Friday, September 14, 2012

Walnut Mock Chopped Liver - vegan

This is an absolutely delicious spread that looks and tastes like chopped liver but is made from walnuts and is entirely plant-based and vegan. 

If you are looking for a special appetizer to serve to guests, this is it. Everyone (except chopped liver haters) seems to LOVE IT. 

I like it with tomatoes or spread on (gluten free) crackers or (gluten free) bread/challah. I serve it mostly to company, and it's always a big hit.

Walnut, Nut, Walnuts, Nuts

This vegan plant-based version is a great substitute for the real thing that real chopped liver that is traditionally served on the Jewish Holidays. This mock recipe is very authentic tasting (maybe better). It's easy to make and definitely healthier for your heart than eating real liver. 

Onions, Onion Rings, Cut, Food, Meal

It's Made With Just 3 Ingredients

  • sautéed onions (sautéed in oil, vegetable broth, or water)
  • walnuts
  • a can of baby peas (no one ever thinks it has peas in it)

It's hard to believe how good the trio tastes when processed in the food processor. The flavors mingle and make a great spread.

Being a gluten free vegetarian/vegan, I miss some of the traditional foods that I grew up eating at Jewish holidays. Two of my best vegetarian versions of traditional holiday foods are my vegetarian gluten free matzo balls and this vegan chopped liver recipe. 

This recipe freezes well too! 
I frequently make the chopped liver in advance, divide it in half, and freeze it in two containers. It needs to be defrosted in the fridge and then pour off the small amount of liquid that forms before serving.

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Cook Time: 20 minutes to sautee the onions
Prep Time: 2 minutes in the food processor to blend 
Total Time: 22 minutes

After I make this recipe, I usually put it in the refrigerator until I am ready to serve it. This "liver" tastes best served at room temperature so I usually take it out of the fridge a 1/2 hour before serving.


1 can of baby peas, drained 
1 cup of walnut halves or pieces
2 very large onions, sliced in half moons
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil to sauté the onions 
or use 1/4 cup + of vegetable broth to sauté the onions
salt and pepper to taste  (I don't use any salt)

Directions or (see oil-free directions in my notes at the end)
Spray a dutch oven with olive oil spray and add 3 T olive oil. 
Add onion slices and saute very slowly on a low heat until the onions begin to caramelize and look slightly reddish to bring out the sweetness of the onion. Make sure your onions are soft and set aside.

Set up your food processor with the sharp blade.  
Add the walnuts and pulse quickly 2-3 times(on./off/on/off until coarsely ground (not entirely smooth or it will be nut butter) 
Then add drained peas and cooked onions, sea salt and pepper to taste.

Pulse  on /off on /off until mixture is smooth but not overly processed and mushy. Spoon into a small domed glass bowl and allow it sit for a minimum of about 25 minutes in the refrigerator. 

To serve: Turn the bowl upside down onto a flat serving plate and decorate with tomato wedges and cucumber slices on the side. 
Enjoy with gluten free crackers, crudités, or gluten free bread or at Passover - gluten free matzoh!

Passover variation: Use eggplant instead of peas  - 
Peel and chop 1 large eggplant. Sauté in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, stirring frequently until the eggplant is soft. Season with salt and pepper, Use in place of peas in the food processor at Passover. ( I never tried sautéing the eggplant in broth or water- so not sure how that would work).

Visual Step by Step

chop nuts in food processor ( this is not the correct amount of nuts) 

Assemble Ingredients

Saute onions very slowly until caramelized
                                       Process all of the ingredients in a food processor til smooth
I like to place the mixture in a domed bowl and allow to sit in the fridge for 25 minutes to mold. I then invert and it form a pretty dome.

My Oil-Free Notes: 
Oil-free: I have made this recipe oil-free by sautéing the onions in a about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth instead of oil. It was still very tasty and saved a ton of calories for those wanting to lose weight.     

How I sauté in broth:
I make sure the skillet is hot before I add the onions. I add the onions, stir, and slowly add about 1/4 cup of broth, reduce the heat to low, and stir and allow to sauté for at least 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning and adding a tablespoon at a time of additional broth if needed to prevent sticking.              

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  1. That certainly sounds very good! I am glad you found a way to make this taste so much like the original!

    1. this mock chopped liver is the best! Everyone love it.

  2. I can't image how these ingredients are going to make that great looking chopped interesting. Thanks for sharing it on foodie friday.

    1. I know.. it is hard to believe, but it really tastes amazing and authentic!

  3. Ha! I will trust your word on this one! Wink-wink.
    Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create! <3 Christina

  4. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! We had some fabulous entries this week! Our gluten free blogger directory is growing too! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) See you next Friday! Cindy from

  5. I look forward to this every year. It's so delicious and much healthier than the real thing! Delicious with rice crackers and fresh tomato too.

    1. Wendy- It's one of my favorites too. So glad you enjoy it.

  6. Just put it in the fridge for tomorrow night for my newly vegetarian daughter-in-law. Of course I had to taste it for seasoning. Then I had to taste it...lots, LOL. It is so yummy!

    1. Thank you for letting me know that you made it and enjoyed it.. Hope it was a hit with your vegetarian daughter in law


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