In the market for a banging vegan burger? You’re in the right place! Trial and error, a lot of error actually, has led me to create these awesome Vegan Chicken Burgers! They’re packed with flavour, hold together perfectly and are not too much of a pain to make! In fact – there’s a speedy way and a more patient way to make ’em.
February is all about eating the things you wanna eat! Or the things you miss from your old carnivorous life. We’re into month two of “veganuary” in this house! It’s going well – although the smell of our flatmate whipping up a bacon sandwich every 15 minutes or so has tested my resolve somewhat. The solution to this problem, the bacon issue is to make delicious vegan junk food, obviously.
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Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
This vegan fried chicken burger joins the vegan doner kebab on the site, in the “junk food” category, and it’s been a long time coming to be honest. This recipe has taken several attempts to get just right, but we’ll dive into my mistakes shortly because you can learn from them, I’m sure of that!
As with many of my vegan “meat” recipes, we’re using vital wheat gluten as the base for our seitan chicken burger, but on this occasion, we’re bringing tofu to the party. It gives this vegan chicken an excellent texture and packs it with even more protein. Chicken WHO?!
There’s an accompanying burger sauce to go with this recipe, a delicious vegan mayo with added maple, mustard and a touch of mild curry powder, it really does pair wonderfully, but you’ll be smothering your chips and just about anything else in the stuff too.
You want to start by getting your hands on some vital wheat gluten. If you’re in the UK, you’ll find Buy Wholefoods Online is the best value. They are my go too for a lot of my pantry staples. If you’re reading from the US, I know Bob’s Red Mill is a popular choice.
You’ll need 300 grams of vital wheat gluten for this recipe.
I’ve spoken about the joys of seitan and vital wheat gluten many times on this blog. It really is super easy to work with – I’ve got a whole deep dive on the stuff coming up on the blog real soon, so if you want to read that when it arrives, make sure you sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of the page.
When making your seitan dough, it’s essential to add more flavouring than you think you’ll need, seitan is pretty bland without it. Like, literally, tastes of nothing. To give our seitan chicken some flavour, you’ll need a tablespoon each of onion powder and garlic powder, a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika, a teaspoon each of ground cumin, salt, ground pepper, thyme and oregano, as well as half a teaspoon of chilli powder.
You’ll also need 300 grams of extra firm tofu, a mushroom stock cube and 200ml of boiling water.
How To Make Vegan Chicken
I find these burgers are best made in a stand mixer. The longer the knead, in this instance, the better the texture. You can still make them without; you’ll just need to bring the elbow grease for bringing the dough together.
Start by cutting your tofu into large chunks, add them to the jug of a blender, add 150ml of cold water and blend until smooth.
Next, add the vital wheat gluten to your stand mixer bowl, along with the spices. Dissolve the stock cube in 200ml of boiling water and add that to the stand mixer along with the smooth tofu mixer. Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and set to “speed 3” for about 10 minutes.
If you’re making the burgers without a stand mixer, start by mixing with a rubber spatula. Once the mixture has come together to form a dough, you can get your hands in. When kneading by hand, you should liberally flour the side with extra vital wheat gluten, and knead for 10 minutes.
Once the dough has been kneaded, roll it into a log shape and flatten the ends by pushing them in. Cut the seitan log into 6 equalish portions. No need for absolute precision here, just keep an eye on the bigger ones for yourself.
Shape each piece of seitan dough into a patty, and get ready to cook.
Two Ways to Cook Vegan Chicken Burgers
There are two ways to cook these faux chicken burgers – and it really depends on when you wanna eat them and how organised you have been. My preference is to cook them in a bamboo steamer – you end up with a softer, “meatier” texture.
I’ve included the oven cooking because if like me, you only research a recipe about 30 minutes before you want to consume it, then you still have the opportunity to make some, still delicious, faux chicken burgers. You’re welcome.
Way One: Bamboo Steamer
My preferred way is in a bamboo steamer – but for this method you really need to prepare the dough the day before, you plan to eat them. You could get away with making them in the morning for the evening though.
Start by cutting a piece of greaseproof paper to the size of the inside of the bamboo steamer, pierce holes in the sheet to allow the steam to get in. This is a crucial step! I ruined my first batch of steam seitan burgers by NOT inserting the paper, so please, pop a bit of parchment in.
