Okay, guys, I think I hit the jackpot with this VEGAN MUSHROOM WELLINGTON.
I’m sorry for YELLING at you, but this is officially my new favorite holiday recipe. I am so dang proud of this recipe. It will truly knock your socks off and it definitely deserves to be on your holiday table. It will please vegans, vegetarians, and even meat lovers. My meat-eating boyfriend couldn’t stop eating this and keeps insisting I make it every week.
Beef Wellington is traditionally made with, well, beef, but my version is of course 100% vegan and cruelty-free. But it doesn’t skimp on flavor or texture. The savory mushroom filling is so dang tasty that you’ll want to it the filling raw (it’s delicious and perfectly safe to do so). And then it’s wrap in a flaky and light puff pastry dough. The combination is truly electric.
While this is a more involved recipe, there are lot of process photos and very detailed instructions. Be sure to read through them before starting this recipe, as it does require a bit more time and prep than my usual recipes. I mean, it’s the holidays after all. Were you expecting a 30-minute weeknight recipe? NOPE. Plus, once you taste this baby, you will know that all of the time was well worth it.
How to make the Mushroom Filling
Begin the recipe by cooking the lentils. You can do this in the Instant Pot or stovetop (recipe card has instructions for both). Cool the lentils completely before using (I refrigerate them to speed it up).
Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients (onions, garlic, mushrooms, fresh herbs). If you are making the Mushroom Gravy to go alongside this Wellington, you can prep these ingredients at the same time. Both the log and the gravy call for chopped onions, mushrooms, garlic, and fresh thyme/rosemary. Just set aside the gravy ingredients until you’re ready to use them.
Cook the onions and mushrooms down until browned and then set them aside to cool completely (I put it in the fridge with the lentils).
This cooling step is important! If you blend the mushroom filling while it’s still warm, the filling will be very sticky and difficult to form into a log. If your blended filling is warm because you skipped the cooling step, you’ll need chill it in the fridge before moving forward.
While the mushrooms are cooling, prep and measure out the other filling ingredients. Blitz the walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. I love adding walnuts to the filling because they add a surprisingly meaty, chewy texture. Also, they bring yet another source of umami (in addition to the mushrooms, miso, and nutritional yeast). Since we are trying to mimic the taste of meat, albeit in a subtle way, the more umami the better!
Remove the walnuts from the food processor. Once the mushroom mixture is cooled, add it to the food processor. Add in the the other filling ingredients (miso paste, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and lemon juice). Blend together and then add back in the ground walnuts, along with panko bread crumbs and flour. Blend until all of the ingredients are well incorporated and you have a somewhat sticky dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dump the mushroom filling onto the paper. Use your hands to shape the filling into a log shape that’s approximately 7 inches long and 4.5-5 inches wide (18cm long, 11.5-12.5 inches wide), and no taller than 1 inch (2.5 cm). It should be fairly easy to do this.
Bake the loaf in the oven until the top is golden and it’s relatively firm to the touch. Allow the log to cool completely before assembling it with the pastry.
How to Assemble this Vegan Beef Wellington
While the mushroom log is cooling, remove your frozen puff pastry from the freezer.
Speaking of puff pastry, many store-bought puff pastry doughs are naturally vegan. Of course, be sure to check the ingredients to confirm there is no butter. Pepperidge Farms makes vegan puff pastry and this post lists a few more options.
While the log is cooling, prepare your pastry work surface. Scatter some flour on a flat surface and lay down the frozen sheet of puff pastry. Allow it to come to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. If you are making the gravy, you can get started on that while waiting.
Once the puff pastry is thawed, use a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape that is roughly 9 inches wide x 13 inches long (23 cm wide vs. 33 cm wide). Use a knife to trim off any excess pieces (save them for another use). As you can see from my below photo on the right, it’s fine if your rectangle is not perfectly rectangular.
PS: Don’t have a rolling pin? No problem! I couldn’t find mine (I suspect it’s hidden somewhere irretrievable in my basement storage), but a wine bottle did the job just fine. You can use an empty wine bottle or a full wine bottle. If you use the latter, I prefer a chilled one because the cold temperature cools the dough and ensures it won’t stick to the bottle.
Now here comes the fun part! If you have not worked with pastry before, it’s easier than it sounds/looks. And the detailed instructions should guide you along the way.
Place the cooled mushroom log in the middle of the pastry sheet so that the top and bottom of the log almost touch the edges of the pastry, widthwise. Start on one end of the pastry and use a paring knife to cut 1 inch/2.5 cm strips about a fourth of the way into the rectangle dough, almost but not quite reaching where the mushroom log is. Repeat on the other side. You should have about 9 strips on each side. This will enable you to create a beautiful lattice pattern.
