A YumYum Thanksgiving

A YumYum Thanksgivng

Like a lot of people, I usually travel for Thanksgiving instead of hosting myself. This year, however, I’m able to create a full Thanksgiving dinner. I decided to do it a few days early in case any of you are still looking for some ideas for your own holiday meals.

I was really inspired by Vegan Menu’s Seitan Roulade and decided to take my own stab at it. It seemed like the perfect centerpiece. My recipe is very different than his, but if you’re looking for another filling idea, definitely check out his post!

The seitan in this recipe is easily made from vital wheat gluten. It’s wraped around a delicious, homemade herbed chestnut stuffing and then baked. I served it with fresh tangerine cranberry sauce, broiled green beans with slow roasted tomatoes, and fluffy mashed potatoes. Not pictured is a lovely mushroom gravy made with fresh vegetable broth.

You did all make your own vegetable broth, right?

The majority of this meal can be prepared in advance, so if you have the day before Thanksgiving to start cooking, your meal will be well under control by the time you wake up on Thanksgiving morning. Less time in the kitchen means more time celebrating with your loved ones! I’ve included a game-plan at the end of this post so you have an idea of exactly what you can do in advance.

To save even more time, stop by Trader Joes and pick up a box of their already prepared steamed and shelled chestnuts, packed in an airtight bag–not canned! This will save a ton of prep work and roasting time. I haven’t seen these available in any other store, but if you have any tips, do let me know in the comments. Prepping them from scratch works, too.

Alright, there are a lot of recipes to get to, so let’s get started!

Edit Dec. 2008: The seitan part of the roulade apparently sucks! It worked fine for me, but lots of readers are having trouble with it. Until I revise the recipe, beware! Make it at your own risk! :)

A YumYum Thanksgiving
Serves 8

Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing

2 Cups Vital Wheat Gluten, (1 box of Arrowhead Mills brand)
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
2 1/3 Cups Warm Vegetable Broth

Mix gluten, yeast, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add the vegetable stock and gently mix with your hands until all of the dry mixture is moistened. You should have a soft, squishy, wet dough. Knead a few times, and agitate the dough by squeezing and pressing it.

Dump the dough out onto a large cutting board and use your fingers to press it out to a 12×18″ rectangle. If the dough is too springy, let rest for 15 minutes before rolling it out. Cut the dough into quarters:


Heat a large, non-stick skillet over high heat with some olive oil. Briefly pan-fry the seitan pieces until just barely golden brown on both sides. This gives color, flavor, and kick-starts the cooking process so your pieces will be easier to handle.

Pan Fried Seitan

Set aside until you’re ready to roll up the roulades. Make the stuffing.

Chestnut Stuffing

2 Tbs Olive Oil
2-3 Shallots, chopped finely
10 Cremini Mushrooms, chopped (1 cup after chopping)
2 Ribs Celery, chopped
1 Box Trader Joes Prepared Chestnuts (about 1 1/4 cups, chopped)
7 Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped
2 Thyme Sprigs, leaves only
1 Tbs Fresh Chopped Marjoram
5 Cups Cubed Bread, (for homemade, see note)
1/2 to 1 Cup Warm Vegetable Broth

Note: If making your own bread, take 1/2 of a 1 pound loaf of sourdough and slice into cubes. I leave the crust on! Spread out the bread on a baking sheet and bake at 300º F for 30 minutes, tossing half-way through.

In a large, deep skillet, heat oil and saute shallots until beginning to color. Add mushrooms and carrots and cook until softened. Add herbs and chestnuts. Add bread and toss. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time until stuffing is softened but not overly soggy. Season with salt and pepper. If not using for roulades, place stuffing in an oiled casserole dish and bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. If using for roulades, set aside to cool.

Place stuffing on top of a piece of seitan, covering the whole surface. Roll up the seitan, stretching it to make as tight a roll as possible. Let the roll rest on the seam.

Rolling the roulade

With kitchen twine or any cotton string you have, tie up the roulade so that it doesn’t unroll:

Tying the Roulade, method #2

Repeat for the three other sheets of seitan. Place the tied roulades on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Lightly brush with olive oil. Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes, turning half-way through, until golden brown.

Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing

Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Remove strings before serving!

Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing

Broiled Haricots Verts with Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Broiled Green Beans with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Tomatoes
2-3 Pints Grape Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350º F. Coat tomatoes in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Bake for 40-60 minutes until very soft and beginning to color. Can be made a day in advance.

