Today, I’m taking inspiration from the traditional Italian dish Chicken Parmigiana, and veganizing it to create the best Vegan Chicken Parmesan! This vegan chick’n parm is ready in under an hour and is full of Italian flavors like tomato, parmesan, basil, and oregano.
why we love this vegan chicken parm
I grew up in an Italian household, which meant, well… a lot of Italian food! This dish has seitan chicken that’s breaded and smothered in a savory, tomatoey homemade marinara sauce. It’s topped off with lots of my favorite vegan parmesan by Violife. I love how chewy the homemade seitan is and that it adds TONS of protein to this dish.
the main ingredients
This vegan parm recipe is fairly easy, so don’t let the list of ingredients scare you off! Most of the ingredients are seasonings, so this dish is PACKED with flavor. It’s made of 4 main components: the vegan seitan chicken, the breading, the pasta, and the marinara sauce.
If you’d like to make this recipe even easier, you can use store-bought vegan chicken (like Gardein) and your favorite store-bought marinara sauce.
To make this recipe the main ingredients you’ll need are the following:
- Vegan Seitan Chicken (recipe included below!)
- Vegan Parmesan– I’m using Violife Vegan Parmesan
- Panko Bread Crumbs + Normal Bread Crumbs
- Italian Seasoning
- Veggie Stock
- Salt & Pepper
the vegan seitan chicken
Seitan can be quite intimidating the first time you make it but don’t worry, I’ll walk you through the simple steps here!
The first thing you’ll do is combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. This includes the vital wheat gluten and spices. Then, make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients (jackfruit, tofu, oil, soy sauce, veggie stock). You’ll stir all this to combine, and then gently knead the dough by hand for 1-2 minutes until it forms a ball (see the image above).
Next up is shaping the dough. To do this, divide it into 4-5 equal-sized balls. For this recipe, I’m making ‘chicken’ breasts, so shape the dough into a ‘fillet’ like shape.
To cook the seitan, we’re first going to simmer it in veggie stock, and then we’ll bake it with the herbed breading. To simmer the seitan, heat a large non-stick skillet over low heat. Then, add in 1 cup of the veggie stock and bring it to a simmer. Add in the fillets, cover the pan, and cook them for 20 minutes. About halfway through cooking, add the remaining 1 cup of veggie stock, so the seitan doesn’t dry out.
breading the seitan
To get a crispy herbed exterior, I’m coating this seitan in a panko breadcrumb mixture. But first, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 425 degrees F so that it’s ready to go once you’ve breaded the seitan!
To help the panko breadcrumb mixture stick to the seitan, dip the seitan fillet in almond milk to wet it slightly. Then, mix together all of the dry breading ingredients, and dip the seitan in the breading mixture. Press the breading into both sides and place the seitan on a greased baking sheet.
baking the seitan chicken
Before baking the seitan, for more cheesy parmesan flavor, grate some extra vegan parmesan on top. Then, bake the seitan for 25 mins at 425F. Decrease temperature for the last 5 minutes if the seitan is browning too much.
putting the vegan chicken parm together
Since the vegan seitan chicken needs to bake, this is a perfect opportunity to prep the other components of this vegan chicken parmesan. I’m using thin spaghetti in this recipe. You’ll want to prep your pasta according to the box’s instructions.
Once the vegan chicken is done baking, plate it on top of the cooked spaghetti with the marinara sauce mixed in. Spoon a bit of marinara sauce on top of the vegan chicken, and top it all off with fresh basil and more grated vegan parmesan. The more vegan cheese the better! This is seriously the best vegan chicken parmesan. The seitan gives this dish so much texture. The homemade marinara is tomatoey, herby, and full of Italian flavor. And of course, the Violife vegan parmesan is so cheesy and salty!
tips & tricks
If you don’t have time to make homemade ‘chicken’ with seitan, that’s totally okay! You can substitute store-bought vegan chicken and follow the same steps below to bread and bake it. I recommend using Gardein’s Chick’n Scallopini since it isn’t already breaded.
The vegan chicken I’m using in this recipe is made of vital wheat gluten, tofu, and jackfruit. These 3 ingredients create a chewy, ‘meaty’ texture that holds up well to baking. Vital wheat gluten is the main ingredient in seitan which is a high protein meat substitute that mimics chicken in this recipe.
Vegan chicken is not an exact match to real chicken in taste. It’s made with vital wheat gluten, and in this recipe I’m seasoning it with Italian seasoning. The texture is what helps this vegan chicken feel and look like real chicken. Vegan chicken, similar to tofu, takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with. I’ve found that poultry seasoning and garlic powder help give it a great flavor.
Looking for more vegan Italian comfort food? Check out these recipes!Vegan “Chicken” Parm Stuffed Shells
Basil Bechamel Lasagna
Creamy Vegan Alfredo
Vegan Baked Mac & Cheese
Spinach Pesto Gnocchi
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Leave a rating and comment below!
The Best Vegan Chicken Parmesan
This vegan chicken parmesan is a classic Italian dish made veggie-friendly! It using seitan chicken and plant-based parmesan cheese. If you don't have time to make seitan, feel free to sub in store-bought vegan "chicken".
- 1 lb of thin spaghetti
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten, (160 g)
- 1/2 tsp salt + pepper
- 2 tsp vegan poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Pinch smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 160 g firm tofu, blended (this is a little less than 1/2 of a block of tofu, but I recommend weighing it out)
- 4 ounces jackfruit, shredded (this is about 1/2 of a can of jackfruit)
- 3 tbsp veggie stock
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups veggie stock, divided
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs (90g)
- ½ cup bread crumbs (45g)
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ cup grated Violife Vegan Parmesan, plus extra to top when serving
Marinara Sauce (or store-bought sauce):
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion ,diced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp sugar
Make the Marinara Sauce (skip if using storebought):
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomato paste, and mix until the onions are coated. Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Add the spices (Italian seasoning, dried basil, dried oregano, salt & pepper) and the sugar.
- Simmer on low for 20 minutes while prepping the other components.
To Make the Vegan Chicken:
- Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients (jackfruit, tofu, oil, soy sauce, veggie stock). Stir to combine, then gently knead the dough by hand for 1-2 minutes until it forms a ball.
- Divide the dough into 4-5 equal-sized balls. Shape the dough into a ‘fillet’.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over low heat.
- Add in 1 cup of the veggie stock and bring to a simmer. Add the fillets, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Halfway through cooking, flip the fillets and add the remaining 1 cup of veggie stock so the seitan doesn't dry out.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Dip the seitan in the almond milk to wet it slightly. Mix together all of the dry breading ingredients. Then dip the seitan in the breading mixture. Press the breading into both sides and place it on a greased baking sheet. Grate some extra vegan parmesan on top.
- Bake the seitan for 25 mins at 425F. Decrease temperature to 400F for the last 5 minutes if the seitan is browning too much.
Making the Pasta
- While the vegan chicken cooks, prepare your pasta according to the box’s instructions.
- Mix the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce.
Assemble & Serve
- Plate the vegan chicken parmesan on top of the cooked spaghetti with marinara. Top with fresh basil and more grated vegan parmesan.
- If you don't have time to make homemade 'chicken' with seitan, that's totally okay! You can substitute store-bought vegan chicken and follow the same steps below to bread and bake it. I recommend using Gardein's Chick'n Scallopini since it isn't already breaded.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 596Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 9gSugar: 18gProtein: 42g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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