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Chestnut Loaf

I'm a big fan of the nut loaf! It gets a lot of disparaging comments - mostly from meat eaters - and mostly because people see it as a bit '1980s vegetarian'. But at the end of the day, it tastes great, and I love it!

This recipe is a great Xmas solution because it goes so well with all the other foods which are usually served at the traditional Christmas dinner table. Plus...its easy to make, you can make it and freeze it before things get really busy. Just don't forget to defrost it!


250g (8oz) frozen chestnuts thawed - or the equivalent of tinned cooked chestnuts

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

250g (8oz) potatoes, boiled and mashed

125g (4oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

1 egg beaten (for a vegan alternative use a Flax seed substitute).

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato puree

salt and black pepper

Serve with either a tomato sauce or a roasted pepper sauce or vegetarian gravy or cranberry sauce. If you're not serving the loaf with a roast dinner, it goes well with a tomato salsa.


Pre-heat the oven at 180C, 350F, or Gas Mark 4.

Chop the chestnuts up - do it coarsely, so that some are fine and some are a bit 'chunky'. Heat the oil in a sauteuse pan, add the onion, garlic and celery and gently fry until soft (about 5 minutes). Keep the heat gentle and don't overheat it or it will burn.

Remove the vegetables from the heat, and place in a bowl. Add the chopped chestnuts, potatoes, breadcrumbs, egg (if using), parsley, soy sauce, and tomato puree. Season to taste.

Lightly grease a loaf tin - I often use a loaf tin greaseproof liner for ease. Spoon in the mixture, and smooth it to a level with the back of a tablespoon. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about one hour until it is firm.

Turn it out, cut it into slices and serve. This also can be served cold.

Inspired by: a Good Housekeeping recipe

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