Best Vegan Turkey Roast (perfect for Thanksgiving) • It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

The best vegan turkey roast is finally here. This seitan tofu roast tastes just like turkey, with crispy skin and all! This vegan turkey makes the perfect centerpiece for a delicious holiday meal. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and most of it can be made ahead of time, so it’s a great stress-free option. Learn how to make this amazing roasted vegan turkey for Thanksgiving or the holidays with step-by-step photos and instructions. You and your family will be AMAZED at how delicious this is!

The best vegan turkey roast with crispy skin! The perfect centerpiece for Thanksgiving of a holiday meal. Easy to make, and most of it can be made ahead of time, so it's a great stress-free option. It's super meaty, tender, juicy, rich yet mild flavor, and with buttery garlic crispy skin!! You and your family will be amazed at how delicious it is! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #seitan #veganthanksgiving

Ooooeeee! I’m so excited to finally share this recipe with you!! This recipe took me years of recipe testing until I got it juuuussst right. It’s super meaty, tender, juicy, rich yet mild flavor, and with buttery garlic crispy skin!! talk about amazing. Not only does this taste amazing, but it is high in protein with about 39g per serving, so my fitness friends will be excited about that too.

This vegan turkey is delicious straight from the oven drizzled with vegan gravy (yum)! But the leftovers are also amazing for making epic sandwiches or using in soups, salads, or anywhere you enjoy a little extra deliciousness.

This roast makes enough for 4 – 6 people (depending on how many sides you are serving), but you can feel free to make extra roasts if you have a larger family so that there is plenty for everyone. The roast does need to be steamed so I recommend keeping the roast size as is so that it can fit into your steamer basket 🙂

What is a vegan turkey made of? What ingredients are needed?

  • Firm tofu– Using firm tofu in the vegan turkey adds texture and moisture to the vegan turkey. Make sure you use firm tofu (and not medium or extra-firm tofu). Firm tofu will get you the best results. There is no need to press the tofu before using, just drain, break into chunks, and add it to the food processor.
  • Vital Wheat Gluten(also called gluten flour). This is wheat protein. You can buy it in health food stores or online on amazon. This high protein flour is what gives this roast its meaty texture and it is essential for this recipe. Unfortunately, there is no gluten-free option.
  • Nutritional yeast: adds a rich nuttiness to the roast.
  • White miso paste: adds umami to the roast. White miso paste is actually brown in color so don’t be confused by that, but ensure you get the kind that is specifically called “white miso paste” or “white type” for the best color and taste.
  • Vegetable broth powder: this is my hack for adding a ton of rich flavor instantly. You can buy any brand, I used this one, or you can buy vegetable broth cubes.
  • Other spices and seasonings: for the turkey flavor I also add onion powder, garlic powder, salt, thyme, and sage in the roast, and vegan butter, garlic, soy sauce, thyme, and black pepper to season the skin.
  • Rice Paper: The same kind of rice paper sheets you use to make summer rolls, this is how I make the crispy skin on the vegan turkey. It is optional but I highly recommend it. Slather the rice paper in the butter garlic mixture, and it will roast up and become golden brown, crispy, and super tasty!

The best vegan turkey roast with crispy skin! The perfect centerpiece for Thanksgiving of a holiday meal. Easy to make, and most of it can be made ahead of time, so it's a great stress-free option. It's super meaty, tender, juicy, rich yet mild flavor, and with buttery garlic crispy skin!! You and your family will be amazed at how delicious it is! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #seitan #veganthanksgiving

Make ahead option/ Storing and Freezing:

Great news! This vegan turkey is perfect for making ahead of time, and actually tastes better that way! Prepare the recipe following the directions up to the steam step. Once the roast is steamed, remove and allow to cool. Allow the seitan to cool overnight in the fridge. You can store the seitan covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or it also freezes beautifully. When ready to finish the roast, If frozen allow to thaw completely before adding the rice paper skin and then roasting. It is best roasted fresh.  If you just want to enjoy it as cold cuts, then you can roast it, allow it to cool, and slice it and enjoy!

Add the ingredients to the food processor

How to make The Best Vegan Turkey Roast:

Food processor method: Add the tofu, vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, water, miso paste, onion powder, vegetable broth powder, garlic powder, salt, thyme, and sage to your food processor.

