Festive Quinoa Nut Roast with Cranberries

Quinoa Nut Roast

I had never made a nut roast before but, ‘oh my’, I am delighted with this one. I don’t often eat quinoa but I know so many of you love it and it works perfectly here, together with the pistachios, hazelnuts, cranberries and butternut squash. It does take a little prep, but it’s worth it. Plus, it oozes Christmas flavour.

Serves 6-8 // Prep 30 mins // Cook 2 hrs

Time saving tips: If you want to prepare this dish ahead of time, make the quinoa mix the day before, leaving out the egg and chestnut, cover and keep in the fridge. The cranberries can be simmered the day before, covered and kept in the fridge. When you are ready to cook, mix the chestnut and egg into the quinoa, assemble and bake.

  • 600g butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small chunks (about 1cm)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
  • 8 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 250g quinoa
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 small red onions, finely chopped
  • 60g pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 50g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 250g cranberries
  • 1/2 orange zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp coconut nectar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g chestnut puree

Step-by-step

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 6. Toss the butternut squash with 1 tbsp olive oil, rosemary, half of the thyme leaves and seasoning. Roast for 30 mins until the squash is softened and caramelised at the edges.
  2. Meanwhile, put the quinoa in a pan with 275ml cold water and bring to the boil, cover and lower the heat. Cook gently for 5-10 mins until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Turn off the heat and leave to rest for 10 mins.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the onions the rest of the thyme leaves and seasoning and cook over a low heat for 10 mins until softened. Add the mushrooms and fry for another 5 mins.
  4. Pop the cranberries in a pan with the orange zest, orange juice and coconut nectar. Cook for 2-3 mins until just starting to burst.
  5. When you are ready to cook the roast, heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the base and sides of a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. Spoon the cranberries into the bottom of the tin. In a large bowl mix together the quinoa, butternut squash, onion, mushrooms, nuts and seasoning. Whisk the egg and chestnut puree together then mix into the quinoa. Spoon the quinoa on top of the cranberries and gently push down.
  6. Cover the tin with tin foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Leave the nut roast in the tin for 10.

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