A perfect centerpiece for your holiday meal, this Vegan Turkey Roast won’t disappoint! It’s a fuss-free recipe and can be made ahead of time. Every bite is full of flavor and meaty texture!
Serve this vegan roast with the best dang vegan mashed potatoes, easy vegan gravy and perhaps some roasted brussels sprouts for the most amazing feast!
Impress your family and friends with this seitan based loaf, made completely from scratch. Sure, you could always purchase one since there are now plenty of options available (Field Roast being my favorite if you go that direction), but why not make your own at home? You’ll be surprised how easy it is.
More seitan based vegan meats you will love: Vegan Chicken and Vegan Pepperoni!
This vegan “turkey” roast is full of wonderful holiday savory flavors thanks to all the herbs and flavorings added. Leftovers make a wonderful sandwich, too!
- Chickpeas – Drained and rinsed
- No-chicken broth – You could also just use vegetable broth, but the no-chicken Better than Bouillon is my favorite here, it has a great flavor and is light colored, adding to the turkey look of the finished loaf.
- Olive oil
- Nutritional yeast
- Low sodium soy sauce – Tamari would also work.
- Dried sage
- Dried thyme
- Dried rosemary
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Vital wheat gluten – No substitutes here, this loaf can not be made gluten free.
- Vegan butter + more soy sauce – For browning in the pan.
How to make a vegan turkey roast
- To a blender or food processor, add the chickpeas, broth, olive oil, nutritional yeast, soy sauce and herbs. Blend or process until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then add the vital wheat gluten.
- Start to mix with a spoon, then use your hands and mix until combined.
- Sprinkle a little vital wheat gluten on a clean counter, add the mixture and knead about 10 times. Shape it into a loaf. It will be quite small, but expands while it cooks.
In a steamer basket, with the broth in the bottom of the pot, add the loaf, cover and steam for about 1 hour on low-medium heat. You want the broth simmering well, but not boiling hard.
After an hour, the roast will look a bit larger. Remove it from the steamer. Either in the same pot you used for steaming, or another skillet, melt the vegan butter over medium-high heat. Add the soy sauce, stir, then immediately place the loaf in the skillet. Let it brown on all sides.
Place on a cutting board or serving platter, sprinkle with more herbs and serve immediately.
Make ahead option
If you want to make this a day or two before a holiday meal, you can. 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 you are ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and wrap in foil. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes to warm throughout, then transfer to the skillet for browning with the vegan butter/soy sauce. Slice and serve.
Instant Pot option
You can steam the loaf in an Instant Pot instead of the stovetop, if you would prefer. Your Instant Pot needs to be large enough to fit the loaf (probably a 6QT or larger). Place the trivet for steaming inside the pot, and add broth to the bottom. 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.
It will be hot, so be careful removing the loaf. Then brown either in the IP on sauté mode with the vegan butter/soy sauce or on the stovetop and serve.
Want more vegan holiday main dish ideas?
- The Best Vegan Meatloaf
- Lentil Loaf
- Pumpkin Pasta Bake
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- Vegan Pot Pie
- Biscuit Topped Chickpea Pot Pie
- The Best Vegan Lasagna
Vegan Turkey Roast
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
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter may also use olive oil
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- The loaf can be frozen if needed, but I recommend serving fresh for special holidays as it will taste better.
This will be my main course for Thanksgiving from now on, but it’s so good I will use it regularly for dinners and sandwiches. So good and easy to make! Thank you Nora! Another hit. Nora Cooks is my go-to site when I need a recipe. I appreciate you. Happy Holidays!
Hi Dani. I am thrilled you love the turkey roast! Your kind words make my day! Thanks for sharing your fantastic feedback and review! Happy cooking in the upcoming new year!
Made this last night. Taste, texture and visual perfection. No unusual ingredients, and not too many. No wrapping in cheesecloth or even foil. Quick and easy prep. This is so unlike all the other seitan recipes out there, and one that I’ll actually make often, instead of just yearly. This is THE ONE folks.
I am thrilled by your glowing feedback, George! Thank you! I’m really glad you love the turkey roast!
We do have a steamer so would it be possible to wrap the loaf in tin foil and steam it in pan with the broth?
We use this method when making seitan and wondered if we could use the same method
That should work just fine I think. Enjoy!
I made two of these this thanksgiving (one to bring to thanksgiving and one so I could definitely have leftovers). This recipe is really great! My daughter is already requesting I make more for sandwiches. I’m about to make another double batch now. 🙂
Alright! I’m thrilled the turkey roast went over well with everyone! I love that you made an extra one for leftovers! Thanks for your great feedback and review! Enjoy those wonderful sandwiches!
Thank you for the recipe.
I would like to ‘spice it up’ a bit by stuffing it with mushrooms, garlic, pecans and chestnuts.
All blended like you would make a wellington stuffing.
Any tips for me?
I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure, but it sounds really good! I bet it would work.
My daughter-in-law is vegan and my son is vegetarian. They were joining us for Thanksgiving. I usually make some kind of portobello mushroom entree for them but I found your vegan turkey recipe. It sounded easy enough for me to do so I tried it. Also, your vegan gravy recipe. They both absolutely loved it! They even wanted to take home the leftovers which they don’t normally do. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! This will definitely be one of our Thanksgiving traditions in the years to come!
Hi Vicky. I’m so thrilled that your family loved the vegan turkey and gravy! How awesome that you took time to find the recipe and make the yummy food for them! Thank you for sharing your fun experience and your great feedback!
Thank you for this recipe! I made this for a vegan Thanksgiving feast. It was easy to make and very popular. 🙂
Hi Elaine. You are welcome! I’m glad the vegan turkey was a hit! Thanks for your positive feedback ad review!
My dough is super sticky. Is that normal? I haven’t baked before, and it doesn’t look like anything in kneading videos that I’ve watched.
It might be somewhat sticky but not too much. It doesn’t usually stick to my hands very much.
My kids were so excited to eat this! I used tahini to include some fat since we don’t use oil and served it without browning in the pan (I used pressure cooker method). It came out great and was very easy! Thank you!
You are welcome, Laura! I’m thrilled the roast turned out great! Thanks for sharing your recipe experience, your ideas, and your wonderful feedback!
Made this a couple days in advance for Thanksgiving today, and it came out great! I did wrap it in foil when steaming to try and get a denser texture, and it worked really well. Served it with your 5-minute gravy and it really felt like Thanksgiving dinner! (I’ve never liked gravy, but absolutely love your quick version!)
Hi Kelly. I’m thrilled to hear you loved your vegan turkey and gravy! Sounds like it turned out fabulous for you! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and experience with the recipe!
Hi Kelly, since you wrapped it in foil when steaming, you used water instead of broth as the liquid for steaming, didn’t you? Did you wrap it tight or let space to swell?
Making this today, I bet your not online on this busy Thanksgiving. (Happy Thanksgiving!) I am hoping that in the instant pot I am supposed to use the steam setting and not high pressure. ….
Happy Thanksgiving! It’s supposed to be cooked at High Pressure in the Instant Pot for about 50 minutes. Still, I hope it worked out for you 🙂
I just made this today and it’s so good! It was super easy to make and even my non-vegan, picky husband said it was good! He even thought the loaf looked like turkey, probably because mine came out a little lumpy since I had a heck of a time trying to get it into a pretty loaf shape. 🙂