sharon – This is the 2nd of yours I have tried as the struggling vegan to be – despite 37 years of being a very careful, thoughtful, dedicated and good vegetarian cook…ONCE AGAIN this is simply FANTASTICHE! Man in the field came home and said it was ‘BEAUTIFUL’ – I did all the veggie trims and threw a little red wine in to the mix I have to say as a ‘special’. I intend to go on with all of your recipes. I have followed other vegan posts and things haven’t turned out well despite my efforts. Keep it going please Sharon – I feel really inspired! Alison
    Reply

    1. Thank you so much Alison for your kind words ♥ I’m thrilled that the recipes are working out for you. I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to send me feedback. If you have any vegan recipe requests, don’t hesitate to contact me. I love creating recipes for my lovely readers 😀 xx

  11. Hi Sharon.

    I just made this for our New Year’s Day dinner and served with roast potatoes, chard and onion gravy. It was really delicious! Thanks very much. I did make some apple and cranberry sauce for Christmas, so had some leftover and it went with the loaf beautifully. Here’s the recipe I used – http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/apple-cranberry-sauce/#pX6HiC70VWGCpy4H.97 – really incredibly easy and the apple gives the sauce a nice edge.

    Happy New Year!

    Ben

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by to give me your feedback. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the loaf and love the sound of Jamie Oliver’s apple & cranberry sauce. I’m definitely going to check out the recipe.
      Happy New Year Ben!

    1. Hi Hannah. When cooked, the red lentils end up as a puree which moistens the loaf and helps hold it together, so I don’t think green lentils could be substituted. However, Angela at Oh She Glows has quite a few green lentil recipes on her blog. Top of my ‘to try’ list are these two:
      http://ohsheglows.com/2014/06/17/ultimate-green-taco-wraps-with-lentil-walnut-taco-meat-vegan-gluten-free/ http://ohsheglows.com/2013/11/13/lentil-mushroom-walnut-balls-with-cranberry-pear-sauce/
      Both sound amazing and have great reviews x

  12. Loved this recipe and not even Christmas! I used my own dried oregano as I had no sage & mixed in redcurrant jelly with the cranberry pretty darn tasty. Thanks to my son & flat mates who went vegan at uni 3 years ago I would never have found your fab blog.

    1. YAY!! So pleased you enjoyed it Sue! It’s definitely one that can be enjoyed all year round and not just at Christmas 😀

      And big thank you also to your son for leading you to my blog! It’s wonderful to hear that both him and his flat mates chose to go vegan at Uni. The younger generation are definitely giving me hope for a brighter future for this planet! 🌎🌱💚

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