My vegan turkey roast is ideal for a vegan thanksgiving, plant based Christmas or even a vegan Sunday roast! Made from seitan and packed with herby stuffing!
Here she is, your vegan turkey roast - the ideal vegan meat for the perfect vegan thanksgiving dinner, vegan Christmas dinner or even a simple Sunday lunch! This vegan turkey roast is succulent, meaty and packed full of flavour (and vegan stuffing of course!) ideal for serving with all your fave veggies.
Every year at Christmas and thanksgiving I search the entire interweb for the perfect vegan centrepiece for a big slap-up dinner, but this year I just decided to make it myself. And look where we ended up!? With this magical roast in the middle of the table. It's even got a crispy, flavoursome skin - what more could you actually want!?
Vegan meat can be a pretty spooky thing to make, but if you follow my instructions, I guarantee you'll be fine. You may have already made my vegan chicken, or my vegan roast beef, so you may well be familiar with the process. Essentially we're making a large seitan roast which we'll stuff with stuffing and cook in delicious broth to make sure it stays flavoursome.
And in terms of sides, you're also gonna wanna whip up some vegan mashed potatoes and some vegan gravy for with this vegan turkey roast. You know - all the trimmings, as we say!
What is seitan?
If you thought vegan meat was a new thing, you're very wrong! Seitan is a plant-based substitute to meat, made from wheat protein, which originated in China in the 6th century. Wheat protein is also known as gluten (so sorry, this recipe is not coeliac friendly) and has a very stretchy gummy texture before it's cooked.
However, once cooked, seitan becomes super meaty and makes a wonderful substitute to anything from chicken to beef AND NOW TURKEY! Seitan itself is doesn't have a huge amount of flavour. This means that we can tweak flavours with herbs and spices to make our seitan taste like pretty much anything.
How do I make this vegan turkey roast?
Hey guess what!? FULL RECIPE for my vegan turkey roast is at the bottom of the page – feel free to skip down there if you're in a rush to be getting on with your vegan roast dinner.
Alternatively, here's a step by step breakdown!
1. Make your vegan turkey roast spice rub
Remember when we said we can make seitan taste like kinda anything?? Well here's where we make it taste like a turkey roast! This turkey rub is the first step! We're going to be rubbing this blend of herbs and spices on the outside of the vegan turkey while it roasts, so we're starting immediately with the big flavours!
We're talking onion powder, paprika, thyme and sage! All the classics from a roast dinner and more!
2. Blend up the seitan
This is where things get meaty! When we add vital wheat gluten to the wet ingredients, we get a very high-protein dough. You now have two options: you can knead the vegan turkey dough by hand OR you can blend it in a blender (my favourite). When you use a blender or a food processor, it slices the dough and helps to align all the protein molecules into long strands. This gives the seitan a stringy gummy texture when raw, but once cooked it becomes VERY meaty.
I use this technique in other vegan meat recipes too, particularly where we're trying to emulate a roasted piece of meat with plant based ingredients.
3. Stuff and roll the seitan
Once the seitan is suitably blended, it's time to stop, stuff n roll! By this I mean remove the seitan dough from the blender, press it into a rectangle and fill with a roll of prepared vegan stuffing. You then need to roll the dough around the stuffing and seal off the edges. Easy peasy!
4. Wrap the vegan turkey roast in rice paper
Our next step in home-made vegan meat is to wrap the seitan in rice paper! These are the rice paper wrappers used in Vietnamese summer rolls. Once dunked in water, they'll begin to soften and will stick to the seitan quite easily. You want to wrap the entire vegan turkey roast as this layer will emulate the skin of the turkey.
It's fine to double up the layers in some places. You'll find that as the seitan cooks, the rice paper will turn to a sticky paste anyway, so don't worry about being too neat with the arrangement.
5. Add the vegan turkey spice rub
Remember the vegan turkey roast spice rub we made like 500 years ago? Well it's HER turn to shine now! Sprinkle and rub the entire mixture all over the vegan turkey roast and have a nice sniff while you do it! Things are gonna start smelling amazing very soon!
6. Double wrap the vegan turkey roast
When you cook seitan, it likes to expand, kind of like bread. Our aim is to not let this happen! When you constrict seitan during the cooking process, it makes your vegan meat much, well, MEATIER! First layer should be greaseproof paper, as this will come into contact with the super sticky rice paper coating. Next wrap again in muslin or cheese cloth and tie up with chef's twine or natural string.
