This is the best vegan chicken recipe because it’s so easy to make and boasts a fantastic texture and flavor. Serve it as fillets or as part of your plant-based dinners like stir-fries, and more!
There was a day when making my own vegan chicken meat seemed impossible. Then my plant-based cooking school covered seitan. Now I’m on the other side of that learning curve, and I’m happy to say it’s 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 have you covered!
- BEST TEXTURE — Adding chickpeas to the base creates a moist texture to every bite
- BEST FLAVOR — Nutritional yeast flakes combined with poultry seasoning add a savory umami flavor.
- FIRM — Wrapping the loaf in foil before baking prevents the vital wheat gluten from expanding as it cooks, creating a firm loaf.
What is Vital Wheat Gluten?
Gluten is the main protein of a wheat berry found in the endosperm. When gluten is separated from the wheat, you have a flour-like substance (vital wheat gluten). This has been used in vegan and vegetarian recipes for years. Also known as “wheat meat,” it has a similar texture to meat. You can also add it to yeast bread to improve the texture and volume.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here’s the simple list of ingredients for this recipe:
- Canned chickpeas — Adding cooked chickpeas improves the structure and flavor of the fillets
- Bouillon Base + water — Use your preferred, high-quality vegetable broth. I recommend Better Than Bouillon Base (see link in recipe) because it delivers a consistent high-quality broth
- Nutritional yeast flakes — We’ll add nutritional yeast flakes for flavor (here’s more on nutritional yeast flakes, including where to buy it)
- Olive oil — adding a touch of olive oil adds tenderness and moisture to this plant-based chicken
- 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 usually find it at health food stores like Sprouts and Natural Grocers or online.
It’s easier than you think to make your own plant-based chicken.
Once your vegan mock chicken is done, wrap the fillets in waxed paper or foil, or store them 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.
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.
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 Use Vegan Chicken
- Serve vegan chiken fillets with lemon herb sauce (see the recipe card below). It’s delicious! Here are some favorite vegan sides to serve with
- You can bread and fry your fillets to make vegan fried chicken. Then serve them with creamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes. It’s like a plant-based homecooked Sunday dinner!
- Make vegan chicken nuggets by cutting the fillets into smaller pieces. You can bread them using the same process in my fried tofu sandwich. Then serve the nuggets with Air Fryer Fries or Sweet Potato Tots.
- Add fillets to this Vegan Chicken and Rice Casserole and serve it with a Vegan Wedge Salad.
- Cut the chicken into cubes and add it to your yummy Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup. You’ll love serving it with a Vegan French Dip Sandwich.
- You can use these vegan chicken fillets in other recipes that call for chicken. For example, cut them into strips and make this vegan taquitos recipe.
- You can also chop it into chunks and make it into meatless chicken salad.
- Bread the fillets into vegan parmesan cutlets and serve them over Vegan Fettucine Alfredo pasta.
As you can see, there are so many ways to use seitan chicken recipes!
Vegan Meat Favorites
If you love vegan chicken, here are even more plant-based meat recipes to try:
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
- ½ 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, bouillon, onion powder, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning. Blend for about 30 seconds. Scrape 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 visible.
- Turn the dough out onto a cutting board. Shape it into an oval loaf. Cut it into four pieces. 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 them from the oven. Leave them in the foil and set them aside to cool.
- Once cool enough to handle, remove the foil. Place on a cutting board and cut each down the middle, lengthwise, to create 8 fillets. You can refrigerate the fillets for up to 4 days or freeze them for up to 2 to 3 months.
For the Garlic Herb Sauce
- To serve, add 1 tablespoon of vegan butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter melts, add fillets and saute for 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.
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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.