These seitan nuggets can be enjoyed so many ways, and prep is about as easy and simple as it gets! Cook the seitan nuggets in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop. Enjoy them plain, tossed with sauce, or breaded and air fried or baked! The possibilities are endless and so delicious.
The Easiest Way To Make Seitan
I love experimenting with seitan. You can find all of my creations here in the seitan category!
While most of my recipes are fairly easy, I decided I wanted to create something even easier, perfect for lazy days. And I think I did it! This is the quickest, most no-fuss seitan I've ever made.
Because lately don't we all just want delicious comfort food with less effort?
Last year there was a seitan recipe by @futurelettuce that went viral on TikTok, primarily because of its simplicity. Though I'm not on TikTok, I ended up learning about it through other social media channels.
I loved the concept and tried it once myself, but that recipe calls for pan frying. And I'm just not a fan of frying in oil. It's messy. It stinks up the house. And it usually leaves me with a tummy ache.
So this quick seitan is cooked in water, either in the Instant Pot or on the stove.
If you have an Instant Pot I'll come straight out and tell you that's part of what makes preparing these seitan nuggets SO easy.
I have several other Instant Pot seitan recipes, too, so be sure to check these out:
But if you don't have an Instant Pot, I've also included instructions for simmering/steaming the nuggets.
I think you'll LOVE this seitan because it's:
- tender, meaty, and juicy
- 100% versatile - enjoy it plain, breaded, or added to other dishes
- made with easy-to-find ingredients
- and ready in no time!
First and foremost, this is a recipe for really tasty, juicy, and simple seitan. But I'm also including instructions for breading the nuggets as shown in the first photo.
And let me tell you, that sweet mustard dipping sauce and the seasoned panko breadcrumbs? It's a great combo!
If you have an air fryer you can crisp up those nuggets in minutes! I'm also including baking instructions. So no matter what sort of nugget mood you're in or equipment you have, or don't have, I've got you covered.
Here's a quick rundown of the key ingredients you'll need.
- vital wheat gluten - this is essential to seitan. Currently I'm using Anthony's vital wheat gluten.
- seasonings - a combination of poultry seasoning, onion and garlic powder give the seitan a savory, chicken flavor. Smoked paprika is a nice addition, but can be omitted if you don't have any on hand.
- nutritional yeast - this helps to interrupt the formation of gluten and keeps the nuggets nice and tender.
- soy sauce - adds umami and saltiness.
- fat - a little bit of fat helps tenderize the seitan. I like to use a neutral, high-heat oil like avocado or grapeseed. If you strictly avoid extracted oils you can use a tablespoon of nut butter or tahini instead.
See recipe card below for quantities and full recipe.
If you can whisk, stir, and tear, you can make this seitan recipe!
Let me show you how easy it is...
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the vital wheat gluten and dry seasonings. In a small bowl combine the wet ingredients.
- Pour wet into dry and mix with your hands until there is no more dry gluten. Knead the seitan in the bowl for just 10 or 15 seconds or until you see gluten strands forming and it feels slightly firmer.
- Tear off about 1 tablespoon of dough per nugget. They will increase in size during cooking so you want to make the pieces fairly small. You should have 20 to 22 nuggets.
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Place inside the Instant Pot with 1 ½ cups of water. No need to use broth or any flavorings in the water because the seitan is well seasoned. Cook on manual/high pressure for 16 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
- Place the nuggets inside a large, deep saute pan or soup pot, and add just enough water to almost cover them. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low to maintain a low simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes. Check mid-way to see if you need to add more water.
The seitan will be very tender and soft but will firm up as it cools.
Hint: I actually LOVE sneaking a couple of test bites when the seitan has just finished cooking. The water soaks into the seitan and essentially becomes seasoned juiciness, and the nuggets are SO tender.
But you'll want to allow them to cool and firm up for about 30 minutes if you plan to bread and air fry/bake.
- Stir together yellow mustard and maple syrup (see recipe below for full instructions). This helps the breadcrumbs stick AND adds flavor. If you don't like "honey" mustard use BBQ sauce instead.
- In a separate bowl stir together the dry breading ingredients and oil.
- Dip each piece of seitan, or however many nuggets you want to prepare, in the honey mustard, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Next, either:
- Air fry at 355 degrees F for about 8 minutes
- Or bake in a 385 degree oven for 20 to 25 or until golden and crisp
And that's it! You just made crispy, meaty, irresistible breaded seitan chicken!
Pair the plain seitan pieces with vegetables in a stir fry or noodle dish.
You can also add chunks of seitan to vegan pot pie, or enjoy with creamy mashed potatoes and your favorite green veggie like Parmesan-roasted broccoli.
If you're going the breaded route you'll definitely want some classic dipping sauces! Our faves are:
- nut-free ranch
- creamy harissa dressing
- and the "honey" mustard included in the recipe below.
Serve with raw veggies, chips, french fries, or tots!
- Spicy - add cayenne pepper to the dough or to the breading mixture if you plan to go that route. Or add sriracha to the coating/dipping sauce.
- BBQ - replace the apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce with BBQ sauce; use BBQ sauce instead of honey mustard for the coating.
- Kid friendly - use finer breadcrumbs for the breading or pulse the panko in a blender a few times to break up the larger pieces. Panko can sometimes be extra crispy and hard for little mouths.
