This seitan (say-tan) “turkey” roast has become a staple item in our refrigerator because of its versatility. You can serve thick slices smothered in mushroom gravy or slice it deli-thin on a meat slicer or mandolin, but I found a thin bread knife to work very well also.

The texture is spot-on and the flavor will surprise you with how close it is to its meat counterpart. Choose whatever dry seasoning you’d like for a coating, including freshly ground black pepper, hickory rub, or Cajun seasoning.

If you’ve become a fan of seitan as I have, check out the Facebook page called “The Seitan Appreciation Society.”


1 pound extra-firm tofu, such as Heiwa

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

2 Tbsp. tapioca starch/flour

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. vegetable base, such as Better Than Bouillon No Chicken flavor

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. liquid smoke

1/2 tsp. dried sage

1 cup vital wheat gluten

3 Tbsp. dry rub seasoning, such as honey hickory


1. Coarsely crumble the tofu onto a dishtowel and forcefully wring out the liquid until the tofu is as dry as possible.

2. Place the tofu chunks in your food processor and add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the vital wheat gluten and dry rub (i.e., nutritional yeast through sage, in the ingredients list above). Process on high speed until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.

3. Add the vital wheat gluten and process on low for about 2 minutes, but stop sooner if your food processor seems like it’s straining too much.

4. Transfer the dough to your countertop and knead it for 3 minutes or so. The dough will be sticky at first but will firm up slightly and become more elastic.

Form the dough into a compact cylinder about 7 inches long.

5. Tear off a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil 16X18 inches and place it with the shorter end closest to you. Spray the lower bottom part (about 2/3 of the way up the sheet) with nonstick cooking spray. Keep it about 3 inches away from the left and right sides. Sprinkle the dry rub seasoning on the sprayed area.

6. Place the dough cylinder on the end of the foil closest to you and carefully roll it back and forth over the seasoning, thoroughly coating the whole roast.

7. Start with the roast at the end of the foil closest to you and tightly roll the roast upward toward the top, twisting the left and right sides into “pigtails” as you go. If you tear the foil, rewrap afterward in another sheet.

8. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the foil-wrapped roast directly on the oven shelf and bake for 30 minutes.

9. Remove the roast from the oven and carefully unwrap it, but leave it sitting on the foil. Be gentle here, as it will be a little wiggly and jiggly. Return it to the oven for another 40 minutes.

10. Remove the roast from the oven and let it cool uncovered atop the foil until it reaches room temperature.

11. Reseal the foil and refrigerate the roast overnight, when it will be ready to slice and serve. You can slice the whole roast at once and store portions in the freezer, but it will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week so you’ll have it available for quick snacks.