The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (2024)

5 from 337 votes

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Just 20 minutes to make, and only 7 ingredients, this is by far the quickest and easiest seitan recipe ever!! This vegan chicken alternative is simple to whip up and perfect to add to any meal. Crispy crunchy on the outside, and tender chewy in the middle. The perfect meaty texture to amp up any vegan meal! If you are new to making seitan this is the perfect recipe for beginners to try. The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (1)

FEATURED COMMENT:

Okay, I never leave comments, BUT THIS recipe is so good! I’ve only been vegan a year and wanted to start learning how to make my own vegan meat. This recipe is so easy and it tastes great!!! I was so proud of myself for my first try and I will definitely make this again and again! - Ty Snowden

I came across a video on TikTok by @futurelettuce showing a 15-minute seitan recipe. I had to try it immediately! Unfortunately, even after trying it a few times, I wasn't super happy with the results. The seitan is first fried, and then you cover the pan with a lid for 10 minutes to cook it through. The problem with this is that by covering the seitan after it is fried, it tends to lose the crispy outside due to the steam. Or if you cover it and there isn't much moisture in the pan, then it can run this risk of burning before the seitan is cooked through. And I don't know about you, but soggy burnt vegan chicken just isn't my thing. The end result is spongey and rubbery, and just not super delicious. The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (2) But I loved the idea of making a quick seitan recipe so I had to play around with different techniques until I came up with my recipe for the quickest and easiest seitan recipe! In my experience, no matter how many techniques I try, steaming seitan is always a must. Boiling seitan makes it have a brainy spongey texture, frying seitan (without first steaming it) makes it rubbery and spongey, baking it makes it dry and rubbery. Steaming seitan, on the other hand, will yield the perfect meaty, juicy, chewy, yet tender seitan every single time. So even though I tried to get away with a one-pot recipe, it just didn't work for this recipe. The key is to first steam the seitan (which takes only 10 minutes) and then pan fry it for that crispy outside. Vegan chicken perfection! The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (3) The result is seitan that is crispy, juicy, chewy, tender, and absolutely amazing!!!! While I love all of my seitan recipes, (you can see them here), they do tend to take an hour or even longer to prepare. So I have fallen madly in love with this recipe as you just can't beat the speed of this one!

How to make the quickest and easiest seitan recipe:

The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (4) Add about an inch of water to a pot with a steamer basket and bring to a light boil. In the meantime, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, flour, vegetable broth powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a medium bowl. The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (5) Pour in the water and mix to form a ball of dough. The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (6) Lightly grease the steamer basket, then tear off bite-sized pieces of the seitan dough and place them in a single layer in the steamer basket. The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (7) Cover, and steam the seitan for 10 minutes. In the meantime, in a small bowl or a measuring glass, mix together the Thai sweet chili sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside. (See notes for other sauce options). The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (8) When the seitan is done steaming, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or non-stick pan. Use tongs to remove the seitan bites from the steamer basket, and place them into the hot oil in the pan. Be careful as it may splatter. Cook the seitan bites a few minutes per side until they are golden brown and crispy. The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (9) Remove from the heat and add the sauce and toss to coat. The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (10) Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired and serve hot. When preparing the seitan with the provided sauce recipe I love to serve it over a bed of rice with a side of cooked greens such as broccoli or spinach. Of course when you are using different sauce recipes, you can get as creative as you want! BBQ seitan bites would be great served with vegan potato salad, macaroni salad, or mac and cheese. Yum! For jerk seitan bites, try serving them with rice and peas and coleslaw. If you're using an Italian sauce try tossing them onto pasta. The options are endless! Bon Appetegan! Sam Turnbull.

The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (11)

5 from 337 votes

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The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe!! (Vegan Chicken!)

Just 20 minutes to make, and only 7 ingredients, this is by far the quickest and easiest seitan recipe ever!! This vegan chicken alternative is simple to whip up and perfect to add to any meal. Crispy crunchy on the outside, and tender chewy in the middle. The perfect meaty texture to amp up any vegan meal! If you are new to making seitan this is the perfect recipe for beginners to try.

Inspired by @futurelettuce

Prep: 5 minutes mins

Cook: 15 minutes mins

Total: 20 minutes mins

Servings: 4

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Ingredients

For the seitan:

For the sauce (optional, see notes for other sauce ideas):

US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  • Add about an inch of water to a pot with a steamer basket and bring to a light boil.

  • In the meantime, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, flour, vegetable broth powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the water and mix to form a ball of dough. Lightly grease the steamer basket, then tear off bite-sized pieces of the seitan dough and place them in a single layer in the steamer basket. Cover, and steam the seitan for 10 minutes.

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (12)

  • In the meantime, in a small bowl or a measuring glass, mix together the Thai sweet chili sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside. (See notes for other sauce options).

  • When the seitan is done steaming, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or non-stick pan. Use tongs to remove the seitan bites from the steamer basket, and place them into the hot oil in the pan. Be careful as it may splatter. Cook the seitan bites a few minutes per side until they are golden brown and crispy.

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (13)

  • Remove from the heat and add the sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired and serve hot.

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (14)

Notes

Sauce options: the sauce recipe I provided is just one idea. You could sauce this seitan anyway you like! Just fry the seitan in oil, then stir in your favourite sauce. Any of my 12 seitan marinades would work great as a sauce!

Oil-free:I love how crispy the seitan gets by frying it in oil, but if you prefer oil-free, try frying it in a dry non-stick pan, grilling it, or tossing it in your air fryer.

Make-Ahead: you can prepare this seitan completely, let it cool, and then store in an air-tight in the fridge for 3 - 5 days. The seitan will be chewier when cold. Alternatively, you could allow the seitan to cool after steaming (but before frying) and store the steamed seitan in the fridge, then you can fry it fresh.

Freezing: seitan freezes wonderfully, allow the seitan to cool after steaming (but before frying) and store in an air-tight container in the freezer.

Vital wheat glutenis essential to this recipe, and there is no substitute. Therefore this recipe cannot be made gluten-free. For a vegan gluten-free chicken inspired recipe try myBaked Tofu Bitesrecipe.

Steaming tips: you need to steam the seitan bites before using them. I recommend getting a steamer potif you plan to make seitan often, or you can use aDIY methodif you do not have a steamer.

Cleaning tips:vital wheat gluten is very sticky and can destroy dish brushes and cloths. So what I like to do is save old clothes, sheets, or towels that are too shabby to donate, and cut them into rags. I use these rags to clean up after preparing a seitan recipe and discard the rag once finished.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving of seitan fried in oil, but without sauce (recipe makes 4 servings) | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 284mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Catherine says

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (22)
    I have been experimenting with different methods for making seitan, and your recipe has been the best I have found. I think that several things made a big difference. Seasoning the seitan dough itself before cooking rather than just the poaching liquid -- I used Better than Bouillon's No-chicken Base (1 tsp) in addition to the onion and garlic powder. Making the dough fairly soft by adding a bit more water to get a softer springier stretchier dough texture. Not kneading too much keeps it from becoming tough from developing the gluten (thank you for that tip!). Steaming, rather than poaching it. Using small pieces rather than one large chunk so it cooked faster (and thus more tender). Steaming first, then frying, rather than the reverse. Frying over medium heat rather than high (wok) temperature. Seitan burns easily and even just a dark brown crust tastes really bad. Thank you for all your work in developing this recipe. It is delicious!

    Reply

  2. Jim Tharp says

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (23)
    Wow, I am shocked at how easy and good this is! I think I've shied away from making it in the past because it looked too easy to be good. I have recently been doing washed flour recipes and having limited success. I have tried lots of recipes that are much more complicated with limited success. Every once in a while I get lucky, buy usually not. I'm very happy to have this and thank you so much. I thought the texture was awesome. The only thing I added was some hot spice only because I thrive on it.

    Reply

  3. Ren says

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (24)
    Thanks for sharing this super easy, straight forward, and most importantly tasty recipe! I just started messing around with seitan after being anxious about it, and this was the perfect intro to making seitan.

    Reply

  4. Coulinjo says

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (25)
    I'm making it for the second time. I love this recipe and the clear instructions. Perfect!

    Reply

    • Jess @ IDTLC Support says

      Wonderful!

      Reply

    • Jess @ IDTLC Support says

      Yay! We're happy to hear it!

      Reply

      • Ben says

        In order to get the 9th essential amino acid for complete protein which Vital Wheat Gluten lacks, Lysine, I’ve heard that seitan recipes should include nutritional yeast which does contain lysine. Any knowledge if that’s true?

      • Sam Turnbull says

        To quote healthline "Like all plant foods, seitan contains some amount of all nine essential amino acids. However, basic seitan may contain only a small amount of lysine ( 4 ). That just means it's important to make sure you're getting other sources of lysine in your diet, such as beans, soy milk, tempeh, quinoa, and lentils ( 4 )." You could use a program like cronometer to calculate the exact amounts in a recipe. I hope that helps!

  5. Tamara says

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (26)
    Taste tested a few fried pieces. So easy and so good! I doubled the batch. Used Vegeta for the veggie seasoning. Steamed as directed, cooled, and will freeze prior to cooking further. Thanks Sam for making it so simple and delicious.

    Reply

    • Jess @ IDTLC Support says

      Wonderful!

      Reply

    • Susan Roman says

      Have you thawed your frozen seitan? My husband and I were just wondering aloud if this would freeze well.

      Reply

  6. Lily says

    Hi, I'm excited to try your recipe, it sounds good and pretty straightforward. Just one question though, how did you generate the nutrition facts values at the end of your post? (I mean the "carbs: 10g, protein: 18g, fat: 1g" etc)

    Reply

  7. Pat cavallaro says

    thought I'd share this clean-up info:
    yes, seitan dough is very sticky, but if you run your irty bowls under very cold water, the dough stiffens & a good amount can be scraped off & thrown into waste bins. There will still be some stubborn residue, but clean-up will be so much easier & less messy.

    Reply

    • Jess @ IDTLC Support says

      Thanks for sharing your tips!

      Reply

  8. Kathy says

    Can you use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour?

    Reply

    • Sam Turnbull says

      Yes that should work fine. Enjoy!

      Reply

  9. Pam says

    I just tried this recipe today and I can't believe HOW EASY it was. I didn't have any Thai sweet chili sauce, but I did have the remaining ingredients so I just made the sauce with what I had on hand and it was still delicious. I am already imagining other ways to use the seitan from this easy recipe. Thanks for another amazing recipe!

    Reply

    • Jess @ IDTLC Support says

      We are delighted to hear it!

      Reply

  10. Victoria says

    just made this and was all good. except, the end result was a bit too chewy. any suggestions to make it less chewy? I'm loving your work here on this site though

    Reply

  11. Dewi says

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (27)
    Great quick recipe - I find these air fry well too on max crisp or otherwise.

    Cleaning hack - rather than use an old cloth or rag - I have found a used tea bag works, and saves the waste as would otherwise be going in the bin.

    Reply

    • Jamie says

      The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (28)
      I've always been hesitant to make seitan because everyone always talks about how hard it is This was so easy! And the outcome was delicious. Thanks so much!

      Where does the one gram of trans fat come from, though, and can it be eliminated or subbed?

      Reply

      • Sam Turnbull says

        I just calculated the nutrition again and this time it had no trans fat so it must have been a typo!

      • Jamie says

        Thank you so much. That means I can make it all the time - and will!

  12. Roo says

    Hi, made this tonight, steamed for probably 12 mins, pan fried in oil till crispy, they didn't seem quite cooked through but added a Rogan Josh sauce and cooked for about 10-15 mins. Although the flavour is great they still don't seem cooked inside properly Not sure if I've under/ over cooked them or I just don't like the texture Any ideas please?

    Reply

  13. Julia says

    The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe! (Vegan Chicken!) (29)
    This recipe was so quick and easy - and tasty! Great texture on the seitan. My meat-eater husband loved it in the stir fry we made. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

    Reply

    • Jess @ IDTLC Support says

      We're delighted to hear it!

      Reply

  14. Sara Cunha says

    please can you tell me if I can substitute the all purpose flour by more vital wheat gluten or almond flour? I follow a keto diet and all purpose flour shouldn't be consumed. thank you so much

    Reply

    • Sam Turnbull says

      More vital wheat gluten would make it too tough and chewy, so don't do that, but you could try subbing with the almond flour or garbanzo bean flour.

      Reply

      • Sara Cunha says

        Thank you so much Sam! I actually made it replacing the flour with garbanzo flour and my husband absolutely loved it! thank you so much for this recipe! it will be my go-to from now on!

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