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Vegan Brisket

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Juicy, tender, and satisfying, this Vegan Brisket is a perfect dinner main or holiday centerpiece. Slow roasted so it’s fork-tender, this seitan brisket will have vegans and non-vegans raving.


Units Scale


  • 2-1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1-15 oz can or 1.5 cups black beans, drained and rinsed (see note 1)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chicken or vegetable broth (or water) (see note 2)
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (or Less Sodium NoSoy if soy-free)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme


  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 3 cups vegan chicken or vegetable broth (see note 2)

Optional Sauce (see note 3)

  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (or Less Sodium NoSoy if soy-free)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or agave
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder


  1. Add beans, soy sauce if using (if not, use the same amount of broth and a pinch of salt), spices, and broth to your food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Some black specs of the bean skin may remain and that’s OK. Now add the vital wheat gluten and pulse until mostly combined. It may still be a little powdery. We’ll fix that.
  2. Add the dough to a medium bowl. You should be able to pick it up. Press it into one lump that kind of looks like meat. Make it about 2 to 2 + 1/2 inches thick. If it looks a little powdery still, wet your hands and smooth the areas. Don’t knead the dough.
  3. Place the Instant Pot steaming basket in the pot and add 1 cup of water. Add the seitan into the basket, close the lid, set the pressure valve to “sealing” and cook on high pressure or manual for 45 minutes. After the cooking is done, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully switch the pressure valve to venting and release the remaining pressure, which shouldn’t be very much. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 205 degrees Celsius) and skip to the “Searing the Seitan” section.
  4. If you do not have an electric pressure cooker, you can easily make this on the stovetop. Grab a large pot with a large steaming basket and a lid. Add 2 inches of water to the pot, then insert the steaming basket. Place the seitan into the basket, add a lid to the pot, and steam it on high for about 1 hour. When it’s done, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 205 degrees Celsius).
  5. Saute your sliced onions and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat until they become translucent. Garlic is more likely to burn, so I like to saute my onions first for about 3 minutes, then I add the garlic and saute for another minute. Move the onions and garlic to the sides and place your seitan directly in the middle. Allow it to sear for about 3 minutes. If the onions and garlic are sticking in the meantime, you can deglaze them with a tablespoon or two of water. Mix them around after you pour on that water and they should un-stick themselves.
  6. To a dutch oven or deep casserole type dish (I used this casserole dish), first add the onions and the garlic. Then plunk the seitan on top of them. Add the broth to the dish. It should come about halfway up the seitan. If you are using a much wider dish, you may need a bit more broth. Now dump the tomatoes straight on top of the seitan. No need to mix it. The moisture from the tomatoes will impart into the seitan.
  7. Pop the lid on (or some aluminum foil if you don’t have a lid for your dish) and bake it for 45 minutes to an hour. You can remove it at any time if you need to. It’s actually fully edible once steamed, and pretty dang good. But if you want it tender, juicy, and amazing, bake it for a full hour.
  8. If you don’t want to bake it, you can simmer it in a large pot instead. Add your onions and garlic to a large pot, then add the seitan followed by the tomatoes. Cover the entire thing in broth (you may need a bit more than if you were just braising it). Now add a lid if desired (will add more moisture since it won’t be able to evaporate) and cook it on a low simmer for about an hour. Test it with a fork or knife. You should be able to very easily sink the fork or knife into the seitan.
  9. The sauce on top is optional but ridiculously delicious. You can make it while the seitan is cooking. It only takes 2 minutes to mix up, so I highly recommend it. This is a more tomato-based option. If you’d prefer BBQ sauce, either use your favorite or I have a simple and delicious recipe for vegan BBQ sauce if you prefer.
  10. For the tomato-based brisket sauce, add the sauce ingredients to a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir until smooth. Add the sauce to your seitan by just pouring it or you can brush it on with a basting brush if you prefer.
  11. After removing from heat, let the seitan rest for 10 minutes to finish soaking up all that goodness. Using a fork and serrated-edge knife, carefully slice the seitan as thick or thin as you’d like.
  12. Serve it up with some vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes, anything you’d like! I love to eat my seitan brisket with vegan spinach noodle kugel, personally. Leftovers are awesome on a sandwich, too. :)
  13. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container separate from leftover sauce for up to 5 days. Add more sauce each time you reheat. Cooked seitan can be frozen in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.


  • Note 1: I add black beans to make seitan a complete protein (vital wheat gluten lacks lysine, an essential amino acid) and to make it more tender. You can use canned or cooked from dry black beans. Any beans will work, of course, the black beans add to the brown color of the seitan.
  • Note 2: I prefer vegan chicken broth because it tastes… I don’t know, more Jewish? I hope that makes sense, lol. But vegetable broth will work fine. If using vegan chicken broth, I love using Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with some hot water. It’s much more convenient and more economical as well.
  • Note 3: The sauce is totally optional but also delicious. If you’d prefer a BBQ sauce, use a storebought or I have a recipe for vegan BBQ sauce.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Baking, Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Jewish

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Can Be Soy-Free, Vegan Brisket, Rosh Hashanah