Blend until everything is mixed and a ball forms.

Using the S-blade, blend the mixture until it is mixed well and forms a ball in the food processor. This should happen pretty quickly, but if it doesn’t just ensure the ingredients are mixed well, and then you can form the dough into a ball by hand. *Do not knead the dough, kneading it will just make it tough and rubbery.

By hand method: Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor you can mix it by hand. Use a blender or immersion blender to blend together everything but the vital wheat gluten together until smooth. Now in a large bowl, use a strong spatula or wooden spoon to mix in the vital wheat gluten, mixing well, until a ball forms (you may need to use your hands as well). *Do not knead the dough, kneading it will just make it tough and rubbery.

Wrap the ball of seitan in foil

Now to shape your vegan turkey roast. Place your ball of seitan on a sheet of aluminum foil. You can pat the ball into the shape you desire. I like a slightly oval shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it will look great even if it’s a messy ball.

Double wrap it to ensure it's wrapped well

Wrap the foil around the ball securely but not too tightly. I like to do a double layer of foil to ensure it is wrapped well.

Steam the seitan for 1 hour

Add several inches of water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the foil-wrapped seitan to the steamer basket and steam for 1 hour. The seitan will puff up in the foil and become tight. Once steamed, remove and allow to cool. For the best texture let the seitan cool overnight in the fridge. You can store the seitan covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for later.

Now were ready to finish making the best vegan turkey! Brush the seitan with the butter garlic sauce

For the crispy skin and to finish the roast: Preheat your oven to 400F (200C). Lightly grease a baking tray.
In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, garlic, soy sauce or salt, thyme, and black pepper.
Remove the foil from the cooled seitan and place it in the baking tray. Brush generously with the butter garlic mix.

Wet a sheet of rice paper to soften it.

Run the rice paper underwater and allow it to sit on a clean surface for about 30 seconds until it begins to soften. Form the rice paper to the roast and brush it so it sticks to the roast

Place the rice paper over the roast, (it’s ok if it’s still a bit stiff). Brush the butter garlic mixture over the rice paper to stick it to the roast. The rice paper will continue to soften with the added moisture. Make sure it’s covering the roast and stuck down. (It’s ok if there are wrinkles and air bubbles, those will be extra crispy bits).

Roast the vegan turkey until the outside is crispy and delicious.

Doesn’t this vegan turkey look so meaty!? Bake the roast for 15 minutes. Brush with the remaining butter garlic mixture, then return to the oven and continue to bake for another 15 – 25 minutes until the outside is golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. The skin will get crispier as it cools. Enjoy hot or leftovers are fabulous cold as well.

The best vegan turkey roast with crispy skin! The perfect centerpiece for Thanksgiving of a holiday meal. Easy to make, and most of it can be made ahead of time, so it's a great stress-free option. It's super meaty, tender, juicy, rich yet mild flavor, and with buttery garlic crispy skin!! You and your family will be amazed at how delicious it is! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #seitan #veganthanksgiving

What to serve with vegan turkey roast:

This roast makes the perfect centerpiece at your holiday meal and pairs perfectly with all of the classic vegan side dishes including:

The best vegan turkey roast with crispy skin! The perfect centerpiece for Thanksgiving of a holiday meal. Easy to make, and most of it can be made ahead of time, so it's a great stress-free option. It's super meaty, tender, juicy, rich yet mild flavor, and with buttery garlic crispy skin!! You and your family will be amazed at how delicious it is! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #seitan #veganthanksgiving

This vegan turkey is:

  • meaty
  • tender
  • juicy
  • rich yet mild flavor
  • buttery garlic crispy skin
  • eat to make
  • make ahead
  • high in protein

Want more delicious vegan holiday main dish ideas? Try these:

If you try this recipe let us know by leaving a comment, rating it, and don’t forget to tag @itdoesnttastelikechicken on Instagram.

Bon appetegan!

Sam Turnbull.

Best Vegan Turkey Roast (perfect for Thanksgiving)

The perfect centerpiece for Thanksgiving of a holiday meal. Easy to make, and most of it can be made ahead of time, so it’s a great stress-free option. It’s super meaty, tender, juicy, rich yet mild flavor, and with buttery garlic crispy skin!! You and your family will be amazed at how delicious it is!

