Eggplant parmesan not cutting it? Try our vegan chicken parmesan made with homemade chicken seitan cutlets, panko breading, marinara sauce, and vegan mozzarella cheese.
Make this recipe with pantry ingredients
If you’re like me, you’re probably not going to the grocery store as much as you used to. What I love about vegan chicken parmesan is that all of the ingredients with the exception of miso, lemon juice, garlic, and vegan mozzarella cheese are likely already in your pantry!
If you’re lucky, you should have most of these ingredients on hand. The only two special items required are vital wheat gluten and no chicken bouillon.
I’m sorry this one is kind of involved
If you’ve already jumped down to the recipe card, you’ll know that this recipe takes 3 hours and 40 minutes to make but I promise half of that time is simply letting your seitan rest at different stages in the baking process.
I also promise that this recipe is 100% worth the time and effort. My boyfriend says this is one of the best things I’ve ever made and I’m confident that it will be one of yours too.
What ingredients are in vegan chicken parmesan?
There are two different elements to vegan parmesan. The first is the chicken seitan cutlet, and the second is the rest of the ingredients needed to make the parm. The ingredients for the chicken seitan are exactly the same as my recipe for chicken seitan pieces but without the olive oil. The reason being that this recipe is higher on the calories, so I wanted to cut them in areas wherever possible.
For the seitan chicken, you’ll need a can of chickpeas with the water reserved (it’s called aquafaba if you’re new to chickpea juice water), vital wheat gluten, miso, no chicken bouillon, garlic powder, onion powder, apple cider vinegar, and vegetable broth or water.
For the vegan chicken parmesan, you’ll need your chicken seitan cutlets made from the ingredients listed above, plus lemon juice, garlic cloves, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, flax meal, coconut milk, sea salt, panko bread crumbs, marinara sauce, vegan mozzarella, and dried parsley.
If you’re looking to make this meal easier on yourself, I strongly recommend making the chicken seitan cutlets ahead of time. They store really well in the refrigerator and even freeze like a charm.
I love making these ahead of time and will use a couple of cutlets for vegan chicken parm, and will reserve the rest for other recipes. By making the chicken cutlets ahead of time, you’ll cut the recipe time in half.
How to make chicken seitan cutlets
In order to make vegan chicken parmesan, you first need to make chicken seitan cutlets. Thankfully once you’ve made seitan 2-3 times you really can get the hang of controlling it to fit your needs. This specific seitan requires boiling and baking because honestly, I don’t have a steam basket and whenever I try to use an instant pot, it dries out. If you are more skilled than me, feel free to steam the seitan instead of following my method, but I do find this is the most fool-proof way to achieving juicy chicken seitan.
To make chicken seitan cutlets, you’ll need a blender, a silicone spatula, a food processor, a medium-sized bowl, a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, a large pot for the stove, and a pair of tongs. First, you’ll add the can of chickpeas, spices, no chicken bouillion, miso, and apple cider vinegar to a blender. Run the blender until the mixture is smooth, and add to a medium-sized bowl with the vital wheat gluten and use a silicone spatula to mix. Once there is no loose flour, let the dough sit for 30 minutes.
Once the flour is fully hydrated, break out your food processor, a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and a large pot filled with 4 cups of vegetable broth or 4 cups of water. Divide your dough into 6 equal parts – a kitchen scale would come in handy here, but I found out mine broke while making this recipe to shoot. Oops. Working one piece of dough at a time, add to the food processor and process until the dough comes apart and then back together and then for an additional 15 seconds – this may differ from food processor to food processor, but for me, it’s about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Next, remove the dough and use your hands to stretch it out a few times into a cutlet shape and set on the baking sheet. It will spring back a little bit, and that’s ok!
Once you have all six cutlets, bring your pot to a simmer. Perform one final “stretch” of each cutlet and add them to the broth/water. Let the cutlets simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Check back on your seitan, It will have increased significantly in size and I apologize in advance if it terrifies you. Use your tongs to move the cutlets around ensuring sticking does not occur and that the cutlets cook evenly.
Remove the cutlets from the broth, you’ll notice they start to shrink almost immediately. Add the cutlets back to the baking sheet and then bake for 30 minutes flipping halfway through. Remove the cutlets from the oven and let cool until you’re ready to start making the second half of the recipe.
These cutlets can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days. Alternatively, they freeze like a charm.
How to make vegan chicken parmesan
To make vegan chicken parmesan, you’ll need a pan to marinate the chicken seitan, three bowls for your dredging station, a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and casserole dishes or some large cast-iron skillets.
The hard part is over, and now it’s time to make the rest of the recipe. First, you’ll take your chicken seitan cutlets, and squeeze a healthy serving of lemon juice across the cutlets. Add chopped garlic cloves and let soak for 30 minutes.
While you wait for your seitan to marinate, prepare your dredging station. In one bowl, add flour and some sea salt. In a second, add the coconut milk, flax meal, garlic powder, onion powder, and more sea salt, and in the third, add the panko.
