Spicy Vegan “Chicken” Nuggets

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Are you ready to have your mind blown? Because these spicy vegan “chicken” nuggets are about to do it. These were inspired by the spicy chicken nuggets from Wendy’s but these are way better. No animals where harmed, these are baked instead of deep fried and they are a great source of protein without all the cholesterol and fat.

RECIPE VIDEO

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So what is in these nuggets? The main ingredient is vital wheat gluten. This recipe is soy and nut free (depending on the non-dairy milk you use).  This recipe is not gluten free but I do have a great recipe for tofu nuggets on the blog already that is a great and equally delicious alternative. Get some vital wheat gluten, beans, seasonings, breadcrumbs and you are just about ready to go!

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Vital wheat gluten is an amazing ingredient. I cannot encourage you enough to try using it. I was super scared of it when I first went vegan, but it is really not hard to make or use. I have made Mongolian beef and chick’n parmesan using seitan. It can be found at most food stores or here is a link!

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Chicken nuggets at a fast food restaurant are deep fried. I do love deep fried food once in  a while but honestly sort of hate doing it in my own house. It has a very strong smell and cooking with extremely hot oil is a bit dangerous. I am going to show you a much easier way to still get that deep fried effect with way less oil and way less risk of being splattered with hot oil.

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This recipe is a bit time intensive because you have to individually bread the nuggets, time for boiling and time for baking. I would set aside at least an hour and a half, but trust me when I say that these are sooooooo beyond worth it. Plus seitan stays great in the freezer and fridge. Making this an easy dish to warm up and enjoy.

INGREDIENTS

Seitan
1 cup vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup cannellini beans or chickpeas, mashed into a smooth paste [165g]
2 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth [620ml]
4 cups water [1000ml]
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
*only do this if using low sodium broth and beans

Flour Dredge
1/3 cup flour of choice [45g]
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Breading
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs [90g]
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
*use more for spicier nuggets, these nuggets had a bit of heat and kick but not overwhelming
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 tbsp olive oil

METHOD

  1. In a bowl add the mashed beans, seitan and seasonings. Mix together until small clumps appear.
  2. Add in 1/2 cup of vegetable broth in small amounts a time. Mix together until it is very clumpy, then you will need to knead it.
  3. The seitan should not be overly wet you may need to use more less vegetable broth. Watch the video for a visual if necessary.
  4. Knead with your hands until the dough has come together. Should be smooth, spongy and bouncy to the touch.
  5. Bring 2 cups of vegetable broth and 4 cups of water to a boil.
  6. Cut the ball into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out very thin into a rectangle. Cut it into 4 equal strips and then cut those 4 smaller rectangles in half. Getting 8 nugget pieces from each quarter of the dough.
  7. Shape the dough into a nugget shape and set aside on a plate. Repeat until all the dough is used.
  8. The broth and water should now be boiling and you can add the pieces of seitan in there. Boil for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. The seitan should be chubby and puffed up.
  9. Prepare the breading set up while the seitan pieces boil. Prepare breadcrumbs with its seasonings in a big flat dish. Put the non-dairy milk in a bowl and put the flour with its seasonings in another bowl.
  10. Drain and strain the pieces of seitan out. Put them on a paper towel lined dished. Be careful as they will be hot.
  11. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before breading.
  12. Take one seitan nugget dredge it in the flour, dip it in the almond milk and roll it in the breadcrumbs. Set aside in a dish until you have done this with all the nuggets.
  13. Once they are all breaded preheat oven to 450F.
  14. You can either bake these or pan fry and bake them.
  15. For pan frying add 1/2 tbsp of olive oil into a pan. Place 1/2 of the nuggets in your pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat with the other side. Nuggets will be golden and crispy. Repeat with the second batch of nuggets. Then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.
  16. For baking you can use a brush a bit of oil on each one (or skip the oil if you want oil free). Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Flipping halfway through.
  17. Once done pair with your favorite sauce for dipping and enjoy.

Makes 32 nuggets.
PDF PRINTABLE RECIPE
This recipe will last in the fridge for 3-4 days (if they stick around that long)
You can freeze the seitan before you boil it or freeze the breaded nuggets before baking.

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