How to make seitan at home
It’s never been easier to make seitan from scratch. This recipe for seitan is high in protein and low in carbs and fat and has zero cholesterol. It’s been around for centuries and it’s chewy versatility is a great meat replacement for vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians.
What is seitan?
Seitan is just pure vital wheat gluten mixed with water or broth and seasonings.
Gluten is the main protein found in wheat. It’s what gives bread dough its elastic and stretchy nature and makes bread nice and chewy.
Even though it seems like a fad that only vegans eat, seitan has been around for a long time.
Buddhist monks have been eating seitan for thousands of years. People even ate it during the great depression when meat was scarce and they needed their meals to be more filling.
Isn’t gluten bad to eat?
Unless you have celiac disease or severe reactions to gluten, seitan is completely safe and healthy to eat.
Seitan is a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.
Seitan is an amazing source of protein. It has more protein than chicken and contains 70 grams of protein per 100 grams.
It’s is also low in carbohydrates and fat. It’s low in carbs because the starch and bran have been washed away to leave only the wheat gluten.
It also contains minerals like selenium, copper, calcium, iron and phosphorous (1).
If you’re a vegan, make sure to also include beans in your diet since seitan doesn’t have a high amount of the essential amino acid lysine.
Ingredients and directions
There are two ways to make seitan.
- There’s the way you might have seen on tik tok where you make vegan chicken from all purpose flour by first making a dough. Knead it and then let it rise for eight hours. Then rinse it until the water becomes clear and you’re left with just the gluten. This takes over eight hours.
2. Or you can make it in about an hour by skipping the washing part and just starting with vital wheat gluten flour. This takes only 10 minutes to make and then it just simmers in a broth for an hour. This is the way I’m going to show you in the recipe card below.
To make the base I use:
- Vital wheat gluten
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Smoked paprika
- Nutritional yeast (this adds a savory flavor and some vitamin B12)
- Tahini (this adds a nice fatty richness and some more savoryness)
- Vegetable broth
Feel free to use any seasonings you’d like. The suggestions I give are just my personal preference.
If you don’t have nutritional yeast, don’t worry. It’s not super essential to the recipe, it just adds a little savory flavor.
How to store seitan
You can keep seitan in its broth in the fridge for about 5-7 days. I also love straining the broth away and letting it sit in a marinade in the fridge.
You can also freeze it after straining the liquid away and putting it in a freezer friendly air tight bag.
How to use seitan
You can use seitan in any way that you would chicken, beef or tofu. Seitan goes great in Asian recipes like Mongolian beef or a vegan butter chicken.
I also love to marinate it in bbq sauce and then cook it on a grill, or cast iron skillet.
Seitan wings are also delicious to make.
Recipes that work well with seitan
- Vegan chicken noodle soup – Just use seitan instead of the vegan chicken.
- Baking sheet fajitas – Cut seitan into strips and marinate in a bottled beef marinade (most are accidentally vegan), then add to the baking sheet.
- Vegan nachos – Use seitan instead of jackfruit
Easy homemade seitan recipe
- Large soup pot
- Mixing bowl
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional if you don't have this)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- ¾ cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 6 cups water
- 1 onion (quartered)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed but whole)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon paste (or two vegetable bouillon cubes)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together vital wheat gluten, salt, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika and nutritional yeast.
- Add the tahini and broth and stir until you make a ball.
- Knead the ball for 3-5 minutes. The longer you knead, the more chewy and dense it will get. Cut the dough into four even pieces and let it rest while your broth comes to a boil.
- Get a large soup pot on the stove and add all of the ingredients from the "simmering broth" section. Bring to a boil then turn down to a high simmer. Add in the seitan pieces.
- Simmer for one hour. Make sure the keep a good simmer because the center of the seitan will be mushy if the simmer isn't high enough. Check after 30 minutes and add more liquid if it lost too much.
- After one hour, the seitan is ready to be used however you like. I love to keep it in a marinade in the fridge, until you're ready to cook it up. Seitan can be used any way you would cook chicken or beef.
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