It is so easy to make your own shredded seitan “chicken” at home! This seitan recipe is made with white beans and aquafaba, which gives the setian a tender texture that is shreddable. With a neutral savory flavor, these meaty seitan shreds are the perfect addition to any recipe that calls for shredded chicken – add to casseroles, pasta dishes, soups, sandwiches, and more!
Shredded Seitan Chicken
One of my favorite things about seitan is how versatile it is. To make basic seitan, all you really need is vital wheat gluten and water. But with the addition of extra ingredients and utilizing different cooking methods, you can make an array of meaty seitan-based recipes. From sausages to meatballs to holiday hams, nearly any meat can be made vegan with seitan.
Even chicken. Yes, even shredded chicken.
This seitan chicken recipe uses white beans and aquafaba to give the setian a tender, fibrous texture that is totally shreddable. These setian chicken shreds have a subtle savory flavor that is quite neutral, making it the perfect addition to recipes calling for shredded chicken. But my favorite way to eat it is sautéed in a nice sauce in a grain bowl or a stir fry. Yum!
When I make this recipe, I usually share a portion of it with my friends and everyone has loved it. One friend even said it was the best vegan he has ever had. I hope y’all feel the same way!
How much protein is in seitan chicken?
Seitan is an excellent source of plant based protein. One serving of this seitan chicken recipe has 157 calories and 23 grams of protein! By comparison, one serving of real chicken breast has about 165 calories and 31 grams of protein.
Ingredients for Seitan Chicken
- Vital wheat gluten (gluten flour): this is the ingredient that makes seitan so meaty! Find it at many grocery stores near the flours, or buy it online.
- White beans: any type of canned white bean will work in this recipe. I love cannellini beans, but great northern beans and navy beans also work well.
- Aquafaba: this is the water, or “bean juice,” in the can of beans. Make sure not to drain the beans, because we want
- Vegan chicken bouillon paste: I use Better than Bouillon Vegetarian No Chicken Base, but you also use either a vegetable or vegan chicken bouillon cube instead
- White miso paste: for some umami goodness. You can use red miso paste too, but it will make the seitan dough darker.
- Spices: onion powder, garlic powder, and salt
- Oil: optional, but I think it helps with the texture. Omit if oil-fee.
Can seitan be made gluten-free?
Unfortunately, no. I get this question a lot, but you cannot substitute vital wheat gluten for a gluten-free flour in a seitan recipe. The whole reason why seitan is so meaty is because of the gluten.
Seitan made with white beans and aquafaba
What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the liquid found in a can of beans. In vegan cooking, aquafaba is typically used as an egg replacement in baked goods, or it is whipped into stiff peaks as a replacement for egg whites in recipes such as pavlova or chocolate mousse. People usually collect aquafaba from a can of chickpeas, but you can obtain it from any mildly flavored bean, like white beans.
How beans alter the seitan dough
Adding blended white beans and aquafaba to the dough makes the seitan a a lot more tender, which is great for a vegan chicken texture. White beans are very creamy, which makes the seitan shreds feel very smooth and easy to pull apart into shreds. Any canned white bean such as cannellini beans, great northern beans, or navy beans will all work in this recipe.
How to make Shredded Seitan Chicken
Start by blending together the wet mixture. Add all of the ingredients except for the vital wheat gluten to a blender, and blend until completely smooth.
Then mix the wet and dry ingredients together. To a large mixing bowl, add the vital wheat gluten. Pour the blended mixture into the bowl, stirring until a ball of dough forms.
How to knead seitan: two ways
Kneading is a vital part in the seitan making process. When you knead the seitan, you are activating the gluten, which is what gives seitan a meaty texture. The longer you knead the seitan, the firmer the dough will be.
Knead in a food processor
Start by separating the dough into three equal balls. Small dough balls put less strain on your food processor, plus 3 smaller dough balls cook faster than 1 large one. Then, using a metal or plastic s-blade attachment, pulse each ball of dough for about 2 minutes, until the gluten has formed.
Knead by hand
Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is firm and the gluten has formed. Then using your hands or a knife, separate the kneaded dough into three equal balls to prep for cooking. Knead each dough ball a couple of times to form a round, even ball.
Can I knead the seitan in a stand mixer?
The last option is to knead the seitan in a stand mixer with a dough hook. However, I do not own a stand mixer, so I cannot recommend the proper length of time to knead it. If I had to guess, I would say knead the dough for about 5 minutes on a lower speed, or until the gluten has formed and the dough is firm. Let me know in the comments if you try this method and what worked for you!
How do I know if I kneaded the seitan enough?
You will know the dough is in a good spot when you can see strands of gluten in the dough when it is stretched. The dough should be smooth and firm – when you press a finger into it, the dough should bounce back.
