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What is vegan chicken?
Vegan chicken can be made from a variety of plant-based ingredients such as soy, wheat and seitan (or wheat gluten). It’s usually sold in the frozen food section of supermarkets and available in several different forms: strips, chunks and nuggets.
If you’re transitioning to a vegie or vegan diet or if you simply want some variety at dinner time, we’ve put together a list of seven great vegan chicken substitutes that are healthy, compassionate, delicious and easy to prepare. Here are our top picks for best vegan chicken substitute products.
Our Picks for Vegan Chicken
1. Gardein Chick’n Scallopini
This product actually provides an alternative to chicken in terms of both texture and taste.
It tastes even better than some “real” chicken, if you can believe it. That’s mostly because of the sauce in which they cook these faux chicken breasts. It has a rich flavor reminiscent of lemon with a little hint of rosemary and thyme. Put this on your plate with some veggies and quinoa or rice, and you’ve got yourself one delicious vegan meal. This is definitely my go-to pick for best vegan chicken substitute.
2. Beyond Meat Chicken Strips
If you’re in need of a quick meal, these Beyond Meat Chicken Strips are just the thing for you. They can be cooked in less than ten minutes. Simply heat them up in a skillet with some olive oil or cooking spray. You’ve got yourself an easy dinner option for those days when time is short.
They also make great vegan meat substitutes for sandwiches (especially salad sandwiches), salads and pasta dishes (if you omit the cheese).
These come pre-seasoned, so all the work has been done for you. However, if they don’t taste quite right to your liking when they’re finished cooking, simply add some salt, pepper and other spices to taste.
3. Field Roast Italian Sausages
If you haven’t heard of Field Roast yet, these guys make all sorts of plant-based meats and cheeses. They recently released a line of vegan sausages that are made from vital wheat gluten and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
This is the only vegan chicken substitute on our list that comes pre-cooked. Fortunately, it tastes just as amazing cold as it does hot off the grill! It’s great if you’re looking for some versatility when it comes to dinner options with your vegan chicken substitutes. You can slice these up and add them to salads or eat them in a sandwich (just don’t forget to remove the casings first). If you want something different than plain old vegan chicken strips, these Italian Sausages just might be the ticket.
4. Gardein Lightly Breaded Turk’y Cutlets
Topped with a mouthwatering, crispy breaded exterior and savory-sweet sauce, these frozen protein alternatives easily replicate the taste and texture of meat. With 9g of protein per serving and no antibiotics ever, they’re a delicious way to eat healthy every day. Also, they’re vegan and kosher which is a plus.
5. Boca Chik’n Veggie Patties
These veggie patties are super versatile and easy to prepare. You can heat them up in a skillet and add some vegan cheese for a quick and yummy sandwich option. Just place the patty between two slices of bread with your favorite condiments (ketchup, mustard or vegan mayo) and you’ve got yourself an awesome vegan chicken sandwich in no time flat.
Or if you’d rather eat your faux chicken on its own, simply pop it in the microwave with a piece of toast or an English muffin, add some lettuce and tomato with a touch of vegan mayo. Dinner is served. They’re also great for making chicken salads or vegan chicken pasta dishes.
6. Tofurky Oven Roasted Deli Slices
What’s that? You want some lunch meat with your vegan chicken substitute sandwich? Well then grab a pack of the Tofurky Oven Roasted Deli Slices and get to work on creating yourself a tasty sammie.
You can also add a few slices to a simple pasta dish or salad along with some other veggies and spices for extra deliciousness. This is our number seven pick for best vegan chicken substitute product because it tastes so much like traditional deli slices from all-beef brands that it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes.
7. Tofurky Oven Roasted Chick’n
The Tofurky deli line is seriously amazing. There should be more vegan chicken substitutes like it on the market. Their oven roasted chick’n tastes just like traditional deli-roasted poultry products only with 15% less saturated fat than regular chicken breast fillets.
This product is great for making vegan chicken salad or sandwiches, especially if you mix some of the other vegan chicken substitutes we’ve already mentioned (like soy curls ) into your sandwich along with this Tofurky offering. It’s also amazing for all those times when you want to whip up a delicious vegan chicken pasta dish or stir fry – just cut the patty into strips and cook with your veggies and spices. It’s a delicious meatless dinner in a pinch.
How do I make vegan Chicken?
Here I will show you how to make vegan chicken from scratch. This recipe is easy, uses simple ingredients and costs pennies. We love these as an option for a high protein vegan breakfast tacos.
