Mushroom Wellington: The Ultimate Vegetarian Thanksgiving Showstopper

updated Nov 19, 2020
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Mushroom Wellington

This vegetarian version of the classic beef Wellington will please everyone at the table, thanks to three kinds of earthy mushrooms and plenty of savory herbs.

Serves6

Prep25 minutes

Cook45 minutes

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Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewcyzk

Whether you’re planning an entirely vegetarian Thanksgiving menu or simply want to switch up the main dish this year (sorry, turkey!), we’ve got just the veg-friendly showstopper you need. This gorgeous mushroom Wellington, sister to the classic beef Wellington, is eons better than Tofurky and is guaranteed to satisfy everyone at the table — from the vegans to the meat-lovers. That’s because, thanks to three kinds of earthy mushrooms and plenty of savory herbs, it’s packed with flavor and tastes super rich and hearty. It also pairs deliciously with all the classic Thanksgiving sides.

First, What Is Beef Wellington? 

Beef Wellington is a classic, impressive-looking dish named after the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, for his 1815 victory in the battle of Waterloo. Traditionally, the dish consists of a beef tenderloin smothered with a combination of mushrooms and foie gras (or another pâté), and encased in a buttery pastry shell. The Wellington is then baked until the pastry is golden-brown and the beef is a rosy medium. It is often served with Madeira wine sauce.

Encasing meat in a buttery pastry has historically been popular; before ovens could easily regulate and maintain a temperature, the pastry helped keep the meat moist and flavorful. Today, however, the technique is often more stressful than helpful — something we learned when making Gordon Ramsay’s famous version. It takes some finesse to avoid overcooking the beef while the puff pastry fully bakes. This vegetarian Wellington neatly skips the stress, since by avoiding the beef altogether it’s a lot harder to overcook.

How to Make a Vegetarian Wellington

The rich and hearty taste and “meaty” texture of portobello mushroom caps make them the perfect vegetarian substitute for tenderloin. They’re also able to soak in all the complex flavors of the herbs and aromatics.

You’ll begin this recipe by slicing and roasting the mushroom caps. As they cook, you’ll create the mixture that will ultimately surround them in the Wellington. Sauté shallots and garlic in a mix of butter and olive oil, add chopped shiitake and oyster mushrooms, then stir in fresh herbs, baby kale, and tangy Dijon mustard.

Now comes the fun part. Spoon half the mushroom mixture down the center of a sheet of puff pastry, arrange the portobello slices over top, then spoon the remaining mushroom mix on top. Wrap it all up in the pastry, give it a decorative cross-hatch pattern, then send it to the oven until it’s golden-brown.

For a vegan version, just use vegan butter and vegan puff pastry, and skip the egg wash.

Serving Mushroom Wellington

Be sure to let your Wellington cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it. This will give it time to firm up, and help keep all the components intact as you slice. Unlike a turkey, which we recommend carving in advance of dinnertime since it’s a bit of an ordeal, you can slice the mushroom Wellington right at the table so everyone can ooh and aah.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewcyzk

Mushroom Wellington

This vegetarian version of the classic beef Wellington will please everyone at the table, thanks to three kinds of earthy mushrooms and plenty of savory herbs.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet

    frozen regular or vegan puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce package)

  • 2

    portobello mushrooms (about 6 ounces total)

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages

    cremini mushrooms

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1

    medium shallot

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh rosemary leaves

  • 8 ounces

    fresh oyster or shiitake mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter or vegan butter

  • 2 cups

    packed baby kale (2 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons

    Dijon mustard

  • 1

    large egg

Instructions

  1. Thaw 1 sheet vegan puff pastry according to package directions and keep refrigerated once thawed until ready to use. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Trim the stems from 2 portobello mushrooms and scrape out the gills with a spoon. Cut the portobellos into 1-inch thick strips and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and toss to combine. Spread into a single layer and roast, flipping the mushrooms halfway through, until shriveled and start to leak moisture, 12 to 15 minutes total. Transfer the portobellos to a large plate and set aside to cool. Reserve the parchment and baking sheet.

  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 400ºF. Place 2 (10-ounce) packages cremini mushrooms in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until coarsely chopped, 15 to 20 (1-second) pulses.

  4. Mince 3 garlic cloves. Finely chop 1 medium shallot, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, and 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves. Coarsely chop 8 ounces oyster or shiitake mushrooms.

  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cremini and oyster mushrooms and cook until tender and all of their excess moisture is evaporated, 6 to 7 minutes more.

  6. Add the thyme, rosemary, 2 cups packed baby kale, remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until the kale is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard. If the mixture is still too wet, strain through a fine-mesh strainer and press down lightly to squeeze out the excess liquid. Transfer to the reserved baking sheet, spread into an even layer, and cool completely.

  7. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold the puff pastry on the parchment with a short side closer to you. Spoon half of the mushroom mixture down the center of the puff pastry in an even layer, leaving a 2-inch border on the top and bottom. Arrange the portobello mushrooms on top of the mixture in an even layer. Spoon the remaining mushroom mixture on top of the portobellos and press gently down to pack the mixture around the portobellos.

  8. Carefully fold both long sides of the puff pastry to meet over the center and pinch the edges together seal. Fold the ends over and pinch to seal so that the pastry completely wraps over the filling. Using the parchment paper, gently roll the Wellington over so that the seam is on the bottom.

  9. Using a paring knife, gently score the top of the puff pastry with a crosshatch pattern without cutting all the way through the pastry. Beat 1 large egg and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl until combined, then brush the top and sides of the Wellington with the egg wash.

  10. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.