Here is my step-by-step guide on how to make the best vegan chicken seitan ever! If this is your first time making homemade seitan, don't worry! It's way easier than it sounds. This easy shredded vegan chicken seitan recipe is made up of simple ingredients and comes together in just a few steps.
Seitan has a neutral flavor which makes it perfect for coating in your favorite sauce. For any recipe that calls for chicken, use this instead! It's a super delicious and versatile way to get in some plant-based protein.
What is Seitan?
Seitan also called Wheat Meat has been around for centuries. It is made up of gluten but is nothing like bread! If you have purchased items in the grocery store that tasted meaty but were plant-based, for example, deli slices. That is seitan!
Seitan can be made by washing gluten which is basically where you rinse away the starch leaving the pure gluten or you can simply buy vital wheat gluten at the grocery store (which is the easier way!)
Where can I find Vital Wheat Gluten?
Vital wheat gluten flour is widely available in most grocery stores. It is typically in the baking aisle where they have all the flour. Bob's Red Mill is the brand I use. You can also find it online. I found that Vita Cost had the best price.
Does seitan taste like chicken?
I don't want to lead anyone on by saying this will fool a meat eater because it won't. Seitan is seitan, not a chicken but the way we are flavoring it in this recipe is with poultry seasoning and I find that this particular recipe works well because it is meaty in texture and it's neutral in flavor so that it will pair well with a lot of meals that typically would include chicken. So, save a chicken and eat seitan!
This recipe for chicken seitan is steamed. I use a very inexpensive steamer basket that sits in the pot so you can use the pot and the lid that you already have. You can use any steamer that you have or simmer in broth until cooked.
- Vital Wheat Gluten
- Silken Tofu
- Nutritional Yeast
- Poultry Seasoning
- Vegetable Broth
- Vital Wheat Gluten: There is no substitution for vital wheat gluten that will work. Bread flour and plain flour like all-purpose flour are not the same things.
- Siken Tofu: I have tried this recipe with chickpeas as well for a soy-free version and it was delicious but a little chewier than I preferred. It can be done but I recommend kneading for only 3 minutes. I have also experimented with using chickpea flour for seitan in the past but not with this specific recipe.
- Poultry Seasoning: I used a poultry seasoning blend which is a popular chicken seasoning but you can make your own or add in dried herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary.
- Miso Paste: I love the addition of miso paste but simply leave it out and add more salt.
- Vegetable Broth: You can substitute this with vegan chicken broth.
How to Make This Recipe
Making the Chicken Seitan Dough:
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the silken tofu, miso paste, and vegetable broth in a blender and blend until smooth.
Kneading the Dough:
Stir together the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients and then knead the dough for 3-5 minutes until you have a smooth ball of dough.
You can do this by hand which is typically what I do or use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. I don't recommend a food processor as the dough could get tough and break the blade.
The kneading process can be a bit of a learning curve and it may take a few times to get the perfect consistency for your own preference if you've never made it before
Please Note: The seitan will turn out softer and could risk being gummy if you don't knead enough. But will be too chewy and tough if you knead too much. My preference is 3-4 minutes. You'll know it's done when the dough appears stretchy.
How to Steam Seitan
Steaming is my cooking method of choice for this particular chicken seitan method. I haven't tried baking it, simmering it in broth or using an instant pot so I can't guarantee those methods would work for this recipe. If you try them, let us know below. Just note the cook times will be different.
Divide the seitan dough into two pieces and wrap each in a piece of foil. Add some water to a pot over high until boiling. Place the steamer basket into the steamer pot and cover it with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Steam for 45 minutes then flip the foil-wrapped seitan over with kitchen tongs and then steam for another 45 minutes. Check occasionally to ensure the water hasn't been absorbed.
How to Shred Seitan
This particular recipe is designed to be ripped into shreds instead of cubed or cut into strips. I haven't tested this method yet in patty form but I'll report back with more information soon. For now, I recommend shredding the cooked seitan.
