My guide to seitan

My guide to seitan

What is seitan?

Seitan or vital wheat gluten is a widely-used source of protein in the vegan kitchen, made from hydrated gluten. Originally, seitan was used in Asian and Buddhist recipes. It has a very meat-like texture and absorbs flavour very well, which makes it perfect to use as a meat replacement in a variety of dishes.

Home made seitan with branches of thyme
My homemade seitan.

Home-made seitan recipe

In most supermarkets, you can buy pre-made seitan. However, I like to avoid all the plastic packaging that it usually comes in by making it at home. By making it yourself, you can also save some money, since seitan can be quite expensive! Moreover, store-bought seitan usually has a high level of sodium and can contain many food additives that are not very beneficial for your health. Thus, making your own seitan is not only better for the planet, but also for your own well-being. Here is my favourite way to prepare seitan at home.

This recipe will make approximately 1600g of seitan, which is a lot! Since it is quite time-consuming (but super easy!), I make seitan in bulk on the weekend and freeze it in multiple smaller pieces for later use. The recipe is inspired by the recipe you can find on the Dutch site Vegetus. The only thing I changed is adding a few spices. If you want to make seitan with a neutral taste, so you can marinade it how you like afterwards, feel free to leave out the herbs. The soy sauce can be substituted for some miso paste dissolved in some water.


Dough (aka seitan)

  • 550g wheat gluten
  • 12 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 640 ml vegetable broth
  • 8 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 cloves of garlic (pressed)
  • pinch of paprika powder
  • pinch of cumin


  • 1.5l of vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce


Mix the wheat gluten with the nutritional yeast. In a separate bowl, mix the vegetable broth, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic. Add this fluid mixture to the wheat gluten mix and combine with a fork. Knead the dough until you get a firm, but elastic mass. Try to create a nice big clump of seitan.

Heat up your broth (the vegetable broth combined with the soy sauce) in a large pot. Be careful not to let the water boil, only very tiny bubbles (even better are no bubbles) may appear. Cooking your seitan in boiling water will alter the texture, and your final result will be a more spongy piece of seitan.

Add the seitan to the broth and let it cook for approximately one hour. Leave the seitan to cool down while still in the broth.

Your seitan is all done! You can cut it into smaller chunks and store them in the freezer.

My favourite ways to use seitan – Recipe Inspiration

In spaghetti sauce

If you think you won’t be able to enjoy pasta bolognese anymore when you go vegan, you are wrong! There are tons of great recipes out there (like this one) to make the bolognese sauce and there are many vegan substitutes for minced meat available. I like to replace the vegan mince, used in most recipes with lentils, mixed mushrooms or… homemade seitan! When you want to use your seitan, just place it in a blender for a couple of seconds and you have vegan mince in no time. No need to go out to the supermarket to buy those meat substitutes packed in plastic packaging.

Many recipes use some kind of sweetener, I try to avoid this to make the sauce a little healthier. To add some extra vitamins, I top my pasta with some fresh basil and nutritional yeast.

vegan spaghetti bolognese by Vegan on Board
Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese, by Vegan on Board.

Greek Seitan Souvlaki (Greek kebabs)

As an appetizer or as part of the main dish, these Greek souvlaki-inspired kebabs won’t disappoint you! If you are craving a more “meaty-flavoured” dinner, this recipe is perfect. The kebabs are great to bake on the grill or put on the barbecue. Make sure to use vegan wine in the marinade.
I like to create a real Greek mezze platter by making some vegan tzatziki, oven-grilled aubergines, homemade pitta bread (you can find my favourite recipe here), and (store-bought) greek dolmades (rice wrapped in vine leaves).

vegan greek souvlaki kebabs by Sunnyside Hanne
Vegan Seitan Souvlaki, by SunnysideHanne.

As pizza topping

In my first food-related blog post, I mentioned the incredible recipes by Gaz Oakley on his website “Avant Garde Vegan”. Me and my family are in love with his Turkish-style pizza. In this recipe, he uses vegan mince, which can be replaced with blended seitan, just like in the vegan bolognese mentioned earlier. The seitan works wonders in this recipe!

Vegan Turkish pizza with thick and crunchy crust
My Turkish-style pizza with homemade seitan pieces. Inspired by the recipe on the “Avant Garde Vegan” website.

As taco/wrap filling

Wraps or tacos are such a quick and easy meal. However, sometimes I run out of inspiration of what ingredients to put in them. I end up always using the same recipes. Last summer, I came across a new recipe for “Vegan Two-Layer Mojo Seitan Tacos“.
I discovered the taste of mojo sauce during a holiday in the Canary Islands. The recipe inspired me to try it out with my homemade seitan. I adapted the recipe a little by skipping the hard taco shells and only using soft tortillas (make sure you buy those without added sugars or even better make them yourself).
I always marinade my seitan overnight. Then, when it is time for dinner, the only thing left to do is bake the seitan pieces and make some guacamole. The combination of the mojo marinated seitan, the guacamole, and some leafy greens tastes amazing. Super quick, easy, and healthy!

Vegan Two-Layer Mojo Seitan Tacos, by Rabbit & Wolves.

Are you hungry yet? Let me know if you want to try and make your own seitan and how you will use it.

Head image by Nicole Michalou from Pexels

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