Easy and made with only tofu, vital wheat gluten flour, nutritional yeast, broth and savoury spices, this Easy Vegan Seitan Chicken is easy to whip up, even on a weeknight.
Whether you’re trying to get more plants into your life, doing meatless Mondays or are vegan, a simple plant-based chicken recipe is a staple. This Easy Vegan Seitan Chicken is super versatile and can be used as you would raw animal-based chicken. Meaning, once you’ve thrown the ingredients together and steamed it 25 minutes, you can then cook it any way you’d like in any dish.
Add Homeade Vegan Seitan Chicken to Your Skillset
It’s essential to have some healthy homeade plant-based meats in your arsenal. Store-bought plant meats can be tasty and super convenient, and while they’re often a good source of fibre, folate and iron, and typically contain less saturated fat than ground animal beef, they can be highly processed and full of salt.
Cooking up your own homeade plant-meats is cheaper, healthier, and opens up a larger array of possibilities. Instead of breaded processed vegan nuggets with a boring sugary processed bbq packet of sauce, you can make a lovely plant-based chicken breast with homeade pesto. Much more elegant, right?
Methods of Cooking Vegan Seitan Chicken
First off, seitan always needs to be cooked to use it in a vegetarian or vegan meal. In this recipe we’re steaming it which gives it a chewier texture. You can use a steaming basket placed in a pot of simmering water on the stove with the lid on, or use a metal strainer placed over a pot of water with the lid on. This method of of boiling is a great overall method and particularly good for making seitan sausages and pepperoni. Once steamed, it’s considered cooked, and you can then use your vegan seitan meat to make any sort of meal. Grill it in a pan and use it in any sort of cuisine.
Boiling seitan is the other method of cooking your vegan meat. This will give your final product a very moist texture, great for slicing and sauteeing as meat, and adding to baked casseroles and the like. In this method you add the seitan breasts to boiling liquid, typically a broth, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. It will double or triple in size, and will take on the flavour of the liquid it’s cooking in.
Don’t bake a seitan recipe that recommends simmering or steaming. Baking seitan requires the dough to have more moisture in it than simmering or steaming requires. If the dough isn’t moist enough, the baked seitan will have a super bready texture to it.
Seitan is high in protein and fairly low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. It also contains a number of minerals. Compared to beef loin, seitan contains fewer calories and less fat but nearly the same amount of protein. Wheat gluten is technically a processed ingredient, but a very healthy one!
Let the Breast Rest…Only if You’d Like
Once you mix together your simple ingredients (by hand, with a hand mixer, or using the mix setting on your Kitchenaid Mixer), shape and steam your breasts, you have the option of letting them cool. Placing your vegan chicken breasts in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour will change the texture. If you don’t have the time to the let the breast rest, then don’t! This recipe is not overly fussy, and will give you a nice tasting plant-based chicken either way. If you have the time, try out cooling them and see if you prefer the texture that way.
Make this Recipe Work for You
Although this recipe calls for soft tofu, if you only have firm you can still work with that. The thing with vegan seitan meat recipes is everyone will end up liking a certain taste and texture. Don’t be afraid to alter this recipe a bit-from the spices, to the tofu type, to the time resting. Fine tune it according to what works for you. If you only have firm tofu on hand, be sure to add in a few tablespoons of water to make up for decreased moisture. Soft tofu contains a lot more water in it, giving you a more moist and soft seitan dough. Firm will work just fine though!
Try this vegan chicken topped with my Easy Vegan Teriyaki Sauce recipe!
Quick & Easy Vegan Seitan Chicken
- steamer basket (optional)
Vegan Seitan Chicken
- 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten (plus more for dusting)
- 1 1/4 cups soft or silken tofu (can use firm but will have different texture)
- 2 tbsp water (add extra 3-5 tbsp if using firm tofu)
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground sage (optional)
- 1/4 tsp rosemary (optional)
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 2 tsp broth powder)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Vegan Seitan Chicken
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine until dough forms a ball. Or, mix everything together by hand, or mix using on the 'mix' setting on your Kitchenaid mixer, working the dough until it forms a ball.
- Dust a work surface with a touch of the vital wheat gluten. Turn the dough ball onto the surface and lightly dust the top with a little more vital wheat gluten to keep it from sticking to your hands. The dough will be soft and sticky. Do not knead the dough or it will become tough.
- Cut the dough ball into 6 pieces and use the tips of your fingers to press each piece of dough into an oval shape about 5" x 6".
- Add several inches of water to a large pot with a steamer basket (or strainer) and bring to a simmer. Lightly grease the steamer basket and lay the tenders in the basket.
- Cover and steam at a simmer for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through so they steam evenly. They will double in size. Keep your water at a gentle simmer for the best texture.
- Once steamed, remove the tenders and let cool.
- You can now use your vegan chicken how you like (grill it a pan, toss in marinade etc.), or let it cool more in the fridge. To cool in fridge: cover or put in an airtight container and chill in the fridge for an hour or so. The tenders shrink and firm up a bit when chilled and this results in a different texture.
- Serve how you like! Bread them, slice them for sandwiches, salad, pasta, or stir fry, cut them into nuggets, add them to burritos, tacos, or curries.