This vegan chicken recipe is really easy to make and perfect for grilling, pan searing, baking, frying, and even pan braising! The awesome thing about this recipe is that it tastes just like chicken! I know a lot of people say that, and most times it turns out mediocre at best. I’m telling you right now, this vegan chicken is the truth!
What is Vegan Chicken?
Vegan chicken is a plant based alternative to real chicken designed to imitate the flavor and texture without the health concerns. A vegan chicken recipe is usually made from a variety of products, herbs, spices, and seasonings.
Vegan chicken is an awesome source of protein! Due to the ingredients in which vegan chicken is made of; you will receive much more nutrients from the imitation or plant based varieties. Vegan chicken can be made into filets, strips, nuggets, patties, and pretty much any other way possible!
Vegan chicken is just as versatile as the regular chicken product. You can bread it then fry it or bake it off. It can be marinaded then grilled off at a barbecue. It retains flavor just like normal chicken would! Use this this vegan chicken recipe in your soups, sauces, sandwiches, casseroles, or anything else you can possibly want.
So, what is vegan chicken? It is essentially regular chicken that way better health benefits!
What is Vegan Chicken Made Out of?
Like I said earlier, vegan chicken can be made from a variety of ingredients. These ingredients can range from jack fruit, chickpeas, tofu, textured vegetable protein and more. This vegan chicken recipe is made from vital wheat gluten, or “seitan”.
Vegan Chicken Recipe Ingredients
Vital Wheat Gluten
Technically not flour, but a flour-like substance that is super charged with gluten with virtually no starch. This is what makes this recipe have the texture and composition of that like regular chicken. This is the base of the recipe!
Chickpeas do a lot for this recipe! From flavor to texture to their nutritious contributions, they are vital in the success of this recipe!
Nutritional yeast provides a the crucial, “umami”, aspect to the flavor profile. This ingredient could be omitted, but I don’t recommend it. This seriously helps with the chicken flavor!
Almost every vegan chicken recipe has a plethora of different spices and seasonings. This recipe is no exception! Keep reading to find out!
Using this ingredient is better than using water because it adds flavor rather than diluting it. Use vegetable stock or, if you can find it, vegan chicken stock!
How to Make This Vegan Chicken Recipe
This recipe is so damn easy it’s not even funny! You begin by adding all the ingredients, except for the vital wheat gluten, into a food processor. Then you blend this mixture until completely mixed together and smooth. Then you transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Now it’s time to add the vital wheat gluten to the mixture. Once you add this mixture you will have to start using your hands because a dough will almost instantly form. You want to knead this mixture for 30 seconds to a minute. Yes, that is right. Don’t knead this mixture too much or it will become tough and won’t be pleasant.
Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and transfer onto a work surface. Flatten the dough and cut it into 5-6 pieces, then wrap each piece with aluminum foil loosely. Be sure they are truly wrapped loosely because the vegan chicken filets will expand during the next step.
Once all the pieces are wrapped, place them in a steamer or a steaming apparatus. Steam for about 25 minutes. Once they are steamed, remove them from the steamer and allow them to cool for 5 minutes at room temperature.
Finally, you can remove the chicken from the foil. The seitan chicken is now ready to be cooked in your other recipes!
Vegan Chicken FAQs
How long does this seitan chicken last in the fridge?
This vegan chicken recipe will last in the fridge for 5-7 days. If cooked, it will probably last a bit longer.
Can you freeze this recipe?
Absolutely, I would recommend freezing them after they are cooked though.
Can you make these vegan chicken filets gluten free?
Unfortunately, you can’t make this particular recipe gluten free. There are a bunch of gluten free vegan chicken recipes out there though!
Can I cook this recipe in a pressure cooker?
Yes, you can! A pressure cooker would get the job done quickly. Probably 8 to 10 minutes. You can use an instapot as well!
How do you reheat this recipe?
Reheat this recipe in a heat resistant dish in a microwave for about 2 minutes. You could also heat the filets up in a pan over low heat with a bit of oil.
