If you’ve ever dreaded sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner (or Sunday dinner) and watching your family carve into a giant carcass, you’re not alone.
Demand for a meatless feast has been rising exponentially in the past few years, even among omnivorous eaters. There’s never been a better time to ditch the bird and embrace a cruelty-free vegetarian roast centerpiece. There are plenty of easy options available on the market now, but why not create something truly worth celebrating by starting from scratch?
This holiday “turkey” roast from the cookbook Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner and Pies by Audrey Dunham will have purists crying fowl! Savory, sliceable, and simply divine, no one will ever miss the meat.
Stress-free advanced prep: Don’t worry about creating a grand dinner from scratch all at once. You can make this tasty vegetarian roast ahead of time, so you only need to heat and eat when your guests arrive.
High in protein: Between the chickpeas and vital wheat gluten, there’s approximately 150 grams of protein in this whole roast! That comes out to over 25 grams per serving when you factor in the other power-packed ingredients.
Cholesterol-free: Unlike other animal-based roasts, all vegan proteins contain zero cholesterol, and in fact, this one is heart healthy!
Great for leftovers: If you’re the kind of person that enjoys sandwiches made from Thanksgiving leftovers more than the big event, you’re in luck. This roast slices like a dream and keeps beautifully in the fridge, so you’ll have deli-quality slices for days to come.
Hands off: Though it does take some time to cook and advanced planning, most of that is completely hands off, so you don’t have to put in hard labor to get this meal on the table.
Whether you’re celebrating the holidays or just making a vegetarian Sunday roast, all your favorite classic vegan Thanksgiving dishes would be perfect to pair with this entrée. Some ideas include:
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas): There’s nothing this little legume can’t do! Here, it adds substance and tenderness to the roast. Seitan made without beans tends to be super chewy and almost rubbery, so you don’t want to skip it. You can, however, substitute white beans in a pinch.
Vegetable broth: Used for both blending into the roast and steaming the dough, chose a low-sodium option to prevent it from getting too salty. If you’d like an earthier depth of flavor, seek out mushroom broth instead.
Soy sauce: Made by fermenting soybeans and wheat, this classic Chinese condiment makes everything super savory and almost meaty. It’s also quite high in sodium, so you might want a “lite” version here, which refers to the salt level and not flavor.
Tomato paste: Super concentrated tomato goodness adds another umami wallop without the whole thing tasting like red sauce. Just a little bit goes a long way!
Nutritional yeast: I like to consider nutritional yeast “vegan catnip.” This stuff makes everything irresistible, particularly cheese sauces and buttery breads.
Vital wheat gluten: Vital wheat gluten is the most important ingredient to making seitan and cannot be substituted with any other ingredient. You can find it in the baking aisle of most health food stores or online, direct from the source. If you’d like a gluten-free vegan roast option, Audrey also offers a recipe for a Gluten-Free Holiday “Turkey” Roast on page 28 of Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner and Pies.
Glazing a roast is a great way to add flavor, color, and lock in moisture, but it’s technically an optional step. While it’s highly recommended for the best eating experience, you might want to skip it if you’re watching your sugar intake, plan on pairing it with other particularly sweet sides, or (let’s be honest) just don’t want to dirty another single dish.
Is this your first time worshipping at the altar of seitan? Don’t worry, you won’t have to sell your soul to make perfectly meaty, mouth-watering roasts. It’s quite easy once you know a few simple tips and tricks.
Hungry for more vegetarian roasts recipes? Here are a few more that would make a show-stopping addition to your holiday or Sunday dinner table!
Founder and creator of Peanut’s Bake Shop, Audrey Dunham is an entrepreneur and vegan recipe creator, passionate about quick and easy yet super flavorful recipes. She loves baking and cooking, especially for the holidays with her husband and kids. Audrey is proud to say that the recipes included in her cookbooks are just as good (if not better!) than the traditional versions.
This vegan seitan turkey roast recipe was published with permission from Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner & Pies by Audrey Dunham. Article written by Michelle Cehn with support from Hannah Kaminsky and edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this vegan roast recipe may contain affiliate links which supports our work at World of Vegan.