7. Roast the vegan turkey
For a super succulent vegan turkey, we're going to roast it in an enclosed dish, half filled with veggie broth and a bunch of other flavoursome ingredients. Half way through you'll need to rotate the roast so the other half is submerged in the broth too.
Then finally, when the roast is cooked through, you're going to remove all the wrappings, baste the roast with the remaining broth and return it to the oven with no lid to brown and crisp up!
8. Serve and enjoy!
Let me tell ya! This guy's a WHOPPER! It'll serve a good 8-10 people WITH leftovers for turkey sandwiches the next day. So don't be greedy - invite your mates and neighbours round for a big Sunday lunch or thanksgiving dinner. Actually, the occasion doesn't matter because you've got a MASSIVE VEGAN TURKEY ROAST!
As always, it helps me MASSIVELY if you can rate and review this recipe below. This blog is here because people like you actually use it and cook these recipes!
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Vegan Turkey Roast - Seitan
- 1 High Speed Blender
- muslin or cheesecloth
For the Turkey Rub
- 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
- 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ tablespoon dried thyme
- ½ tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
For the Turkey
- 700 g silken tofu
- 6 tablespoon vegetable oil (make sure it's neutral flavoured: sunflower, rapeseed, canola will do)
- 2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 2 tablespoon white miso paste
- 2 teaspoon rice vinegar (alternatively use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 380 g vital wheat gluten
- ½ batch of vegan stuffing (see notes below for recipe link)
- 4 sheets of rice paper (the kind used for summer rolls)
For the Roasting Broth
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock (boiling hot)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 head of garlic (sliced in half)
- 1 onion (quartered)
- 1 carrot (peeled and quartered)
- 2 stalks of celery (quartered)
To Make the Turkey Rub
- In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the turkey rub and set aside.1 tablespoon flaky sea salt, 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ tablespoon dried thyme, ½ tablespoon dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon dried sage, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder
To Make the Turkey
- Preheat the oven to 170 °C.
- Place all the turkey ingredients except for the vital wheat gluten, stuffing and rice paper in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. If your mixture isn’t quite smooth, pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any chunks.700 g silken tofu, 6 tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, 2 tablespoon white miso paste, 2 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Return the blended mixture to the blender and add the vital wheat gluten. Blend until you have a rough dough then stop the blender and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Blend again for around 2 minutes or until the seitan is stretchy and gummy.380 g vital wheat gluten
- Remove the seitan from the blender and press into a rectangle. Add the stuffing in a line down the centre of the flattened seitan then roll into a cylinder. Set aside.½ batch of vegan stuffing
- Fill a wide bowl with water and dunk a sheet of rice paper a few times until lightly moistened. Lay the rice paper over the rolled seitan. Repeat with the remaining 3 pieces of rice paper until the seitan is completely covered.4 sheets of rice paper
- Being careful not to remove the rice paper from the seitan, sprinkle the surface with the turkey rub and gently spread across the entire surface with your fingers.
- Cut out a rectangle of baking parchment and a larger rectangle of muslin or cheese cloth. Carefully wrap the seitan in the baking parchment and twist the ends to seal, like a christmas cracker. Next, wrap the seitan again in muslin or cheesecloth like a burrito then tie up around the length and width with chef’s twine or natural string as though it were a regular turkey roast.
- Place the vegan turkey roast in a large dutch oven and add all the roasting broth ingredients. Cover with a lid and place in the oven to roast for 45 minutes.3 bay leaves, 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, 4 sprigs of rosemary, 1.5 litres vegetable stock, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, 2 tablespoon light brown sugar, 1 head of garlic, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 2 stalks of celery
- Lift the lid and rotate the vegan turkey roast so the opposite side is submerged in the broth. Cover with the lid again and roast for another 45 minutes.
- Remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully remove the vegan turkey roast. Use scissors to snip the twine and unwrap the muslin. Return the vegan turkey roast to whatever broth remains in the dutch oven. Use a brush to baste the top of the seitan and place back in the oven for a further 20 minutes without the lid.
- Serve the vegan turkey roast sliced thinly with your favourite vegetables and gravy.
WANT MORE VEGAN MEAT!?
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My experience with seitan so far has been a bit iffy and I would be a little nervous to have one shot at it. Do you think this could be made ahead of time?
