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
Shredded Seitan Chicken
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cooling time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 9 servings 1x
- Category: Mains
- Method: Steaming
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
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
Wow, I made this recipe as soon as i saw it! Best shredded seitan chicken out there, no question. This one Im going to make all the time. Great!!!
This is the best seitan recipe ever. I tried other ones, and they were a bit too rubbery. The texture of the seitan from this recipe is perfect, very much like shredded chicken– not too rubbery. Makes quite a bit too! Made some fajitas with it and my boyfriend and I loved it. Kept thinking about other recipes we can use the rest of the seitan in. I did swap the 2 tbsp of miso for 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and 1 tbsp tahini. Tasted amazing,
I’m so happy you loved it Maddy! That makes me so happy. I hope you enjoy making many more vegan shredded chicken recipes with this seitan!
Thank you for this recipe. I can not wait to make it!! Since I don’t have that much time, can I pressure cook this in the instant pot? How long do you suggest?
Hello! I unfortunately do not have an instant pot, so I am not sure how long it would take. Let me know if you made this recipe, and if the instant pot worked out for you.
JAN . Regarding the instant pot – I set it on steam for 40 minutes (split into 3 parcels as recipe says to speed up cooking)…it worked fine…I think 30 minutes would be enough as I checked after 20 and it was pretty much done.
Hey! I make it the instant pot on steam for 45min total time! I still divided the seitan into 3 balls and wrapped in foil!
Trying to make this right now. I placed a small bit of the dough in the food processor and it ‘crumbled’ it. Was that supposed to happen? ( Was it going to firm back up into a ball??)
I wasn’t sure so I took it out and tried kneading by hand. Kneaded for 15min, it got firm and it’s bounces back when I press it but it is not smooth at all like your pictures. Also it stretches but not nearly as much as your picture. Do I need to keep kneading?
Hi! It should eventually form into a ball in the food processor. Did you use a plastic blade or a metal one? And the longer you knead the seitan, the firmer it will become. This is not necessarily bad, you will just have slightly tougher and less chewy seitan! It could be that you kneaded a bit too long, or perhaps the dry-to-wet ingredient ratio was off. This could happen if you don’t weigh your vital wheat gluten using a kitchen scale. If you accidentally added too much vital wheat gluten, the dough will be less stretchy. I hope the seitan turned out well!
This recipe was so easy and delicious! I kneaded by hand, and I thought the texture was perfect. I used it in a stuffed pepper recipe I used to love before going vegan that used chicken, so it was great to find this recipe to veganize it!
So happy you were able to veganize an old favorite recipe! I love that!
This was my 1st time making seitan. Thank you for a very easy and tasty recipe! My husband and I were both surprised at how well it took on a chicken texture and absorbed flavors. My son had no clue it wasn’t chicken🤣🤣
Thank you for sharing this recipe.
OMG I love that for you and your family!!! Amazing! So happy your first time was a success!
Can you use it for fried “chicken?”
I’ve never tried it, but I imagine it would be great! You can just dip the shreds in batter and fry.
I have been making this chck’n Seitan since I discovered your recipe!..is amazing and so easy to make. I followed the recipe to the tee and it was fantastic. I have prepared it with Barbecue sauce (vegan of course) sauté, but my best recipes were chck’n salad and fajitas. You were right in one of the answers of your comments, the more you knead the tougher it gets, but in a good way. It forms those strands you showed in one of your pictures, my husband always helps me. We kneaded for almost 15 minutes and then each ball for 2 more minutes. I have a few questions though:
1. Is it better to make Sietan following a “washed flour method” and what’s the difference in texture besides being an exhausting recipe?
2. My seitan came a little darker than your pictures why? 🤔
3. The strands you show in your pics are amazing, mine are similar but not quite the same. How do you achieve this texture?
Again, thank you so much for your recipe, besides being delicious and SUPER easy is also economical. A little tray of this type of vegan chck’n costs at least $8.00, with your recipe I get three big balls of Seitan
First off – that is so great to hear! I am so happy the recipe is working for you, and that you’re saving some money by making it! To answer your questions:
1. I have made seitan using the washed flour method. I wouldn’t say it is better or worse to do it this way, it is just different. The texture is still chewy and meaty, but I think it is a bit more “fibrous” than my seitan chicken recipe. The washed flour method also requires a lot more time to make. The plus side is that it is incredibly cheap, since it is made with just normal all purpose flour. Vital wheat gluten is definitely more expensive than flour, so if price is a big factor then this method might be good for you.
2. Not sure why it is darker! Perhaps your miso paste is a bit darker than the one I used? Even within the realm of white miso pastes, I’ve seen darker variations.
3. It’s hard to say without seeing a photo, but maybe I am just pulling apart the shreds in a different way than you are? Feel free to DM on instagram if you want to discuss it further lol.
…one more comment, the type of flour makes a HUGE difference. I used two kinds in many recipes Bob’s Mill and Anthony’s Vital Gluten and and I would say the second is the BEST.
Love this recipe. I use this in my “chicken” pot pie. Thank you.
I tried to give this 5 stars, but doesn’t look like my computer is not cooperating.
Awe thank you for the verbal 5 stars, Lynn!
YUM! I love that idea! I bet it was amazing!
my seitan loaves grew and popped out of the wrapper, did this happen for anyone else? did i do something wrong?
Hi Zoe! That might happen if you wrap the seitan too tightly. It will naturally expand a bit. Using heavy aluminum foil and wrapping a tiny bit less tight will help next time! I hope the seitan still tasted great!
I made mine without miso but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. My seitan dint come out as fibrous as shown above. Was wondering if you have any idea what that is so? Thanks!
Hello Priyank! It could be possible the seitan needed to be kneaded a bit more. I am also curious if you weighed your vital wheat gluten (240g) vs using the 2 cup measurement given. For flours especially, it’s always a good idea to whip out a kitchen scale and weigh the ingredients to make sure you’re using the correct amount. If you accidentally ended up using under 240g of vital wheat gluten, there may not have been enough of it in the recipe to create that fibrous texture.
Can this be simmered in a broth instead of steaming? I would like to try this “chicken” in a soup or crockpot recipe.
Hi DeAnn! So I would recommend following the recipe exactly and steaming the seitan to cook it. Once it is cooked, you can pull apart the seitan into shreds. Then you can utilize those shreds in any recipe you want, such as a soup or crockpot recipe. I hope that makes sense! You cook the seitan the first time to get the shreds, and then you cook it a second time when using it in a recipe of your choosing!
This might have exactly answered the question I came here to ask, but just to make sure I understand. Do you use this seitan as you would use raw chicken (so like cooking it in a soup, for instance) or do you use it as you would use already cooked chicken (stirring it in toward the end)? Thanks so much!
Hello, I’m hoping to use these shreds to substitute for chicken for an instant pot soup recipe. The original recipe calls for cooking raw chicken with the soup ingredients; I assume it’d be pretty similar on a stovetop just with a longer cooking time.
I’m wondering: do these shreds replace raw chicken in a recipe (cook for longer alongside the other ingredients), or cooked chicken (just stir in at the end)? Thanks for any help you might be able to give!
Hi there! Sorry for the late reply – the seitan is a lot closer to cooked chicken, and should be included toward the end of a soup recipe. The seitan is already “cooked”, so there is no need to cook it too much longer. In a soup recipe, I would probably simmer it for a couple of minutes and you should be good to go!
That’s ok! This is really helpful – thanks so much! I’m still learning my way around when it comes to seitan – I’m not vegan but have been working to be as plant based as will work for me, and since I’m allergic to soy seitan has been looking very clutch for me!
Seitan is a wonderful protein source, especially if you are allergic to soy! Also, love that you are becoming more plant based. That is always great to hear! Good luck on your journey!
Hi, thanks for the recipe! How long would you let the seitan steam in a pressure pot with steaming basket (not electric)?
Hi there! I actually don’t have a pressure cooker, so unfortunately I cannot speak to this. I’m sorry!
Hi! Can i use the ingredients for making turkey deli meats as well?
Thank you so much for the recipe🙏
Hi! That should work! Instead of shredding the seitan, you could just cut it super thin for deli slices.
Best seitan recipe I’ve used so far. Used half of it, marianted it in 45ml honey, 15ml soy sauce plus 1 tbsp oil and 5 crushed cloves of garlic. Fried in a heavy pan with a drizzle of oil. Just Fabulous. Saved the rest for another day.
I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for the lovely comment and sharing how you served the seitan! Sounds amazing!
This is a great recipe, Mimi! I noticed that I, like a few other folks, came up with a texture that could improve. I didn’t quite reach the fibrous type in your picture. While I was kneading it, I was wondering if I should have been trying to keep the “threads” developing in a common direction, like always folding it the same way?
Hmmm you could try that! I don’t think I paid much attention to folding it in the same way, but maybe it would help!
Hi, I was so excited about this recipe and fairly sure I followed it properly… but after all the steaming, the seitan just looked like slightly cooked dough… like bread dough. It didn’t look like seitan or chicken. I was wondering what you think might have happened. I kneaded it by hand for 10 mins. Was I supposed to stretch it too?
I’ve now broken up the dough balls and put them in boiling water to see if that changes the texture. Thanks
Hmm… did you weigh the vital wheat gluten? I’m not sure if it was an issue with the ingredient ratio. Did you separate the seitan dough into smaller chunks? It is possible that it may have just needed to steam longer.
the best seitan texture I’ve made. thank you so much
I’m so happy this worked out for you! Yay!
I’m so happy this worked for you! We love seitan!
Works perfectly every time. Best seitan chicken I have made and shreds perfectly! My go to recipe now!
I have tried so many seitan recipes with varying degrees of success… Still 20 minutes left to steam but I tried a little piece and this is going straight into the recipe book.
Loved this recipe! I used some of it in a sensational vegan chicken and dumplings and the rest in stir fries and salads and it was great hot or cold. For help with tracking macros, how much would you say one serving is in cups or grams? I can’t figure out how to calculate this since I didn’t divide the finished recipe up into nine equal portions.
Sooooo good! My little kids loved it. I cooked it on the stove then put in pesto sauce and it was like chicken thigh meat.
I kneaded it in a stand mixer. I didn’t time it, but just mixed till it looked like the picture.
Also I didn’t weight the flour and needed to add water to make it look like the picture.