The best vegan ham with a maple glaze! It had the perfect meaty texture and smoky, deep flavor with a hint of sweetness. This impressive and realistic recipe is guaranteed to impress as a centrepiece on any party table.

Vegan ham on a tray

Do you ever worry about special occasion recipes that will impress vegans and non-vegans alike? Well, with this vegan ham recipe there’s nothing to worry about! It’s a dish that you’ll want to make over and over again during any holiday season.

And also don’t worry if the idea of making vegan ham from scratch seems intimidating. It’s much easier than you’d think! Although it’s not the quickest recipe, the final result is worth every moment. 

Vegan ham with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts

Vegan ham with a maple glaze

This vegan ham is incredibly delicious and realistic. The primary ingredient here is vital wheat gluten, which is made by hydrating wheat flour so that only the gluten is left behind. It’s a really popular ingredient in vegan cooking because it’s used to make seitan, aka vegan meat, and achieve a very realistic result.

Vegan ham on a plate with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts

The flavor is rich and savory, with a hint of spice. Thanks to the addition of paprika and BBQ sauce, a smoky undertone is achieved to resemble that of ordinary ham. The texture, meanwhile, has just the right of chewiness while still remaining tender and soft overall. Even the fussiest eaters won’t complain!

Vegan ham

The vegan ham is complete with a sweet and salty maple glaze that requires just a few ingredient. It makes an amazing finishing touch that contrasts perfectly with the savory ham.

Overall, this recipe is ideal for any special occasion when you have guests to impress with your plant based cooking skills. Whether Christmas and thanksgiving, or a birthday party, it will always make a winning centrepiece!

Ingredients you’ll need

For the vegan ham

Ingredients for vegan ham
  • Extra firm tofu. This works together with the vital wheat gluten and helps to make the texture softer and juicier.
  • Mustard. Ensure that the variety you use is vegan as some brands are not.
  • Avocado oil. This, once again, works to create a softer texture without interfering with the flavor. You can also use olive oil.
  • Smoked paprika. This is an essential spice because it will give the ham its signature smoky flavor.
  • Nutritional yeast. You can leave this out if you want to, but I do think that it helps to take the intensity of the savory flavors to the next level.
  • BBQ sauce. You can use either homemade or store-brought. Ensure vegan if opting for the latter.
  • Spices: cumin, garlic powder and chicken seasoning. These work well together to replicate the flavor of ham.
  • Maple syrup for a hint of sweetness. You can use any other liquid sweetener of your choice instead.
  • Sriracha for spice. You can use any hot sauce of your choice.
  • Vegetable stock. This, once again, works great to achieve a deep and savory flavor.
  • Vital wheat gluten, aka seitan. This is a key ingredient in this recipe, so unfortunately this recipe cannot be made gluten-free.

For the maple glaze

Ingredients for maple glaze
  • Soy sauce. This is for the signature salty and umami profile of the glaze. You can also use tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Maple syrup. You can also use any other liquid sweetener of your choice.
  • Tomato paste. This will enhance the richness of the glaze, while adding a tangy undertone.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Once again, this is going to add a great citrusy taste without being too overpowering.
  • Garlic. A few cloves of fresh garlic make a big difference!

How to make vegan ham

Make the seitan

Start by adding the tofu, mustard, avocado oil, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, BBQ sauce, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, maple syrup, sriracha and vegetable stock to a blender or a food processor. Blend until a smooth and thick texture forms, and there’s no graininess from the tofu.

Now pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the vital wheat gluten around 1/3 cup at a time, mixing it in using a rubber spatula. At the end, knead using your hands for around 60 seconds until the dough is thick and similar to bread dough.

Shape and bake the vegan ham

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Shape the seitan into a ham-shaped cylinder. You can use foil to do this and to smooth out the sides. Then, transfer it to the baking tray and use a damp knife to make diagonal scores along the length of the ham. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Add the glaze

Meanwhile, make the glaze when the 45 minutes is almost up. To a mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, maple syrup, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar and garlic, stirring together well.

