This Vegan Turkey Roast has mouthwatering savory flavors and a meaty texture, making it the perfect main dish for vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas!

Want more recipes for your Thanksgiving vegan dinner? Try my Creamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Easy Vegan Gravy, Vegan Green Bean Casserole, and Sweet Potato Casserole.

a vegan turkey loaf, browned on the top with herbs, partially sliced on a white plate

The best way to impress your family and friends during the holidays is with this mouthwatering Vegan Turkey Roast. Just like my Vegan Chicken and Vegan Glazed Ham recipes, it’s a seitan-based vegan roast flavored with classic poultry herbs and seasonings to help it taste just like a real Thanksgiving turkey. Slice it up and enjoy it with your favorite holiday side dishes or layered in a sandwich!

Why this is the best vegan turkey recipe

  • The best holiday centerpiece – This seitan turkey is not only easy to make from scratch but it’s also more impressive than a store-bought loaf or bland tofu turkey.
  • Moist, flavorful, and meaty – A mix of no-chicken broth and classic poultry seasonings gives the meaty seitan Thanksgiving turkey the most realistic flavors and textures.
  • 50+ 5-star reviews! – Don’t take my word for it! There are over 50 5-star reviews for this epic vegan turkey, proving that it’s always an instant holiday hit.

How to make vegan turkey

Add the drained chickpeas, broth, olive oil, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, sage, thyme, rosemary, onion powder, and garlic powder to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then add the vital wheat gluten. 

Gently mix until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface sprinkled with some vital wheat gluten. Knead until it turns into a smooth loaf.

collage of how to make seitan roast, step by step

Place the loaf in a large pot with a steamer basket, then pour in 3 cups of broth for steaming. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Steam the seitan roast for 1 hour.

Did all of the broth evaporate? You can pour more broth into the pot if it evaporates before the cook time is up.

When it’s done, set the seitan turkey aside to cool while you heat the vegan butter and soy sauce in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the cooked loaf in the pan and let it brown on all sides. 

Transfer the golden brown roast to a cutting board and slice it thinly. Serve the slices with your favorite vegan holiday recipes and enjoy!

a vegan turkey loaf being browned in a white pot with butter

Instant Pot instructions

Steaming the vegetarian turkey in the Instant Pot is easy but you must use a 6QT or larger model. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Place the trivet for steaming inside the pot, then pour in the broth. 
  2. Place the loaf inside, seal, and cook at high pressure for 50 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully release any remaining pressure manually.
  3. Carefully remove the loaf from the pot, then brown it either in the Instant Pot on sauté mode with the vegan butter/soy sauce or on the stovetop. Slice and serve.

Frequently asked questions

Can it be made gluten free?

Unfortunately, no. Vital wheat gluten is a crucial ingredient and without it, the roast wouldn’t be as meaty, firm, or tender.

What can I use instead of chickpeas?

You can use another type of white bean or pinto beans instead.

I don’t have a steamer basket. What can I use instead?

No problem! You can make a DIY steamer basket by placing a few balls of aluminum foil on the bottom of your pot. Place a heat-safe plate on top of the balls for the loaf, then steam as normal.

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes, the turkey roast can be made 1 to 2 days ahead of serving. To do so, make the loaf and steam it as normal. Let it cool before wrapping it in plastic or transferring it to an airtight container and storing it in the fridge.

Before serving, wrap the loaf in a layer of foil and warm it in a 350ºF oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Brown it in a skillet with the vegan butter/soy sauce, then slice and serve.

How do you store the leftovers? Can you freeze them?

You can keep the leftover slices or the whole loaf in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen but I prefer the taste and texture when it’s fresh.

Leftover idea: The leftover vegan turkey slices are fantastic in sandwiches with a little leftover gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce!

looking down on a vegetarian turkey loaf, partially sliced with sage around it
square image of vegan turkey loaf on white plate
4.99 stars (63 ratings)

Vegan Turkey Roast

This Vegan Turkey Roast has mouthwatering savory flavors and a meaty texture, making it the perfect main dish for vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas! Stovetop and Instant Pot instructions included.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


For the Loaf

  • 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
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 3-4 cups additional broth, for steaming

For browning


  • In a food processor or blender, add the drained chickpeas, broth, olive oil, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, sage, thyme, rosemary, 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 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 3 cups of broth on the bottom for steaming.
  • 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.
  • To brown the outside, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (you could use the same pot you used for steaming). Add the vegan butter and let it melt, then add the soy sauce and stir. Place the cooked loaf in the pan and let it brown on all sides. 
  • Place on a cutting board or serving platter, sprinkle with herbs and slice thinly. Serve immediately with vegan gravy and mashed potatoes.


  1. If you can I highly recommend using Better Than Bouillon’s No Chicken Base for the broth. It has a wonderful flavor for this recipe and is lighter in color than most broths, which will give you a lighter colored roast.
  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. It works quite well in a pinch!
  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. Release any remaining pressure, carefully remove the loaf, then sauté to brown in the vegan butter/soy sauce.
  4. Make a day or two ahead of time: 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, remove from the refrigerator and wrap in foil. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes to warm, then transfer to the skillet for browning with the vegan butter/soy sauce. Slice and serve.
  5. The loaf can be frozen if needed, but I recommend serving fresh for special holidays as it will taste better.