Then, brush each strip of dough with the vegan “egg wash” mixture (simply plant-based milk mixed with oil). This not only helps seal the dough but also helps the puff pastry get more beautifully golden brown.
Now it’s time to fold up the pastry! Start at one end of the pastry strips, and braid one strip on top of the log, then do the same on the other side. Continue alternating the strips on top of the log until you’ve used them all up.
Once you’ve braided all the strips on top of the mushroom log, tuck and pinch in the remaining dough at the top and bottom into the log. Brush on some of the “egg wash” solution to help seal these edges, as well as all over the pastry.
Then sprinkle the whole loaf with some coarse/flaky sea salt. Adding the salt on top really takes this loaf over the top, flavor- and texture-wise, so don’t skip it! Finally, lightly prick the dough all over with a fork. The small holes will allow steam to escape during baking, making for more even baking.
At this point, the pastry will be quite warm since it’s been sitting outside for awhile and you’ve been handling it a lot. And when you bake warm pastry dough, it can bake unevenly. That’s why I pop the loaf into the fridge for 15-20 minutes. I know, there’s a lot of waiting, but I told you this recipe takes some time (but it is SO WORTH IT).
While you’re waiting, you can do a few things.
Prepare your baking sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment paper.
Finish prepping your Mushroom Gravy and/or start making it.
Start washing some dishes!
Once the loaf has chilled for a bit, bake it on the baking sheet at 375°F / 190°C for 25 minutes. Then, increase your oven temperature to 425°F / 218°C and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the top is beautifully golden brown, flaky, and puffed. I find that this two-temperature system makes for the most evenly baked loaf.
The first time I baked this loaf, I baked it all at 425°F and the top browned quite quickly, while the inner pieces of dough did not fully bake through. The second time, I baked it all at 375°F and all of the dough baked through, but the pastry wasn’t as beautifully golden brown.
And while the loaf is baking, finish up on that Mushroom Gravy. Personally, I think this loaf is rich and moist enough that it doesn’t need gravy. But, traditionally, beef Wellington is served with gravy, so I provide the option here as well. The mushroom gravy is made with many of the same ingredients as the mushroom log, so it should be pretty quick to throw together.
You will likely have some gravy leftover, so you can store cooled gravy in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for a month.
Now that you know EXACTLY how to make this Vegan Wellington, a few notes on substitutions and the like.
Mushrooms. I used a combination of shiitake mushrooms and cremini mushrooms for the mushroom log. You can use any variety you like. Keep in mind that you might need to cook button mushrooms for longer because they have a higher water content.
Fresh herbs. I love using fresh herbs in my recipes because they bring more potent flavor. That said, you can substitute the fresh thyme and rosemary with dried herbs. To substitute dried, you’ll need 1/3 of the amount called for (i.e., a teaspoon dried instead of a tablespoon of fresh).
Walnuts. I toast the walnuts because toasting process releases the oils in the nut, thereby deepening and enhancing flavors that otherwise lie dormant. Plus, you can easily do this on the stove in 5 minutes while your mushroom-onion filling is cooling. I don’t recommend skipping this step!
Miso paste. I almost alway use a mellow miso paste (white or yellow) in my recipes. If all you have is red miso paste, use a bit less, as it’s more pungent and pronounced in flavor. You could also use chickpea miso.
Panko bread crumbs. The reason I like using panko bread crumbs is because the large, airy flakes add a delightful, subtle crunchiness. If you don’t have them, you can substitute with regular bread crumbs (or more all-purpose flour).
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you try out this Vegan Mushroom Wellington for the holidays this year (or any time you want to impress your guests during the winter). It is truly one of the best things I’ve ever made and I know you will LOVE IT.
Be sure to leave me a comment below with your feedback and tag me with your recreations on Instagram!
- Scant 1/3 cup (60g) dried brown or green lentils (equivalent of 6 ounces cooked lentils)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil*
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped**
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 8 ounces (~227g) mushrooms (I use part shiitake, part cremini)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (can substitute with 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika (optional but adds a slight reddish color to the loaf)
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup (~110g) walnuts, toasted***
- 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (~20g) panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup (32g) all-purpose flour
- 1 sheet of vegan puff pastry****
- Flour for rolling out the pastry
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened plant-based milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or any neutral oil
- Coarse/flaky sea salt
- Cook the lentils. Instant Pot: add the lentils to the inner pot along with 2/3 cup (160 mL) water and a pinch or two of kosher salt. Use the pressure cook setting at high pressure for 6 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release (after 10 minutes, manually release any remaining steam). If they're not tender yet, pressure cook for 1-2 additional minutes; 5 minute pressure release. Stovetop: in a small or medium saucepan, add the lentils and cover with a decent amount of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan to maintain a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Drain off any excess water. Transfer cooked lentils to a bowl and refrigerate until cooled.
