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This Tofu Turkey is the best vegan and gluten-free holiday roast! It’s hearty, cozy, and full of juicy flavor. All you need is 10 plant-based ingredients.
This post is sponsored by Nasoya. This Tofu Turkey makes the perfect centerpiece at any holiday dinner. It’s made with an outer “meaty” portion that has a browned crust and chewy bite, and is stuffed with a cozy, savory stuffing filling. You won’t believe it’s made without seitan and just 10 affordable ingredients.
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A Homemade Holiday Roast
Not everyone has access to the store-bought holiday roasts, which is why I wanted to make this homemade tofu turkey. Not only is it entirely vegan and gluten-free (no seitan!), but it’s also made with easily accessible ingredients, many of which you may already have on hand. And if you’re wondering if this recipe is really worth the effort, don’t worry! The prep only takes about 15 minutes, with the oven doing the remainder of the work for you. It’s the perfect plant-based main to share with friends and family at holiday get-togethers and is so delicious alongside all of the beloved holiday sides (think Butternut Squash Soup, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, and Cranberry Sauce!).
Ingredients for Tofu Turkey
As promised, this recipe is made with just 10 simple ingredients. Here are the 4 main components:
- 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 this tofu turkey just the right amount of hearty texture. Plus, it’s vegan-friendly, organic, and non-gmo. Click here to find Nasoya in grocery stores near you.
- Chickpea flour: helps bring more density and “meaty” texture. It also acts as a binder (no eggs needed!) and helps to keep everything together and uniform.
- “Turkey” flavor: Made with a mixture of tamari, tomato paste, garlic, poultry seasoning (yes, this is naturally vegan!), vegan chicken-flavoured Bouillon, neutral oil, and a baste of balsamic vinegar. This brings all the tasty holiday “turkey” flavor, no animal-based ingredients necessary.
- Stuffing: Anything goes here – you can use a traditional stuffing like this Stovetop Stuffing or this Vegan Mushroom Stuffing, Fall Roasted Vegetables, or make it stuffing-free! If you do choose not to stuff the “turkey,” simply transfer all of the tofu mixture into the loaf pan and bake it for a slighter shorter second bake – it will cook faster than if it was stuffed.
How to Make Tofu Turkey
- Place the room temperature tofu in a mesh, nut milk bag, cheese cloth, or clean kitchen towel and squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the tofu.
- Blend the pressed tofu, tamari, garlic, tomato paste, oil, poultry seasoning, and chicken-flavored bouillon in a food processor until fully combined. Add the chickpea flour and process again until a thick, uniform mixture forms.
- Transfer 2/3 of the mixture to a loaf pan. Press the tofu mixture up the sides of the loaf pan to form a hollow center. Fill the center of the well with stuffing, then cover with remaining tofu mixture.
- Spread the top of the tofu turkey smooth, then bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the tofu turkey from the oven, flip onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush the turkey in balsamic, then bake for another 30-35 minutes, or until browned and firm to the touch.
- Let set for 5 minutes, then slice and serve while warm, or as desired.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Make sure the tofu is as dry as possible. This will ensure the texture of the turkey is firm and chewy. For reference, I was able to squeeze just over 1 cup of liquid out of my tofu.
- Use a slightly damp spatula to spread the “batter.” To help spread the tofu mixture evenly across the top of the stuffed tofu turkey and seal the top to the sides, I find it easiest to slightly dampen the spatula with water or a bit of oil. This helps prevent sticking and makes the whole process quick and painless.
- Brown the crust with a quick spray of oil. After basting the entire surface in balsamic vinegar, you can also give the tofu turkey a quick spray of a neutral tasting cooking oil. This helps to caramelize and brown the crust even more!
This tofu turkey is the ultimate holiday main for the plant-based eaters at any gathering and pairs perfectly with my favorite Tahini Gravy or Vegan Mushroom Gravy. Serve it alongside a generous helping of your favorite side dishes like Mushroom Stuffing, Roasted Honeynut Squash, Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes, and more.
If you’re looking for more vegan Thanksgiving main ideas, you’ll also love this Stuffed Acorn Squash, this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, and these Vegan Stuffed Shells! Or, browse all of my favorite holiday recipes in this Vegan & Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Guide.
How to Store Tofu Turkey
This holiday roast is best served fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I haven’t tried freezing it, but if you do and experience good results, leave a comment below to let everyone know!
Leftovers will reheat best in individual slices in the microwave, or covered in a 350F oven until warmed through, about 15 minutes.
Yes, it’s gluten-free! Unlike many store-bought roasts that are made with vital wheat gluten or “seitan turkey,” this vegan holiday roast gets it’s heartiness from a combination of tofu and chickpea flour, both of which are naturally gluten-free.
I wouldn’t recommend it. The vegan tofu turkey will stick to the foil and make it difficult to remove for the second bake. Please use parchment paper for best results.
When photographing this recipe, I used my Easy Vegan Stovetop Stuffing, but it’ll work with any stuffing recipe of choice.
This is likely a result of the tofu not squeezing enough liquid out of the tofu. To ensure as much liquid as possible is removed, cut each block of tofu in half before squeezing and squeeze each block one at a time. Additionally, make sure to purchase extra-firm tofu. If both of these things were done, pop it back in the oven and cook in 5-10 minutes increments until done in the center.
I have not personally tested it, but a few readers have shared success. Follow the recipe instructions through step 4, then cover the unbaked tofu turkey tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Refrigerate overnight, then bake as usual.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
- 2 14- ounce packages Nasoya Extra-Firm Tofu*
- 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 3-5 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon vegan chicken-flavored bouillon
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 1/2-2 cups of prepared stuffing*
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 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″ 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. 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.