Why make my own? When I can just buy it…
Honestly, buying vegan chicken is convenient and I usually have a package in my freezer just in case I don’t feel like making this recipe. On the other hand, vegan chicken is usually awfully expensive. This recipe, however, is not!
How Do You Use Vegan Chicken?
Use this recipe like you would regular chicken in any other recipe! There are endless possibilities with what you can do!
Here are some ideas on how to use this vegan seitan chicken recipe.
- Vegan Chicken Pot Pie
- Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala
- Vegan Chicken Salad
- Vegan Chicken Nuggets
- Literally anything else!
Vegan Chicken Tricks and Tips
Working the Seitan
Once you add the seitan if will form a very thick mixture rather quickly. Be sure that you work this mixture the right amount of time. Not enough time the end result will be too soft. To much time and the vegan chicken will be way to tough.
Work the seitan chicken dough with your hands. The mixture should go from soft to firm. Once you feel the dough start to get firm, that’s when you should stop. The outside of the dough will go from sticky to minimally tacky.
Resting the Seitan
Let the seitan dough rest for an hour in the fridge, and the glutens mature a bit in the process. As the dough is resting, the glutens still develop slowly forming a string-like texture. This results in a vegan chicken that can be broken down into strands. This kind of texture could be beneficial for tacos, soups, salads, and more.
Use a Vacuum Sealer
With this kind of recipe, quality is all about maintaining freshness. Using a vacuum sealer is the best way to make sure you get the best vegan chicken every time. Whether we think of it like this or not, this is a type of dough. You definitely don’t want this recipe exposed to air for too long.
Another reason to use a vacuum sealer with this recipe is for a completely different reason. This is honestly a vegan seitan chicken CHEAT CODE! Using a vacuum sealer, throw a tiny bit of your favorite marinades or sauces in with your filets and vacuum seal it up!
I know what you’re thinking… people do this with meat all the time! Your right, people use this method on regular meat to marinade because it works well. What you didn’t know is this! When vacuum sealing seitan it becomes extremely susceptible to marinades because of its structure. In layman’s terms, you can marinade it for a shorter period of time yielding way better results!
The End Result
Chances are you are making this vegan chicken recipe to use in another recipe. That is normally what I do any ways. A good way to develop more flavor throughout your recipes is to flavor this chicken thinking about how you are going to use it later on.
Let me explain. If you are making an Indian dish with this recipe, then throw a bit of Indian spices in your seitan dough. If you are going for an Italian vibe, maybe some Italian herbs will find a way into your recipe! Plan ahead and your food will be better for it!
The best way to store this recipe is after it has been steamed. This will ensure it doesn’t get mushy or gross in the fridge. Once cooked, store your vegan seitan chicken recipe in an airtight container or vacuum sealed for up to 7 days.
This recipe also freezes really well! Be sure you freeze the pieces after they are cooked in individual packages. I strongly recommend you vacuum seal these filets if you are freezing them. You can hold these filets in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, be sure to pull them a day before and thaw them in the fridge to avoid any unwanted moisture accumulating.
1 food processor
1 mixing bowl
1 chef knife
1 cutting board
1 rubber spatula
1 wooden spoon
1 steam basket
Vegan Chicken Recipe (Seitan Chicken)
- 1 Cup Chickpeas drained
- ¼ Cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp Dried Sage
- 2 tsp Celery Salt
- ½ tsp Paprika
- 1 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
- 1 Cup Vegetable Stock
- 1 ½ Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the vital wheat gluten and process until well mixed and a smooth puree has formed. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the contents into a large mixing bowl.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the vital wheat gluten. You will surely have to start using your hands soon after stirring it in.
- Knead the dough for a few seconds, only 3 to 4 times. This mixture will go from a sticky mess to starting to firm. This is when you stop.
- Let the dough rest for a few minutes then transfer it to a cutting board. Cut the dough into 8 to 10 pieces, then flatten the pieces to about an inch in thickness or so. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Once all the pieces are stamped down, wrap each filet loosely in aluminum foil. Then place them in a steam basket. Depending on the size of your basket, you may have to do this in batches.
- After you have steamed off the filets, let them rest for a few minutes at room temperature. Once rested, they are ready to enjoy or go into your next recipe!