RELATED: Check out our other favorite seitan chicken recipe, buffalo wings!
The wings recipe linked above incorporates jackfruit into the seitan dough so it's not quite as quick or simple as this one. But the end result is just as versatile (try them with different sauces) and freakishly delicious!
A 6 quart or 8 quart Instant Pot comes in handy for quickly cooking seitan. Otherwise, you'll need a large lidded pot for simmering the nuggets on the stovetop.
And if you'd like to bread and air fry the nuggets you'll obviously need an air fryer, too. Pictured above is the Instant Pot Vortex air fryer.
The plain seitan nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Seitan can be frozen for longer storage.
If you decide to bread and air fry or bake some of the nuggets, those are best consumed fresh while the breading is crisp. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated in the oven or air fryer.
If you plan to pair the seitan with a very salty sauce, something like teriyaki for example, I recommend reducing the soy sauce to 1 tablespoon.
You also may want to reduce the soy sauce (or omit the ¼ teaspoon salt) if you know you prefer your seitan on the less salty side.
Easy Seitan Nuggets Recipe
- 150 grams vital wheat gluten (1 ¼ cups) - use a scale if possible; see Notes for tips.
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- scant ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce - reduce to 1 Tbsp if you plan to pair the seitan with a salty sauce.
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon oil - or tahini or nut butter
- ⅓ cup yellow mustard - Tip: if you don't like the taste of honey mustard, use BBQ sauce instead!
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 ½ tablespoons oil - I use avocado oil.
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley, optional
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Make the seitan:
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, poultry seasoning, granulated onion, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt.
- In a small bowl, combine the water, soy sauce, vinegar, and oil. Pour the wet ingredients into dry, and stir until a dough forms. Use your hands to mix well until there is no visible dry gluten flour. Knead the seitan in the bowl for just 10 or 15 seconds or until you see gluten strands forming and it feels slightly firmer.
- From the ball of dough tear off about 1 tablespoon of dough per nugget. They will increase in size during cooking so you want fairly small pieces. You should have 20 to 22 nuggets.
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Add 1 ½ cups of water to a large Instant Pot (preferably 8 quart, but 6 quart is also fine). Place the nugget pieces directly in the water. Lock on the Instant Pot lid, and set to sealing. Cook on manual/high pressure for 16 minutes. It will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure, then the timer will begin. When the 16 minutes are up, carefully quick release the pressure. Transfer the nuggets to a plate to cool.
- Add enough water to a large saute pan or soup pot to cover the bottom. Place the nuggets in the water, and add more water, if needed, so the seitan is almost covered. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low to maintain a low simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes. Check mid-way to see if you need to add more water to the pot. When the seitan is done in the center (cut into one to check), remove from heat. Transfer nuggets to a plate to cool.
- Note: the seitan will be very tender and soft when piping hot but will firm up as it cools. Can be enjoyed as-is or used in another dish. See ideas in post above.
To make breaded nuggets:
- In a bowl stir together the mustard and maple syrup. In a separate bowl stir together the remaining ingredients: panko, oil, nutritional yeast, parsley, paprika, and salt. Mix the breadcrumb mixture well so the oil soaks in.
- Dip each nugget in "honey" mustard, shaking off the excess, then carefully coat in the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a plate.
- To air fry the seitan nuggets, preheat an air fryer to 355 degrees F. Arrange nuggets in the basket, then cook for about 8 minutes or until crisp and golden.To bake the nuggets, preheat the oven to 385 degrees F. Arrange the nuggets on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping the nuggets at the 15-minute mark.
- Serve immediately with additional honey mustard or other dipping sauce.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
These are good and easy. I have one with each meal to supplement my protein intake
FaNtAsTiC -- Two adults and five kids loved them!
I saved the recipe as "MQK Seitan Nuggets" because *any* of my recipes that have MQK in the name are winners 🙂
Here is the crazy part . . .when I doubled the recipe, I accidentally did NOT double the gluten. So instead of 2 1/2 cups, I used only 1 1/4 cups - aaaggghhh!
But they turned out great anyway, I'm just not sure HOW
I cooked half with broth in the Instant Pot, and half in a stove steamer basket for 30 minutes. Then I breaded and air-fried them. For the breading sauce, I did 1/3 BBQ, 1/3 ketchup, and 1/3 mustard.
Anyway, can't wait to make them again, this time with the right amount of gluten. Thank you!
Eric, yay! So glad you all loved the nuggets! And thank you!
About the vital wheat gluten... did you happen to weigh it? If not, do you think there's a chance you scooped up too much? It's very easy to do unless you whisk the flour first, lightly scoop it up, and level off the top.
If it was packed densely in the measuring cup, that's the only way I can figure why it still turned out!
Okay, that theory works - I did tightly pack it in the measuring cup. Even an additional 15% might have done what was needed.
The kids are still talking about them and want them weekly! Bear in mind, I tried 3 other seitan nugget recipes from other cooks, and the best of them was only half this good! Thanks again.
These are great!!! All three of my kids 8,6,3 loved them. Thanks for our go to recipe.
Perfect nuggs. I made the breaded version and cooked them in the air fryer. We couldn’t stop eating them! Will make again for sure. Perfect combination of easy and delicious.