Vegan Turkey – Simple Vegan Blog
Vegan turkey, an absolutely mind-blowing recipe! One of the most succulent Thanksgiving dishes I’ve tried, it’s so flavorful you’re not going to believe it! When I say this is one of the most delicious, spectacular, and mouthwatering vegan Thanksgiving recipes I’ve ever made, I PROMISE I’m not lying! When I first tried it, I could […]

Vegan turkey, an absolutely mind-blowing recipe! One of the most succulent Thanksgiving dishes I’ve tried, it’s so flavorful you’re not going to believe it!

Photo of a whole vegan turkey

When I say this is one of the most delicious, spectacular, and mouthwatering vegan Thanksgiving recipes I’ve ever made, I PROMISE I’m not lying! When I first tried it, I could not believe how wonderfully tasty it was!

It was SO good I don’t think I’ll be able to wait until next Thanksgiving to have it again, so I’m going to keep making it to enjoy it all year long. However, I’ll probably keep it for special occasions to make them even more special.

Although this is a vegan turkey recipe (yes, it’s completely plant-based!), you can use the leftovers to prepare other kinds of dishes like vegan kebab or add it to any kind of salad.

Vegan turkey, a must-have Thanksgiving dish. You really need to give it a try if you want to enjoy a completely cruelty-free yet absolutely delicious holiday. I hope you like it as much as I do!

How to make vegan turkey – Step by step

Photo of the first 6 steps of how to make vegan turkey
  • Add all the wet mix ingredients to a blender (photo 1) and blend until smooth (photo 2). Set aside.
  • Incorporate the dry mix ingredients into a large bowl (photo 3), add the wet mixture, and mix until all the ingredients are well combined (photo 4).
  • Place the dough in the bowl (photo 5), cover with a kitchen towel (photo 6), and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
Photos of how to make vegan turkey
  • Make a ball with the dough (photo 7).
  • Add the stock ingredients to a large pot (photo 8), stir, and bring to a boil (photo 9). Then add the ball into the pot (photo 10).
  • Partially cover and simmer (photo 11) for 1 to 2 hours. You don’t need to stir while it’s cooking but come back to turn the vegan turkey over a few times (every 30 minutes or so).
  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF or 230ºC.
  • Transfer the vegan turkey to a baking dish (I used an 8×8 inch or 20×20 cm baking dish) (photo 12).
Photos of the last steps of how to make vegan turkey
  • Spread 1 tbsp of oil onto the vegan turkey (photo 13).
  • Sprinkle the cornstarch over the top of the vegan turkey (photo 14) and rub it in so it’s evenly coated (photo 15).
  • Spread the remaining oil (3 tbsp) onto the vegan turkey (photo 16).
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until it has a nice crunch (photo 17), basting it with the oil regularly (photo 18).
  • Remove from the oven, and pour and spread the soy sauce over the top (photo 19).
  • Allow it to cool a bit (photo 20) and serve.

Pro tips

  • Feel free to use any other type of salt instead of the Kala Namak salt if you can’t find it, but it gives the vegan turkey an amazing flavor.
  • If you can’t find vegan chicken bouillon powder, just use vegetable bouillon powder instead, although the vegan chicken one works best.
  • You can also use soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos instead of miso paste if you can’t find it, but I think miso is the best option.
  • Poultry seasoning can be replaced by Italian seasoning or any other kind of herb.
  • Feel free to use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Close-up shot of some slices of vegan turkey on a plate

What is vegan turkey?

Vegan turkey is a meat substitute for regular turkey. It’s super flavorful and tasty, and it also has a wonderful texture, so it truly is a great option to enjoy a totally plant-based Thanksgiving holiday!

However, I really recommend you try this recipe at home instead of getting it at the store, as it will be healthier than the store-bought ones.

How long will this vegan turkey keep?

If you have any leftovers, you can keep them in a sealed container in the fridge and they will last for up to 7 days. Feel free to prepare it in advance and save some time during the holidays!

Can I freeze this vegan turkey?

Yes, you can! It actually freezes really well and can last for up to 6 months in the freezer. To do it, just put it in a sealed container and cut it into big chunks or slice it before freezing it.

To thaw, just transfer the slices you are going to be eating to the fridge 1 or 2 days before you use it. You can reheat it in a pan, the oven, or the microwave until it’s warm enough.

How to serve this vegan turkey

As it’s a Thanksgiving recipe, this vegan turkey can be served with plenty of different dishes and sides. I usually serve it with some vegan gravy, vegan mashed potatoes, and sauteed Brussels sprouts, but feel free to eat it with your favorite recipes!

Looking for more vegan Thanksgiving recipes?

Photo of some slices of vegan turkey on a plate

Did you make this vegan turkey recipe?

