Vegetable Wellington: An Elegant Vegetarian Entree for your Holiday Meals

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Searching for an elegant vegetarian entree for a holiday meal? This vegetable wellington is the perfect choice for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or anytime a delicious vegetarian main course is a must!

slice of vegetarian holiday entree on plate with thyme and squash

Even the Carnivores at the Table will Devour this Vegetarian Holiday Entree

Circa Thanksgiving 2010, I was desperate for a vegetarian entree to serve a non-turkey-eating guest. Luckily, I happened upon this recipe from Melissa Clark — a food writer for the New York Times and cookbook author of multiple books including In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite. The recipe was for a Vegetable Wellington – a variation of a popular beef dish but obviously without the beef. I was intrigued.

My goal was to find a dish that could be prepared ahead of time and would taste hearty enough to count as a suitable substitute for the turkey the rest of us would be enjoying. This mushroom wellington absolutely hit the spot. Everyone enjoyed it, perhaps more than the turkey, and it returned to our menu the following year by request of all guests. So I wrote to Ms. Clark to ask if I could write about the recipe and she obliged happily.

vegetarian entree - a vegetable wellington - showing the inside before it's rolled up

What Exactly is a Vegetable Wellington?

The original dish – a beef wellington – is a beef tenderloin wrapped in mushrooms and puff pastry. Once baked, each bite contains crunchy puff pastry, savory mushrooms and juicy steak. This vegetable variation plays on that concept, keeping the mushrooms in tact but using goat cheese and butternut squash instead of meat.

Ms. Clark was inspired to create this dish as fall arrived and the idea of puffy, flaky pastry swirled in her head. As functional and toasty as the puff pastry is as a blanket for the filling, the ingredients it envelopes really steal the show.

2 uncooked ready to bak vegetable wellingtons on a pan

What’s Inside this Elegant Vegetarian Entree?

The filling is simple — butternut squash with a hint of thyme and maple syrup, mushrooms sautéed with white wine, garlic, and shallots, and creamy, crumbled goat cheese. The combination of sweet squash, savory, pungent mushrooms, married together with melted goat cheese and swaddled in flaky puff pastry is nothing short of divine. If you are a vegetarian or are hosting vegetarians, add this recipe to your repertoire. 

vegetarian entree wellington ready to be folded

Can this Mushroom Wellington Be Prepared Ahead of Time?

You can absolutely prepare the mushroom mixture and squash at least a day before. I also experimented with roasting the squash instead of sautéing it, which worked out great. You can roast the squash at the same time as you sauté the mushrooms – a big time-saver especially if you are prepping for a large holiday gathering. On the day you plan to serve this dish, you can prepare the puff-pastry filled wellingtons in the morning, refrigerate, and then just egg wash and bake them right before dinner. 

What Substitutions Can I Make in the Filling Ingredients?

You can definitely experiment with using another type of squash such as delicata, which doesn’t even need to be peeled. Or try the mini honey butternut squashes if you see them at the store. Or Acorn or Kuri squash. I bet any and all would work really well. Substitute other mushrooms for the crimini or use a combination. Or add some kale or spinach to the mushroom sauté. Or switch the white wine to a different alcohol – perhaps some dry sherry or brandy. Or change the thyme to rosemary or sage. 

Basic Steps to Prepare Vegetable Wellingtons

  • Prepare the squash and mushroom mixtures up to a day or two in advance.
  • Prep the puff pastries by removing the dough from the freezer and letting it thaw. Roll it out on a floured surface and poke some holes in it before you fill it.
  • Put down a layer of mushrooms, then goat cheese crumbles and then the squash, leaving a nice band of puff pastry around the edges.
  • Brush the edges with egg wash and then close up the wellingtons. Gently turn them over and egg wash them all over if you are baking immediately. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them.

inside vegetarian entree at an angle

Helpful Kitchen Tools for Making this Vegetarian Entree

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slice of vegetarian holiday entree on plate with thyme and squash
4.86 from 14 votes
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Vegetable Wellington

This puff-pastry wrapped vegetarian entrée will not only please your vegetarian guests, but your meat-eating diners as well. Filled with savory mushrooms, roasted butternut squash and creamy goat cheese, this vegetable wellington will become a staple in your holiday and dinner party meals. (Adapted from a Melissa Clark recipe).

