Ultimate guide to vegan chicken – plus 6 juicy plant-based versions to make at home!

Author: Molly Pickering

Read Time:   |  21st December 2021

Ready to give up meat? Here is everything you need to know about vegan chicken from what it tastes like, where to buy it, and how to make your own seitan chicken!

When it comes to finding vegan chicken alternatives in the UK, we’re spoilt for choice! But have you ever wondered what is vegan chicken made of and is it healthier than meat?

Wonder no more as we guide you through everything you need to know about plant-based chicken, from what it tastes like to where to buy it.

We even share our favourite irresistible vegan chicken recipes so you can try making your own at home.

What is vegan chicken made of?

Vegan chicken alternatives can be recreated using the simplest ingredients.

Seitan has become the go-to for many brands, the texture created by vital wheat gluten mimics real chicken.

While seitan is a popular choice for plant-based chicken products, it isn’t gluten-free.

Thankfully many brands use pea-protein or soya to create realistic vegan chicken alternatives.

Alternatively, tofu, oyster mushrooms, jackfruit, banana blossom, and chickpeas are great whole food alternatives.

What does vegan chicken taste like?

Like any recipe, making tasty vegan chicken is all about preparation and seasoning.

When using vital wheat gluten, adding vegetable stock can help create a savoury flavour the replicates chicken. Not only does this help create a savoury flavour, but it also keeps the seitan moist and delicious.

Similarly to seitan, pea-protein and soya alternatives provide a wonderful salty, savouring flavour.

Furthermore, these ingredients are great to marinate making them perfect for in curries, stews, on the grill and roasting.

When prepared correctly with a blend of seasonings, vegan chicken tastes very similar to the real thing.

When prepared correctly with a blend of seasonings, vegan chicken tastes very similar to the real thing.

Is vegan chicken healthier than real chicken?

Real chicken is often seen as ‘essential’ in a healthy diet. However, this isn’t true when you examine the facts.

Before they are slaughtered, chickens are pumped with antibiotics to prevent them from catching illnesses.

Consuming these birds can have a huge effect on our bodies and our resistance to antibiotics exposing us to dangerous diseases.

In addition, chicken is also seen as a high source of protein. While this is true, there are a number of plant-based alternatives such as soya, pea-proteins, and legumes that offer high amounts of protein without any nasty stuff.

Wondering why you should quit eating chicken? Find out here:

Where to find the best vegan chicken in the UK

Long gone are the days when the only options for vegans on restaurant menus were chips and salad.

These days, it’s easy to find vegan chicken on menus both at vegan restaurants and high-street chains.

Here are our favourite UK restaurants we like to visit when we want to get our vegan chicken fix.

1. Temple of Seitan

Bucket of Temple of Seitan vegan wings

Since its launch in 2016, Temple of Seitan quickly became one of the best UK vegan restaurants to offer up juicy plant-based chicken.

Its iconic menu offers a range of vegan junk food goodness and features a number of favourites such as Temple Wings, Chick’n Bucket, seitan burgers, sides and shakes. Yum!

Temple of Seitan currently has 4 sites across London including Brixton and Kings Cross.

Furthermore, you can now find Temple of Seitan’s vegan chicken burgers and seitan wings on the menu at BrewDog pubs across the country.

2. LD’s Kitchen

LD's Kitchen Southern Fried Mocken

While LD’s Kitchen is still new to the Bristol vegan food scene, the independent business has quickly become the talk of the city.

LD’s inspiring 100% plant-based menu features some of the best vegan soul food including vegan ribs, mac and cheese, and its legendary Southern-fried ‘mocken’.

Available as gluten-free, the ‘mocken’ is a blend of VFG, jackfruit, and tofu which creates the most realistic chicken taste that is too good to resist.

You can find LD’s Kitchen in the Golden Lion pub in Bristol.

3. Nando’s vegan chicken

Nando's plant-based chicken

Nando’s has become the go-to high street restaurant for Portuguese-inspired chicken.

In 2020, the popular high-street chicken restaurant launched The Great Imitator – its first plant-based chicken alternative.

But although The Great Imitator gives people a delicious meat-free option, it is prepared on the same grill as the real chicken.

4. Döner Summer

Döner Summer plant-based chicken

Döner Summer has taken the North of England by storm with its plant-based kebabs and irresistible fried chick’n.

The diva-inspired menu features the diner’s iconic crispy ButterMylk Fried Chick’n, available with a range of delicious flavours including Hon’y Butter, Korean BBQ, and Salt & Pepper.

