It’s one thing to go vegan but cooking vegan meats, seitan recipes, and other plant-based dishes can be a challenge in and of itself. Don’t let that discourage you, though - it’s not rocket science.
After all, making vegan meat substitute recipes will also help lower the risk of developing numerous ailments and conditions, especially heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, think of all the animals you might be saving!
So to help you get on your way, here are some of the best vegan meat recipes you can make yourself in the comfort of your own home.
1. Vegan Seitan Steak
I don't know if you are familiar with vegan seitan steak, but this amazing recipe is super easy to make and will produce a delicious, tender, chewy steak full of flavor and texture. It is ideal for vegetarians and vegans eager to try out a tasty meat substitute for the first time.
The recipe is also perfect for BBQs, can also be pan-fried, served whole or sliced in order to add topping to a salad.
Ingredients for the steak:
Ingredients for the marinade:
- Add all of the steak ingredients to a food processor and pulse to combine. You will need to scrape the sides occasionally to ensure everything is mixed well. Alternatively, you could use a potato masher.
- Turn the mixture out onto a clean work surface and knead it together. It may be crumbly at first but will come together into a tight ball after a few minutes of kneading.
- Separate this ball into 4 sections, and use a rolling pin to make these sections into steak shapes.
- Add several inches of water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, add the steaks to the steamer basket and leave them to steam for 25 minutes. You should flip them halfway through. At this stage, the vegan steaks will double in size.
- To make the marinade, simply add the ingredients together in an airtight bag and shake. This can then be used to cover the steaks once they have finished steaming.
- When you are ready to use the steaks you can fry them, grill, or barbecue. They only need to be cooked for a few minutes before being ready to eat. Each steak should contain around 295 calories, 4 grams of fat, and just 874 mg of sodium.
2. Bean-Seitan Burgers
The red beans when combined with wheat gluten help create a hearty, flavorful vegan meat alternative to a traditional ground beef burger.
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds, ground
- 3 teaspoon water
- 1 cup kidney beans, soaked and cooked or canned and drained
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup wheat gluten
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- Start by whisking together the ground flax seeds and water until it becomes foamy. Set this mixture on one side.
- Mash the beans with the oil and garlic in another bowl. Next, stir in the yeast and flaxseed mixture before adding the gluten and soy sauce. Stir this together.
- Let everything sit for 15 minutes.
- Heat the grill or a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Stir the vegan meat mixture again before splitting it into 4 vegetarian burgers. Grill or fry each vegan patty on each side for 5 minutes and they will be ready to eat.
3. Vegan Meat Tacos
Being a vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on the taste of tacos. On the contrary.
With this vegan meat substitute recipe, you can enjoy its piquant, gluten-free flavor with a total time of 45 minutes of preparation.
- Start off by preheating your oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Add the nuts to the processor and process until they are crumbled. Mash the tofu with a fork before adding both nuts and tofu pieces to the dish.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a jug and whisk until you create a thick sauce.
- Mix this sauce with tofu and walnut crumbles and mix until everything is coated.
- Transfer this mixture to a parchment-lined baking tray and spread it out evenly.
- Bake the mixture in the oven for 35 minutes, give it a stir at around the halfway mark.
- Once cooked, it can be served with tacos and your usual filling.
4. Vegan Fried Chicken
If you used to be a fan of KFC or Popeyes Chicken then you are going to love this vegan fried chicken recipe.
It is super easy to make and will result in unbelievably moist seitan covered in a thick, crunchy, and spicy batter - a real vegan meat treat for your tastebuds.
Ingredients for chicken:
Ingredients for dredging:
Ingredients for sauce:
Directions for the chicken:
- Using a mixing bowl, mix the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, onion powder and poultry seasoning.
- In a larger bowl combine and whisk the cayenne pepper sauce and tahini until smooth.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until it has combined.
- Knead the dough until it is elastic but not dry. To ensure the dough is not too sticky you may want to add some more gluten flour.
- Divide this dough into chicken-sized pieces. Keeping in mind that these will double in size when cooked.
- Place the “chicken” into a pot filled with boiling broth making sure they are covered entirely.
- Cook in the broth for an hour making sure to stir every 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the broth and leave on a wire rack to dry.
Directions for the coating:
- Combine the hot pepper sauce, egg replacer, and mustard in a small bowl.
- Combine the flour and the remaining spices in a shallow bowl. Whisk this until it is well combined.
- Take a piece of seitan chicken and coat it with flour before dredging it in the hot sauce mixture. Once covered coat it again with the flour mixture.
- Set this piece one side until you have covered all of the chicken pieces.
- Heat plenty of oil in a skillet, or heat up a deep fryer if you have one. Once the temperature has reached 350 degrees fry the vegan chicken filets for 8-12 minutes, or until they are light brown and crispy.
- Remove from the heat and place on paper towels to drain before serving.
5. Spicy Tempeh Breakfast Sausage
If you miss your traditional fry ups in the morning you won't want to miss this vegan meat recipe.
Made from tempeh, which mimics the texture of sausage. This recipe will give you a spicy kick to start your day.
The following recipe will make 5 servings (sausages).
- Start by finely chopping the tempeh and add to a mixing bowl or food processor along with the remaining ingredients.
- Either mix with your (clean) hands or pulse using the processor until the mixture is thoroughly combined. It should resemble the texture of sausage at this stage.
- Taste the mixture and add more herbs and spices to adjust the flavor. The peppers will add a spicy kick, salt and pepper can be used for overall flavor, the brown sugar will increase the sweetness of the mixture while adding paprika will add smokiness.
- Once the flavor is to your liking cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The preference would be to leave it for 24 hours to make sure the flavors develop.
- Once ready, you should line 1/3 measuring cup with plastic wrap and fill with the mixture. Fold the plastic wrap over the top and pack the mixture down.
- Gently remove and place the mixture onto a clean plate. Press down to create a 1/2-inch thick disk.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have completely used the mixture. You should have 5 sausages if you have followed the steps correctly.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat then add 1-2 tablespoons of oil once it is hot. Add the sausages to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes until the sausages are brown underneath. Gently flip and do the same on the opposite side for a further 3-4 minutes until both sides are brown.
- Serve the sausages immediately.
- Any leftovers can be stored for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or for up to a month in the freezer.
For those looking to finish their meal with a nutritious sweet dessert, we recommend trying one of the best vegan ice cream recipes.
Other Recipes Worth Trying:
If you have been putting off vegan food because of your love of meat, then I am afraid you can no longer rely on that excuse. Gluten-free, plant-based vegan meats are here and ready for making.
Read more about it vegan meat in our "Is Vegan Meat Healthy?" article.
The 5 vegan meat substitute recipes we picked are all fairly easy to cook with relatively short prep time and cook time. Not only are plant-based ingredients really good for your health and the environment, but they also taste great, too
I know I can’t wait to try them!
Do you like to make vegan meats and add a secret plant-based ingredient? What are your favorite vegan meat recipes? Let me know in the comments below.