This Vegan Chicken recipe is easy to make and boasts a fantastic texture and flavor! Make this delicious seitan chicken and serve it as a fillet or as a great protein option for your vegan dinners like veggie stir-fries, and vegetarian chicken salad, and more!
There was a day when I thought it seemed impossible to think about making my own vegan chicken meat at home. I was quite intimidated when my plant-based cooking school covered seitan.
But I’m here now, on the other side of that learning curve, to tell you that it’s way easier than you think. In fact, this recipe comes together so quickly, it’s amazing! The hardest thing about vegan chicken recipes is finding the vital wheat gluten, and I’ve got a link in the recipe that has you covered!
What is vegetarian chicken made of?
Vegetarian chicken is made from a variety of ingredients, but the most popular recipes call for vital wheat gluten or ‘wheat meat.’ It creates a great texture and is a low-calorie, low-carb ingredient to work with!
How to Make Vegan Chicken
It’s easier than you think to make your own plant-based chicken. Let’s talk about the ingredients to make your vegan chicken from scratch.
Vegan Chicken Ingredients
Here’s the simple list of ingredients for this recipe:
- Canned chickpeas — I’m adding canned chickpeas to add both structure and flavor
- Bouillon Base + water — If you have a preferred, high-quality vegetable broth, then go for it. However, I recommend this Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base (see link in recipe) because it delivers consistent high-quality broth and great flavor
- Nutritional yeast flakes — I love using nutritional yeast flakes for the cheesy flavor it adds to my recipes. Here’s more on nutritional yeast flakes, including where to buy it
- Olive oil — adding just a touch of olive oil makes a more moist vegan chicken meat
- Onion + garlic powder — this savory duo adds delicious flavor
- Poultry seasoning — believe it or not, there is no poultry in poultry seasoning. It’s simply a delicious combination of spices
- Vital wheat gluten — it’s quite possible you’ve never worked with vital wheat gluten before, but it’s a simple flour-like substance used to create vegan meat products. You can find it at health food stores like Sprouts and Natural Grocers. I can find it in the health food section of my local grocery store too.
Steps to make Meatless Chicken
Step One: Create the Chickpea Paste
We’re going to be making a chickpea paste to serve as the base of the vegan chicken. To do this, add chickpeas to a food processor with the water, oil, bouillon, onion powder, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning.
Process this mixture for about 30 seconds and then use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then blend again in pulses until the mixture is smooth.
Step Two: Add Vital Wheat Gluten
Transfer the chickpea mixture to a bowl and add the vital wheat gluten. Use a rubber spatula to stir the ingredients together. That will work at the beginning but eventually, I find it’s best to use your hands to make sure everything is equally distributed throughout the dough.
You’ll be “stirring” and gently “kneading” the mixture in the bowl until it’s just combined and none of the powdery vital wheat gluten is visible.
Step Two: Create Loaves
Turn the dough out onto a cutting board and shape it into an oval loaf. Use a serrated knife to cut it into four pieces. Next, loosely wrap the four pieces in foil and use tongs to place in the heated oven. Bake for 45–50 minutes.
Once they’re done, use tongs to remove the four pieces from the oven. They are still pretty so hot so leave them in the foil and set them aside to cool.
Once the loaves are cool enough to handle, remove the foil. Place each loaf on a cutting board and cut each down the middle, lengthwise, to create 8 fillets.
Once your vegan mock chicken is done, wrap the fillets in waxed paper or foil, or store in a sealable container. Keep this in the fridge for up to 4–5 days. Or they can be frozen for up to 2–3 months.
Is Vital Wheat Gluten bad for you?
Vital Wheat Gluten is created when wheat flour is combined with water and kneaded to activate the gluten. After that, the starches are rinsed away to reveal only the gluten. What’s left is vital wheat gluten, a relatively healthy, low carb, and low-calorie product that can be transformed into vegan meat.
How to Serve Vegan Chicken Fillets
Want to serve vegan chicken fillets? Here’s how to do that with a delicious lemon-herbed sauce.
Add vegan butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter melts, add vegan chicken fillets and sauté for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Then use tongs to remove fillets from the skillet to a plate.
Add some more vegan butter to the skillet and add minced garlic. Cook for a minute until the garlic is tender. Then add water, bouillon, lemon juice, and lemon zest. You can also add optional thin lemon slices too. It makes for a dramatic look!
Stir to combine the sauce ingredients and cook for 2–3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the top and use a spatula to stir it into the sauce. Cook and stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens.
Then, add the vegan fillets back to the skillet, spooning the sauce over the top. Cook this all together for a few minutes until the fillets are heated through.
Other Ways to Use Vegan Chicken
You can use these vegan chicken fillets in other recipes that call for chicken. For example, you can cut them into vegan chicken strips and make this vegan taquitos recipe. You can also chop it into chunks and make it into vegan chicken salad.
You can also bread the fillets into vegan chicken parmesan cutlets and serve it over pasta. As you can see, there are so many ways to use seitan chicken recipes!
What to Serve with Vegan Chicken
Serve these tasty side dishes with your vegan chicken:
- Everyone loves this Cauliflower Gratin side dish
- These Sweet Potato Rolls go great with just about everything
- This Vegan Broccoli Salad is a favorite side dish
- Speaking of salads, this Cauliflower Salad is so healthy and tasty too!
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
Vegan Chicken Fillets
Lemon Garlic Sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter divided
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (1 – 2 cloves)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Vegetarian
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
For the Vegan Chicken Fillets
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Add chickpeas to a food processor with the water, oil, boullion, onion powder, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning. Blend for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again until smooth.
- Transfer the chickpea mixture to a bowl. Add vital wheat gluten. Use a spatula to stir the ingredients together. To make sure it's all equally distributed, use your hands to gently "knead" the mixture in the bowl, only until just combined and none of the powdery vital wheat gluten is visable.
- Turn the dough out onto a cutting board. Shape it into a oval loaf. Cut it into four pieces. Loosely wrap the pieces in foil and use tongs to place in the heated oven. Bake for 45–50 minutes.
- Once they're done, use tongs to remove from the oven. Leave them in the foil and set aside to cool.
- Once cool enough to handle, remove the foil. Place on a cutting board and cut each down the middle, lengthwiise, to create 8 fillets. You can refrigerate the fillets for up to 4 days or freeze them for up to 2–3 months.
For the Garlic Herb Sauce
- To serve, add 1 tablespoon vegan butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter melts, add fillets and saute about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Use tongs to remove fillets from the skillet. Transfer to a plate.
- Add remaining vegan butter to the skillet. Add minced garlic and cook for about a minute, until the garlic is tender. Add water, bouillon, lemon juice, and lemon zest. You can also add optional thin lemon slices too. Stir to combine. Cook for 2–3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the top and use a spatula to stir it into the sauce. Cook and stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens.
- Add vegan fillets back to the skillet, spooning the sauce over the top. Cook for a few minutes until the fillets are heated through. Serve fillets warm. Sprinkle with chives.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.