thanksgiving holiday roast

thanksgiving holiday roast_hot for food

This crazy little concoction came about because I was rushing to make something to bring to Thanksgiving. Of course, I settled on using leftovers! This Thanksgiving holiday roast idea came to me after testing holiday themed recipes for a couple days and then just decided to throw a bunch of the stuff I made into puff pastry and voila, the roast beast came to be! What’s in it, you ask? Mushroom lentil stew, sweet potato mash, and an apple cranberry sauce. Ya droolin’ yet?

Call it a roast, a pot pie, whatever… it’s delicious. I’ve also given roasted cauliflower a go! Be a star at Thanksgiving this year by serving a dish that’s 100% vegan and totally impressive!

holiday vegan roast recipe
thanksgiving holiday roast_hot for food
4.37 from 49 votes
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thanksgiving holiday roast

This impressive Thanksgiving roast has layers of a savory mushroom lentil stew, mashed sweet potato, and an apple cranberry sauce all wrapped up into a puff pastry package!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberry sauce, lentils, sweet potatoes, thanksgiving, vegan roast
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Author Lauren Toyota


apple cranberry sauce

  • 1 C dried cranberries
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1/2 C unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 apple, peeled and small diced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

sweet potato mash

  • 4 C peeled and diced sweet potato (about 2 medium potatoes)
  • 1/4 C nondairy milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

mushroom & lentil stew

  • 1 C finely yellow onion
  • 1/2 C finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 C finely chopped carrot
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, fresh or ground
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 C cooked green lentils
  • 3/4 C low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water


  • 1 package vegan puff pastry (thawed from frozen in the fridge – should be kept cold)
  • 1/3 C all-purpose flour, for rolling pastry
  • vegetable oil, to oil bread pan


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook sweet potatoes until fork tender. Drain and set aside.

  2. Place all the ingredients for the apple cranberry sauce in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally, and once it’s bubbling reduce heat to a low simmer and allow the sauce to reduce for approximately 20 minutes. It should be thick and darker. Set aside and allow to cool.

  3. Meanwhile, mash the sweet potatoes in the pot you cooked them in and add the remaining ingredients. Stir and mash to combine well, set aside, and allow to cool.

  4. To prepare the mushroom and lentil stew, heat a large pan over medium heat and add vegetable oil. Sauté onion, celery, and carrot together for 4 to 5 minutes until soft and mostly cooked through.
  5. Add thyme, sage, nutmeg, sea salt, and ground black pepper and continue to stir for another minute or so. Then add in mushrooms and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until the mushrooms are mostly cooked through.

  6. Add garlic and lentils and combine well, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. Add low-sodium vegetable stock and bring up to a simmer. Once simmering, combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl into a slurry and then add that to the stew. Stir over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes until thickened and there isn’t too much liquid remaining in the mixture. Turn off the heat and allow this mixture to cool down before adding to the pastry.

  8. Preheat oven to 375°F for baking the Thanksgiving roast.

  9. Flour your rolling surface, hands, and rolling pin before handling the pastry. Your puff pastry should unfold once into a rectangle shape. Roll this out to 1/8″ thick into a rectangle approximately 17″ wide x 12″ tall. You’ll need to roll a bit, then flip the dough ensuring the rolling surface is floured to prevent the dough from sticking. Make sure to continually flour the rolling pin and your hands.

  10. Make a cut about 3/4 of the way across. Cut from top to bottom (the shortest edge) so you have one large piece (approximately 11″ wide x 12″ tall) that will fit in a bread pan, and a smaller piece (approximately 6″ wide x 12″ tall) that will fit on top.

  11. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the width and longest sides of the bread pan with some overhang. Lightly oil the exposed narrower sides of the bread pan. 

  12. Gently place the largest piece of pastry into the bread pan, fitting it into the corners, and overlapping or folding any excess at the corners. Gently press it into all sides of the pan. I suggest watching the above video to see how I did this!

