Luxury Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese (vegetarian & vegan recipe)

A luxury slow cooker macaroni cheese. The best mac and cheese I've made in years and the best part is this is a dump recipe. Dump in the ingredients, switch the slow cooker on and walk away.

Macaroni cheese. We all love it. It's like a comforting hug in a bowl.

When I was growing up my mum regularly made mac and cheese, although growing up in Scotland it was always called macaroni cheese. Whatever you call it, it's always a winner.

This recipe is one of the easiest. No longer do you need to stand stirring a sauce and have several pans to clean. Now you can just dump in all in your slow cooker, turn it on and walk away. Leaving it to get on with making the most heavenly mac n cheese.




Scottish Mushroom and Chestnut Pâté

An easy mushroom and chestnut pâté made in minutes and blended until smooth. Serve with oatcakes, use as a sandwich filler or top veggie burgers with this delicious veggie pâté.

Easy Mushroom and Chestnut Pâté with oatcakes

When I'm shopping I often waste time looking in the pâté section of the chillers for a mushroom pâté or any veggie pâté really and yes it's a waste of time.

Although I've found them in the past, the supermarkets don't seem to stock them anymore.

I used to like the original Tartex, which is a paste or pâté made with nutritional yeast and is sold in a tube in health food shops, but they changed the recipe and I really don't like it now.

Plus the pâté in tubes is just too smooth for my liking. I like a bit of texture to a pâté.

It was time to make my own and as it's so easy to make there is no excuse really.

3 large flat cap mushrooms

Mushroom foraging

November is the perfect time to go mushroom hunting.

This traditionally damp time of year is the time when forests are full of mushrooms. Of course you need to know what you're looking for as you can easily make a mistake and eat a poisonous mushroom which can cause stomach cramps, make you severely ill or even cause death.

If you're not an expert, you should really go mushroom hunting with an organised group led by a professional forager.

Which mushrooms?

If you're foraging in the supermarket for mushrooms, look our for portabello mushrooms or large flat cap mushroom for flavour.

Chestnut mushrooms can be good for flavour too, but the cheaper white closed cup mushrooms don't have a lot of flavour. 

You can also re-hydrate and chop some dried mushrooms and add them to the pot for extra flavour.

I used large flat cap mushrooms for this recipe.

roasted and shelled chestnuts


If you love Christmas traditions and have lots of time to potter about in the kitchen, ie you don't have a family, a job and a blog to look after, then roast your chestnuts and remove the shells.

If you're time poor like me, buy them pre-packed. 

I got my pre-roasted and shelled chestnuts from Asda.

They're from Merchant Gourmet, who do a fabulous range of larder products in sachets like puy lentils, mixed grains and these rather convenient chestnuts.

Tesco is supposed to stock them too (and I'm sure other major supermarkets), but my local branch didn't have them.

Mushroom, Lentil and Nut Wellington

How to serve mushroom pâté

Mushroom Wellington

As Christmas is approaching, why not use my mushroom pâté in a mushroom wellington?

Spread a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry with my Scottish Mushroom and Chestnut Pâté, top it with a mixture of mushrooms cooked with nuts, oats and herbs, then wrap the pastry in a sausage roll shape and bake or try my Mushroom, Lentil and Nut Wellington.

Scottish Oatcakes

The traditional way to serve a Scottish oat based pâté like this one is with oatcakes. 

There are so many fabulous oatcakes available to buy from fine to rough. Some circular biscuits and other types come in a rough triangle. They are all the perfect base for this tasty pâté.

You can also make your own oatcakes. Try these traditional Scottish oatcakes from Hamlyns. It's a super easy recipe for a rough oatcake.


A rich pâté like this is fabulous on toast, especially if you have a tiger loaf, bloomer loaf or a sourdough loaf to slice thickly and toast. 

You could be more extravagant and brush the bread with a little olive oil before toasting and then rub with a clove of garlic before spreading on the pate. Oh yes!

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An easy mushroom and chestnut pâté made in minutes and blended until smooth. Serve with oatcakes, use as a sandwich filler or top veggie burgers with this delicious veggie pâté. #veganpate #mushroompate #vegetarianpate #mushroomspread #veganChristmas #vegetarianChristmas #Christmasrecipe #mushrooms #chestnuts
Scottish Mushroom and Chestnut Pâté with Oatcakes

Scottish Mushroom and Chestnut Pâté

To make this pâté, you saute shallots and garlic in olive oil, until soft, then add the mushrooms and fresh thyme and cook gently for lots of flavour. 

While they're cooking I season them well with salt and pepper and add some veggie Worcestershire sauce (which is suitable for vegans).

Once the mushrooms are soft, I add the roughly chopped chestnuts and oats and cook for another couple of minutes to give the flavours a change to absorb.

I then add cream cheese and blend the pâté in a food processor until it is quite smooth, but still has a bit of texture. 

You could use your favourite cream cheese. If you're making a vegan pate I recommend Violife Creamy.

