Hello, my chickpeas! I may be biased, but I think today’s recipe is worthy of a place at the center of your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Let’s talk about my Veggie Lentil Wellington!
This recipe is essentially a vegetable lentil loaf, wrapped in puff pastry to make it super pretty (and delicious!), and baked. It may not be the most traditional holiday meal ever, but it will be absolutely beautiful on your plant based table this year! Let’s get into it!
Inspiration for Veggie Lentil Wellington
I’ve always been a pretty simple girly when it comes to holiday food – plop some tomato soup in front of me and I’m pretty happy! However, I’ve challenged myself the last couple years to make my Thanksgiving and Christmas meals a little bit more special. It’s been fun to make things that are a little “fancier” than my typical weeknight meals, but aren’t so intricate that they overwhelm me. And that’s the vibe I was going for with this recipe!
Before we get into the Veggie Lentil Wellington, lets talk briefly about beef Wellingtons since they *very loosely* inspired this recipe. Beef Wellington recipes can vary, but typically they consist of a beef tenderloin that is covered in a mushroom duxelle mixture, wrapped in puff pastry, and baked. I did some research and learned that the concept of wrapping meat in pastry has been around for many centuries, but the origin of the beef Wellington specifically seems to be a bit unknown. Many believe it was created in celebration of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington in the 1800s. We also know that it gained popularity in the 1960s when it was featured on Julia Child’s TV show.
My recipe today is obviously not going to be a traditional beef Wellington! I was mostly inspired by the overall presentation of a beef Wellington, because I think the wrapping of the puff pastry is super pretty on a holiday table. We are essentially going to be making a lentil loaf, wrapping it in puff pastry, and baking it! The lentils will provide us with our plant based protein source, and the mushrooms are a slight nod to the mushroom duxelle in a traditional beef Wellington!
This one is meant to be a little fancier than most of my recipes, so there are more Ingredients involved than usual. But I promise you can do it! Here are some of the ingredients we are working with today.
- Flaxseed: we will be mixing this with water as an egg replacement. It will help bind our loaf mixture together!
- Onion, garlic, carrot, and mushroom: we obviously need some veggies for a Veggie Lentil Loaf! These ones pair well together and bring a lot of flavor.
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste: these will intensify our umami and savory flavors.
- Green lentils: these will serve as the main base of our loaf, and provide some great plant based protein!
- Bread crumbs and flour: these will be the main dry ingredients in our loaf. The dry and wet ingredients together will create the texture and consistency we are looking for!
- Dried herbs and seasonings: it’s not a holiday-inspired dish without some herbs and seasonings!
- Water chestnuts: I love the little crunch that these provide! It’s a fun texture to add to our Wellington.
- Puff pastry: realizing that many store-bought puff pastries are vegan is one of my favorite discoveries I have ever made. The puff pastry really shines in this recipe – it becomes perfectly golden and flaky!
- Almond milk and maple syrup: we mix these together and use them as a substitute for an egg wash! It helps our pastry become that beautiful golden brown color, and provides a tiny bit of sweetness.
- Optional Vegan Mushroom Gravy for serving: I’ve had this Wellington on its own and still enjoyed it, and my husband even has it with ketchup sometimes. But our favorite way to eat it (especially if you’re making it for the holidays) is with Vegan Mushroom Gravy!
How to Make a Veggie Lentil Wellington
Keep scrolling for the full recipe, but here’s the basics!
- Make a flax egg
- Sauté up some veggies
- Mash some lentils
- Create a lentil loaf by mixing together your flax egg, veggies, lentils, and a bunch of other delicious ingredients
- Wrap your loaf in puff pastry to create a Wellington
- Brush your Wellington in an almond milk wash
- Serve and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
I tested this recipe A LOT. The lentil mixture has to be just the right consistency to cook correctly, so I wouldn’t suggest messing around with the ingredients TOO much. But you can of course make a few tweaks if you choose! Here are some ideas:
- Not a fan of these veggies? Switch them out for veggies of your choice, but try to keep the same overall volume of veggies for cooking purposes. I think celery could be a great addition!
- Would rather skip the puff pastry and make a simplified lentil loaf? I personally LOVE the puff pastry, but I recognize that most puff pastries contain oil and that some people prefer to avoid that. I haven’t tested this myself, so experiment at your own risk, but I believe you could make just the lentil loaf and bake it on its own without the puff pastry! Just keep an eye on it while it bakes as your cooking time may differ.
- Want some brand recommendations for some of these ingredients? Here are my favorites (these are all vegan where I am, but always check the ingredients to be safe)!
- The Wellington itself is delicious, but is intended to be served with a sauce or gravy. I HIGHLY recommend pairing it with my Vegan Mushroom Gravy!
- Looking for other additions for your holiday table? Try my Baked Butternut Mac & Cheese next!
