Vegan “Chicken” is seitan based, perfectly flavored and surprisingly easy to make. Chewy, meaty and perfect for grilling, frying or using anywhere you would chicken! Only 9 ingredients & 1 bowl.

piece of vegan chicken being picked up

This vegan chicken is made from vital wheat gluten aka seitan. Seitan is a vegan meat substitute that is nothing like tofu. It’s chewy, meaty, high in protein and very versatile. It can be flavored in a variety of ways, and this particular recipe mimics chicken.

While you can sometimes find seitan to buy at the store, it can be very expensive. Plus, homemade tastes much better and is so easy to make! Check out my Vegan Pepperoni for another seitan recipe.

Grill it, sauté it in a little vegan butter, add a splash of fresh lemon juice, or slice and use in stir fries, curries and more!

cast iron pan with pieces of cooked "meat"

How to make it

  1. Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl: vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Stir.
  2. Pour in the broth (either vegan chicken flavor or vegetable is fine) and olive oil (2 tbs).
  3. Stir well until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead for just a minute, not too long, until it comes together. Break into 6 pieces and press gently into circles or similar shapes.
  5. Wrap each piece in foil. Place them all in a steamer basket and steam for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove them from the foil. Now you can fry, grill or slice and eat!

collage of how to make seitan chicken

How long will it keep?

It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 1 week, and the cooked pieces can also be frozen for 3 months.

Recipes to use vegan chicken in

sliced seitan meat on white background

piece of vegan chicken being picked up by tongs from pan
4.92 stars (60 ratings)

Vegan Chicken

Vegan "Chicken" is seitan based, perfectly flavored and surprisingly easy to make. Chewy, meaty and perfect for grilling, frying or using anywhere you would chicken!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings



  • In a large bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Stir to combine.
  • To the bowl with the dry ingredients, pour in the broth and oil. Stir well until the mixture starts to pull away from the bowl.
  • Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and knead with your hands for just a minute until it comes together, not too much. It will still be quite messy, not a smooth dough.
  • Break into 6 pieces and press gently into circles, or "chicken" shapes. They can all be different and they don't have to be perfect, just try to make them similar sizes so they cook evenly.
  • Wrap each piece in foil. Place all 6 pieces in a steamer basket with water on the bottom and steam for 30 minutes.
  • Remove carefully from the foil. Now you can either pan fry them in a little vegan butter or oil, grill them, or slice and use anywhere you would like. Enjoy!


  1. Makes about 1.5 pounds of seitan "chicken".
  2. It will keep for about a week in the refrigerator, and can be frozen for longer. Simply thaw completely before using. 
  3. If needed, you can leave out the olive oil.
  4. This "chicken" can be grilled, sautéed in a little oil or vegan butter, or sliced and used in a variety of recipes such as stir fries, soups, vegan pot pie and more!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 632mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 207IU | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. A tad confused..I’ve seen boxes of seitan…assuming the vital wheat gluten in recipe is the foundation for the seitan? Can boxed seitan be substituted?

    1. This recipe is essentially a version of homemade seitan, with specific flavors. You can not use store bought seitan for this recipe, but you could use it instead of this recipe as a meat substitute. Hope that helps!

  2. This was my first attempt at seitan and I was thrilled with how easy it was and the taste and texture! It was great in my pot pie for Thanksgiving. I’ll be making this regularly. Thanks for all your hard work! ?

  3. I made this for Thanksgiving dinner and it was delicious. It was my first time… very easy recipe and it tasted very good. I think I will let it marinate for an hour next time. Thanks for sharing! 

    1. I can’t say enough how GOOD this recipe is!!! So easy and the texture is PERFECT! We’ve made these twice now. We bread them and air fry the patties – they make one heck of a sandwich!

  4. Hi Nora! This looks absolutely amazing. I’m oil free, can I omit the oil from this recipe or is there a substitute I can use?

  5. All your recipes are 5 rating. Ive tried 4 different recipes for Seitan, Yours took the less time and tasted the best. Thanks again girl,keep on cooking.

  6. Nora I hate to be a bother but having never worked with switch before, can it be reheated? In a microwave. Because of the pandemic our dinner party will be on line (Zoom) and I will deliver the meals before hand. Thanks so much!

  7. Hi Nora,
    Planning a dinner party, some guests are vegan, some not. I wanted to make the same thing for everyone. My recipe is Chicken Normandy (or chicken and apples in a creamy apple Callbacks sauce). Do you think this would work to sub chicken thighs for the switch for those who don’t it meat? Thanks for taking the time to consider my question. Cindy

    1. Someone commented that they wrapped it in parchment paper and that worked. You can skip both but the pieces will probably stick together a bit.

