Easy Vegan Ham Recipe (Gluten-Free)

bunny-shaped vegan ham on a plate with veggies and mac n cheese

♫ Listening to: Sunday by Sea Lemon ♫

This vegan ham is a gluten-free, vegetarian ham that’s quick and easy to make in under an hour. It’s a good recipe for a holiday meal or an everyday lunch or dinner. A vegan alternative to ham, it will help you sleep better at night knowing you didn’t harm an innocent little piggy just for a meal. I posted this on instagram, and all my friends were drooling and jealous of my dinner.

Table of Contents

(click the links below to skip to the section you’re looking for)

If you’ve had a vegan ham made with vital wheat gluten (seitan) and didn’t care for it, please don’t give up on vegan ham forever. That happened to me last Christmas when I ordered a (not the best) vegan ham from the Butcher’s Son. I was so confused because I remembered liking Honey Baked Ham in my pre-vegan (teenager) days. Luckily, I didn’t give up, and I’m so glad I didn’t, because this tofu ham recipe is soooo good.

This vegan ham has a sweetness reminiscent of a Honey Baked Ham, with a hint of smokiness that’s often present in certain cured meats. Now that I have finally perfected this vegan ham recipe, I’ll be making it for every holiday. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, National Save a Pig Day, what holiday am I missing?

Another upside of this recipe, compared to a seitan vegan ham roast, is that you can start and finish this recipe in under an hour. Seitan vegan ham roasts take 2-3 hours and some of that time is spent kneading. I don’t know about you, but I could go my whole life without kneading anything and be just fine, thanks. Spending 2-3 hours on a roast is fine if you’re making it only once a year, but I want to have this twelve times a year. It’s too good to only have it on special occasions.

This recipe makes 2 servings of vegan ham. Double or triple it to have leftovers.

What is Roasted Vegan Ham Made Of?

  • a 16-ounce (454g) package of organic high protein extra-firm tofu*
  • ¼ cup (60g) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) sunflower oil
  • 1 - 1½ teaspoons (6-9g) salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1/2 g) pepper
  • ½ teaspoon (1g) onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1g) garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons (5g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) paprika

How to make Vegan Ham Slices

prep time: 10 minutes | bake time: 40 minutes

Dollhouse Shortcut

To prep the day before, do every step through wrapping the tofu slices in a tea towel. Then place the tea towel in the fridge overnight. Continue the remaining steps the day you want to cook and serve the vegan ham. This vegan ham tastes best straight from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Score the 16-ounce (454g) block of extra firm tofu with 5 notches. To score a block of tofu, set the block of tofu on its narrow side, and make tiny cuts with your knife. Each cut should only sink about half an inch (a cm or 2) into the block. (Note. If you’re not using high protein tofu, you may only be able to get 5 slices from a block.)

scoring the tofu to make sure the slices are an even thickness

Slice the block of tofu into 6 slices, using the notches you scored in it to guide you.

slicing the tofu into 6 slices

Layer the tofu slices inside of a tea towel and set aside while you make the ham seasoning. A tea towel is the kind of kitchen towel that has no lint. A tea towel is made from a piece of cotton quilting fabric. Since you’re using high protein tofu, you’re already starting with a pretty dry block of tofu. But, the more liquid you can wick out of the tofu slices, the more vegan ham seasoning it will absorb. And the more marinade it absorbs, the more delicious it will be once it’s baked.

wicking the moisture out of the tofu

Whisk the vegan ham seasoning ingredients together in a bowl: ¼ cup (60g) maple syrup, 1 teaspoon (6g) liquid smoke, 1 teaspoon (5g) apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon (15g) sunflower oil, 1 teaspoon (6g) salt, ¼ teaspoon (12 g) pepper, ½ teaspoon (1g) onion powder, ½ teaspoon (1g) garlic powder, 2 teaspoons (5g) nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon (2g) paprika. You can use a little more salt (up to a teaspoon and a half) if you like a saltier ham.

making the ham seasoning marinade

Oil an oven-safe pan that’s big enough to lay all the slices of tofu in without needing to overlap them. I used a pyrex lasagna pan and an oil sprayer with sunflower oil. You can also use 2 brownie pans.

Unwrap the tofu slices from the tea towel gently, and lay each slice in the oiled pan.

Cover the tofu with no more than half of the ham seasoning. You can apply it using a silicone brush, if you have one. If not, you can use a spoon or your hands.

tofu ham covered in ham seasoning marinade and ready to bake

Set the pan in the oven on the middle rack. If you’ve doubled the recipe to make a double batch, you’ll need to use both oven racks. After your first 20-min bake, swap the vegan ham on the top rack with the vegan ham on the bottom rack so they’re on the opposite shelves for their second bake. This isn’t necessary, so if you forget this step, it’s no big deal.

Bake for 20 minutes if your oven has already reached 375°F (190°C) or 30 minutes if it’s still preheating.

