The Ultimate Vegetarian Centerpiece: Mushroom, Lentil, and Chestnut Mince Pie

This vegetarian mince pie with mushroom duxelles, roasted mushrooms, black lentils, and chestnuts is excellent for a Christmas feast. This savory pastry, reminiscent of British-reared meat pies, features a vegetarian filling consisting of mushrooms, roasted kale, and chestnuts.

The pastry enveloping this meat-free mince pie is both flaky and delicate, yet sturdy enough to contain the generous filling. The filling, which is rich in umami, incorporates macerated and chopped raisins to provide a subtle sweetness to the duxelles. The duxelles are a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms, shallots, and herbs, which are further enhanced with lentils. Additionally, the filling includes chestnuts to contribute a rich nutty flavor and a pleasing texture.

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This dish is ideal for those who enjoy engaging in a challenging task. Although it requires a significant amount of preparation, the end result is highly rewarding. The pie is impressively tall and magnificent, making it visually striking when presented on a serving plate.

Frequently asked questions

What is a mince pie?

Mince pie is a cherished traditional British delicacy enjoyed throughout the Christmas season. Conventionally, petite pies with two layers of crust are made with a filling of minced beef suet, finely diced dried fruit, and nuts. This substantial, flavorful, meatless mince pie honors the traditional mince pies in its structure, converting the festive dessert into a remarkable main dish centerpiece.

What accompaniments should I pair with this recipe?
This vegetarian main dish is a versatile addition to any Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday table. It may complement a number of side dishes and can also be enjoyed on its own, especially when served with a refreshing green salad topped with a tangy dressing.

To achieve the most intense umami taste, cook the shiitake mushrooms and shallots by roasting them until they are slightly charred, and then do the same with the kale. Theilen suggests using Tuscanini Italian Chestnuts for the chestnuts, as they come pre-peeled. (Please take note that each pack has a weight of 3.5 ounces, so it is important to buy a sufficient amount to meet the need for 5 ounces as stated in this recipe.)

Utilize a serrated knife to precisely slice the pie, ensuring that the crust remains intact. The absence of any cohesive element in this mixture causes it to disperse completely upon being cut, similar to the loose filling seen in a pot pie. To get a neater slice, let the pie to cool completely since it will then be easier to cut precisely.

Recommended combination

Chickpea, Leek and Mushroom Pie (Vegan) - Domestic Gothess

Our wine editor suggests pairing earthy mince pie with an older vintage of R. López de Heredia Viña Cubillo Crianza, a traditional Rioja with a subtle wood flavor.

Make ahead

To simplify the serving process, you may prepare the crust and fillings in advance and chill them overnight. On the day of serving, you can then combine the ingredients and bake them. The baked pie can be refrigerated and kept for a maximum of 3 days. Heat in an oven set to 350°F until well warmed. The pie dough may be stored in a freezer for up to 6 months, carefully wrapped in plastic wrap. Before usage, it should be thawed overnight in a refrigerator.



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 11 1/4 ounces), plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter (preferably Kerrygold)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoons water

Mushroom Duxelles

  • 2/3 cup dried green du Puy lentils or black lentils
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages whole fresh button mushrooms, stems trimmed
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ouncesunsalted butter
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoons brandy
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Roasted Mushrooms

  • 1 pound shallots, chopped
  • 3 (3 1/2-ounce) packages of whole fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil or neutral cooking oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 (5 3/4-ounce) bunches lacinato kale, stemmed and torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (5-ounce) package of peeled chestnuts (such as Tuscanini Italian Chestnuts), sliced (about 1 cup)


Prepare the crust: Combine flour and salt in a spacious basin by stirring vigorously. Employing a pastry blender, divide the butter into the flour mixture until the butter bits resemble tiny peas in size. Place the egg yolk into a liquid measuring cup, then pour in milk, adjusting the amount as necessary until the total volume reaches precisely 2/3 cup. Blend well until fully incorporated. Allocate 2 tablespoons of the egg-milk combination and keep it separate. Incorporate the remaining egg-milk combination into the flour mixture, stirring until the ingredients are barely blended together. (The dough should form into a clump when compressed.) If the dough is very dry, incorporate the remaining 2 tablespoons of the egg-milk combination. Partition the dough into one piece weighing 13 ounces and another portion weighing 9 ounces. Shape each part into a disk that is 1 inch thick. Enclose each disk in a layer of plastic wrap; place in the refrigerator for a duration of 1 hour or a maximum of 2 days.