Broiled Green Beans
16 oz Haricots Verts (or regular green beans)
Olive oil
1 Pinch Sugar

Coat green beans in oil, and season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Place them on a baking sheet covered in foil.

Green Beans

Broil beans (just a few inches from the heating element of your oven) for 4-6 minutes or until softened and slightly browned. Toss with warm slow-roasted tomatoes and serve.

Mushroom Gravy

2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped Cremini Mushrooms (measured after chopping)
1 Pinch Salt
2 Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped
1 Stem Fresh Thyme, leaves only
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
Black Pepper
3 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine
3 Tbs Flour
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
Soymilk, for thinning

Heat oil in a large skillet and add mushrooms, salt, and herbs. Cook for 4-5 minutes until softened and add vinegar. Stir well. Add a few grinds fresh black pepper and remove mushrooms from pan. Don’t clean out the pan! Turn the head down to low. Add margarine and flour and whisk until a paste (or roux) forms. Slowly add vegetable broth, whisking all the time, until mixture is smooth. Turn the heat back up and whisk until the mixture thickens into a gravy. Add soymilk in small splashes if gravy becomes too thick. Season with salt and more pepper to taste.

Tangerine Cranberry Sauce

1 16 oz Bag Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
Juice from 1 Tangerine (about 1/3 cup)
Zest from 1 Tangerine

Heat all the above ingredients over medium high heat in a sauce pan. Stir occasionally.

The cranberries will pop, and after 10-15 minutes of cooking the sauce will thicken and no longer be watery. Refrigerate and serve when needed. Garnish with fresh slices of tangerine if desired.

A YumYum Thanksgivng

I also served fluffy mashed potatoes, but I figured you probably don’t need a recipe for that. However, I can say that making mashed potatoes in a pressure cooker is my favorite way to prepare them. Since the potatoes are not submersed in water, they are extra light and fluffy. And they cook so fast, too! If you have a pressure cooker, dig it out to make your potatoes this year. You won’t be sorry.

Here’s how you can save time by preparing parts of this meal ahead of time:

Anytime before:
-Make vegetable stock, refrigerate for 1 week or freeze

One or Two Days Before:
-Make bread cubes for stuffing
-Make seitan, roll it out, pan fry it
-Make the stuffing
-Roll up the roulades, cover in plastic wrap, refrigerate
-Make the cranberry sauce
-Slow roast the tomatoes

The Day Of:
-Bake the roulades (40 Minutes)
-Broil the green beans (4-6 minutes)
-Make the gravy (10-15 minutes)
-Make the mashed potatoes (15-20 Minutes)

So yeah! That’s what I’m having for Thanksgiving this year. What are you having?

Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing


  1. Kareen

    Just finished eating our Thanksgiving meal courtesy of you, Lolo! Easy to prepare, beautiful to look at and easy to eat. . . seriously, it was delicious and my hubby loved it! Have never made seitan before but I had no difficulties and I’m not a big fan of chestnuts but the stuffing was delicious. Cranberry sauce was wonderful; I’m eating it all by itself. . . yumyum, indeed!

  2. Mary

    making the seitan roulade as we speak! just a few more minutes in the oven. It was difficult to rolll and tie the roulads to look as beautiful as they do in these pictures. also making your brussel sprouts recipe to go with. yum yum! happy thanksgiving

  3. rebecca M.

    I love your work so much and am a big huge fan of VYY! This looks incredible and I am going to try it on a regular night since I missed it for Thanksliving. A word for straight-edge vegans or those aiming to be — the sugar in the cranberry sauce recipe can be replaced (to taste) with Agave… as some regular sugars unfortunately use animal bone in their bleaching/grinding process. (ick.) Or just make sure you buy an organic, unbleached sugar that swears they don’t use bone. Wanted to input this, for those newbies to the vegan scene out there.

  4. maddymaba

    Oh my that looks divine!! If only you had made it in time for Canadian Thanksgiving!

    Seitan roulade? GENIUS! Would using apples or pears in the stuffing wreck the seitan and make it too soggy??

  5. Taylor

    This looks beautiful! I may try these recipies next year, or in a few years when my mom lets me in the kitchen for more than a half hour.

