Delicious Vegan Ham Recipe – Smoky And Savory Flavors

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Vegan ham Recipe, a plant-based marvel, mimics the classic flavors of traditional ham without any animal products. Crafted from soy, pea protein, or seitan, it’s seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices to replicate the savory, smoky taste. Ideal for sandwiches, festive dinners, or as a protein boost in salads, vegan ham offers a compassionate, eco-friendly alternative.

Why Does It Work?

  • Utilizes high-protein sources like soy and wheat gluten, ensuring your nutritional needs are met.
  • Infused with a blend of smoked paprika and maple syrup for a sweet and smoky flavor profile.
  • Perfect for a variety of dishes, from holiday roasts to daily sandwiches.
  • Supports a sustainable lifestyle by reducing reliance on animal products.
  • Easy to prepare, offering a homemade solution for meat-free cravings.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Finding the perfect vegan ham recipe can feel like a culinary quest, especially when aiming to capture the essence and satisfaction of traditional ham without any animal products.

I remember my journey, scrolling through countless recipes, seeking that balance of flavor and texture that would mimic and elevate the plant-based experience. The quest ended when I discovered a recipe that promised to deliver on taste, texture, and aroma, making it a standout in vegan meats.

vegan ham recipe

This recipe became a staple in my kitchen, turning skeptics into believers with its rich, smoky flavors and satisfying bite. It’s a testament to how creative and fulfilling vegan cooking can be, offering a delightful alternative for holidays, sandwiches, and more.

What Is Vegan Ham? 

Vegan ham is a plant-based alternative to traditional pork ham, designed to mimic its taste, texture, and appearance without using any animal products.

It’s typically made from soy protein, wheat gluten (seitan), peas, or jackfruit, seasoned with a mixture of herbs, spices, and sometimes liquid smoke to replicate real ham’s savory, smoky flavor.

Vegan ham can be bought ready-made or homemade, offering a versatile, cruelty-free option for sandwiches, holiday dinners, or any recipe for ham, appealing to vegans, vegetarians, and those reducing meat consumption.

Fact-Vegan ham significantly reduces environmental impact, requiring less water and land and producing fewer greenhouse gases than traditional pork ham, making it a sustainable choice for the planet.

vegan ham recipe

Recipe Directions 

  • Prepare the Tofu: Drain the tofu and wrap it in paper towels. Squeeze out the extra moisture with your hands. Break the tofu into chunks and transfer it to a food processor.
  • Blend: Add all the ingredients (except for the vital wheat gluten) to the food processor with the tofu. Process until the mixture is smooth, resembling a puree.
  • Add Gluten: Sprinkle the vital wheat gluten evenly over the top of the tofu puree in the food processor. Mix until just combined. It’s okay if there’s a bit of flour visible on top.
  • Knead and Shape: Turn the dough onto a counter and knead it 20-25 times. Then, form it into a loaf shaped like a ham.
  • Wrap and Steam: Wrap the dough tightly and completely in a large tin foil. Place it in a steamer insert over a pot filled with water, ensuring the water does not touch the steamer insert. Cover and steam for 1 hour, flipping the dough halfway through. Add more water to the pot if needed.
  • Preheat and Glaze: While the ham is steaming, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Glaze and Bake: Once steamed, carefully unwrap the ham and place it on a cutting board. Score the surface in a crisscross pattern and, if desired, decorate with whole cloves. Place the ham in a small casserole dish and pour the maple glaze over it. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the glaze.
  • Serve: Remove the vegan ham from the oven, spoon over more glaze, and let it cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve with your sides, such as vegan scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cornbread, roasted vegetables, or even pumpkin pie for dessert. It’s also perfect sliced thin for ham sandwiches.

Recipe Directions 

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 


  • Herb-Infused: For an aromatic twist, incorporate a mix of dried or fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and sage, into the dough mixture.
  • Spicy Kick: Add chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or finely chopped jalapeños for a spicy dough version.
  • Fruity Flavors: Blend dried fruits like apricots or figs for a sweet contrast in the ham.


  • Liquid Smoke: A few drops mixed into the dough or glaze can enhance the smoky flavor, mimicking the taste of traditionally smoked ham.
  • Wine or Beer: For a deeper flavor profile, substitute some of the liquid ingredients with a rich red wine or a dark beer.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Incorporate finely chopped nuts or seeds for added texture and nutritional value.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Toppings And Glazes

  • Maple-Mustard Glaze: A classic combination that offers sweetness from maple syrup and a tangy kick from mustard.
  • Pineapple and Cherry: Top the ham with pineapple rings and cherries before baking for a festive, sweet, and tart finish.
  • BBQ Glaze: Brush the ham with your favorite vegan BBQ sauce for a smoky, rich flavor.
  • Balsamic Reduction: Drizzle a balsamic vinegar reduction over the finished ham for a gourmet touch.
  • Orange Glaze: Mix orange juice, zest, brown sugar, and spices for a citrusy, sweet glaze.
vegan ham recipe