  13. If you have any gaps, you can cut a small piece of the excess overhang from the side and use a small amount of water on a finger to glue the dough pieces together.
  14. Layer the sweet potato mash on the bottom. It should be higher than an inch. Then add all of the mushroom lentil stew, and then all of the apple cranberry sauce.

  15. Place the top piece of pastry on the top and gently press along the edge of the pan to seal in the top. Fold over the edges all the way around to form a crust. It can be rustic and uneven. Press the edges together with the prongs of a fork.
  16. Using a sharp knife, cut 3 to 4 small slits on along the top to allow steam to escape.

  17. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes on the middle rack. The pastry should be a dark golden color and the centre should be hot to touch when you insert a knife or fork.

  18. Once baked, allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes in the pan before lifting it out with the parchment paper. A nice presentation idea is to use a piece of twine to tie the excess parchment around the roast. It helps with cutting as well and holding it together as you slice it.

Recipe Notes

If you want to prepare anything in advance, make all the fillings and refrigerate. Then roll out the pastry and assemble the whole roast right before baking for the best results. 

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75 thoughts on “thanksgiving holiday roast”

  1. This looks incredible!! So excited to try it but we don’t have vegan puff pastry where I come from, do you have a recipe that you’d recommend I use to make it?

    1. Hi Gabi – I’m going to be trying this for Thanksgiving this week. I was able to find puff pastry in the Kosher section of Wegmans. It has margarine instead of butter. Crossing my fingers that it’s oil based margarine, but it’s the best I can do where I live. Hope this helps!

  2. Looks amazing! Any reason it wouldn’t work as individual pot pies? Thought it would be cute if everyone got their own mini pie. Thanks!

  3. I made this using pumpkin, a mushroom-carrot-celery mixture with green beans and a Preiselbeeren(I don’t know the English words, it’s European cranberries)-apple sauce on top, it was delicious 🙂

  4. Do you think this would hold up well if I were to assemble it ahead of time and freeze it, then bake it before serving? My family typically does that with pies and it would be suuuuper convenient to make this ahead of time 🙂

  5. This looks amazing!! I am thinking of bringing this to a family dinner in a difference province, therefore I would be bringing it with me during air travel. Would it be possible to freeze, thaw and re-cook?
    How long should I re-cook it to warm it up again?

    Thanks so much!!

  6. I just finished making this. It took many hours to cook each of the layers and wait for them to cool. The puff pastry I got was exactly enough for the pan size & didn’t need rolling. The only problem is in the cutting & pasting pieces of the dough to fit all sides plus crust. So I have bits of crust that detached. 30 minutes was not enough time – more like 45 for me. My pan must be small, since not 100% all of the filling layers could fit.

  7. Hi Lauren,

    I made this last night to try it out before bringing it to my upcoming family Christmas and it was amazing!!! The layers were so delicious and they work so well together. I’ve made 9 recipes from your food blog so far and all have been so delicious I can’t wait to make many more. I’m addicted to this blog and your channels they have made cooking so enjoyable and fun 😀 I can’t wait for the cookbook!
    Love from Australia xx

  8. AMAZING!! Everyone at Thanksgiving loved this dish!! The flavors all blended so well together. Almost everyone had seconds of this roast. Can’t wait to make it again. Thank you for giving the vegetarians at Thanksgiving something wonderful to eat ❤️

  9. My 16 year old daughter just went vegan this summer. She’s been vegetarian since the 2nd grade in a house full of meat eaters! She shared this recipe with me. We would be eating at our friend’s house and knowing that many of the dishes would be made with dairy or animal stocks… I wanted her to have something delicious to eat, too. I shopped and then happily made this dish on Thanksgiving morning. It turned out amazing! All the flavors of Thanksgiving wrapped up into one delicious pastry. I can’t wait to make more of the yummy dishes from your blog. Thank you!

