Simple Vegan Fried Chicken Recipe

Crispy vegan fried chicken
Vegan Fried Chicken

Out of ideas for easy family movie night dinners? Try our Vegan Fried Chicken! Toss some fries into the deep fryer, mix a fresh salad, and you’re all set to enjoy goodness that will get you licking your fingers!

Fried chicken is back on the menu with this recipe. The batter is spicy and crispy and filled with the comfort of Southern cooking. It’s perfect for Friday nights or pack it in for a picnic on Saturday.

You might also like to try this Easy Homemade Vegan Bread Recipe to create a vegan fried chicken sandwich.

Fried chicken vegan-style
Crispy vegan fried chicken for a fun movie night dinner

What is vegan fried chicken made of?

Vegan fried chicken can be made using different ingredients that are plant-based and usually high in protein. Commercial companies may use a mixture of different plant proteins, flour, oils and seasoning of sorts.

In this recipe, we use vital wheat gluten to create our vegan chicken. If you’re new to veganism, you may be wondering, what is vital wheat gluten?

Vital wheat gluten is basically wheat protein. It’s made by hydrating wheat flour to activate the gluten. Then, everything is removed from the mixture except the gluten. This gluten is then processed into a flour-like substance called vital wheat gluten, seitan, or gluten flour. When you mix it with water, you get a sticky dough-like substance (similar to Play-Doh) that you can shape into nugget-shaped pieces and fry.

Fried vegan chicken nuggets
Fried vegan chicken nuggets

How to make vegan fried chicken

Here are a few tips to help you make this fried chicken vegan-style!

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, not the other way around

It might be tempting to throw everything together in one go. But, this could result in a lumpy mess. First, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Then, mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl or measuring jug, and slowly add them to the dry. Keep stirring until you create a dough.

Knead the dough until it’s elastic but not dry

As with kneading bread dough, you’ll need to knead this dough until it’s elastic. You might need to add a bit more vital wheat gluten to keep it from sticking to your fingers.

Knead the vegan chicken dough until elastic.
Knead the dough until it’s elastic

The chicken pieces will expand when cooking

Be careful not to create large dough pieces. The chicken expands when cooking (about twice their size) so don’t make them as big as a chicken piece. This might cause the dough to cook unevenly.

Drain the deep-fried chicken on paper towels to crisp up

This is an important step to getting that crispy chicken piece. As soon as they come out the frying pan or deep fryer, drain them on paper towels to get rid of excess oil and to crisp up.

Vegan Fried Chicken

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes


Chicken pieces

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten, plus extra for kneading
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 T flour
  • ½ t each cumin, pepper, parsley, paprika, and thyme pepper, parsley, paprika and thyme
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • ½ cup vegetable broth


  • 8 cups vegetable broth

Chicken coating

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup plant-based milk

Deep frying

  • 4 cups vegetable oil


To make the vegan chicken pieces

  • Place all the dry ingredients for the chicken into a bowl and mix.
  • In another bowl or measuring jug, mix the liquids.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly add the liquids. All the while mixing so that it's not lumpy. You can also use a food processor with a dough attachment.
  • Once everything is mixed together, knead it a few times to create an elastic dough. You might need to add a bit more vital wheat gluten if the dough is too sticky.
  • As soon as the dough has a Play-Doh like consistency, you can shape it into your desired pieces. Remember that the dough will expand when cooking, so don't make them too large.

To cook the vegan chicken pieces

  • Fill a large stock pot with the 8 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  • Gently place the chicken pieces into the broth using a slotted spoon so that you don't get splattered with boiling broth.
  • Cook for 1 hour at a low boil, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Once the chicken has cooked, take it out the broth and place on a wire rack to cool. Wait for it to cool before you start the coating.

To make the chicken coating

  • Place the flour into a deep bowl.
  • Pour the plant-based milk into another bowl.
  • Pour the oil into a deep frying pot or deep-fryer.
  • Roll a chicken piece in the flour and then dip it into the plant-based milk and back into the flour.
  • Fry the chicken until it's crispy and golden brown.
  • Remove from the oil and drain it on paper towels to crisp up.