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Square photo of some slices of vegan turkey

Vegan Turkey

  • Author: Iosune
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 h 30 mins
  • Total: 2 h 45 mins
  • 46 1x
  • Main Dish, Vegan Thanksgiving
  • American
  • Vegan

Servings 46 1x

Scale Tap or hover over number to scale servings

Vegan turkey, an absolutely mind-blowing recipe! One of the most succulent Thanksgiving dishes I’ve tried, it’s so flavorful you’re not going to believe it!

Ingredients

For the wet mix:

  • 12 oz firm tofu (340 g)
  • ½ cup corn kernels (80 g)
  • 2 tsp kala namak salt
  • 1 tbsp vegan chicken bouillon powder, I used Massel stock powder
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tsp oil, I used extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • ½ cup water (125 ml)

For the dry mix:

  • 1 and ½ cups vital wheat gluten (180 g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the stock:

  • 10 cups water (2.5 l)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (4 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp vegan chicken bouillon powder, I used Massel stock powder

For the “skin”:

  • 4 tbsp oil, I used extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Add all the wet mix ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Incorporate the dry mix ingredients into a large bowl, add the wet mixture, and mix until all the ingredients are well combined. You don’t need to knead the dough, just mix until well combined, that’s all.
  3. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Make a ball with the dough. It doesn’t have to be perfect as it won’t change the flavor or texture, it will just make your vegan turkey more beautiful.
  5. Add the stock ingredients to a large pot, stir, and bring to a boil. Then add the ball into the pot.
  6. Partially cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours (I cooked it for 2 hours). You don’t need to stir while it’s cooking but come back to turn the vegan turkey over a few times (every 30 minutes or so).
  7. Preheat the oven to 450ºF or 230ºC.
  8. Transfer the vegan turkey to a baking dish (I used an 8×8 inch or 20×20 cm baking dish). You can use the leftover broth to make more vegan turkey or some seitan.
  9. Spread 1 tbsp of oil onto the vegan turkey.
  10. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the top of the vegan turkey and rub it in so it’s evenly coated.
  11. Spread the remaining oil (3 tbsp) onto the vegan turkey.
  12. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it has a nice crunch, basting it with the oil regularly. The time may vary depending on your oven. 
  13. Remove from the oven and pour the soy sauce over the top.
  14. Allow it to cool a bit and serve with some vegan gravy, vegan mashed potatoes, and sauteed Brussels sprouts.
  15. Keep the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I suggest you slice it before serving. To thaw, transfer it into the fridge 1 or 2 days before eating it and reheat it in a pan, the oven, or the microwave.

Notes

  • Feel free to use any other type of salt instead of the Kala Namak salt if you can’t find it, but it gives the vegan turkey an amazing flavor.
  • If you can’t find vegan chicken bouillon powder, just use vegetable bouillon powder instead, although the vegan chicken one works best.
  • You can also use soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos instead of miso paste if you can’t find it, but I think miso is the best option.
  • Poultry seasoning can be replaced by Italian seasoning or any other kind of herb.
  • Feel free to use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
  • Calories: 237
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 1625 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 29.5 g

Curved “made this” textMADE THISRecipe?


It’s easy to be cynical about the idea of New Year’s resolutions, but there is a lot of undeniable and powerful energy surrounding the idea of change at this time of year. For many of us, that change starts in the kitchen.

Maybe it means resolving to cook at home more often, to keep a well-stocked freezer and pantry, to waste less, or to make slightly more wholesome choices. Maybe, for you, this is the year in which you’d like to give veganism ( or vegetarianism ) a try.

Whether you’re trying to dip your toes slowly into the world of plant-based eating, or you’re ready to make a total shift, it can be helpful to keep a few things in mind.

Some people go vegan overnight, and they never look back. But for many others, a slow transition is more sustainable ( and pleasurable ) than a 180-degree turn. If the idea of going vegan feels daunting, start with a couple of small steps, like a Meatless Monday challenge at home, or switching one of your daily meals to a meatless and dairy-free option. ( You’d be surprised at how easy it is to trade your turkey sandwich for hummus, tempeh bacon, and avocado ).

I’m quick to say that vegan food is just food. While there are a couple of secret weapon ingredients to have on your radar ( nutritional yeast, I’m lookin’ at you ), for the most part a healthy appetite for céréales, beans, and produce is all you really need to get started. With that said, any dietary shift can be tricky, and veganism is no exception. So, before you get started, take just a little time to go over the basics of plant-based nutrition. Find a useful, all-in-one resource, like Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina’s Becoming Vegan, or Ginny Messina and Jack Norris’ Vegan For Life. At some point, someone will ask you where you get your protein ( or your iron, or your calcium ), and while you could laugh the question off, it’s a lot more powerful to supply a quick, confident answer.

Going vegan expanded my palate dramatically : I learned about all sorts of global cuisines, warmed up to my spice rack, and tried ingredients I’d never considered before. But my culinary repertoire was pretty meager when I made the switch. If you already have some culinary experience, don’t assume that you’ll need to acquire an entirely new bag of tricks to eat vegan or vegetarian.

