If you are looking for a vegetarian main course that will impress the guests and pair well with wine, then look no further.
Mushroom and nut “steaks” are full of flavor, with substantial vegetarian protein from walnuts and sunflower seeds.Jump to Recipe
When you watch the video I filmed for this recipe, you’ll see that when I took a bite at the end, the flavor and the chew seems to go on and on. It’s kind of funny, but true. This dish is that tasty!
These steaks are full of umami, and yet balanced overall with mushrooms, walnuts, sunflower seeds, onions, garlic, fresh herbs, lemon, and ricotta cheese for creaminess.
The balanced flavor is what allows the flavors to linger and play in your mouth, feeding your senses with joy the entire time.
I’m calling this a steak, because it can be served as the main course on a vegetarian plate in place of the meat.
This dish serves the promise of Buttered Veg, which is to present vegetarian dishes that are so good, you won’t even miss the meat.
You don’t have to take my word for it either.
I made this for American Thanksgiving this year, and it was a big hit. Recipe requests ensued. You asked, I answered! Now it’s your turn.
How to make
To make this, you will first roast finely chopped mushrooms in the oven with onions, garlic, and a bit of salt and pepper.
Oven roasting dries the moisture from the mushrooms, and in the process intensifies their flavor. The bits of browning here add umami throughout the steaks.
I used a food processor with a slicer attachment to make quick work of chopping the mushrooms. You can see that in the video as well.
Next, use the food processor to combine walnuts, sunflower seeds, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, fresh parsley, oregano and thyme.
Use as many fresh herbs as you can. Try to get at least two out of the three. Anything you don’t have fresh can be substituted with a dry herb. Use fresh parsley at a minimum to ensure a brighter flavor.
Next, add in the roasted mushrooms and blend again. Transfer to a bowl, and add ricotta. The ricotta acts as a binder to give just the right texture for the steaks.
If you don’t have a food processor or chopper of any kind, these steps can be done by hand with a bit of patience and a good knife. You are looking for a consistency the size of half a grain of rice in the final mixture.
The only thing left is to either shape the patties with your hands, or use a pastry cutter to shape the patties.
Lay the prepared steaks out on a parchment lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt, and roast in the oven until golden brown and crispy.
In the oven, the nuts and seeds that are exposed will get roasted, giving a nutty taste, but since the nuts and seeds inside are still protected, that flavor won’t be overpowering.
This dish works really well for a make ahead situation. You can make up the steak mixture 1-2 days before, and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to shape and bake.
You can also shape and freeze the steaks, then bake from frozen.
This recipe makes 12-14 steaks that are 2 ½ inches wide by ½ inch thick. I would allow for two steaks per person, so this recipe serves 6.
Complete the meal
I have enjoyed this with mashed potatoes and vegetarian gravy for a classic holiday dinner.
It’s also wonderful with rice pilaf or cauliflower rice.
Finally, a big green salad will bring in fresh and light qualities to your meal.
Or, I think my crunchy red cabbage salad would be nice - maybe without the lentils, since you’ve got the protein covered already.
I hope you give this recipe a try, and impress yourself and others for your next special meal.
Roasted Mushroom and Nut ‘Steaks’
to roast in the oven
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (sub with any light vinegar)
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- ⅔ cup ricotta
for the mushroom oven roast
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Finely chop the onions and garlic and set aside until needed.
- Clean the mushrooms of dirt using a clean towel. I find that a scrunched up towel works really good to wipe off the dirt. Use a food processor with a slicer attachment or a knife to finely chop the mushrooms.
- Spread the mushrooms, onions, and garlic evenly on the two baking sheets, then drizzle olive oil over the top, and add salt and pepper. Use your fingers to mix the oil into the vegetables.
- Roast until the mushrooms are dry and lightly browned. Start with 15 minutes, then rotate the trays and cook another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.
- If you are going to roast the veggie steaks right away, leave the oven on at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, shut it off.
for the food processor
- Add walnuts, sunflower seeds, white wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, parsley, oregano, and thyme along with the prepared roasted mushrooms, to a food processor. Blend until finely chopped (to the size of half a grain of rice).
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add ricotta cheese and stir well to combine. Taste, and adjust for salt and lemon juice. Add more if needed.
shape the mushroom ‘steaks’
- Prepare a baking tray and line it with parchment paper.
- Set a 3-inch round pastry cutter on the tray and fill it with about a ¼ cup of the mushroom mixture. Use your fingers to push the mixture into the cutter, then lift the cutter. If you don’t have a cutter, shape into patties using your hands.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture. You should end up with 12-14 patties.
cook the mushroom ‘steaks’
- If your oven is still on, reduce the heat to 350. If not, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drizzle the steaks with olive oil and add a sprinkle of salt for good measure. Place the baking tray in the oven. Cook until the patties are crispy and golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.