Smoky, sweet, and satisfying yet healthy, this Vegan Ham is the perfect holiday centerpiece or family dinner. It’s packed with flavor.
- 1 15-oz can (1 1/2 cups) kidney beans (see note 1)
- 1 cup vegan beef broth (see note 2)
- 1/4 cup tahini (for richness)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, optional (add 2 more tablespoons vital wheat gluten if using)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (see note 3)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 medium beet, peeled and quartered (see note 4)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon - 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/2 cup reduced sugar apricot jam (see note 5)
- 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp beet powder (optional, for color)
- Note: Beet can stain, so use a plastic or glass cutting board, wear an apron or shirt you don't care about, and maybe even some non-latex food gloves to protect your skin from being stained.
- Mix the seitan: Blend the beans, spices, tahini, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, beet, and about 1 cup of vegan beef 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. If you don’t have a good food processor you can do this part by hand.
- Bring it together: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rest: Let the steamed seitan rest for 10 minutes after removing it from heat. Mix together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl while you wait. The seitan is actually fully cooked and edible after steaming, however, the flavor and texture get way better if you follow this part. You could refrigerate the steamed seitan one day and bake it the next, if you like.
- Bake: If desired, score the top with a knife, cutting about ¼” deep and creating a diamond pattern (this helps the glaze stay put). Then, add about ⅓ of the glaze to it using a silicone basting brush or spatula). Make sure to get the sides too. Place the seitan in a dutch oven or deep baker dish (I used this baker dish), cover, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, add another ⅓ of the glaze, and bake for 10-15 minutes, then add the remainder of the glaze and bake for a final 10 minutes or so. After adding the last of the glaze, you may choose to stud the top of the vegan ham with cloves for decoration, plugging a clove into the center of each diamond from the scoring.
- Carving the seitan: Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. I recommend a serrated blade, sawing through the vegan ham instead of just pushing your knife down, which can “mush” it. Remove the cloves before serving.
- Serve: Serve with some air fryer brussels sprouts or roasted apple brussels sprouts and some vegan mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes. Or whatever else you like!
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze, tightly wrapped and in a freezer-safe container, for up to 3 months.
- Note 1: To add lysine to make seitan a complete protein AND to add more of a tender, meaty texture, I like to blend my seitan with beans. For this ham seitan recipe, I used kidney beans (but any would work), mostly for color, but also for nutrients! Kidney beans are some of the most nutritious beans, especially for their antioxidant properties.
- Note 2: You’ll need some liquid to blend this, and for a rich and meaty flavor I highly recommend vegan beef broth. I love to use vegan Better Than Bouillon No Beef Soup Base, which is a concentrated broth paste. The Better Than Bouillon brand keeps better and is more economical than carton vegan beef broth. It lasts a while in the fridge too. You can absolutely use prepared vegetable broth (I recommend adding extra spices to taste if you do this).
- Note 3: 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 ham 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 4: If you want a really red color like I have here (though the tomato paste and smoked paprika help a lot with color), you can also add a peeled and chopped red beet. You'll need a blender of food processor to get this smooth. I promise it doesn't taste like beet--I'm not a beet lover, so I wouldn't recommend it if it did.
- Note 5: You can use regular sugar jam, but if you do take it a little easy on the brown sugar I’ll have you add in this glaze recipe. The apricot is a key flavor here! OR for something super festive, try using my vegan cranberry sauce as a glaze! Or even my vegan sweet and sour sauce!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan Ham, Seitan Ham