This vegan mushroom pate recipe is made with walnuts, lentils, fresh thyme and plenty of other ingredients. It creates a robust flavor that is unforgettably delicious and surprisingly simple to make!
It's also versatile and satisfying. Blend its earthy and rich flavors into the perfect vegan appetizer, sandwich spread or dip.
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Is Pate Vegan? Making Mushroom Pate
Pate is a French dish typically served in pastry or formed into a mold. It’s a soft, sliceable or spreadable mixture with animal liver as the base ingredient (commonly from poultry). Therefore, classic or authentic pate is certainly not vegan.
There are many types of pate that can include other ingredients like meat, fish or vegetables. Pate is served in many ways too (as a sandwich filling, on crostini or, as noted above, baked in a pastry).
To make pate vegan, you need to abandon the traditional recipe entirely, but the result is a soft, spreadable and very flavorful dish that can be served in the same way as authentic pate.
For this recipe, the liver and meat products often used to make pate are replaced with mushrooms, walnuts and lentils. The walnuts and lentils provide needed fat and protein to create a delicious vegan appetizer!
Ingredients to Make Mushroom Walnut Pate
To recreate the richness of a traditional pate, this recipe uses many layers of flavor that balance perfectly, creating a robust and savory spread.
To make vegan mushroom walnut pate you’ll need:
- Mushrooms: The star of this recipe! I use cremini mushrooms as they are easy to find, inexpensive and have a beautiful flavor. If you’d like to toss in a different type of mushroom (like portobello, shitake, oyster or whatever you like), feel free. Each type of mushroom provides slightly different flavor notes.
- Onion: Onion offers a delicious flavor to pate. Any variety of onion will work well.
- Garlic: Like onion, garlic is essential for adding delicious flavor to this recipe.
- Olive oil: Traditional pate recipes are fairly high in fat, and since fat provides delicious flavor (not to mention it makes recipes so much more satisfying), it’s quite necessary!
- White wine: White wine is used heavily for a beautiful depth of flavor. There’s quite a lot of wine considering the final quantity of pate the recipe makes, and the flavor certainly comes through. Select a dry wine because additional sugar isn’t necessary and may throw off the flavor balance. I used a pinot grigio.
- Fresh thyme: Fresh thyme is the other star of this recipe after mushrooms! The combination of flavor between mushrooms and thyme is classic, rich and delicious. If you don’t have fresh thyme, dry thyme can work (use ¾ teaspoon dry thyme in place of the 1 teaspoon fresh thyme).
- Dry rosemary: Rosemary is the perfect compliment to thyme in any recipe! Use fresh if you have it available, but I always keep dry rosemary on hand. Chop or crush the rosemary before using so you get some rosemary in every bite!
- Black pepper: Black pepper is a simple way to add lots of flavor to this pate.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce is certainly not a traditional pate ingredient, but offers a delicious salty, savory note and great depth of flavor.
- Miso paste: Just like soy sauce, miso paste is not traditionally found in pate. However, miso is a great way for vegans to boost the flavor of any recipe that typically has a salty and/ or fermented flavor.
- Lentils: Lentils create a great texture in this pate. Mushrooms alone wouldn’t hold together that well, but lentils help bind the pate together while offering nutrition!
- Walnuts: Walnuts add a delicious flavor, some needed texture and a boost of healthy fats for an even more irresistible mushroom pate!
- Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is a classic vegan ingredient that provides a cheesy note to any dish. It goes well in many savory dishes, especially those that traditionally contain animal products.
- Balsamic glaze: I love balsamic glaze so much! It has an amazingly rich flavor and sweetness that you just don’t get from straight balsamic vinegar. Balsamic glaze is essentially balsamic vinegar that’s been cooked down (condensed) with sugar to create a thick, drizzly glaze. It’s perfect for this recipe or to top lots of other yummy appetizers. If you don’t have balsamic glaze, substitute for ¾ tablespoon balsamic vinegar + ¾ tablespoon maple syrup.
- Apple cider vinegar: A little vinegar goes a long way to balance the rich, savory, sweet and salty flavors in this mushroom pate. It also brightens everything up perfectly!
How to Make Vegan Mushroom Pate
This recipe starts by cooking the mushrooms with onion and garlic in a pan. It’s then run through a food processor with the remaining ingredients to create a delicious spread!
Step 1: Prep the Vegetables
Begin by washing and dicing the mushrooms, then measure 4 cups of diced mushrooms. Repeat for the onion (dice then measure ¾ of a cup).
Mince 2 cloves of garlic (I use a garlic press).
Get the white wine and olive oil measured and ready since both ingredients are needed toward the start of the cooking process.
It’s also best to prepare the fresh thyme, dry rosemary, black pepper, soy sauce and miso paste as these ingredients are added to the mushrooms as they cook. However, there’s no huge rush while cooking (there’s enough time to get these ingredients measured while the mushrooms cook).
Step 2: Cook the Vegetables
Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion and garlic and turn the heat to high. Allow the mushrooms to cook. Water will release from the mushrooms, creating steam. This process takes about 10 minutes depending on the water content of your mushrooms.
