Easy Seitan Strips: Vegan Meat Substitute

Seitan strip recipe

The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings

This is a super meaty tasting vegetarian and vegan seitan strips recipe that you can use as a meat substitute for just about anything. Add these seitan strips to stir-fries, Chinese food recipes, vegetarian sub sandwiches or just gobble up right out of the pan.

The combination of ingredients used to turn plain seitan into a meaty-flavored substitute may seem a bit odd, but the salty soy sauce, tangy and full-bodied balsamic vinegar and sweet barbecue sauce all combine for a meat-like flavor in this vegetarian and vegan seitan recipe.


  • 1 pound seitan (sliced into strips or bite-sized chunks)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for seitan strips
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  2. Sauté the sliced seitan in oil over medium-low heat until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

    Seitan in frying pan
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  3. Add the soy sauce, stirring to coat seitan well, then add the Balsamic vinegar, barbecue sauce, and a tablespoon or two of water, stirring to mix well and coat seitan.

    Add sauce
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  4. Heat for 1 to 2 more minutes, until the water is completely absorbed and the seitan is fully cooked.

    Seitan strips
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  5. Use your super meaty seitan strips to make barbecue-style sandwiches, add it to Vietnamese style pho noodle soup, or, serve it with a side of collard greens and some mac and cheese for a Southern vegetarian feast!

    Seitan on bun
    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak

Recipe Variations

  • If you like something a little spicy, add a touch of hot sauce (I like Frank's Red Hot, Tapatio and also Sriracha sauce) and serve with extra on the side.
  • If you happen to have some liquid smoke on hand, a couple of drops of that will make the aroma and flavor even meatier.