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Vegan Corned Beef slices on a cutting board

Vegan Corned Beef

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Rich, tender, and meaty, this Vegan Corned Beef is delicious for dinner, sandwiches and more. Packed with a whopping 25g of protein.



Seitan base

  • 1-15 oz can (or 1 ½ cups) cooked black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 2 tsp Better Than Bouillon Vegan BEEF Base (see note 3)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ⅔ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • ⅔ cup brine from the kalamata olives jar (this is key for that briney tang)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 3 cups vital wheat gluten


  • ¼ cup coconut or organic brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp each coriander and ground mustard
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp espresso powder or 1 tsp ground coffee (such a good addition!)
  • 1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper IF you’re making pastrami. I’d leave it out for corned beef.


  1. Mix the seitan: Add beans, maple syrup, pitted olives and brine, spices, and broth to your food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Some black specs of the bean skin may remain and that’s OK. Now add the vital wheat gluten and pulse until mostly combined. It may still be a little powdery. We’ll fix that. Add the dough to a medium bowl. You should be able to pick it up. Press it into one lump that kind of looks like meat. If it looks a little powdery still, wet your hands and smooth the areas. Don’t knead the dough.
  2. Option 1: Steam in the Instant Pot: Place the Instant Pot steaming basket in the pot and add 1 cup of water. Add the seitan to 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° Fahrenheit (or 205° Celsius) and skip to the next section.
  3. Option 2: Steam on the stovetop: If you do not have an electric pressure cooker, you can easily make this 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, and steam it on high for about 1 hour, 15 minutes. When it’s done, preheat your oven to 400° Fahrenheit (or 205° Celsius) and skip to the next section.
  4. Rest: Let the steamed seitan rest for 10 minutes after removing it from heat. Mix together the rub ingredients in a small bowl while you wait. 
  5. Add the spice rub: Place the seitan in a large bowl or on a large plate. If the seitan is dry now, get a little water on your hands and pat it all over (or use a spray bottle) to moisten the surface. Add the spice rub using a spoon and your hands, crusting the entire hunk, even the bottom, lightly pressing the rub into the seitan. You may have leftover spice rub--we’ll use it in the simmering liquid (if you’re making pastrami). 
  6. Bake: Place in a deep baking dish with a cover (you can use a covered baker, a dutch oven, or cover a dish or pan with aluminum foil, though the rub may stick if you do this, so I’d spray the inside of the foil with an oil spray if you don’t have a lid). Bake for 15 minutes, covered, then remove the cover and bake for 10-15 more minutes until the outer layer has become hard, like a crust. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. I recommend a serrated blade, sawing through the vegan corned beef instead of just pushing your knife down, which can “mush” it.
  7. Serve: Serve this delicious vegan corned beef with anything you like--I like to do roasted brussels sprouts and baby potatoes on the side.
  8. Store: Store leftover seitan in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you’re making pastrami, head on over to my vegan pastrami recipe for the last step (not too much longer, I promise!).


  • Note 1: If you’d like to make a reuben, head to my vegan pastrami and simmer the seitan in a special briney sauce. It’s AWESOME--not that I’m biased, no that would be wrong.
  • Note 2: An Instant Pot is NOT required for the first half of the cooking process--you can steam it on your stovetop, but an Instant Pot saves time and having to babysit the pot.
  • Note 3: To really make it taste like beef, I highly recommend you use a vegan beef broth. My favorite is Better Than Bouillon Vegan Beef Base--which you just mix with hot water. The Better Than Bouillon brand is much more economical than prepared broth, has better flavor in my personal opinion, and lasts forever in the fridge. However, vegan beef bouillon cubes or prepared vegan beef broth will also work. If you cannot find any of these, just use vegetable broth but you’ll need to go heavier on the other spices--you’ll need to add salt too. I recommend adding a bit of soy sauce for flavor if you use the vegetable broth.
  • Note 4: Friendly tip: I order all my spices from The Spice House. You can get your spices cheaper if you order a flat pack (cheaper to ship as well) and refill your existing spice jars. Here’s a link for a discount with The Spice House
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Pressure Cooker, Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American, Jewish

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan Corned Beef