Homemade Tofurkey

tofurkeyThanksgiving is upon us. It’s a time to remember the good fortune that the pilgrims had, surviving the hard winter and making it through, with the help of the Native Americans, to feast and celebrate life. Pretty inspiring, isn’t it. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not just for the inspirational stuff, but because the food is so good.

I have been thinking about what to make this year, and most of my old recipes don’t need to be changed in order to have the meal that we are use to having. The one thing that is different – there will be no turkey this year. That’s OK. Instead of Turkey, will be having Tofurkey. You can buy tofurkey in health food stores, but what’s the fun in that? Here’s how you can make it for yourself.

Homemade Tofurkey

By November 16, 2010

This is a Thanksgiving treat.

  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Cook Time : 1h 30 min
  • Allergens :



  • Process tofu, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and soup powder in a food processor until smooth.
  • Line strainer with cheese cloth or thin towel.
  • Pour tofu mixture into lined strainer and cover with cloth.
  • Put weight on top of cloth and put tofu mixture in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (I left it overnight.)
  • Take mixture out of the refrigerator and scoop out the middle.
  • Fill the middle with stuffing and use the tofu that you scooped out to seal in the stuffing.
  • Carefully take your tofurkey out of the strainer and place in a baking dish.
  • Mix together the rest of the ingredients and baste tofu with the mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes, basting often.

I won’t lie to you. It doesn’t really taste like turkey. It looks an awful lot like turkey, it has an excellent texture, and it is really yummy, but it isn’t turkey. I think that’s a good thing.

I try not to do this too much, but I can’t help myself. I need to talk about the whole vegan thing. I find it a bit ironic to celebrate a holiday of freedom with a bird that has been genetically modified so much that it can’t reproduce without man’s help. It saddens me to think of all the birds that are produced on factory farms in the name of freedom. I really don’t think that’s what the pilgrims had in mind. We can do better.

If you must have turkey on Thanksgiving, there are places that you can buy them from that are more humane than the ones in your local supermarket. Think about looking for Heritage Turkeys. These are turkey breeds that have not been modified to grow fast and furiously. I haven’t had any myself, but they are also suppose to taste really good.

No matter what you choose to do, I hope that you have a very happy Thanksgiving. Let’s hear it for freedom!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

9 Responses to Homemade Tofurkey

  1. Miryam Blum

    Your blog posts are very inspiring. Pesonally, I feel better when I eat vegetarian dishes, but most of the rest of my family is not interested in giving up meat… yet. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Rena

      Thank you so much! I never take an all or nothing attitude towards food. If people aren’t ready for alternatives to supermarket meat and chicken, there are still things that they can do to limit the amount of animal products that they consume. For instance, if you were to switch vegan pancakes for your regular ones or make egg-less cookies, your family probably wouldn’t even notice the difference. Even small steps are important.
      I don’t think that I’d start with tofurkey if they are against it, but if you don’t want to eat meat, you can have them make the turkey this year. They may be more interested in going veg with you if they have to do the work themselves :)
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. toby

    I have to be honest – I enjoy vegetarian food, and I imagine that I’ll probably go vegetarian myself in a couple of years, but this is not a recipe I have a strong urge to try. That said, this was a great post! I found it moving, and quite convincing! But mostly convinced to just skip the turkey altogether and have some lentil pie :)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Rena

      I’m so glad that you liked the post, even if you weren’t all that crazy with the recipe. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I felt I had to make something turkey-ish. What makes this fun is the stuffing. I made a huge recipe of it and we had it in and out of the tofurkey. I usually like to keep things simple. This recipe was a lot more work than I’m use to. I doubt that I’ll do it more than once a year.

      Skipping Turkey definitely works. I was always much more into the side dishes anyway, which, at least in my house, were more or less vegan to start with. You know, sweet potato pie, green beans with almond slivers, mashed potatoes with peas and carrots.

      Good luck in becoming vegetarian. It’s easier than you think!

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Marsha

    Hi Rena,

    I am so happy to have discovered your blog. I am a vegetarian and my husband isn’t. So I pretty much make 2 meals every day, except when we do pasta. I like your recipes not only because they fulfill the kosher requirement and are healthy, but are also lower in calories than many recipes.


    • Rena

      I’m so glad that you are enjoying the blog. I have a lot of fun cooking/writing it. I try to come up with healthier solutions whenever I can. You wouldn’t know it from my last post on caramel apples. :)

      I know what you mean about making different food for different people. We’ve got all kinds in my house. On Shabbat, the kids like to have chicken, so I taught my son (nearly 18 years old) to make it. That way I feel a lot less like a short order cook. It works for us.

      We seem to eat a lot of pasta too. Even when people are less willing to eat other foods, they can all agree on spaghetti. It’s a food that everyone in the house can make, so I get the night off when we have it.

      Thanks so much for your kind words. It made my day!

  4. Marsha

    I plan to make this and I was wondering what kind of tofu you use? Is it regular, firm, or extra firm??? Thanks…happy passover to you and yours!


    • Rena

      Hi Marsha!

      They only sell one type of tofu here (at least that I’ve ever seen). I think that it would correspond to firm or even extra firm. Not for this recipe, but I’d really like to try using silken tofu. I’ve seen a lot of interesting recipes that use it. Hopefully they’ll get it here one day.

      Have a very happy and healthy Passover!

  5. Pingback: Zucchini Souffle (aka Kishuim Kugel) - Vegan Start — Vegan Start

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *