Easy Vegan Turkey Roast From Scratch

December 21, 2022
When I found out that my parents were hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for eleven this year (a huge number for us), I knew I had to bring something special. This year, both my parents were diagnosed with heart issues despite being very active and slim. In the aftermath, I convinced both of them to go vegan—and they have reduced their non-vegan intake drastically. I wanted to introduce them to vegan food that is hearty and traditional while also being healthy.

Enter the vegan turkey roast. I picked an internet-famous recipe by The Picky Eater blog and tested it twice, once with stuffing and once without. I found that the flavor of The Picky Eater's recipe was spot-on—like Tofurky but better! But I found that the texture was weirdly mushy and not chewy and hearty. So I tweaked the directions slightly, and found what—to me—tastes much better. I also found that this roast works best without stuffing. But if you follow the directions, it turns out really nicely. I actually LOVED having leftovers for a while in my fridge. It was the best quick protein snack / side to add to any meal, and I could easily see myself making this on the regular just because it's a great alternative to processed and packaged vegan chicken or turkey. Enjoy and happy holidays!
Vegan turkey on a white plate with pomegranate seeds and greens

Easy Vegan Turkey Roast From Scratch

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 5–6 servings
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  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 cup vegan chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vegan poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • For basting:
  • 1/2 cup vegan chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vegan poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
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1. If you’re using Better Than Bouillon (which I did), prepare the broth (it’s 1 tsp BTB per cup of water).

2. Place all the turkey ingredients except vital wheat gluten into a blender and blend until smooth.

3. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in vital wheat gluten. Use your hands to knead into a dough for about 2 minutes. Shape into a loaf.

4. Wrap the loaf in foil and place in a steamer over boiling water. Reduce heat to medium and steam for one hour.

5. Remove from foil and allow to cool. Once the moisture has escaped, I suggest putting it in the fridge for at least an hour. You can use this time to prepare other dishes!

6. Heat the oven to 350°F.

7. In a bowl, whisk together the basting ingredients.

8. Once the oven is ready, place the turkey on a baking tray. Spoon the basting liquid over it. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, re-basting every 10–15 minutes.

9. Flip the roast onto the other side. Baste and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes, re-basting every 10–15 minutes.

10. By this point, your roast should feel a bit crisp on the outside although still juicy. Take it out of the oven and allow to rest to room temperature before serving. In my opinion, it tastes better as it sits rather than fresh out of the oven. It’s the perfect make-ahead dish. Just keep it on the countertop—or if you’re making it the day before (highly recommended), put it in the fridge overnight and bring it back to room temperature by setting it on the countertop about an hour before serving.

* This recipe tastes best when it’s dry and not doused in gravy. I like it both ways, but I found myself eating the gravy separately, if that makes sense! Find your own way to savor it though, no judgment! 😉

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