In fact, one really useful place to start is by looking at some of your favorite dinner recipes and thinking about how you might adapt them to be meatless and/or dairy-free. It may be as simple as removing some cheese ( or replacing it with cashew cheese ). It may mean trading the central protein for beans, soy foods, or even a hearty vegetable, like mushrooms.

Until I went vegan, I had never tried tempeh, soba noodles, kimchi, kabocha squash, nutritional yeast, millet, mulberries, or buckwheat…and the list goes on. Becoming vegan encouraged me to explore new ingredients, and it also introduced me to more global dishes.

A great many dietary folklores around the world are already plant-based, which means that végétaliens and vegetarians have many rich, exciting culinary traditions to draw upon. If you’re new to plant-based cooking, explore meatless dishes and recipes from other parts of the world ( Indian, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern dishes are some of my personal favorites ). Dust off your spice rack and add new flavors to your food. Use your transition to plant-based eating as an excuse to try new grains, legumes, and vegetables.

A lot of folks assume that adapting a recipe to be vegan means replacing the meat or poultry with a faux meat, a block of tofu, or tempeh. That’s cool, but it can also be fun to think creatively and imaginatively about how to capture the essence of a traditional recipe without animal protein. No, lentil Bolognese isn’t really Bolognese, but it does capture the heartiness of the original; cashew banana yogurt is a far cry from dairy, but it does evoke the same, sweet creaminess.

Many people are surprised by how easy it is to go meatless. Cheese, on the other hand, is a different story. I myself used to utter the same words I hear constantly from readers, friends, and nutrition clients : ' I’d love to go vegan, but I can’t give up cheese. '

While I won’t pretend that giving up dairy is easy—it’s not, especially because it’s so ubiquitous in restaurant dishes—I will say that I had a much easier time living without it when I learned to make my own substitutes. Store-bought soy and almond cheeses weren’t cutting it ( especially nine years ago, when the possibilités were limited ), and soy creamers and yogurts left me feeling equally flat. Making my first batch of cashew cheese—which authentically captured the tanginess and matière of goat cheese—was a revelation. Homemade nut milk let me create creamy porridge and muesli far more authentically than did store-bought, non-dairy milk.

Over time, I’ve experimented with tofu paneer, tofu feta, and cashew yogurt, and the list is growing. Homemade dairy substitutes are creative, fun, and cost-effective, and I think they’re a big step up from what you can find in the store.

While I’m the first to point out that vegan proteins extend far beyond soy foods—encompassing tonalités of different céréales, legumes, nuts, and seeds—you really can’t beat tofu and tempeh for ' meaty ' matière and complete protein in meatless dishes. Both ingredients can be either memorable or mundane, depending on how you prepare them. I definitely recommend pressing tofu if you’re not already in the habit; it’ll create a firmer, more toothsome texture that most people prefer.

When preparing tempeh, be sure to use a boldly flavored marinade or sauce to help balance tempeh’s earthy taste, and if you find it bitter, you can steam it before marinating, too.

For the most part, I try to feature whole foods and homemade ingredients in my cooking. But in spite of the fact that I love to create my own dairy substitutes and I’d usually rather eat a scoop of lentils than a block of faux meat, I don’t eschew vegan products, and I think that keeping an open mind about them can really enrich the authenticity of your food.

This is especially important when you’re transitioning and vegan cooking still feels like a brave new world. Nine times out of ten, I’ll opt to use cashew cheese in a recipe rather than Daiya ( a melty, commercial vegan cheese ) ; coconut oil in place of Earth Balance ( vegan butter ) ; or grilled tofu in place of Beyond Chicken ( grilled strips of soy and pea protein that taste shockingly like chicken ).

But when I’m aiming for totally authentic, precise results, vegan substitute products can go a long way, and it’s comforting to know that they’re an option if I feel like taking a shortcut.

Over time, I learned to create vegan food with greater sensitivity to others’ tastes and traditions. I love a lot of really crunchy fare, from the aforementioned raw kale salad to tofu, sprouts, and grain bowls. And I know a lot of other folks who love these dishes, too. But sometimes being an ambassador of vegan food means knowing how to create dishes that feel familiar and appeal to a wide array of more conservative palates, like vegan lasagna, shepherd’s pie, or sloppy Joes.

And, if you’re trying to dispel the idea that all vegans eat is salad and prove that vegan food can be filling and hearty, then it’s all the more important to create dishes that evoke a sense of comfort.

Change feels a lot less daunting when you have company. If your family and friends aren’t exploring veganism along with you, then find community in other ways. Explore a vegan meetup or potluck in your community. Become a regular commenter on vegan food blogs. If you do have a friend who’s interested in plant-based cooking, invite him or her over for some recipe testing.

Studies show that failure to stick with a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is often attributed to feeling ' different ' or isolated. Food is all about community and sharing, so do your best to share this lifestyle with people you care about—even if they’re not making the change along with you.

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