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

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!

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Comments

  1. How important is the foil part? If I have no foil or parchment paper, can they just be steamed? Curious about the purpose of the foil, I have made seitan for years, by boiling it and am curious about steaming it instead, however, cant wrap my head around the foil part, what is the purpose or result? thanks! Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. You could probably skip the foil and just steam them. Wrapping in foil helps them not get as big, which I think helps the texture be better, plus it protect them from the broth/water getting in and making them water logged and spongy. But you can do it however you like. Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. Hi
        Tried these for the first time and I skipped the steaming and simply baked small nuggets on parchment paper at 300 degrees for 30 minutes (rotating half way through). This is how I make my seitan bacon and I think they turned out great. Saves a step 🙂

  2. This is an excellent recipe and very easy to make. I used ‘Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken’ base with vegetable broth and it tastes great. Thanks for that suggestion. Please confirm that eating after steaming is fine. Your instructions seem to suggest frying or grilling afterwards. Also, will the seitan hold it’s texture in soups and stir fries? Do you have a marinade recipe that works well with this for use after refrigerating? Thanks for this recipe. You’ve certainly provided and easy and tasty way to make seitan.

    1. Hi Bob, thanks so much for your wonderful review! Yes, you can eat the “chicken” after steaming, although the texture is a bit better after grilling/frying. And yes, it will hold its texture in soups and stir fries. You could try using the marinade from this marinated tofu recipe or marinated tempeh recipe, but any marinade designed for chicken should be good here. Hope this helps!

  3. Nora, my chicken looks a bit darker than yours. It’s my first time making seitan. Do you know why that would be? I followed the recipe exactly

  4. Hi, my name is Lisa. I am a beginner vegan and I truly would love to learn all recipe of vegan chicken homemade vegan burgers and homemade vegan bread, homemade English muffin, a vegan homemade slaw for a sandwich that will be delicious for vegans to eat, and much more actually would love to cook all my meals vegan again I am at the beginning, and I truly would love that you send me recipes that I can start making my all homemade vegan dish

  5. Fantastic! I made this to use with your chicken and dumplings recipe (also fab!). I found the chicken pieces to be perfect. Not soggy, not rubbery. I personally do not knead seitan very much. I usually mush it down with my hands a couple of times to incorporate all the dry ingredients, and then fold it a few times. Since I’ve had some bad experiences with seitan sticking to foil, I wrap the pieces in parchment paper, then foil before steaming. I use the Steam setting on my Instant Pot with the regular lid. It does a great job on seitan.

    1. Hi Jackie! I appreciate your ideas and experiences using seitan. I’m thrilled you loved the vegan chicken! Thanks for your awesome review and comments!

  6. Love this recipe! It’s my go-to as a base for many different chicken recipes. Tonight I used it to make your chicken shawarma and it was incredible! Thanks, Nora, for always providing the best recipes!

    1. Thank you, Karina, for using my recipes! I appreciate your fabulous feedback and review! Happy cooking!

  7. I made this last week but the dough was quite wet, I followed the instructions to the t, do you know what could’ve gone wrong? It still tasted great, seasoned with smoked paprika, old bay, garlic & chili powdered fried up. Also could you replace the plain flour for chickpea flour for more protein? Thanks!

    1. The dough should be somewhat moist to the touch but shouldn’t be dripping. If that’s the case, then it sounds like too much broth was used in the dough. And yes, you should be able to replace the AP flour with chickpea flour! A lot of other seitan recipes do this and another commenter tried it with good results. Hope this helps!

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

      1. I’m not trying to make it gluten-free just not a fan of regular flour. I’m going to try it. I’ll let you know.
        Thank you for replying so fast because I plan on making it today.

  8. My vegan young kids (2 and 4) actually eat this. It’s so nice to finally have an alternative protein to tofu that they like! I love how much the recipe makes so I freeze most of it and slowly take pieces out of the freezer weekly and pan fry it for them! Love your recipes, thank you 😁

    1. It’s always a winner to find a food the kids love! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and review! I appreciate you using my recipes! Happy cooking!

  9. Hands down, the BEST vegan chick’n I have ever had. My husband found a good seitan recipe years ago, and that’s the one we’ve always used. He could not believe how this one blew ours away. I tried your brussel sprouts recipe the other day, now this one – I can’t wait to continue trying more. I’m in a real cooking mood, w my son who is home sick…I just might have to try your cheese sauce now!

  10. The vegan chicken was delicious. I like that it has very few ingredients and you only need one bowl. I made sure the dry ingredients were mixed well before adding the wet ingredients. I used a spatula to careful knead the dough instead of my fingers. I didn’t want to over knead the dough and have a rubbery consistency. After steaming and sautéing, the chicken was easy to cut and chew. It had a great texture. I’ll be making this very often.

    1. I really appreciate you taking time to share your wonderful feedback! I am thrilled your chicken turned out delicious, and with great texture. Thank you, and happy cooking!

  11. Do you know if there is an alternative to gluten flour from modern wheats, which are not very healthy? From einkorn wheat for example?

  12. Love your recipes. This is my third time trying to make Seitan with different recipes but they all turn out the same, chewy like rubber, which I guess some people are okay with but I can’t eat it with that consistency. I’ve had seitan in restaurants and it comes out perfect, like not too chewy. Any idea on how to make this not so chewy, mushy, rubbery? Less than a minute for kneading? Longer than 30 minutes in the steamer? Thanks.

  13. Hey there, first time trying this out and I’m really excited for it! Is it okay to eat it after it’s been steamed without grilling/frying afterwards? I might be making this recipe a lot and would really like to skip that step unless it’s absolutely necessary (from a taste as well as food safety point of view)

    I intend to refrigerate it after it’s been steamed and just heat it in the microwave throughout the week. Any thoughts on that? 😀

    1. Hi John. I’m glad you’ll be trying out the vegan chicken! Yes, you can eat the vegan chicken without grilling or frying. Also, it can be reheated in the microwave. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  14. Wow I just made this turned out absolutely great the flavor is just awesome cooked up really nice in a pan had a crispy outside that nice soft inside was perfect incredible recipe

  15. Hi, Nora.  Your recipes seem so easy & look delicious. Making the Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili, Cornbread & Cashew Sour Cream tonight..  I have dabbled in plant-based, vegan, vegetarian meals over the years and haven’t ventured the Seitan cooking yet. As I am the only one who eats like this in my household it makes it hard to cook for 1.  So knowing I can freeze this will be wonderful. So, I don’t mess things up & get turned off by trying this “Chicken” Seitan recipe. My question is after you steam pre-cook in foil is that when you freeze? Or do you have to do the final cook process of fry, grill, or oven cook etc before freezing? 

    1. This is so wonderful to hear! I’m so happy my recipes can help make eating vegan a little easier for you. And yes, you can freeze the “chicken” after it’s been steamed.

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