There is no great Christmas Eve dinner without a good roast as the centerpiece.
This festive roast has all the flavors of Christmas. It’s filled with spinach, sautéed mushrooms, and lentils, wrapped in a tender tofu crust. This is not your basic tofurkey with little to no filling. This one is loaded with a flavorful and protein-packed filling.
Did I mention everything is made from scratch?
The “crust” is a blend of firm tofu, white miso, spices, and nutritional yeast that are processed until you get a smooth paste. Unlike some other roast recipes, I didn’t want to press the tofu or drain it with a cheesecloth, so I added rice flour to absorb some moisture. Do you know what? It worked perfectly!
The filling consists of three layers: spinach with garlic, sautéed mushrooms, and smoky lentils/brown rice with cranberries and pine nuts.
Assembling the roast is where the fun is! You start by spreading an even layer of the tofu mixture into the bottom of a cake pan, place the spinach and sautéed mushrooms on top, and last but not least, the lentil and brown rice mixture, which has the texture of ground meat.
Covering the filling with the remaining tofu is the most delicate step, but don’t be afraid. It’s totally doable. Since the tofu mixture is soft and sticky, you will have to use wet hands to cover the filling little by little.
This tofu roast is protein-rich. Each slice is packed with 18g of protein for only 275 calories! It can be served with mashed potatoes, green beans, and your favorite gravy.
Even meat eaters will love this tofu roast. It’s tender and flavorful and makes the perfect Christmas center dish.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe, and tag @fullofplants on Instagram if you take a photo!
Filling (makes enough for 2 roasts)
- 1/2 cup dry green lentils
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 and 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 clove of garlic chopped
- 1/2 cup chestnuts cooked
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 1/8 tsp pumpkin spice optional
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 6 cups spinach chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- salt, pepper to taste
- 10 cremini mushrooms
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Place all the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for about 1 minute until everything is well incorporated and looks smooth. You will end up with a slightly wet, very soft dough. Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and set aside while preparing the filling.
- Combine the green lentils and brown rice with the water and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are cooked and almost no liquid remains. Drain excess water if needed.
- Place the rice and lentils in the bowl of a food processor and add the maple syrup, soy sauce, tahini, tomato paste, liquid smoke, onion, shallot, garlic, chestnuts, red bell pepper, and fresh parsley. Process for about 15 seconds until everything is roughly chopped and has the texture of ground meat. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cranberries and pine nuts. Set aside.
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped spinach to the skillet and allow to cook for 5 minutes until the spinach has softened. Add the chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the spinach to a colander and squeeze excess liquid by pressing with the back of a spoon. Set aside.
- In the same skillet, sautée the mushrooms until they become tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the skillet with the soy sauce and continue to cook until no liquid remains. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Once you have the crust and fillings ready, you can start assembling the loaf.
- Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Transfer about 1 cup of the tofu mixture to the bottom of the pan. Using wet hands, spread the mixture into an even layer. You can also place a piece of parchment paper on top and use the bottom of a glass to spread the mixture evenly. Be careful; the tofu mixture will be sticky and very soft.
- Place the cooked spinach on top of the tofu mixture, leaving about 1 inch on each side. Top with the sautéed mushrooms. Spread about 2 cups of the lentil/brown rice filling on top of the mushrooms, pressing lightly.
- Once you have placed the filling it's time to cover it with the remaining tofu mixture, this is the most delicate step. Using wet hands, take a small amount of the tofu mixture in your hands and carefully cover the filling, little by little, into an even thickness, making sure to press on the edges to enclose the filling. When the filling is fully covered, carefully rub it with wet hands to smooth the top.
- In a small bowl, combine one tablespoon of maple syrup with one tablespoon of soy sauce. Brush the tofurkey with the glaze.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 50 minutes. Bake uncovered for another 5 minutes until the top is golden brown, let cool 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with green beans, mashed potato, or peppercorn sauce. I found the roast tasted even better the next day.
- You will only use about 1/3 to 1/2 of the filling for one tofurkey roast. You can freeze leftovers or use them to make veggie steaks. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- To serve in a baking dish (optional): Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large baking dish, combine 1 and 1/2 cups of water with 1 tbsp soy sauce. Add one finely chopped shallot, 6-8 small onions, one carrot cut into matchsticks, some chestnuts, and 1/4 tsp oregano. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the cooked tofurkey in the middle of the baking dish, cover with foil and bake for another 15 minutes, just to reheat the tofurkey. The tofurkey roast will absorb some of the sauce and the tofu crust will be softer, even more delicious!
About the Author
Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.
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