Remove the pan from the oven.

Flip each piece of ham over using a spatula.

flipping the vegan ham slices halfway through the baking

Baste the new top side of the tofu slices with the rest of the ham seasoning.

basting the other side of the vegan ham slices with vegan ham seasoning

Bake for 20 more minutes.

vegan ham slices fresh from the oven

vegan ham slices on a plate with veggies and salad

How to Make Vegan Ham Bunny Shaped for Easter

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Score the 16-ounce (454g) block of extra firm tofu with 5 notches. To score a block of tofu, set the block of tofu on its narrow side, and make tiny cuts with your knife. Each cut should only sink about half an inch (a cm or 2) into the block. (Note. If you’re not using high protein tofu, you may only be able to get 5 slices from a block.)

scoring the tofu to make sure the slices are an even thickness

Slice the block of tofu into 6 slices, using the notches you scored in it to guide you.

slicing the tofu into 6 slices

Layer the tofu slices inside of a tea towel and set aside while you make the ham seasoning. A tea towel is the kind of kitchen towel that has no lint. A tea towel is made from a piece of cotton quilting fabric. Since you’re using high protein tofu, you’re already starting with a pretty dry block of tofu. But, the more liquid you can wick out of the tofu slices, the more vegan ham seasoning it will absorb. And the more marinade it absorbs, the more delicious it will be once it’s baked.

wicking the moisture out of the tofu

Whisk the vegan ham seasoning ingredients together in a bowl: ¼ cup (60g) maple syrup, 1 teaspoon (6g) liquid smoke, 1 teaspoon (5g) apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon (15g) sunflower oil, 1 teaspoon (6g) salt, ¼ teaspoon (12 g) pepper, ½ teaspoon (1g) onion powder, ½ teaspoon (1g) garlic powder, 2 teaspoons (5g) nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon (2g) paprika. You can use a little more salt (up to a teaspoon and a half) if you like a saltier ham.

making the ham seasoning marinade

Oil an oven-safe pan that’s big enough to lay all the slices of tofu in without needing to overlap them. I used a pyrex lasagna pan and an oil sprayer with sunflower oil. You can also use 2 brownie pans.

Unwrap the tofu slices from the tea towel gently.

Cut bunnies from each slice of tofu. You should be able to get 2 or 3 bunnies from each slice, depending on the size of your tofu and your bunny cutter. Place the bunny cutter as close to the edges as possible. If you’re making this ham for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you could use other shaped cookie cutters. Some options are snowflakes, snowpeople, pumpkins, or stars. If it’s for St Patrick’s Day, you could use a 4-leaf clover (shamrock?) cookie cutter. And there’s always heart cutters to show your year-round love for whomever you make this for.

cutting out bunny shapes from tofu slices

Transfer each bunny-shaped ham slice to the oiled pan. You can decide what you want to do with the leftover tofu scraps. You can add them to the pan with the bunnies. You can use them to make eggless salad. If you have a dog, I’m sure they would happily volunteer to eat the scraps as well. Or if your dog is picky, my dog has politely requested that you send your scraps to her.

all the bunny shaped tofu in the baking dish

Cover the tofu bunnies with no more than half of the ham seasoning. You can apply it using a silicone brush, if you have one. If not, you can use a spoon or your hands.

bunny-shaped tofu ham covered in ham seasoning marinade and ready to bake

Set the pan in the oven on the middle rack. If you’ve doubled the recipe to make a double batch, you’ll need to use both oven racks. After your first 20-min bake, swap the vegan ham on the top rack with the vegan ham on the bottom rack so they’re on the opposite shelves for their second bake. This isn’t necessary, so if you forget this step, it’s no big deal.

Bake for 20 minutes 375°F (190°C).

Remove the pan from the oven.

Flip each tofu ham bunny over using a spatula.

Baste this side of the tofu slices with the vegan ham seasoning.

Bake for 20 more minutes.

vegan ham fresh from the oven

Video Showing How I Made Vegan Ham

If you make this vegan ham recipe, snap a pic, post to instagram, and tag me @vegandollhouse. I love to see your creations! You can also message me through instagram or email me if you have any questions about the recipe.

Questions and Answers about Vegan Ham

How long does this vegan ham stay good?

I’ve eaten it for 5 days after making a big batch. Just store it in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Can my dog eat this vegan ham?

Just a tiny bit! Tofu alone is fine for dogs, but garlic powder and onion powder are both in this recipe and both are toxic to dogs. That being said, if you have a big dog (over 40 pounds, they can have up to ⅛ teaspoon of garlic or onion powder and be fine. But if you have a small dog, you probably already know that you need to be more careful. My dog, Macchiato, is 40 pounds so I gave her a bunny-shaped tofu ham.

macchiato trying the vegetarian ham substitute

What is vegan ham made of?

