These vegan chicken breasts are super meaty and chewy, making them a great high-protein meat substitute! Easy to make and can be grilled, fried, or baked. Seitan chicken is also freezable, making it a great recipe to meal prep on the weekends.
These vegan chicken breasts are made from seitan, giving them a chewy, meat-like texture that resembles that of regular chicken! Even non-vegans will be impressed by them. Only lightly flavored, they are highly versatile and can be added to any dishes that call for chicken.
💚Why you will love this recipe
- Have the perfect meaty consistency that meat-eaters will approve of
- Packed with protein - A serving contains around 30g of protein!
- Incredibly versatile and works in most recipes that call for chicken
- A simple recipe that is quick and easy to make
- Stores well and are freezer-friendly - perfect for meal preps.
🤔What is seitan?
Seitan is a popular meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten - a high protein flour made by isolating gluten from wheat. Check out this post on vital wheat gluten if you are interested to know more about this amazing flour!
They have a chewy consistency that closely resembles that of meat and are also a great source of plant-based protein, where a 3oz (85g) serving contains 15-21g of protein.
Store-bought seitan can be pretty pricey; hence I love making my own! Homemade seitan chicken not only is way cheaper but also tastes better. You can also customize it and add whatever seasonings that sound good.
🧂What you will need
📃Ingredients notes and substitutions
- Vital wheat gluten- Also known as gluten flour. You can find it in most groceries or your local health foods store. I usually purchase my wheat gluten online.
- Tofu - Make sure to use extra-firm tofu that has been drained and pressed beforehand, either by using a tofu press or by stacking something heavy on top.
- Soy sauce - Can be substituted with shoyu or tamari.
- Poultry seasoning - An optional ingredient, but gives a nice flavor to vegan chicken breasts.
🔪How to make
In a food processor, add all ingredients except gluten flour. Process until a smooth batter forms.
Carefully add gluten flour in and pulse until a dough forms.
Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes. Separate them into 5 parts, and shape them into the shape of chicken breast. Wrap them in aluminum foil.
Place them into a steamer basket and steam for 30 minutes. Let them cool down slightly before removing the foil. You can now prepare your seitan chicken breasts however you like!
- Be careful not to over-knead your seitan chicken. This will result in excess gluten formation, causing your vegan chicken breasts to be tough and chewy.
- However, if you like extra chewy seitan, feel free to knead for longer, up to 5 minutes.
- If you are uncomfortable with aluminum foil directly contacting your food, you can wrap seitan in some parchment paper before layering on the foil.
- You can also cook seitan chicken in the Instant Pot too! Place a cup of water into the inner pot, and insert the trivet. Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
🥗How to use
- For a quick and easy dish, pan-fry vegan chicken breast in some vegan butter or oil. You can also grill them too!
- Chop or slice them into smaller pieces, and add them to stir-fries. I highly recommend giving this seitan stir-fry a try!
- Use seitan chicken in any chicken dishes. I love using it to make vegan teriyaki chicken, but you could also use them in place of tofu for recipes like vegan orange chicken.
- Add it to salads like this protein pasta salad or Thai quinoa salad.
- They also work great in curries and stews - Thai red curry, Chinese vegetable curry, or gochujang soup.
Storing - Let vegan chicken breasts cool down completely and remove the foils before storing. You can either keep them in sealed containers or freezer bags.
They will stay well up to a week in the fridge and be frozen for up to 3 months.
Reheating - To reheat, let frozen seitan chicken defrost completely in the fridge or on the countertop. You can then prepare them however you want to!
❔Commonly asked questions
Seitan is freezable and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let them cool completely and transfer them into containers or zip-top bags before freezing.
If your seitan chicken turns out to be tough, chances are you had kneaded the dough for too long. The more you knead the dough, the more the gluten flour develops, leading to tougher seitan.
The opposite is also true. So if you find that yours are too soft and not chewy enough, try kneading them for a little longer next time.
Seitan is mild in flavor and does not have much taste in it. However, it works great as a base and will take on the taste of any seasonings or sauces added!
🍽More vegan meat substitutes
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Vegan Chicken Breast
- ½ block extra firm tofu drained and pressed (about 200g/7oz)
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari/shoyu (use gluten-free if needed)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke optional
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning optional
- 1 ¼ cups vital wheat gluten
- In a food processor, place all ingredients, except vital wheat gluten. Blend until a smooth batter forms.
- Next, add vital wheat gluten to the food processor and pulse until a dough forms.
- Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes, then separate them into 5 parts. Shape them into the shape of chicken breast. Wrap them up using aluminum foil.
- To steam - Bring 1-2 inches of water to boil in a pot with the steamer basket inserted in. Once the water starts boiling, transfer seitan chicken into the basket and place the lid on. Steam for 30 minutes.Instant Pot - Place a cup of water into the pot and insert the trivet. Place vegan chicken breasts in and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. Quick release pressure after the timer goes off.
- Let cooked seitan cool slightly before removing them from the foil. You can now prepare them however you like!
- Do not over-knead - Overkneading will cause excess gluten formation, yielding tough seitan.
- Allow to cool before use - Seitan will appear soft after cooking but will firm up once cooled. To get the best stringy texture, refrigerate vegan chicken breast for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Cooking seitan in the Instant Pot - Place a cup of water into the inner pot and insert the trivet. Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes, then quickly release the pressure.
- Making minced chicken - To turn vegan chicken into mince, simply pulse it a few times in a food processor.
Nutrition info calculated is just a rough estimate and is provided as a courtesy. Bear in mind that value will vary based on variables like specific brand or type of product used. To obtain the most accurate representation, it is highly recommended that you calculate it on your own with the actual amount and type of ingredient used.