A vegan lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Thanksgiving like meat-eating family and friends! This tofurky with mushroom stuffing and gravy, inspired by Epicurious, is a scrumptious belly-filling meal that will make you give a hearty thanks for a turkey alternative.
As if Thanksgiving isn’t reason enough to make a festive feast, November is also World Vegan Month, giving you an entire month to revel in your compassionate and cruelty-free way of eating. We love this turkey-free Thanksgiving dinner because it boasts big savory flavors and satisfies cravings for meaty and creamy textures.
New to the vegan lifestyle? This tofurky is an ingenious preparation of miso-flavored tofu wrapped around a stuffing of earthy cremini mushrooms, French bread, pecans, onions, garlic, and herbs. A rich vegetable stock and white wine give this stuffing even more mouthwatering flavor. A tasty glaze of maple syrup, soy sauce, and spices drives sweet, saltiness, and a hint of heat into the tofu while its roasting. The tofurky is roasted in a loaf pan and served with a delectable cremini mushroom gravy. (No Thanksgiving is complete without gravy!) The tofurky comes to the table as a loaf to slice and serve. A turkey-free Thanksgiving never tasted so good!
A word about tofu. This versatile meat alternative, also called bean curd, is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into blocks. Tofu is high in protein, iron, calcium, and other minerals. It has a mild flavor and can be used in both savory or sweet dishes. Tofu is available in soft or silken, firm, and extra-firm varieties. Our tofurky calls for extra-firm tofu because it holds its shape better than softer tofu. To make the tofu sturdier to best form the loaf, we drain the tofu and press it with a clean towel to absorb the excess moisture.
Make ahead notes: The mushroom stuffing can be made 1 day ahead; wrap tightly in plastic and chill. Gravy can be made 3 days ahead; transfer to an airtight container and chill. When ready to serve, heat the gravy in a small pot over medium heat, whisking constantly and adding warm water or stock 1 tablespoon at a time if needed, until smooth.
In a large bowl, toss together 2 tablespoons of oil, bread cubes, and pecans. Spread the bread and pecans in a single layer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until the bread is toasted and dry. Set aside.
Cook the aromatics and mushrooms
Mushrooms, along with a tasty assortment of aromatics, add earthy, meaty flavor to this vegan dish. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme sprigs. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the celery and cook, stirring often, for 3 more minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs and transfer the mushroom mixture to a large bowl.
Deglaze the skillet
Return the hot skillet to the stove and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the stock and wine to deglaze the skillet, scraping up the browned bits. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Note: Deglaze is a fancy word for removing or dissolving browned food sediments from the bottom of a pan to incorporate the tasty browned bits into a sauce or gravy.
Combine the bread, mushroom, and stock mixtures
Pour the toasted bread and pecan mixture into the bowl with the mushroom mixture and toss to combine. Pour the stock mixture over the bread and mushroom mixture, tossing to coat the bread. Set aside.
Make a glaze
This sweet and spicy glaze deliciously complements the earthy mushroom filling and salty tofu mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika, cayenne, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set the glaze aside.
Make the tofu mixture
This tasty tofu mixture will become the torfurky that is stuffed with the mushroom stuffing. In the bowl of a food processor, combine tofu, 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, miso, cornstarch, garlic powder, and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.
Prepare a loaf pan
Brush a loaf pan with additional vegetable oil. Line it with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit the pan horizontally. Brush the pan and parchment with more oil.
Make the tofurky
Using an oiled spatula, line the bottom and interior sides of the prepared loaf pan with 2/3 of the tofu mixture. Press the tofu firmly to create high compact walls. Spoon the mushroom stuffing into the center of the tofu mixture and press down firmly. Cover with the remaining tofu mixture and use the spatula to smooth the top.
Brush the tofurky with glaze and roast
Brush 1/3 of the glaze over the top of the tofurky. Place the tofurky pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 30 total minutes, brushing the top of the tofurky with glaze after 15 minutes. The loaf will be lightly browned.
Invert the tofurky onto a baking sheet to broil
Set a parchment-lined baking sheet over the top of the tofurky and invert the pans to transfer the tofurky onto the baking sheet. Gently remove the parchment paper from the tofurky. Brush the remaining glaze all over the tofurky. Broil the tofurky for 6 to 7 minutes to brown and lightly crust the top. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes.
Cook the mushrooms and aromatics for the gravy
While the tofurky is cooking, make the mushroom gravy. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat for about 30 seconds or until it is fragrant. Add the mushrooms, shallot, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned. Pour in stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain out the mushroom mixture, reserving the mixture and the stock separately. Make a roux by heating 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of flour in a skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is browned and thickened. Add wine, stir to combine, and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in the reserved mushroom broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the mixture is reduced and thickened.
Blend gravy mixture until smooth
Pour the broth mixture and reserved mushrooms into a blender. Turn on high speed and blend well. Pour gravy back into the pot and keep warm until ready to serve.
Garnish the tofurky and serve hot
Sprinkle fresh parsley over the tofurky. Serve with the mushroom gravy on the side.
So fancy, your guests (even non-vegan ones) will be impressed!
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided into 1/2 teaspoons
3-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided 2 tablespoons and 1-1/2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 (14-ounce) packages extra-firm tofu, drained, squeezed in a clean towel until moisture is minimal
3 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 1 tablespoon and 2 tablespoons
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
9x5-inch loaf pan
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, bread, and pecans in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Spread the bread and pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the bread is light golden brown and dry.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Add onion, garlic, and thyme to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until they are just beginning to brown.
Add celery and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
Remove the thyme sprigs and transfer the mushroom mixture to a large bowl.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Pour stock and wine into the hot skillet to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, until just combined, about 1 minute.
Add the bread and pecans to the mushroom mixture, tossing to combine.
Pour the stock mixture over the bread mixture and toss well to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place tofu in a food processor. Add the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce, miso, cornstarch, garlic powder, and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the mixture is smooth.
Brush a 9x5-inch loaf pan with additional vegetable oil. Line it with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit the pan horizontally. Brush the entire pan and parchment with oil.
Using an oiled spatula, line the bottom and interior sides of the prepared pan with 2/3 of the tofu mixture, pressing it firmly to create compact high walls in the pan.
Spoon the mushroom mixture into the center and press down firmly. Cover with remaining tofu mixture and smooth the surface.
Brush 1/3 of the glaze over top of the tofurky.
Transfer the loaf pan to a rimmed baking sheet and bake the tofurky for 30 minutes, brushing the top with glaze after it has baked for 15 minutes. The tofurky should be lightly browned.
Line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place it over the loaf pan. Quickly and carefully invert the pans to transfer the tofurky onto the baking sheet.
Gently remove the parchment paper and brush the tofurky all over with the remaining glaze.
To darken the top of the tofurky, broil it for 6 to 7 minutes or until a light brown crust forms. Cool at least 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve the tofurky with gravy on the side.
For gravy, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to brown and smells fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the mushrooms, shallot, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Pour the mushroom mixture into a strainer, reserving the liquid broth and the mushrooms separately.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the flour to a skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is browned and thickened.
Pour in wine, stirring to combine, and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in the mushroom broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until slightly reduced and thickened.
Transfer the broth mixture and the reserved mushrooms into a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the pot and keep warm.