This Vegan Holiday Roast is cozy, hearty, and full of juicy flavor! Gluten-Free and made with only 10 ingredients, it’s the perfect holiday centerpiece.
This post is sponsored by Nasoya.
Why yes, you can make a homemade holiday roast that’s vegan, gluten-free, and delicious. And it’s a lot easier than you’d think!
This Vegan Holiday Roast makes the perfect centerpiece at any holiday feast. The outer “meaty” portion has a browned crust and firm bite – you almost won’t believe it’s gluten-free! You can make this roast without a stuffing, or choose to fill it with your favorite stuffing recipe or some roasted veggies.
INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN TOFU TURKEY
Not everyone has access to the store-bought holiday roasts, which is why I wanted to make this recipe – the ingredients are also pantry-friendly and a lot more affordable. As an added bonus, it’s also gluten-free!
- Nasoya Extra-Firm Tofu: is simply the best, in my opinion. Nasoya’s Extra-Firm Tofu has the ideal consistency for making vegan meat replacements and will give us just the right amount of hearty texture we need, plus it’s vegan-friendly, organic, and non-gmo! Click here to find a store that carries Nasoya near you ????
- Chickpea Flour: helps bring more density and “meaty” texture, as well as helping to keep everything together and uniform.
- Juicy “Turkey” Flavor: Tamari, Tomato Paste, Garlic, Poultry Seasoning, Vegan Chicken-flavored Bouillon, a bit of Oil, and a baste of Balsamic Vinegar (that caramelizes as it cooks!) bring all the tasty holiday “turkey” flavor, no bird necessary!
- Stuffing: Anything goes here—you can use a traditional bread-based stuffing, pre-cooked roasted veggies, or simply not stuff it at all. If you prefer to not stuff it, see my recipe notes.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN TOFU TURKEY
This may seem like the kind of recipe that will take a lot of time and effort, but don’t worry—the prep only takes about 15 minutes! The remaining time is spent in the oven, with a bit of basting in between.
1. “PRESS” THE TOFU
If you’re like me, you always forget to press your tofu ahead of time – luckily with this recipe, we’re taking the quick press method! Cut each block of tofu in half, then use a nut milk mag or clean kitchen towel to squeeze the extra liquid out; I find that working with 1/2 a block at a time makes it easier to handle.
You want the tofu to be as dry as possible, but don’t waste too much time here. For reference, I was able to squeeze just over 1 cup of liquid out of my tofu.
2. BLEND THE “TURKEY”
Toss the pressed tofu into a food processor along with the tamari, garlic, tomato paste, oil, poultry-seasoning, and chicken-flavored bouillon and give it a good blend. Once the mixture is fully combined, add the chickpea flour and blend again until a thick, uniform batter forms.
3. FILL THE MOULD
For this step, you’re going to transfer about 2/3 of the mixture to your loaf pan and evenly spread a thick layer across the bottom of the pan. Then you will create a well for the stuffing by pressing the base layer up the sides of the loaf pan using a spatula. Be sure you have at least 1/2” of “batter” on all sides of the pan, then add your choice of stuffing to the center and press down firmly.
Use the remaining 1/3 of your tofu mixture to evenly cover the stuffing. The easiest method here is to drop several dollops over it and then use a clean, slightly damp spatula to carefully spread the “batter” evenly across and seal the top to the sides. Make sure there’s no stuffing peeking through before placing it in the oven to bake.
4. BAKE, BASTE, BAKE
Once you’re ready to bake, place the roast in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes at 375F, then remove and reduce the temperature to 350F. Flip the roast onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and use a pastry brush to lightly baste the entire surface with balsamic vinegar. You can also give it a quick spray with some non-stick oil to help caramelize and brown the crust even more. Return the roast to the middle rack of the oven on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake again for about half an hour until it feels firm to the touch and the exterior is nicely crisp and browned.