Working one cutlet at a time, and using a “dry hand” and a “wet hand,” dunk each cutlet into the flour, the coconut milk mixture, and the panko, shaking after each dredge. Add each cutlet to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let sit at room temperature for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake the pieces for 40 minutes carefully flipping halfway through. The pieces should be lightly browned. Remove the seitan from the oven and prepare your casserole dishes or cast iron skillets. Add a thin layer of marinara sauce to the bottom. Then add the chicken seitan cutlets, and top with more sauce, and vegan mozzarella cheese. You’ll want to leave some of the crust un-sauced to get some crispy parts throughout.
Turn on your boiler to 450 degrees and bake until the cheese has melted – about 10 minutes. Top with dried parsley and serve immediately.
Make it your own
We think our vegan chicken parmesan is perfect as written, but we won’t stop you if you need to change it up.
- Make it cheesier: If you’re a vegan cheese lover, you can always add more cheese to the recipe. Add a healthy serving of Go Veggie or Follow Your Heart grated parmesan cheese to the panko mixture. You could also add 2-3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the flour.
- Make it spicy: Sometimes you just need to seek the heat. Try using an arrabbiata sauce instead of marinara, and top with crushed chili flakes just before serving.
- Make it faster: If you’re short on time, use pre-made vegan chicken cutlets instead of making your own. I think these ones from Quorn would work well as well as Gardein chicken scallopini. Before you start dredging, I recommend baking the chicken according to package directions first.
- Make it gluten-free: Unfortunately, there is no easy way to make gluten-free seitan. However, Gardein chicken scallopini is actually gluten-free and delicious! By subbing gluten-free all-purpose flour and gluten-free panko, you can easily adapt this recipe to fit your gluten-free needs.
What can I serve with vegan chicken parmesan?
This meal is pretty filling on its own. If you’re looking for something to serve vegan chicken parmesan with, I suggest sticking a lighter side like:
In this segment, I suggest a song for you to listen to while you make vegan chicken parmesan! You can even stream it right here in your browser. Today’s recipe jam is I Love You by Helen.
If you try this recipe, I want to hear about it! Feel free to post your creations to Instagram or Facebook and tag Hell Yes It’s Vegan or #hellyesitsvegan. I look forward to seeing what you make!
Vegan Chicken Parmesean
Chicken Seitan Cutlets
Vegan Chicken Parmeaan
Chicken Seitan Cutlets
- Add all ingredients (including chickpea water) to a blender except the vital wheat gluten and combine.
- Add the blended chickpea mixture to a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine with a silicone spatula. Once the flour is fully mixed, let sit for 30 minutes.
- Once the vital wheat gluten is fully hydrated, divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Working one piece at a time, run the dough through a food processor. The mixture should come apart and then come back together. Mix for 15 additional seconds after it comes back together. For my food processor, the mixing time is 1 minute ad 30 seconds for each cutlet. Stretch each piece into a cutlet shape before moving on to the next portion and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The seitan will spring back and that's ok.
- Add 4 cups of vegetable broth or water to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Gently stretch the seitan cutlets one last time and add to the broth. Boil the seitan cutlets for 15 minutes using tongs to ensure the pieces don't stick to each other or the bottom of the pot. The cutlets will increase in size and the texture will resemble a sponge. Feel free to move the bottom pieces to the top and the top pieces to the bottom to ensure the cutlets cook evenly. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove the cutlets from the broth (feel free to jar it and use it in other recipes) and place back on the baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes flipping halfway through. If any of your cutlets have air bubbles, stab them with a knife. Let the seitan cool slightly before proceeding to the next step
Vegan Chicken Parmesan
- Add a liberal amount of lemon juice and chopped garlic to a baking dish with chicken seitan cutlets and let marinate for 30 minutes on the counter.
- While the seitan marinates, prepare a dredging station. In one bowl, whisk flour and 1 tsp salt, in a second bowl, whisk coconut milk, flax meal, onion powder, garlic powder, and ½ tsp salt. In a third, add the panko.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using the same baking sheet that cooked the seitan, discard the parchment paper, and add a fresh sheet. With one "dry hand" and one "wet hand" working one cutlet at a time, dip the cutlet in the flour mixture, the coconut milk mixture, and the panko. Shake the cutlet in between each dredge. Add each breaded cutlet to baking sheet. Let cutlets rest for 30 minutes in refrigerator.
- Lightly spray each cutlet with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 40 minutes flipping halfway through. Cutlets should be lightly browned.
- Set your oven to broil at 450 degrees. In casserole dishes or cast iron skillets, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce. Add the cutlets and top with more marinara sauce and vegan cheese. You'll want some pieces of breading un-sauced so you can get a crunchy bite every now and then.
- Broil the vegan chicken parmesan until cheese is fully melted – about 10 minutes. Top with dried parsley. Serve immediately.