Seitan turkey roast with wild rice stuffing

Seitan turkey roast

This was the highlight of our Christmas day meal. I wanted to make a stuffed turkey-type entree, kinda like Tofurkey or Redwood Cheatin’ Turkey Roast, only better.

For the turkey part, I modified a seitan turkey recipe from the queen of seitan, Bryanna Clark Grogan. I made half the recipe, used fresh onion & garlic instead of dried and added a few herbs. I used Bryanna’s technique of kneading the dough in a bread maker.

The stuffing was one I’ve been making for ages and is adapted from a recipe originally from a pamphlet put out by Rise ‘n’ Shine wild rice.

Bryanna’s recipe calls for cooking the faux turkey in the oven for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. I’ve tried cooking seitan in the oven before, and haven’t had a lot of luck. It always seems to take much longer than it’s supposed to, and at a higher temperature. And the cost of fuel being as extortionate as it is, I try not to cook things which need hours and hours in the oven. So I decided to wrap the turkey in cotton muslin and steam it instead. This worked great! I was inspired by Monique at The Happy Veganarian for the idea of using cloth instead of cheesecloth or foil; Monique came up with the technique of using handkerchiefs to steam her veggie sausages.

Because I wanted a “skin” on the turkey, after it was finished steaming, I wrapped it in bean curd skin and baked it in the oven for a nice crispy skin. Bean curd skin is available from Chinese stores, frozen or dried. The dried product is either pliable or brittle. I bought the dried but pliable type which also happened to be the only one labelled as GM-free.

The end result was a tender, moist vegan “turkey” roast with a tasty wild rice stuffing inside and a crispy “skin” outside. Yumm!

For sides, I made a potato and parsnip rosti using this recipe from BBC Good Food (substituting vegan margarine for the butter). My rostis never seem to stick together and this was no exception. It was very tasty, though. We also had a simple braised leek dish, also from the BBC Good Food site (again, with marg instead of butter).  And also roasted Brussels sprouts, which don’t really need a recipe (just cut the little suckers in half, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and roast in a hot oven until tender and browned on the outside).

For gravy, I used my basic chicken-style veggie gravy recipe, adding a couple tablespoons of Alpro vegan cream for richness. (I prefer the chilled Alpro to the long-life version.)

It was a perfect Christmas day dinner (which will be repeated long before the holiday season rolls around again).

Vegan turkey roulade with wild rice stuffing

Seitan turkey roast with wild rice stuffing

British American
Wet mix
170g tofu 6 ounces
1 vegan chicken-style bouillon cube 1
3 tablespoons plain soya milk 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil 3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon
34g finely chopped onion 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic 1 teaspoon
Dry mix
130g vital wheat gluten flour 1 cup
34g besan (gram flour, chickpea flour) 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon herbal salt 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black 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
40g wild rice, rinsed 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons vegan margarine 2 tablespoons
60g finely chopped onion 1/2 cup
40g finely chopped 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 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. Crumble the tofu into a blender. Put the bouillon cube in a glass measuring cup and add a couple tablespoons of boiling water to dissolve. Add soya milk, vegetable oil, soy sauce, onion and garlic, then add enough cold water so the mixture equals 220ml (7/8 cup). Add this to the blender. Blenderise until completely smooth.

2. In a breadmaker, layer gluten, besan, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper & herbs. Add tofu mixture and put the breadmaker on the “dough” cycle. Some breadmakers will knead the dough, let it rest for an hour or so, then knead it again. Mine didn’t knead the dough again after the rest, so I restarted it again on the dough cycle to knead it for a further 10 minutes or so.

3. Meanwhile, 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.

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

5. 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.

6. After dough has finished the knead/rest/knead cycle: 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.

7. 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

8. Wrap the log in a piece of muslin and tie the ends with cotton string.

Seitan turkey wrapped in muslin

Seitan turkey wrapped in muslin

9. Bring water to boil in a pot that has a steamer insert. Steam turkey for two hours over gently simmering water. Check water level regularly to ensure the pot does not boil dry and add boiling water as necessary.

10. For “skin” on turkey: Preheat oven to 400F (200C). When finished steaming, let turkey cool for a few minutes until it can be handled. Unwrap from muslin. 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 and fold in the sides.

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

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

Serves 4.

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. We used this amount of gravy for about 2/3 of the roast (little Christmas piggies that we were), so if you’re serving the whole roast, you’ll probably want to increase the amount of gravy you make.


  1. Wow! That looks incredible! I’ve been looking for Yuba for ages but can never find any (except on t’interweb, but shipping costs for one item don’t justify the purchase). If I ever find a shop that sells it I’m making this!
    I did manage to get some smoked tofu so I will be making a ‘ham’ soon…….
    You are such an inspiration!

  2. I can’t find yuba either. But now I really, really want to! That roast looks so wonderful!

  3. WOW! That looks amazing. You are so adventurous!
    I’ve had my eye on Bryana’s Seitan for a while now but was too chicken to try (scuse the pun) ‘cos I don’t have a bread mixer and all the kneading by hand she recommends put me off a bit. Yes I am a lazy cook.
    This has given me renewed inspiration though – it looks freaking gorgeous.

  4. Oooh just wanted to add for rabbit and Tami that Yuba is “apparently” easy to make – I have it on good authority.
    Try googling “making Yuba” and see how it goes. Having not tried it myself though I can only vouch for what I’ve been told.

  5. Thank you for sharing this along with the photos. Your measurements and steaming time were spot on and my roast turned out brilliantly.

  6. Ever since I saw this recipe, months ago, I can’t get it out of my mind! I will make an attempt to make it this year. Two questions though:
    –What level of firmness do you recommend for the tofu?
    –What’s in herbal salt?
    Just wondering, thank you for posting this recipe! 🙂

  7. Hi Alecia,

    In this country, tofu isn’t marked on the pack with firmness, but from my experience with tofu in North America I would say that the one I use here would be “medium” firmness in North America.

    Good question about the herbal salt. It was actually one of those things that I bought and loved, then never saw again on the shelf! So I couldn’t say which herbs were in it.

    I subsequently made it again with a bit of a change in the ingredients and technique (an easier technique). The newer recipe also doesn’t use herbal salt. The new recipe is here:

    Seitan turkey roast version 2.0

    Hope you enjoy it!

  8. I just made this gravy for our 2010 Thanksgiving and it was really good!

  9. this looks lovely! I am planning to make this for xmas this year…just curious as to what “mild” vegetable oil is?

  10. Hi Kieran — Any mild-flavoured vegetable oil like rapeseed [canola], sunflower, safflower, etc. Not something like olive oil which has a distinctive taste. Also check out my newer version of the turkey roast here. 🙂

  11. Thanks Felicity, can I ask one other thing? As I dont have a bread maker, I was wondering if you could explain the kneading process. Can I just knead for 10 min let rest for one hour and then knead again for 10 more min?

    thanks in advance

  12. oops…I see all my answers were in the New version!!

  13. Yuba is very easy to make! Just take plain unsweentened soy milk and put it in a frying pan on medium and it’ll develop a skin just like animal milk does. when the skin has formed take it off with chopsticks and put it on a nonstick pan. then keep cooking the soymilk and it’ll make more skin. it’s actually not easy to keep it in nice flat sheets but it still works.
    The recipe turned out great. I used soft tofu. I will use firm next time since I had to add more gluten to get the right texture. I did it all in the cuisinart. Also, I didn’t bother with the steaming step. I wrapped the roast in tinfoil sprayed with oil, not too tightly and put it in a pie pan with 1″ of broth in it and put it in the toaster oven for 2 hours. Keep checking the liquid at the bottom so it doesn’t dry out. It wasn’t nice and round at the end but it worked great. thanks for the recipe!

  14. I am making this right now! Made the skin from soy milk, it wasn’ perfect, but it looks really good! I think this is going to be my best Thanksgiving creation yet!!
    Thank you!

  15. Hi, the recipe looks great and I would realy like to try it but I have a question – where would I find veggie chicken stock cubes in the UK?

    • hi Jon — A good substitute is Marigold veggie bouillon powder, which has a chickeny flavour. It’s the one I use now that I am all out of my veggie chicken cubes from Canada!

  16. Hi, I’m not sure if there is a way to contact you so I figured I’d just leave a comment. I wanted to let you know I’ve been making this recipe every year for Thanskgiving for the last few years and it is the BEST. Thank you a ton for creating this and sharing. 🙂

  17. Making the transition into veganism and looked everywhere for inspiration for the perfect vegan Christmas dinner and at last found it! Thank you. I am now quite looking forward to cooking and eating it!

  18. Great recipe! Everyone at my thanksgiving table enjoyed this. I had fun making it.

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