True to The Economist’s predictions, 2019 was undoubtedly the “Year of the Vegan.” The plethora of plant-based holiday roasts confirms this. From solid seitan centerpieces to stuffing-stuffed meaty mains, the selection can be daunting. In lieu of trying a different roast every day of November to find your favorite, we did the heavy eating for you. We tried a new vegan roast every night for 10 days straight, and this is what we thought. 

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1. Tofurky Roast
Longtime vegans may recall when Tofurky was the only Thanksgiving option, and despite the plethora of new options, we remain loyal to the original vegan roast. The traditional tofu and wheat-based roast is stuffed with seasoned wild rice and breadcrumbs, and while a solid choice on its own, we followed the company’s suggestion and basted it with veggie broth and fresh herbs. We also dug into the gluten-free mini cheesecakes which came with the Feast package (you can also find these dairy-free cheesecakes on their own in the freezer section). 

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2. Gardein Holiday Roast and Stuffed Turk’y
Both these Holiday Roast and Stuffed Turky’ products from veteran brand Gardein can be found in most superstores, and we greatly appreciate the accessibility of these products. Opt for the roast if you’re feeding a crowd, or pick up the package of two individually stuffed turk’ys if you’re preparing your own vegan holiday meal amidst a company of mixed eaters. 

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3. Herbivorous Butcher Turkey Roast
You can’t go wrong when ordering from America’s first plant-based butchery. The sibling-run company cranks out a bevvy of seitan-based meaty options, but we opted for the Turkey Roast for our holiday taste test. Both the taste and texture were satisfying enough to fill our turkey cravings without being too realistic to remind us of a dead carcass. There will definitely be Herbivorous Butcher meats on our holiday table this year.  

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4. Field Roast Celebration Roast and Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute
Field Roast fans rejoice—the company known for its Fruffalo wings and sausages has the holidays covered with not one, but two centerpiece options. Those who enjoy a meatier texture should opt for the Celebration Roast, while puff pastry-lovers will delight in the Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute. Serving more than six guests? Buy both! 

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5. No Evil Foods The Pardon
We loved this roast before our first bite simply for the message behind its name. For every Pardon sold, No Evil Foods donates a portion of its profits to saved turkeys at the Full Circle Farm Sanctuary. Of course, once we carved into this, we were hooked. While completely seitan-based (there’s no stuffing), this roast is far from one-note. Serve over a bed of roasted fall vegetables for a complete holiday meal. 

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6. Monk’s Meats Maple Brown Butter Seitan Brisket
No stuffing—this 2.5 pound beauty is all (vegan) meat. It’s dense yet flavorful, thanks to the multi-step preparation. This hunk of homemade seitan is dry-rubbed, braised in a browned maple butter, then smoked over hickory hard wood for an unmistakable barbecue flavor. We enjoyed a few thinly cut slices with mashed sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, and a cascade of mushroom gravy (though the brisket doesn’t need it—we’re just gravy enthusiasts). 

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7. Very Good Butchers Stuffed Beast
Beyond the fact that the name has us quoting Dr. Seus (Roast Beast, anyone?), we thoroughly enjoyed this plant-based feast. The meal-in-one features a crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside chickpea and seitan-based meat filled with an herby sweet potato, cranberry, and mushroom stuffing. Note: this company is based in Canada, so order in advance. 

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8. Chef Tanya’s Kitchen Turkey Love Roasts and seitan by the pound
What has Chef Tanya been doing all these years since she sold Native Foods? Cooking up fan-favorite seitan and other healthy delights at her namesake restaurant in Palm Springs, CA. Those who live within driving distance of this desert town can pick up a juicy Turkey Love Roast at her tiny brick-and-mortar, but those a bit farther off can order her savory seitan by the pound. Both pair beautifully with gravy and cranberry sauce. 

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9. Trader Joe’s Breaded Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast with Gravy
When all else fails, we know we can rely on Trader Joe’s to meet all of our vegan needs. Even if you’re making everything from scratch, we highly advise you keep a TJ’s vegan roast on hand—just in case you burn the lentil loaf or your gravy ends up goopy. Hopefully, your dinner turns out flawlessly, which means you have a hearty roast waiting for your whenever the craving strikes. 

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10. Native Foods Cafe
The Native Holiday Roast is back for the second year in a row, replacing the chain’s traditional puff pastry-encrusted Wellington. The relatively new item features a thick, rosemary-studded, seitan-based outer layer stuffed with sweet potatoes, apples, kale, cranberries, and mashed potatoes—served with a side of mushroom gravy. While we personally mourn the loss of the Wellington, this roast provides more of an emphasis on meaty, turkey-like qualities, which some customers may enjoy. Roasts are available for pre-order and can be picked up at any Native Foods. 

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.

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