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Seitan Chicken Nuggets

Seitan is the perfect base for making Vegan Chicken Nuggets because it’s super meaty and juicy (at least the seitan I am making)! Who doesn’t love golden, crispy Vegan Nuggets?!

Seitan Chicken Nuggets

If you have bought seitan once, tried it, and didn’t like it. I urge you to give MY version of homemade seitan a try because you can’t compare it! While store-bought seitan is often rubbery and hard, my seitan is the complete opposite – it’s juicy, soft, and full of flavor.

This is also the reason why seitan is the perfect base for these Vegan Chicken Nuggets.

Seitan Chicken Nuggets
Seitan Chicken Nuggets
Look at that texture!

In case you’re wondering: What is Seitan?

Seitan is a vegan meat alternative. If you combine wheat flour with water, form it into a ball, and wash it in water until all the white stuff washes away, what you are left with is seitan. So it’s pure gluten. In this recipe, we are not making seitan with wheat flour because it takes much longer to make. We are using vital wheat gluten, which is basically seitan flour.

You can use seitan in any dish in which you want to substitute meat. Seitan is especially great for steaks, schnitzel, sausages, gyros, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, pepperoni, curries, goulash, or stews.

Seitan Chicken Nuggets with baked potato slices

The Ingredients for the Seitan

You will need:

  • vital wheat gluten (a shortcut to making seitan because washing flour until the starches are washed away isn’t fun (and takes a long time!)
  • onion & garlic
  • herbs & spices: thyme, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, salt, smoked paprika powder, and regular paprika powder
  • cooked chickpeas (to balance out the flavor and texture)
  • soy sauce (adds saltiness)
  • tomato paste (adds color)
  • sparkling water (gives the seitan an almost fluffy texture that is not as tough as store-bought seitan)

That’s it! Sounds easy, right? Well… it’s not hard.

Here’s another pro-tip: We don’t even knead the seitan by hand. We just let the food processor knead the seitan. That’s what I call a kitchen helper.

How to make Seitan Chicken Nuggets

Seitan made with Vital Wheat Gluten
Step 1: Cook onion and garlic until soft. Add fennel and caraway seeds.
Seitan made with Vital Wheat Gluten
Step 2: Add all the ingredients in a food processor (except the vital wheat gluten): chickpeas, thyme, smoked paprika powder, tomato paste, onion-garlic-mixture, soy sauce, and sparkling water. Pulse.
Seitan made with Vital Wheat Gluten
Step 3: Now add the vital wheat gluten. Pulse again.
Seitan made with Vital Wheat Gluten
Step 4: The seitan should come together in the food processor.
Seitan made with Vital Wheat Gluten
Step 5: Transfer the seitan onto a board and press it together until it’s a ball.
seitan shaped in nuggets
Step 6: Divide the seitan into 14 equal chunks. Flatten the nuggets with your hands.
seitan nuggets in pan
Step 8: Dip the steamed seitan nuggets into the egg replacement, then coat in breading. Finally add them to the pan with oil.
seitan nuggets in pan
Step 9: Pan-fry the nuggets until golden brown on both sides!
Seitan Chicken Nuggets
They are delicious with oven-baked potato slices!

Your questions answered!

How to make Seitan that isn’t spongy/rubbery/tough?

My super secret ingredient for Seitan that doesn’t have the texture of a rubber mallet is sparkling water! It’s just a simple substitution with a huge effect. The seitan has an almost fluffy consistency! Keep in mind that the texture of seitan changes with time. Seitan will be a bit tougher and chewier if you eat it the next day. Breaded seitan will stay softer than ‘naked’ seitan.

Can you freeze Seitan?

Yes, I’ve tried it with this seitan recipe and it works great! I would freeze the seitan only and add the breading when you are ready to eat it. Let the seitan cool off completely, place the seitan in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag, freeze. When you want to eat it, let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours, dip in egg replacement, bread, and pan-fry. Good as new!

How to make Seitan without a food processor?

I would recommend using a blender to make the flavorful liquid sauce for the seitan (onion, garlic, chickpeas, spices, etc.), then pour it into a bowl, add the vital wheat gluten and knead with your hands until combined.

Can you substitute the vital wheat gluten?

Many ask me what to use instead if you’re having a gluten intolerance. I haven’t found a suitable substitute for the vital wheat gluten until now. If you have a gluten intolerance, then seitan is the last thing you want to eat. There’s lots of other stuff though! :)

More Seitan Recipes you will love

Love it? Rate it!

I hope you’ll enjoy these vegan Seitan Nuggets as much as I do! 

Let me know if you give this recipe a try! I’d love to hear how it turns out for you.

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Cheers, Bianca

Seitan Chicken Nuggets

Seitan Chicken Nuggets

Bianca Haun | Elephantastic Vegan
These homemade Seitan Chicken Nuggets are soft and juicy on the inside, golden and crispy on the outside!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 14 nuggets
Calories 106 kcal


Seitan Base

  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 white onion – chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sparkling water
  • 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten

Egg Replacement

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kala namak or 1/4 teaspoon regular salt


  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Additional Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil for pan-frying


  • In a large pan with canola oil, sautée the chopped onion and garlic until soft. Add the caraway and fennel seeds. Let it cook for another minute until the spices are toasted.
  • In a food processor, add the chickpeas, onion-garlic-spices mixture, tomato paste, thyme, smoked paprika powder, soy sauce, and sparkling water. Pulse until it’s saucy. Then add the vital wheat gluten and pulse again until it comes together in a ball.
  • Prepare a large pot (filled with a couple of inches of water) with a steaming basket and bring the water to a boil.
  • Divide the seitan into 14 equal pieces and flatten them with your hands until they are 0.5-1 inch thick (2-3cm). Add the nuggets into the steaming basket (without overlapping each other, you might have to work in batches) and let them steam for about 10 minutes, flipping them after 5 minutes.
  • In one bowl, combine the ingredients for the egg replacement, whisk until smooth. You might have to add a bit more water to get the consistency right.
  • In a second bowl, combine the ingredients for the breading.
  • Once the seitan nuggets are soft, let them cool off a bit, then dip them first in the egg replacement, then coat them in the breading until you've got them all coated.
  • Cover the bottom of a pan with canola oil. Pan-fry the Seitan Chicken Nuggets for about 4 minutes per side until golden and crisp. Enjoy with oven-baked potatoes slices and ketchup!


Calories: 106kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 7gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 191mgPotassium: 60mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 39IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @elephantasticvegan or tag #elephantasticvegan!

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Friday 16th of July 2021

Nice blog to follow while preparing recipes.Thank you so much for sharing with us.