Hamlyns Scottish Porridge Oats and Oatmeal

Hamlyns Oats

I created this recipe for and using Hamlyns Oats. I used the porridge oats but the oatmeal would work in this recipe too.

Hamlyns of Scotland is a family business, which has been owned by the same family for 14 generations. Last year it celebrated it's 50th birthday. 

So if you are reaching for a bag of oats in the supermarket, look for the Hamlyns logo for high quality grains and to support a family business.

Calories and Nutrition in Mushroom & Chestnut Pâté

mushroom pate, mushroom and chestnut pate, Christmas pate, easy pate recipe, vegan pâté, vegetarian pate, mushroom spread
Scottish, vegan, vegetarian
Scottish Mushroom and Chestnut Pâté
An easy mushroom and chestnut pate made in minutes and blended until smooth. Serve with oatcakes at Christmas, use as a sandwich filler or top veggie burgers with this delicious veggie pate.
Yield: 8-10

Scottish Mushroom and Chestnut Pâté

An easy mushroom and chestnut pâté made in minutes and blended until smooth. Serve with oatcakes at Christmas, use as a sandwich filler or top veggie burgers with this delicious veggie pâté.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 15 minstotal time: 25 mins


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g/3 large flat cap mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp veggie worcestershire sauce
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
  • 100g roasted chestnuts, shelled and chopped
  • 6 tbsp porridge oats
  • 5 tbsp cream cheese ( standard or vegan)


  1. Saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil gently until soft.
  2. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until the mushrooms are soft. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper while they are cooking.
  3. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the oats and chestnuts and stir until well combined.
  5. Add the mushroom mixture to a food processor with the cream cheese and blend until fairly smooth.
  6. Serve or keep in the fridge for a couple of days until required.
  7. Enjoy!
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Vegetarian and Vegan Christmas Recipes

Vegetarian and Vegan Christmas Recipes

For more easy and delicious Christmas recipes visit my page Veggie Christmas, which I will be updating with new recipes throughout the season.

Check out the Hamlyns website for more oat recipes and ideas.

If you like this pate, try my spicy black bean pate or my spiced moroccan pate.

Disclosure: I created this recipe for Hamlyns. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

27 Vegan Slow Cooker Recipes for Winter

Silver crock-pot slow cooker

A slow cooker is such a blessing in the winter when everyone is tired and just so busy. You can make so many dishes in it and the good news is you just load it up and walk away. 

That's right, just walk away. It's safe to leave cooking overnight or when you are at work and when it's finished cooking, this clever little piece of kit will keep your meal warm for you until you are ready to eat.



Slow cooker's used to be seen as something that was great for meat-eaters to make stew in and if a vegan happened to have one, it was surely only to make soup. 

I would like to dispel that myth with 27 of the most delicious recipes that will bring you comfort and keep you warm this winter.

Plug in your slow cooker and get started.




Butternut, Red Pepper & Potato Puff Pastry Plait

A golden puff pastry plait filled with sundried tomato pate, topped with roasted vegetables and vegan parmesan. The perfect dish for Sunday dinners or other special occasions like Christmas dinner. 

Butternut, Red Pepper & Potato Puff Pastry Plait

I'm trying out new recipes for Christmas. I already have a mushroom, lentil and nut wellington, which I love, but my brother-in-law will be having Christmas dinner with us and he hates mushrooms, so that's out.

I decided to stick with a puff pastry recipe and try a plait with very different flavours to my wellington.

I roasted butternut squash, red onion, red peppers and potatoes and sat them on a sundried tomato pate. I topped the whole lot off with vegan Parmesan before plaiting the pastry around the filling.

I served it with roast potatoes, a selection of vegetables and onion gravy. It was as good as it sounds and got a big thumbs up from everyone.


Spiced Roasted Vegetables with Arugula Rocket

Spiced Mediterranean vegetables roasted in a sheet pan and topped with rocket is a basic dish that can be used as the base of so many dishes. Scroll down for the recipe and serving suggestions.

close-up of Spiced Roasted Vegetables with Arugula Rocket

When vegetables are roasted they take on a whole new flavour and can be used in so many dishes. For this recipes I concentrated on Mediterranean flavours, but of course you can roast just about any vegetable.

My choice for this bake was aubergine (eggplant), courgette (zucchini), red onions, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, garlic and rocket (arugula). The story doesn't stop there though.

Usually I roast veg tossed in a little olive oil with salt and pepper but today I decided to dial up the flavours and add some spice.


Easy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge

An easy recipe for chocolate fudge using just three ingredients. The prefect sweet treat to give as a gift this Christmas.

A stack of Easy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge with chocolate sprinkles

Everyone loves chocolate. It's that little lift in your day that brings a moment of joy, that little boost in the afternoon when you are flagging or a little treat in the evening.

Chocolate fudge is a great homemade chocolate treat. It's easy to make, but you end up with something really special, which is perfect to share with guests on special occasions or as a fuss-free homemade Christmas gift.

Yes Christmas is coming, it'll be here before you know it and now is a good time to start trying out recipes.

