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
4.87 stars (22 ratings)

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.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 8 servings


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


  • 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!


  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.


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
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Read my full disclosure here.

Posted In: , , , , , , , ,

you may also like:


    1. There is a lot of salt in the no chicken broth, but if you use a broth with little or no salt, I would add some for sure.

  1. Question for you! We have a legume allergy so can’t do chickpeas, do you think white beans or another substitute would work here? Thank you! 

    1. Sorry, not for this recipe. It relies on vital wheat gluten flour, and would not be the same without it.

  2. Thank you for the recipe. We really liked this. I have a Ninja Foodi and I used that to steam the loaf. The Foodi only allows 30 minutes for steaming so I had to do it twice.

  3. I have a Ninja foodi. I can either steam the loaf or pressure cook it. Have you tried pressure cooking or do you recommend steaming?

    1. You can pressure cook it, I actually included instructions for this in the Notes section of the recipe. I usually steam it though.

  4. I have to say I rather enjoyed this. Im very much dislike seitan (Ive been vegan for 10 years and never developed a taste for it) but this one worked very well for me. I tested it out and it was a little mild in its flavor outside of the glaze so I might amp the wet mixture flavor base but my real question concerns the bottom. The bottom of the roast burned a little bit. Not a lot and not to the point of affecting flavor but it did affect texture. It made it harder to cut. And while it wasn’t all to difficult to chew I would prefer a more uniform texture (or at least one that didnt include a very crisp bottom). Has this happened to you? And/or do you have any suggestions? I imagine adding any oil or butter to the bottom would only make it worse. Do you think adding the steaming liquid to the bottom might keep it moist and prevent burning/crisping? Thanks.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it even though you dislike seitan in general! The bottom of mine doesn’t burn or get hard like that. Make sure you bake it in the center rack of your oven, perhaps try using a glass tray instead of metal, I wonder if that would help. And maybe just bake it for less time or at a lower temperature, your oven may run a bit hot. You could try adding a little liquid to the bottom as well.

  5. I made this for dinner, and it’s great! I used the Instant Pot method + steamed for 50 minutes. The leftover broth from cooking is also tasty – it’d make good ramen broth.

    1. Hi Elaine! I’m glad the ham roast turned out great and that you loved it! Thank you for sharing your review!

  6. Made this for Christina’s dinner and accidentally forgot the tomato paste. It still tasted really good! So glad I found something yummy with tons of protein! 

  7. Nora, I had a question about putting the ham in the pot. You mentioned to use about 3 cups of broth, but to NOT place the ham directly in the broth. How flavorful do you make your broth and is it somehow still infused into the ham?

    1. Hi Wanda! Yes, that is correct. I use Better Than Bouillon for broth and mix it according to their recommendation (1 teaspoon per cup of water). It does help with the flavor, though water would be fine as well. Hope that helps!

  8. Another seitan virgin here. Don’t know what I was afraid of. It was easy. And delicious. Now I feel like I can try any seitan recipes. You rock!!

  9. This was delicious and easy to make! It’s awesome to be able to have a main dish at holidays rather than just loading up on side dishes! Thank you!!

  10. This was my first time ever making seitan and it was wonderful! I’ve been pretty intimidated but since I know your recipes are pretty simple I trusted it. And it was simple! It was easy and fun to make. Even better to eat. Me and my boyfriend are still making ham sandwiches from it. ☺️

  11. The glaze had nice flavor especially along with the pineapple. Unfortunately it still tasted a little too much like wheat gluten so I’m not sure if I’ll make it again, but it was a lot of fun to try something different. We used the leftovers to make ham sandwiches with the pineapple and dijon mustard.

    1. Hi Jessica! Yes, some people really dislike the flavor of vital wheat gluten, and I understand that. Different brands do have slightly different flavors (some a little less wheaty), so you could try a different one. Thanks for the feedback!

      1. Good to know about different brands. I’ll try another one next time as well as the baking soda tip from another reader; it’s worth a shot!

    2. Jessica, I have had that same problem, found somewhere I read to add a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to your gluten flour when mixing, and it really does take that taste away! Hope that helps!

  12. I made this for Christmas dinner, it was a hit!! The glaze became rock hard among cooling, but that might be because I substituted cane sugar/molasses for the brown sugar (didn’t have any of that handy.)

    Thanks, Nora. I’ve just found your website, and I am loving your recipes so far.

    1. One time I substituted regular sugar for brown sugar and the glaze got super hard, so I would not recommend it. It’s amazing how much better it comes out using brown sugar. Glad it was a hit anyhow though!

  13. Very good!  I modified the glaze to add stone ground mustard and more Dijon, as we’re not pineapple & clove fans.  Definitely will not be going back to the commercial product, but I actually wish it had a chewier texture. I was hoping I could cube leftovers into Mac and cheese, but I’m afraid they wouldn’t hold up. Maybe kneading more?  But overall, definitely a recipe I’ll be using again.  Thanks Nora. 
    (LOL this time I used cheesecloth as my thanksgiving turkey roast from this site sank into the IP rack. But this time the cheesecloth stuck!  So next time, a piece of nonstick foil under the loaf on the rack, and we’ll see if that works better.)

    1. Thanks! Maybe try kneading it for longer. You could also try wrapping it tightly in foil while you steam it, it may help it be more dense and chewy. Though mine is definitely firm enough to cube the leftovers for something like mac and cheese. Hope that helps!

  14. This was a huge hit! The crust is perfect (I also skipped the sugar, was sweet enough with the maple, and I used melted refined coconut oil with nutritional yeast instead of vegan butter). I didn’t have pineapple so looking forward to trying with that in the future! Thank you!

  15. I’ve been testing out vegan ham recipes, and this one is the winner. It has a firm texture if you refrigerate it overnight. The glaze is awesome, though I left out the brown sugar—it was plenty sweet without it. Definitely add the pineapple (I used fresh). I’m going to serve this with my black eyed peas and greens for New Year’s.

  16. Hi. Could we use an instant pot for this?
    I did make a version like this but it’s steamed in baking paper, wrapped in tin foil, steam function on the Instant pot for 2 hours. It turns out very dry though.
    Also, you say ‘knead’ 10 times – I always get different results with seitan (although this is a mix). Some people say use a stand mixer to make the seitan less chewy, and others say that over kneading makes it chewy. I never know what to do. Do you have any tips? Is there a rule?
    I am planning this for my holiday meal. Thank you.
    (love all your recipes btw).

  17. Greetings to you! Is there any substitute for the vital wheat gluten that you know of? I can eat Einkorn flour but not the regular flour. I would really appreciate it. Thanks, take care. I may make this with the Einkorn. It looks like a wonderful recipe.

    1. I just don’t want anyone to think it’s going to taste exactly like meat. I describe it in the post above – it’s very “meaty” from the vital wheat gluten, smoky, a bit sweet and full of flavor. The glaze is obviously very sweet, similar to a honey or maple/brown sugar glazed holiday ham. Hope that helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.