The Best Vegan Turkey Roast for Your Meat-Free Thanksgiving Table

The best vegan turkey roast shouldn’t feel like a punishment for people who’ve cut out meat. Being vegetarian is good for the planet, it’s good for animals, and it’s good for you—truly, a win-win-win situation, that is until a big meat-centric holiday dinner like Thanksgiving rolls around and you’re stuck eating a plateful of side dishes (but only the ones that weren’t made with poultry broth, sorry!).

The good news: There are more plant based turkey alternatives on the market than ever before, and that means a main course doesn’t have to be off the menu. Of course, all vegan turkey alternatives aren’t created equal. We fired up the oven and tried five of the biggest brands out there to find the best vegan turkey you can buy.

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best vegan turkey

Best of the Best

Gardein Plant-Based Turk’y Roast

I am not vegetarian, but I eat a lot of veggie meat products at home. Gardein is a favorite (their breaded turk’y cutlets and gravy make such a good, quick weeknight dinner), so I’m pleased to report that Gardein makes the best vegan turkey loaf out there. My biggest beef with vegan turkey (pun intended) is that it’s always so dense. Seriously, if you neglect to baste a Tofurky roast, you’re going to have to go at that thing with a hacksaw (more on this later). Gardein’s turk’y is super tender, and the breading encasing the loaf is lightly seasoned and adds just a little bit of crunch and texture. The stuffing inside isn’t the tastiest stuffing I’ve ever had, but bits of celery give it some crunch, while cranberries contribute a subtle tart sweetness. Most importantly, the loaf comes with a packet of vegan gravy (some of these options are BYOG, sadly) and the gravy actually tastes good. I would be stoked if someone served this to me on Thanksgiving!

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

trader joe's vegan turkey

Best Stuffing

Trader Joe’s Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast with Gravy

This stuffed roast from Trader Joe’s wasn’t our favorite, but it has its charms. The stuffing is the star—it’s flavorful and savory—and the meat part of the loaf tastes good, even though it’s a little weird. It basically looks like dozens of layers of plant-based deli meat were wrapped around one another to create a big, oppressive brick of food. I was pleased that this one came with a gravy packet—but then I tasted the gravy. My god. I’ve had some damn good vegan gravy in my day, but I swear this stuff tastes like mothballs. If you’re doing your holiday shopping at TJ’s and pick up this loaf, do yourself a favor and grab stuff for a homemade veggie gravy. I recommend this nutritional yeast gravy inspired by the gravy served at the Grit (RIP) in Athens, Georgia.

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

field roast loaf thanksgiving

Best Seasoning

Field Roast Garlic & Sage Celebration Roast

If you like Field Roast products, you’ll love this roast, which is essentially just a big, honkin’ version of one of their meat-free sausages. Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling liked how seasoned and salty this one is, but I personally have a hard time getting past the fact that the stuffing in the center of the loaf is exactly the same texture as the rest of the loaf (ie rubbery). It makes no sense. While this may be the best vegan turkey alternative for someone who loves the brand, I have to say, that Field Roast always gives me indigestion. If you’re similarly afflicted with agita, buckle up for a ride to burp city.

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

vegan turkey thanksgiving

Best Classic

Tofurky Plant-Based Roast & Wild Rice Stuffing

I don’t want to be rude, but I’m pretty sure people like Tofurky roasts mostly because it’s the vegan roast they grew up on. I swear, around 20 years ago, when I briefly gave up meat, Tofurky really seemed like the only game in town when Thanksgiving rolled around. Ultimately, it is not very good. In deli-slice form, Tofurky turkey is good, but as a big hunk like this, it just so, so dense and chewy. The stuffing is fine, although it mostly just tastes like wild rice, but the meat itself just doesn’t have a ton of flavor. Also, if you don’t baste this roast as the instructions suggest, it gets real ugly. Seriously, by the time it was heated through, it looked like a cracked heel. Not a great look on the ol’ Thanksgiving table.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

5/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: 365 Plant Based Roasts with Gravy & Mushroom Stuffing


About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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  • I’ve been a vegan since 2017 and so I know my way around a vegan thanksgiving roast and I do have some disagreements lol. First of all, the Gardein Turk’y roast is 100% the best texture for a vegan turkey I’ve ever found but it’s not my favorite roast in general for the holidays (not to mention many vegans don’t like the texture to be too close to real, like my sister). Trader Joe’s prices can’t be beat so I do like to get several of their roasts and store them in the freezer to bring them out between thanksgiving and christmas (and yes, their gravy does suck). You don’t have the Field Roast Hazelnut & Cranberry roast in this list, which has been the best vegan holiday roast flavor-wise that I’ve ever had. I’m super surprised to see Tofurky on here because I know literally no one who would buy that roast (no shade to Tofurky, they’re great for other things lol.)

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  • It’s interesting that the Trader Joe’s and Field Roast pictures look like loaves of bread…and not in a good way.

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  • The tofurkey roast is basically inedible. It was like chewing on rubber. 5 is kind. The Sol Cuisine roast is amazing. Not sure if that’s just a Canadian thing or what but would highly recommend.

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