This No Beef Wellington is Vegetarian and super easy to make. A big plus if I may say, it does taste really good for something meat free. This was even made easier by using store-bought puff-pastry, and simple ingredients like mushroom and lentils for base filling ingredients. So if you are looking for a vegetarian dish to serve, give this Mushroom and Lentils Wellington a chance.
We survived the Christmas, but we are not done yet. There’s one more to go, our farewell to 2019 is happening really soon. So, to celebrate the New Year, I’m sharing with you today another vegetarian dish that is perfect for the occasion. Today we’re making another variation of Wellington, this time around it is Mushroom and Lentils Wellington. Maybe not the traditional Wellington, but I assure you it is as good. You don’t have to deprive yourself of Wellington just because you cannot eat meat.
What is Wellington Dish?
Wellington is traditionally is chunk of beef wrapped in layers of ham, mushroom paste and puff pastry. It’s like a huge log that looks like a bread but with nice meaty savory filling. Although beef is the traditional Wellington, there are also now variations of Chicken, Meatballs, Salmon and Vegetarian Wellington. We are getting more and more creative in exploring ways to enjoy Wellington meat free way.
Last year about Christmas time, I shared a Mushroom and Brie Wellington. Same easy recipe as this one, if you miss it I have a video that you can watch. You can opt for this variation or you can make both, I leave that choice to you.
Wellington tends to scare people away, not from eating them but from making them. I totally understand, the traditional Wellington is a bit of a work although I have I admit it is totally worth it. Beef is the common version of Wellington and what is most people familiar with, but if you do not mind trying something new for a change, give this vegetarian Wellington a chance.
How to Make Vegetarian Wellington
This Wellington version is vegetarian and can easily be made Vegan if you use a Vegan pastry. You will be surprised how easy it is to make this version of Wellington. Again, it is not traditional but you will get the same look and the same delicious Wellington only lighter and better.
Make the Mushroom Filling – The base filling of this Wellington is mushroom and lentils. For the mushroom, I used fresh white mushroom but brown mushroom will work well too. I find that white mushroom have less moisture than brown mushroom, so I always go for white. We want to keep less moisture as possible to avoid the pastry from being soggy. I prefer to chop the mushrooms manually into small pieces, this way I can have nice texture in the filling. If you want to use a food chopper, by all means do so but pay attention to the texture. You do not want it to be puree, just chopped. Use the entire mushroom (cap and stem). I used to remove the mushroom stem and throw it away, but then I realized why throw it when you can use it. It is totally edible, so do not be scared to use it to. Also, please use fresh mushroom, don’t go for the canned mushroom. Now for the lentils, you can use green or red or combination of both, I used a combination of both for this recipe. Wash it first before cooking. To make the filling, you have to saute and cook the lentils first since this takes longer to cook than the rest of the ingredients. Cook it until almost tender, then add the mushroom and all the spices. Once reduced and cooked, add the kale and cook until the kale it wilted. Reduced the sauce as much as possible, the drier the filling the better. Make sure to cool the filling completely before using, puff pastry is very sensitive to heat and it could get soggy easily. There is more filling than needed in the recipe. I only used about 3/4 of the filling. Set aside the remaining filling, you can even serve it on the side for people who want extra filling. If you want to use all the filling, just make sure that you will still be able to wrap it without bursting.
Wrap and Roll -In this step, all you have to do is to put about 3/4 of the filling close to the top. Leave at least 2-inches allowance on all sides for easy folding. Fold the sides toward the center then fold the top towards the center too, then roll as tight as possible. Roll forward until it reach the end.use the parchment paper as a help to roll it tightly. I high recommend using a store-bought puff pasty to make this. It will not only make the process a LOT easier, it also gives an even thickness. If you have uneven thickness of puff pastry, some parts could get burn easily.
Chill: Once you’ve wrapped and rolled the Wellington, chill it in the freezer at least 30 minutes to harden it a bit. Puff pastry needs to be really cold so that it doesn’t melt as fast when you bake it. Plus, if you want a really nice looking flaky Wellington, chill it before baking.
