These vegan chicken recipes will blow your mind! In this post, we’ll be going over the basics of how to make your favorite chicken recipes vegan. There’s everything from simple vegetarian chicken soups and stews to creamy, cozy and dairy-free casseroles. This is your guide for making plant-based chicken dishes with great flavor AND texture.
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For many, one thing they think they’ll miss when going vegan is their favorite “comfort dish.” And many of these comfort dishes seem to be chicken-based.
From a big bowl of creamy chicken stew or chicken noodle soup to a generous serving of golden-browned chicken pot pie or a broccoli-chicken casserole, many have a “chickeny” dish they just don’t want to miss.
Well, friends, we’re here to let you know you don’t have to miss anything!
Over the years being vegan we’ve accumulated some skills on how to veganize our favorite chicken dishes. Today we are sharing ALL the vegan chicken tips with you!
So get cozy and let’s make some delicious VEGAN chicken recipes!
And if you’re REALLY excited about this topic, sign up to grab our free ebook: Classic Chicken Recipes Made VEGAN!
Vegan Chicken Recipes: The Basics
We’ll get into specific recipes in just a bit, but first we want to share with you some of our favorite overall tips and tricks we’ve learned for creating vegan chicken recipes. There are two main areas you want to think about when veganizing these old classic dishes: flavor and texture.
How to recreate chicken flavor in vegan dishes:
To recreate that cozy chicken flavor in our vegan recipes, we use our homemade chicken-style bouillon powder (also called chicken broth powder or chicken seasoning!). It was created specifically to make things taste like chicken and can be used WAY beyond soups and broth. We didn’t make the decision to call it “life-changing” lightly!
We spent a good deal of time crafting the recipe for our vegan bouillon powder recipe, and we gave a lot of thought to the associative flavors of chicken.
By that we mean, meat itself (just like soy/tofu) is pretty bland on its own. We have to dress it up with all the herbs and spices. And for chicken, that means thyme, onion, celery, salt, maybe a little garlic and basil. You get the idea.
We highly recommend making a batch of this stuff whenever you’re looking to veganize a classic chicken dish. It is a key ingredient in every single one of the vegan chicken recipes below.
How to recreate chicken texture in plant-based recipes:
The other thing you have to nail when making vegan chicken recipes is texture. Because if it doesn’t feel like chicken when you put that first bite in your mouth, it won’t matter too much how it tastes.
Our two favorite methods for replacing chicken in recipes are soy curls and something we call “the tofu freezer trick”.
What They Are: Soy curls are a tremendous alternative for chicken-based dishes, but what exactly are they? Well, as their name would imply, they’re made from whole non-GMO soybeans and much less processed than TVP, which is made from defatted, processed soy flour.
When To Use Them: When flavored and rehydrated, soy curls really mimic the presence of chicken in almost any dish but particularly for soups, stews, and casseroles. They also make fantastic taco meat!
Brand Suggestions: Butler Foods Soy Curls are a classic vegan pantry staple!
The “Tofu Freezer Trick”
What It Is: Simply freeze an entire unopened package of extra-firm tofu, allow it then to rethaw, and then press as you normally would to release the excess water. After freezing, the tofu takes on an entirely different, meatier texture that can then be marinated as desired and slow-baked. Never say you don’t like tofu until you’ve tried this method!
When To Use It: From vegan chicken parm to vegan chicken caesar to vegan fried chicken, when more of a stand-alone cutlet or nugget is needed for your dish, this is the method to use.
Other vegetarian chicken substitutions:
There are multiple other options to replace chicken these days. If you’re feeling adventurous and you love to cook, you can check out one of the multitude of chicken seitan recipes on the internet. (Like our seitan chicken sausages.)
If you’re looking for a simpler avenue, just head down to your major grocery store. Many brands, such as Gardein, Tofurkey, Sweet Earth and many, many others, have chicken replacement products on the shelves of major markets these days.
Okay, now that the basics are covered, let’s get to the recipes!
SIDE NOTE: All the recipes below can be found in our free Vegan Chicken Recipes Ebook!
Vegan Chicken Tetrazzini
Chicken Tetrazzini was a rare treat when I was younger, and I ALWAYS looked forward to when we were having it. Using rehydrated and marinated soy curls, this rich, creamy, pasta-based casserole is just like the ones you grew up eating: COZY AND DELICIOUS! (And if you’ve never had this, definitely put this Vegan Chicken Tetrazzini on your list!)
Restaurant-Style Vegan Chicken Parmesan
This restaurant-style Vegan Chicken Parm uses the “tofu freezer trick”. It has a tremendously meaty feel and absolutely delicious peppery crust. Perfect for a date night in (or ANY night really), this tofu take on the beloved classic is a highly-rated reader favorite.
Tequila-Infused Vegan Taco Chicken
These tequila-infused, carnivore-approved soy curls are the perfect vegan taco chicken for nachos, tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, and so much more. As versatile as they are delicious, you may never run out of new ways to use these!
Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
A winter-time classic; an all-year-long comfort food. Packed with plump noodles and soy curls rehydrated in the broth, this vegan chicken noodle soup is truly a reader favorite and certain to become a favorite of yours as well. I like to make the soy curls a bit smaller, but feel free to leave them bigger for truly slurptastic results! Highly rated from readers and highly beloved in our own kitchen.
Slow-Cooker Vegan Chicken and Rice
Chicken and rice was my absolute favorite dish when I was a kid. This slow-cooker vegan chicken and rice is just like the original – simple, classic, tasty. Soy curls are great in the slow cooker and really soak up the flavor as they rehydrate in the broth itself.
Vegan Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets
Our lemon-pepper chicken cutlets use the “ tofu freezer trick” and are rich with that tangy, spicy, zingy taste! We call this “salad chicken” because they’re perfect for all salads but most often get used with our vegan caesar dressing. These are also ridiculously tasty in pasta dishes (think white wine, garlic, caper sauce)!
Creamy Vegan Chicken Stew
Another highly rated reader favorite that has hidden depths…and vitamins: the creamy broth in this vegan chicken stew is cauliflower-based! And you’d never know it!! The thing we love most about this vegan chicken stew recipe (other than its AMAZING flavor) is how easily it can go from simple “dinner” to elegant at-home “dining”.
Vegan Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
One thing we all look for in comfort food is simplicity. It doesn’t get much simpler than this wonderfully delicious vegan chicken and rice casserole that uses soy curls and our vegan cream of chicken soup recipe. You want easy? Put all your ingredients in your casserole dish and bake. Easy.
Vegan Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who doesn’t like chicken pot pie. And this veganized chicken pot pie is sure to blow your mind! Highly rated by readers, and using soy curls and our vegan cream of chicken soup, you’ll LOVE this simple pot pie casserole any day of the year! (You can also use the recipe to make individual servings.)
Do you have chicken recipes you grew up eating but that we didn’t list here? Let us know in the comments because we are always looking for more ideas! 🙂
And if you make any of these, don’t forget to tag us @theplantpowercouple on Instagram, so we can cheer you on, fellow veganizer. 🙂
Until next time!