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!
- Make the 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.
- Heat steamer pot: 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.
- Customize it: 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: 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.
- Measure if you like: 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).
- Form the seitan chicken: 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.
- Wrap it up: 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.
- Steam it: 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.
- Preheat the oven if baking: 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).
- Rest: 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.
- Note: This is 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: Serve hot and enjoy!
- Store: 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.
- Note 1: 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!
- Note 2: 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).
- Note 3: Unfortunately this recipe is not gluten-free and I do not have a substitute for the vital wheat gluten.
- Note 4: You’ll also need a steamer pot or a pot fitted with a steamer basket. Make sure your pot has a lid, or you can purchase a universal lid to steam the seitan. I recommend the large steamer pot because it’s great for steaming large things like seitan, large quantities of veggies, etc. 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.
- Note 5: 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.
- Category: Entree
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Seitan Chicken, Vegan Chicken