- Add the mushrooms to a food processor and blitz several times until they’re finely chopped. Or, finely chop with a knife.
- Cook the mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onions with a tiny pinch of kosher salt and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until softened and golden brown. Add the garlic, mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, paprika and black pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are softened and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Then add the kosher salt and cook for one additional minute. Remove the mushrooms from the heat and transfer them to the refrigerator to cool down.
- Toast and blend the walnuts. While the mushrooms are cooling, toast the walnuts***. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer the toasted walnuts to a food processor and blitz until you have fine crumbs, but don’t over-process or it will start to turn into walnut butter. Transfer the ground walnuts to a bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C.
- Make the mushroom-lentil filling. Add the cooled lentils and mushroom mixture to the food processor, along with the miso paste, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and lemon juice. Blend until you have a somewhat smooth, slightly sticky mixture that comes together.1. Add in the reserved ground walnuts, bread crumbs, and flour, and blend again until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.2. For a visual of what the consistency should look like, check out the photos in the blog post.3. If your filling is warm (this will be the case if you did not cool the cooked mushrooms), refrigerate it for 15-30 minutes until it is easy to mold together with your hands.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the mushroom filling to the pan and use your hands to form it into a log shape that is roughly 7 inches long and 4 ½ to 5 inches wide (18cm x 11.5-12.5 cm), and no taller than 1 inch. See the photos in the blog post for reference
- Bake the filling. Bake the mushroom log in the preheated oven for 35 minutes until it is relatively firm to the touch and brown and slightly crisp on the outside (if testing it with a thermometer, the internal temperature should read between 200-205ºF or 94-96ºC). Allow to cool completely and turn off oven.
- Defrost the puff pastry and/or make the gravy. While the log is cooling, place some flour down on a flat work surface and lay the sheet of puff pastry down. Allow to thaw and come to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. If you are making the gravy, you can get started on that.NOTE: I don't recommend thawing the pastry for more than 30 minutes, as it can get too warm and sticky to roll.
- Assemble the pastry. Once the puff pastry is thawed, use a rolling pin (or a chilled wine bottle) to roll the pastry into a rectangular shape that is roughly 9 inches wide x 13 inches long (23 cm wide vs. 33 cm wide).
- Braid the dough (look at the photos in the blog post): Place the cooled mushroom log in the middle of the pastry sheet so that the top and bottom of the log almost touch the edges of the pastry, widthwise. Start on one end of the pastry and use a paring knife to cut 1 inch/2.5 cm strips about a fourth of the way up, almost but not quite reaching where the mushroom log is. Repeat on the other side. You should have about 9 strips on each side.1. Whisk together the plant-based milk and oil in a small bowl. This is the vegan “egg wash.” Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash onto each strip of dough.2. Starting at one end, braid a pastry strip on top of the log, alternating each side. When you finish braiding the strips, pinch and tuck the in the edges into the top and bottom of the log, and brush on some of the egg wash to help seal the edges.
- Lightly prick the dough all over with a fork - the small holes will allow steam to escape during baking, making for more even baking. Carefully transfer the Wellington to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the egg wash all over the rest of the pastry (you may not use it all) and then sprinkle with some coarse/flaky sea salt.
- Refrigerate the pastry for 15-20 minutes to allow the dough to cool back down (baking the puff pastry while it’s warm may cause it to bake unevenly).
- Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the pastry from the fridge and bake for 25 minutes. Then increase the oven temperature to 425°F / 218°C and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the top is beautifully golden brown, flaky, and puffed and the internal temperature reaches 200-205ºF or 94-96ºC.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing through. Serve plain or with the Mushroom Gravy.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely fresh thyme leaves (can substitute with 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 cups (~150-200g) chopped cremini mushrooms (“brown button” mushrooms)
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 /2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder, or cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups (360 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon white or yellow miso paste
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook about 4 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add the garlic, mushrooms, thyme, and rosemary and black pepper and cook until the mushrooms reduce in volume and the liquid has mostly but not fully evaporated. Add the 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the arrowroot and whisk it in to coat the mushrooms, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the gravy to a blender and add the miso paste. Blend until the gravy is creamy and smooth.
- Transfer the gravy back to the pan and heat over low heat for 3-5 minutes to further thicken it up. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Store leftover cooled gravy in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for a month.