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Zucchini for Eggplant: Both have a similar texture and absorb flavors well, making them interchangeable in dishes like ratatouille or stir-fries.
  • Cauliflower for Broccoli: Cauliflower can replace broccoli in most recipes, such as soups, casseroles, and stir-fries, with a slight difference in taste.
  • Spinach for Kale: Spinach can easily substitute for kale in cooked dishes, though it cooks down more and is milder in flavor.
  • Sweet Potatoes for Butternut Squash: Both have a sweet, creamy texture when cooked, making them great substitutes for each other in soups, stews, and roasts.
  • Mushrooms for Meat: In vegetarian or vegan recipes, mushrooms (especially portobello) can replace meat due to their hearty texture and umami flavor.
  • Bell Peppers for Zucchini or Squash: In stir-fries, fajitas, or casseroles, bell peppers can replace zucchini or squash, adding a different flavor and crunch.
  • Carrots for Parsnips: Both root vegetables have a similar texture, with carrots being slightly sweeter. They are suitable for roasting, boiling, or adding to stews.
  • Tomatoes for Red Bell Peppers: In sauces or soups, roasted or skinned red bell peppers can substitute tomatoes, offering a different but complementary flavor profile.
  • Lentils for Ground Meat: For a vegetarian protein source in dishes like tacos, bolognese, or chili, cooked lentils work well as a substitute for ground meat.
  • Avocado for Butter or Oil: In some baking recipes or spreads, mashed avocado can replace butter or oil, adding healthy fats and moisture.

Quick Tip -Try incorporating smoked paprika, liquid smoke, or soy sauce for a richer, meatier flavor in vegan dishes. These ingredients add depth and a savory umami kick.

Vegetable Substitutions

Best Side Dishes

  1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts Their crispy edges and slightly bitter taste balance the sweetness of the ham glaze.
  2. Garlic Mashed Potatoes Creamy and rich, they’re a comforting classic that pairs well with the savory notes of vegan ham.
  3. Vegan Mac And Cheese A creamy, comforting side that adds a cheesy richness to the meal.
  4. Sweet Potato Casserole Its natural sweetness complements the smoky flavor of the ham.
  5. Green Bean Almondine The freshness of green beans with the crunch of almonds offers a light contrast to the hearty ham.
  6. Wild Rice Pilaf A flavorful and nutritious option that brings earthy flavors.
  7. Roasted Carrots And Parsnips Their caramelized sweetness pairs perfectly with the smokiness of vegan ham.
  8. Cornbread Soft and slightly sweet, cornbread is a comforting addition that soaks up flavors.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • As a Main Course: Slice the vegan ham and serve it as the meal’s centerpiece, accompanied by an array of side dishes.
  • In Sandwiches: Cut thin slices and layer them in sandwiches with vegan cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and your favorite condiments.
  • In Salads: Chop the ham into small pieces and toss it into salads for added protein and flavor.
  • With Breakfast: Serve it alongside tofu scramble, vegan pancakes, or a breakfast burrito for a hearty start to the day.
  • In Soups and Stews: Dice the ham and add it to soups, stews, or chilis for a savory depth.
  • As a Snack: Make vegan ham rolls filled with cream cheese and herbs for a quick and tasty snack.
  • On Pizza: Top your favorite vegan pizza with thin slices of vegan ham and various veggies.
  • In Pasta Dishes: Incorporate chunks of vegan ham into pasta sauces or baked pasta dishes for an extra layer of flavor.

Quick Tip -Don’t skimp on herbs and spices, and use vegan dishes. Sparingly, they add depth and complexity, transforming simple ingredients into culinary delights.

vegan ham recipe

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigerate: Store leftover vegan ham in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, wrap the vegan ham tightly in freezer-safe wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Reheat: Gently reheat slices or the vegan ham in the oven or microwave until warmed.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the vegan ham a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. This allows flavors to meld and develop, enhancing the overall taste. Simply glaze and bake before serving.
  • Slices: Pre-slice the vegan ham for easy serving and quicker reheating of individual portions.

Fact -Vital wheat gluten, a protein powerhouse, is the key ingredient in vegan ham. It offers a meaty texture and is an ideal base for plant-based meats.

Storage & Make Ahead

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Ingredients Ahead: Measure and prepare all your spices and flavoring ingredients before starting the recipe to streamline the cooking process.
  2. Use a Food Processor: To mix the dough ingredients quickly and efficiently, utilize a food processor to blend everything into a smooth consistency.
  3. Batch Cooking: Make a larger quantity of vegan ham and freeze in portions. This way, you have ready-to-use vegan ham for future meals, saving time on preparation.
  4. Pre-Make Glaze: The glaze can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator. Warm it up slightly before applying it to the ham.
  5. Steam and Bake Simultaneously: While the vegan ham is steaming, use that time to preheat your oven and prepare any side dishes, optimizing your kitchen time.
  6. Use Quick-Cool Method: If you’re in a hurry, place the steamed ham in a cold water bath for a few minutes to reduce cooling time before glazing and baking.
  7. Pre-Cut Decorations: If you plan to decorate the ham with cloves or make a crisscross pattern, prep these elements beforehand so they’re ready to use immediately after steaming.
Delicious Vegan Ham Recipe - Smoky And Savory Flavors

Delicious Vegan Ham Recipe – Smoky And Savory Flavors

Recipe by Julia

Vegan ham offers a delightful plant-based twist on a classic favorite. Made from ingredients like vital wheat gluten and flavored with herbs and liquid smoke, it mimics traditional ham’s savory taste and satisfying texture. Ideal for holidays or everyday meals, it’s a sustainable choice that doesn’t compromise on flavor or heartiness.