  8. This looks amazing, I will definitely use this to make a dish my mom used to make called Tinga. A mexican dish that is amazing, ever since going vegan I’ve been craving it, but now with this I can finally give it a go. Been a long time fan of your recipes, thank you.

  9. I’ve tried other recipes, but this has become my go-to. It always results in great seitan that I can use with all kinds of dishes.

    It can be a bit salty depending on the broth, so I usually omit the salt.

  10. Thank you Nora for this recipe! I can already tell by all the ingredients that this will be delicious. I am a fan of seitan. I have never steamed mine before I usually boil first then fry or grill. I will definitely steam it 🙂

  11. Delicious! The flavor & texture is amazing! 
    Easy and quick to make. Grilled it on the BBQ. So good! 

  12. OMG Nora this seitan is such a winner. I just made it for the first time and despite forgetting to add the nutritional yeast it still came out great so I can only imagine how much better it will be when made correctly! The texture is spot on and not too chewy like the “chicken” I had been making and I love that this one doesn’t even require my blender or food processor.

  13. Hi Nora, I’m trying to figure out the best way to use this seitan in your baked tofu recipes. I’ve been sauteing it in a skillet. Would it work to toss it in oil and cornstarch and bake it after it steams? If so, for how long and at what temperature? Thanks!

    1. It might work, though I’m afraid the seitan would get too dry and hard baked like that. It works well for tofu because it gets it more firm, chewy and a little crispy. I probably wouldn’t bake it and instead sauté it, you could even coat it in cornstarch and fry in a bit of oil if you want.

  14. Hey Nora. I’m going to a bbq this weekend and I’m going to try this recipe for myself. How long does one cook these on the grill? Thanks.

    1. They will already be technically cooked after steaming, so just a few minutes on each side is enough. Enjoy!

  15. I’ve never commented on a recipe before- but it’s time. This was SO GOOD!! I made the recipe exactly as read, then seasoned as I would a chicken breast before placing on the grill. About 3-4 mins per side lathered in our fave bbq sauce. THANK YOU!! It’s been over a year since I’ve had bbq chicken and this tasted heavenly. Both my 4 and 5 year old boys loved it, too!  ????  I’d happily serve this to any meat eater and challenge them to not like it. Mmmm! 

  16. I’d love to try this recipe, but I don’t have a steamer basket and have never used one. Do you think I could just use a colander over a pot of boiling water? Or is there another method you’d recommend?

    1. You can actually roll up a few balls of foil and place them in the bottom of a pot, then use a heat safe smallish plate over the foil balls for a makeshift steamer! A colander in a pot with a little boiling water may work as well.

      1. Thanks Nora! A colander over boiling water worked great! Delicious recipe once again. Way easier than other seitan recipes I’ve made.

  17. I honestly didn’t think this would work. 🙂 But it did! I only have a small steamer (the stainless steel type that unfolds in a sauce pan), so I cooked them in two batches. Delicious! Immediately made veggie chowder with two of the patties. Enjoyed both the flavor and the texture. Eager to experiment with this recipe in curry and hash and maybe a chicken-salad sandwich or wrap. Thank you, Nora! Impressive results!

  18. Hi Nora, 
    I was wondering about adding chickpea flour instead of the white flour – just to throw in some nutrition. What do you think? I haven’t done enough seitan to understand how it all works. 

    1. I do believe you can just replace the flour with chickpea flour, many other recipes with seitan do this. Enjoy!

  19. I was wondering if you could use an instant pot to steam the seitan? If so, how long would it take?

    1. You probably could, but I’m not sure how long without testing it honestly. Maybe around 15 minutes.

    1. You could probably just skip the foil, though the pieces might stick to each other a bit. If you rub them with a little oil that should help!

    2. I don’t use foil, either. I’m going to wrap the seitan in baking parchment paper and tie with cotton string.

  20. This looks amazing and I can’t eat soy so this alternative is perfect.  I also can’t have gluten- is there a substitute I could use for the wheat?

    1. Aw shoot, unfortunately there is no substitute for vital wheat gluten here, it’s what makes the recipe work!

    2. if you are looking for alternative meat I don’t know anything that would mimic seitan or soy, but perhaps looks into beet or black bean burger patties. They are very flavorful and a great meat alternative.

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