My Notes:

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time1 hr 40 mins

Cool overnight:8 hrs

Total Time1 hr 50 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Servings: 1 roast (about 1.7 pounds) feeds 4 – 6 people

Calories: 234kcal

Ingredients

For the crispy skin:

  • ¼ cup vegan butter melted
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce or ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 sheet rice paper

Instructions

To make the seitan:

  • Food processor method: Add the tofu, vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, water, miso paste, onion powder, vegetable broth powder, garlic powder, salt, thyme, and sage to your food processor. Using the S-blade, blend the mixture until it is mixed well and forms a ball in the food processor. This should happen pretty quickly, but if it doesn’t just ensure the ingredients are mixed well, and then you can form the dough into a ball by hand. *Do not knead the dough, kneading it will just make it tough and rubbery.By hand method: If you do not have a food processor, use a blender or immersion blender to blend together everything but the vital wheat gluten together until smooth. Now in a large bowl, use a strong spatula or wooden spoon to mix in the vital wheat gluten, mixing well, until a ball forms (you may need to use your hands as well). *Do not knead the dough, kneading it will just make it tough and rubbery.
  • Place your ball of seitan on a sheet of aluminum foil. You can pat the ball into the shape you desire. I like a slightly oval shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it will look great even if it’s a messy ball. Wrap the foil around the ball securely but not too tightly. I like to do a double layer of foil to ensure it is wrapped well.

  • Add several inches of water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the foil-wrapped seitan to the steamer basket and steam for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 160F (71C). The seitan will puff up in the foil and become tight. Once steamed, remove and allow to cool. For the best texture let the seitan cool overnight in the fridge. You can store the seitan covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for later.

For the crispy skin and to finish the roast:

  • Preheat your oven to 400F (200C). Lightly grease a baking tray.

  • In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, garlic, soy sauce or salt, thyme, and black pepper

  • Remove the foil from the cooled seitan and place it in the baking tray. Brush generously with the butter garlic mix. Run the rice paper underwater and allow it to sit on a clean surface for about 30 seconds until it begins to soften. Place the rice paper over the roast, (it’s ok if it’s still a bit stiff). Brush the butter garlic mixture over the rice paper to stick it to the roast. The rice paper will continue to soften with the added moisture. Make sure it’s covering the roast and stuck down. (It’s ok if there are wrinkles and air bubbles, those will be extra crispy bits).

  • Bake the roast for 15 minutes. Brush with the remaining butter garlic mixture, then return to the oven and continue to bake for another 15 – 25 minutes until the outside is golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. The skin will get crispier as it cools. Enjoy hot or leftovers are fabulous cold as well.

Notes

Doubling the recipe: this roast makes enough for 4 – 6 people (depending on how many sides you are serving), but you can feel free to make extra roasts if you have a larger family so that there is plenty for everyone. The roast does need to be steamed so I recommend keeping the roast size as is so that it can fit into your steamer basket. Make as many roasts as you need, and store them in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.
Oil-free: for oil-free you can omit the vegan butter on the rice paper skin and instead sub it for vegetable broth. When roasting, keep a close eye on it as it may burn a bit easier. 
Freezing: to freeze the roast, steam the roast and then let it cool completely before freezing.  Freeze in an airtight freezer bag or container. Allow to thaw completely before adding the rice paper skin and roasting.
Vital wheat gluten is essential to this recipe, and there is no substitute. Therefore this recipe cannot be made gluten-free. For a vegan gluten-free roast try my Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe.
No skin: if you prefer a roast without the crispy skin, simply omit the rice paper, brush the roast with the butter garlic mixture, and roast until heated through.
Steaming tips: you need to steam the vegan turkey before roasting it. I recommend getting a steamer pot if you plan to make seitan often, or you can use a DIY method if you do not have a steamer.
Cleaning tips: vital wheat gluten is very sticky and can destroy dish brushes and cloths. So what I like to do is save old clothes, sheets, or towels that are too shabby to donate, and cut them into rags. I use these rags to clean up after preparing a seitan recipe and discard the rag once finished.
Aluminum foil alternative: if you prefer to avoid aluminum foil, wrap the roast in parchment paper, and then wrap the parchment paper wrapped roast in cheesecloth and tie closed with cotton baking twine.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (recipe makes 4 servings) | Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 1046mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 4mg

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