Although I love my Kathy's Oil-Free Mega Seitan Protein, I wanted to make quick and easy seitan that didn't take as long to prepare. Basically, seitan is homemade fake meat. Instead of buying processed, store-bought meat alternatives, this meat alterrnative is perfect for those meaty cravings. Does seitan taste like meat? Of course not, but the texture allows for absorbing marinades.
With that being said, I discovered a way to skip some of the steps in my original Kathy's Oil-Free Mega Seitan Protein recipe, and with a few changes, quick and easy seitan is possible.
What is seitan, and is it healthy?
It is, however, important to remember, seitan is vital wheat gluten. So, it is NOT a gluten-free food. Wheat gluten is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass, cooked before being eaten.
According to Healthline, seitan consists almost entirely of wheat gluten, but it is still a nutritious food high in protein and minerals while low in carbs and fat.
One serving made from one ounce of vital wheat gluten) contains the following nutrients (1):
- Calories: 104
- Protein: 21 grams
- Selenium: 16% of the RDI
- Iron: 8% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 7% of the RDI
- Calcium: 4% of the RDI
- Copper: 3% of the RDI
It is also extremely low in carbs since all of the starch normally found in wheat flour is washed away in making seitan. One serving contains just 4 grams of carbs.
Since wheat grains are nearly fat-free, seitan also contains very little fat. One serving contains only 0.5 grams of fat.
Keep in mind that many store-bought seitan products contain additional ingredients to improve the flavor and texture of the final product, so a homemade version is less processed and much healthier.
What ingredients are in this easier seitan recipe?
- Vital Wheat Gluten
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Nutritional Yeast
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Celery Salt
- Liquid Smoke
- Warm Water
Once the dry ingredients are mixed, all it takes is a dough blade and the liquid ingredients. Another tip is to make sure the water is warm, not hot, and add the liquid smoke to the water before adding it to the food processor.
As soon as the dough begins to pull away from the blade, form a ball, remove the seitan from the food processor, place it in a bowl, and cover with a towel for 15 minutes.
Then, remove it and cut the dough in half, and then cut each half into three separate pieces (6 pieces total)
In the meantime, prepare a large stockpot. Fill it ¾ full and add any assorted chopped vegetables or vegetable scraps you have on hand.
Suggested vegetables for the stockpot (I used)
- Bay Leaf
Cooking the Seitan
- Then, bring the water with mixed chopped vegetables to a boil. Next, remove the seitan from the covered bowl and but it in half, then each half into thirds.
- Boil the seitan for 1 ½ hours on medium-low uncovered.
- Each piece will double in size, so be sure the pot is large enough to accommodate the size increase.
- Remove the seitan pieces from the stockpot, place them in a container, and cover them with cold water.
- Please transfer to the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely before cutting and marinating.
When the seitan is cooled, slice it for various recipes. For instance, if you plan to make seitan bacon, it can be cut into strips, like bacon, or smaller pieces for bacon bits. If you plan to make a vegan french dip, I suggest cutting thin larger pieces. Regardless of the marinade chosen, seitan absorbs flavors like a sponge. I do, however, suggest marinating for 1-2 days for maximum flavor and texture.
One recipe provides 4-6 different meals or 2 pounds of meat. So, I divide it up for various recipes, then marinate it differently, and freeze it if I don't plan to use it right away. Otherwise, seitan freezes well in the marinade. To thaw seitan, please remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
Once thawed, bake, pan-cook, or air-fry, depending on the recipe.
- Baking: 350 degrees on a lined baking sheet, single-layered, for 20 minutes (thickness of slices varies cooking time)
- Air-fried: 370 degrees for 8 minutes (thickness of slices varies cooking time)
- Pan-cooked: In a skillet over medium-low; minutes on each side, adding extra marinade (thickness of slices varies cooking time)
Great Ideas of how to use seitan in vegan recipes:
- Cornbeef for a Vegan Reuben or Cornbeef and Cabbage
- Seitan Bacon
- Vegan French Dip
- Philly cheesesteak
- Beef Stew
- Hot Dogs
So, if you are looking for an easier way to make seitan without steaming it, give this easy recipe a try.
- 4 cups vital wheat gluten
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 onion powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons celery salt
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 2 ½ cups warm water
- 12 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 white onion chopped
- In the large food processor fitted with a bread blade, combine the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to combine.
- Now combine the WARM water (make sure it's warm, not hot) and the liquid smoke.
- Then pour the warm combined with liquid smoke into the food processer.
- Turn the food processor on the bread setting and process until the dough forms a ball, pulling away from the blade.
- Remove the dough from the food processor, place in a bowl and cover with a towel for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare a stockpot; fill it ¾ full of water and add chopped vegetables and the bay leaves.
- Remove the seitan from the covered bowl.
- Cut the seitan in half and then cut each half into thirds; you will have six pieces.
- Next, place all six pieces into the boiling stockpot.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and boil for 1 ½ hours.
- Remove the seitan pieces from the stockpot, place them in a large container, and cover cold water.
- The seitan should be stored in the refrigerator until it is fully cooled.
- Once cooled, remove the pieces from the water. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the seitan as desired for a variety of recipes.
- Seitan should be marinated for 1-2 days and can freeze up to months for later use.
- If freezing, make sure you remove the seitan from the freezer and allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. I strongly suggest marinating if you pant o freeze it to avoid having to marinate for 1-2 days after thawing.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