Easy vegan seitan gyros in under an hour, loaded with veggies and fresh vegan tzatziki sauce and most importantly, FLAVOR! This Greek-inspired meal is perfect for a family, or enjoying throughout the week for easy lunches or dinner.
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Hey Internet, do easy veganized gyros seem too good to be true? Well, have I got the recipe for you today!
I have to tell you, the meat alternative in this vegan seitan gyros recipe is none other than my Instant Pot Seitan, but I’ll show how yow to make it again today since we’re going to change up the spices to make them more gyro-like!
I find that the Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker) not only reduces the cook time, but enables you to truly “walk away” and leave it to the machine to do the work.
However, if you don’t yet have your own Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker, I provide instructions on cooking it stove top as well--all you’ll need is a big pot with a steamer basket. You can also oven roast it, but I find that it can easily dry out if not basted often, and get somewhat tough.
These vegan seitan gyros are SUPER tender, juicy, and chewy, not to mention they are packed with 30 grams of protein per half cup serving!
I threw these delicious strips in some whole wheat pita with some lettuce, tomato, kalamata olives (optional) and a generous dollop of homemade vegan tzatziki sauce and it was AMAZING! My tastebuds threw a rave.
For a lower carb option, I used the gyro strips in a large lettuce leaf (butter lettuce would be especially delish here, but I had green leaf lettuce on hand) with my tomato, olives, and tzatziki and it was, for real, just as good.
Alright, enough gabbing, let’s talk about how to make these delicious things!
What You’ll Need
Obviously you’ll need some vital wheat gluten. But one thing I did to ensure a tender and chewy seitan is mix it with blended beans–I used black beans for their color in this recipe, but any should work.
While adding more protein, the beans kind of dilute the gluten in the dough and act almost as a dough conditioner for the seitan.
Instead of water, I used vegetable broth in my dough. Water will work, but vegetable broth adds that extra flavor.
Speaking of flavor, I blended my beans with some reduced sodium soy sauce (you can use liquid aminos if you don’t want to eat soy), which I find to be a vital step in flavoring the seitan.
For the “meaty” flavor, I love the combination of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. To make this meal taste more like gyro meat, I also add ground rosemary and marjoram.
If you’d like your gyros spicy, I’d highly recommend adding some heat to the dough mixture itself, such as chili powder, cayenne, etc.
Finally, to complete the gyros, I served them in a whole wheat pita (any kind will work) with green leaf lettuce, fresh sliced tomato, sliced kalamata olives (optional), and homemade vegan tzatziki sauce!
How to Make Vegan Seitan Gyros
Note: this recipe will work in any pressure cooker, but buttons may be called by other names on non-Instant Pot brand pressure cookers. Consult your manual for any questions based on your specific brand of pressure cooker.
To make this seitan, first blend your beans up until they’re a paste and the skins are mostly broken down.
Add your vital wheat gluten and vegetable broth (or water). Blend or process until mostly combined or your processor gives up from how thick the dough has become.
Now transfer the dough to a bowl and combine it with your hands. It should be moist, but not sticky. The dough should stick to itself, not your fingers.
Knead the dough for just about 10-15 seconds (over kneading can cause it to turn out rubbery) and form a log.
Cooking the Seitan in an Instant Pot
Now add a cup of water to the base of your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker and insert the steaming basket / tray. If your pressure cooker did not come with a steaming tray, a regular metal steaming basket should work, but consult your manufacturer to be certain.
Add the seitan log to the steaming basket / tray, close the lid, set the pressure valve to “sealing” and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.
While the seitan is cooking, take 5 minutes of this time to make your vegan tzatziki sauce and slice up the veggies you’ll be putting in your gyros.
When the timer goes off, turn off your Instant Pot and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully release the rest (there won’t be much left anyway)–I like to use a wooden spoon to release the pressure so my hands aren’t anywhere near the escaping hot steam.
Let your seitan rest about 10 minutes before carving. It will be fully cooked at this point, so you can immediately put it in your gyros or you could add it to a stir fry or a sauce or whatever else you like!
Cooking the Seitan on the Stove
You can oven roast seitan but that sometimes results in a drier taste–I prefer to steam my seitan. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can easily make your seitan on the stove top.
Follow the process above to make your seitan log, then add it to a steaming basket or steamer pot on your stove top with about 2 cups of water (you’ll be cooking a bit longer).
Place a lid on the pot and steam on medium high for about 1 hour, 15 minutes. How long your seitan takes will depend on the thickness of the log.
Anything under 4 inches thick should not take longer than an hour and 15 minutes.Youll know the seitan is done when it is soft to the touch, and when you can taste a bit of it and it does not taste bitter or rubbery.
Again, let your seitan rest for about 10 minutes before slicing into it.
Assembling the Vegan Seitan Gyros
First, warm your pitas in the microwave, oven, or over a steaming pot. Place one on a plate and wrap the rest in a napkin or kitchen towel to keep them warm while you work.
Add a few slices of your seitan into the middle of the pita. Place a large lettuce leaf on top.
Flank the seitan with sliced tomato and add any other veggies you like, such as red onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.
Use a spoon to add a generous amount of vegan tzatziki sauce over the top.
Fold, and either wrap in parchment paper, foil, or just pick it up and eat it, well, like a gyro!
What Goes with a Gyro?
Lots of food goes well with gyro. I love serving it with oven baked potato wedges (or air fried potatoes) and dipping them in extra tzatziki.
You could also enjoy these gyros with a fresh Greek-inspired salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, red onion, kalamata olives, and my delicious vegan feta cheese.
How to Meal Prep Gyros
This recipe is perfect for meal prep, as you can throw together the seitan on a Sunday afternoon (or whenever). Refrigerate it and use it in wraps and sandwiches all week long!
After your seitan has rested, slice up the roast using a knife with a serrated edge into manageable chunks. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
You can also store the tzatziki in a jar and add it to your meals throughout the week.
Mix it up daily! One day have your gyro pita, then have a lettuce wrap, the next day throw it in a salad! You can enjoy this seitan on top of rice, in a baked potato, as tacos… so many delicious possibilities, it’d be hard to get bored!
What Else to Make with Seitan
So I mentioned above that this recipe is based off of an Instant Pot Seitan recipe I made with different spices.
That one was more of a beef flavor, where the one I’ve shown you today is closer to lamb with the marjoram and rosemary.
Other High Protein Recipes
While I easily and consistently get more than my recommended daily protein so I never think about it much, I’ve got a lot of other high protein vegan recipes if you’re interested:
- Vegan Beef and Broccoli
- Spanish Paella
- Vegan Philly Cheesesteaks
- Vegan Orange Chicken
- Chili Cheese Pot Pies
- Tofu Eggs Benedict
- Cheesy Grits with Crunchy Chickpeas and Garlicky Collard Greens
- Easy Tofu Scramble
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do and so does Mr. Zardyplants, who is vegan but occasionally misses the flavor of meat (but not the cruelty–he insisted I add that line).
These vegan seitan gyros are:
- “Meaty” (hold the cruelty)
- Chewy yet tender
- Fun for kids and adults
- and great for anyone in your life that either isn’t vegan or vegetarian yet and needs to be convinced. Or is already and just kinda misses the taste and mouthfeel of meat.
The best thing about my seitan recipe is that you can make it ahead of time. You'll have minimal work to do when it actually comes time to make 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!