Never feel left out of holiday dinners again!
This vegan seitan roast is the ultimate substitute for turkey at holiday dinners (or anytime of the year!).
What the heck is "seitan" anyway?
"Seitan" is a meat alternative made primarily with vital wheat gluten, a flour product made from the protein of wheat. Therefore, it's 100% not gluten-free.
If you’re still reading, let’s get into making some.
If you can tolerate gluten (most humans can), seitan is a wonderful plant-based protein substitute. There are heaps of ways to combine herbs, spices, and other ingredients to create a flavorful and compassionate way to meet your body's protein requirements.
The next time you hear a non-vegan ask where a vegan gets their protein, send them here.
Bite for bite, seitan gives you the same protein, texture, and flavor as meat without harming animals.
Vegans and meat eaters alike will enjoy this roast at the center of the holiday table almost as much as they’ll enjoy it in the turkey-less sandwiches (made from leftovers) they get to eat the next day!
Before The Dough
A potential “barrier of entry” to this recipe could be the equipment you’ll need to have on hand to produce the proper texture of the finished roast.
You’ll need a food processor with an 11-cup minimum capacity, a blender, and an 8-quart InstantPot. This is our favorite one but there are less expensive options that’ll do the trick just fine.
If you don’t already have an InstantPot in your kitchen, you’re missing out! Buy it to make the roast and then discover all the ways you can save time in the kitchen, while making the most incredible meals.
This gadget is a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and more rolled into one powerful countertop cooking machine. There’s a reason why so many people are obsessed with their InstantPots!
If you’re buying a new one, please purchase the 8-quart size and not the 6-quart. The extra capacity makes a bigger difference than you’d think, especially for this recipe. Here’s a link to the one we recommend.
While you’re at it, grab a steamer basket insert; it’s great for steaming veggies and it’s essential for making this holiday roast. Here’s a link to the one we recommend.
Get The Broth Started First
Before making your seitan dough, get the simmering broth ready. After the roast is done pressure-cooking in the InstantPot, it’ll be simmered for an additional 45 minutes, ensuring every bite of the finished roast will be juicy and flavorful.
If you’re making it from scratch using the broth recipe included here, it’ll take a solid hour to get ready for simmering, so you’ll want to get started on it first.
You can use any commercially available vegetable stock or vegan broth starter if you need to save time, but the most authentic turkey-like flavor will come through if you take the time to make this broth from scratch.
When combined, the uncooked seitan will resemble bread dough, which you’ll portion out and simmer in broth until it’s cooked through (about 45 minutes).
The meaty texture comes from working up the gluten enough to create fibrous strands and it will take forever if you try to do it by hand, or even in a stand mixer.
The best tool, hands-down, is a food processor with at least an 11-cup capacity; it brings the dough together and works it up to the right texture in less than 2 minutes. Here’s a link to the one we recommend: LINK
After the dough is made, be sure to let it rest in a bowl covered with a tea towel for 15-20 minutes. This gives the gluten strands time to relax, creating a more tender texture in the cooked product.
Putting The Pressure On
When the roast is done resting, wrap it in parchment paper, then wrap it tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil. Regular foil won’t work; it needs to be heavy duty.
Seitan expands A LOT when it’s cooked, so if it’s not wrapped tight with strong foil, it will explode out of its package and you won’t be enjoying a sliceable roast.
(If that happens, don't worry; the seitan can still be used in a soup or other dish.)
Using a steamer basket insert in your InstantPot will ensure the water you use for steam won’t seep into the aluminum and ruin the dough before it has had time to set. Here’s a link to the one we recommend.
Pressure cook the roast on high for 90 minutes, then allow it to sit 20-30 minutes before opening the InstantPot lid to let it naturally release steam before opening.
If you release the pressure and open the lid right away, the fast change in pressure can cause the roast to expand and burst out of its package.
Once it’s cool enough to touch, unwrap the roast, poke the roast with a serving fork 3-4 times on each side, then put it in the simmering broth. Leave it uncovered and set a 45 minute timer.
When the timer goes off, use tongs to transfer the roast to a reusable ziplock bag and let her chill completely in the refrigerator overnight.
DO NOT DISCARD THE BROTH!
Sorry to shout, but that leftover broth is liquid gold for making gravies, soups, and sauces.
After the roast is fully cooled, then it’s ready to slice and cook any way you like!
Admittedly, the whole process is long and may sound too involved for a lot of people to attempt when they could just grab a pre-made vegan roast from the grocery store.
However, the steps are quite simple; there’s just a lot of time between some of them. But once you get a hang of the process, it can easily work itself into your regular weekly meal prep if you like having it on hand for lunch and dinner throughout the week.
Enjoy! And be sure to tag @vkindapp on social media to show us how it turned out (especially if it exploded lol)!
- 1 Food Processor 11 cup minimum
- 1 Blender
- 1 Tofu Press
- 4-6 quarts water
- 2 large onions peeled and rough chopped
- 4 ribs celery rough chopped
- 2 carrots unpeeled and rough chopped
- 1 bunch parsley stems
- reserve fresh leaves for pan-glaze and garnish
- 8 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons organic sugar
- 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dry
- 2 teaspoons dry rubbed sage
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- ½ cup dry white wine i.e. Sauvignon Blanc
- 2 cup vital wheat gluten
- ¼ cup bread flour
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 block tofu 12-14 oz, drained and pressed
- 1 ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons light miso paste
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon each fresh chopped parsley sage, thyme
- OR 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch salt
- 2 cup vegan mayonnaise
- ½ cup fresh cranberry relish see recipe at left
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves lightly chopped
- ½ tsp black pepper
- In a large stockpot, bring Simmering Broth ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.
- Strain out vegetable solids, return to heat, and maintain a low simmer for seitan roast. .
- Combine vital wheat gluten, bread flour, onion and garlic powder in an 11-cup (minimum) food processor fit with an ‘S’ blade. Pulse to combine.
- Add remaining Seitan Roast ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Add blender ingredients to dry ingredients; pulse to combine, then allow the machine to process dough until it begins laboring to continue turning it; this is the best indication that the gluten strands have properly developed.
- Remove dough from food processor, form into a tight ball, place in a mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
- Divide dough in quarters and shape each piece into a rough cylinder.
- Roll up tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil, folding in the ends to create a package which will hold the steam in during cooking. Double-wrap each piece and place on a steam rack in an 8-quart pressure cooker (InstantPot) with 2 cups of water in bottom of cooker.
- Steam on high pressure 90 minutes and allow to naturally release 20-30 minutes beforeremoving from cooker. When cool enough to touch, remove foil and gently pierce roasts with a fork 3-4 times on each side.
- Add to Simmering Broth and allow to simmer uncovered 45 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Transfer roasts to plastic zip bag or storage container, and cool completely in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight. Slice roasts on the bias to create medallions for pan glazing.
- Combine all aioli ingredients in a mixing bowl, store in an airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to use; will keep in refrigerator 7-10 days.
- FINISH + GARNISH
- Start Pan Glaze by heating vegan butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Brown seitan medallions in oil on each side; set aside on a covered plate to keep warm.
- Add garlic to pan and briefly sauté before adding white wine and herbs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons cranberry aioli onto entrée plate; drag aioli towards you with the back of a spoon to create a “bed” for the seitan.
- Arrange seitan medallions on top of aioli and spoon pan glaze on top.