    For Thanksgiving, I made your Mac and Yeast with steamed broccoli, and I baked it. I called it Mac and Broccoli Casserole.
    My mom also took the traditional Dressing/Stuffing recipie she has used for years and veganized it by using my egg replacer instead of eggs. It worked like a charm. Binded together perfectly and was so delicious.
    She also used soy margarine to make vegan mashed potatoes, and left bacon out of the green beans this year.
    Lastly, I made a pumpkin and cream cheese layer cake. Which I used “Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese!” for. It was supposed to be a pumpkin roll, but I’m not sure what happened… it cracked and became a pumpkin layer cake. I veganized this recipie from a recipie that a family friend gave us years back. A bit of a failure, but oh well. Better luck next time.

  6. Celina

    Just wanted to let you know I tried the recipe for the baked tomatoes and broiled green beans. We made a huge batch and took it to a Thanksgiving potluck and it was a hit. Thank you for the idea!
    :) Celina

  7. Meagan

    Everything as always looks delicious…
    Would you LOVE a new chalenge for Christmastime?
    how about a vegan buche de noel!!

  8. Pingback: Thanksgiving Recap With Recipes « Snarky Vegan
  9. amanda

    OMG YUMYUM all of your recipes yummm

    Hey I was wondering, could I have your recipe for Rambutan boba tea!!! Pretty please with tapioca on the bottom ? :D

  10. Katherine Welsh

    Hey, someone linked to this post from Cute Overload! It was a photo of some turkeys with a link to Farm Sanctuary. In the comments someone suggested checking out Vegan Yum Yum for Thanksgiving recipes. Good call!
    This is so gorgeous. Makes me hungry.

  11. sarahb

    This recipe is amazing! I made it for my friends birthday dinner and it was such a hit. This is the most tasty stuffing recipe I have ever had. Thanks for posting it!

  12. Lisa


    beautiful photos! I made your seitan roulade recipe the other day. I found the seitan very hard to roll out, stringy and elastic. And after baking it 20 min on one side and then 20 min on the other side, it was very hard to chew. What could have caused that. I let the dough sit for about an hour before I rolled it out and pan fryed it, does it get more elastic as it sits? any other tips?
    we steamed the roulade afterwards to make the seitan softer but that only lasted while it was warm, the cold pieces again were not chewable.

    The stuffing and mushroom gravy was very delicious. I used roasted walnuts and pecans as I couldn’t find chestnuts but very tasty still.

    Thanks for the recipe:)

  13. sarah

    Re post #50:


    I found a pumpkin pie recipe on VegSource.com that did not use tofu that I thought was pretty good; it wasn’t as ‘fluffy’ as non-veg pumpkin pie, but it was still creamy and delicious.

    Pumpkin Pie – Makes one pie

    1 pie crust
    1 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin
    1 c. almond (or soy) milk + 1 t. lemon juice
    1/4 t. salt
    1 3/4 t. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. ginger, 1/4 t. cloves)
    1 t. molasses
    3/4 c. sugar
    1/4 c. each flour and oil

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Thoroughly mix flour and oil in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, spices and molasses. Gradually stir in milk+lemon juice mixture. Pour into pie shell. Bake 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 40-50 minutes more. Cool, serve immediately or refrigerate.

    Here is the pie crust recipe I use for just about everything (courtesy of somewhere on the internet):

    Oatmeal Pie Crust – Makes 1 crust

    1/2 c. old fashioned oats
    1/2 c. flour
    2 T. sugar
    3/4 t. baking powder
    1/4 t. salt
    2 T. vegetable oil
    3 T. water

    Spread oats in pan and bake at 375 degrees, stirring occasionally until toasted, 6-12 minutes, cool, place in food processor and process until coarsely ground. Stir dry ingredients together. Drizzle oil and blend with fork until crumbly. Stir in water 1 T. at a time until dough comes together. Turn dough on a floured surface and knead 7-8 times. Roll out to an 11″ circle, dusting with flour if necessary. Transfer to a pan, press to fit. If necessary, use scraps to patch any holes in the crust.

