Seitan turkey roast version 2.0

Seitan turkey roast

This year for Christmas Day dinner, I made the same centrepiece as one year ago: seitan turkey roast with wild rice stuffing. This scrumptious vegan dish is similar to commercial products like Tofurkey or Cheatin’ Roast. Only better.

For side dishes, we had stuffing balls; veggie bacon-wrapped sausages; various roasted veggies: potatoes, oca, parsnips, carrots and brussels sprouts; along with braised leeks. All served with homemade turkey-style veggie gravy and lingonberry sauce (which is like cranberry sauce), accompanied by delicious homemade wine from our postman and friend, Hugh.

A vegan feast!

I decided to do the seitan turkey a bit different from last year. The technique of kneading the seitan dough, letting it rest, then kneading it again is rather time-consuming. And I found that it is not necessary to do it this way, as the texture of the seitan is not any different than simply using a basic seitan deli slice recipe. This method involves blenderising the wet ingredients, then stirring in the dry ingredients to make the dough. No kneading and no waiting.

I made the seitan turkey the day before. This meant that on Christmas day all I had to do was wrap the roast in the beancurd sheet (optional, but gives it a nice crispy “skin”) and heat it in the oven. I think the texture is a bit better if the roast is left to rest in the refrigerator overnight, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

If you don’t want to use beancurd sheet to make a “skin”, I suggest basting the roast so that it doesn’t dry out. There are a few basting suggestions on the Tofurkey site.

I’m posting this seitan turkey roast recipe as the “new and improved”  version over last year’s.

Happy Christmas to all creatures!

Vegan Christmas dinner 2009 2

Seitan turkey roast with wild rice stuffing (version 2.0)

British American
Wet mix
30g ground raw cashews or almonds 5 tablespoons
250g tofu 9 ounces
1 vegan chicken-style bouillon cube 1
(enough to make 2 cups of bouillon)
1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon
3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil 3 tablespoons
34g finely chopped onion 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon dried sage 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary 1/4 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme 1/8 teaspoon
Dry mix
160g vital wheat gluten flour 1 cup + 3 tablespoons
1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornflour (cornstarch) 1 teaspoon
40g wild rice, rinsed 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons vegan margarine 2 tablespoons
60g finely chopped onion 1/2 cup
40g finely sliced mushrooms 1/2 cup
1 stick celery, finely chopped 1 stick
90g fresh breadcrumbs 1-1/2 cups
60-120ml veggie chicken-style broth 1/4-1/2 cup
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, finely chopped 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons walnuts or pecans, finely chopped 2 tablespoons
to taste salt, pepper, sage, thyme & rosemary to taste
40x50cm sheet bean curd skin 16×20″ sheet
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon

1. First, make stuffing. Rinse rice thoroughly with cold water. Bring a small pot of water to the boil, add rice and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until grains are beginning to pop.

2. Heat margarine in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat and saute onion, celery and mushroom until tender, about 5-10 minutes.

3. When rice is cooked, add to the sauteed vegetables along with the breadcrumbs, cranberries and pecans; mix thoroughly. Add enough broth to make the mixture moist but not soggy. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste. Set dressing aside.

4. If you’re starting with whole cashews or almonds, grind them in the blender first while it’s still clean and dry, then remove and set aside.

5. Crumble the tofu into the blender. Put the bouillon cube in a glass measuring cup and add a couple tablespoons of boiling water to dissolve the cube. Add the soy sauce, then add enough water so the mixture equals 100ml  (6-1/2 tablespoons). Add this to the blender.

6. Add remaining ingredients to blender EXCEPT gluten. Blenderise until completely smooth. Empty into a large mixing bowl.

7. Whisk together the gluten and arrowroot or cornflour (cornstarch), then stir into the wet ingredients and mix until evenly combined. You’ll have a soft dough.

8. Place a large piece of cling film (Saran wrap) onto the work surface. Turn dough out onto the cling film and press flat into a 25x38cm (10″x15″) rectangle.

9. Spread stuffing evenly over dough, leaving a 1″ border at the edges. Roll into a log (starting from the short end), then press the ends together to seal. Make sure the log is short enough to fit into your steamer. You can gently press the log into a shorter, fatter shape if it’s a bit too long.

Seitan turkey before rolling

Seitan turkey before rolling

Seitan turkey after rolling

Seitan turkey after rolling

10. Wrap the log in a piece of baking paper (parchment paper), then in muslin and tie the ends with cotton string. If you don’t have baking paper and muslin, feel free to wrap the roast in foil (I personally don’t like to have foil in direct contact with food, but hey, you can live dangerously). If you use foil, use at least a double layer so that the expanding roast doesn’t burst the foil. Also, don’t wrap it super-tight… leave a bit of expansion room.

