Trader Joe’s has permanently discontinued its popular Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast with Gravy.
Shoppers have flooded to social media to share the news about the absence of the popular vegan holiday centerpiece from shelves this year, with some customers calling their local stores to confirm if Trader Joe’s will be carrying the meat-free roast this year.
“I just called my local TJ’s, and they told me the Turkeyless Roast has been discontinued,” one Reddit user said. “The crew member wasn’t sure if there would be a replacement or similar substitute available this year, but they may get info closer to the holiday season.”
VegNews reached out to Trader Joe’s and the company has confirmed that the product is discontinued and they will not have a meat-free roast offering this year.
Why Trader Joe’s vegan roast was discontinued
The cult-favorite holiday product will not return to shelves this holiday season because “it wasn’t meeting expectations,” according to one Reddit user. Some commenters suggested the reason might be because the recipe changed at some point and it was never as good as the original.
However, store managers have told customers that a replacement could come to stores in 2024.
“The notes in the internal system do say we are sourcing a replacement for 2024, it just didn’t come together this year,” another Reddit user confirmed.
Trader Joe’s Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast featured tender, plant-based meat that was generously packed with wild rice and cranberry stuffing and served with a side of gravy. The product topped many of VegNews’ Best Products lists because of its taste and affordability.
So what are vegans to do for a meat-free holiday? Several Reddit threads are offering suggestions for alternative heat-and-serve vegan Thanksgiving roasts, and luckily the vegan food market is at a point where there are multiple options available—with more launching each year.
Vegan Thanksgiving roasts
One of the options customers suggest is Gardein, a brand that offers two Thanksgiving meal options: the Savory Stuffed Turk’y, which includes two individual-sized breaded Turk’y roasts filled with wild rice stuffing studded with tart cranberries; and the traditional Holiday Roast, which also includes the cranberry wild rice stuffing and a crispy-breaded exterior, but the package contains one large roast big enough to serve eight hungry people.
And then there’s Field Roast’s Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute, which features hazelnut-infused vegan meat stuffed with rosemary, candied ginger, and sausage stuffing, all encased in a layer of flaky puff pastry. The company’s other options, the Celebration Roast and Sage & Garlic Celebration Roast, offer different flavor notes.
Reddit users also suggest Tofurky, a veteran brand in the vegan roast market. Its signature Tofurky Holiday Roast launched in 1995 and has since built a loyal fan base. The savory roast is made of seasoned seitan and tofu and is filled with wild rice and breadcrumb stuffing and comes with a side of vegan gravy.
Tofurky fans can also opt for the seasonal Ham Roast with Amber Ale Glaze or pick up an entire holiday meal with The Feast, packed with an original Holiday Roast, gravy, and non-dairy chocolate brownie.
What’s wrong with Thanksgiving turkey?
Most people who celebrate Thanksgiving look at a turkey and see it as a symbol of celebration and tradition. Individuals who abstain from eating animals, however, see something else entirely. In truth, this traditional meal centerpiece is a dead bird who was slaughtered around six months old (up to 24 months if they’re a heritage, local, or free-range bird) and is one of 50 million killed just for Thanksgiving alone.
Regarding Thanksgiving turkeys’ impact on the environment, turkey farming presents similar issues to chicken farming. Industrial raising and slaughtering of birds leads to immense water and air pollution because of the collective waste of millions of animals.
Those who attempt to make a more sustainable choice by purchasing from small family farms also contribute a significant climate footprint, as these birds are often raised and killed in middle America, packaged, and shipped via planes, trains, and automobiles to homes across the country.
Buying or making a vegan roast is the best way to go because there is no such thing as a sustainable or ethically slaughtered turkey.