Shiitake Pâté en Croûte

Take rich shiitake pate and wrap it in buttery puff pastry for the ultimate meatless holiday feast. This festive entree is a showstopper that everyone will love.

Slowly rehydrated overnight for maximum depth of flavor, Sugimoto shiitake are blended into a creamy pâté enriched with toasted walnuts and aromatic fresh herbs. Additional nuts are mixed back in for texture, punctuating each bite with a satisfying crunch. The earthy and wild flavors almost remind me of chopped liver associated with Passover, which could be a game-changer this spring. Such an elegant spread would be enough to serve chilled with toast as a compelling appetizer, but we’re not going to stop there. For the winter holidays, we’re going all out.

Encase anything in a layer of buttery, flaky pastry for an instantly elevated experience. Frozen puff pastry makes this pro move deceptively simple, considering the stunning results. Most people make moves towards Beef Wellington for a showstopping main dish, which is also known in french as Boeuf en Croûte. en Croûte simple means, “in pastry,” don’t you know?

While many renditions use a basic shortcrust, more like classic pie dough, I prefer the laminated layers of puff pastry, draped alluringly in a faux braid across this decadent filling. Don’t be daunted; it comes together in minutes once you take the plunge and get started. It’s easier than wrapping up Christmas presents, but still tastes like a gift.

Dressed up with all the sides and fixings or pared down to solo slices, every serving will dazzle guests. Though boldly savory and lavished with garlic, fresh sage, and thyme, it fits seamlessly into every menu, whether you prefer cornbread stuffing or mac and cheese, mashed potatoes or candied yams, roasted Brussels sprouts or green bean casserole. Don’t forget extra gravy on the side.

Absolutely no one will ask about turkey, glazed ham, or otherwise with this meatless marvel gracing the table. Best of all, it also reheats beautifully the next day, if you can manage to hide some away for leftovers.

Recipe & Photos: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Ingredients ( MAKES 8 - 10 SERVINGS) (1 hour 25 minutes)

  • 70g Sugimoto Dried Shiitake, Soaked Overnight
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Shallots, Diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Cups Toasted Walnuts, Roughly Chopped and Divided
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Sage, Minced
  • 2 tsp Fresh Thyme, Minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Dry Red Wine
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Sheet (Half of a 1 Pound, 2 Ounce Package) Puff Pastry, Thawed
  • 2 Tbsp Aquafaba


Thoroughly drain the soaked mushrooms and reserve the liquid for another recipe (it's great in soups.) Roughly chop and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, sauteing until lightly brown; about 4 - 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the walnuts along with the Shiitake, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook, for 2 minutes more until highly aromatic.
Deglaze with the red wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and simmer gently for 2 - 3 until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, and vinegar.

Pulse until well blended and creamy, but not quite completely smooth. Stir in the remaining cup of chopped walnuts by hand and let cool.
When you're ready to assemble, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface until about 16-inches long.
Spoon the pate in the center in a 2-inch wide strip, forming it into a tall loaf shape. Leave 1 1/2 inches on the top and bottom of the pastry clear.

Using a very sharp knife, slice diagonal cuts in the pastry about 1/2 inch apart on each side of the pate.
Fold the top and bottom over the center first, then fold over alternating strips on the side to create a braided effect. Pull the pastry as needed to cover and tuck in the ends to secure.
Carefully move the braided pastry over to a baking sheet and brush with aquafaba. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes in the center of the oven, rotating the sheet halfway through.

Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown all over.

Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Use a very sharp knife to slice with a sawing motion and gentle downward pressure; if you cut straight down, the filling is liable to squish right out the sides. Enjoy hot.


  • The pâté can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to a week if you want to prepare it in advance.
  • To reheat leftovers, bake individual slices at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes, until crisp and warm all the way through.

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