Trying Something Different This Thanksgiving

I’ve never been a fan of turkey so, instead, every year for the past several years I’ve roasted a whole chicken for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s gotten boring though — there are only so many ways you can roast a chicken and I feel like I’ve exhausted all of the options — so I decided to serve a meatless entrée for this Thanksgiving. No, I’m not going vegan. I’ve toyed with the idea but I enjoy the flavor and texture of meat too much to give it up. That goes mostly for pork and red meat because I have yet to find any vegan options that can believably mimic their textures and flavors. I think it’s much easier to fake poultry; for example, Morningstar Farms makes a vegan chicken patty that I think is as good as the real thing.

I did some research on meatless Thanksgiving options and the top results were stuffed vegan roasts by the brands Tofurky, Gardein, and Field Roast. People seem to enjoy the wild rice stuffing in Tofurky a lot but the roast itself, in my opinion, doesn’t look very appetizing. Field Roast’s vegan roast has a tasty looking flaky crust but based on the YouTube reviews I watched the bread stuffing didn’t look that great. The most appetizing vegan roast to me appeared to be Gardein’s with its outer layer of breadcrumbs and wild rice stuffing but a few people called the stuffing gummy. Then I came across a couple of reviews for Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Stuffed Roast with Gravy ($9.99) which some say is as good if not better than the Gardein roast (a few people are convinced that they’re exactly the same just rebranded). You know me, I love Trader Joe’s so I chose their roast. It also happened to be the easiest to find for me. No one carries Gardein where I live and the only store that sells Tofurky or Field Roast products near me is Whole Foods which is much farther away from me compared to Trader Joe’s.

We’ve still got a week to go until Thanksgiving, so right now the Trader Joe’s roast is chillaxing in the freezer but I wanted to mention it on the blog in case anyone else has also been thinking about serving something else besides poultry this Thanksgiving. I don’t know if Trader Joe’s vegan roast can be found year round or if it’s a seasonal item but if it’s the latter it’s probably a good idea to buy one now if you’re interested rather than wait until the last minute. From personal experience, Trader Joe’s seasonal items tend to sell out fast. I found mine at the back of the store next to the tofu in the refrigerated section.

According to Trader Joe’s:

You may not want “less” turkey—you may want no turkey. Without doubt, you still want an impressive, center-of-plate, delicious, hearty option. That’s what you get in Trader Joe’s Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast with Gravy. Made with seasoned soy protein and organic ancient grain flour, it’s touted for its remarkable texture and flavor. Rest on our roasts, we will not. We’ve also included bursts of cranberries in the wild rice stuffing, and coated the roast in crispy breading seasoned with herbs and red pepper flakes. This vegan entrée is best-in-class, and we’re selling it for the best-in-town-value of $9.99 for the 40 ounce package. Find this item in our deli section.


Turkey-less Roast: Water, Soy Protein Isolate, Vital Wheat Gluten, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Yeast Extract, Organic Ancient Grain Flour (KAMlJIW Khorasan Wheat, Amarannth, Millet, Quhum), Potato Starch, Modified Cellulose, Com Starch, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Dehydrated Garlic, Organic Cane Sugar, Color Added, Onion Powder, Pea Protein, Carrot Fiber, Beet Root Fiber, Extractives of Paprika and Turmeric.

Stuffing: Water, Onions, Stuffing Crumbs (Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten, Sugar, Salt, Yeast), Celery, Wild and Brown Rice, Cranberries, Organic Apple Puree, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Yeast Extract, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt, Alcohol*, Vinegar), Natural Flavors, Modified Cellulose, Sea Salt, Spices, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder.

Breading: Rice Flour, Wheat Flour, Modified Com Starch. Wheat Gluten, Sugar, Salt, Spice, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Yeast, Baking Powder, Malted Barley Flour, Ascorbic Acid (added as a dough conditioner).

Seasoning Rub: Red Bell Pepper Flakes, Spices, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil.

Gravy: Water, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Com Starch, Yeast Extract, Soy Sauce {Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt, Alcohol*, Vinegar), Natural Flavors, Vital Wheat Gluten, Organic Miso Paste (Organic Soybeans, Organic Rice Koji, Sea Salt, Water, Koji Spores), Soy Protein Isolate,Spices, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Soy Lecithin,Extractives of Turmeric.