Vegan Roast (Seitan)

vegan roast seitan sliced on a plate, with christmas decorations in the background

Written by Liz

I’m Liz, I share recipes and easy substitutes to make plant-based living simple!

December 18, 2022

The Perfect Vegan Alternative to the Traditional Holiday Roast

Are you looking for a delicious and easy vegan roast recipe that will impress even the meat-eaters in your life? Look no further! This vegan roast recipe is guaranteed to be a hit at any dinner party or family gathering.

I first discovered this recipe while searching for vegan alternatives to the traditional holiday roast. As a vegan, I often feel left out when it comes to the main course at holiday dinners, so I was determined to find a recipe that would be just as flavorful and satisfying as the traditional roast. It also had to look the part to be worthy of a centrepiece meal, so I crosshatched it and studded it with cloves for that familiar baked ham look.

overhead of a vegan roast seitan on a plate on a white marble benchtop, with christmas decorations in the background

What is Vegan Roast made of?

Traditionally, a roast is made of meat, usually beef or pork. Store bought vegan roasts will often use wheat or soy proteins to replicate a dense, meaty loaf. This vegan roast is made with a combination of vital wheat gluten and other ingredients to give it a chewy, meat-like texture. Vital wheat gluten, also known as gluten flour, is the main ingredient in seitan, which is a popular protein source for vegans and vegetarians. By using vital wheat gluten as the main ingredient in this recipe, we’re able to create a vegan roast that is just as flavorful and satisfying as a traditional roast.

What is seitan?

Seitan, is a plant-based protein source and meat analogue that is made from wheat flour. It is made using vital wheat gluten, which is wheat flour which has had the starch removed and retains the protein-rich gluten. Seitan has a chewy, meat-like texture and is often used as a meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian dishes. One serving of seitan (3 ounces) contains approximately 20 grams of protein, making it a good source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. In comparison, one serving of tofu (3 ounces) contains approximately 8 grams of protein, while one serving of lentils (3 ounces) contains approximately 9 grams of protein. As you can see, seitan has a higher protein content than both tofu and lentils.

In addition to its high protein content, seitan is also a good source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It is low in fat and cholesterol-free, making it a healthy option for those looking to reduce their intake of animal proteins. Seitan is a versatile ingredient that can be flavored and cooked in a variety of ways. It can be used in dishes such as vegan roast, stir-fries, sandwiches, and more. Whether you’re a vegan or just looking to incorporate more plant-based proteins into your diet, seitan is a delicious and nutritious option to consider.

What you need to make Vegan Roast Seitan

To make this recipe, you’ll need a few key ingredients. For the marinade, you’ll need some vegan broth, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast. For the roast itself, you’ll need vital wheat gluten, which is also known as gluten flour. This is the main ingredient in seitan and gives the roast its chewy, meat-like texture. Here is your shopping list:

  • Vital wheat gluten
  • Vegan broth
  • Soy sauce
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried rosemary
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Maple syrup

Key Ingredients

Vital wheat gluten

Vital wheat gluten is a protein-rich food made from wheat flour that is often used as a meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian dishes. When you knead vital wheat gluten, it takes on a stringy, fleshy, and meat-like texture. This is due to the elastic nature of the gluten proteins, which allows the dough to stretch and take on a chewy consistency. The process of kneading the dough helps to develop the gluten proteins, which results in a texture that is similar to that of cooked meat. This is why vital wheat gluten is often used to make vegan meats such as seitan, as it has a texture that is very similar to that of cooked meat. Vital wheat gluten is a good source of protein and is low in fat and cholesterol-free. It is also a good source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.

Vegan stock

Vegan stock adds savoury and meaty flavours to the roast. You can use store-bought vegan broth in liquid or powdered form. Vegetable stock will also work well in place of beef stock if you can’t find a plant-based version.

Soy sauce

Soy sauce adds a savory, umami flavor to the roast. You can use low-sodium soy sauce to reduce the sodium content of the recipe.

Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is a type of deactivated yeast flake that is often used in vegan cooking for its savoury, cheese-like flavor. It adds a delicious depth of flavor. Nutritional yeast is a good source of B-vitamins, which are important for maintaining energy levels and supporting the immune system. It is also a good source of protein and can help to support muscle growth and repair.

Substitutions

  • Chickpeas: If you don’t have chickpeas or don’t want to use them, you can try substituting with tofu, tempeh, or butter beans. These alternatives will provide a similar protein content and texture to the roast.
  • Maple syrup: this can be swapped out for brown rice syrup, light agave syrup or even golden syrup in a pinch. Keep in mind the flavour of the syrup will affect the end result of the dish.
  • Vegan beef stock: this can be replaced with vegan chicken stock, or veggie stock.
  • Beetroot: canned beetroot is affordable and adds a nice earthy depth of flavour to the roast but it can be omitted if you don’t have any on hand. Compensate for the moisture by adding in some extra chickpeas or a dash of extra stock.

This vegan roast recipe is a delicious and easy alternative to the traditional holiday roast. With its flavorful marinade and chewy, meat-like texture, it’s sure to be a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as Steve and I do! Let me know what you think in the comments below.