This Vegan Ham Roast is easy to make and the perfect centerpiece for your holiday table! It’s meaty, smoky, sweet and the maple glaze creates the most amazing crust. Slice it thin and use the leftovers in sandwiches!

vegan ham in a a dish with glaze

With inspiration from my Vegan Turkey Roast, I decided to create a holiday “ham” that is absolutely wonderful for Christmas, Easter or any other occasion. As you can see in the photos, the simple glaze forms the most incredible crust on the “ham” and is the best part of the recipe!

I think traditions are so important. We always had ham at Christmas growing up, and I truly enjoy creating new, but familiar traditions around food that my own children will remember for years to come. This vegan ham was such a hit, my kids all loved it and can’t wait for me to make it again.

The food traditions in my family all revolve around delicious vegan dishes, like Scalloped Potatoes, Vegan Lasagna, Vegan Gravy, Vegan Pumpkin Pie and The Best Vegan Sugar Cookies.

Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to eat only salad for the rest of your life; there are so many options available and ways to be creative. If it helps to re-create some of your old favorites, then I’m here to help!

close up of seitan roast with cloves and glaze

Vegan Ham

Disclaimer: This vegan version does not taste like real ham! It is not going to fool anyone. It is, however, chewy, meaty, smoky, sweet and totally delicious! But if you are expecting it to taste just like ham, you will be disappointed.

It’s also chock full of holiday flavors and goes perfectly with scalloped potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, green bean casserole or festive kale salad.

How to make it

(This is simply an overview with photos, scroll down to find the complete, printable recipe.)

  1. In a blender, add the chickpeas, broth, olive oil, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, liquid smoke, maple syrup, paprika, ground cloves, onion powder and garlic powder and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the wet mixture to a large bowl, along with the vital wheat gluten and mix it with a spoon/spatula, then use your hands until it comes together.
  3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface (using vital wheat gluten), knead about 10 times and shape into a loaf.
  4. Steam with broth on the bottom of a large pot for an hour.
  5. Remove the pot from heat, open the lid and let it cool for a few minutes. Then place the loaf in a casserole dish and score it with a serrated knife. I do this by cutting lines about 1/4 inch thick across diagonally one way, then the other way, so you are left with a diamond pattern.
  6. Whisk all glaze ingredients in a bowl.

collage of how to make a ham vegan, step by step

Stick whole cloves into the diamonds, if desired, and pour on about half of the glaze. Place pineapple rings around the loaf and roast for 30 minutes, pouring more glaze over the “ham” about every 10 minutes.

a spoon placing glaze on a loaf

Let it cool for 15 minutes or so, then serve and enjoy! Remove cloves before serving.

Is there an alternative for vital wheat gluten?

This mock meat can not be made with any other alternative, so it’s one of the only recipes on my website that can not be made gluten free, unfortunately.

How many people will it serve?

It’s a fairly small “ham” but it should serve about 6-8, depending on serving sizes. If you are making it for a large crowd or want a lot of leftovers, I would make 2 roasts.

looking down on a roast, sliced with pineapple rings around it

More vegan holiday main dish ideas

square image of sliced vegan meat roast

Vegan Ham Roast with Maple Glaze

This Vegan Ham Roast is easy to make and the perfect centerpiece for your holiday table! It's meaty, smoky, sweet and the maple glaze creates the most amazing crust.
4.78 from 9 votes

Ingredients

Vegan Ham

  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup no chicken broth, *I used Better than Bouillon, may use veg. broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, smoked or regular
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 3-4 cups more no chicken or vegetable broth, for steaming

Maple Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons melted vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Roasting, optional

  • whole cloves, about 20
  • canned or fresh pineapple rings, about 10-12

Instructions

  • In a blender or food processor, add the drained chickpeas, broth, olive oil, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, liquid smoke, maple syrup, paprika, cloves, onion powder and garlic powder and blend or process until smooth.
  • Transfer the blended mixture to a large mixing bowl, getting all the last bits with a spatula.
  • Add the vital wheat gluten to the bowl and start to mix it into the wet ingredients with a spatula or spoon, then use your hands and mix until it starts to come together. Sprinkle a little vital wheat gluten on a clean surface, transfer the mixture to the surface and knead about 10 times. Carefully shape it into a loaf.
  • Get out a large pot with a steamer basket (flat bottom preferred, see Notes if you don't have steamer basket.) Place the loaf on the steamer basket with about 3 cups of broth on the bottom for steaming, but don't let the ham sit in the broth.
  • Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so it’s simmering but not boiling too hard. Steam for 1 hour, and make sure to add more broth if it evaporates too soon. You can pour some additional broth over the roast halfway through.
  • Remove the pot from heat and open the lid so the loaf can cool for a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all glaze ingredients and set aside.
  • Place the steamed ham in a casserole dish or a pan with a rim, and score it in a crisscross pattern. You can stick whole cloves in the diamonds if desired.  SEE PHOTOS for reference. You can also skip this part if you'd like.
  • Pour about 1/2 of the glaze over the loaf and place pineapple rings around the roast (optional). Place in the oven to roast for about 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, baste with more glaze. Save a little glaze for the very end, to pour over just before serving. Let cool for 15 minutes, remove the whole cloves and serve. Slice fairly thin for the best texture. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. The whole cloves and pineapple rings are optional but so good. The pineapple will caramelize with the glaze, so I don't recommend skipping this!
  2. If you don't have a flat steaming basket or insert, you can make your own by placing a few balls of foil on the bottom of a large pot, then add a heat safe plate that the loaf can sit on. 
  3. Instant Pot: Steam the loaf in your IP by placing a trivet in the pot, as well as the broth for steaming. Seal, and cook for 50 minutes, then let pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes. Continue by roasting in the glaze as instructed.
  4. Make-ahead: Prepare it up until the point it has steamed for an hour. Let it cool, then refrigerate wrapped in plastic or in a large container. When ready to serve, place it in a casserole dish/pan, glaze and roast until warm throughout.
  5. The "ham" can be frozen if needed, but I recommend serving fresh for holidays as it will taste better.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 8 servings, Calories: 261kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 318mg, Potassium: 238mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 439IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 2mg

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