This vegan "chicken" recipe is easy, quick to make, and incredibly tasty! You'll be amazed at the taste and texture of this high-protein meatless chicken alternative.
There haven't been many foods I've missed since I stopped eating meat. Except for, of course, a chicken sandwich! While store-bought vegan chicken patties have their place, I knew I could do better.
This vegan chicken recipe is the best to mimic chicken that has a "ground" texture, like a chicken sandwich or nuggets. It's a great "blank slate" recipe to use for any recipe you would otherwise use chicken in.
I'll show you how to make the basic vegan chicken recipe, then what you do with it at the end is up to you: grill, roll in batter and pan-fry, bake, or chop up and saute!
(But, you can see my favorite way to use it at the bottom!)
- Vital wheat gluten Otherwise known as wheat meat, is just the gluten seperated from the rest of wheat flour. When mixed with liquid and cooked, seitan is formed. Such a wierd name but amazing texture and nutrition profile, seitan is low in carbs, high in protein, and has a texture remarkably like meat.
- Chickpeas I've made this without chickpeas before, but now that I've added them, I won't be going back. They add a great flakiness to the meat and keep it from getting too dense. Just make sure you flake/mash the chickpeas well before mixing them in. Plus, more fiber. What's not to love about that.
- Vegan chicken bullion or broth If you don't have chicken flavored broth, regular vegetable broth or vegetable bullion (reconstituted) works fine too!
- Prepare your chickpeas. Mash them well with a fork or use a food processor until there are no whole beans remaining. If you leave whole beans at this step, your "chicken" will have whole beans in it. (not the worst thing ever, but just keep this in mind)
2. Combine all ingredients except for the broth and oil in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well. To keep the chickpeas from clumping together, you may have to mix with your fingers.
3. Add the broth and oil to the wheat gluten mixture and stir until the dough ball forms. Sprinkle some wheat gluten on the tabletop and knead the dough for 30 seconds or until everything comes together and the texture is just starting to smooth.
Or you could be lazy like I am and just knead in the bowl, adding wheat gluten as needed if it's too sticky!
4. Separate the dough into 6 sections. Shape each section into the shape of a chicken patty or a piece of chicken. Then, wrap each piece of "chicken" in a separate piece of foil. Place each piece into a steamer basket and steam for 30-40 minutes or until the "chicken" is no longer doughy.
5. Then prepare as you would any other chicken: dip in batter and pan-fry, season and grill, or chop and saute.
Hint: To save aluminum foil, you don't have to wrap each piece. I often wrap every other piece in foil so they don't stick together! The difference, in the end, is barely noticeable.
Once you have your chicken seitan base, the options for what you do with it are pretty much limitless! If you have an old favorite casserole, taco recipe, or anything else that is made with chicken, try using this instead.
To grill or saute, then enjoy on its own or in a sandwich, try one of these spice rubs
- Spicy - cayanne pepper powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder,and black pepper.
- Italian - ground thyme, oregano, rosemary, and basil.
- Lemon Pepper - lemon pepper seasoning
The only special equipment you'll need is a steamer basket. It doesn't have to be huge, the one I use is small and the pieces overlap. It all works out fine.
If you don't have a steamer basket you can always place water in the bottom of a baking dish, add the "chicken" patties to the baking dish and cover. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until no longer doughy.
I'd argue that these are even better the next day and the day after that. These patties hold their own in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you're going to keep them longer than that, go ahead and freeze them. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Don't over knead the dough. Too much kneading and you'll end up with a spongy, very un-meat-like texture. Just a small amount of kneading- about 30 seconds is perfect. You'll have tender vegan chicken that everyone will love!
The Best Vegan Chicken Recipe
- Mixing bowl
- steamer basket
- aluminum foil
- 1 ½ cup vital wheat gluten
- ½ cup chickpeas mashed well, either with a fork or food processor
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup chicken-flavored vegetable broth or regular vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or other light-tasting oil
- Mash the chickpeas very well with a fork or use a food processor until there are no whole beans remaining.
- Add the vital wheat gluten, chickpeas, nutritional yeast, and seasonings to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir well until the chickpeas are evenly distributed. You may have to use your fingers to prevent them from clumping together.
- Add the broth and oil to the wheat gluten mixture and stir until a dough ball forms. Sprinkle some wheat gluten on the tabletop and knead the dough for 30 seconds or until everything comes together and the texture is just starting to smooth.
- Separate the dough into 6 sections. Shape each section into the shape of a chicken patty or a piece of chicken.
- Wrap each piece of "chicken" in a separate piece of foil. Place each piece into a steamer basket and steam for 30-40 minutes or until the "chicken" is no longer doughy.
- Prepare the chicken however you'd like. Battered and pan-fried, baked, or grilled.
For Grilled Vegan Chicken
- Season the vegan "chicken" patty with salt, pepper, and other seasonings of choice.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray the pan with cooking oil or 1 teaspoon of oil. Grill the "chicken" 3-4 minutes per side or until the outside is browned.
** All nutrition information is an estimate only. The nutrition information will vary depending on ingredients and amounts actually used in preparations. If you don't have a steamer basket you can always place water in the bottom of a baking dish, add the "chicken" patties to the baking dish and cover. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until no longer doughy.
StorageIn an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Need More Vegan Recipes?
Try one of these other hit vegan recipes: