Vegan Five Spice Seed & Nut Pate

Chinese five-spice vegan pate

Vegan Five Spice Seed & Nut Pate is a smooth, creamy, rich pate kissed with silky olive oil, fresh thyme, ginger, and garlic. It’s a versatile pantry item that can be sliced or spread easily. Its real beauty though is the sensational spice mix that sets it apart.

The pate has a captivating flavor because it includes a seasoning I was introduced to when I once worked at an award-winning French restaurant. There, our chef was fond of Chinese five-spice. 

While I never knew the exact recipe for his pates and terrines, I could recognize some of the Chinese five spices in the appetizers we served. Back then, I thought the intriguing warm spices were the best part of the pate. Well, that and a good baguette.

What’s in five spice?

Whole spices to make five spice powder.

You can buy Chinese five-spice powder at the store. However, I am convinced purchasing fresh whole spices and grinding them at home will elevate any recipe. 

So, I have included instructions in the recipe on how to make your own five-spice powder. If you are like me, you will enjoy the reward of having a small, fresh jar in the cupboard that you made yourself.

Make 5 spice powder

You can easily make Chinese five-spice powder by grinding whole spices in an electric spice mill or coffee grinder. Break cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces and add the other spices whole to your machine.

You can also use a blender or food chopper with a very sharp blade and a small chamber. Be sure to read your manufacturer’s manual to make sure it won’t damage your machine. 

With patience, you can even use a mortar and pestle. If you do grind your spices in something other than a spice mill, sift the mix for any large bits before transferring to a container. 

Pate ingredients

Ingredients for vegan pate.

Blend pate in 10 minutes

The recipe for the pate itself is so easy. Simply soak nuts and seeds overnight in the refrigerator and place them in a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. Add seasonings, five-spice powder, and process the mixture. It’s ready in 10 minutes.

Serving suggestions

The French pates that inspired this vegan recipe led me to an exciting discovery. Because French pate is one of the foods that has assimilated into Vietnamese cuisine, it is traditionally included in the iconic bahn mi sandwich. 

I had been waiting for something more flavorful than tofu for a vegan banh mi. Now I had the ideal filling with my sumptuous, plant-based pate. 

For the ultimate experience, enjoy this vegan five-spice pate in my Banh Mi Sandwich complete with a lemongrass spread.

Of course, if you can’t wait, spread this delicious pate on a thick slice of bread or crisp cracker. Alternatively, it makes a hearty accompaniment for a party platter or high-protein filling for raw vegetables like pepper strips or celery sticks.


Can I use roasted seeds or nuts for this recipe?

No. Use raw and unseasoned seeds and nuts for the pate. It will be seasoned ideally with the recipe ingredients and have a fresher taste.

Do I have to soak seeds and nuts overnight?

Yes. They will soften enough to blend well in a Vitamix or equivalent machine. Ideally, select a device that has a tamping tool that can be used while blending.

Why do I have to use a Vitamix or equivalent machine to make the pate?

The high-powered motor and the tamping tool included with Vitamix are what make all the difference. Every day blenders or food processors will grind the soaked nuts and seeds but leave a grainy rather than smooth texture. This is fine if you want the delicious seasonings in the pate and don’t mind the coarser texture.

What are some machines equivalent to Vitamix?

I haven’t personally tested them, but multiple reviews place these two machines on a par with Vitamix:

Ninja Chef CT810
Clean Blend 1800

There are many more high-powered blenders, but these two are good examples because they both come with a tamper or have one that can be purchased separately.

More Vitamix recipes

Best coconut Yogurt Recipe

New! Vegan Goat Cheese Recipe

Fluffy Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I would be thrilled to know if you tried this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #poppyswildkitchenrecipes on Instagram. Aloha!

Chinese five-spice vegan pate

Vegan Five Spice Seed & Nut Pate

Creamy, spreadable vegan pate made in minutes with a Vitamix or similar high-power blender. Dairy-free and gluten-free.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Course Appetizer, Dips and Spreads, Snack
Cuisine French, Plant-Based, Under 30 Minutes, Vietnamese
Cooking Skill Beginner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Soak nuts and seeds 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 Servings, 1/4 cup each
Calories 196
Author poppyswildkitchen



  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 TB peeled, finely chopped ginger
  • 2 TB Braggs Liquid Aminos or tamari
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 tsp. Chinese five-spice
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped (stir in at end)

Homemade Five Spice Powder

  • 5 whole star anise pods
  • 1 1/4 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 whole stick cinnamon
  • 1 TB fennel seeds
  • 1 TB whole Sichuan peppercorns


Seed and Nut Pate

  • Place seeds and nuts in a quart jar and fill with water. Soak overnight in refrigerator.
  • Next day, rinse and drain well.
  • Put drained seeds and nuts in a Vitamix* or equivalent machine with all remaining ingredients except thyme leaves. 
  • Start the Vitamix on low speed and grind briefly to a uniform texture. Turn Vitamix up to highest speed and use tamper to blend mixture until about two thirds of pate is smooth.  
  • Stop machine and stir down mixture. Repeat blending on high and stirring down until mixture is very smooth.
  • Transfer pate to a bowl and stir in fresh chopped thyme leaves. Reserve a few to decorate pate when serving.
  • If you want to slice pate, line a mold with parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill a couple hours. Remove pate from molding dish and slice as desired.

Homemade Chinese Five Spice Powder

  • Place spice ingredients in a small food processor or coffee grinder and blend to a powder.


*This recipe requires a tall Vitamix with tamper, or equivalent machine in order to make a fluffy, smooth and spreadable pate. Be sure to use high setting exclusively once Vitamix gets going so as not to tax the blender and burn out motor.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 245mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 81IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg
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