This Vegan Turkey Roast has mouthwatering savory flavors and a meaty texture, making it the perfect main dish for vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas!
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.
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!
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:
- Place the trivet for steaming inside the pot, then pour in the broth.
- 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.
- 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
Unfortunately, no. Vital wheat gluten is a crucial ingredient and without it, the roast wouldn’t be as meaty, firm, or tender.
You can use another type of white bean or pinto beans 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.
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.
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!
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
- 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.
- 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.