Vegan Chicken Nuggets

For the best vegan chicken nuggets, skip the store and try these homemade baked vegan nuggets instead. Seitan, often called "wheat meat," makes a surprisingly meat-like vegan stand-in for chicken in these crispy breaded tenders. You can make this easy recipe with store-bought or homemade seitan (see associated recipe). Serve them up with your favorite vegan dipping sauce. Read more about how to make vegan chicken nuggets.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
16 tenders

If you're craving the flavors of chicken but you'd rather skip the animal products, you will definitely want try our vegan chicken nuggets recipe. Our nuggets are made with seitan (also sometimes called "wheat meat") and a blend of seasonings that gives them a surprisingly chicken-like flavor. Then they're baked until crispy for a plant-based treat kids and adults alike will love.

Tips for Making Vegan Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Seitan

Pictured recipe: Homemade Seitan

1. Start with Seitan

These chicken nuggets are made with seitan, a dough made of wheat gluten. When cooked, seitan closely resembles meat in taste and texture. Seitan is easy to make at home (see the recipe above) but you can also buy it at health-food stores and many supermarkets-look for it near the tofu.

2. Add Flavor with Poultry Seasoning

The secret to the chicken-like flavor of these nuggets is poultry seasoning. Poultry seasoning is generally a blend of thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper and a touch of nutmeg, with amounts being in that order. (Fun fact: On food labels, ingredients are listed by quantity from most to least.) You can buy poultry seasoning already blended in the spice section of your grocery store, or if you have all these spices individually, you can make your own blend. What's cool is that together they really do remind you of a roasted chicken.

vegan chicken nuggets on a tray

3. Bread, Bake Until Crispy and Serve

To bread the nuggets without the traditional egg, combine the poultry seasonings with vegan mayo and a little water. The mixture both flavors the seitan and helps the breadcrumbs stick to the nuggets. Dip the seitan nuggets in the mayonnaise mixture and then dredge them in whole-wheat breadcrumbs.

For the crispiest nuggets, bake them on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. The rack allows hot air to circulate under the tenders so they get crispy on all sides. To further encourage crispiness and browning, spray the nuggets with cooking spray—this is an easy way to coat them evenly with oil. Then simply bake until browned and crunchy, and serve with your favorite vegan dipping sauce. You can go for ketchup, BBQ sauce or a combination of vegan mayo, ketchup and dill pickles for a vegan take on special sauce.

Check Your Wallet: Traditional Nuggets vs. Vegan Nuggets

For a price comparison on vegan versus traditional chicken nuggets, we turned to vegan chef Jenné Claiborne (@sweetpotatosoul). "You can whip up these chicken nuggets for around $7 for the recipe, which serves four," says Claiborne. Per serving that's $1.80 for four vegan chicken nuggets—about 60 cents more per serving than an all-natural brand of chicken nuggets. "They may cost a little more but you know exactly what you're putting in your body when you make this recipe at home," says Claiborne.

Environmental Impact: Traditional Nuggets vs. Vegan Nuggets

In terms of environmental impact, "Choosing more plant-based protein is in line with a more sustainable diet," says Claiborne. In fact, poultry production emits five times more greenhouse gas emissions per gram of protein compared to wheat, according to the World Resources Institute's Protein Scorecard.

Nutritional Comparison: Traditional Nuggets vs. Vegan Nuggets

When it comes to nutritional differences, our vegan chicken nuggets are similar in calories to traditional chicken nuggets. But here's the real shocker—the vegan nuggets have more than twice the protein (about 30 grams per serving compared to 13 grams)! You also get 5 grams of fiber in the vegan nuggets, compared to less than 1 gram in a serving of typical chicken nuggets.

hand dipping nuggets into a sauce

In addition to your favorite dipping sauce, serve baked sweet potato fries alongside your vegan nuggets—you can cook them at the same time as the nuggets. Or serve the nuggets over a salad or with your favorite vegetable side dish. You could even add some vegan mac & cheese for a total comfort food dinner.


  • 16 ounces seitan

  • ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise

  • 6 teaspoons water

  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning

  • ¾ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a wire cooling rack on a large rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Slice seitan into 16 (1/2 inch) nuggets.

  3. Whisk mayonnaise, water and poultry seasoning in a pie plate. Place breadcrumbs in another shallow plate. Dredge the seitan pieces in the mayonnaise mixture, then in the breadcrumbs. Coat both sides with cooking spray and place on the prepared rack. Bake, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, 18 to 20 minutes.

    Vegan Chicken Nuggets on a cooling rack

To make ahead

Freeze cooked nuggets in an airtight container for up to 1 month. To serve, reheat in microwave or oven until warmed through.

Learn more about how to make these vegan chicken nuggets.

Associated Recipe

Homemade Seitan

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

306 Calories
12g Fat
19g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 306
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 30g 59%
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Vitamin A 6IU 0%
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Folate 129mcg 32%
Sodium 388mg 17%
Calcium 61mg 5%
Iron 3mg 17%
Magnesium 27mg 7%
Potassium 247mg 5%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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