Quick Vegan Chicken Recipe
- Take ¼ Cup of Tofu and mash it up with a fork. Add 2 tablespoons of water and one table spoon of Maize flour (corn flour). Maize Flour is not necessary, but it helps the tofu to bind together better and gives a slightly firmer texture. Mix this all up well.
- Cut two pieces of aluminum foil about 12″x12″ (30cm x 30cm). Place your vegan chicken onto one sheet of the foil and shape it to make a half circle. If you can’t form an obtuse triangle, don’t worry – shape it however you want, It will still taste great.
- Wrap up your vegan chicken, as if you were wrapping a present. Fold the foil over on top of the vegan chicken and roll it up from one side to make a tight parcel. Then, make sure all those edges are tightly folded over onto each other so no air can escape. And voila! You have made your first vegan chicken.
- To Cook: Simply place it onto a baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes at 350°F (180°C). I recommend using spray oil or brushing oil on before cooking to help the outside is golden brown. If you are pressed for time, feel free to skip this step – it’s not essential, but it does make the vegan chicken taste more like real chicken.
- Once done, unwrap your vegan chicken nuggets and enjoy. And don’t worry – you can’t taste the tofu at all. It just takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. If you’re cooking with a soy sauce or seasoning that has a strong flavor, this is perfect for flavoring your vegan chicken.
This recipe will make two vegan chicken fillets. If you want to make more, just scale up the amounts accordingly. I find 1/2 cup of flour per ¼ cup of tofu is about right. However, everyone makes vegan chicken differently so experiment until you get something that tastes good to you.
Seasoning your Vegan Chicken
To provide a general chicken flavor, add vegan chicken stock or a chicken-flavored bouillon cube or base to soup and stews.
You can also use vegan butter, onion powder and garlic powder as a base for your stir fries. We also love shredded chicken (seitan chicken is great for this) with apple cider vinegar and a vegan mayo for a vegan chicken salad.
Try it out and let me know how your vegan chicken turns out in the comments below.
Vegan chicken is a great alternative for those who are looking to cut out meat from their diet. The best part about vegan recipes like this is that they’re healthy AND environmentally friendly. It’s easy to make, and you can add whatever seasonings you’d like!
Vegan Chicken Recipe Q&A
What is a vegan chicken made of?
Tofu is the main ingredient in vegan chicken. Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into blocks. It has a bland taste & texture that absorbs flavors well, which makes it an ideal candidate for vegan chicken.
Is vegan chicken healthy?
Vegan chickens are just as healthy as normal chickens. They are free from cholesterol, unhealthy saturated fats & are cholesterol free. I believe that it’s important to note that vegan chickens may not be as healthy as normal chickens because the majority of their calories come from refined carbohydrates found in things like bread crumbs.
Is vegan chicken healthier than real chicken?
This depends on the recipe. Where I live, we eat our vegan chickens in a variety of ways: baked, fried or barbecued and this greatly affects their healthiness. For example, if I fry my vegan chicken in oil it becomes much less healthy than if I baked it in the oven (but still delicious).
Can you make vegan chicken taste like real chicken?
I believe that the soy-based tofu we use to make vegan chickens tastes very similar to real chicken. However, some people find it difficult to get used to this and prefer a more familiar taste & texture. The good news is that there are many different ways of making vegan chicken.
How do vegans replace their chicken?
Vegans can replace their chicken with a variety of soy-based products such as tofu, tempeh or a seitan recipe.
Why should I try vegan recipes?
Vegan recipes are not only good for your health, but also environmentally friendly. As a conscious consumer, you can feel confident that any vegan recipe is better for the environment than its animal-based counterpart. So why not try out some of these delicious and easy vegan recipes to see what you’re missing?
What is vital wheat gluten?
Vital wheat gluten is a protein-rich powder obtained from high-protein wheat. It is the essential ingredient in seitan – a meat substitute made from dough that can be prepared at home for vegetarians and vegans to eat.
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a vegan’s best friend. It can be added to recipes for anything from cheese substitutes, to popcorn seasoning – even baked goods. The secret to nutritional yeast being so good for you is that it contains Vitamin B & fiber in addition to being naturally low in fat and sodium. During the growing process of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (nutritional yeast), the vitamin B12 is formed. There are no other known plant sources of Vitamin B12, which makes nutritional yeast particularly helpful for vegans and vegetarians who might struggle to meet their daily allowance.
Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy flavor that works well in savory dishes as well as sweet treats.