These baked vegan chicken nuggets are made with seitan (vital wheat gluten) and TVP (textured vegetable/soy protein) for the perfect consistency. They're baked in the oven instead of fried, making them a healthy and oil-free alternative to fried (chicken) nuggets.
What are vegan chicken nuggets made out of?
These baked vegan chicken nuggets are made with seitan. Seitan (also called wheat gluten) is the main protein of wheat. It gives vegan food a meaty texture and consistency. You can find seitan powder in many supermarkets and health-food stores.
The second important ingredient for these vegan chicken nuggets is TVP (textured vegetable protein) or sometimes called soy protein/soy meat. Soy meat is high in protein and a great meat alternative. Because just using seitan powder can result in very dense and chewy nuggets, adding TVP is a great way to improve the texture of these nuggets.
What you need to make these baked vegan chicken nuggets
To make the base of these baked vegan chicken nuggets, you'll need
- soy granules/curls (TVP)
- vegetable broth (to cook the TVP in)
- nutritional yeast
- spices: smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried herbs, turmeric, black pepper, salt, coriander, cumin
- seitan powder
For the coating, you will need:
- flour (any type of baking flour should do, I used whole wheat)
- bread crumbs (I used Panko bread crumbs)
- chickpea flour
- plant milk (any type of plant milk will do)
- spices: smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper
How to make baked vegan chicken nuggets
Step 1: Cook the soy granules
First, we need to soften the soy granules/curls (TVP). We do this by cooking it in vegetable broth for 5-10 minutes. Cooking them in vegetable broth instead of water adds more flavor to the nuggets. You want them to absorb (almost) all of the liquid.
Next, add the cooked soy granules to a blender and blend/pulse until it starts to come together. It shouldn't be completely mashed but we don't want big chunks of soy in our nuggets either.
Step 2: Add spices and seitan
Transfer the soy mixture to a mixing bowl and add the spices and seitan. Then, combine with a wooden spoon, then continue kneading with your hands for a few minutes until the dough comes together. When you pull it apart, it should be very stretchy and you should be able to see strands of seitan holding it together.
Step 3: Shape nuggets
Take 1-2 tbsp of the mixture and form a nugget. You want to make sure it's not too thick as it will expand a little while baking).
Step 4: Coat in flour
For the coating of the vegan chicken nuggets, we will first dip them in flour. Make sure the nugget is coated evenly from both sides.
Step 5: Dip in chickpea flour mixture
For the wet mixture, we're using chickpea flour, plant milk and spices. Start by combining the chickpea flour and spices. Next, add plant milk a little at a time and combine until it has a slightly runny consistency. It should be thick enough to stick to the nuggets but not too thick.
Add your flour-coated nugget to the chickpea flour mixture and make sure it's evenly coated.
Step 6: Coat in breadcrumbs
For the next step, I like to use a fork to pick up the nugget and tap it a few times on the bowl to remove any excess chickpea flour mixture. Then transfer it to a bowl with the breadcrumbs. Shake the bowl to evenly coat the nugget in breadcrumbs and transfer to a baking sheet.
Step 7: Bake
Bake the vegan chicken nuggets in the oven at 200C (390F) for roughly 25 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
How to get these baked vegan nuggets extra crispy
To get these vegan chicken nuggets extra crispy, I have two tips:
- use panko bread crumbs: these are more airy than other bread crumbs and stay crispy for longer
- if you have a grill in your oven, turn it on! Just keep a close eye to make sure it doesn't burn.
How to serve these baked vegan chicken nuggets
Here are a few ideas how you can serve these vegan nuggets:
- dip into a homemade tomato sauce
- with a vegan honey mustard dip
- serve with a salad
- with homemade potato fries
- make a wrap
How to store these baked vegan chicken nuggets
These baked vegan chicken nuggets don't really store well as they don't stay crispy in the fridge. If you want to prep them in advance, I'd suggest just preparing the nugget mixture and shaping the nuggets (steps 1-3). Then store them in the fridge/freezer until your ready to coat and bake them.
Baked Vegan Chicken Nuggets
for the nuggets
- 1 cup soy granules/curls (TVP)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp dried herbs like oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ cup seitan powder vital wheat gluten
for the coating
- ⅛ cup flour
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- plant milk
- First, add the soy granules to a pot with the vegetables broth and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the soy granules have absorbed the liquid.
- Transfer the soy granules to a mixture and pulse until it comes together in a sticky dough but it's not completely pureed.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the nutritional yeast, spices and seitan. Combine with a wooden spoon, then continue kneading with your hands for 2-3 minutes. The dough should be stretchy at this point.
- Take about 1-2 tbsp of the mixture and form a nugget. Set aside and repeat.
- Preheat your oven to 200C (390F).
- Prepare your coating stations. To one bowl, add the flour. To a second bowl, add the bread crumbs. To a third bowl, add the chickpea flour and mix in the spices. Then add plant milk a little at a time and combine until it has a slightly runny consistency. It should be thick enough to stick to the nuggets but not too thick.
- To coat the nuggets, coat them with flour first (from both sides). Then dip them into the wet chickpea flour mixture and coat form both sides. Lastly, add to the bowl with the bread crumbs and shake to coat evenly. Transfer to a baking tray.
- Bake for 25 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.
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Did you make these baked vegan chicken nuggets?
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