Wrap pretty much anything up in pastry and you’ve won my heart. I am a big pastry fiend, so I especially love it when we start getting into the cooler season and I have an excuse to eat it on the regular. Be it in pies, as a tart base, or in something like this magnificent vegan beef wellington recipe.
It is hearty food that warms up the soul. And your insides too!
So it is no surprise that I also love a good wellington. I first made one as a teenager (pre-vegan) from my Jamie Oliver cookbook. It was made with a beef fillet and wrapped up in a crepe, mushroom duxelles, and puff pastry. I remember making everything from scratch. It was a complete faff, but the end result was just so amazing.
It was perfect for dinner parties, Christmas dinner, roast dinner, and pretty much any other special event in between. It wows guests and leaves everyone feeling that little bit happier.
So what about now that I am vegan? Well, there is at least one less faff – we don’t need to think about getting the ‘beef’ filling cooked properly because our vegan alternatives won’t kill anyone 😉 But the results are still just as amazing. It looks great sat in the middle of the table and will please any kind of guest, be it vegan or not.
So, let’s really tuck in to this vegan beef wellington recipe!
What is beef wellington?
Beef wellington is a baked pastry dish comprising of a fillet of beef wrapped up in ham, mushroom duxelles and puff pastry. It is based upon a similar French dish of filet de bœuf en croûte.
Whilst it bears the name ‘wellington’, it isn’t actually known if the dish was named after the Duke of Wellington or not. But what we do know is that it has been a very popular dish here in England for some time.
It is a dish that has been made popular by many British chefs including Gordan Ramsey and Jamie Oliver. Therefore it is often seen to be a quintessentially British dish.
Thankfully, in more recent years it has had a bit of a glow up in the vegan scene. More on that below…
How do you veganise beef wellington?
There are a few different elements within a beef wellington that need to be changed in order for it to be suitable for vegans. You’ll need to replace the meat with a vegan alternative, be it a vegetable or fake meat. Then you need to create a vegan version of mushroom duxelles to wrap it in. This then needs to be covered in a vegan puff pastry which is glazed with a vegan ‘egg’ wash.
Take a look below for more details on each step to veganising a beef wellington.
1. Replace the meat
To start off with, you’ll need to find a vegan beef alternative. Some people choose to use vegetables like beetroot, or they’ll use portobello mushrooms. These are great alternatives that are really easy to use. If you are looking for something a little bit more meaty though then you’ll want to look to fake meats. You can use seitan to create a large chunk of fake meat, but if you don’t cope well with wheat gluten (like me) then you can use a vegan mince meat, like this one from Meatless Farm. This is what I’ve used in this vegan beef wellington recipe!
If you want to wrap the vegan beef in something like ham, then you’ll also need to find a vegan ham alternative. I love this pea and soya based vegan ham by M&S.
2. Veganise the mushroom duxelles
Mushroom duxelles is a finely chopped up mix of mushrooms cooked in butter with plenty of fresh herbs and seasoning. It is often also cooked using white wine and a dash of cream.
So you may have picked up on a few things there that aren’t all the vegan-friendly. First off, you’ll need to replace the butter with a vegan butter, like this one from Flora. Secondly, you’ll need to make sure your white wine is vegan friendly. And last of all, if you are using cream (which I don’t in this recipe), you can either buy this, like this one by Oatly, or you can make a silken tofu cream sauce base.
3. Choose vegan-friendly pastry
For this dish I really recommend buying your pastry pre-made as it helps to save quite a lot of time when making this already quite complicated dish. That being said, you need to be careful when buying pastry as a lot of it contains milk or egg.
One of the most popular brands of pastry has many vegan-friendly options including this vegan puff pastry block which I use myself in this vegan beef wellington recipe.
4. Create a vegan egg wash
If you want your vegan beef wellington to glisten and shine whilst you show it off to all your guests then you’ll need to give it a vegan egg wash.
The traditional method is made with a beaten up egg but you can easily replicate this by using either aquafaba or vegan milk mixed in with a bit of maple syrup.
What do you serve with vegan beef wellington?
A vegan beef wellington is really rich and warming so I would recommend serving it up with ingredients that you’d normally add to dishes like these. For instance, roast potatoes and braised cabbage work perfectly. But you could also serve it with roasted carrots and mash potato.
When it comes to a sauce, I like to pair my vegan beef wellington with a creamy vegan wholegrain mustard sauce or an onion gravy.
If you have any leftovers then you can keep it cold and serve it up with a salad the next day.
How do you make vegan beef wellington?
This vegan beef wellington recipe may look a little bit daunting but it is relatively simple. It just takes some time to put together so you may want to start in the morning to make this for a Sunday lunch, or you can even prep it and keep it in the fridge overnight to be cooked up the next day.
Follow the below handy steps or jump straight to the recipe here.
1. Create the vegan beef filling
You’ll want to start by mixing together then vegan mince with cooked puy lentils, tomato paste, mustard and plenty of seasoning. This can then be wrapped up and left in the fridge for a few hours, or even overnight if you want to be extra prepared.
Before you start cooking the rest of your dish you will want to brown the vegan beef mix in a frying pan so that all the edges are golden.
