Move over store-bought vegan chicken replacements, these Seitan Chicken Nuggets are AMAZING and taste BETTER than other chicken alternatives.
- 2 + 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
- 12 + 3/4 cups vegan chicken broth, divided (see note 1)
- 1 + 1/2 cups (or 1 15-oz can) cooked chickpeas (or any white bean)
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Prepare the Pot of Cooking Liquid: Before you make the dough, start a large pot of broth (about 12 cups) on the stove, at medium heat. Throw a lid on there so it heats faster.
- Make the Dough: Blend the beans, spices, and about 3/4 cup of the vegan chicken broth in the food processor or blender until it is smooth. Then add vital wheat gluten and blend again briefly, until most of it has been incorporated. It may still be a little powdery but that’s OK. Add it to a large bowl and press everything together with your hands. You may want to add a tablespoon of water or two if it looks a bit dry. DO NOT OVERKNEAD. Seriously, just try to form the dough. At this point you can do whatever you’d like, shape-wise. Make vegan chicken strips or patties using the seitan. Now tear off 1/2 to a full tablespoon sized chunks. I found it easier to cut the chunks using kitchen shears. Then briefly press each one so they’re about a 1/2 inch thick nugget shape. They don’t all have to be perfectly the same size. Place the nuggets on a plate until they are all done -- we want to add them all together so they cook evenly.
- Simmer the Nuggets: Add the nuggets one by one into the pot. All of mine fit into 12 cups of simmering liquid. They will puff up and rise to the top but that’s OK. I like to use a ladle with holes or gaps, often called a skimmer or slotted spoon. This keeps the liquid from splashing and hurting your skin. You could also use tongs. You want to go in a circle around the pot, the nuggets are evenly spread out. They should not stick together. Once you’ve added all the nuggets to the pot, put the lid on, slightly ajar, and simmer at that heat for 30 minutes. If you are baking your nuggets, I would recommend preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius) about halfway through the simmering time so you are ready to bake them. If you are making these nuggets to freeze them, let them cool and then freeze in an airtight freezer safe container (do not bake or air fry first. They will turn out OK when reheating, but a little tougher. Definitely recommend freezing right after the simmering process.)
- Bake the Nuggets at 425 degrees F (or 218 degrees C): Lay out your nuggets in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. I like to use silicone baking mats instead of parchment paper because I feel it makes food more crispy. It’s also more cost effective and less wasteful! I recommend not letting your nuggets touch on the baking sheet. They’re not going to stick if they do touch, but it allows the heat to reach the sides of the nuggets better. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your nuggets. Remove when cooked to your preference, serve up, and enjoy!
- Air Fry the Nuggets at 400 degrees F (or 205 degrees C): Place the nuggets in a single layer in an air fryer. You may need to do 2 or 3 batches depending on the size of your air fryer (or if you have multiple racks). Air fry at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) for about 12-17 minutes, again depending on how crispy you like your nuggets. We liked ours at 15 minutes the best. You don’t NEED to flip them halfway through. We found there wasn’t an enormous difference either way Flipping it halfway through is recommended if you care about the nuggets browning on both sides.
- To Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or you can use the microwave with a damp paper towel over them.
- To Freeze: To best preserve texture and flavor, freeze these nuggets (in an airtight container for up to 3 months) BEFORE air frying or baking them. They might take up a little more space, but they'll be softer when you reheat. When you reheat, bake or air fry at 400 degrees F (or 205 degrees C) for 5-10 minutes, or in the microwave place a damp paper towel over them and microwave for a 1-3 minutes.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker, Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, vegan chicken nuggets