Seitan turkey wrapped in muslin

Seitan turkey wrapped in muslin

11. Bring water to boil in a pot that has a steamer insert. Steam turkey for two hours over gently simmering water, turning a quarter turn every half hour. Check water level regularly to ensure the pot does not boil dry and add boiling water as necessary.

12. The roast can be prepared ahead of time to this point. If preparing ahead, let cool and refrigerate.

13. For “skin” on turkey: Preheat oven to 400F (200C). When finished steaming, let turkey cool until it can be handled. (Or remove from refrigerator if prepared ahead of time.) Unwrap from muslin and baking paper/parchment. Take the sheet of beancurd skin and dip it into a bowl of warm water until it softens. Don’t oversoak it or it will start to fall apart. Fold beancurd skin in half and place on work surface. Place turkey on top of beancurd skin, fold in the sides and wrap around the turkey.

14. Combine oil and soy sauce. Brush over surface of turkey.

15. Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, rotating halfway through, until “skin” is crispy. Slice and serve with gravy and all the trimmings.

Serves 4-6.

Vegan turkey gravy

British American
310ml water 1-1/4 cups
2 tablespoons soya creamer 2 tablespoons
3/4 vegan chicken-style bouillon cube (enough for 1-1/2 cups water) 3/4
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon
generous 1/8 teaspoon granulated onion generous 1/8 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic 1/8 teaspoon
to taste sage, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons cold water 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) 2 tablespoons

1. Bring 310ml (1-1/4 cups) water to a simmer with bouillon cube. Add soya cream, onion, garlic, sage, thyme, salt & pepper.

2. Mix 2 tablespoons cold water with cornflour (cornstarch) until blended.

3. When broth mixture is simmering, slowly whisk in cornflour (cornstarch) mixture, until gravy is as thick as you like it. Continue to gently simmer for another couple of minutes.

Serve with seitan turkey roast.


  1. Felicity,
    It all looks absolutely fabulous.
    Happy Christmas to you and your family.

  2. This looks AMAZING! I have wanted to make this since I first read about it on your blog last year but haven’t because I am scared it would not be or look as good as yours, but one of these days soon I am just going to take the plunge and do it!

  3. Wow–this looks amazing! Happy holidays!

  4. Looks A-Maze-Zing!!

  5. wow this is really impressive!!! maybe ill try this for easter!

  6. This is so good! I am going to bring it to Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you! I made the original version so I will have to try this one.

    I don’t have a bread maker so I just kneaded it for a minute or two. I used tempeh instead of tofu with a little liquid smoke and about 2 oz of the tempeh broken up with some sauteed chard and chopped cashews in the middle. Yummm!

  7. Hi janel — thanks for letting me know how it turned out. I never thought of subbing tempeh for tofu. Your version sounds great!

  8. Hi Felicity! Now that I’ve gotten over the trauma of Thanksgiving I just wanted to say that I tried to make (my version of) your recipe… it was quite an adventure! But overall it turned out well and is something I will make again. I wrote about it on my blog–thanks for the help and inspiration! 🙂

  9. Hi Alecia — I read your experience with the faux turkey roast on your blog… and… hehe… just remember, life is all about adventures 😀

    I should have specified in the recipe that you can use foil if you don’t have baking paper & muslin, as I realise now in hindsight that it’s not something a lot of people will have in their kitchen. I’ve now modified the recipe to include this info. Hope you have not *quite* as adventurous an experience making it next time 🙂

  10. Felicity! Um. You rule. I’m an 8 month old vegan. 31 years old in human years. I have a lovely understanding Mother who is all onboard the vegan train and requested a seitan roast she saw on the Ellen Show. Well, I saw the recipe and got scared. A whole cup of nutritional yeast!!!
    So luckily, I came across your site. Best detail, best pics. Just great. So I made this roast of yours this very day and just finished eating it and had to rush back to the computer to tell you how awesome it was. The only mods I made were putting fine diced kale and flax in the dough for some colour specs and extra health. Also the stuffing we went with a hybrid of yours and my Mom’s old recipe since it’s a family favourite.

    I even have some pics if you’re interested, or if other readers want to see real world results. Whole roast: Plated:

    Thank you so much for this great recipe.


