Every plant-based chef and home cook should have a winning vegan seitan recipe up their sleeve. 

This is my recipe for the most delicious, umami-loaded seitan with the perfect stretchy texture. You’ve got to try it! 

Sliced Vegan Seitan ready to be served with tacos

When I was little, my mom and grandma would always go to great length to rinse the gluten from the flour to make a meat substitute, a process that is quite messy and time-consuming. Today we can do it so much easier with vital wheat gluten. I will admit that rinsing the flour may produce a slightly better product, but the difference is not substantial enough to warrant the amount of work.  

Check out how I use seitan to vegan beef stew or vegan tacos with guacamole.

Why this homemade vegan seitan recipe works

This homemade vegan seitan recipe works because:

  • Vital wheat gluten: The main ingredient, vital wheat gluten, is brilliant at creating the meaty texture of seitan. Gluten is the protein found in wheat flour, and when the flour is hydrated and kneaded, the gluten forms elastic strands that give seitan its substantial texture.
  • Flavorful seasonings: These seasonings mimic the taste of traditional meat seasonings, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dish.
  • Oil: Including oil in the recipe helps keep the seitan moist and adds richness to its texture. 
  • Broth ingredients: The ingredients for the broth, including Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce), tomato paste, onion, carrot, and garlic cloves, create a flavorful cooking liquid.

Ingredients and substitution notes

Here’s what you will need to make your own batch of vegan seitan: 

  • Vital wheat gluten: This is the key ingredient for making seitan, providing a protein-rich base. 
  • Nutritional yeast: Adds a savory, umami flavor.
  • Flour: Used as a binder to help hold the seitan together.
  • Onion powder & garlic powder: Enhance the flavor profile of the vegan seitan, providing depth and complexity. They also help mimic the taste of traditional meat seasonings.
  • Smoked paprika: Adds a smoky, slightly sweet flavor to the seitan. This will remind you of barbecue or smoked meats.
  • Vegetable broth: Serves as the liquid component for binding the dry ingredients together and infusing flavor into the seitan.
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce): I love this ingredient for its flavor and color.
  • Oil: Helps keep the vegan seitan moist and adds richness to the texture. You can use any neutral-flavored oil like olive, vegetable, or olive oil.

For the Broth:

  • Braggs Liquid Aminos (or Soy Sauce): The ideal seasoning.
  • Tomato paste: Provides richness and depth to the broth.
  • Onion: Yellow onion is ideal.
  • Carrot: Contributes sweetness and additional depth to the broth. 
  • Garlic cloves: Infuse the broth with a pungent, aromatic flavor that complements the other ingredients. 

Experiment with flavor

You can have fun and experiment with the flavor. You can add Mexican flavors for fajita meat, Italian flavors for Italian dishes, rosemary and thyme for a hardier flavor, cayenne or crushed red pepper for a spicer option. The list goes on and on. In my basic seitan recipe, I use smoked paprika for a unique flavor, but you can have a lot of fun with this part of the cooking process.  

If you prefer a different texture, you can eliminate the oil for a chewier texture, or add walnuts for some extra crunch, or just simply make the basic recipe I have on my website.

The possibilities are endless.  We have many wonderful recipes planned for the future using this seitan recipe.  You can freeze these seitan pieces, so when you need them, they are ready to go. 

Tacos with vegan seitan, vegetables, and fresh cilantro

Top tips for making the best vegan seitan

Here are some top tips for making homemade vegan seitan successfully:

  • Balance wet and dry ingredients: Achieving the right balance of wet and dry ingredients is crucial. Too much liquid can result in a mushy texture, while too little can make the seitan dry and tough. Follow the recipe measurements carefully.
  • Knead the dough thoroughly: Proper kneading helps develop the gluten strands, which give the seitan its chewy texture. Knead the dough for at least 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  • Let the dough rest: Allowing the seitan dough to rest after kneading helps relax the gluten and improve its texture. Cover the dough and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes before shaping or cooking.
  • Simmer, don’t boil: When cooking the seitan, simmer it gently in broth or water rather than boiling it vigorously. Boiling too vigorously can cause the seitan to become tough and rubbery. Maintain a gentle simmer throughout the cooking process.