Usually, vegan ham is made with vital wheat gluten (also known as seitan). This makes it not suitable for those who avoid gluten. My vegan ham recipe is gluten-free and made with just tofu and ham seasoning.

Does it matter what kind of tofu I use?

High protein extra-firm tofu works the best for this recipe. I guess most kinds of tofu will work, but they won’t all be as good. The high protein extra-firm tofu has the best consistency, in my opinion. If you plan to cut out bunny shapes (or any other cute shape) from your tofu, you should certainly use the high protein tofu. The consistency of the high protein tofu allows it to hold together much better. I realize this kind is more expensive, so any extra-firm tofu will do if you’re on a budget. I’ve made it with both, and they both work. I just think the high protein one results in a more delicious vegan ham. I would like to suggest that you buy organic (or at least non-GMO) tofu. Soy is a frequently-genetically-modified food (with fish genes), making it non suitable for strict vegans.

Can I make this vegan ham recipe into a vegan ham roast?

Sure. If you prefer the shape of a vegan ham roast over vegan ham slices, I’ll briefly walk you through how to make one. Follow the technique I used for this tofurkey. Quadruple the vegan ham seasoning from this recipe, and use it in place of the turkey seasoning from the tofurkey recipe. Add half of the vegan ham seasoning to the crumbled tofu and use the rest to baste it with. Keep in mind that vegan ham roasts take a longer to bake than this recipe for vegan ham slices. The upside of making the vegan ham roast is that you don’t need the high protein tofu for that recipe. If you’d like for me to add a recipe for a vegan gluten-free ham roast to this website, please email me and let me know.

What do you serve this vegan ham with?

Here are some ideas for things I like to have with my vegan ham.

Is there a modification to make fewer or more ham slices at once?

If making 2 servings is not your ideal amount, you can double, triple, or cut this recipe in half easily. A brownie pan fits 3 slices of tofu ham, and a bread loaf pan fits 2 slices.

making fewer vegan ham slices in a bread loaf pan

making fewer vegan ham slices in a brownie pan

Do you have ideas for what to do with leftover vegan ham?

Sure! I have a couple of ideas.

One is to make vegan ham and cheese savory scones. This savory scones recipe is super easy to make, and everyone who has tried them LOVES them. I’m talking about meat eaters from the midwest, like asking for seconds.

There’s a vegan asian restaurant in the bay area called Garden Fresh that had the most delicious fried rice on their menu, and it had vegan ham in it. I think this would be a great way to use up this leftover ham. Just dice the leftover vegan ham slices into cubes and add them to fried rice. I was lucky enough to learn how to make fried rice from one of my college roommates, but if you’ve never made it, try this fried rice recipe from Sophia of Veggies Don’t Bite. Either add ham to her recipe, or replace the vegan eggs in her recipe with the ham.

Vegan Ham Ingredient Substitutions

  • Maple Syrup: If you don’t have enough maple syrup for this recipe, you can try substituting another sweetener. I’ve seen people use pineapple juice, applesauce, and different kinds of jams, preserves, and marmalades. I’ve personally used agave and date syrup. If you use sugar, look for vegan, raw, or organic, or brown sugar. Be careful of conventional granulated sugar, because it’s sometimes not vegan. If you do use sugar, you may need to blend the marinade instead of whisking it to make sure the sugar granules get mixed in well. This isn’t required, just recommended.
  • Liquid Smoke: If you don’t have liquid smoke, you can replace the liquid smoke and the sea salt in this recipe with 1 - 1 ½ teaspoons (6-9g) hickory smoked sea salt.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can replace it with 1 teaspoon (5g) of another type of vinegar.
  • Sunflower Oil: If sunflower oil is hard to find or not something you have in your house, you can use 1 tablespoon (15g) of safflower, olive, vegetable, or canola oil in its place. If you avoid oil, you can omit the oil in this recipe altogether.
  • Nooch: Nooch is what vegans call nutritional yeast. I buy nutritional yeast from the bulk bins at my local co-op. If you don’t shop at a store that sells nutritional yeast, you can omit this ingredient.
  • Paprika: You can use 1 teaspoon (2g) of any kind of paprika you have. Smoked paprika is preferable, but not necessary.

If you like this gluten-free vegan ham recipe, you might also like my gluten-free vegan turkey and my bunny biscuits.

☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

* I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook. I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to buy only organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter: when buying the organic (or non-GMO) version is the only way to ensure that an item is vegan.

This post may contain links to items I used when I made this recipe. This means that if you click on a button on one of those pages, you may go to a website (like Amazon) where you can purchase a product. Sometimes, I earn money from that purchase from the affiliate partner. I never recommend a product that I don’t use and endorse myself. Read more about this in my privacy policy.

☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

To preserve your privacy, I've decided to remove the commenting feature from this website. However, I still VERY MUCH want to hear from you. If you have any questions about this recipe or just general comments, please reach me via my email, Twitter, or Instagram.