Steam the seitan chicken
Now that the seitan is kneaded and you have three dough balls formed, it is time to cook them! To keep the shape of the dough in tact, wrap each of the dough balls tightly in aluminum foil. If you do not like foil touching your food, you can first wrap the seitan in parchment paper and then aluminum foil on top of that. You could also wrap the seitan tightly in muslin or cheesecloth, securing the ends with kitchen string.
In a pot or pan that will fit your steamer basket, heat some water over high until it comes to a boil. Place the steamer basket in the pan, add the seitan to the basket, and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium low. Steam for 45 minutes, flip the seitan, then steam again for an additional 45 minutes. Check in every so often to make sure that you pan has not run dry, and add more water to the pan as needed. Let the seitan cool in the aluminum foil for at least 10 minutes before unwrapping.
Note: this recipe was designed specifically for steaming the seitan, so I would not recommend simmering it or baking it. Steaming keeps the seitan chicken nice and moist, while cooking it evenly.
Shred the seitan
Once the seitan has cooled for 10 minutes, you can unwrap it from the aluminum foil. Once it is cool enough to handle but still slightly warm, you can start shredding the seitan with your hands. It is not a big deal if the seitan is completely cool when you start shredding it, it just makes the shredding process easier!
Pull apart the “chicken” shreds as thin or thick as you’d like them!
How long does seitan last in the fridge?
This seitan should last up to 10 days in the fridge.
How to freeze seitan chicken
If you want to freeze this seitan chicken, I recommend freezing it after it has been shredded. This will make the thawing process a lot easier. Let the seitan shreds cool completely, place in a freezer bag, and pop into the freezer until you are ready to enjoy it.
What to do with seitan chicken
This seitan chicken has a pretty neutral flavor and can adapt to any flavor profile, which makes it perfect for nearly any recipe as a replacement for shredded chicken. I also love simply sautéing the seitan shreds with a good sauce!
- Vegan “Chicken” Fettuccine Alfredo: substitute seitan shreds instead of soy curls
- Vegan Teriyaki “Chicken”: substitute seitan shreds instead of soy curls
- Jackfruit “Chicken” Noodle Soup: substitute seitan shreds instead of jackfruit
- Vegan Chickpea Salad Sandwich: finely shred the seitan chicken and substitute instead of mashed chickpeas
- BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich with Vegan Coleslaw: substitute seitan shreds instead of jackfruit
More delicious seitan recipesPrint
It is so easy to make your own shredded seitan “chicken” at home. With a neutral savory flavor, these meaty seitan shreds are the perfect addition to any recipe that calls for shredded chicken – add to casseroles, pasta dishes, soups, sandwiches, and more!
- 1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans + aquafaba (do not drain the beans – use the entire can with the beans and the bean juice)*
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon oil (optional)
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon vegan chicken bouillon paste (sub with 1 bouillon cube)
- 2 cups (240g) vital wheat gluten
- Blend the wet mixture. To a blender, add all of the ingredients except for the vital wheat gluten. Blend until smooth.
- Mix the dry and wet mixtures. To a large mixing bowl, add the vital wheat gluten. Pour the blended mixture into the bowl, stirring until a ball of dough forms.
- Knead the dough. You can do this two ways.
- With a food processor: Separate the dough into three equal balls. Using a plastic (recommended) or metal s-blade attachment, pulse each ball of dough for about 2 minutes, until the gluten has formed.
- By hand: Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is firm and the gluten has formed. Using your hands or a knife, separate the kneaded dough into three equal balls.
- Steam the seitan.
- Wrap each of the 3 dough balls tightly in aluminum foil. If you do not like foil touching your food, you can first wrap the seitan in parchment paper and then aluminum foil on top of that.
- In a pot or pan that will fit your steamer basket, heat some water over high until it comes to a boil. Place the steamer basket in the pan, add the seitan to the basket, and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium low.
- Steam for 45 minutes, flip the seitan, then steam again for an additional 45 minutes. Check in every so often to make sure that you pan has not run dry, and add more water to the pan as needed.
- Let the seitan cool in the aluminum foil for at least 10 minutes before unwrapping.
- Shred the seitan. Once the seitan is cool enough to handle, begin shredding it with your hands. Pull apart the “chicken” shreds as thin or thick as you’d like them!
- How to serve seitan chickens shreds: Use in recipes as a replacement for shredded chicken. They also taste great in a veggie stir fry with an Asian sauce, or pan fried and coat with bbq sauce for sandwiches. Store the seitan shreds in the fridge for up to 10 days. Leftovers are freezer-friendly.
* Any white bean works: cannellini beans, navy beans, or great northern beans. Make sure to use canned beans, and do not drain the beans. The aquafaba is used in this recipe!
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 157.7 kcal
- Sugar: 1.2 g
- Sodium: 472 mg
- Fat: 3.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 11.7 g
- Fiber: 2.6 g
- Protein: 23.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g
Keywords: seitan chicken, shredded seitan chicken, seitan chicken shreds