There are numerous reasons to leave turkey off your plate this Thanksgiving—whether it be for health reasons, ethical reasons, environmental reasons, or you just think eating a stuffed, roasted bird body is naaa-sty. Whatever the reason, you’ll need something delicious to take the place of your turkey friend for the holiday.
Some people choose to replace the turkey with things like stuffed acorn squash, but others (like me!) love to simply swap in a vegan turkey roast. These days there are many great options, which I’ve outlined below!
Field Roast Classic Celebration Roast
This is one of the most prevalent—and most delicious (in my opinion)—vegan turkey options on the market. It’s really versatile—you don’t need to defrost, baste, or bake it (although you certainly can!). Unlike the other roasts, this is available year-round and sold as both a full-roast and a half-roast (perfect for slicing and putting on sandwiches).
Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry En Croute
If you really want to wow your guests, pick up one of these special phyllo dough encrusted roasts. It’s a little harder to find, but I picked this Field Roast loaf up at Sprouts Market and I believe Whole Foods and many natural foods stores carry it as well. It’s well worth the hunt!
This is the classic vegan turkey roast—the “OG” if you will—that has paved the way for all the others. Tofurky has been serving up Tofurky roasts for more than 20 years, since 1995. I’m a big fan of the wild rice stuffing, and I think this “meat” tastes the most like turkey. Plus, the Tofurky roast is the most protein-packed of them all, ringing in at 37 grams of protein per serving.
Tofurky also sells frozen tubs of vegan gravy that you can simply heat and serve, and it’s quite delicious.
Gardein Meatless Holiday Roast
Gardein is the meaty-est of them all, with that convincing “pulled meat” texture, if you’re into that. It’s also very accessible—carried by places like Target and beyond. They’ve also stepped up their game with their delicious breaded coating and colorful cranberry-infused stuffing. Plus, it comes with two packs of vegan gravy which is one more item you can cross off your list!
Trader Joe’s Vegan Turkey
Want to know a secret? The Trader Joe’s vegan turkey is the Gardein roast (above), just packaged and sold by Trader Joe’s. So if you’re a fan of the Gardein breaded roast, Trader Joe’s is one more place where you can find it!
Okay—so you see there are several options. But which is the best?
Well, that depends on who you ask. In fact, when I did a taste-test with Toni Okamoto from Plant Based on a Budget and Paul Shapiro from the Humane Society of the United States, all three of us had different top picks. Watch and see!
I encourage you to try whichever vegan turkey roast you’re able to find or do a taste-test of your own to determine your family’s favorite! I wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving—and remember: “To you, it’s only a meal. To her, it’s life itself.”