Amazing Vegan Ham complete with maple brown sugar glaze! This seitan ham is sticky, tender, juicy, smoky sweet, perfectly meaty, and absolutely delicious! Perfect for the holidays, slicing as deli meat, or for use in recipes that call for cooked ham or bacon. No steaming involved!
That family holiday tradition of roasting, glazing, then serving up a glistening ham? Start your own kinder tradition with this Vegan Ham recipe which plays on the classic combination of smoked ham and sticky brown sugar maple glaze.
It’s meaty and tender with lots of layers of flavour, and it's humble and old-fashioned in all the right ways. The perfect centerpiece for Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas and such a good vegetarian and vegan substitute for ham.
In this post:
Turn some simple ingredients into an amazing vegan meat alternative! Here is exactly what you need to make Vegan Ham:
And some important ingredient notes:
- Vital wheat gluten - An essential ingredient in this seitan ham. This recipe cannot be made gluten-free.
- Tofu - This should be extra firm tofu. Do not press it.
- Ketchup - This is for color, sweetness, and tang.
- Better Than Bouillon - I recommend using either the vegetable, garlic, mushroom, or no chicken flavour. If you can't get BTB use 2 good tasting stock cubes (add them dry and not dissolved in any liquid). There is no need to add salt to this recipe because the BTB is salty enough.
- Nutritional yeast - Really important for umami flavour.
- Brown sugar - Dark brown sugar is best if you have it because it has more flavour than light brown sugar. It adds to the rich, festive, caramelized ham flavour both in the ham itself and when mixed with maple syrup and Dijon mustard in the glaze.
- Dijon mustard - Adds a much-needed tang to balance out the sweetness while also acting as a thickener in the glaze.
- Smoked paprika - Not regular paprika. We want the red colour and the smoky flavor. A few drops of liquid smoke could be used as an alternative.
- Garlic Powder & onion Powder - These give us a concentrated flavour without adding any moisture which would alter the texture of the finished ham.
- Allspice - A very common spice that you'll find in all good grocery stores. It is warming and aromatic and really adds to the festive hammy flavour.
- Refined coconut oil - Ham is a pretty fatty meat and adding some plant-based fat helps keeps it moist and makes it more realistic to eat. Refined coconut oil is flavourless. Don't use unrefined or virgin coconut oil or your ham will taste like coconut. If you don't have refined coconut oil use any neutral liquid oil. If you are oil-free you can omit the oil completely.
How To Make Vegan Ham
A quick summary of how to make your own delicious Vegan Ham (for more detailed instructions see the recipe card):
- Process the seitan ingredients in your food processor until a smooth and supple dough is formed.
- Remove and knead into an oval shape. Don't worry, it won't get tough.
- Shape, and wrap in parchment paper like a paper-wrapped candy.
- Wrap in a triple layer of foil and bake. Yes, we're baking rather than steaming for an incredibly realistic texture.
- Mix up the quick and easy glaze in a bowl.
- Unwrap and score the ham lightly with a very sharp knife.
- Make magic happen by slathering the glaze all over the ham and baking again to caramelize.
- Re-slather with any remaining glaze once it's out of the oven then allow to cool.
Don't be stingy with the glaze. When I say "slather" I mean "slaaaaaatthhhher". The glaze will caramelize and seep down into the crevices adding loads of extra flavour. It also makes it look really good!
Success Tip - For the very best results, (as with all seitan), I recommend refrigerating the vegan ham overnight before slicing, then bringing it to room temperature before serving. You can bake, glaze then store, or bake the ham, store it in the fridge, then score and glaze a day or two after. This works well if you want to serve it warm at a later date.
Serve this delicious vegan ham roast as part of your vegan holiday meal alongside other seitan recipes like my vegan roast, vegan beef, and vegan sausages, slice as deli meat, and use in salads and sandwiches, or chunk it up and add to recipes that call for diced ham or bacon. There are so many things you can make with it.