Make ahead of instructions and storage

Here is how to pre-prepare your vegan seitan to save on time:

Make-Ahead Notes for Vegan Seitan:

  1. Prepare the dough in advance: You can prepare the seitan dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking. This allows the flavors to meld and the gluten to relax, potentially improving the texture of the seitan.
  2. Cook in batches: Consider making a large batch of seitan and cooking it in batches. Cooked seitan can be refrigerated or frozen for later use in various recipes, saving you time and effort on busy days.

Storage Instructions for Seitan:

Once cooked, allow the seitan to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate cooked seitan for up to 5 days. Store it in the cooking liquid or wrap it tightly to prevent drying out.


Seitan freezes well and can be stored for longer periods. To freeze, wrap individual portions or the entire batch tightly in plastic wrap or foil, ensuring it’s well-sealed to prevent freezer burn. Alternatively, store cooked vegan seitan in freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Properly stored, frozen seitan can last for up to 3 months.

When ready to use frozen seitan, transfer it to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. For quicker thawing, you can place it in a bowl of cold water or use the defrost setting on your microwave.

Reheat refrigerated or thawed vegan seitan by gently simmering it in broth, sauce, or gravy until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat seitan by sautéing, grilling, or baking it according to your recipe.

If you plan to use seitan for sandwiches or stir-fries, consider slicing it before refrigerating or freezing. This makes it easier to portion and reheat as needed.

Vegan seitan in tacos


What is seitan?

Seitan, also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, is a popular meat substitute made from hydrated gluten, the main protein found in wheat. It has a chewy texture and can be seasoned and cooked in various ways to mimic the taste and texture of meat.

Is seitan gluten-free?

No, seitan is not gluten-free. It is made from vital wheat gluten, which is the pure gluten extracted from wheat flour. 

Can I freeze homemade seitan?

Yes, homemade seitan freezes well. Once cooked, allow the seitan to cool completely before wrapping it tightly and storing it in the freezer. It can be stored for up to 3 months. 

How long does homemade seitan last in the refrigerator?

Cooked homemade seitan can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

Can I flavor seitan with different seasonings?

Yes, seitan can be flavored with a variety of seasonings, herbs, and spices to suit your taste preferences and culinary needs. Experiment with different flavor combinations to create savory, spicy, or even sweet seitan dishes.

Is homemade seitan healthier than store-bought seitan?

Homemade seitan allows you to control the ingredients and seasonings used, which can make it a healthier option compared to some store-bought varieties that may contain added preservatives, sodium, or other additives. However, the healthiness of seitan ultimately depends on the ingredients and cooking methods used.

Can I make seitan without vital wheat gluten?

Seitan is primarily made from vital wheat gluten, so it’s not possible to make traditional seitan without it.

What are some common uses for seitan?

Seitan can be used as a meat substitute in various recipes, including stir-fries, sandwiches, stews, curries, and salads. It can be grilled, baked, sautéed, or simmered to achieve different textures and flavors.

Can I use homemade seitan in place of meat in recipes?

Yes, homemade seitan can be used as a meat substitute in a wide range of recipes. 

Watch My Vegan Seitan Recipe Video:

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Basic Vegan Homemade Seitan (Meat substitute)

Basic Vegan Homemade Seitan (Meat substitute)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Chef Ani


Every plant-based chef and home cook should have a winning vegan seitan recipe up their sleeve. 


  • 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos (soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos (soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced


  1. Combine the dry ingredients: vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, flour, onion powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika, in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Next, combine the wet ingredients: vegetable broth, Braggs Liquid Aminos, and oil in a jar.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the liquid. Knead to combine into one large dough. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the broth. Add water, Bragg Liquid Aminos, tomato paste, onion, carrot, and garlic to a medium size pot. Bring to a boil.
  5. Cut the dough in 4 pieces. Add to the boiling liquid.
  6. Reduce heat. Let simmer gently for 40-45 min.
  7. Let cool before use.


The texture of the seitan will change as it cools, and a few hours in the fridge will give it a chewier, firmer texture.

Click Here to watch me make this recipe on YouTube!

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