Vegan Mushroom Sauce with Chestnut and Cranberry

This vegan mushroom sauce is made with portobello mushrooms and pureed chestnuts. You could thin it down and pour it over nut roast, or just pile it on roast veg and mash. It’s that tasty it deserves to be the star of the show.

Bowl of vegan mushroom and chestnut sauce with herb garnish, plate of roasted carrots and dish of cranberry sauce in background

I love Christmas, do you? To me Christmassy food isn’t just about the main event – turkey, goose or nut roast with all the fillings. I love filling December with Christmas inspired treats. This is my latest way to do this. It’s a really versatile sauce. You can just serve it with chips or roast veg to make it the whole meal, or dilute it a little to make gravy. I may turn it into a pie later, but today we had it with Halloumi and sweet potato fries. I think it would be divine on rich mashed potato. Don’t save it for Christmas either – it’s such an earthy dish it’s a great way to celebrate autumn/fall.

Those earthy flavours would be the perfect complement to turkey, goose or ham. However, we’re actively trying to cut down on meat this year. It’s just better for the planet – livestock rearing causes a huge amount of carbon emissions. I even wrote an article about it here.  I still enjoy meat, but we try to eat a number of vegetarian meals each week.

This vegan mushroom sauce isn’t trying to imitate meat – it has that umami hit that I associate with Christmas dinner, but with the richness of chestnut and mushroom and the tang of cranberry instead of meat. Are you vegetarian, or trying to cut down on meat, or will you be serving this with steak or a roast?

vegan mushroom sauce in a bowl with roasted carrots and cranberry sauce in the background

Vegan Mushroom Sauce Tips

As I’ve already alluded, you can add extra water to this to make a gravy, or alternatively serve it as a main or side dish. You could even stir it through pasta. It’s so flexible! Why not leave your ideas in the comments?

I used cranberry sauce this time- you may have some left over after thanksgiving or Christmas. If not, you can finish it up in sandwiches! The first time I made this I actually used gooseberry jelly, and I think apricot jam would work too, so have an improvise. It adds sweetness and a bit of tang.

I buy sachets of chestnut puree – it’s an ingredient in our chocolate yule log cake. I’ve not tried this with home made chestnut puree. Portobello mushrooms are simply big flat mushrooms. If you can’t get them any mushroom would do – just do big chunks for a side, smaller ones if you want to serve it as a gravy.

Step By Step

diced onions and one chopped flat mushroom with two more in the background

Dice the onions and chop the mushrooms into chunks.

pan of sauteed onions and mushroom chunks, with soy sauce, garlic granules and spoon of cranberry sauce ready to stir in

Sautee the onions and mushroom chunks until soft. Add a splash of water if they dry out. Stir in the garlic granules, soy sauce and cranberry sauce.

skillet of mushrooms and onions with wooden spoon stirring in chestnut puree

Stir in the chestnut puree and 200ml (7 floz) freshly boiled water and simmer until the puree is dissolved.

5 from 5 votes
vegan mushroom sauce in a bowl with roasted carrots and cranberry sauce in the background
Vegan Mushroom Sauce with Chestnut and Cranberry
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins

This indulgent sauce is the perfect festive treat. Make it the star of the show, serve over nut roast or meat, or try as a pie filling or pasta sauce. Serves two as a generous side dish or main.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British
Keyword: vegan side
Servings: 2
Calories: 214 kcal
  • 250 g portobello mushrooms 9oz - 3-4 big flat mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 heaped tsp cranberry sauce
  • 200 g pureed chestnuts 7oz - one sachet
  1. Dice the onion. Cut the mushrooms into chunks.

  2. Sautee the onions and mushrooms in the olive oil for around 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the mushroom has  released its juices.

  3. Add a dash of water if it becomes dry.

  4. Stir in the cranberry sauce, garlic granules and soy sauce.

  5. Add the chestnut puree and 200ml (7 floz) freshly boiled water. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the chestnut puree and cranberry sauce are dissolved.

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