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Vegan Drumsticks on a plater

Vegan Drumsticks

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 pieces 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Roasted, crispy, and delicious, these vegan drumsticks are easy to make and high in plant-based protein. Perfect for a meal or appetizer.




  • 2 + 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 15 oz can (1+1/2 cup) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 cup vegan chicken broth (see note 1)


Crust (see note 3)

Sauce (see note 4)

  • Leftover crust ingredients
  • Leftover coconut milk or water (from soaking rice paper), about 1/4 cup
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1-2 tsp Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (see note 1)


  1. Make the Seitan: 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 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. You can press the dough together so there are no more crumbly bits, but DO NOT KNEAD IT.
  2. Divide into Pieces: Sorry to make you do math, but divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. It worked out to a little over one third cup for each piece. Optional: use a food scale to make each piece equal: Weigh the uncut ball of dough first, then divide that in half equally (so if my ball is 800g, I would cut it into 400g pieces) and so on until you have 8 pieces at about 100g each.
  3. Form the Drumsticks: Now form the pieces into teardrop or pear shapes but don’t spend too much time making it look perfect. Pierce them with a skewer and repeat until all 8 drumsticks are prepped.
  4. Preheat: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F or 191 degrees C.
  5. Make the Skin *see note 5 for options*: Set up a station with a rimmed dinner plate, the bowl of crust mixture (if using) with a spoon in it, and a lined rimmed baking tray. Pour coconut milk or water onto the plate for soaking, about 3/4 cup. Soak one sheet of rice paper at a time. Make sure the paper is submerged in the water or coconut milk. It takes about 30 seconds to soak each sheet of rice paper enough to make it malleable. Test one “corner” of it by pinching it, if it starts to stick to itself like cling wrap, it’s ready. Don’t over soak or it will become weak.
  6. Wrap: Take your vegan drumstick in one hand and start to lift up the soaked sheet of rice paper with the other. Place the top of the drumstick in the center of the rice paper, then gently pull down the sides so it wraps over the seitan. Pinch or twist the bottom. It won’t stick together perfectly, but it will be fine.
  7. Crust (optional): Either roll the covered drumstick in the crust mixture if using, or use a spoon to sprinkle it over all the way around--that’s what I did.
  8. Roast: Place the completed drumstick on the lined baking tray and repeat process with all 8. Cover the pan with foil or parchment and bake covered for 30 minutes, flipping the drumsticks once halfway through.
  9. Make the Sauce: While those cook make the sauce if you’re using which I highly recommend you do. Add remaining crust mixture (or sub some spices, nutritional yeast, and cornstarch or arrowroot powder), a bit of the coconut milk (as needed for consistency), the ketchup or tomato sauce, and the Better Than Bouillon paste (or just a little more spices and a pinch of salt) in a bowl and mix it together until it’s smooth and has a cake-batter consistency. You could also use BBQ sauce for a delicious twist on this recipe. Try my homemade easy BBQ sauce.
  10. Apply the Sauce: So after the half hour has elapsed, remove the cover and add the sauce. I recommend a basting brush but you can use a spoon too (it will be a somewhat thicker application). Add the sauce to both sides, flipping the drumsticks again. 
  11. Finish Baking: Bake for another 12 minutes, then flip one more time (you don’t need to baste again, though) and bake for a final 12 minutes. Enjoy!
  12. Store: You can store your vegan drumsticks in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If you want to freeze them, I highly recommend freezing BEFORE adding the skin and cooking, as it will make the texture much better if you make the “skin” fresh.


  • Note 1: I personally love Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (and mix it with 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 poultry seasoning (it’s vegan!) if you do this).
  • Note 2: For the richer flavor that drumsticks usually have, it was actually Mr. Zardyplants’ suggestion to soak the rice paper in canned coconut milk. The fat content gives the mouthfeel of chicken skin, and I promise you won’t taste the coconut. There’s so many other amazing flavors going on here. However, we did test it the first time with just water, and it works just fine, just not as rich and decadent.
  • Note 3: The crust is not a required step but it does add flavor and texture to the finished product. It also helps the sauce stick to the drumstick.
  • Note 4: The sauce is a super awesome step and I really highly recommend you do it. It takes just a few seconds to mix your leftover soaking liquid, leftover crust material, and mix it with a dab of ketchup or tomato sauce and the Better Than Bouillon broth base (or extra spices if you don’t have that) and it really is amazing. You baste it onto the drumsticks during baking and it hardens into a delicious crispy skin and it’s so good. You can also use store bought or homemade vegan BBQ sauce or any other sauce.
  • Note 5: So you have a few choices when it comes to the “skin.” You can choose what type of liquid to soak your rice paper in, which will really inform the final flavor, and you can choose whether to add the crust to it which will inform the final texture and give the sauce (if using) something to stick to. Our favorite way to make these was to soak the rice paper in coconut milk. This gave the skin a very rich and delicious texture and mouthfeel, while the inside of the drumstick stays fairly lean. For a lower fat option, just use water OR you could add a little of the Better Than Bouillon paste to the soaking water and make the skin a little more flavorful if you want.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Entree, Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan Drumsticks, Vegan Chicken Drumsticks