Course: Dinner
5 from 1 vote


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Ingredients List 

  • For Ham
  • 2 Tsp 2 Bouillon Soup Base (Vegan)

  • ¾ Cup ¾ Water

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Liquid Smoke

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Ketchup

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Toasted Sesame Oil

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Dijon Mustard

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Maple Syrup

  • 3 Tbsp 3 Nutritional Yeast

  • 1 Tsp 1 Salt

  • 1 Tsp 1 Granulated Garlic

  • 1 Tsp 1 Granulated Onion

  • ¼ Tsp ¼ Ground Cloves

  • 1 Pack 1 Extra Firm Tofu  (400 grams)

  • Red Food Colouring (optional for color)
    A few drops

  • Cups Vital Wheat Gluten

  • Whole Cloves (for decorating- optional)
    As needed

  • For Glaze
  • 1 Tsp 1 Better Than Beef Bouillon

  • ½ Cup ½ Water

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Brown Sugar, Packed

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Maple Syrup

  • Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 3 Tbsp 3 Dijon Mustard

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare the Tofu
  • Drain the tofu and wrap it in paper towels.
  • Squeeze out the extra moisture with your hands.
  • Break the tofu into chunks and add it to a food processor.
  • Blend Ingredients
  • Add all the listed ingredients for the ham to the food processor, except for the vital wheat gluten.
  • Process until the mixture is smooth, like a puree.
  • Add Vital Wheat Gluten
  • Sprinkle the vital wheat gluten evenly over the puree.
  • Mix until just combined; if some flour is visible on top, it’s okay.
  • Knead and Shape
  • Transfer the dough to a counter.
  • Knead 20-25 times, then form it into a ham-shaped loaf.
  • Steam
  • Wrap the loaf tightly in a large piece of tin foil.
  • Place it in a steamer insert inside a pot filled with water (ensure the water doesn’t touch the steamer insert).
  • Cover and steam for 1 hour, flipping halfway through. Add more water if necessary.
  • Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Glaze
  • While the ham steams, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Glaze and Bake
  • Carefully unwrap the ham and place it on a cutting board.
  • If desired, score the ham in a crisscross pattern and decorate it with whole cloves.
  • Place the ham in a small casserole dish and pour over the maple glaze.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, basting with the glaze every 10 minutes.
  • Serve
  • Remove the ham from the oven, spoon over more glaze, and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Slice and serve with your choice of sides or use in sandwiches.
  • Equipment List
  • Food Processor
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Kneading Surface (Counter or Cutting Board)
  • Tin Foil
  • Steamer Pot with Insert
  • Oven
  • Small Casserole Dish
  • Whisk
  • Basting Brush
  • Cutting Board
  • Sharp Knife


  • Press Tofu WellRemoving as much moisture as possible ensures a firmer, meatier texture.

  • Don’t Overmix: Mix until combined to prevent toughness after adding vital wheat gluten.

  • Steam Before Baking:
     Steaming first helps solidify the structure, enhancing the ham-like texture.

  • Flip Carefully: Use tongs or gloves when flipping halfway through steaming to avoid burns.

  • Customize Glaze: Feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your preferences.

  • Scoring Helps: Scoring allows the glaze to penetrate deeper, enriching the flavor.

  • Rest Before Slicing: A brief rest allows the ham to firm up, making slicing easier.
vegan ham recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Vegan Ham Made Of?

Vegan ham is primarily made from high-protein plant-based ingredients such as vital wheat gluten (the main ingredient in seitan), soy protein, or pea protein. It’s seasoned with various spices, herbs, and flavorings like liquid smoke, maple syrup, and nutritional yeast to mimic the taste and texture of traditional pork ham.

Is Vegan Ham Healthy?

Vegan ham can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet, offering a good source of plant-based protein and essential nutrients with lower levels of saturated fat and no cholesterol compared to traditional pork ham.

However, its nutritional value can vary based on the specific ingredients and preparation methods, so it’s best to consume it as part of a varied diet.

vegan ham recipe

How Do You Store Leftover Vegan Ham?

Leftover vegan ham should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, lasting up to 5 days. For longer storage, you can also freeze it wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can Vegan Ham Be Frozen?

Yes, vegan ham can be frozen. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer bag or airtight container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

How Do You Serve Vegan Ham?

Vegan ham is a versatile meal that can be served in various ways. Slice it thinly for sandwiches, dice it for salads, or serve it as the main course with your favorite side dishes. It’s also delicious when glazed and baked, creating a centerpiece suitable for special occasions or holiday meals. For the best flavor, consider basting it with a glaze and reheating it in the oven before serving.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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