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! 

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

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!

Ingredients needed

  • 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

  1. To a blender or food processor, add the chickpeas, broth, olive oil, nutritional yeast, soy sauce and herbs. Blend or process until smooth.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then add the vital wheat gluten.
  3. Start to mix with a spoon, then use your hands and mix until combined.
  4. 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.

collage of how to make seitan roast, step by step

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.

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

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.

looking down on a vegetarian loaf, partially sliced with sage around it

Want more vegan holiday main dish ideas?

square image of vegan turkey loaf on white plate
4.99 stars (50 ratings)

Vegan Turkey Roast

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! 
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
Total: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 
 

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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  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.

Nutrition

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!

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 amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

Posted In: , , , , , , , ,

you may also like:

Comments

  1. This recipe is delicious! I love all of your chickpea-based dishes…they turn out so great. I made this the last two Thanksgivings and I have a question about preparation. I won’t have time to make ahead and prep this year…kinda have to pull from the fridge after one meal and head right to the next. Have you ever served this sliced and reheated? My plan was to make the dish, slice and cool, then reheat next day. Have you reheated it successfully next day like this? 

    1. Thank you, I’m glad to hear that! Yes, it actually makes really great leftovers, and would be fine sliced and then reheated the next day. Enjoy!

  2. Question: In step #4, “Sprinkle a little vital wheat gluten on a clean counter, add the mixture and knead about 10 times.“ If I wanted to replace the hand kneading with using a KitchenAid stand mixer with the kneading hook, how long should I knead it in the mixer? I certainly don’t want to over knead it. Thanks in advance!

    1. Kneed it until you see strings of gluten and it doesn’t tear easily when it stretches. 
      I’m so torn between this and a recipe that uses tofu that is way more fussy. I think I just made up my mind, cuz who needs more fussy at this time of year?

  3. Hi Nora. I will be making this for Thanksgiving, prior to eating time. Is there a way to know if it is done? Your recipe states about an hour, but a few have said to cook longer. I will be steaming. Thank you! 

    1. There is really no good way to know, at least that I have found. Good news is it’s not meat so I don’t think it matter as much, and I’ve never had trouble with it NOT being cooked all the way. A little extra time won’t hurt though. Enjoy!

  4. Nora, this may be a dumb question but the Better Than Boullion is that used in the loaf right out of the jar or do you add water to it to make the loaf? I made your Lasagna recipe Sunday…it was amazing! Even the non vegans tried it and thought it was really good!!

    1. No worries! I make broth out of the paste, 3/4 cup to add the the roast. Hope that helps and I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes!

  5. Could you make ahead and then put in an outdoor smoker? I’m really missing the long slow smokes we used to do as a family. Is there an internal temperature I’m looking for?

    1. Internal temperatures don’t really matter here, since it’s not meat. 🙂 I haven’t tried smoking it, but I think that’s a super good idea and I’d love to hear how it turns out.

  6. Oh my god, Nora, I can’t explain how good this was! What a perfect texture. Not impossibly chewy like many other seitan recipes, but more like field roast sausages. Just the right kind of chew. Great on Thanksgiving dinner, and wonderful in a turkey bun the next day. Thank you so much! I need to see what other seitan recipes you have.

    1. Thanks Rochelle! I’m so glad you loved the taste and texture of the turkey breast! Thank you for taking your time to share your wonderful review and comments! Aren’t leftovers the best?! Enjoy my other seitan recipes, and let me know if you have any questions! Happy cooking!

      1. I actually made this gluten free. It was delicious. I used 1 cup sorghum flour, 1/2 cup of pea protein and 2 Tsp of Xanthan gum for the vital wheat gluten. If I could find a way to upload a picture I will 

        1. Hi Danette. It’s great this turned out great for you with gluten free ingredients! Thank you for sharing your great review and comments!

        2. Hi Danette,
          I’m trying to make this GF based on your suggestions here. How long did you steam it for? The hour, or longer? Thanks!

    1. There is a very time consuming way of getting the gluten out of whole wheat flour. Plan a whole day around it. Or just look on intstacart to see if any of the stores they serve carry it. Don’t have to have them deliver it, I just find it faster then trying to get the results from Google. 

  7. I’m confused about the steaming. Should the roast be steamed i.e in a steamer with the water below it, as usual. Or are you saying it needs to be raised with a steamer insert, but still sitting slightly in the broth? Thanks 

  8. Hi Nora!

    I can’t wait to try this! I have tried several of your recipes and I must say, you are an amazing cook! Your brownies and chocolate cake are the best I (and everyone who has tried them) have ever had! Keep up the great work! Also, thanks so much for posting nutritional information for your recipes–not many people do that, so it is greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Shannon! Thank you so much for your kind and wonderful words! I’m glad you are loving my recipes – I love creating them! Enjoy your journey through my recipes, and happy cooking!

  9. Oh my goodness- this was my first try with vital wheat gluten and honestly hag low expectations due to my novice abilities working with this ingredient but Holy Macaroni – turned out awesome!! Have now made several times- your recipes are the best!  You are my first go-to when I am looking for a good vegan recipe.  Thanks for your hard work making our lives simpler when it comes to vegan cooking. 

    1. Hi Linnae. Thank you for using my recipes! Also, thank you for taking your time to share your review. I’m glad you are enjoying the recipes! Happy cooking!

  10. With the risk of double sending this comment as my previous one is not shown yet: this recipe looks bomb and I can’t wait to prepare it tomorrow night!

    I was just wondering how much rinsed chickpeas the recipe actually requires? I always get mixed up when it comes to ounces including aquafaba and liquid or if the amount only refers to rinsed chickpeas..

    Hope you can help!:)

    Thanks in advance & wonderful Christmas,
    Jessy

    1. Oh no worries! I approve and reply to all comments and sometimes it takes me several hours or a day or two to reply. So the recipe calls for a 15 ounce can of rinsed, drained chickpeas. That is 1 1/2 cups. Hope that helps! Have a wonderful holiday!

  11. Hi Nora! I am planning to make this for Christmas Eve dinner, it looks amazing! Any suggestions on how to steam if I don’t own a steaming basket or insta pot? Thanks!

    1. In the Notes section of the recipe, I talk about what to do if you don’t have a steamer basket. 🙂 Thanks, hope you enjoy!

  12. Wow. I’ve never commented on a recipe blog in my life but this is such a great recipe. Not unnecessarily complicated. I was skeptical about steaming without wrapping it in parchment and foil, but it was perfect! I didn’t have chick peas so I used about 1.5 cups of super firm tofu instead. Thank you for sharing. This is amazing!

  13. I added this dish to our vegan feast in 2020. With only four at the table, I figured we’d have leftovers. Nope.

    This was easy to prepare and was better in every way than the turkey I remember from pre-vegan days. Great texture, fantastic flavor, not greasy (unlike the real thing), no yucky skin or gristle.

    My only issue — which happens a lot with vital wheat gluten dishes — was knowing how long to steam it. Fortunately, I wasn’t on a strict timetable — no guests this year — but I’d say it took about two hours of steaming before it appeared table ready.

    Anyway, LOVE this, one of my favorite Nora recipes of all time.

  14. Hi Nora, This was the first time I ever made seitan anything and it turned out perfectly. I absolutely love it and can’t wait to make it again. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  15. Hi Nora,
    I haven’t had turkey since the Christmas of 1989. Up until this Thanksgiving, I never attempted to substitute a vegan option for that part of the holiday meal. This year was different; I wanted a bit more variety and this roast thoroughly exceeded my expectations! It will definitely become a staple during the holiday season and an option periodically during the year. Thank you!

  16. Thank you so much for this recipe. It worked out great with your gravy recipe as well. My omni parents ate it too for thanksgiving. Ever since I came across your website for cakes, (which we love), you are my go to website for amazing vegan food ideas.

  17. Hi Nora!
    Happy (late) Thanksgiving! Thank you for the recipe! It was my first time making a seitan recipe. It turned out pretty good but it smelled heavily of flour to me while eating it which was a little off-putting (although it didn’t bother my boyfriend as much). Do you think we did anything wrong or does that sound normal? I was wondering if it would set up with either a little more beans or cutting the VWG. Maybe it just takes some time to get used to though. The browned edges were so tasty!

    1. Hi there! Thanks! Let’s see, sometimes seitan based meats do have a certain smell I guess, but I don’t think it’s that noticeable. I wonder if you could try a different brand of vital wheat gluten, they can vary when it comes to taste. I used Bob’s Red Mill brand and I like it. I wouldn’t cut the amount of add more beans myself, it would mess with the outcome. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you for the reply! We had some today for leftovers and cooked the slices each in the soy butter and they were really good!! I think the floury smell kind of dissipated as well with more time to rest. I also used Bob’s. Also I realized I over worked the dough cause we misread 10 times for 10 minutes, oops!  Looking forward to making this again and maybe playing with the seasoning mixture for fun. Thanks again!

  18. So good!  Even our meat eaters loved it.  And it was very easy.  I have a Miele steam oven so I put it in there for an hour and it was perfect.  Thanks

    1. Hi Lisa
      I’m from Australia and also have a Miele Steam oven. Can you please walk me through your process of how you did this.
      Many thanks

  19. Hi Nora – I made this for thanksgiving and it turned out a little rubbery. The flavor was great however. Any ideas what could have gone wrong? 

    I did the insta pot and make ahead option but I was honestly worried about it when assembling. It didn’t have enough give for me to kneed 10x and set up pretty quickly into a log on it’s own when working with it. Thanks for the help ?

    1. I’m not sure, have you made homemade seitan based recipes before? I wonder if maybe you just don’t prefer the taste of seitan based dishes, they have a certain consistency that can take a little getting used to. I wouldn’t say the loaf is rubbery though, and sometimes this can happen when the it heats too quickly at first, so it might have something to do with the Instant Pot, I don’t know. Also try to knead it a bit more next time, I’m not sure why you weren’t able to. Hope that helps!

  20. This is a keeper!  I was skeptical about having it in the instant pot for 50 minutes high pressure, but you were right!  Not sure that 50 minutes on steam setting would have been enough.  Two things I learned:  (1) wrap the loaf in something—I’ll use cheesecloth next time. Otherwise you get deep trivet indentations on the bottom of loaf. (2) When you sauté/brown in a skillet before serving, use a non-stick skillet or be prepared for some sticking.
    Overall, the loaf was fantastic. Comparable to commercial products.  But I made it from scratch!  Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  21. As always, your recipes are perfection. This was an amazing edition for thanksgiving and will probably end up in the regular rotation. So good and quite simple!! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




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