Tender, juicy, and protein-packed Vegan Steak is made from seitan, lentils, and classic seasonings. Marinated in soy sauce, tomato paste, and maple syrup, the smoky flavors are perfect for summer barbecue season.
Just because vegans don’t eat meat doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy a tender and juicy steak every now and then. My Vegan Steak recipe uses simple seasonings, a tangy marinade, and meaty seitan and lentils to replicate the real thing. Grill them up for an unforgettable summer meal!
Plant based vegan beef isn’t always easy to find and is rarely kind to your wallet. Did you know that it’s actually really easy and fun to make at home? Just like my vegan beef and broccoli, this vegetarian steak recipe comes together in a few simple steps and grills up in minutes.
Making vegan steaks out of seitan is the secret to the best tender, juicy, and chewy beef replica. As if they could be any more flavorful, the steaks are marinated in a simple soy sauce and tomato paste mix before being grilled in a pan or in the great outdoors. Pair each juicy steak with baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and pasta salad for a filling and delicious vegan meal you won’t ever forget!
What is it made of?
I made this vegan steak out of seitan, which is a chewy, tender, and flavorful homemade meat substitute. It comes together using vital wheat gluten, a handful of spices, and vegetable broth, which gives it a scary similar taste, look, and texture to real meat.
Using anything else, like marinated tempeh, tofu, or portabello mushrooms, to make these vegan steaks just wouldn’t be the same. Seitan soaks up flavor like a sponge and is much more tender and meaty than anything else.
How to make seitan steak
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor.
- Pulse all of the steak ingredients until they’re combined.
- Knead the seitan mixture on a clean surface a few times until it’s no longer crumbly.
- Cut it into 4 sections.
- Flatten each one slightly (I like to use a potato masher for this.)
- Steam the 4 steaks in a steamer basket for 30 minutes.
While the steaks steam, whisk the marinade ingredients together in a shallow dish. Marinate the steamed steaks for a few minutes, turning them over a few times.
How to cook vegan steak
Pan fry the steaks in a cast iron grill, skillet, or outdoor grill. Cook for a few minutes on each side until they have a nice char. Brush the excess marinade on each side of the steaks as they cook for the best flavors.
Tips and substitutions
- I like the steaks on the thin side. Use a potato masher or your hands to flatten the seitan into 1-inch thick (or less) patties.
- Instead of lentils – You can use chickpeas or even black beans.
- Marinade – Play with the flavors in the marinade! Add in herbs, citrus juice, or anything else you like to get your vegan steaks just the way you like ‘em.
- Gluten free – Unfortunately, this recipe cannot be made gluten free as there isn’t a substitute for the vital wheat gluten.
- Steak sauce – Instead of the marinade, brush the steaks with your favorite steak sauce or barbecue sauce.
What to serve with vegan steak?
There are tons of great vegan sides you can pair with your steaks. My favorites are baked potatoes and sour cream, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, potato salad, and grilled veggie kabobs. For a simple, filling, and nutritious meal, pair the steaks with asparagus, potato wedges, and a green salad.
One of my favorite ways to serve seitan steaks is to slice them up for an array of different meals. Layer the pieces into veggie steak fajitas, tacos, vegetable wraps, burritos, salads, and grain bowls. Drizzle a little chimichurri or vegan pesto on top for tons of fresh and herby flavors.
Making ahead and storing
If you want to make these ahead of time, prepare the steaks up until they’re done steaming. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days. Then you can marinate them and finish cooking them later.
To freeze, steam the steak patties first and then transfer them to an airtight container or ziploc bag. Let them thaw completely before cooking.
The leftovers store nicely too! Place the cooked and cooled leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. Reheat them in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes.
Hungry for more seitan recipes?
- To a food processor, add all seitan steak ingredients and pulse, scraping down the sides as needed until combined.
- Dump the seitan onto a clean surface, sprinkling with a little vital wheat gluten if needed to prevent sticking. Knead the mixture together for a few minutes until it's no longer crumbly.
- Flatten the ball somewhat, then cut into 4 sections. Use a potato masher, or even just your hands to flatten the steaks further. I think they are best when they are quite thin, about an inch or a little less.
- Place the steaks in a steamer basket with water on the bottom and steam for 30 minutes. You can also wrap each one in foil if desired, but they really turn out fine unwrapped. Make sure the water doesn't all evaporate and add more as needed.
- While the steaks steam, whisk the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish (8×8 is perfect).
- Once the steaks are done steaming, remove and place in the marinade. Turn them over a few times to coat.
- Heat a large pan (cast iron grill pan preferred) with a few tablespoons of oil. Add the steaks and cook for a few minutes on each side until a bit blackened. You could also cook them on an outdoor grill.
- Brush the steaks with a little more marinade right before removing from the pan for extra flavor and moisture.
- Serve immediately with baked potatoes and vegan sour cream, or any other side dishes you like. See the post above for ideas. Enjoy!
- You may use chickpeas or even black beans in place of the lentils, if desired. I used canned lentils to skip the step of cooking them from scratch.
- There is NO substitute for vital wheat gluten free, unfortunately. So there is no way to make this particular recipe gluten free. You may enjoy my Cauliflower Steaks instead though!
- Leftover steaks will keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator. Slice and enjoy on salads, in tacos or wherever else you like. Or simply reheat in a pan until warm.