Christmas Dinner: Chestnut Cassoulet with Orange and Rosemary Crumb




This fragrant and warming dish is perfect for Christmas dinner. With flavours of rosemary, sage, thyme and orange, it transforms a dish of roasted chestnuts into a stunning vegan main course that everyone will love.

And what’s more, this chestnut cassoulet with an orange and rosemary crumb is ready from pan to plate in under 40 minutes. It can even be made the day before and kept chilled; with the breadcrumbs stored in an air-tight container for 2-3 days. Simply reheat and serve piping hot, for a stress-free vegan Christmas dinner.

The cassoulet champions winter vegetables including rustic cavolo nero. If you can’t get hold of cavolo nero, it can be replaced with shredded kale, although it won’t quite deliver on the unique texture and nutty flavour. I use dried herbs in this dish as woody herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme work just as well when dried and retain their flavour.

Serve with an abundance of roasted vegetables.


Serves 4


2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped finely

1 stalk of celery, chopped into fine chunks

1 carrot, sliced

4 leaves of cavolo nero, stalk removed and chopped roughly

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

200ml red wine (Sainsbury’s, Co-Operative and M&S label vegan wine)

I can of chopped tomatoes

2 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried sage

1 tsp Marmite

200ml good quality vegetable stock

200g roasted chestnuts, peeled and sliced (I use Merchant Gourmet)

Generous pinch of sea salt

For the orange and rosemary crumb: 

2 slices of white day- old bread

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Zest of 1 unwaxed orange


  1. In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil, onion, celery, carrot and cavolo nero over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add in the garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.
  2. Turn down the heat to medium and pour in the red wine. Allow the red wine to reduce for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. When the wine has reduced and the vegetables are coated, add in the chopped tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, sage, Marmite, vegetable stock and sliced chestnuts. Reduce the heat to low and place a lid on the pan. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. In the meantime, make the crumb. Heat the oven to 180C/ Gas mark 4. Place the slices on bread in a food processor or blender and pulse on high until you get fine breadcrumbs; alternatively grate the bread into breadcrumbs. Layer the breadcrumbs flat onto a baking tray and scatter with the rosemary and orange zest. Bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes until golden, then set aside.
  5. When the cassoulet is cooked, spoon into individual presentation dishes. Scatter with the crumb just before serving to ensure it stays crisp.


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Katy Beskow

Katy Beskow is a vegan food blogger and recipe developer from Yorkshire. She loves ethical fashion, 60's style make-up, bunnies, tea and cake, but not necessarily in that order. She runs the popular recipe blog

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