Let’s get in the kitchen, pour ourselves a drink, and turn up the rebel music. We’re celebrating St Patrick’s Day vegan-style with this awesome Vegan Corned Beef!
For those of you who aren’t already familiar, corned beef & cabbage is a dish many Irish-Americans see as a quintessential component of their St Patrick’s Day traditions. During the weeks leading up to the feast day, we see this dish listed as a special at almost every Irish pub in Philly. So obviously, we had to make our own!
And make it we did…
Traditionally, corned beef is made by taking a fatty piece of beef and soaking it in a salty / vinnegar-y brine for several days. Because this brine often contains nitrites, the meat has a bright pink color for which it’s known. It’s then often glazed or rubbed with some fresh black pepper and baked low & slow. All this results in a tender, flavorful roast.
For our vegan corned beef, we kept a lot of the traditional methods and flavor but updated the ingredients. Once again, this recipe proves that one need not surrender one’s ethics in favor of one’s traditions. Aka, we’re gonna to show you how to make a totally kickass corned beef without anyone having to die.
Sounds pretty amazing, right? 😉
How to Make Vegan Corned Beef
First, you’ll make your seitan. This seitan recipe is a bit different from ones we have posted in the past, thanks in part to the AMAZING Connie from Connie’s RAWsome Kitchen on YouTube. If you’re looking for some serious outside-the-box cooking inspiration, she’s totally your girl! Here’s what we learned from Connie that helped make this dish incredible:
- Instead of chickpea flour or nutritional yeast, try adding some all-purpose flour to your seitan dough. It sounds totally weird, but it improves the texture by leaps and bounds. No more chewy, tough seitan!
- Once your seitan dough is made, wrap it in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge for at least an hour. I knowww this makes the process that much longer, but a little planning ahead can go a long way. After we tried this tip, our seitan texture rocked.
- Have FUN with it! Sometimes, especially when developing recipes starts to become your actual job 🙋, you forget that cooking is supposed to be fun and experimental. Mistakes and miracles are both going to happen when you pursue anything remotely creative (and I 100% believe cooking is a creative endeavor). But you can’t be so afraid of the mistakes that you stop trying new things. If you do that, you’ll never get to the miracles. And this vegan corned beef recipe is one of the miracles, btw. 😋
Connie also uses beets in many of her seitan recipes like we did in this seitan ham roast. That’s something I knew I definitely wanted to do for this corned beef. It’s the perfect way to add that iconic bright pink color to your vegan corned beef, sans the terrifying affects of nitrites. Seriously, Google search that stuff. It’s pretty frightening.
A Note for the Beet-Haters
But for my beet-haters out there, I feel it’s important to let you know that the end result does not at all taste like a beet. Trust me. I’m someone who has to hold her nose when cooking beets because the five-year-old picky eater in me just simply cannot. But I do know how healthy they are, so I’m super pumped I found a way to make them virtually unrecognizable but still attain some of the killer health benefits. Always a score with that one!
More Seitan Recipes to Try:
- Seitan Ham Roast with a Pineapple Mustard Glaze (a holiday favorite!)
- Thanksgiving Seitan Roast En Croute
- Vegan French Dip Sandwiches
Other Vegan St. Patrick’s Day Recipes:
- Vegan Irish Potato Candy
- Vegan Pot Pie Casserole
- Creamy Vegan Chicken(less) Stew
- Vegan Irish Cheddar + Whiskey Fondue
If you try this recipe for St Patrick’s Day or anytime, we would LOVE to know how it went and see your beautiful creations! You can rate the recipe and leave a comment below or tag us in your drool-worthy photos on Instagram. If you’re not already following, we’re @theplantpowercouple, with the ‘the’. 😉
We hope you enjoy this vegan corned beef recipe as much as we enjoyed creating it. Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Yield: 4-6 servings
Vegan Corned Beef that is as meaty and flavorful as any non-vegan version we've ever had but made from seitan in the slow-cooker! The gorgeous color comes from beet puree, a much healthier alternative that still kicks ass.
1 hr, 30 Prep Time:
5 hr, 30 Cook Time:
7 hrTotal Time:
3.7 based on 10 review(s)
- 2 15 oz cans sliced beets (NOT candied beets)
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground mustard
- 2/3 cup beet puree
- 1/3 cup refined coconut oil , melted*
- ground black pepper
- sea salt
- ground mustard
- ground allspice
- reserved water from canned beets
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup beet puree
- 1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped (optional)
- 2 - 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp allspice berries
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- First, get your beet puree ready: Open your cans and drain the water out of each of them, reserving it in a bowl for the brine. Then, add all the sliced beets to your food processor and blend until a puree is formed. Set this aside for now.
- Next, make your seitan dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten, flour, and all the spices. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in your melted refined coconut oil and 2/3 cup of the beet puree. Stir until combined. Then, get in there and knead the dough with your hands for about a minute.
- Cut a piece of plastic wrap into a large rectangle and sprinkle on a pinch of black pepper, ground mustard, ground allspice, and sea salt. Place the seitan dough on top of the seasonings and sprinkle the spices again on top of the loaf. Then, wrap the seitan dough tightly and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
- While your dough rests, get your brine ready by adding all the ingredients to your slow cooker and turn it on low. When time's up, take your seitan out of the fridge, unwrap it, and add it to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 2 hours, then flip and cook on high for another 2 hours.
- When the seitan has about 15 minutes left in the slow cooker, preheat your oven to 275F and grease a 9x9 baking dish. Sprinkle 1 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp sea salt into the bottom of the baking dish and carefully place your roast on top of it. Take about 1/4 cup of liquid from the slow cooker and pour it on top of the roast. Then, sprinkle it with another 1 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp sea salt.
- Pop that baby in the oven and bake at 275F for 45 minutes. Then, use a spatula to carefully flip the roast, pour another 1/4 cup of liquid from the slow cooker on top, and once again sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for another 45 minutes.
- When the time is up, allow your roast to cool for at least 20-30 minutes before you slice it. Serve with cabbage & boiled potatoes for an awesome traditional meal. Enjoy!
*It's super important here to use coconut oil labeled "refined" and NOT one labeled "unrefined" or "virgin". Refined coconut oil has none of the coconut taste. Also be sure to melt your coconut oil carefully on the stove or microwave before you measure it.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for up to 6 weeks!