This vegan chicken is made with vital wheat gluten aka seitan. It’s super flavorful, high in protein and has the perfect ‘meaty’ texture.
So how’s this? You can make your own vegan chicken.
And it tastes…. like chicken. What is this sorcery?
Well, you’re not going to be confusing it with actual chicken, don’t worry about that.
But it has that perfect chewy seitan texture and it’s spiced and flavored to be similar to chicken, but not exactly.
And it’s actually really easy too. There are a couple of things to get the hang of, but on the whole, easy peasy.
I was inspired to make this vegan chicken recipe after making our vegan steak. The steak was so easy and so good, and I thought, well, vegan chicken can’t be too hard to make in that case. I was totally right.
In fact, it’s even easier to make this vegan chicken recipe because it has fewer ingredients and fewer steps than the steak does.
If you like vegan ‘meats’ then check out our vegan bacon, vegan sausages and vegan salami too. And for more vegan ‘chicken’ recipes, try our vegan butter chicken, vegan chicken nuggets, vegan buffalo chicken dip, vegan chicken noodle soup and vegan fried chicken.
How To Make Vegan Chicken
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- You start off by adding chickpeas, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, coriander powder, dried sage, vegan chicken spice (or vegan poultry seasoning) and dijon mustard to your food processor. Add vegan chicken stock.
- Then you just blitz that in the food processor until smooth.
Top Tip: I found it really easy to get vegan chicken stock and vegan chicken spice. The one I used is a local brand called Ina Paarman’s but if you read the ingredients of whatever you have locally you might be surprised to find that more than a few are vegan already.
- Pour it out into a mixing bowl and add Vital Wheat Gluten. This is what creates that amazing texture. It can also be called gluten powder or gluten flour in some countries.
- Mix it in quickly with a spoon and then right away get in there with your hands and knead it into a big ball. Don’t knead for too long. We’re talking kneading it just a few times in your hands until it goes from soft and sticky to just starting to get firm.
- Flatten it out on a cutting board and cut it into 4 pieces. Wrap each piece loosely in foil (they expand while they cook) and steam for 20 minutes.
- When they have finished steaming, let them cool for a few minutes and then unwrap them from the foil. You’ll notice they are nice and fat and puffed out.
- Slice them lengthways along the middle so that you have 8 vegan chicken fillets.
- Rub vegan chicken spice into the fillets. Just eyeball the amount. I just sprinkled on a little and used my hands to rub it in on both sides of the fillets.
- Add vegan butter to a frying pan – you can also use oil but I liked the taste of vegan butter for this – and fry them a few minutes each side until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
- I did it in two batches and my pan is quite large, so I reckon you will likely need to do two batches as well. Add more vegan butter to the pan before doing the next four fillets the same way. And then you’re ready to serve.
Vegan Chicken Recipe Q&A
How do you serve this seitan chicken?
Serve it with fresh lemon and chopped parsley. A little sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper is great too. Perhaps some vegan mayo as well.
If you want to cut them up so you have vegan chicken strips to put into a wrap or something like that, that works great too.
Can I make this plant based chicken gluten-free?
Unfortunately not this particular recipe. The vital wheat gluten is a crucial ingredient here and creates the texture. If you are gluten sensitive then try this recipe from One Green Planet for gluten-free vegan chicken.
The taste was good but they were quite tough and chewy. What did I do wrong?
You kneaded the dough for too long. You want to literally just knead it a few times, like a few flips over and presses with your hand until it forms a ball of dough that has just begun to firm up.
Pressing the dough down onto your board so you can cut it into four pieces also counts as ‘kneading’ in a sense, so you just want to tread lightly in the kneading department so that you get a good texture here that is not too chewy.
The opposite is also true, if your fillets end up too soft and you’d like the texture to be a little more firm, then knead the dough a little bit more the next time.
Storing and Freezing
Keep leftover vegan chicken in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week.
It’s also freezer friendly, however, it might be best to freeze them after steaming (let them cool first). Thaw them in the fridge, and then rub in the spice and fry them up as usual.
More Vegan ‘Meat’ and Seitan Recipes
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
- ¾ cup Canned Chickpeas (123g) Drained
- ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast (15g)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Dried Thyme
- ¼ teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Dried Sage
- 2 teaspoons Vegan Chicken Spice or Vegan Poultry Seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- ¾ cup Vegan Chicken Stock (180ml) or Vegetable Stock
- 1 ½ cups Vital Wheat Gluten (225g)
- Vegan Butter or Oil
- Vegan Chicken Spice to rub into fillets
- Fresh Lemon
- Fresh Parsley
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Add the chickpeas, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, coriander powder, sage, vegan chicken spice and dijon mustard to the food processor along with the vegan chicken stock and process until well mixed.
- Pour this out into a mixing bowl and add the vital wheat gluten. Stir it in with a spoon and then almost immediately get in there with your hands to mix it properly and knead just a few times. You just want it to go from soft and sticky to just starting to become firm.*
- Transfer to a cutting board and flatten it out before cutting into 4 pieces. Wrap these 4 pieces in foil (loosely, they expand while steaming) and place into a steamer and steam for 20 minutes.
- When they have finished steaming, let them cool for a few minutes and then unwrap them from the foil.
- Cut each piece lengthways down the middle so that you have 8 pieces.
- Sprinkle them with vegan chicken spice and rub in with your fingers.
- Heat some vegan butter in a pan and then fry the fillets in the butter, turning over regularly until browned and crispy on both sides. Depending on the size of your pan you will likely have to do this in two batches.
- Serve with fresh parsley and fresh lemon, and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper.
- It’s okay if there is a little vital wheat gluten left at the bottom of the bowl that doesn’t mix in. Definitely don’t knead too long just because you’re trying to get everything mixed in.
- I used 1 Tablespoon vegan butter per batch and I fried them up in 2 batches, you might want to use more or less, you can also substitute for oil but I really like the flavor blend with vegan butter.
- Leftover vegan chicken can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week. It’s also freezer friendly for up to 3 months. After steaming, unwrap them and let them cool completely and then freeze. Thaw in the fridge and then rub with spices and fry as usual.