Course Main Course
Cuisine Thanksgiving
Keyword mushrooms, vegetable wellington, vegetarian entrée
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 378.02 kcal
Author Beth Lee

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter or 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil if you roast the squash
  • 1 small butternut squash 1 1/4 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (you can buy pre-cut squash at many stores which can be a real time-saver)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika or regular paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound cremini mushrooms trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Flour
  • 14-16 oz package puff pastry
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 egg whisked with 1/2 teaspoon water.

Instructions

  1. If you'll be preparing these immediately, heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a very large skillet over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the squash in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. (If squash won’t fit in a single layer, cook it in batches). Stir and continue to cook until squash is golden, 7 to 10 minutes more. Stir in the syrup, thyme, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook one minute. Scrape mixture into a bowl.
  3. Alternatively, you can roast the squash at 400 degrees in the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper - it will take about 20 minutes. You can stir in the syrup, thyme, and paprika when you take it out of the oven. I did this the day before and stored it in a container in the refrigerator.

  4. Turn the heat down to medium and melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Stir in garlic and shallot; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and remaining salt. Cook until mushrooms are soft and their juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until the mixture is dry, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper and parsley. Taste and add more salt if needed. You can also do this the day before, if you like.
  5. Unwrap the puff pastry and place one on a piece of parchment or silicone silpat-style mat that you can transfer directly to your sheet pan for baking. Ms. Clark cuts her puff pastry sheets into into two 5-by-15-inch rectangles. I do not cut the puff pastry. I wanted a larger finished wellington that I could slice into pieces. Using a fork, poke holes in the pastry to let it steam and create crispy layers (less puff - more crisp layers).

    Melissa Clark's vegetable wellington
  6. Spread mushrooms on each pastry rectangle leaving 1/4-inch border. Spoon the cheese crumbles over the mushrooms. Then spoon the squash over the cheese, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border (it will look like a stripe of squash lying on a bed of cheese and mushrooms).

    vegetarian entree - a vegetable wellington - showing the inside before it's rolled up
  7. Brush the exposed borders of dough on each rectangle with the egg wash. Fold the long sides up to meet in the middle and pinch together to seal; pinch the ends, too. Repeat with other piece of puff pastry.

    2 uncooked ready to bak vegetable wellingtons on a pan
  8. Transfer the parchment or silicone mat with pastry on top to the baking sheet. Turn them over so that the seam is face down. If you end up with any small holes in the puff pastry, just close them up with your hands. There isn't any liquid, so a tiny hole won't destroy the wellington. Brush the tops with more egg wash. Bake until they are puffed golden, and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.* Let cool for 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Recipe Notes

* I wrote to Ms. Clark to ask her if the puff pastry would be ok if you prepared these early in the day, refrigerated, and just applied the egg wash last minute and baked them. She said it would be fine, but to expect a few minutes extra baking time if they were cold from the refrigerator. I used this method and it worked perfectly!

 

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36 Responses to Vegetable Wellington: An Elegant Vegetarian Entree for your Holiday Meals

  1. Shadi Hasanzadenemati November 4, 2019 at 9:18 am #

    5 stars
    I’m making this for the weekend, I bet everyone is going to devour it!

    • Beth Lee November 4, 2019 at 9:48 am #

      I know they will – it’s on regular rotation around here!

  2. Allison November 4, 2019 at 9:05 am #

    5 stars
    I’m a meat eater, but this vegetarian version is my new fave! Love those veggies and goat cheese!

