We’ve been doing a bit of brainstorming at GCHQ about delicious dishes for a Vegan Christmas. Between the 50-something of us we’ve come up with starters, sides, and a pudding! First off we fancied filo parcels for a starter but couldn’t agree on a filling so we made them all! Read on to find out how to make all three: 

Traditional: Chestnut & Mushroom with Organic Apricots
Alternative: Spinach and Vegan Feta with Cranberry
Radical: Marinated tofu with Crispy Seaweed and a Gochujang dipping sauce. 

All so delightful we can’t even pick a winner!


Chestnut, Mushroom & Apricot Filling

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 100g cooked & peeled chestnuts
  • 100g dried apricots


Heat olive oil in wide pan, cook onion, leek and garlic until soft.

Add mushrooms to the same pan and cook until they have reduced and are well cooked.

Add a small splash of tamari, stir in chestnuts and chopped organic dried apricots.

Cook gently for 5 more minutes to combine.

Season and allow to cool.

Spinach & Vegan Feta with Cranberry

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 300g spinach
  • 100g vegan or dairy feta
  • cranberry sauce


Heat olive oil in a wide pan, cook onion, leek and garlic until soft.

Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, then pour off any excess water.

Stir in chopped vegan feta. Add splash of lemon juice, season well and allow to cool.

(Add a dollop of cranberry sauce on top of cold topping when building your parcel.)

Marinated tofu and Crispy Seaweed and Gochhujang Dipping Sauce

  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 200g marinated tofu
  • 5g wakame dried seaweed


In a wide, heavy bottomed frying pan cook the scallions, garlic, chilli and ginger.

In a separate frying pan fry the marinated tofu until golden.

When scallion mix is cooked, stir in the cooked tofu.

Add the wakame and cook for a few minutes but allow seaweed to maintain some crispy texture.

Season if necessary and allow to cool.

For gochujang dipping sauce:

  • 5 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Method: Combine all ingredients. Add a splash of warm water to dilute down to desired thickness if necessary.


How to make the parcels

Take sheets of filo and brush each one with olive oil or melted vegan butter.

Place on top of each other ensuring the corners are off set.

You will need at least 4 layers and you can trim these way down in size to make smaller parcels.

Gather the filo up around your filling like a money bag, then squeeze well or tie with something to hold - maybe a sprig of something festive!

Bake for approx. 15 minutes in a hot oven.

Garnish and serve with a dipping sauce if using.


For a spicy take on a festive staple, see our next recipe: Gordie's Sticky Chilli Sprouts...