Whaaat?! Yeah, you read that right… this is a Vegan Turkey Roll, and it’s gluten free too! This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, and I’ve been making this Vegan Turkey Roll for my family, friends, students, and clients for over 20 years! Many people prefer this to store bought tofu or seitan ‘turkey’, as the texture is more pleasing (it’s not chewy or spongy). When I went gluten-free in 2012, I filled this with gluten free stuffing, and it’s still just as good (no one even noticed!) If you aren’t gluten free, you can stuff this with any vegan stuffing. So what is this? What we’re talking about here is well seasoned, firm tofu rolled around stuffing (gluten free if needed), baked till firm, sliced and served with gravy. This vegan turkey roll makes a beautiful centerpiece for a main course, and no one will miss the bird! You can also make this in advance and refrigerate or even freeze it and just warm it up when it’s time. It’s a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike, and it is the prefect main course for any holiday meal! Just in case you are looking for the Best Vegan Gravy Ever, I have you covered! Click here for the must have recipe for the Best Vegan Gravy Ever (with gluten free option), to serve with this Vegan Turkey Roll. It’s a match made in heaven!
So let’s just right into how you can get this deliciousness to your table and start impressing all of your guests with your vegan chef skillz!! You are going to start off by preparing the stuffing, so I’ve included a recipe for gluten-free version in the this post. If you (and your guests) don’t need gluten free stuffing, feel free to stuff this with any stuffing you please, or use regular bread with my recipe. You will probably be able to use more broth, as regular bread is usually more sturdy than gluten free bread. That being said, I’m the only person in my family that has to maintain a gf diet, and since I’m the chef here, I make gf stuffing, and no one even cares or realizes that they are eating an entirely gf feast. 🙂
For the stuffing, I like to use two kinds of bread, because I like the contrasting colors. I think it makes a more beautiful stuffing. This time, for the light bread I used Ener-G Tapioca Loaf (it’s a lot better than it sounds!), because it’s slightly sour, like a sour dough bread. For the darker bread, I used ‘Chia Chia’ Bread by Silver Hills Bakery, found in the frozen section at Whole Foods. It’s hardy and the texture is pretty amazing. Both of these breads stand up really well to adding the broth you need to in order to make a good stuffing. I’ve also used Schar Bakery Deli style slices in the past, and it worked well too. I cut the bread into small cubes and bake it in the over at 350* for about 25 minutes to dry it out.
After the bread is dried out a bit, you can saute some celery, chopped onion, thyme, rosemary, and sage in some olive oil, then we add in vegan margarine, salt and pepper, and some vegan ‘chicken’ broth. I like to use Imagine Foods No-Chicken broth for this recipe, because the flavor is great, and it’s ready to go. Follow my step by step instructions for making the stuffing in the recipe below. It will come out great! I get a lot of questions about the pot in the picture above. I LOVE this pan and use it a lot. It’s the Lodge Cast Iron Enamel Dutch Oven. It’s 6 Qts., and it works great for this (and so many other things – and besides, who can resist RED?!) Here’s what it looks like with the lid…
How yummy does this stuffing look?
Now that your stuffing is done, you’re going to make the tofu for the vegan ‘turkey’ roll. For the ‘turkey’ we’re going to start with the firmest, driest tofu you can find. For me, that means Wildwood vacuum sealed tofu, but other brands of vacuum sealed tofu will work just as well. If you must buy tofu in a tub, I recommend pressing it for a couple of hours before using it. Here’s a link for a great tofu press on Amazon. Do not buy silken tofu, you want texture in this recipe.
You are going to combine all of the ingredients above in a food processor and blend until smooth. Resist the urge to add water, it will come together and form a stiff, thick paste. A word about agar. Agar is made from a type pf seaweed and can be used to gel everything from vegan cheese to icing, to vegan gelatin type desserts, and we are using here to firm this up when we bake it. This recipe calls for powdered agar, which you can find in some stores, or on Amazon. I find that the flakes are easier to come by though, so what I did here was take a package of agar flakes and grind them in a (clean!) coffee grinder until it formed more of a powder. Agar flakes and agar powder are not always interchangeable in a recipe, but it works fine here. After you process all of this until it’s smooth you are ready to start forming the roll.
Lay out two sheets of parchment paper, about 16 inches each, and over lap them by about two inches. Spread the tofu mixture out onto the parchment paper, forming a rectangular shape that is approx. 8×12 and about 1 inch thick. Try to make sure the thickness is consistent throughout. After that is done, place a mound of stuffing down the center, and shape into a tube. You can do the next part by yourself, but it is really helpful if you can have someone help you. Grab the sides of the parchment paper, and fold the tofu over the stuffing. When the ends of the paper meet, roll one over the other, squeezing the roll. Now smooth the roll together. At this point I usually open the paper and further smooth any part that needs it. If there are any cracks in the tofu just smooth some over it. If it’s a big crack, you can pinch some of the excess off of the ends and use it to repair the crack. Now roll the parchment paper back up, folding the top over, and twisting up the ends (like a big piece of candy). Using two hands, lift the roll and have your assistant slide two pieces of foil under the roll, in the same manner that the paper was laid out. Wrap the foil around the roll, folding the top over again, and twist up the ends. Now pick it up and put it on a cookie sheet. Baking Time!
Here’s a video I made that explains the whole process… (It’s my first YouTube video, so show it some love! Share, like, comment, subscribe, you know – all of that YouTubey stuff! )
If you have any questions at all regarding this recipe or the process, feel free to comment here or on YouTube, or hit me up on social media. I’m happy to help! When your roll is done, let it cool in the wrappings, and serve, or refrigerate until about an hour before your dinner time. Then reheat it for about 30 minutes at 350*, in the wrappings. You can also freeze this. If freezing, you’ll need to thaw it for several hours before you reheat it. After heating, I slice it into 1″ slices, and set the end pieces aside. I dip a couple of pieces of red kale in hot water (to make the colors really vibrant – works with collard greens too), and lay them out on a platter. I garnish with cranberries.
