What’s Thanksgiving without the Turkey? Take it from someone who has been celebrating a meat-free Thanksgiving for more than 25 years—you can have all the best parts of Thanksgiving without the turkey. Trust me. But you don’t have to give up that savory centerpiece in order to celebrate a compassionate holiday. There is another option.
Today we’re going to show you how to prepare a Tofurky roast—but note that this method also works beautifully with Field Roast (my personal favorite vegan Thanksgiving roast).
Before we jump in, some good news. Preparing a vegan turkey roast is a whole lot easier than prepping a bird. There will be no moments where you’re arm deep in a carcass, for one. Most vegan Thanksgiving roasts come pre-stuffed with delicious plant-based stuffing, so all you need to do is smother your roast with a baste, surround it with veggies, wrap it all up in tin foil in a casserole dish, and bake it to perfection.
If you look on the back of the Tofurky box, you’ll see a recipe for a simple base made with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and herbs. You can certainly use that vegan turkey baste recipe, but you’ll see the garlic rosemary baste I use in the recipe below.
Here’s what you need for the best Tofurky baste:
That’s it! This makes enough to coat the vegetables and the vegan turkey roast to create a really beautiful rosemary and garlic infused meal.
Baking your Tofurky surrounded by roughly chopped vegetables is a great way to create an instant healthy side-dish to enjoy with your turkey. Even outside of Thanksgiving, my husband and I made this meal regularly for dinner to enjoy with some gravy. The veggies I always include are the classics:
You can use any vegetables you’d like, keeping in mind that they’ll be roasting for about an hour and half at 350 degrees F. Sweet potatoes are delicious, as are any root vegetable (like beets or parsnips), and halved Brussels sprouts work great as well. Use what you have!
Great question! It’s up to you. You certainly can, but I choose not to peel mine for a few reasons:
There is a great divide among vegans regarding how they like their Tofurky sliced. Some like it thick—a big hunk of vegan turkey taking up nice real estate on the plate that requires a knife to saw into. Others like it thinly sliced—almost shaved—which is actually the method Tofurky (the brand) recommends.
Over my 13+ years of celebrating vegan Thanksgivings, I’ve always seen roasts cut into thick slices because they’re easier to serve to a crowd that way (the stuffing won’t fall out), but I’m eager to try the thin slice with my next roast. Do you have a preference? Let us know in the comments!
Either way you cut it, you’ll want to use a very sharp knife (choosing a serrated knife helps). Some people even use an electric knife which is especially helpful if you want thinly shaved slices.
Tip: time your cooking so that you pull the Tofurky out of the oven right before you sit down to eat! It’s a million times better hot out of the oven. Also keep in mind sliced Tofurky dries out quickly so don’t cut it until you’re ready to eat, and keep your roast covered until then as well.
A delicious vegan gravy is key to making a winning roast. We have a simple mushroom-free vegan gravy recipe that goes perfectly atop your roast, your mashed potatoes, and all the other delightful Thanksgiving sides you serve up on your plate. We also have an insanely good mushroom gravy recipe in The Friendly Vegan Cookbook.
Here are some more amazing vegan Thanksgiving sides that would go great with your Tofurky roast:
One of the hardest parts of bringing this meal to life is finding your vegan holiday. Tofurky and Field Roast are seasonal items, meaning many stores don’t start selling them until November, and stores commonly sell out before Thanksgiving.
My suggestion is: buy your roast as soon as you see it! They freeze beautifully, so if you know you’ll be making a vegetarian roast for Thanksgiving and you spot one while you’re out shopping, toss it in your cart. Don’t wait, because there’s no guarantee you’ll find it again. Or you may have to drive around to a number of grocery stores to track it down, which is never a welcome scavenger hunt when life is already busy.
I got this Tofurky at Sprouts, but in years past I’ve gotten them at Whole Foods, my local natural foods store, and Safeway. If you need to find one fast, call the stores you’ll be visiting first to make sure they have them.
If you’re on the hunt for a Tofurky Roast, here are some nationwide grocery chains that typically stock it:
This is a point of contention for many vegetarians, since the vegan roast options on the market today are all vastly different. So we got the four most popular roasts available in the United States and put them to the test in our Vegan Turkey Face-Off video.
Three of us tried the roasts and the winner was…
There was no winner! We all had different favorite picks. Some people hate Tofurky but love Field Roast. Some love Gardein but can’t stand the others. My personal favorite is Field Roast, but that doesn’t mean it will be yours. It may take you a few years of exploring a different roast each year to find your personal favorite (and the one that will win over your family and friends).
While a Tofurky or Field Roast is the obvious choice for Thanksgiving, don’t forget about the other holidays! You can get extra roasts and keep them in your freezer so you have a festive “special” roast for holidays like:
This vegan Tofurky roast recipe comes from the kitchen of Michelle Cehn for World of Vegan. Vegan turkey photos copyright of World of Vegan. Article edited by Rachel Lessenden. Happy cooking!