2. Make the mushroom duxelles & wrap
Cook some finely chopped up mushrooms in plenty of vegan butter and fresh thyme. Cook off all the butter and then add in some white wine which you’ll cook off until the mushrooms form a more solid paste. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
Lay out the vegan ham slices on some cling film and spread the mushroom duxelles on top. Wrap it around the vegan beef.
3. Roll out the pastry
Cut off 1/3 of the pastry block and roll out into a long rectangle that is a few centimetres bigger than the wrapped vegan beef on each side. Lay the wrapped up vegan beef on top.
Roll out the remaining pastry so that it is the same thickness as the bottom. You’ll find that it is a lot bigger on each side which will allow you to wrap the top of the wellington.
4. Wrap it in pastry
Drape your rolled out pastry top over the bottom half with the vegan beef sat on it. Then really gently push all of the air out of it so that it is firmly wrapped around the vegan beef.
Push down the edges around the outside of the vegan beef and with a small paring knife, cut the edges so that there is about 1cm left around the outside. Squeeze the edges together so that the bottom and top pastry bind together. If they don’t stick, try using a dab of vegan egg wash.
5. Give it a vegan egg wash & score
Glaze the top of the pastry with your vegan egg wash and then using a knife, score the top of the pastry. Make sure not to go the full way through the pastry, you’ll want a thin layer remaining to create a nice looking pattern on the top.
6. Bake the vegan beef wellington
You can either bake straight away or you can put this into the fridge and leave to cook the day after.
You’ll want to cook it for at least 40 minutes at 180 degrees (fan oven). Once cooked, use a few spatulas to lift it up and place it onto a serving plate.
Ready to get started with your very own vegan beef wellington? Then make sure to follow this recipe below to get more thorough step-by-step instructions of the cooking process along with all the necessary ingredients.
Vegan beef wellington
- 350 g Vegan mince
- 250 g Cooked puy lentils
- 1 Brown onion - finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Tomato puree
- 1 tbsp Wholegrain mustard
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black pepper - ground
Vegan mushroom duxelles
- 50 g Vegan butter
- 1 tbsp Rapeseed oil
- 250 g Chestnut mushrooms
- sprig Fresh thyme
- 100 ml White wine
- 4 slices Vegan ham - I really like the M&S vegan ham slices
- 500 g Puff pastry block
- Rapeseed oil - for cooking
Vegan egg wash
- 1 tbsp Aquafaba - or use vegan milk & maple syrup
Prepare the vegan beef filling
- Get a large mixing bowl and add all of the vegan beef ingredients
- Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix together all of the ingredients until they form a firm meaty mix
- Roll the vegan beef mix into a large sausage shape and then cover tightly in cling film
- Put it in the fridge whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients, or leave overnight if you want to prepare everything the night before
- If you are ready to start cooking your vegan beef wellington, turn your oven on to 180 °C
Make the vegan mushroom duxelles
- Clean your mushrooms using a kitchen towel
- Finely chop the mushrooms, you can do this with your knife or a food processor. If you are using the latter then make sure to only pulse it gradually so you avoid turning it into a paste
- Put your frying pan onto a medium-high heat
- Add your 50g of vegan butter and 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil into the pan and heat through until the butter melts
- Add in your mushrooms, a pinch of salt and the sprig of thyme
- Cook on a high heat for about 10 minutes, until the butter and oil have evaporated. Make sure to stir often to stop it from burning or sticking
- Pour in your white wine and cook for another 10 minutes, until the wine has cooked off and the mushrooms have formed a paste
- Take the mushrooms off the heat and scoop them into a bowl to cool down
Brown your vegan beef
- Using the same pan as your mushroom duxelles, pour in a small amount of rapeseed oil and heat up on a medium heat
- Unwrap your vegan beef and carefully place it into the pan
- Fry off each side of the sausage until it has browned, this should only take about 6 minutes to do
- Remove your vegan beef from the pan and set aside to cool
Roll out the pastry
- Cut off 1/3 of your pastry block and using a well floured rolling pin and work surface, roll it out into a thin and even rectangle shape. Move it onto a baking parchment lined baking tray
- Roll of the remaining pastry so that is the same thickness as the bottom, but it will be a lot wider so that you can wrap it over the top of the vegan beef. Set it aside on a well floured work surface
Line the vegan beef
- Get a piece of cling film on your work surface and place the vegan ham slices 2 by 2
- Spread over the vegan mushroom duxelles
- Lay your vegan beef on top in the middle
- Using the cling film, wrap the vegan ham & duxelles around the vegan beef
Build the vegan beef wellington
- Place your wrapped vegan beef into the middle of your pastry base
- Drape the top half of the pastry so that it lays evenly over the top of your vegan beef
- Using your hands, press down on the top of the pastry so that it wraps tightly around the top of the vegan beef and meets the edges of the base pastry layer
- Using a paring knife, cut the excess pastry around the edges, leaving about 1cm around the edge
- With your hands, squish together the edges of the pastry so that the bottom merges with the top of the pastry
- Brush over your vegan egg wash and score the top of the pastry
- Place the tray with your vegan beef wellington into the oven and cook for about 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden all over
Serve your vegan beef wellington
- Once your vegan beef wellington is out of the oven, transfer it over to a serving plate
- You can either cut it into slices before serving or allow people to cut their own slices straight from the plate
- Serve it with roast potatoes, a creamy mustard sauce, and some cooked greens