  11. Hey Rob — Thanks for letting me know how it turned out. I LOVE the giant chunk you sliced off! The idea of adding kale & flax to the dough rocks… I will have to try that next time. By the way, leftovers are great in a sandwich with cranberry sauce 🙂

  12. Looks great! I was wondering what “vegan chicken-style bouillon cube” you use? Thanks!

    • Hi Jordan — I use Marigold vegetable bouillon powder, which I find has a chickeny flavour. If you’re in the US, you might want to try Frontier chicken-style vegetable bouillon powder, which as I recall has a nice chickeny-type flavour.

  13. I want to say that we love your sausage recipes. It has made the transition for my husband so much easier! He’s a UK transplant to USA / Texas. We went “cold-turkey” (so to speak) vegan May 1, 2011.
    Your seitan turkey roast looks so much better than the Tofurky we had for Christmas. I think I may make this for Easter … any excuse for a big Sunday dinner. 🙂
    One thing I must ask … I see in your picture you have the traditional “sausages wrapped in bacon”. How did you make those? My hubby surely missed them at our Christmas dinner.
    Thanks so much for wonderful recipes and ideas!!

    • Hi Glenna — So glad you love the sausages. I can’t quite remember for that photo what we used for the sausages… I think they may have been Redwood brand (only available in the UK as far as I am aware), or perhaps ASDA brand (again, UK) sausage mix. You could also use breakfast sausages (either made smaller, or cut in half after making). The “bacon” was Redwood brand… I’ve not yet worked on a vegan “bacon” recipe.

      Big Sunday dinners are very popular here (as I’m sure your husband has told you). Other possibilities for Sunday dinner main dish are seitan turkey (unstuffed) or ham, veggie haggis, slow-cooked seitan beef, or even “hamburger” steaks.

  14. Just made this. I felt it was a little on the dry side, not sure if this was something I did or if this is normal. I made a wild mushroom gravy and once this was added during serving, it was just amazing. Hubby put it away with the gravy on top…he said, this will keep it moist.

    Although it was a lot of work, seeing everyone enjoying it, was well worth it.

    • Hi Tanya — I’m not sure why it would have turned out dry, but glad that you enjoyed it with the gravy!

  15. Hey Felicity, we’d love to feature this recipe on a bit closer to Christmas. Any changes to it planned for this year?

    • Hi Bez — Would love to have my recipe featured on! I doubt I’ll change the seitan part of the recipe, though I may try a different stuffing this year. Not sure what yet, though 🙂

      • Cool. Early December would be a good time to run it…giving people time to order gluten powder and yuba sheets etc. Let me know if you re-post the recipe with a new stuffing.

        Gotta find time to try your sausage recipes too…they look really good!

  16. I haven’t made this particular recipe, but I made one like it last year. Can’t find the recipe I used, so it could be this one. I’m not sure. Delicious. I’m making it for our American Thanksgiving again next week, and it’s much better than the Tofurky roast.

    I have a comment about the original recipe… the herbal salt you called for, there is a product by the brand “Spike” They make a salt free version and an original which contains salt. Both are good. Maybe you can find them in the UK. In the U.S. The spice is sometimes located in the spice section and sometimes in the organic section, depending on the store.

  17. Hi Felicity,

    I didn’t get around to making this so that I could photograph it for an article on Veganoo… I managed to get ill for the first part of December (even us vegans sometimes do…) which threw everything out of sync… we’ve even got unreviewed Christmas puddings in stock… oh well. Your site is a mine of information so I’m sure we’ll feature something else soon!

  18. Hi,
    I saw your link to this recipe on Facebook, it looks delicious, I was wondering if the recipe would work with a bit of traditional stuffing instead of wild rice? I’m guessing I would have to cook the stuffing beforehand as it’s sosmix breadcrumbs chestnut and cranberry.

    • Hi Karina — Yes, I’m sure it would work fine with another stuffing. I would precook it before using in the recipe 🙂

  19. Hi Felicity,

    Just came across this recipe and it looks delicious. Do you know if this would store well in the freezer so I can make it in advance? Would I cook it, then store it to reheat? Thanks!

  20. Hi Felicity
    I’ve just finished making this as a “trial run” for Christmas this year. What a mission! I’m lying down recovering, lol! But it will take only half the time second time around.
    My only concern is that I misinterpreted your “whisk” the gluten flour and corn flour together, (as meaning with a bit of cold water, rather than dry ingredients added straight into the blended wet mix). As a result the mixture was too wet and I needed to add a lot more flour.
    Being gluten free, I used self raising gluten free flour, I hope it won’t be too tough or solid.
    I’ll let you know!
    Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

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