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Vegan Holiday Main Dish: Holiday Dinner Torte

Holiday Dinner Torte

This will make a beautiful centerpiece for any holiday dinner, and looks so festive all flecked with cranberries and herbs. Plus, it offers traditional savory flavors that are homey and comforting. Serves 6-8.
Course entree, Main Course
Keyword chickpeas, christmas, holidays, thanksgiving


  • food processor
  • 9" springform pan


  • 1 1/2 cups diced apple not large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or water
  • 11/2 cups diced onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt for saute
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cans 15-ounce chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce, plus 1-2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves optional
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1/2 tsp rounded salt (for puree)
  • 21/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds + 2 tbsp for topping, see note
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 -3 tablespoons dried cranberries or sliced fresh cranberries, for topping (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 375. Prepare a 9" springform pan with a swipe of oil (optional). In a small bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in the wine and add the onion, garlic, poultry seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cook for 9–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened and is turning golden. If the mixture is sticking while cooking, add a few teaspoons of water. Use a teaspoon of water to deglaze the skillet after cooking.
  • With a silicone spatula, scrape the contents of the skillet into a food processor. Add the chickpeas, 3 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire, tahini, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to the food processor. Puree until fairly smooth, then add the brown rice, pumpkin seeds, and oats and pulse to mix. Scrape down the food processor and process again, just until the mixture reaches a fairly uniform consistency, but it’s fine to keep some texture. Don’t overprocess or the rice will become sticky. Scrape the bowl again if needed. Remove the blade from the food processor. Add the apple and mix with a spatula.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform pan. Use a spatula to smooth out the mixture, lightly pressing down as you spread mixture evenly. Add the additional vegan Worcestershire to the top and spread over the surface. Sprinkle on the additional pumpkin seeds and the optional cranberries.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until slightly firm and the top is lightly browned. Remove and let sit for 5–10 minutes. Remove the outer ring from the springform pan and slice the torte to serve.


Poultry Seasoning Note: Poultry seasoning is a blend of dried herbs that can
include sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, nutmeg, black pepper, and/or
celery seed. If you don’t have poultry seasoning, try a mix of 1 1/2 teaspoon
dried marjoram or oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried
rosemary or sage, and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
Food Processor Note: Use a large capacity food processor, mine is 16 cups.
Pumpkin Seed Note: Toasting the pumpkin seeds will add greater depth of flavor to this torte. To toast, place seeds on a baking sheet lined with parchment (I use my toaster oven). Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes, moving the seeds around a few times through cooking, until seeds are golden. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with Cran-Apple Compote from Dreena’s Kind Kitchen, and Golden Gravy.