Hey Jeroen! Yes! That was sort of my idea releasing this recipe so far in advance of the holidays. It freezes great once fully cooked, just don’t forget to leave time for it to defrost overnight!
So excited to try this recipe! I am going to make ahead and freeze - what reheating method would you recommend please?
Yes please, and how to reheat without drying it out? Or maybe save the 20-minute unwrapped crisp-up for post-freezer? Help!
I am going to make this for my Xmas lunch, with regards making ahead and freezing it. What would you then recommend for reheating. Would make a huge difference making in advance.
what can replace the wheat gluten? we my husband has to be gluten free or he gets very sick
There is no replacement for gluten in seitan, it is the main ingredient.
Cannot wait to try this out. Rice paper as skin= genius
Decided to have the holidays early in light of this recipe drop and ho-ly heck… This. Is. So. Good!!! Using the blender (or food processor in my case) is brilliant because the texture can’t be beat. See ya later tofurkey!
Just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving. Thank you. I look forward to gobbling this up.
I'm so happy about this recipe! Tofurky doesn't appeal to me, so, Thanksgiving has always been only about the sides for me. This is the first time I'm excited to try making a main dish!
I have been vegan since 2017 due to health reasons and I love to cook fresh most of the time BUT I am struggling to find a cheese I like. I dislike Violfe immensely, I have tried as couple but I waste my money as I am throwing the cheese away, please help me, because I won't eat pizza with vegan cheese and other items of food which cheese enhances the flavour. I am stuck in mud with nowhere to go
I made this for Thanksgiving dinner and it was so good! My first time making DIY vegan "meat" but it wasn't too tricky. My non-vegan family members all tried it and they said it was very good too!
I absolutely LOVED that I could make my vegan family something that tasted great and had all the nostalgia of a traditional turkey (gross) roast! This recipe was easier to cook than a meat turkey, and no fear of giving everyone salmonella….so that’s a win win in my books!
You are the best thing ever!
I came so close on this one, the rice paper just never worked out for me (didn't brown or go crisp like, but the rest was really good and tasty. I'm not usually a big seitan fan, maybe as it usually has chickpea flour also in it and it overpowers, but this absorbed more of the flavourings.
I know where I went wrong on a few bits and I'll put them right and this will be a regular staple of ours. Just like you're vegan scouse is ☺️
I can't wait to try this recipe, it looks sooo good! I'm curious, if I make it a day or two prior and refrigerate, what settings and for how long would you reheate it at so it doesn't get dry? Or would you unwrap and cook/crisp it up for the last 20 minutes the day of? Thank you!
What size of dutch oven/ oven dish you’re using for this roast?
Hello - my wife and daughter have a soy allergy is there any alternative to the Tofu and miso that I could use to make this?
Not a fan of seitan but maybe this denser version of it will hit different. The photos are super nice!
I made my own vegan stuffing with impossible sausage, apples, cranberries, celery, carrots, garlic, walnuts, and fresh thyme. It was INCREDIBLE!
Erm HELLO. This is fantastic. I’m practicing now for Christmas!
Made this but when I unpeeled it after baking 45 min 2x the rice paper that was rubbed was completely stuck to the parchment layer and so now my Turkey looks “naked” any ideas on why that happened and how I could recreate that skin? Maybe I could add a layer of rice paper before baking on thanksgiving? Planning to freeze these for a few days until then!
I made this for thanksgiving and my mother who is a Serious Cook™️ loved this recipe.
Hi any answer on the reheating after defrosting questions. I was going to freeze after first stage of cooking. Removing grease proof paper and muslin. The. Defrost and do the final 20 mins crisping/warming through. Has anyone done that. Cheers. Lucy.
Can substitute soy for anything?
I cannot believe how well this turned out. My mum actually thought it was turkey haha! Delicious in taste, might add leek and cranberries in the stuffing next time to add another texture. Thank you you are amazing and every recipe I’ve tried from you has been unbelievable ! Merry Xmas 🙂
This roast is amazing!! I love Tofurkey, but this was better. It will definitely be a holiday staple.
I made it the day before and then reheated the roast in the broth in my slow cooker. Lost the crispy texture, but it was soooo good!
I made this for Xmas day. It was a very awesome change up from a nut roast. I did a test run before Xmas day for a lot of meat eaters, it went down well.