I love serving it up as a meal with:
Sauces that work well with vegan ham and veggies include leftover brown sugar maple glaze, chutney, cranberry sauce, mustard, onion jam, and gravy.
- Enjoy sliced in sandwiches or with salads.
- For breakfast with vegan scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes, and buttered toast.
- Dice and add to fried rice, pasta dishes, pizza, soups (like my pea soup), quiche, and pie fillings.
- Fry chunks in a pan and use as you would bacon bits. It's great like this served scattered over my vegan carbonara instead of the smoky carrot rashers!
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and rating below! And be sure to join my mailing list for more deliciousness!
- 1 block extra firm tofu , anywhere between 12 to 14 oz (350 - 396g)
- ½ cup (120 ml) tomato ketchup
- ¼ cup (60 mls) water
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon (no chicken, garlic, mushroom or vegetable) , or 2 stock cubes (dry not mixed with liquid)
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil , or any neutral liquid oil (omit for oil-free)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1½ cups (192 grams) vital wheat gluten
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup , (real NOT pancake syrup)
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard , add up to a tablespoon more if you like more mustard tang)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Add everything except the vital wheat gluten and glaze ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
- Add the vital wheat gluten and let the food processor run for about 2 minutes until the ball of dough is really smooth and supple. You might need to give it a scrape down with a spatula in the early stages. See my photos or my video for a visual. If your food processor gets a bit warm give it a breather and then go again.
- Remove from the food processor and knead for 1 to 2 minutes into an oval shape about 4 inches wide.
- Get a long piece of parchment paper about 17 inches long, place the ham in the middle of one end, and roll it all the way up then twist the sides tight like a big paper wrapped candy. Then wrap the paper wrapped ham really tightly in a triple layer of foil.
- Place on a small baking tray and bake in the center of the oven for 70 minutes, turning over halfway so it cooks evenly.
- Near the end of the cooking time mix up the glaze ingredients (brown sugar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard) in a small bowl.
- Remove the ham from the oven and turn it up to 375°F (190°).
- Carefully remove the foil from the ham. Unroll the paper and sit the ham in the middle of it on the baking tray. The paper will stop the ham and glaze sticking to your baking tray.
- Using a sharp knife cut a diamond pattern in the top of the ham, drawing shallow lines one way and then the opposite way, about 2cm/¾-inch apart, no more than ¼ inch deep.
- Brush the glaze generously all over the top and sides then put back in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Then brush with glaze again and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown, caramelized and glistening.
- Remove from the oven, give it another quick brush with any leftover glaze then leave to cool uncovered.
Jen JM says
KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK with this ONE!
Incredible flavor and texture, we love this as one of the best seitan recipes ever!
Having as the main protein on New Years Day—THANK YOU FOR THIS INCREDIBLE RECIPE AND YOUR EFFORTS.
Best of the New Year to you and your loved ones.
Melanie McDonald says
Yay! Thank you Jen! Feedback like this makes my day. I'm really pleased you're enjoying the recipe so much.
Happy New Year to you too!
This was a HUGE HIT, Mel! Wow! Impressive-looking and delicious. Husband kept asking for "more ham please" and he is a real "tofurkey-kinda guy"! Looks like your ham will be in holiday rotation for sure. We loved it! Also , baking it , not steaming, made for a much easier process and perfect results. Thank you!!!
Melanie McDonald says
I'm so pleased you're enjoying it, Mandy!
Oh Mel ... this is incredible!
Easy to make, did mine Christmas Eve Eve whilst listening to favourite tunes and sipping on prosecco. Tried a slice this morning for breakfast (no shame) and it might be my favourite seitan-based thing ever.
Thanks for doing all the hard work to create easy to make VWG recipes, it's a game-changer for the centrepiece of a meal.
Melanie McDonald says
Love this Heather! I'm so pleased you're enjoying it and thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review. It's much appreciated!