This Seitan Chicken is quick and easy to make and PACKED with plant-based protein and flavor. Shape it any way you like and cook it any way you like to veganize virtually any dish that calls for chicken meat.
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Hey Internet, I’ve been craving some plant-based chicken and I gotta tell you, this vegan seitan chicken is where it’s at! That’s how the kids say it these days, right?
Sorry I have a hard time ending a sentence with a proposition.
ANYWAY, this seitan chicken is my newest seitanic obsession and it is SO GOOD.
It’s also the fastest seitan recipe I’ve made to date, clocking in at around 30-40 minute depending on how I decide to cook it. It requires only 6 ingredients INCLUDING spices!
All my seitan chicken recipes (well, all my seitan recipes) are flavorful, healthy, tender, meaty, and delicious. That’s not me bragging, that’s me being confident that everyone in my life loves my seitan, and my readers seem to love it too!
This recipe is incredibly low in fat, counts as a complete protein, and is SO VERSATILE. You’ll see, I even crusted a few of these pieces in Cajun spices and made a creamy delicious vegan Cajun pasta.
I employ two of my favorite vegan cooking hacks in this recipe: vegan chicken broth and poultry seasoning, which is also vegan because it’s actually just herbs people typically use when cooking poultry. ‘Cept we’re not doing that because we’re not about that life. Or at least my hubby and I aren’t.
These two things give the seitan chicken a ridiculously chicken-y flavor without any animal meat.
This recipe makes 6 pieces of vegan chicken, so you can a.) serve a large family, b.) nosh on leftovers throughout the week, or c.) freeze a bunch for later because seitan freezes very well.
Alright, let’s get started.
What You’ll Need
The main component of the seitan is vital wheat gluten This is flour that has been stripped down to the protein of the wheat. It’s what makes this recipe so high in, you guessed it, protein!
Once mixed with liquid and the other things in this recipe, the vital wheat gluten will form a dough.
Unfortunately this vegan seitan chicken recipe is not gluten-free and I do not have a substitute for the vital wheat gluten.
Standard seitan is ALMOST a complete protein, but it’s missing one of the essential amino acids: lysine.
To add lysine to make seitan a complete protein AND to add more of a tender, meaty texture, I like to blend my seitan with beans.
For this seitan chicken, I used chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans (but any would work), mostly for color, but also for nutrients!
To make it taste like poultry (which is weird because actual poultry doesn’t taste like much till it’s seasoned), I employ one of my favorite vegan cooking hacks in my seitan chicken recipes: vegan chicken broth.
I personally love Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (and mix it with hot water) as it keeps better and is more economical than carton vegan chicken broth. You can absolutely use prepared vegan chicken broth or even just vegetable broth (I recommend adding a little more poultry seasoning (it’s vegan!) if you do this).
Speaking of spices, I recommend a bit of onion powder and garlic powder and poultry seasoning. Most stores carry poultry seasoning, but if not you can always order it online.
You don’t need MUCH equipment to make your own seitan chicken, but you do need a few things.
A Food Processor or Blender
If you have a not-so-good quality food processor or blender, you can just blend everything except the vital wheat gluten, then combine that with the vital wheat gluten by hand in a large bowl.
Optional but recommended: A Food Scale
I highly recommend weighing out your dough when portioning to make sure you get even pieces. This helps them cook more easily, it allows you to accurately measure the nutrition if that’s important to you, and makes every piece the same size, etc.
I use this cheapy food scale and I love it.
Large Steamer Pot or Insert
I recommend the large steamer pot because it’s great for steaming large things like seitan, large quantities of veggies, etc. Mine was inexpensive and has proved incredibly useful.
You can just bake these in the oven (I recommend 20-30 minutes in the foil, then 10 minutes without), but they’ll be less moist and tender.
Or Use an Instant Pot
You can also steam these inside an Instant Pot with a steaming basket insert. I recommend steaming for 15 minutes with a Quick Release at the end.
Tips for Making Seitan Chicken
- We’ll make the dough the same way we make other seitan dough. First, 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 your vital wheat gluten and process/blend again briefly, until most of it has been incorporated. It may still be a little powdery but that’s OK. If your food processor or blender won’t mix it (it does get a little hard to mix), move onto the next step and you can finish the mixing process by hand or with a heavy wooden spoon.
- 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.
- Before we forget, start your pot with about 1-2 inches of water to boil. This is the pot we’re going to use to steam the seitan chicken. Bring it to a boil without the basket part in.
- This next part is where you can customize the shape. My instructions are for a basic seitan chicken breast situation, but you could do 10 cutlets or tenders, or vegan drumsticks or seitan chicken nuggets or whatever else you like.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. It’s not necessary, but I wanted them to be perfectly portioned so I used my cheapy (but awesome) food scale to weigh them.
- You don’t have to weigh it, but if you want to: Weigh the uncut ball of dough first, then divide that in six equal pieces (so if my ball is 834g, I would cut it into six 139g pieces).
- Now form the pieces into chicken breast shape or whatever shape you picked. I flattened mine with my hands so that it was about ½ inch thick or so.
- This is important (because they tend to inflate): wrap each piece tightly in aluminum foil. If you don’t want the foil to touch your food, you could wrap it in parchment paper first and THEN the aluminum foil on top.
- Place your wrapped seitan pieces in the basket in whichever way they’ll fit. Try not to jam or mush any of them.
- When the water comes to a boil, place the steamer basket with seitan in the pot and place on a lid. Steam (at full heat) for 20 minutes.
- While that cooks, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (~205 degrees Celsius). Alternatively, you can air fry them. Don’t do both. It’s possible to overcook the seitan (it can get tough).
- After the seitan chicken has steamed, remove the pot from heat, take off the lid, and let them cool for 5 minutes in the foil. They’ll settle, so this step is important. After the 5 minutes is up, remove the foil carefully.
- If you want to freeze them, I recommend letting them cool completely after steaming and freezing. When ready to use, thaw and either bake or air fry as below. This is also the point where you could toss them with spices in a bowl to crust them, like in my vegan Cajun pasta recipe. Alternatively, cut them into little chunks or strips now and throw them in a stir fry, soup, casserole, or other dish.
- To bake: lay the unwrapped vegan chicken pieces in a lined baking dish (or you may use oil), and bake about 10 minutes, flipping each piece once halfway through. You can cook a bit longer if you like more color on them, but be very careful not to overcook.
- To air fry: place the unwrapped vegan chicken pieces in your air fryer in a single layer. Cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (~191 degrees Celsius) for about 7 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Again be careful not to overcook.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days or wrapped tightly in saran wrap and freezer paper for up to 3 months.
More Seitan Recipes
I’m really enjoying making seitan. It’s fun to see what I can come up with, and that high protein, delicious meals don’t need to contain animal products.
If you like this vegan seitan chicken recipe, I bet you’ll like some of these:
- Vegan Philly Cheesesteaks (these happen to be the most popular recipe on my blog!)
- Vegan Drumsticks
- Vegan Sausage
- Vegan Pigs in a Blanket
- Vegan Corned Beef
- Vegan Pastrami
- Seitan Chicken Nuggets
- Vegan Gyros
- Vegan Schnitzel
- Seitan Turkey
- Instant Pot Seitan (the basic beefy recipe for any application)
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
This Seitan Chicken is:
- Moist (sorry)
- Meaty (but without the cruelty!)
- And perfect for a meal prep or a family-friendly dinner that will soon become a family-favorite dinner!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!