  10. I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday and it was da’ bomb!!! Everyone loved it and it stole the show. (I didn’t mention at the gathering that it was made with the puffed pastry, so it looked like I spent all day putting it together;). So good! It will be a Thanksgiving staple for us for sure. Excited to use this idea to make other layer combos too. Thanks again! <3

  11. I made this today as a try to present it at Christmas this year. It is my first Christmas as a vegetarian and I wanted to make something that was not just a substitute for meat, so I searched on youtube and found this recipe. It was absolutely delicious. I cannot thank you enough for such a delicious treat. My meat-eating husband approved and had seconds of this roast today and he says the family is going to love it in Christmas. Thank you! Thank you! BTW, I also made your vegan gravy… YUM!

  12. I made this for my Omni family for Thanksgiving. They loved it!! Thank you for giving an easy and impressive looking recipe to show my family how delicious vegan food can be!

  13. Hi,
    how bad is it if I used normal pastry instead of puff one?
    I have made a mistake and now i am waiting for result. :/

    1. Hi Josefine – glad it went well for you! Do you mind telling me what sized loaf tin you used? I saw Lauren mention 10" by 5" but not sure of depth? I’ve looked on amazon but depths seem to vary. Sure it doesnt matter much, but im doing this first time on xmas day, so dont want to have a disaster!

    2. Thanks Lauren! Sorry I think I was being overly paranoid about the whole thing. In the end I just went for fairly standard looking pan. It turned out absolutely amazingly! Making it again for casual Wednesday supper – even the omnies enjoyed 🙂

  14. cannot wait to make this for christmas to make this! Looks so good I dont think will want to share it with the omnis
    question though – what capacity is the loaf tin?

  15. Just cooked this it is in the oven for the last 5 minutes or so thank you Lauren for all your wonderful recipes including this one…Can’t wait to tuck in…

  16. Made this for christmas lunch, was amazing
    my omni family loved it too
    it took longer to bake (like 10 mins with the temp turned up) but i think thats because I used pre-rolled puff pastry

    thank you!!

  17. I have spent some houts looking for a recipe for our first vegan christmas. I made your Roast Beest…wauw…I took me some time to put it together, but it was so totally worth it! I have never had a roast that tastes so d * mn good! Thanks you so much for sharing this recipe and making our first vegan christmas a true feast! Love from Holland

  18. Just finished baking! I ended up making two of them, and I used phyllo because I couldn’t find any vegan puff pastry, it looks amazing, tastes even better!

  19. Made this for our first vegan Christmas dinner and it was amazing everyone loved it! I also made the gravy to go with the roast veggies it was delicious. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes.

  20. This is delicious, made it for Christmas. I recommend 2 large sweet potatoes though, because I had none left to eat while I was waiting 😛 I made it without the cranberry sauce and it was amazing. Gonna make another one today 🙂

  21. Made this for Christmas in Australia. I originally planned to make this for Christmas but decided to test the recipe out on my immediate family first a week prior to Christmas. My sister loved it but my parents and brother weren’t to keen. I don’t think they enjoyed some of the flavors in the roast that are pretty unique to thanksgiving, which we don’t celebrate here. However, I personally found it be delicious and very moreish. Went ahead and made it for the extended family anyway and it went down quite well. Overheard a group of relatives talking about how delicious it was and they were shocked when another relative told them it was vegan. The mash was creamy and the mushroom, lentil stew was quite rich. My only criticism was that once it is cut into it doesn’t stay together very well, but I don’t think that can be helped when you’re working with a pie filling. Definitely making it again next year!

  22. Absolutely loved this! The flavours are amazing, and it was appreciated by the family as well! But the bottom pastry got kind of soggy and the whole thing didnt hold together very well upon removal from the tray, any tips on how to prevent that?

  23. Viktoria Jasmin Nilsen

    Hi! I would really like to try this recipe! It looks amazingly delicious. But I wonder how it holds up if I reheat it? I am bringing it to a Friendsgiving and have to make it the night before – Is it okay to reheat it or does it work to ensemble it with the pastry and everything, put it in the fridge overnight and then cook it right before the party?

  24. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I made this last night as a "test" to take with me to Thanksgiving at my aunts house. It is so freakin delicious and it’s something I think even the omnivores will love. You’re the best, can’t wait for the cookbook!

