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. Thank you for this recipe. I can’t wait to make for Easter.
    Can I make this without oil? Should I substitute broth?

  2. I have found this site and I am excited to try some of these dishes ! For this one, can I make it ahead and freeze at any stage, for example after steaming it and before roasting/glazing it ? I will have visitors and I want to get ahead in terms of preparation ?

    1. Yes, you could freeze it after steaming and before roasting. But you will need to thaw it completely in the refrigerator overnight before roasting, or it will take a long time to warm up in the oven. Hope you enjoy this and other recipes here!

      1. This sounds like a great recipe. Not a lot of sodium either. I’m tired of store-bought veggie meat. Thank you!

  3. Hi Nora,

    I made this for supper last night as a side for baked beans. It was so good we forgot the tater tots in the airfyer!
    Love your recipes and insights.
    Your efforts and creativity are appreciated. Happy 2024!

  4. Best recipe ever, made it several times already, works like a charm, like all the others that you are creating. You are the best!!!

  5. Hi! I love your recipes, and I usually check out your site first for new recipes when I’m in the mood to try something new! Many of our family favorites came from you, so thank you so much!!
    Quick question about the ham roast. I made it to try it out before Christmas, and it came out really soft. Like, my husband said it reminded him of the fat on a beef steak. What might I have done wrong? How can I make it more of a chewy consistency? I had made your turkey roast and I misread the directions and kneaded for 10 minutes, and that was much more of a chewy consistency. So, I’m wondering if that’s what I need to do here? Your advice would be much appreciated!

    1. Hi Christa, thanks for loving my recipes! I’m so glad you have found several family favorites here. About the ham roast, no it should not be soft like that at all. It should be very firm and meaty, similar to the vegan turkey. This can happen if the roast was actually being more boiled than steamed, so make sure the water isn’t touching the roast when it steams. You could wrap it in foil while you steam it to really prevent this from happening. You can try kneading it for longer but I never do so I don’t think that is the issue. It sounds like it got water logged to me. I hope that helps!

  6. What a treat. Quite easy to make and it is tasty! Will have “ham” sandwiches for lunch this week. Great flavor and texture.

    1. Hi Roger. Oh, leftover ham sandwiches sounds delicious! I’m thrilled you love the recipe! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and review!

  7. We LOVE this recipe and make it every year for Christmas. Even our meat eating family loves it. Our favorite part it crisping up leftovers to make “bacon” the next day. Thanks for so many amazing recipes Nora!

    1. Hi Corrigan. I love your leftover idea! Yumm! I’m glad you all love the ham roast! Thanks for your terrific feedback! Happy holidays!

  8. Hi Nora!!! Thanks for another FANTASTIC recipe- this was just SO GOOD!! We switched to a whole food plant based vegan diet about 3 years ago, and your recipes are always a favorite! Even our omnivore son is impressed, hahahahaha!!! Thanks for being a continous resource and inspiration for delicious vegan meals!

    1. Hi Barbara. It’s so encouraging to know that you guys are loving my recipes! Your kind words are an inspiration to me! Thank you for sharing your feedback!

  9. Hey Nora! Followed the recipe to a T, but the inside of the loaf was fairly mushy and pretty much stayed that way no matter how long I cooked it. Any way to avoid this? Wondering if I needed a bit more vital gluten.

    1. Hi Jess! That is odd, I haven’t had that happen. Maybe it didn’t actually get cooked long enough? Did you make any substitutions?

    2. This happened to me too. I steamed for twice as long as called for and it was still both mushy and crumbly, unfortunately quite unappealing. I think I may not have kneaded enough.

  10. Great recipe! I didn’t have a can of chickpeas so I used some firm tofu instead. I used my instant pot to steam. Flavor was fantastic!

    1. Hi Vicki. I’m so glad you loved the ham roast recipe! Thanks for your fantastic feedback, and for sharing your experience!

  11. Help! Part way into making this and it seems easy and flavorful.
    No where in these instructions does it say to wrap the loaf in foil or anything. Every instinct is telling me it needs to be wrapped. Am I really steaming this unwrapped?! 

  12. Thanks, Nora! I made this seitan ham for Christmas and it was delicious! It’s meaty, chewy and gets better the next day. Your recipe is surprisingly simple. I used my stand mixer to knead and my InstantPot to steam, and both worked perfectly! Your flavor profiles are always spot on!!

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful and fun review and comments! I’m so glad you loved the ham! I’m thrilled you’re enjoying the flavors of my recipes! Thank you, and happy cooking!

  13. I’ll be making with a traditional ham that requires low oven temperature.  Can I heat this longer (an hour) at 275 instead of 30 minutes at 425?

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.