Veggie Lentil WellingtonCourse: Main
This recipe is SO BEAUTIFUL for any plant based holiday table! The puff pastry is beautifully flaky and slightly sweet, with a savory and flavorful lentil loaf in the middle. We are packing in some delicious and nutritious veggies, and even serving it with a delicious Vegan Mushroom Gravy (optional but highly recommended!). Be sure to make this one for your next holiday celebration!
*Note that “From Start to Finish” includes about 20 minutes for you to prep all of your ingredients (chopping veggies, cooking lentils, etc), about 30 minutes for you to complete steps 1-7, 45 minutes to bake your Wellington, and 5 minutes for it to cool before slicing and serving. Please also note that the optional Vegan Mushroom Gravy takes about 45 minutes total to make – so it would be a great idea to make this while your Wellington is in the oven!
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed *
2.5 Tbsp water
1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium carrot, finely diced
1/2 portobello mushroom, finely diced
1.5 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce*
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1.5 cups cooked green lentils (for the most flavor, cook according to package directions but use vegetable broth instead of water!)
1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs*
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour* OR all purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup water chestnuts, finely diced
1 sheet of puff pastry* (thawed according to package directions)
1/2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
Optional: 1 recipe Joyful Balance Vegan Mushroom Gravy, or another gravy or sauce of your choice!
- Preheat: Preheat your oven to 350.
- Make your flax egg: In a small bowl, add your ground flaxseed and 2.5 Tbsp water. Mix to combine and set to the side. This will thicken as it sits and will later be our “egg” substitute.
- Sauté your veggies: Bring a medium nonstick pan to med-high heat on the stovetop. Add just a bit of water to prevent sticking, and add your onion. Allow to sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking.
Add the garlic, carrots, and mushrooms to the pan. Cook for 4 minutes. Continue to stir occasionally and add small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking.
Turn the heat down to medium. Add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Stir to coat all the veggies evenly, and allow to cook 1-2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside to cool.
- Mash your lentils: Using a potato masher (or another utensil of choice), mash your cooked lentils. You want these to still have some texture to them, so they don’t have to be perfectly smooth.
- Make your loaf mixture: In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, flour, thyme, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and salt. Mix so that everything is evenly incorporated.
To your breadcrumb mixture, add your sautéd veggies, mashed lentils, flax “egg” mixture from earlier, and water chestnuts. Mix to combine everything.
- Wrap your loaf in puff pastry: Lay out your puff pastry on a cutting board. Using your hands (this might get a little messy!), form your lentil mixture into one large log-shaped loaf. Place your loaf in the center of your puff pastry so that there is about an inch of pastry above and below your loaf, and multiple inches of pastry to the right and left of your loaf.
Using a knife (or a pizza cutter), cut 7-10 straight lines on both the right and left sides of the pastry so that you create multiple strips on either side of the loaf. (Try to line up the cuts on each side as best you can!).
Start wrapping your loaf by folding the top and bottom ends of pastry up onto and around the loaf. Now, starting at the next strip from the top, take the strip on the right and fold it over the loaf towards the left. Take the left strip and fold it over towards the right, so that it slightly covers the end of the previous strip. Continue this all the way down, alternating between the right and left, until you have run out of pastry. Depending on the size of your strips, your design may look slightly different than my version (as long as it’s covered in puff pastry, it’ll be delicious!).
Transfer your Wellington to a prepared baking sheet (with either a silicone baking mat or parchment paper)
- Brush on your almond milk wash: Combine your almond milk and maple syrup in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush this onto your puff pastry. You want as much of the pastry to be coated as possible!
- Bake your Wellington: Place your baking sheet into the preheated oven and allow your Wellington to bake for 45 minutes. (If the puff pastry isn’t quite golden brown after 45 minutes, you can allow it to bake for 5 minutes more).
- Enjoy: Remove from the oven, allow to cool a few minutes, and enjoy! Best served with a few spoonfuls of Joyful Balance Vegan Mushroom Gravy on top!
- *Ground flaxseed: Any brand will do, but I use Bob’s Red Mill Brown Flaxseed Meal.
- *Vegan Worcestershire sauce: Make sure your Worcestershire sauce is labeled as vegan if you want your Wellington to be vegan! I use the WanJaShan brand. If you are unable to find a vegan Worcestershire sauce, my next recommendation would be tamari.
- *Plain Panko breadcrumbs: I use Kikkoman Panko Japanese Style Bread Crumbs, which are completely vegan. Always check the ingredients labels to be sure that the ones you get are vegan if this is important to you!
- *Whole wheat pastry flour: I personally prefer whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe since it is made from whole wheat, but all purpose flour will also get the job done! I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour.
- *Puff pastry: I have found that MOST puff pastry from the store tends to be vegan, but check the ingredients labels to be sure if this is important to you! I use the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, which are vegan and are in the frozen section of my grocery store. Please also note that the puff pastry sheets I use are 9.75” X 10.5” in size – so using another size of puff pastry may affect your wrapping technique in step 6!
Stay joyfully balanced!