  25. Brady Cole Melton

    I’m so excited to make this for Thanksgiving this year! Just one question… how much dough is in your brand’s package of puff pastry? The only vegan puff pastry around here is Pepperidge Farms and it’s just two small sheets!

  26. We have loved this recipe and use it throughout the year! Questions…. were traveling to friends(not Vegan) and wanted to bring this but the drive is a little over an hour away and we will eat as soon as we get there. Is this ok? Should I leave it in the pan?
    By the way, we couldn’t find Vegan pastry the first time so we used the frozen Premade pie crust. Used the pie tin it only talked it with the pie crust and it worked perfectly! It tasted just as good at it just look like a pot pie instead of roast

    1. Ugh hate auto correct! l was trying to say that we used the tin with only the pie crust as a topper🙄

  27. I brought this to Thanksgiving yesterday and everyone really enjoyed it – even the omnis! In case this helps answer any reader questions – I used Pepperidge Farms puff pastry and one package was the perfect amount. We used a 9x5in loaf pan. We prepped all the layers the day before, then assembled and baked for about 45 min on the morning of Thanksgiving. Once we arrived at our destination, we stuck it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or so to heat back up before serving. Super delicious and festive! Thank you Lauren!

    1. Oh, forgot to mention – we tented some aluminum foil over the top while reheating so the pastry didn’t overcook 🙂

  28. I love this recipe my niece made it for thanksgiving and now I’m gonna make it for Christmas. The only thing I don’t like are the mushrooms. Has anyone substituted the mushrooms? If so with what? I’m thinking of using zucchini. Can’t wait 😋

  29. I am OBSESSED with this! Thanksgiving has become so awkward in my family since I went vegan 3 years ago, and no one has really known what to cook, so I usually just bring some roasted squash and eat a big bowl of that and some cranberry sauce as my whole meal while everyone else gets to feast. I am TOTALLY bringing this this year, as it looks sturdy enough to travel. I am willing to bet all my meat loving family are going to be loving this as well. Thanks so much for this amazing recipe!

    1. I’ve made this loaf for Thanksgiving and Christmas the lasts 3 years in a row. It’s always delicious and a huge hit With my guests! Highly recommend making this dish. It’s a great vegan, staple substitute for the holidays.

    1. I absolutely LOVE this recipe. Have been making it now fore 3 yrs straight anytime. Each section is delicious and many times I just make 1 or 2 components with other foods. I have shared your recipe to many people and I always get rave reviews about how amazing it was. This is a must try for everyone!!!

  30. This recipe is the best! It was so easy to prepare ahead of time, and even easier to bake and assemble the day of! I loved all the flavors of the filling together, especially the sweetness the apple cranberry sauce brought to the recipe! So so good! Going to make this again!

    1. yaaay! I always get mixed feedback about the effort of this recipe, but I made it this year again too and thought, damn this is easy!!! I love that it’s just the whole meal in one shot 😀

  31. I have been making this for the last 4 years now and has become a staple of my thanksgiving its amazing! I swapped out the apple cranberry for my mom’s cranberry recipe (canned whole cranberries red onion and cilantro) and its always a hit with my friends and family!

  32. I remember my first vegan thanksgiving and this recipe saved my life, so I am happy to say this recipe will save me again for the 3rd year in a row!!! Thank You

    1. This is my fifth year making this recipe and it is ALWAYS a hit. I originally made it to have some sort of substance for myself as a then-vegan. And found (and find!) that meat eaters also love this! Literally eating the last of the leftovers from this year’s roast as I type this. You’ve made a HUGE impression on me with this recipe! 🙂 One thing: I wish the name were different! When I send this to people, it hard to know what it entails at a glance.

    2. yes good point about the name, but I don’t think I can change it now as it already is ranked in google?

  33. I have made this every year on Thanksgiving since I’ve found this recipe, going on the forth year now! Everyone loves it and I sometimes use bits and pieces of this roast throughout the year. I’ve even used the sweet potato mash recipe and put marshmallows on top of it that way you get a bit of savory with the sweet. Thank you Lauren, I hope you and baby are doing well 🙂

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