Easy Vegan Turkey is the perfect Thanksgiving turkey for vegetarians and vegans alike. It's budget-friendly, rich in protein, healthy, and delicious.
This recipe is the perfect vegan alternative for your Thanksgiving turkey dinner. It's satisfying, addictively delicious, and foolproof!
Serve your vegan turkey with my Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing, or this Chickpea & Brussels Vegan Caesar Salad. For the most perfect crispy potato side dish, try these Crispy Roasted Potato Bites.
- Vegetable broth
- Nutritional yeast
- Neutral flavored oil
- Soy sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Poultry seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Vital wheat gluten
For the glaze:
- Maple syrup
- Dark soy sauce or soy sauce
- Vegan butter
- Smoked paprika
See recipe card for quantities.
Vital wheat gluten is a powder made from the natural protein (gluten) found in the wheat berry. Mixing it with liquid forms a popular vegan meat alternative known as 'seitan'. I used 'Anthony's Premium Vital Wheat Gluten' purchased from Amazon.
Poultry seasoning, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast to give the vegan turkey a meaty, umami flavor. The sweet glaze mimics cranberry sauce traditionally served for Thanksgiving dinner.
For this recipe, blend the chickpeas with the liquids and seasonings before adding the vital wheat gluten.
Fold in the powder and knead to form a shaggy dough. Do not overwork the dough or it will become tough. Knead just enough for the mixture to hold together.
Form a wide loaf or log shape and wrap the dough with aluminum foil or cheesecloth.
Place the wrapped dough in a large saucepan on a large steamer basket, over about 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a gentle simmer, cover, and steam for one hour. Check the water level occasionally and add more as needed.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375ºF and make the glaze.
Unwrap the vegan turkey and baste with the glaze before roasting.
Baste for a second time with the remaining glaze.
Serve with a generous drizzle of mushroom gravy as desired.
Hint: Use a silicone pastry brush for basting the vegan turkey. Add a little water to the glaze if it becomes too thick to spread.
- Chickpeas - instead of chickpeas, use an equal amount of white beans
- Vegetable broth - use 'Vegetarian No Chicken Broth' if you can find it for an even meatier flavor
- Soy sauce - dark soy sauce is the best option for this recipe because of its rich color and flavor, but regular soy sauce works well too
- Spicy - add crushed red pepper to the chickpea mixture while blending to imbue heat into the 'turkey'
- Seasonings - add Southwest seasoning for a Tex-Mex style 'turkey,' or experiment with seasonings you have on hand
See this Chipotle Tofu Steaks recipe on my website for a more spicy vegan meat alternative.
Use a glass bowl for combining the chickpea broth with the vital wheat gluten. This mixture tends to stick to plastic.
I use the 'If You Care' brand of aluminum foil, which is more environmentally friendly. You can also use cheesecloth to wrap the seitan for this recipe. Just be sure to wrap it well.
I used a stainless steel steamer rack for steaming the seitan. It is large enough to hold the seitan, and easy to use. Simply place one at the bottom of a large pot over about 1 ½ inches of water. Check the water level occasionally to make sure it is not too low.
Store any remaining Easy Vegan Turkey in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. Reheat at 325ºF for about 10 minutes, or until warmed through. Add gravy for serving as desired.
💡 Top tip
Do not overwork the seitan dough or it will become tough.
The middle of the log should be just firm to the touch when the seitan is done cooking. Do not make the log (loaf) too thin or it will overcook and become tough.
If you've eaten out at a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, it's likely you have come across seitan. It's frequently used as a meat substitute because of its versatile and meaty texture. It readily takes on the flavor of marinades and sauces, making it very flavorful.
Seitan is made from gluten, but don't be put off. Unless you have a gluten-allergy, it is not something you have to avoid.
It's high in plant-based protein, low in calories, and delicious. It is easily made using vital wheat gluten, which is increasingly becoming widely available.
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Easy Vegan Turkey
- 15 ounces chickpeas canned, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ⅓ cups vital wheat gluten
For the glaze:
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce or soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon vegan butter
- ½ tablespoon sriracha
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Blend batter ingredients: Add the chickpeas, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, neutral oil, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder to a food processor. Process until just combined. Transfer to a large glass bowl.
- Add the vital wheat gluten to the bowl. Fold the gluten into the chickpea mixture. Transfer to a flat nonstick surface and knead into a rough dough, about 45 seconds. Do not overwork. Shape into a wide log.
- Wrap the dough in aluminum foil or cheese cloth. Steam for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Make the glaze: Add the maple syrup, dark soy sauce, vegan butter, sriracha, and smoked paprika to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until just thickened. Set aside.
- Baste: Unwrap the steamed ‘turkey’ and brush with about one half of the glaze until evenly coated. Place it on a medium baking sheet and roast for 7 minutes.
- Baste once more: Add some water to the glaze if it gets too stiff. Brush the ‘turkey’ with the remaining glaze and bake for about 7 minutes more, or until glaze is slightly darkened.
- Serve with gravy as desired.
- Use a glass bowl for combining the chickpea broth with the vital wheat gluten. This mixture tends to stick to plastic bowls.
- I use the 'If You Care' brand of aluminum foil, which is more environmentally friendly. You can also use cheesecloth to wrap the seitan for this recipe. Just be sure to wrap it well.
- I used a stainless steel steamer rack for steaming the seitan. It is large enough to hold the seitan, and easy to use. Simply place one at the bottom of a large pot over about 1 ½ inches of water. Check the water level occasionally to make sure it is not too low.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.