Remove the seitan from the steamer basket and allow it to cool before shredding. Simply use your hands and rip the pieces apart (see photo for reference). I recommend shredding all of the seitan before storing leftovers. Once it's cold it'll be a bit tougher to pull apart.
How to Use Vegan Chicken Seitan
The beauty of seitan is that it is a blank canvas. These seitan shreds can truly be added to anything and everything. Pick a carb, a vegetable, and a sauce and you've got a great meal!
Here are some ideas on how to use your shredded vegan chicken:
- Brown it on a pan with a bit of oil and add your favorite sauce. I love serving this with peanut sauce or my sweet chili sauce.
- Add it to burrito bowls. I like to brown it in oil and toss in chipotle peppers in adobo, seasonings and a splash of maple syrup (pictured below).
- Brown it in a pan or an air fryer and add seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika etc then add it to sandwiches, salads or wraps.
- Use in pasta or soups or stir fry
- Make vegan fried chicken or vegan chicken nuggets
- Add to burritos or tacos and top with your favorite salsas!
- Toss it in bbq sauce and serve with corn, mashed potatoes and green beans.
Tips & Tricks
Why is my seitan spongy? This tends to happen when it's boiled and not simmered. I used to make this mistake a lot. If you choose to boil the seitan, make sure the heat has been lowered to a simmer so you can avoid this.
Why is my seitan chewy? Seitan tends to be tougher in texture than soy-based protein would be but to make it less chewy or tough simply cut down on time spent kneading. If you knead the seitan too much it will be tougher and chewier BUT if you don't knead it enough, it will be too soft and gummy. I talked more about this above but I think 3-4 minutes is the perfect amount of kneading.
My dough is too wet!? If you proceed with a dough that is too wet then it has the potential to come out spongy which we don't want. Simply add more vital wheat gluten 1 tablespoon at a time. Your dough should spring back when touched.
What texture should the seitan have? The texture should be meaty and chewy but not tough or gummy.
How can I make seitan crispy? After you've steamed and shredded your vegan chicken simply heat a frying pan on medium-high heat with a splash of vegetable oil and brown on all sides until crispy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes! Seitan is very high in protein and low in fat and carbs and contains important minerals.
Depends on the recipe but seitan typically has 15-20 grams of protein in a 3 ounce serving.
Unfortunately, seitan can not be made gluten-free because vital wheat gluten is pure gluten. But I have tons of gluten-free recipes on my blog that I hope you enjoy instead!
Store in the fridge for 7-10 days or freeze. Simply, thaw in the fridge before using.
More Plant-Based Meats You'll Love:
- How to Cook with Tempeh (The Ultimate Guide)
- The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Tofu
- Best Tofu Ground Beef (Vegan Beef Crumbles)
- Easy Vegan Bacon Bits
- Best Vegan Breakfast Sausage Patties
How to Make Vegan Chicken Seitan
- 1 ¾ cup Vital Wheat Gluten
- ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ¾ cup Silken Tofu
- 1 cup Vegetable Broth
- 2 teaspoons White Miso Paste
- Whisk together the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, salt, poultry seasonings, onion, garlic and black pepper in a large bowl.
- Blend the silken tofu, miso paste and vegetable broth until smooth.
- Pour the wet mixture in to the dry and mix together with a spatula.
- Dump the mixture on a clean surface and knead for 3-5 minutes until the dough is stretchy and the gluten has developed.
- Divide the dough in to 2 even pieces and wrap in foil and place in a steamer basket.
- Add some water to a pot over high until boiling. Place the steamer basket in to the pan and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Steam for 45 minutes then flip the foil wrapped seitan over with kitchen tongs and then steam for another 45 minutes. Check occasionally to ensure the water hasn't been absorbed.
- Remove from steamer basket and allow to cool before shredding. Use your hands and rip the pieces apart (see photo for reference). I recommend shredding all of the seitan before storing leftovers. Once it's cold it'll be a bit tougher to pull apart.
- Use the seitan however you'd like and store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.