Vegan Turkey with Gravy

A flavor-packed vegan turkey that's sure to be the star and centerpiece of your next Thanksgiving dinner! Super easy and 100% meat-free!

This vegan turkey recipe is fool-proof and simpler than you think. It’s made with vital wheat gluten and wholesome chickpeas seasoned with many spices.

It’s tender and flavorful, making it perfect for a vegan Thanksgiving feast.

It’s delicious served alongside mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables, especially when topped with a generous helping of gravy!

This recipe was adapted from Avocados and Ales’ Chickwheat Recipe.

Key tips to follow

1. When steaming your seitan turkey, make sure to use foil.

You can also wrap the seitan with parchment paper, as I did in this recipe. But use foil as the second layer. Foil is less likely to burn or break apart while steaming.

2. Strain the wet, blended mixture before adding the vital wheat gluten.

This avoids any unblended pieces of chickpeas in the end product. The smoother, the better.

3. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook or a food processor for kneading.

Let’s face it, kneading seitan by hand can be exhausting and take a long time. Using a stand mixer or food processor reduces all the muscle work and creates a smoother product in much less time.

Ingredient Notes 

  • Vital wheat gluten - Key to making this recipe. As the name suggests, it’s high in gluten and there isn’t a gluten-free substitute.
  • Cooked chickpeas - Fresh or canned works fine.
  • Aquafaba - This is the chickpea cooking liquid. Again you can use the liquid from the can or from homemade. Water or broth may also be used.
  • Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base - This adds lots of meat-like flavor to the seitan turkey. 
  • Vegetable oil
  • Brown miso paste - Adds some much-needed umami or savory flavor. You can also use twice the amount of white miso paste.
  • Mushroom seasoning - Adds another layer of savoriness to seitan. I highly recommend mushroom seasoning for any meat-like vegan recipe. 
  • Salt - A small amount is used in this recipe since chickpeas, bouillon, miso and mushroom seasoning are salty ingredients. If you’re using low salt versions of any of these ingredients, you may have to add more salt.
  • Onion powder or fresh onion
  • Garlic powder or fresh cloves of garlic
  • Vinegar - Any type may be used. I used rice wine vinegar.
  • Thyme and oregano 

How to make Vegan Turkey

1. Add all the ingredients except for the vital wheat gluten, thyme and oregano to the blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl to remove any lumps.

3. Add the herbs and gradually mix in the vital wheat gluten until it forms a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

4. Add the dough to a stand mixer and knead on low for 30 minutes until smooth and stretchy. If you have a food processor, split the dough in half.

Mix each half for about 10 minutes or until smooth. It may start to look crumbly at first, but eventually, it will come together.

5. Place the dough on a large sheet of parchment paper and roll it up. Repeat with a large sheet of foil.

6. Place in a steamer and cook for 2 ½ hours or 2 hours in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

7. Carefully remove and allow it to come to room temperature to be able to handle it.

8. Serve with gravy (recipe in the card below), mashed potatoes or in sandwiches. This would also go great with my Brussels Sprouts Casserole or Instant Pot Collard Greens.

Storage

Seitan turkey will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Freeze whole or in slices for up to a month.

Be sure to wrap well or place in an airtight container before storing.

More Homemade Vegan "Meat" Alternatives

vegan turkey slices covered with gravy on white plate with thyme

Vegan Turkey with Gravy

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 1 hr 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6
Calories: 277kcal
Print Pin Rate
A flavor-packed vegan turkey that's sure to be the star and centerpiece of your next Thanksgiving dinner! Super easy and 100% meat-free!

Baking Recipes: For more accuracy, select the Metric option below and use measuring spoons.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 can
  • ¾ cup aquafaba, vegetable broth or water can be substituted
  • 2 teaspoon Low Sodium Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown miso paste
  • 2 teaspoon mushroom seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder, or 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder, or 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar, I used rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

Vegan Gravy

Instructions

Seitan Turkey

  • Add all the ingredients except for the vital wheat gluten, thyme and oregano to the blender. Blend until smooth for about 2 minutes.
    1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas ,¾ cup aquafaba ,2 teaspoon Low Sodium Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base ,2 tablespoon vegetable oil ,1 teaspoon brown miso paste ,2 teaspoon mushroom seasoning ,1 teaspoon salt ,1 tablespoon onion powder ,2 teaspoon garlic powder ,1 tablespoon vinegar
  • If you’re not using a high speed blender, strain the mixture through a sieve, into a large bowl to remove any lumps.
  • Add the herbs and gradually mix in the vital wheat gluten until it forms a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
    1 ¾ cup vital wheat gluten ,1 teaspoon oregano ,1 teaspoon thyme
  • Add the dough to a stand mixer and knead on low for 30 minutes until smooth and stretchy. If you have a food processor, split the dough in half and mix each half for about 10 minutes or until smooth.
  • Place the dough on a large sheet of parchment paper and roll it up. Repeat with a large sheet of foil.
  • Place in a steamer and cook for 2 ½ hours or 2 hours in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
  • Carefully remove and allow it to cool to be able to handle.
  • Serve with gravy.

Gravy

  • Combine the water, vegetable base and mushroom powder in a bowl. Set aside.
    3 cups water ,2 teaspoon Low Sodium Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base ,¼ teaspoon mushroom seasoning
  • Melt the vegan butter in a skillet on low heat. Gradually add the flour, stirring quickly to avoid lumps. Cook for about 5 minutes while stirring, until it becomes a blond or dark blonde color.
    1 tablespoon vegan butter ,2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Remove the pan from heat then gradually stir in the liquid mixture. Stir constantly until completely combined.
  • Add thyme and continue to cook on low heat for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
    ½ teaspoon thyme
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    black pepper ,salt

Notes

  • Substitute 2 teaspoon white miso for brown.
  • Substitute 3 cups vegetable broth for the water and bouillon mixture in the gravy.
  • The chickpeas, bouillon, miso and mushroom seasoning all contain salt. If you’re using low salt versions of any of these ingredients then you may have to add more salt to enhance flavors.
  • This recipe was adapted from Avocados and Ales’ Chickwheat Recipe.
Tried this recipe? Upload a photo in the comments below!If you enjoyed it, please consider leaving a rating. It really helps the blog.

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 790mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 116IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

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8 Comments

  1. Hi! What level should I use if cooking in an Instant Pot? And should I add water and a steamer basket? This recipe looks great!

    1. Hi Jes! Cook on High or High-Pressure setting for about 2 hours. Yes, add the water (about 2 to 3 cups) and a steamer basket so that it's not touching the water while it cooks. Hope this helps!

  2. Do you think it would be possible to make this without a stand mixer or a food processor? Was thinking I could just knead it by hand, what’s your opinion?
    Thanks Kindly
    Shelley

    1. Hi Shelley,
      Sure you can try kneading by hand. It might take more time to get it smooth but it shouldn't be a problem. Allow it to rest after combining the wet and dry ingredients so the gluten can absorb the moisture. I'll make it easier to knead. Let me know how it turns out. I'd be curious to know the timing for kneading by hand.

      - Jhanelle

  3. Thanks for your quick response. I will be making it for Christmas dinner, so I will certainly let you know after that, perhaps even after New Years :). I could have quite the arm workout ahead of me haha!!

  4. This recipe looks great! I'm going to try out out for your Philly Cheesesteak recipe and it will be my first time making seitan. If I roll it out thinner (suitable for the cheesesteak strips) can I reduce the cooking time?

    1. Thank Kate! In the cheesesteak recipe, the first step is to slice it thinly so it's fine to make the seitan as directed but swap the chickpeas for black beans. I hope you enjoy it!