    • Beth Lee November 4, 2019 at 9:47 am #

      Was so funny when we first served this, I ran out because everyone ate this and the turkey!

  3. Justine November 4, 2019 at 8:53 am #

    5 stars
    Beef wellingtons are fancy, but honestly I feel there’s something a little more elegant about butternut squash. This dish is fantastic!

    • Beth Lee November 4, 2019 at 9:46 am #

      I agree – the nuance of the squash, meaty mushrooms and goat cheese makes for happy taste buds!

  4. Sandi November 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm #

    5 stars
    What a fun new recipe idea. I have yet to try a Wellington but you make it look so easy.

    • Beth Lee November 4, 2019 at 6:29 am #

      And I bet you have a source or idea of how to make this gluten free!

  5. Laura November 1, 2019 at 2:20 pm #

    5 stars
    This vegetable wellington looks amazing! All of my favorite flavors are in this. I know I certainly won’t miss the meat!

    • Beth Lee November 4, 2019 at 6:30 am #

      You don’t – as much as my family loves the turkey, everyone wanted to eat this and loves it.

  6. Chrissy December 16, 2018 at 2:23 pm #

    5 stars
    Ooooh, I love the combo of mushroom and puff pastry in this dish! Mushrooms add such tasty umami flavor to anything; I don’t even miss the meat when I eat something like this.

    • Beth Lee December 17, 2018 at 8:47 pm #

      You really don’t – it has so much flavor!

  7. krissy December 16, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

    5 stars
    This looks amazing! Im always on the lookout for good vegetarian recipes! I will be adding this to my next gathering!

    • Beth Lee December 17, 2018 at 8:46 pm #

      This is so delicious it will even make your carnivores into vegetarian main dish lovers!

  8. Kelly Anthony October 15, 2018 at 4:37 am #

    5 stars
    What a genius twist for beef wellington! Absolutely perfect for the holidays, but I’m thinking more along the lines of dinner tonight 😉 Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Beth Lee October 15, 2018 at 6:13 am #

      And so seasonal w the butternut squash!

  9. claire October 15, 2018 at 12:36 am #

    5 stars
    This is such an awesome recipe for when you are entertaining.
    Like you say perfect for Thanksgiving, but also great when you have friends coming over on a Saturday.
    They loved it!!!

    • Beth Lee October 15, 2018 at 6:11 am #

      Yes! You can prep ahead too and just bake it right before dinner

  10. Analida's Ethnic Spoon November 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    I love most anything wrapped in a pasty! This looks sooo good!

    • Beth Lee November 18, 2016 at 11:22 am #

      This really is delicious – when I’ve served it at Thanksgiving, even the carnivores like it as much, or more, than the turkey.

  11. Caren with a "C" December 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Sounds like a good combination!

  12. Margaret Almon December 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Wow! That is beautiful. I am a vegetarian and my husband is allergic to turkey, so this rocks. He makes his grandmother’s strudel–stretching the dough until it is translucent–I bet it would be good with this filling.

  13. Yuri - Chef Pandita December 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Love it! I’m already thinking of different veggie fillings, possibilities are endless 🙂

  14. rebecca December 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    wow looks amazing I think I would have that over turkey too

  15. Sandy Corman December 12, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    It was indeed delicious when we had it this Thanksgiving. Next time you make it can you make extra one for me?

    • omgyummy December 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

      Yes, I will, I promise!

  16. Brenda Bettaglio December 12, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    YAY!!!! Thank you so much for the recipe, Beth! It looks fantastic and I will definitely try it out. I can’t wait!

    BTW, I made your Pork Carnitas this past weekend for a holiday party for a bunch of carnivores and they all said they loved it! Thanks so much for that recipe!

    • omgyummy December 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

      You’re welcome Brenda! You know, Brenda’s breaded chicken is still one of my most popular posts!

      Let me know if you make this vegetable wellington and what you think of it.

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