Check out my Ultimate Veggie Christmas Guide with all the recipes and tips you could need for a vegetarian or vegan Christmas.

Easy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge

3 Ingredient Fudge

  1. Dark chocolate
  2. Condensed milk
  3. Vanilla Extract

That's it just three ingredients!

tin of sweetened coconut condensed milk

Condensed Milk

Condensed milk is something we are all familiar with, it's used in truffles, to make toffee sauce for banoffee pie, it's used in key lime pie and to make fudge along with many other sweet treats.

Condensed milk is basically milk that is sweetened and the water is boiled away until you have a thick sweet gloopy syrup.

Did you consider though that it's made from dairy, so not suitable for those on a dairy-free or vegan diet? I didn't think about it until I was about to make a banoffee pie, then I thought oh! 

I found a vegan caramel sauce  (in M&S) made from coconut that was dairy-free which I used in my vegan banoffee cheesecake, but I still couldn't find a vegan condensed milk until I found this coconut condensed milk from Amazon. 

Easy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Sprinkles

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

I made this fudge with coconut condensed milk, dark chocolate and vanilla extract. It tastes just the same as fudge made with regular condensed milk and has the same consistency. 

Just make sure to check the chocolate to make sure it doesn't contain milk as I've noticed my supermarket dark chocolate now contains milk, which is most annoying.

Vegetarian Chocolate Fudge

This recipe can be made the same way with the same quantities for traditional fudge which is suitable for vegetarians. If you're making vegetarian fudge you can use standard condensed milk and choose between dark or milk chocolate or even a mixture of both.

lined 20cm square cake tin

Lining Cake Pans

I used a 20cm square cake pan for this fudge. I buttered it (with dairy-free spread), then lined it with non-stick baking paper. 

Make sure the paper you use is non stick or you could be left picking off little bits of paper. 

Also make sure you have the shiny side up when using baking paper or your fudge could still stick.

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3 Ingredient Fudge. An easy recipe for chocolate fudge using just three ingredients. The prefect sweet treat to give as a homemade gift this Christmas. Suitable for vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free diets. Free printable recipe. #chocolatefudge #veganfudge #easyfudge #veganchocolatefudge #dairyfreefudge #edibleChristmasgifts #Christmastreats #Christmascandy #chocolate #fudge #christmas

Temperature for Fudge

If you have a baking thermometer check the temperature of the fudge while it's simmering. You're looking for a temperature of 114 to 115 °c (237 to 239 °f)

I don't have one and just leave it to simmer for a few minutes, but you can also do the sot-ball test. You drizzle some of the fudge into a glass of ice cold water and if the fudge forms a soft ball it is ready to pour into your prepared cake tin.

chocolate fudge cooling in a cake tin


I added sprinkles as an optional extra. I will leave it to you to decide if you add them. I think it finishes off the fudge and makes it look a bit special. You could also top the fudge with chocolate strands, chocolate chips or a dusting of cocoa powder.

Why not match the colour to the season? Yellow sprinkles for Easter, green for St Patrick's Day, pink for Valentine's Day and for Christmas you could use red and green sprinkles or for a more classy look choose gold, silver or bronze sprinkles.
nutritional and calories for chocolate fudge - 103 calories per piece

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British, vegan, vegetarian
Yield: 24 pieces of fudge
Easy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge

Easy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge

An easy recipe for chocolate fudge using just three ingredients. The prefect sweet treat to give as a gift this Christmas. Suitable for vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free diets
prep time: 3 minscook time: 6 minstotal time: 9 mins


  • 320g coconut condensed milk (or regular condensed milk)
  • 320g dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a generous pinch of salt (optional)


  1. Butter and line a 20cm square cake tin.
  2. Break up the chocolate into chunks.
  3. Place all the ingredients into a pot and gently melt the chocolate stirring well. 
  4. Once it starts to simmer give it another few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour the fudge into your prepared pan and leave to cool, then pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours minimum. I left mine overnight.
  6. Slice into pieces and keep in an airtight tub in the fridge until you are ready to tuck in.
  7. Enjoy!
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Created using The Recipes Generator


Oreo Chocolate Tiffin

Oreo Chocolate Tiffin

Oreo Chocolate Tiffin. An easy no-bake treat filled with Oreos and raisins and topped with an extra coat of chocolate. Suitable for vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free diets.


Slow Cooker Mulled Wine with Orange Liqueur

A simple recipe for mulled wine made in a the slow cooker and kept warm for your guests or warmed in a pot (if you don't have a slow cooker). The perfect winter warmer.

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine with Orange Liqueur

Mulled wine, the best you ever tasted!

I definitely have the Halloween picture book Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper going through my head. I read it to a nursery this week and it starts with "Pumpkin soup, the best you've ever tasted!" and I said it exactly the same way.

This is the time of year to cook squash and make hot spiced drinks. That's only thing I like about this time of year actually. I hate the dark and the damp, but I do love autumnal food and drink.

Hot spiced drinks like this slow cooked mulled wine can take you happily from Autumn and into Winter.

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