5. SERVE & ENJOY!
Remove from the oven and let it sit for several minutes before slicing. Serve as desired and enjoy!
I’d suggest serving this with my favorite Tahini Gravy, which my friends and family joke that they could drink on its own, so it might be safe to say it’s pretty darn good ???? This roast is perfect for sharing with friends and family at holiday get-togethers and is so delicious alongside all of the beloved holiday side dishes.
While nobody is going to think this recipe is actually turkey, it does make a great holiday main for the plant-based eaters at any gathering. It’s meant to imitate a store-bought holiday roast, and I think it *definitely* delivers on that! This roast is best served fresh, but if you have any leftovers they will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. I haven’t tried freezing it, but if you do and it works, leave a comment below to let everyone know!
This Vegan Tofu “Turkey” is cozy, hearty and full of juicy flavor! Gluten-Free and made with only 10 ingredients, it’s the perfect holiday centerpiece.
- 2 14-ounce packages Nasoya Extra-Firm Tofu*
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) low-sodium tamari
- 3–5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (I used avocado oil)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon vegan chicken-flavored bouillon
- 1 cup (105 g) chickpea flour
- 1 1/2–2 cups of prepared stuffing*
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Nonstick cooking spray (Optional)
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 375F and line a 8×4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper (or nonstick cooking spray).
- “Press” the Tofu: Cut each block of tofu in half. Working with one piece of tofu at a time, place the “block” in a fine mesh bag, or in the center of a clean kitchen towel. Use your hands to vigorously squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the tofu – it’s okay if you crush it, as it will be blended later. Repeat with the remaining blocks of tofu; I was able to squeeze just over 1 cup (240 ml) of liquid out of my tofu.
- Make the “Turkey”: add the pressed tofu to a food processor along with the tamari, garlic, tomato paste, oil, poultry seasoning, and chicken-flavored bouillon. Blend for a full 60 seconds, pausing about halfway to scrape the sides of the food processor. Once the wet mixture has fully combined, add the chickpea flour to the mix and process for an additional 45-60 seconds, until a thick and uniform mixture forms.
- Fill the Mould: Transfer 2/3 of the tofu mixture to the loaf pan; I find it easiest to evenly spread the mixture across the bottom of the pan first, then to use a spatula to press/scoop the base layer up the sides of the loaf, to create a well. There should be at least 1.5″ of “batter” on all sides of the pan above the base – this forms a well for the stuffing. Once you have your well, add the stuffing to the center of the mould and press it firmly down.
- Cover & Bake: cover the stuffing with the remaining tofu mixture – it’s best to drop it in 1-2 tablespoon sized “dollops”, so it covers more surface area. Then, take a clean and slightly damp spatula and carefully spread the mixture evenly, sealing the top with the sides of the tofu mixture. If the spatula starts to stick, clean it off again. The top doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth, but there should be no stuffing peeking through. Once sealed, place the pan in the middle baking rack for 30 minutes.
- Flip, Baste, & Bake: Remove the “turkey” from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350F. Flip the pan onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to lightly cover the top and sides of the “turkey” in balsamic vinegar. Lightly spray the outside of the “turkey” with nonstick cooking spray (optional) to help caramelize and brown the exterior. Return to the middle rack of the oven and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, until the exterior has browned and the “turkey” feels firm to the touch.
- Set, Slice, & Serve: remove from the oven and let sit for at least 5 minutes to set before slicing. Serve as desired; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Tofu: it helps to leave the tofu on the counter to come to room temperature before pressing, as it won’t feel too cold on your hands. If you cut the tofu ahead of time, it will also naturally release more liquid, making your pressing job easier later!
- Stuffing: you can put anything in the center of your “turkey”, be it traditional stuffing or pre-cooked, roasted vegetables. Alternatively, you can choose not to stuff the “turkey” — if you do this, simply transfer all of the tofu mixture into the loaf pan. Keep an eye on the “turkey” for the second bake time, as it will cook faster than if it was stuffed.