Serving: 1of 8 servings | Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 314IU | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. 5 star!

    It was the perfect choice for Hot Turkey sandwiches. So good in fact my husband requested leftovers as a lunch option the next day. Thank you Nora!

  2. So tasty and so easy! I loved the texture after it had cooled (less spongy) – amazing sliced for dinner or in sandwiches. I personally found the herbs a little overpowering so will probably use slightly less next time – but I still loved it and there will definitely be a next time! I can see this becoming a fast favourite of mine.

    1. Yes! A couple of commenters have smoked the turkey roast and had great results. Just make sure you steam it as normal before smoking.

      1. My sister and I tried this at Thanksgiving. Although VERY TASTY, it fell apart in the steamer!!!!
        We had to start over and forego the steaming part and baked it like a meatloaf instead. What happened?

        1. Oh no! It’s hard to know what went wrong without being there. Did you knead it long enough? Was it touching the broth in the pot? If you give this recipe another try, you can wrap the roast in foil to prevent it from falling apart.

          1. Wonderful, thank you! I’m making it again now for Christmas dinner! I’ll try placing it in foil.

  3. I’ve been looking for a good roast/seitan recipe for a while. My husband likes seitan that has an airy texture (his description!) and this is his favorite. It is a keeper! We’re taking this to out Christmas potluck.

  4. Echoing all other comments. This is IT. Perfect Flavor, perfect texture. Easy to make taste amazing the next day. This is my vegan meat go-to from now on. I used Gardien plant based Chick’n broth and fresh herbs. I had an almost given up on seitan recipes, this one is legit. Wish I could post a pic.

    1. Hi Morgan. How wonderful the roast turned out wonderful for you! Glad you gave it a try! I sure appreciate your positive review and feedback. Thank you!

  5. Nora!!! Happy Thanksgiving! This was epic!!! I put it on my IG page and tagged you. It was so pretty too!!! I didn’t change a thing, but forgot to top with herbs! I think because it smelled so good after the browning, I got impatient! I served a simple meal: “turkey,” boiled new potatoes, your vegan gravy (another 5 stars and insanely simple!), and homemade cranberry sauce, also vegan of course. I am comfortably full. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Suzy! You are welcome! Your meal sounds really delicious! Thank you for your stellar feedback and review!

  6. LOVE this recipe! I decided to double it to accommodate more guests. Any thoughts on cooking time for a roast double in size? I’m thinking I’ll play it by ear but if you have tips, let me know. Thanks!

    1. I haven’t tried cooking two at once in the same pot, I don’t think I’d have room actually. I’d probably make two in two separate pots, but if you have a big enough pot it should work, I would think the same amount of time.

      1. Hi Nora I absolutely love all of your recipes and have made several of them, however I live in a place with quite limited access to some vegan ingredients. I can get everything from this recipe except for the no chicken broth. Crazy question but can I just use vegetable broth will it still taste good?

    1. Hello! What about ‘homemade/diy’ vital wheat gluten? I have seen videos that are tutorials on the ‘wash the flour’ method of separating the gluten from the starch using regular, all purpose flour.

      I have never tried it. Hoping a more experienced cook will chime in here. 🙂

    1. Hmmm I haven’t tried that so I’m not totally sure. It should work, I would probably just put the stuffing inside and cook as directed.

  7. Your seitan chicken recipe is a go-to for me! I’d like to make this for Thanksgiving. My steamer basket isn’t very big— if I split the roast into two, would I steam for 30 minutes? Or is there a way for me to know when it’s done steaming? Thanks!

    1. Yeah, I think if you cut the roast in half you should steam them for about 30 minutes. The only real way I know to check is to cut inside and see if the texture looks done.

  8. Hi Nora, I’m finally going to tackle this recipe. Will dried chickpeas (soaked of course) work OK in place of canned?

    1. They will work as long as you cook them first. If you just soak them they will be too hard and probably won’t digest properly either.

        1. Oh my goodness, this recipe is fantastic! It worked great with the dried chickpeas (well-cooked, about 1.5 c.). I didn’t have a steamer basket but I do have one of those collapsible steamers with a center pole, so I just made two small loaves and steamed for around 45 min.

          Because I was making it as sandwich filling, I didn’t brown it, but it’s amazing as is. Now I no longer have to buy those tiny expensive packages of “turkey” slices at the grocery store!

          1. Hi Monica. I am so glad the Turkey roast came out great for you! I enjoy it so much more than the stare bought! Thank you for sharing your terrific review and feedback!

  9. Hi Nora! My first time commenting here. I’ve made a number of your recipes, including this one, and they are all so wonderful! I’m so thankful I found you! I plan to go in and rate the other ones now that I am signed in!

    We loved this turkey roast so I plan to make it again for Thanksgiving; probably a day ahead. Do you have any suggestions on how to reheat it before serving? I’m contemplating making the ham version too!

    Again, many, many thanks for making my plant-based journey delicious and exciting!

    1. Aw thank you so much! Glad you are enjoying my recipes. I would reheat the roasts (turkey or ham) probably wrapped in foil (you can wrap first in parchment then foil if you don’t want foil touching your food) in the oven at 350 degrees F until warm. That way it won’t dry out or get too brown on the outside.

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