Tender, flavorful, and protein-packed, this Vegan Steak is easy to make and absolutely delicious. This recipe comes together in just 30 minutes and only requires a few ingredients and some spices to make a super juicy and simple seitan steak.
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Hey Internet, so I guess I’ve been on a little seitan kick lately since I just released my vegan pepperoni last week. But I had this idea for seitan steak in the middle of the night and I had to make it the next day.
And then I tested it every day until basically yesterday when we did the photography. When I’m that excited about a recipe, it’s gotta go on the site.
This recipe is THAT GOOD, and might be one of my best seitan recipes, you know, besides the vegan Philly cheesesteak which is STILL number one on my site and has been for almost a year.
But anyway, back to this. I hate to admit it, but when I was omni I really liked steak. There was something about the simple but robust flavor. However, I’ll tell you right now I don’t even miss it because I was eating animals and it was making me sick, literally and figuratively.
Enter seitan. Seitan has been an amazing way for my husband and I to recreate foods we loved when we were omni. Seitan has every bit of protein that animal meat has to offer, but none of the cholesterol, very little fat (and no saturated fat), and of course, none of the cruelty.
But I’m not here to sell you on seitan necessarily. I’m here to show you how to make my vegan steak which is absolutely amazing. Not that I’m biased, no, that would be wrong.
What You’ll Need
Kidney beans: Really any beans would work, but dark red kidney beans give it a more authentic color. Black beans or chickpeas would be fine. I like to blend beans into almost all of my seitan recipes because it makes the seitan more tender, more robust, and it actually turns it into a complete protein. Seitan in and of itself has all essential amino acids except lysine, but beans add those so it’s an easy way to get allllll the protein.
Reduced sodium soy sauce: This is for the salt, the umami flavor, the color, and the liquid--but feel free to substitute something like NoSoy if you can’t have soy products. Full sodium soy sauce is fine but it’s really very salty to me, but that’s personal preference!
Tomato paste: Both for color and flavor!
Nutritional yeast: It really makes this taste like steak, I swear. The end product does not taste of nutritional yeast at all. I tried it without and the flavor wasn’t quite as good, but if you really hate nutritional yeast you can leave it out (I’d reduced the liquid by ¼ cup).
Water: Do I really need to explain this? Haha.
Spices: On its own, vital wheat gluten has no flavor, so we’re adding a ton in there with spices, including: garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, oregano, cumin, coriander, ground mustard seed (a tablespoon of store-bought mustard will also work), fresh cracked black pepper, and a little bit of chili powder. The final result is amazing, but not at all spicy (and I’m sensitive to spice).
Apple cider vinegar: Just a flavor enhancer, but not a necessity. Substitute any vinegar you have on hand (except balsamic, I don’t think the flavors would mesh but go ahead if you want to try it.
Vital wheat gluten: This unfortunately makes the recipe not gluten-free, sorry. Vital wheat gluten is wheat that’s been stripped down to the proteins. It’s essentially a flour that we’ll mix into the blended mixture to make a “dough” so we can make our seitan steak.
How to Make Vegan Steak
- Note: You’ll need a food processor for this recipe, what a perfect excuse to invest in one if you haven’t already! If you don’t have one, I recommend a Cuisinart food processor or if you cook a LOT, my baby is the Breville Sous Chef 12 Cup and it is AMAZING. I’ve also heard good things about Ninja, though my prior experience was not amazing. You can use a blender if you need to. If that is the case, do everything except add the vital wheat gluten, and transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then add the vital wheat gluten with a strong spoon. Mix by hand once it gets too hard to stir until the vital wheat gluten is fully incorporated.
- Another note: You’ll also need a steamer pot or a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Make sure your pot has a lid, or you can purchase a universal lid.
- Add everything except the vital wheat gluten to your food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.
- Add the vital wheat gluten and mix until just combined.
- Now add 1-2 inches of water to the base of your steamer pot and start it to boil on medium high heat.
- Line your work surface with aluminum foil--it will protect your surface from stains and we’ll be using it to wrap the seitan steak anyway.
- Turn out the seitan dough onto the foil and press it together with your fingers until you have a rough log shape. Divide it into 4 equal pieces. I like to use a food scale with this--so my seitan log in this case was about 800 grams, so each piece was 200 grams. This will get you four equal size servings, but if you’d prefer to eyeball it, go ahead!
- Form a rough steak-like shape with your hands, You want it to be about ¾ inch to an inch thick all the way around, but the shape doesn’t matter much. Wrap in foil and repeat with remaining pieces.
- Once the water in your pot is to a boil, place the wrapped parcels inside the steamer basket and place in the pot, then cover with a lid. Cook for about 25 minutes on medium high heat. Note that if you’re grilling or pan frying the vegan steak after to get that nice char, I’d cook it for about 20 minutes as overcooked seitan can be a little tough.
- When the timer’s up, remove the lid and use tongs to place the wrapped parcels on a plate. Let them rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Now here’s where you can make a decision: For tender steaks, serve immediately or grill/sear in a pan (for 2 minutes each side). Note that if you’re searing them in a pan, I recommend just a little bit of oil (neutral with a high flashpoint, like grapeseed oil) rather than dry, otherwise you’re cooking out some of that moisture instead of locking it in. But if you’re oil-free you can skip this step entirely and eat the vegan steak straight out of the foil pack. For firmer steaks, refrigerate the wrapped parcels until cool, then unwrap and heat on a grill or in a pan (can reheat covered in the microwave too).
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
More Seitan Recipes
I’m loving experimenting with 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.
Here’s some of my favorite seitan recipes:
- Vegan Philly Cheesesteaks (these happen to be the most popular recipe on my blog!)
- Vegan Pepperoni
- Vegan Sausage
- Instant Pot Seitan (the basic beefy recipe for any application)
- Vegan Corned Beef
- Seitan Chicken Nuggets
- Vegan Drumsticks
- Seitan Turkey
- Vegan Pastrami
- Vegan Gyros
- Seitan Chicken
- Vegan Schnitzel
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. I definitely got the coveted reaction from him when he first tried it: eyes closed and “Mmmmpppphhhh” while chewing. I just love that.
This vegan steak is:
- Moist (sorry)
- Meaty (but without the cruelty!)
- And perfect for a cookout, potluck, date night, or family 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!