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
4.91 stars (50 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 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

  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!

Nutrition

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!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

Posted In: , , , , , , , , , ,

you may also like:

Comments

  1. Hi, I was wondering how tightly the foil should be wrapped around the pieces. Too tight and I imagine the shape would get compressed where the outside wouldn’t have any texture. But I’m not sure if it’s going to really change shape a lot if it’s wrapped loosely. Thanks!

    1. I wrap them fairly tightly, it won’t affect the outside texture. It’s best to pan fry them after steaming anyhow. However if you wrap them loosely it won’t ruin them at all. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi Nora can I marinated the pre cooked seitan? I was wanting to marinate in soy, garlic, ginger over night then coat them for deep frying would they hold in the marinade overnight? Thankyou

    1. That’s a great idea! Yes, you can let it sit in the marinade in the fridge overnight. It should be moist and flavorful the next day!

    1. Hi Barbara. I’m so glad you found the Vegan chicken easy and delicious! One of my favorite combinations! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!

    1. Frozen “chicken” reheats nicely in the oven but pre-cooked seitan is best when it’s reheated in a skillet on the stove, microwave, or on the grill. The oven may dry it out.

  3. Hi Nora! I was so intimidated to try seitan, all the recipes i found were  so complicated…. But when I came across yours, I decided to go for it, and the results were amazing! This recipe is just fantastic! I have used it to make piccata and cacciatore from my old chicken recipes and they came out great! The little “chickens” freeze beautifully too, so now we can always have some on hand. We have no regrets about switching to a plant  based diet a few years ago, but we did miss chicken sometimes. Thanks to you, now we don’t have to!

    1. Hi Barbara. Isn’t it so fun that there are so vegan foods that are delicious and easy! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback and review! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  4. Hi Nora, 

    These are great thanks!
    My seven and a half year son old helped me make them and then we used your Butter Chicken recipe and used them instead of tofu this time. It was delicious! 

    Thanks again,

    Lynsey

    1. Yes, you can air fry the pieces instead of pan frying. They shouldn’t need to be cooked for longer than 10 minutes at 375ºF.

  5. Obsessed with this recipe! I am no longer buying pre made vegan chicken since this is so easy and tastes so much better! Thanks so much for another great recipe that has become a staple in my house 🙂

    1. Hi Carissa, I’m so happy you loved the “chicken”! It’s a staple in my house too 🙂 Happy cooking!

  6. I was really nervous about this, because I’m very new to vegan cooking. I was sure I’d mess it up, but this recipe was foolproof! So easy! I’ll be using this to replace chicken in all my old recipes 🙂

    1. I am thrilled that this recipe was easy for you, Emily, and that it turned out great! Thank you for sharing your terrific feedback! Happy cooking!

  7. Hi! Excited to try this! Silly question here …but I know this makes 6 chickens….how much vital wheat gluten would I need to make 4 chickens? 1 cup right? Just subtract a third from every ingredient right? Thanks !

  8. Hi Nora,

    Can this be steamed in an instant pot?

    My boyfriend and I love all your recipes, whenever we want to try something new we google the recipe name and add Nora Cooks after it! Thank you for making recipes that work for vegans (me) and omnis (my boyfriend).

    1. You’re so welcome, Kelly! I haven’t tried steaming the vegan chicken in the Instant Pot, but if you try it, make sure you use a steamer basket or tray. Let me know how it goes!

    1. I’m so glad you love the vegan chicken! I’m so excited for you that it was perfec! Thank your for sharing your wonderful review and comments!

  9. Until tonight I have hated seitan. My husband has made it several times with long and complicated recipes that I seriously have disliked. However your recipe came up in an email this week and I thought I’d give it one last try. What a game changer. I have used several of your recipes before and they are all brilliant and so is this one. I really enjoyed it and will most definitely be making it again. Not only was the list of ingredients shorter than any before but the instructions were so simple. Thanks a million. You have opened up a whole new twist on Sunday Lunch. 

    1. I am thrilled that you loved the chicken, and found it simple! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and comments! You are so welcome, and happy cooking!

  10. We used this recipe as a chicken replacement in Filipino Adobo. It turned out beautifully! Looking forward to using this seitan in other saucy recipes. 

    1. That sounds delicious! I’m so glad it worked out well for your recipe! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and comments! Happy cooking1

  11. After mine steamed i unwrapped from foil and put them in a sealed container in tbe fridge. After about and hour i went to grab one and it was a bit soggy from touching the others. Do I need to let them cool first before putting in fridge? Or is my foil wrapping not tight enough?