Score the Puff Pastry: Is it required? No it is not, but it makes the presentation better and fancier. This adds a “wow” factor when you serve it. Scoring means lightly marking the top of the pastry, just creating lines on top, nothing too deep to cut it all the way through. Create a cross-cross mark on top of the entire Wellington, use a plain sharp knife, not serrated knife. Watch the video to see how I do it.
Bake – when dealing with puff pastry, always bake in high temperature to achieve a nice flaky pastry. 375F or 400F, it could be around 30 -40 minutes or until the pastry dough turns brown and the lines you created starts to be visible. It will open up showing an almost triangle patterns on top.
Serve: when using puff pastry, is always advisable to serve it as soon as it comes out of the oven so that you get to enjoy it while it is crispy and flaky.
Can I Make this Ahead of Time?
Yes you can. There are 2 ways that you can do it:
- Make the Filling and do the wrapping later: This is my preferred method. Make the filling ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. If you’re puff pastry is in the freezer, thaw it in the refrigerator the night before you want to make the wellington. The day that you want to serve it, take the puff pastry out of the refrigerator, fill, brush with egg wash and score, wrap and bake. The nice thing about this method is it bakes faster since the wellington is not completely frozen and it also avoids a soggy bottom since the filling do not have too much moisture.
- Make the filling, fill, wrap and freeze: Do steps 1 – 5. When you are ready to bake, take the wellington from the freezer, brush with egg wash, score and bake. Do NOT thaw as the puff pastry will get soggy. The nice thing about this method, there is less work required prior to baking. It is almost ready to use. The downside, scoring the top is challenging and it takes longer to bake since it is frozen.
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 clove Garlic – minced
- 1/4 cup Onion – chopped
- 1/4 cup Lentils
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Broth
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt (I used fine salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/4 Red Chili Flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried Rosemary
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 300g (3 cups) Brown or White Mushroom – chopped
- 1/2 cup Carrots – chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh Cilantro – chopped
- 2 cups Kale – chopped
- Egg wash ( 1 beaten egg + 1 tsp water)
- 1 Roll Puff Pastry
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Prepare the Mushroom Filling In a heated pan, add oil then add garlic, onion and lentils. Saute for about 1 minute, then add 1/2 cup water. Cover and Simmer for 10 minutes. Add Mushroom, salt, black pepper, paprika, thyme, rosemary, soy sauce and sugar. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale, cover until Kale is wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired Let cook completely before wrapping with puff-pastry
- Assemble: Unroll thawed Puff Pastry (if using store-bought) on the working surface. Leave the parchment paper underneath the Puff Pastry. Use a rolling pin to slightly push it to make it 11 x 11-inch. Arrange Mushroom filling in the center of the Puff Pastry, making sure to leave extra border allowance at the edge of the pastry.
- Roll: Fold the sides of the puff pastry towards the center, then fold one top of the puff pastry towards the center as well. Very carefully roll the pastry over the top of the mushroom mixture until you have a log. Press down to seal the edges. Roll over the log so that the seam is facing the bottom.
- Chill: Place the pastry in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before baking. This will allow the dough to harden a bit.
- Brush with Egg wash: Brush top and sides of wellington with egg wash. Egg wash gives a nice shine and browning of the pastry.
- Score the Puff Pastry: Totally optional but it really makes for a great presentation. Lightly make diagonal criss-cross cut on top of the pastry dough.
- Bake: Lift the parchment paper and transfer the pastry on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until golden and flaky. Rotate the pan midway through baking. Use a baking sheet with high rim to avoid the oil/butter from dripping. Once done, immediately remove from the oven to avoid getting soaked with oil/butter. Do NOT leave in the pan.
Serve While Hot: The mushroom wellington is best eaten as soon as it comes out of the oven as the pastry will start to soften as the mushrooms release their juices as they cool.
Serve with a salad or a nice smooth and creamy mashed potato.
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