    Also if anyone is interested, I recently adapted the following sweet potato pie recipe from my Williams-Sonoma cookbook:

    Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Streusel

    1 Pie crust

    For the filling:
    1 c. pureed yam*
    3/4 c. brown sugar
    1/2 t. salt
    1 t. cinnamon
    1 t. ginger
    1/4 t. allspice
    1 t. molasses
    1 c. almond milk (or soy) + 1 t. lemon juice
    1/4 c. each flour and oil, mixed thoroughly

    For the topping:
    1 T. brown sugar
    1/4 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
    1/4 t. cinnamon

    *To prepare yams: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prick 1 large Garnet yam with a fork, put directly on the oven rack (it helps to have a pan or something underneath it to catch the sugary liquid that oozes out) and bake until tender, about an hour. (Alternatively, cook the yam in the microwave on high heat until tender, about 6 minutes on each side). Set aside to cool. Peel the cooled yam and mash the pulp with a fork or puree in a food processor until smooth. (Or plop the yam into a large bowl of cold ice water directly out of the oven and you can slip the skins right off.) Measure out 1 cup of the puree for the filling. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

    To make the filling, mix flour and oil in a large bowl. Mix in brown sugar, molasses, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Stir in yam puree and (gradually) milk+lemon juice mixture and beat until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes. While the pie is baking, mix together brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon for streusel topping. Remove the pie from the oven, sprinkle pecan streusel over the surface and continue baking until the filling is slightly risen about 20-25 minutes longer. Cool, slice into wedges and serve, top with whipped ‘cream’ if desired.


    I just found this delicious looking post a little late for Thanksgiving, but I’ll definitely try this for Xmas dinner!

  14. Judith

    Tonight I made this recipe, as a ‘rehearsal’ for Christmas, but the seitan was like chewing gum. I’m sorry to say this, because the recipe seems awsome, but it turned out to be a disaster. I followed all the measurements and steps, but we just couldn’t chew it. What did I do wrong? It seems I had the same problem as Lisa.

  15. Pingback: DesertStandard » Blog Archive » Seitan the other Wheat Meat
  16. Meghan

    I just tried this for Christmas Eve and had the same problems mentioned by Lisa and Judith. The seitan was incredibly elastic and impossible to roll or pull out to the thinness in your photos. I even ditched my first batch of seitan, thinking that the vegetable broth was too warm when it was difficult work with, even after sitting for 30 minutes. The second batch was a little easier to shape into workable pieces, but still not very thin, and I suspect I’ll experience the same chewiness once the roulades come out of the oven. I’ve made seitan tons of times in the past, but never shaped it like this. Any thoughts on what may be causing the chewiness and thickness? The stuffing and everything else was super yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Lauren

    I have to agree with the earlier comments on the seitan. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but mine certainly wasn’t pretty, and stuck to my pan horribly despite the oil. :( The stuffing is amazing, and everything else listed looks delicious. I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t make the roll work — usually the recipes in this blog are fantastic and easy to follow. Am I missing some ingredient or step?

  18. Katrina

    I just made this for Christmas dinner, and the power went out when I was just starting this morning. So it was funny (and too late) wen I reloaded the page and got the updated warning. But…my seitan did not turn out that bad. It was a little chewy, but I am guessing that I must have over kneaded it (since it is gluten after all). I used a little less than 2 cups of broth and had to let it sit for around 20 minutes before I could press it out. It was a little springy but I didn’t have too much trouble, and once I pan-fried the pieces they were beautiful and much easier to handle.

    Thanks for the recipes and photos. It made my Christmas cooking much simpler!

  19. Erika

    I made the roulade (with my own variation on the stuffing) for Christmas dinner, and it was awesome. I had no problem with the seitan at all, I wonder if it has to do with the brand of wheat gluten used?

  20. Camille

    I also had no trouble with the seitan, and it’s my first time doing this! Maybe those who had trouble overworked the dough? Not sure, but I had no problem so I think the recipe is fine…

  21. Craig J

    Hey, this was a big hit at our weird, late spring T’giving down under (2 US expats, some Canadians, and heaps of Aussie neophytes) but I’ll admit that I had to make the seitan twice to get it to work. I found that the suggestion to “knead” the seitan is misleading. It really should only be mixed into a dough and squeezed a bit, but then should not be folded onto itself afterward.

    It did come out chewy, but this only seemed to add to its popularity. My flatmate has requested I make it again, so hopefully the next go-round will be as successful.

    Thanks so much and keep up the excellent work!

