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. Thanks Nora.
    Also mine tasted quite wheat like when I made it. I had to use veg stock rather than broth could this be the issue?. I also used it whilst it was hot so I dont think the texture was quite right either. The wheat gluten seemed to “puff up” when the hot stock hit it.
    Will try again with any tips as the reviews are amazing so it must be me doing something wrong.

    1. Oh I see, yes I think using hot broth would cause the texture to be off. I’m not sure why it tasted so much like wheat, but the flavor or lack of flavor in the stock you used could have caused it. Or the brand of vital wheat gluten I suppose.

  2. I’ve been making this every other day since becoming soy intolerant. Super delicious and versatile, I love changing up the seasoning and using it for all different meals and snacks! It’s got so much protein which is amazing. Thanks so much for this recipe 🙂

  3. This was really delicious chicken.  To serve it I marinaded it in a pineapple sauce O/N and grilled it on the bbq.  I’m excited to try it in a butter chicken Sauce next.  

    1. Yum, that sounds delicious Tammy! I’m glad you like the vegan chicken. Thanks for sharing your comments and ideas!

  4. Amazing. We turn to Nora over and over for excellent recipes (her brownies are so good). The seitan was so easy to make and so delicious! My girlfriend and I were “tasting” the seitan until, oops, a whole piece was gone before we even made anything with it. Tastes excellent with ketchup straight out of the steamer if you want to mimic the experience of eating chicken nuggets as a child, haha.

    1. Hi Shannon. Thank you for sharing your wonderful review! I’m glad you enjoyed ‘tasting’ the vegan chicken! That’s fun! I am thrilled that you use, and enjoy, my recipes – thank you! Happy cooking!

  5. I helped make Seitan but never on my own so this was my maiden voyage. I have used this one batch so far for Terriaki chicken and last night quesadillas. It’s very versatile and I plan on figuring out how to make this in the instant pot but for this route, I did a makeshift steamer as I didn’t have one. I’m sure this will be a go-to recipe of mine going forward.

    1. Hi Kimberly. Thanks for sharing your review and comments! Great ideas on using the vegan chicken! I’m really glad you like the recipe and will be using it as a go-to!

  6. I had never even heard of seitan a month ago, and am still not sure how to pronounce it, but this came out great. I’m Bookmarking your page, Nora. Thanks!

  7. Hello Nora,

    Thank you for this recipe! I just made my patties, and will refrigerate them and bake them tomorrow. How long would I bake patties before eating?

    1. Have you already steamed the patties, or did you just shape them and refrigerate? If you already steamed them, then they are cooked, you could just bake them for 15-20 minutes I guess, but I usually sauté them in a pan. If you haven’t steamed them, I would do that. I haven’t played around with fully cooking them in the oven without steaming first. Hope that makes sense!

  8. I made this for the first time today.  Great taste. I used vegan chicken bullion instead of water  and TJs chickenless seasoning in place of salt.   It was easy to make, tastes great.  

    1. I haven’t tried it, but you might be able to. I honestly don’t know how long it would take for sure, maybe around 20 minutes at high pressure. To make a steaming surface without an insert, place a few balls of foil in the bottom of a large pot. Then place a heat safe plate on top of the foil balls and use that as your surface. Hope that helps!

    1. I’m honestly not sure, I’ve never tried it. But if your goal is for it to be gluten free, it won’t work because you have to use vital wheat gluten flour, or the recipe won’t work.

  9. Has anyone tried barbecuing this?  I love this recipe and so does my non vegan partner.  I’m going to try on Sunday to barbecue it ??

    1. I haven’t tried for this recipe, but it would likely work. I would wrap them in foil and bake for probably 60 minutes or so.

  10. I want to make this tomorrow, and plan on using my ninja foodi to steam it, since I don’t have a steamer basket. Do you think that would have any effect on the cook time? I don’t want to mess it up! 

    1. Sorry, I’m not familiar with a ninja foodi, so it’s hard for me to know! I don’t think it will affect the cook time, but it might.

  11. I am so happy I can make seitan from scratch now. Who knew it was so easy? Nora did. I cut the pieces in 4, fried in a little oil and served with vegan gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc. My grown son loves this kind of meal.

    1. Hi Cheryl. Yahoo! Your meal sounds delicious! I’m glad you love the vegan chicken recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Ummmm, can I say WOW?!

    Seriously, this is GOOD seitan!
    The texture and flavor are both amazing.

    Instead of 6 pieces, I rolled it into 8 logs and rolled tightly in tin foil, and then diced and threwinto a stir fry with your Kung Pao sauce (which by the way, my husband said tasted so good he thought I bought it!).
    SO GOOD.

    Definitely my new favorite. Thank you for this recipe!

  13. My seitain got spongey, and was dreadful. This is the first time I’ve made something like this, but I’m usually a pretty good cook. I believe I had the heat a little too high cause it got too dark. And, as I said, it got spongey. I WAS SO disappointed in myse)f. What do you think I did wrong?

    1. Hi Wendy! I’m sorry it came out spongey. It should be quite dense and chewy. It doesn’t taste exactly like meat (not at all) but I know what you mean about spongey seitan, and it’s not very pleasant. I wonder if the water was actually touching the “chicken” while cooking, seeping into the foil? Make sure you wrap the pieces quite tightly and well in foil, and don’t let the water touch the pieces. Those things help a lot! And yes, it does sound like maybe you overcooked them, they should be fairly light in color. Hope that helps and they work out next time if you try again!

    2. Hey Nora! I have a question for you. I know you suggest wrapping the seitan in foil to steam, and not letting the water touch the foil. I however saw a video recently where the cook broke off pieces to make chicken wings after assembly, and just boiled the pieces for 45 min. directly in the water. I’m very confused now! What do you think of that? Have you ever done it that way?

      1. Hi Wendy! There are many ways to cook seitan, and everyone seems to have a different opinion. 🙂 Sometimes I feel that boiling seitan results in a very spongy texture, but maybe that’s what that person was going for in their recipe. I’m not sure. I have boiled it and did not enjoy it, but maybe if you are going to then batter and fry it, it might work well. Hope that helps!

  14. I made these with your vegan pesto and some rigatoni and yowza! Outstanding. Raves all around. You’re a favorite go-to, sister. Brilliant.

    1. Hi Janine. You make me smile! I’m glad you love it! Thank you for using my recipes and for sharing your comments!

  15. Could I wrap the seitan in parchment paper instead of foil? Or in parchment paper and then foil? I’ve read negative things about cooking in foil.

  16. This is GREAT! I added some poultry seasoning and pulled it into little nugget sized pieces. It’s delicious straight out of the steamer. Can’t wait to make some General Tso’s “chicken” with this! Thank you for a fantastic recipe!

  17. This recipe is LEGIT. I even have a cookbook from my favorite vegan restaurant and this seitan recipe is way better and takes literally 1/5 of the time. I’m always skeptical after I steam it cause seitan, in general, looks and smells like it’ll be a chewy tasteless sponge. Then I’ll do whatever with it like fry it or whatever and as I serve it I always say to my husband “I’m not sure about the seitan so let’s see” but it’s always so good and then I remember Nora would never do me wrong. So, anyway, A++. Keep keepin’ on, Nora.

    1. Thanks so much! I’m glad you like it. I know what you mean, I kinda feel the same way as I’m making it, then I thoroughly enjoy eating it! 🙂

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