Step 2
Prepare the mushroom duxelles: Heat a medium-sized saucepan of water with salt until it reaches boiling point. Include lentils in the cooking process and allow them to simmer undisturbed until they reach a state of slight tenderness, which typically takes around 15 minutes. Drain the lentils and keep them aside. In a small dish, mix 1 cup of boiling water with raisins. Allow it to cool for approximately 30 minutes. Empty and dispose of the water. Coarsely dice raisins and keep them aside.

Step 3
Divide the button mushrooms into six halves and puree them in a food processor until the mushroom bits resemble tiny peas, using 6 to 8 pulses. (Alternatively, manually dice the mushrooms.) Put aside. Heat the butter in a pan that is larger than usual (14 inches) over medium-high heat. Combine leek, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir often while cooking until the leeks become vibrant green and tender, which should take around 5 minutes. Include diced button mushrooms, flour, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir often and heat until the mushrooms go limp and lose their liquid, which should take around 5 minutes. Lower the temperature to a medium level. Combine wine, brandy, nutmeg, and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid reduces, thickens, and adheres to the mushrooms, which should take around 15 to 18 minutes. Cease applying heat. Add the cooked lentils, chopped raisins, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and mix well. Allow the combination to cool to the temperature of the surrounding environment, which should take around 30 minutes.

Step 4
Prepare the roasted mushrooms: Position a spacious baking sheet inside the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Combine shallots, shiitakes, 1/4 cup of oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a spacious basin that can withstand heat. Retrieve the heated baking sheet from the oven and evenly distribute the shiitake mixture over the pan. Place the pan back into the preheated oven and cook until the mushrooms become browned and crispy at the edges, which should take around 15 to 20 minutes. Take out of the oven (without turning off the oven); put the shiitake mixture back into the bowl. Place kale onto a baking sheet and evenly distribute 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Gently knead the kale to ensure that it is well coated with oil. Roast until the texture becomes crisp and devoid of moisture, for a duration of 8 to 10 minutes. Combine kale with shiitake mixture in a bowl; incorporate chestnuts, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper by stirring. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.

Step 5
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it to reach room temperature for 20 minutes. On a surface lightly dusted with flour, roll the larger portion of dough into a circular shape with a diameter of 15 inches. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan, ensuring that any excess dough hangs over the edges. Place in the refrigerator, without covering, until cooled, approximately 10 minutes. Flatten a smaller disk of dough into a circular shape with a diameter of 9 inches, and move it onto a baking sheet. Leave it uncovered in the refrigerator until it is needed.

Step 6
Place cooled mushroom duxelles into the bottom of the cold piecrust and flatten the top surface. Distribute the roasted mushroom mixture evenly on top. Place the 9-inch dough circle over the filling, ensuring it covers it completely. Trim any excess dough that extends beyond the edge to a length of 1/4 inch. Apply pressure to join the dough edges and create a seal; then, roll the edges inward and create a decorative crimp. Create eight (2-inch) incisions on the top of the pie. Combine whisked egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small dish, then apply evenly onto the crust using a brush.

Step 7
Position the pie on a baking sheet with raised edges, and cook at a temperature of 350°F until the crust becomes a rich golden brown, which should take around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Wrap the edges of the pie with aluminum foil to avoid excessive browning, if necessary. Take the pie out of the oven and allow it to cool for a minimum of 20 minutes or a maximum of 4 hours. Detach the springform ring and relocate the pie to a cake dish. Utilize a serrated knife to cut into thin pieces.



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