Spray or brush the paper and the patties with cooking oil, and pop the burgers inside. Set the steamer over a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes, flipping the burgers halfway. Remove the burgers and allow to cool, before placing in a container and refrigerating overnight.
The following day you can grill, griddle or fry the burgers however you like. I’m a pig, who loves greasy food, so I like mine fried in a quick, crispy batter.
To fry your burgers, heat 3 – 4 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
Add 4 heaped tablespoons of sweet potato flour to a shallow bowl, with half a tablespoon each of onion and garlic powder, and season well with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, add about 100ml of unsweetened plant-based milk, and a tablespoon of siracha (optional but tasty) stir to combine.
Carefully dip the burgers one by one into the milk mixture, and then into the flour, then back into the milk and then back into the flour again. Be sure to shake off any excess flour in between dips.
Fry the burgers for 3 – 4 minutes each side – and serve.
Way Two: Oven-Baked
This way of cooking these fake chicken burgers is undoubtedly quicker but results in a slightly chewier texture. They’re still super tasty low.
Simply line a baking tray with a piece of parchment, spray the greaseproof with some cooking oil, and then lay the burgers on top. You must oil the paper. Bake the burgers for 30 minutes at 180 Celcius, flipping halfway through.
Allow the burgers to stand for 5 minutes before packing into a bun and serving.
Questions + Things To Avoid
Absolutely NOT. They will stick to the pan and not be cooked through without the outside burning and the inside being like raw dough.
Don’t panic! There’s still a way. Wrap each burger in kitchen foil, and place in a colander or sieve over a pan of boiling water and steam that way for 30 – 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan to make sure that it doesn’t boil dry. Allow the burgers to come to cool completely before unwrapping.
Absolutely! But make a vegan batter instead of coating with sweet potato flour as described above.
My biggest takeaway from developing this recipe is to make sure that everything is well oiled so that the burgers don’t stick to either the baking tray or the bamboo steamer. My first attempt at these burgers ended up in the bin because I couldn’t flip the damn things because they were fully stuck to the paper.
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Vegan Chicken Burger
- 300 g Vital Wheat Gluten
- 300 g Tofu
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Pepper
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- ½ tsp Chilli Powder
- 1 Mushroom Stock cube or Vegetable Stock cube
- 200 ml Boiling Water
Quick Crispy Batter (optional)
- 4 tbsp Sweet Potato Flour
- ½ tbsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tbsp Onion Powder
- 100 ml Unsweetend Plant Milk
- 1 tbsp Siracha
- 6 Burger Buns
- 1 Baby Gem Lettuce
- Burger Sauce
- 2 large Tomatoes
- Cut your tofu into cubes, add to a blender with 150ml of cold water and blitz until smooth.
- Add all dry ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the ingredients to combine. Then add the blitzed tofu, and mushroom stock cube dissolved in 200ml of boiling water. Attach the dough hook, and mix on speed 3 for 10 minutes.
- If mixing by hand: start by mixing the ingredients with a rubber spatula. Once a dough has formed, dust your work surface librerally with vital wheat gluten, turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for 10 minutes.
- Remove the seitan dough, and form a log. Press the ends in so they are flat, and cut the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. Shape each of these pieces into a patty.
- There are two ways to cook the burgers, you can either steam them and allow them to cool in the fridge before use, or cook them in the oven for consumption straight away. Steaming will make for a better texture, but both ways are tasty.
- Line a bamboo steamer with a well-oiled piece of greaseproof paper, pierce several holes in the paper and place one patty per layer.
- Set the bamboo steamer over a pot of boiling water and allow to steam for 20 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Carefully remove the patties from the steamer, place on greaseproof paper and allow to cool completely before use. You can now fry, griddle or grill the burgers.
- Griddle: Place griddle pan over medium-high heat, brush with oil, and cook burgers for 3 – 4 minutes each side. Grill: Cook burger under grill for 10 minutes, flipping half way. Fry: Combine siracha and plan-based milk in a shallow bowl, in another shallow bowl mix together sweet potato flour, garlic powder and onion powder. Dip the patties into the wet mix, and then into the dry. Cook in a frying pan with 3 – 4 tbsp of oil, for 3 – 4 minutes per side, or until the outside is crispy.
- Place the patties on a well oiled piece of parchment paper, on a baking tray. Baking for 20 minutes, at 200°C, flipping half way
- Serve the burgers in a seeded bun, with lettuce, tomato and my delicious vegan burger sauce.