    1. You might want to wrap them a bit tighter in foil next time, but it will also help to sauté them in a pan, then it will get nice and browned on the outside.

  12. Hi! I have made many of your recipes and have enjoyed them all! Thank you for sharing them 🙂 I track my macros in myfitnesspal and this recipe comes short on the protein you have listed. 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten is approximately 6 grams and when dividing into 6 servings there is only 1 gram in each serving, which is .8 grams of protein. How are you getting 25g of protein per serving? I used vegetable broth, so that may be one difference (I included this change in myfitnesspal), but other than that I followed your recipe exactly.

    1. Hey, so your calculation is not correct, there is a ton of protein in vital wheat gluten flour, 138 grams per 1 1/2 cups. It’s a very high protein ingredient! Hope that helps! You can see the information here.

      1. Hi Nora! Thanks for your reply. Do you know if all vital wheat gluten is the same across brands? I bought it in bulk and called the store to verify the nutrition label. Serving size for my bulk store is 1/4 cup at 5g of protein per serving. 1 1/2 cups would be 30g of protein with the VWG that I have. Just curious now as I am struggling to get enough protein on a vegan diet. I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but after putting your recipe in myfitnesspal the total protein in one piece of this “chicken” comes up as only 3g, however, that is from food already listed in their system. Your other recipes have all come up the same or very close for nutrition facts, so I am very interested why this one is so different. The only conclusion I can make is that not all VWG is considered equal. Either that or I am horribly wrong at math!

        1. I think they are all more or less the same, if they were different protein contents, seitan recipes like this would not be consistent. I wonder if the measurement they used it cooked or something? Do some research online and compare different vital wheat glutens, but to me they all looks the same.

  13. First time working with VWG- this recipe was super easy. I read the comments beforehand and added full tsp. of paprika but only 1/2 tsp. garlic powder. With the broth- this seitan is so tasty!

  14. Hi! Is this cooked and safe to eat once it’s steamed? Or does it need to be stir fried or baked after? Thanks!

      1. Thank you! Made this last night and it was the easiest seitan recipe I’ve tried. Also my kids actually liked it because it wasn’t as chewy as other recipes. Thanks!

  15. Excellent! I’ve made other seitan chickens before and this one is by far the easiest! It has a great texture. I think it’s probably best with a heavier sauce or in a stir fry but it feels quite versatile as well. I made a basic dry fajita seasoning to coat this in and then I lightly browned it on a skillet and put it on tostadas. I also had it sliced with some mixed greens, roasted brussels sprouts and olives with a soy ginger dressing and that was fantastic too. A new go to recipe. Thanks, Nora!

  16. At first I didn’t think much of the result, but found that I did want to come back to it.

    I do recommend more seasoning though. My first impression was that it was kind of bland

  17. I’ve made this recipe quite a few times and just love your recipe especially because I’m always looking for alternatives to soy. However recently I discovered I have a wheat sensitivity so I’d like to omit the all purpose flour in this recipe. Could I possibly substitute it for rice or coconut flour instead?

    1. Hi Christina. I’m glad you like the recipe! I do believe you can replace the flour with chickpea flour, many other recipes with seitan do this. Enjoy!

  18. I have made this probably 30 times or more (no joke). It is my GO TO chick’n recipe and I LOVE it. I add a little bit more smoked paprika because I love the smoky flavor. I leave out the salt because I put a lot of the Better than Bouillon base in the broth (I use mostly the vegan chicken and a bit of vegan roasted garlic base). I finally had to sit down and write this review because I wanted to thank you for a wonderful, easy, tasty recipe that I can make by memory at this point LOL! So, thank you!!!!

    1. OMG! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and comments! I am so thrilled that you are loving the vegan chicken!

  19. Someone said they don’t use foil in there comment. I just wanted to add a few suggestions for wrapping these. I make alot of tamales and this mixture sounds similar to using and steaming masa. I use corn husks, banana leaf (which is sold at any Mexican store) or even heat resistant plastic. Keep in mind though while steaming in the husks or banana leaf it will take on the flavor of the wrapping you choose. For those who have never had Banana leaf it will add a sweet flavor.

    1. I didn’t use foil, just sprayed oil between layers in my steaming basket (the bottom of the basket fit 4, so I sprayed the top of them and then layered on the others). I did flip halfway through. 

  20. Pretty straight forward, and pretty good. I too thought it was a little too bland so I doubled the spices next go. This is still a fantastic recipe and gives you a good idea of how to start messing around on your own. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.