This Vegan Turkey Roll is amazing when served with The Best Vegan Gravy Ever (also gluten free), Garlicky Green Beans (gf), mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, and anything else you like to eat for a holiday meal!
Here are some other recipes that you might like for a holiday feast! (Everything on my blog is Vegan and Gluten Free)
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I always had wonderful Thanksgivings with my large family growing up. So many memories of my grandmother cooking dinner, and aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings all gathered in my grandparents small house. In my 20’s Thanksgiving was a huge vegan feast at our house shared by all of our Deadhead friends. For the last 15 years or so, Thanksgiving is camping with my husband and kids, my husbands parents, sister and family, and cousins from Vegas. I usually make two of these Vegan ‘Turkey’ Rolls (about a week in advance and freeze them). We all have trailers/motorhomes and we get a bunch of spots together. Even though our family isn’t vegan, they eat a vegan Thanksgiving! We each have jobs that we do to contribute to the meal. We push a few picnic tables together, and my boys help their grandma decorate the tables with festive table cloths, pumpkins and pine cones. We eat in the afternoon before it gets (California) cold (mid 40s- 50s at night). After we eat and clean up, sometimes we go for a walk, and sometimes we go ahead and build our campfire. Then it’s wine, pies, and fireside snuggles. I love making the food every year, and I love how excited the boys are. I hope that your Thanksgiving is fantastic, and that you enjoy this recipe! It’s great for Christmas dinner too! Make great food, and make great memories!
- 2 lbs. firm tofu (vacuum sealed tofu is best)
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp powdered agar
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Gluten Free Stuffing: (enough for 1 Turkey Roll, plus a side dish, or makes 2 Turkey Rolls)
- 1 Loaf dark gluten free bread, such as Silver Hills GF Chia Chia Bread, cubed (Approx. 4 Cups)
- 1 Loaf White GF Bread, Such as EnerG Tapioca Loaf, cubed (Approx. 4 Cups)
- 1 C chopped onion
- 1 C chopped celery
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 2 C Vegan Chicken Style Broth, such as Imagine Foods No-Chicken Broth
- 2 T vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
- 2 T olive oil
- ½ (+ to taste) tsp. Pink Himalayan or sea salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- Parchment Paper
- Aluminum Foil
- *It is very helpful to have an assistant for the rolling step, but if not possible, you can do this yourself with care.
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- Prepare stuffing. If using my Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe: Cube bread and spread out over a cookie sheet. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. When bread feels dry, remove from oven. Leave oven on at 350* for the turkey roll.
- In a large pot, saute the onions and celery in olive oil for 5 minutes, until softened. Add margarine, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir well, and then add 1 C of broth. Begin adding the bread, stirring occasionally as you go. Add the other other cup of broth, and the rest of the bread. Mix everything well. The stuffing should be moist, but not wet (you don't want your GF bread to fall apart!). If your stuffing is not moist, add a little more broth, going slowly and stirring as you go until stuffing is moist. (If you use the same bread I did, 2 C should be perfect).
- *** If you are going to bake this stuffing to serve as a side, I would recommend adding more broth, sparingly, and then bake for a short time. ****
- When stuffing is done, set aside.
- In a food processor, puree all of the 'turkey' ingredients. Blend until everything is completely smooth. Do not add liquid. The mixture should be stiff, and when fully processed, like a thick paste.
- Lay out two 16" long pieces or parchment paper, over-lapping by about 2 inches, lengthwise. Spoon mixture onto parchment paper and spread out into a large rectangular shape, about 8x12" and about ½" thick. Make sure that the thickness is as consistent as possible all the way around. I find it easiest to use my hands for this process and if you oil your hands with some cooking spray or a touch of olive oil, it's much easier!
- Spoon a tube shaped mound of stuffing down the center of the tofu stopping just shy of the ends. (This will use half of the stuffing. You can make another roll or warm the leftover stuffing at meal time as a side dish)
- If you have an assistant, now is the time when you need them. With one person holding each side f the parchment paper, gently fold the tofu over the top of the stuffing until the ends meet. Pull the parchment paper together, fold the top over and squeeze it gently. Smooth the sides and look for any cracks in the tofu. Gently unwrap it, inspect it for any areas where stuffing might show through and smooth out or patch up as needed.
- Wrap the parchment paper around the roll again, folding the top over, and twist up the ends. Gently lift roll with two hands, and have your assistant put two sheets of aluminum foil under the roll, over lapping them as before. Put the roll down and wrap the foil over as you did with the parchment paper, twisting the ends together. Gently transfer to a baking sheet.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool in wrappings. Refrigerate until 1 hour before serving. (If freezing, take out of freezer the night before and put in the fridge, then bring it out several hours beforehand).
- Before serving, open wrappings, slice roll in 1 inch slices and wrap back up or transfer slices to baking dish and cover. Heat for about 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 350*.
- Serve with The Best Vegan Gravy Ever! Click kink for recipe. Happy Holidays!
* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through, and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission from Amazon. It doesn’t add anything to the price of your products, and it helps me keep the blog running, so if you do purchase after reading my post, that’s awesome, thanks! Most importantly, I just want to inspire you, and be inspired by you. I never write about products that I don’t use, or don’t believe in. When I do find something that I’m passionate about, I like to share it with my readers.