Moreover, you can find Döner Summer in 6 locations including Manchester, York, and Sheffield.

5. KFC

To celebrate Veganuary 2020, KFC launched its legendary Original Recipe Vegan Burger.

Not only did the vegan burger sell out across the UK within days, but sales of the vegan burger were 500% higher than the original chicken burger.

KFC’s vegan burger has continued to be a popular choice, and even won PETA’s best vegan chicken award!

6. Oowee Vegan

Oowee The Other Side Chick Burger

Oowee Vegan is another Bristol favourite of ours.

This legendary burger joint first opened in 2018 serving 100% vegan fast food and specialising in dirty burgers and fries.

Oowee quickly became known for its outrageously delicious vegan chicken burgers finished with mouth-watering toppings and sauces.

Since its launch, Oowee Vegan has opened more restaurants in Bristol, London, Manchester, and Brighton.

Best vegan chicken in UK supermarkets

1. VFC

VFC vegan fired chicken tesco launch product packs

To celebrate World Vegan Day, legendary plant-based chicken brand VFC launched 3 exciting new products at Tesco.

Available in 370 stores, fans of VFC can take home the Orginal Recipe Chick*n Fillets, Popcorn Chick*n, and Popcorn Chick*n from just £3!

2. The Vegetarian Butcher What the Cluck

The Vegetarian Butcher What the Cluck

Netherlands-based meat alternative brand The Vegetarian Butcher has gained a popular following thanks to its realistic plant-based meats.

The company’s soy-based What The Cluck pieces are perfect in any vegan meal and provide a deliciously juicy taste.

In addition, the soy pieces are gluten-free and high in protein.

3. THIS Isn’t Chicken pieces

This Isn't Chicken

Award-winning meat alternative brand THIS has gained a cult following for its delicious plant-based meats.

THIS Isn’t chicken Salt & Pepper pieces are a perfect addition to salads and sandwiches.

Additionally, THIS has created tender vegan chicken nuggets and chicken skewers.

4. Dopsu

Dopsu No-Chicken Pieces - vegan chicken alternatives

New kids on the block Dopsu has quickly become our go-to plant-based chicken brand with its ultra convincing No-Chicken Pieces.

The soy-free vegan chicken pieces are made from a blend of water, vegetable proteins and rapeseed oil, seasoned with rich meat-free ‘chicken’ flavouring.

They fry up beautifully and make a great addition to curries, wraps and more. What’s more, even meat-eaters can’t tell they’re vegan!

Vegan chicken recipes to make at home

1. Chicken-Style Skewers with Peanut Satay

Recreate this Indonesian classic at home, vegan-style!

These super quick but super delicious chicken-style skewers are packed with flavour.

Perfect for a midweek treat!

meat free skewers

2. Vegan Butter Chicken with Tofu

Despite its name, this dish is packed with creamy vegan flavours and delicious textures.

Using baked tofu to recreate chicken is a perfect way of getting flavour and protein into the dish.

Not only is this butter ‘chicken’ curry simple to cook, but it’s also ready in under an hour.

meat-free meals

3. Fried ‘Chicken’

Craving crispy, juicy fried chick*n? Well, look no further.

This vegan chicken recipe creates Southern-inspired fried chicken using oyster mushrooms.

It’s coated with a ‘buttermilk’ batter and spices for the ultimate treat.

Vegan Fried 'Chicken'

4. ‘Chicken’ & Mushroom pie

Who can resist a hearty pie in the winter months? We sure can’t!

This plant-based chicken and mushroom pie is the ultimate comfort food to warm up our insides.

Serve as a weekday dinner with mashed potatoes for a family-friendly vegan meal.

vegan chicken pie recipe

5. Vegan Fried ‘Chicken’

Dubbed as the ‘best ever vegan fried chicken’ recipe, this recipe used chickpeas, tofu, and vital wheat gluten to recreate an authentic chicken taste.

Although this fried ‘chicken’ requires a bit more time in the kitchen, the results are worth it!

Delicious, juicy, and cruelty-free – what more could you want?

Vegan fried chicken

6. Vegan Fried Chicken Burgers

Is there anything better than a fresh, crispy vegan fried chicken burger? The answer is no.

Create this classic burger at home using banana blossom.

Serve the crispy ‘chicken’ patty in a brioche bun topped with mayo and lettuce for a Friday night dinner of dreams.

Fried chicken burger

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Written by

Molly Pickering

Molly Pickering

When she's not reporting the latest vegan news, Molly's other passions are tattoos, 80’s horror and good vegan food

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