Embrace the spirit of the season with a delectable twist! Join Max La Manna, the maestro of plant-based delights, as he unveils a collection of vegan Christmas recipes that will redefine your Christmas table. From savoury mains to delightful sides, Max’s culinary creations promise a celebration of flavour and the joy of a cruelty-free feast.

Nut Roast Cake with All the Trimmings

I first made this nut roast when we were visiting family at Christmas. My wife and I were the only vegans in the house, but there wasn’t enough for us to have seconds as the plate was wiped clean! Now I always make three so we can finally enjoy leftovers on Boxing Day. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser for vegans and non-vegans alike.


500g carrots, preferably heritage, halved lengthways and cut into 5–7cm batons
2 sweet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
30g butter
200g mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cumin
a few sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp flaxseed or chia seeds 100g mixed nuts, toasted
200g packet of quick-cook mixed grains
1 x 400g tin brown lentils, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp Marmite
3 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped 3 tbsp fresh sage, roughly chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
100g breadcrumbs
salt and black pepper


1  Preheat the oven to 220 ̊C/200 ̊C fan/gas mark 7.

2  On a baking tray, rub the carrots and sweet potatoes with a little of the olive oil and some salt. Cook in the oven for 35–40 minutes, or until very soft.

3 Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil and butter in a large frying pan over a high heat. Once hot, add the sliced mushrooms and a big pinch of salt and a crack of black pepper. Fry for 5–7 minutes until all the liquid has been released from the mushrooms and they’re soft and golden. Add the garlic and spices, cook for 1 minute, stir in the thyme, then tip into a large bowl.

4 In a small bowl, mix the flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and set aside until it turns into a jelly-like consistency.

5 Put half the toasted nuts in a food processor or blender along with half of the mixed grains, half of the lentils, a splash of water and the Marmite, and blitz into a paste. Roughly chop the remaining nuts and add them to the mushrooms, along with the remaining grains and lentils.

6 When the sweet potato is cooked, add 11⁄2 potatoes to the blender and blitz again. Roughly chop the remaining half a potato, and add to the mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.

7 Grab a large springform cake tin, about 23cm diameter. Line the base with a circle of baking parchment. Lay the carrots, cut- side down, on the base of the tin (I like to lie them in alternating directions to ensure as few gaps as possible).

8 Combine the flaxseed mixture and the chopped herbs with the mushrooms, then add the blender mixture, along with the nutritional yeast and breadcrumbs. Stir everything together; the mixture should be thick. Tip into the cake tin, being careful not to move the carrots too much. Tap the base of the tin on a flat surface to make sure everything is pressed into the tin.

9 Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and cook for a further 20–25 minutes, until evenly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little, then turn out onto a plate. Peel back the baking parchment to reveal the amazing carrot surface. Slice and serve with all the roast dinner trimmings.

Roast Dinner Tart

This incredible tart has all your favourite elements of a roast dinner. It’s the perfect alternative Sunday lunch or festive meal – just don’t forget the gravy!


200g beetroot
1⁄2 butternut squash
250g carrots
200g parsnips
1 tbsp olive oil
1 x quantity of roast potatoes
1 x quantity of Buttery Herb Stuffing, page 74
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 sheet gluten-free puff pastry oat milk, for brushing
120g Brussels sprouts, halved 6 tbsp cranberry sauce
salt and black pepper
gravy, to serve


1 Preheat the oven to 240 ̊C/220 ̊C fan/gas 9.

2 Wrap the beetroot in foil and put on one side of a baking tray. Place the squash next to them, cut-side down. Roast for up to 1 hour (depending on their size), until the beetroot are totally soft. If the squash cooks more quickly, remove it from the oven and let the beetroot keep cooking.

3 Slice the carrots and parsnips in half lengthways and put in a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of salt and roast for 30 minutes, until soft and charred.

4 Cook the roast potatoes

5 Make the stuffing (according to page 74).

6 Scoop the seeds from the cooked squash and set aside (you can rinse them and toast them for a snack). In a blender, blitz the squash with the nutritional yeast, cinnamon and nutmeg. Season well and blitz to a purée.

7 Squeeze the beets from their skins and slice into wedges.

8 Cut the sheet of puff pastry into 4 rectangles. Lightly score a border, 2cm from the edge. Brush with oat milk, then bake for 20–30 minutes until golden and risen; use a spoon to push the middle down.

9 Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the sprouts with a pinch of salt and fry for
5 minutes. Add a big splash of water (the steam helps them to cook through) and cook for a further 5 minutes, until tender. Set aside.

10 Make the crispy sage. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Once hot, fry the sage for 2 minutes until crispy. Set aside to drain on kitchen paper

11 Spoon the butternut squash purée onto each pastry rectangle, then crumble over the stuffing. Top with the carrots, parsnips, beetroot and roast potatoes. Scatter over the sprouts, then spoon over a little cranberry sauce. Finish with the crispy sage leaves and serve with lots of gravy.

Leftover Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms

The holidays are one of the most wasteful times of the year, and so this is a great way to use up any of the super delicious leftover stuffing from page 74. These stuffed mushrooms make the ideal fun appetiser or finger food to carry on the festivities.


20 small chestnut mushrooms zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1⁄4 tsp dried thyme
small bunch of fresh parsley, leaves and stems chopped separately, plus more leaves to garnish
150g leftover Buttery Herb Stuffing (page 74)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil salt and black pepper


1 Wipe the mushrooms clean with kitchen paper. Remove the stems, leaving the mushrooms with a hollow centre. Roughly chop the stems and set aside.

2  Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

3  In a frying pan over medium heat, dry fry half of the mushroom caps, gills-side up, for 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a generous pinch of black pepper and cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring often but gently, so you don’t break the caps. Transfer the caps to a plate and repeat with the second batch of mushrooms, also adding them to the plate.

4 Melt the butter in the frying pan and fry the shallot, garlic, dried thyme and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley stems for about 4 minutes, until soft. Add the chopped mushroom stems and the juice of half the lemon and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

5 Put the mushroom stem mixture into a food processor, add the parsley leaves and blitz to a purée. Tip the mixture to a bowl and combine with the leftover stuffing. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

6 Stuff the mushroom caps with the filling and smooth over the tops. Arrange the mushroom caps close together in a baking dish. Drizzle over the extra-virgin olive oil and bake for 10–15 minutes.

7 Best served hot. To serve, garnish each mushroom with a little lemon zest and a parsley leaf.


Fry the mushrooms for just a few minutes to reduce moisture and prevent them from going soggy.

Defrost, then reheat in the oven at 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2 for 10–15 minutes.

Extracted from You Can Cook This! by Max La Manna (Ebury Press, £22), Photography by Lizzy Mayson.