When it comes to the holidays, being vegan is a challenge. Unless your family and friends are all vegan (and let’s face it – that’s unlikely), you need to decide whether to attend or avoid the festivities. Then, there’s the food. Unless you’re doing the cooking, animal products are everywhere! Sure, you may be a veteran at cobbling meals together from side dishes. But the holidays are a special case, with things like dairy and bacon crammed into everything.
Well, there’s another way. These holidays, why not bring a delicious vegan roast with you? That way, you can make sure there’s something cruelty-free and vegan to eat. Who knows, you might even convince someone to share with you.
To help you out, we tasted some of the best 100% plant-based roasts out there. All of these brands are readily available at regular supermarkets across the US, so you shouldn’t need to go hunting. What’s more, they won’t break the bank. Let’s dig in!
Note: This post is based on our own opinion/taste-test and is not a sponsored or paid post. We purchased these products with our own money.
Field Roast has made 100% plant-based meats since 1997. Their protein source in their products is vital wheat gluten, which is also the main ingredient in seitan. We tried all three Field Roast varieties. We thought the texture and herb combinations created a taste and texture more similar to stuffing than meat. They are certainly tasty, although if you’re looking for something more “meat-like” you may want to check out the other varieties.
Be sure to think ahead, as all of these roasts require an overnight thaw before roasting.
This roast is the smallest and simplest offering, weighing in at about one pound. It comes wrapped in plastic and is half the size of the others. Therefore, it’s probably the best option if only a couple of people are eating it. The stuffing is butternut pumpkin, mushrooms, and granny smith apples. These sweet ingredients complement the savory plant-meat nicely.
Celebration Roast with Traditional Bread Stuffing + Mushroom Gravy
The next field roast we tried is larger (two pounds). It also has upgraded packaging – it comes in a cardboard box accompanied by a sachet of powdered gravy mix.
Overall, it’s “traditional” as promised on the label. The bread stuffing may not be fancy, but it’s classic. Also, the gravy has a rich mushroom flavor and keeps the roast from being too dry. The gravy does require a minor effort – you mix it with water and heat until it thickens, which takes about five minutes.
Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute
Is it a roast, or a veggie wellington? The En Croute Roast is definitely the fanciest. It’s also a two-pounder, but there’s no gravy provided. Instead, the “wow” factor comes from the puff pastry wrapped around the roast. This wrapping came out of the oven crispy and contrasted the plant meat with a satisfying crunch.
The stuffing is also worth a special mention. It’s a juicy combination of cranberry, orange, and hazelnuts. This fruit mix does a similar job to gravy, keeping the roast from drying out. The sweetness also balances the salty, savory flavors of the roast.
Trader Joe’s Breaded Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast with Gravy
The final vegan roast on our holiday list is Trader Joe’s option. Like the others, the structure comes from vital wheat gluten. However, the texture of the plant meat is quite different, being more like vegan turkey than the rest of the list. Speaking of texture, the breading also adds a crunchy finish to each bite.
Also, the gravy couldn’t be easier. It comes ready-made in a frozen sachet – just thaw and heat to a simmer.
The only hassle with this roast is that it’s not 100% clear whether you should thaw it before cooking. We thawed, and it turned out fine, but the package implies you can cook it from frozen.
Tofurky Plant-Based Ham
We were looking forward to this one (especially Andrew – who wanted a vegan replacement for his Christmas ham), and it did not disappoint. The basis of this vegan ham is a mix of vital wheat gluten and tofu. The resulting texture is smoother and more meat-like than the field roasts. It’s infused with a range of savory and smoky ingredients that provide a distinctly “ham-like” flavor.
Our main critique was the Tofurky ham’s color. Although the colorings are all natural, they give the vegan ham a startling orange-red shade. This feature might make it trickier to convince non-vegans to share it with you. Even so, this plant-based ham has the authentic, smoky flavor and mouthfeel we were looking for – just smother it in a nice glaze 😉.
Please Note: These Holiday Roasts are not suitable for anyone on a gluten-free diet. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, you might like to try our Lentil Loaf.
We hope this post helps you find the perfect Vegan Holiday Roast for your festive season. If you try one, please share your own review with a comment and rating. Every bit of feedback helps make The Plant Riot even better.