  22. Pingback: Fall recipes I want to try « Vegsf’s Blog
  23. Lisa W


    I just came here to ask what I might have done wrong and I saw the big red warning on the front page!! I made this for Christmas and it really didn’t work out. It was so chewy that it was almost undigestable. I followed the recipe I’m fairly sure but perhaps I over did it on the kneading? That seems to be what other people are saying. Any further ideas? I substituted walnuts for the chestnuts as I couldn’t find any here and it was yummo!

    Thanks for your help!

  24. Arielle

    I just noticed the Editor’s Note attached to this post while searching through the archives for a (different) post. I made this recipe for Christmas and it was a HUGE success! Absolutely delicious, not too labour intensive, and the omni part of the family gobbled it up happily instead of meat. :) So I don’t know what happened to everyone else when they made the seitan, but it works perfectly as is!

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  25. spacegirlmelissa

    Lolo, you are INCREDIBLE!!! thank you for re-inventing food to be so creative and delicious!!!
    i am new to your blog, and i’m certainly already smitten.
    I made this most of this meal for my father’s birthday last night. I was a little worried to take on the seitan challenge, but everything worked out great!

    the seitan wasn’t too rubbery or chewy, it was just right. i made sure the broth for the seitan wasn’t too warm, more on the cool side, and i flattened it out right away… then worked in more vital wheat gluten as needed if it was too wet in parts. i pounded it and pressed it, without folding it over on itself. this way, any holes came together. i used plenty of oil to fry it so it wouldn’t stick, and then didn’t brush it with oil after rolling it, since there was still oil on it.

    even the PICKIEST members of my family had clean plates! i couldn’t believe it! i was really nervous but everything turned out AMAZING! and i have YOU to thank! thank you for being wornderful!!! xoxox

  26. kristen

    i read your post where you said a lot of people have bad luck with the seitan. i just wanted to let you know that i made this last christmas and it came out awesome, seitan and all. i make almost all of your recipes and they all turn out great! well, i did have some bad luck with blueberry muffins once…

  27. Pingback: chickpea cutlet roulades, vegan MoFo. « Madcap Cupcake
  28. Pingback: chestnut stuffing, vegan MoFo. « madcap cupcake
  29. Pingback: Blah-ish Friday… « Title shmitle
  30. faith

    Wow. Last night I kind of winged a recipe for seitan roulades on my own, and they came out pretty good, but then today I googled recipes for them, and I have gotten some fab ideas from you! This looks awesome!

  31. Pingback: HeatherKatsoulis.com » Blog Archive » Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu & Recipes
  32. Wayne Blizzard

    You mention “prepared” chestnuts” from Trader Joes. This year TJ had what must be raw chestnuts, because inside the lid it said to cut an X into the flat side and roast at 400 for 15-20 minutes. I checked The Joy of Cooking and it said to cut the X but to BOIL for several minutes, remove, and peel; it then said to cook by boiling.

    My question is this: What is “prepared?” Is it enough to roast and peel them, as TJ instructed? Or to boil them? I’m pretty sure I have to pre-cook them before using in the “Seitan Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing” because it has a fairly short cooking time.

    One more thing: Could one use puffed pastry as the wrapping instead of the wheat gluten based dough?

  33. Pingback: Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides | Weight Loss Archive
  34. Kristen

    Thanks for the awesome recipe! I’m planning to serve this to my family for Thanksgiving this weekend, so I tried it earlier this week to be sure it would work for me. It was awesome, although I did find the seitan a little on the chewy side. But I just did a search and found this wiki cookbook:


    They suggest that adding 1 part garbanzo bean flour to 4 parts gluten flour will make the seitan less chewy. I have yet to try it, but that’s my plan. I hope this is helpful to someone else too!

  35. Pingback: Turkey Day Recap « Vicious Sweet Tooth
  36. Pingback: Health is Easy » Uncategorized » Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides
  37. martin

    I love this recipe! I made the whole spread for Xmas Eve dinner and it turned out great. The seitan was a bit more difficult to work with than I thought, bit it worked out in the end.


  38. Pingback: Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides | Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides healty| Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides > | healty foods | healty diet | healthy food
  39. Pingback: Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides | Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides diet doctor oz | Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides diet plan | Doctor Oz Diet > Doctor Oz Website > Doctor Oz Vegan Diet
  40. Pingback: Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides | Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides dr oz | Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides dr oz diet | Dr Oz Diet > Dr Oz Website > Dr Oz Vegan Diet

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>