Christmas, Entertaining, Ultimate Budget Christmas Dinner, Vegan, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian

Cranberry, Mandarin & Cashew Nut Stuffing Roast, from 27p

[*This post recommends Del Monte products because I genuinely really love them, and also because we are currently working together in a long term commercial partnership. I never recommend anything that I don’t genuinely use and love, but in the interests of transparency, that’s why they’re namechecked here!]

Serves 8 adults, from 27p each. For the full shopping list, click here.

2 onions, 12p (60p/1kg, Growers Selection at Asda)

200g fresh bread, 9p (36p/800g, HW Nevill at Tesco)

PLUS washed clean peels from parsnips, carrots and potatoes, chopped up very finely

125g cashew nuts, soaked in two changes of cold water for 1hr minimum each to remove excess salt, 75p, (75p/125g, Smartprice at Asda)

1 can of mandarins, £1 (Del Monte* at Asda or Tesco)

2 tbsp or 35g cranberry sauce, 9p (49p/200g, Tesco)

1 tsp mixed dried herbs, 3p (30p/18g, Asda)

40g baking spread, melted, 9p (55p/250g Best For Baking Spread at Asda)

20g lard, melted, 3p (39p/250g, Stockwell at Tesco) – if making for vegan or veggie friends replace with 20ml cooking oil or 20g solid coconut oil, as preferred

Salt and pepper, <1p

First peel your onions and top and tail them, then cover with generously salted water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Simmer for around 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, blitz your bread into crumbs in a food processor or chop into 1cm dice with a bread knife or sharp heavy knife. Blitz your veg peels in the processor, or chop up very small with a sharp heavy knife.

Drain and dry the nuts, either toasting in a dry frying pan for a minute, or shake onto a clean tea towel, place another on top, and roll them under your palms for a minute to absorb the excess water.

Remove the onions from the water – if you want to be extra frugal you can keep the water and use it to make your gravy with if you’ve not made it already, or boil it down to a manageable amount and pop it in a jar in the fridge as a starter for your leftovers soup tomorrow!

Drain your mandarins and reserve the juice or syrup in a jug, bowl or any other receptacle – you can use this as the liquid component in your mincemeat pudding, to glaze your chicken or turkey, to add a sweet undertone to your gravy, or to caramelise your carrots and parsnips.

Chop the onion finely and add to the mixing bowl with the bread, veg and nuts. Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl; the drained mandarins, cranberry sauce, herbs, and melted baking spread. Add these to the middle of the dry ingredients and mix really well – it should be stiff but not impossible; if it’s a bit dry or crumbly, add a dash of the reserved mandarin juice. If it’s slightly sloppy, add some more bread.

Lightly grease a loaf tin and transfer your mixture into it, pressing it down and into the corners firmly. 

Bake in the centre of the oven at 190C for 50 minutes – it may be made in advance and reheated, or chilled uncooked and put in the oven an hour before the main meal is due to be served. It will keep in the fridge cooked for 2 days, uncooked for 2 days, and leftovers can be frozen for up to six months.

A version of this menu was originally devised and developed for The St Giles Trust Pantry, registered charity number 801355. You can support their vital work by texting PANTRY to 70460 to donate £5.

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Filed under: Christmas, Entertaining, Ultimate Budget Christmas Dinner, Vegan, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian


Jack Monroe is an award winning food writer and bestselling author. Books include A Girl Called Jack, A Year In 120 Recipes and Cooking On A Bootstrap. She has won the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink award (ironically), the Observer Food Monthly Best Food Blog, Marie Claire 'Woman At The Top', Red Magazine's 'Red Hot Women', the YMCA Courage & Inspiration Award, the Woman Of The Year Entrepreneur award, the Women Of The Future media award and many more. She works with Oxfam, the Trussell Trust, Child Poverty Action Group, Plan Zheroes, the Food Chain and many food banks, schools and childrens centres to teach people to cook and eat well on a low income, and campaigns against the causes of poverty and austerity in Britain and abroad.