Now remove the ham from the oven and brush it with around 1/4 of the glaze. Place a sheet of foil on top, wrap it tightly, and place it in the oven for 10 minutes. Then, remove, brush with 1/4 more of the glaze, place the foil back on top and place in the oven for 10 minutes more.

Now remove and add the rest of the maple glaze. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Vegan ham loaf on a baking tray

Recipe tips for success

Kneading and mixing the seitan: When mixing the vital wheat gluten with the rest of the ingredients, use a rubber spatula because it’s quite a clingy ingredient and can be hard to wash off. Knead the seitan for around 60 seconds, but not any more than 90 because this will cause the texture to be too chewy and hard.

To make ahead of time: You can make the seitan around 3 days in advance and keep the dough in the fridge, wrapped in cling film. Then, simply bake and glaze as normal.

Maple glazed vegetarian ham

To steam: You can also steam the vegan ham for an hour instead of baking it for the first 45 minutes. When done, simply glaze and bake covered and foil as usual.

Instructions for storage and freezing

You can keep the ham in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it as individual slices. Simply place them in an airtight container or freezer-friendly ziplock bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow to thaw in the fridge overnight, and then reheat in the microwave for around 2 minutes.

Vegan ham recipe

How to serve vegan ham

As I mentioned, vegan ham makes a perfect centrepiece for occasions such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. Serve it with a side dish of your choice such as mashed potatoes or vegan scalloped potatoes. Vegan cauliflower cheese also always makes a great option. For sauces, I would opt for vegan gravy or my favorite dairy-free sour cream!

Other vegan meat recipes

If you loves this recipe, you will also love my vegan schnitzel recipe that’s crispy and realistic! You must also try vegan chicken, which is perfect for adding to sandwiches and salads.

Vegan roast with mashed potatoes

If you give this vegan ham a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating! I’d love to hear from you!

Vegan ham on a plate with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts

Get the Recipe: Vegan Ham Recipe

The best vegan ham with a maple glaze! It had the perfect meaty texture and smoky, deep flavor with a hint of sweetness. This impressive and realistic recipe is guaranteed to impress as a centrepiece on any party table.

Ingredients

For the ham

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chicken seasoning
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten

For the glaze

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Conventional oven
  • Baking tray
  • Small mixing bowl

Instructions 

  • Start by adding the tofu, mustard, avocado oil, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, BBQ sauce, cumin, garlic powder, chicken seasoning, maple syrup, sriracha and vegetable stock to a blender or a food processor. Blend until a smooth and thick texture forms, and there’s no graininess from the tofu.
    14 oz extra firm tofu, 1 tbsp mustard, 2 tbsp avocado oil, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp BBQ sauce, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chicken seasoning, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp sriracha, 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the vital wheat gluten around 1/3 cup at a time, mixing it in using a rubber spatula. At the end, knead the seitan using your hands for around 60 seconds until the dough is thick and similar to bread dough.
    1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Shape the seitan into a ham-shaped cylinder. You can use foil to do this and to smooth out the sides. Then, transfer it to the baking tray and use a damp knife to make diagonal scores along the length of the ham. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the glaze when the 45 minutes is almost up. To a mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, maple syrup, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar and garlic, stirring together well.
    1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 cloves garlic
  • Remove the ham from the oven and brush it with around 1/4 of the glaze. Place a sheet of foil on top, wrap it tightly, and place it in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the ham from the oven, brush with 1/4 more of the glaze, place the foil back on top and place in the oven for 10 minutes more.
  • Now remove and add the rest of the maple glaze. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Video

Notes

Kneading and mixing the seitan: Knead the seitan for around 60 seconds, but not any more than 90 because this will cause the texture to be too chewy and hard.
To make ahead of time: You can make the seitan around 3 days in advance and keep the dough in the fridge, wrapped in cling film. Then, simply bake and glaze as normal.
To steam: You can steam the vegan ham for an hour instead of baking it for the first 45 minutes. When done, simply glaze and bake covered and foil as usual.
To store/freeze: You can keep the ham in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it as individual slices. Simply place them in an airtight container or freezer-friendly ziplock bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow to thaw in the fridge overnight, and then reheat in the microwave for around 2 minutes.
Calories: 203kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 658mg, Potassium: 266mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 532IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 3mg