Once most of the liquid has evaporated, add the white wine. Continue cooking on high heat until the wine is reduced and there is little liquid left in the pan.
After the wine is added, toss in the fresh thyme, dry rosemary, black pepper, soy sauce and miso paste. It’s nice to get these flavorful ingredients into the mixture while it’s cooking so all the flavors can come together nicely!
Step 3: Blend in Food Processor
After the wine is reduced and there isn’t liquid pooling in the pan any longer, take the pan off heat. Allow the mushrooms to cool slightly while you add the remaining ingredients to the food processor.
I use a can of brown lentils which are drained and rinsed before measuring and using.
If your walnuts aren’t already crushed, crush them before measuring!
The nutritional yeast, balsamic glaze and apple cider vinegar can all be added to the mushrooms towards the end of the cooking process, or straight into the blender.
Balsamic glaze is a delicious ingredient that I love to keep on hand. Essentially, it’s balsamic vinegar that’s been reduced with some sugar to create a thick, dark, syrupy liquid which is packed with balsamic flavor. If you don’t have this ingredient on hand, use ¾ tablespoon balsamic vinegar with ¾ tablespoon maple syrup to replicate the taste sweet balsamic flavor!
When all the ingredients, including the slightly cooled mushroom mixture, are in the food processor, pulse to combine. Scrape down the edges of the food processor as you go.
You can blend as much or as little as you like. I like some texture in my mushroom pate but you can blend to a fairly smooth consistency if you prefer.
Step 4: Serve
Mushroom pate can be served warm or cold. After making the pate, it’ll still be warm and can be served right away.
If your prefer, transfer the pate into a bowl or container and chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Allowing the mixture to sit can enhance the flavors but I promise it’s delicious served warm as soon as it’s blended.
Vegan Pate Recipe Variations
There are plenty of delicious substitutions you can make for this pate recipe. Each will create a slightly different flavor profile, but that’s the fun of cooking!
The main substitution you could make in this recipe is replacing walnuts with another type of nut or seed. Pine nuts, pecans, almonds or sunflower seeds are my top choices.
You can also get creative with herbs in this recipe. The combination of fresh thyme with mushrooms is one of my favourites, but using oregano, sage, basil or parsley (or a combination of these) would also create a delicious pate. Please note I haven’t tried out all these variations myself, but I’m sure they would be delicious especially if you select the nuts and herbs you like best!
To serve pate, I recommend some sliced baguette bread. This can be fresh or toasted! Crackers, pita bread (or pita chips) and vegetable slices are also delicious to dip into this mushroom pate.
Other serving options include:
- Spreading pate on toast or a bagel
- Using this pate as a sandwich or wrap filling
- Wrapping the pate with phyllo or puff pastry then baking it
- Topped with extra balsamic glaze
- Alongside some delicious tomato bruschetta
How to Store Vegan Mushroom Walnut Pate
After cooling the pate to room temperature, refrigerate it in an airtight container. It should last up to a week in the fridge (but it only lasted an hour or so in my house, so I haven’t technically tested this out).
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Mushroom Pate with Walnuts
- 4 cups mushroom , diced (I use cremini)
- ¾ cup onion , diced
- 2 large cloves garlic , minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup white wine , dry
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dry rosemary , crushed
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 cup cooked lentils (I use canned lentils, drained and rinsed)
- ½ cup crushed walnuts
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic glaze
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Dice your mushrooms and onions. Mince garlic cloves.¾ cup onion, 2 large cloves garlic, 4 cups mushroom
- Add olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat then toss in the mushrooms, onions and garlic.3 tablespoons olive oil
- Cook the vegetables until the mushrooms and onions have softened. Liquid will release from the mushrooms; let this cook off until there is very little liquid left (about 10 minutes).
- Next, add dry white wine. Allow to cook down until most of the liquid is evaporated (about 5 minutes).¾ cup white wine
- Toss in fresh thyme, dry rosemary (crushed), ground black pepper, soy sauce and white miso paste. Cook for another few minutes, until there is almost no liquid left in the pan (the mixture will look moist as the olive oil won’t evaporate).1 teaspoon fresh thyme, ¼ teaspoon dry rosemary, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ½ tablespoon white miso paste
- Optional to add the nutritional yeast, balsamic glaze and apple cider vinegar to the mushroom mixture in the pan and cook these ingredients down; otherwise you can add them directly into the food processor.1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic glaze, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Once the liquid is cooked out of the pan, add the mushroom mixture to a food processor along with cooked lentils and crushed walnuts. If you didn’t put the nutritional yeast, balsamic glaze and cider vinegar into the cooked mushrooms, add these ingredients to the processor.1 cup cooked lentils, ½ cup crushed walnuts
- Pulse the mixture until everything is well combined, the lentil are broken up and the walnuts are crushed into very small pieces. Scrape down the edges of the food processor as you go so everything gets incorporated evenly.
- Serve either warm or chilled along with your favorite crackers, breads, chips, veggies or anything else you want!
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.