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Seitan Turkey

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Decadent yet healthy, this home cooked Seitan Turkey is moist, packed with flavor, and has a meaty texture. It's perfect for a holiday centerpiece.


Units Scale


The Rest:

  • 3 cups vegan chicken broth (see note 1) for braising
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered and sliced in 1/2 inch wide pieces
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, quartered


  • 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base
  • 2-3 tablespoons canned coconut milk or neutral oil like grapeseed
  • 1-2 teaspoons ketchup, (optional but good)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


  1. Make the seitan dough: Blend the beans, spices, nutritional yeast and about 1 cup of vegan chicken broth in the food processor or blender until it is smooth. Then add your vital wheat gluten and blend again briefly, until most of it has been incorporated. It may still be a little powdery but that’s OK. Add it to a large bowl and press everything together with your hands. You may want to add a tablespoon of water or two if it looks a bit dry. You can press the dough together so there are no more crumbly bits, but DO NOT KNEAD IT. I know other recipes may say to knead the seitan but it always turns out rubbery when I do that. Seriously, just try to form the dough.
  2. If Cooking in the Instant Pot: Place the Instant Pot steaming basket in the pot and add 1 cup of water. Add the seitan into the basket, close the lid, set the pressure valve to “sealing” and cook on high pressure or manual for 45 minutes. After the cooking is done, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully switch the pressure valve to venting and release the remaining pressure, which shouldn’t be very much. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (or 205 degrees C) and skip to the “Braising the Seitan” section.
  3. If Cooking on the Stove: If you do not have an electric pressure cooker, you can easily steam your seitan on the stovetop. Grab a large pot with a large steaming basket and a lid. Add 2 inches of water to the pot, then insert the steaming basket. Place the seitan into the basket, add a lid to the pot, bring it to a boil, then turn it down to a high simmer and steam it for about 1 hour. When it’s done, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (or 205 degrees C). 
  4. OPTION 1: Braising the Seitan: To a dutch oven or deep baker dish (I used this baker), first add half to three fourths of the onions. Then plunk the seitan on top of them. Surround the seitan with remaining onions, the chopped potatoes, and the chopped carrots. Add the broth to the dish, pouring it straight on the seitan. It should come about halfway up the seitan. If you are using a much wider dish, you may need a bit more broth. Pop the lid on (or some aluminum foil if you don’t have a lid for your dish) and bake it for one hour. You can remove it at any time if you need to. It’s actually fully edible once steamed, and pretty dang good. But if you want it tender, juicy, and amazing, bake it for a full hour.
  5. OPTION 2: Simmering the Seitan: This option takes less time and I dare say it tastes a little better--but you should watch it a little more closely if there's an open flame. Sear the seitan in a large pot over medium high heat for 5 minutes. I recommend doing this with oil to get a nice firm bottom, but the oil isn't necessary if you have a great nonstick pot. Add enough vegan chicken broth to cover the seitan (will depend on the size of your pot) and add fresh herbs like rosemary and sage. Turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Simmer for about a half hour or so. The seitan will be very wet at this point but don't worry. Let it rest for 15 minutes before carving or take it to the next level with this last (but easy, I promise) step.
  6. If adding “skin” (see note 3): Add the just braised or boiled seitan turkey to a baking dish. Soak a piece of rice paper in water (or oil--even better) for 1-2 minutes until soft and malleable. Carefully spread it over the seitan. Smooth the edges just under the turkey. You don't need to do the bottom--I found the rice paper didn't even really stick when I tried to do that. Set up a station with a rimmed dinner plate, the bowl of sauce with a spoon in it, and a lined rimmed baking tray (I used a deep 9-inch square baker). Pour coconut milk or oil onto the plate for soaking, about 3/4 cup. Soak one sheet of rice paper. Make sure the paper is submerged in the liquid (if not, use your hand to press it down so it is). It takes about 30-60 seconds to soak a sheet of rice paper enough to make it malleable. You can test one “corner” of it by pinching it, if it starts to stick to itself like cling wrap, it’s ready. Don’t over soak or it will become weak. Lift up the soaked sheet of rice paper with both hands and lay it across the seitan turkey. Pat down the sides, adhering to every nook and cranny. It won’t stick together perfectly, but it will be fine. Add the sauce using a spoon in a thin layer over the whole thing. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius) for around 10 minutes or until the sauce is brown and crispy. You should be able to tap it with the back of a dry clean spoon and hear the crispiness.
  7. Carving and Serving the Seitan: After removing from heat, let the seitan rest for 10 minutes to finish soaking up all that goodness. Using a fork and serrated-edge knife, carefully slice the seitan as thick or thin as you’d like. Serve it with gravy, like this quick vegan gravy or vegan mushroom gravy.
  8. Storing the leftovers: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container separate from leftover sauce for up to 5 days. Reheat in broth. Cooked seitan can be frozen in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.


  • Note 1: I personally love Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (and mix it with hot water) as it keeps better and is more economical than carton vegan chicken broth. You can absolutely use prepared vegan chicken broth or even just vegetable broth (I recommend adding a little poultry seasoning (it’s vegan!) if you do this).
  • Note 2: Adding nutritional yeast does not make the seitan taste cheesy, rather it makes the roast taste richer and gives it a whole nother layer of flavor that is amazing in making it taste like the turkey most of us grew up eating. Trust me that the finished product does not taste at all like nutritional yeast, it just tastes savory and rich so don’t skip it! You can always just buy the quarter cup you need from this recipe from bulk bins at a health food store if you don’t want a bunch of nutritional yeast hanging around your house. :)
  • Note 3: If you want a “skin” to your seitan turkey, I recommend the method I used for my vegan drumsticks. I would do this after you’ve steamed it but before you braise it. I have lots of info on this in the article above under the heading “ADDING THE SKIN”
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Entree, Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker, Baking
  • Cuisine: American, Holiday

Keywords: Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Holiday, Seitan Turkey