When it comes to finding a chicken substitute for a vegan diet, there are plenty of great options to choose from. Here are five of the best chicken substitutes on the market today:
1. Gardein Chick’n Scallopini
No chicken substitute for a vegan diet is complete without mentioning Gardein Chick’n Scallopini. This chicken substitute is the ultimate chicken experience, fully satisfying vegans’ poultry desires. Made from soy and wheat proteins, this chicken alternative has a taste and texture similar to chicken scallopini. The flavor is delicious with a light lemon taste, plus the texture is moist and chewy. This vegan chicken substitute does not contain any soy or wheat gluten.
2. Gardein Chick’n Strips
Another great chicken substitute for vegans is Gardein Chick’n Strips. These perfectly spiced strips are made mainly from soy protein that has a meaty texture similar to chicken tenders. One serving of these vegan chicken strips contains 33 grams of protein, making it one of the best vegan chicken substitutes for those who are looking to gain muscle.
3. Gardein Golden Fishless Filets
Gardein Golden Fishless Filets is another great product from Gardein that can be used as a substitute for meat. These vegan fish filets taste and smell like real fish and are made from whole soybeans, water, wheat protein, potatoes, and natural flavors. These vegan fish filets are great for vegetarians or vegans who miss eating fish. Gardein Golden Fishless Filets is a hearty, filling, and versatile substitute for real fish.
4. Beef-Free Crumbles
Another great vegan chicken substitute product made by Gardein is the Beef-Free Crumbles, which are made from soy protein and wheat gluten. This delicious ground beef alternative has an amazing flavor and texture much like cooked ground meat. These vegan ground beef crumbles are great for homemade chili, tacos, or spaghetti.
5. Vegan Breaded Chicken Patty
The last chicken alternative for vegans is the Vegan Breaded Chicken Patty. This vegan patty is made from non-GMO soy protein that tastes just like real chicken. The texture is moist and it has a similar taste and smells like cooked chicken. This vegan alternative contains no cholesterol and tastes amazing when eaten with barbecue sauce or honey mustard dressing.
If you like to eat meat while dining out, then you will be happy to know there is a vegan chicken substitute for restaurants too! When eating out with family and friends, it can sometimes be difficult to find vegan-friendly options on the menu. However, Gardein Chick’n Scallopini is now available at several restaurants and can be ordered as an entree to eat with your friends and family.
These are some of the best vegan chicken substitutes on the market today, plus they can be bought at most grocery stores or specialty food retailers such as Whole Foods. These five vegan chicken substitutes are a great way to satisfy your craving for poultry without eating animal products. They also make a great snack to take on the go and can be eaten at any time of day or night. Of course, there are many other vegan chicken substitutes brands out there so feel free to explore your options and find one that best fits your taste buds.
Recipes that Use Chicken Substitutes For a Vegan Meal
Here are a few recipes that use vegan chicken substitutes:
Black Bean and Quinoa Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add all spices (chili powder through salt) and stir for a minute to toast the spices.
- Add the beans, corn, quinoa and broth; bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add nutritional yeast and stir well. Keep covered and cook another 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately as is or with traditional chili toppings such as salsa, avocado slices, green onions, etc., or my personal favorite, Fritos scoops.
Lentil “Chicken” Salad
- 3/4 cup green or brown lentils, cooked
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper, to taste Instructions: In a large mixing bowl add all salad ingredients. In a smaller bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and mix well to combine. Serve on a sandwich or as a side dish.
Lemon Tarragon Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 – 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Oil of choice for roasting (I used avocado oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste Instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. In a large bowl add the chickpeas and a few tablespoons of oil. Use your hand or a spoon to toss the chickpeas around to coat them in oil.
Spread the chickpeas out onto the baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring once about halfway through cooking time. In a small bowl whisk together all dressing ingredients until emulsified. Once the chickpeas are done cooking remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Pour into a medium-sized bowl along with all of the dressing ingredients and toss until well coated. Add the lemon zest, tarragon salt & pepper, to taste. Serve warm or cold as a side dish or snack.
How are vegan chicken substitutes made?
These products are created through a process known as extrusion. This means that they are made by pushing the food through metal tubes with different shapes, which results in the appearance of being “cut” or “shaped.” The shapes go by many names depending on the brand but typically include tenders, fillets, cutlets, fingers, and nuggets.
The combination of ingredients varies by brand but typically includes wheat protein, soy protein isolate, a variety of vegetables or grains depending on the product, and spices. Some products contain a vegan “egg” ingredient such as modified vegetable gum combined with starch to help bind it all together. The process can also be tweaked to produce other textures such as “meatier” or softer.
I’ve had much better luck with homemade vegan meat alternatives than the pre-packaged kind. Homemade is typically much cheaper and can be tweaked to your tastes without any added ingredients – just pure plant-based protein!
So, whether you’re looking for a vegan chicken substitute that is homemade or store-bought, there are plenty of options to choose from. Just be sure to read the ingredients list carefully as some products contain eggs or dairy. And, if you have any dietary restrictions, always check with the manufacturer before purchasing.