How To Make Vegan Roast Beef From Scratch (It’s Easier Than You Think)

Find out how make a completely plant-based roast beef alternative


3 Minutes Read

A vegan roast beef joint made with chickpeas and seitan Thought your roast beef days were over? Think again - Media Credit: Carleigh Bodrug

This holiday season, many people all over the world will be heading to the supermarket to buy a vegan roast beef alternative for their plant-based Christmas dinner. While there are a huge amount of meat-free supermarket Christmas food options to choose from this year, you may prefer to make your own at home from scratch. This easy recipe will teach you how to make vegan roast beef.

Roast beef has long been a traditional dish for Christmas feasts in many countries, particularly in the UK. This tradition dates back to the medieval era, when large roasts were a centerpiece for celebratory banquets. Beef, being a costly and prized meat, was often the choice for special occasions like Christmas. However, roast beef is not suitable for vegans, as it is a product of animal slaughter and exploitation. In recent years, there has been a growing demand for vegan alternatives, due to growing awareness of the huge ethical costs of the animal food system. Many people also avoid animal products for environmental reasons, with beef being one of the most destructive meats. The demand for plant-based products has led to the development of a wide variety of recipes that mimic the texture and flavor of roast beef.

The below recipe, which comes from low waste plant-based recipe developer Carleigh Bodrug, shows you how to use chickpeas, vital wheat gluten, and beet powder to create a plant-based roast beef alternative. Enjoy it alongside some vegan roast potatoes, red cabbage, and Yorkshire puddings.

What is vital wheat gluten?

Vital wheat gluten, also known as seitan, is a protein-rich food made from gluten, the main protein in wheat. It is produced by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving a sticky mass of gluten protein that can be cooked and flavored in various ways. Wheat gluten is a popular meat substitute vegan diets due to its chewy, meat-like texture and its ability to absorb flavors.

It is commonly used in a variety of dishes as an alternative to meat and can be seasoned to mimic various meat flavors. In the UK and the USA, vital wheat gluten can be purchased in health food stores, large supermarkets, and online retailers. For this recipe, you’ll need powdered gluten flour, which can be used to make seitan at home.

It’s primarily known for its high protein content. It’s an excellent source of vegan protein, making it a popular meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian meals. The protein in wheat gluten is not only substantial in quantity but also contains some essential amino acids, which are important for muscle development and repair.

Can you make this recipe in advance?

According to Bodrug, this vegan roast beef will keep for a week – meaning it is possible to make it in advance. If you’re planning to have it for Christmas, therefore, it will hopefully save the kitchen from getting too chaotic from all the cooking.

Here’s how to make it:

Vegan roast beef recipe

A delicious and easy vegan roast beef recipe made from chickpeas, vital wheat gluten and beet powder.
Vegan beef made to a plant-based recipe
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time1 hr
Prep Time15 mins
Servings8 people


  • 1 cup chickpeas, canned, drained and rinsed
  • ¼  cup red wine, sub balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tbsp beet powder, can omit
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 ½  cups vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tbsp steak spice


  • In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the vital wheat gluten and steak spice until a liquid is formed.
  • Pour into a bowl, and then add half the vital wheat gluten and mix. Pour the remaining half in and combine until you have a thick dough.
  • Transfer to a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, forming into a rectangle roast beef "loaf".
  • Place in a steamer basket and steam for 50 minutes.
  • Wrap in foil and store overnight for best results. Then season with steak spice on the outside, and char in an oiled pan. Serve and enjoy.

This recipe was republished with permission from Carleigh Bodrug. You can view the original recipe here. Bodrug is releasing a new book titled Scrappy Cooking in April next year. You can pre-oder the book here.

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