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10 delicious vegetarian Christmas main courses

From perfect pies and tarts to stuffed squash and impressive nut roasts, our top 10 vegetarian Christmas main courses prove that festive meat-free mains can be just as spectacular and delicious.

Parsnip, chickpea and apricot nut roast
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Parsnip, chickpea and apricot nut roast

Say hello to your new favourite vegan centrepiece, packed full of fruit, veggies, nuts and spices, this will entice even the most stubborn of meat-eaters. Parsnip turns sweeter when it's in season, making this the ideal veg to champion in this super nut roast.

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C and generously grease a 900g/2lb nonstick loaf tin eith 1 tbsp oil. Peel 2 parsnips (about 200g) into wide ribbons with a vegetable peeler, then overlap the ribbons across the base and long sides of the tine to line it, leaving any excess hanging over the sides of the tin. Set aside.

  2. Cut the remaining parsnips into 4cm pieces and toss with 2 tbsp oil on a baking tray. Spread out in a single layer, season and roast for 25-30 mins until soft to the point of a knife.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a low-medium heat. Fry the onion with a pinch of salt for 7-8 mins until soft. Add the garlic, thyme and paprika and cook for 2 mins more.

  4. In a large bowl, mix the flax seeds with the tahini, lemon zest and juice, and 3 tbsp warm water. Set aside for 5-10 mins to plump up.

  5. Tip the onion mixture into the bowl of a food processor with the chickpeas, ground almonds and half the roasted parsnips. Pulse to a coarse purée, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add to the flax mixture, along with the remaining roasted parsnips, the apricots, nuts and parsley. Season and stir well to combine.

  6. Spoon into the prepared tin, pressing down firmly and evenly. Bring any overhanging parsnip ribbons over to cover the top. Cover the entire loaf with foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 mins. Remove the foil and cook for 15-20 mins more until golden and firm. Rest in the tin for 5 mins, then run a knife around the edge and turn out onto a serving dish. Top with thyme sprigs to serve.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Freeze cooked, sliced roast. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer

See more Vegan Christmas recipes

View full recipe details
  • Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 900g parsnips, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10g fresh thyme, leaves picked, plus extra sprigs to serve
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp milled flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 200g ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 75g walnut or pecan halves, chopped
  • 30g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped