Easy Vegetarian "Hot Wings" with Seitan

Easy vegetarian hot wings

Emily Hawkes for The Spruce

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings

Looking for the perfect vegetarian hot wings recipe? Here's how to make vegetarian and vegan hot wings using seitan - the perfect vegetarian meat substitute for making meat-free hot wings. The only thing that could possibly make these vegan seitan wings more delicious, in my opinion, is if you're lucky enough to live in New York City and can use Mei Wah's vegan chicken drumsticks to make wings (they're seriously the best vegetarian meat substitute ever). But I digress. 

If you like hot wings or buffalo wings, try this simple homemade low-fat vegetarian and vegan hot wing version made from seitan! Vegetarian "hot wings" with seitan have all the same flavors as regular hot wings, so you really won't miss the meat. 

Most of the flavor in these vegetarian and vegan hot wings comes from the hot sauce, so be sure to use a really good quality one. I like Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce (and yes, it's completely vegan), as does just about everyone I know, but I also love experimenting with new boutique and locally or regionally produced hot sauce brands. Try a slightly sweet mango hot sauce or a hot sauce made with pineapple, or, try it out with another universally loved classic hot sauce: Sriracha sauce. No, sriracha isn't a traditional buffalo wing sauce, but who cares? Just about everybody loves sriracha sauce!

This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan. If you're looking for a gluten-free vegan hot wings recipe, try using tofu as in this tofu buffalo wings recipe here, or, for something even lighter, try these oven-roasted cauliflower buffalo "wings". Yum!

See also: More vegetarian seitan recipes


  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound seitan (torn or cut into chunks)
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot buffalo sauce is a classic choice)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for vegetarian hot wings
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce
  2. First, prepare your seitan by chopping or tearing it into chunks a little bit bigger than bite sized (about 2 inches). You can also slice your seitan into thin slabs or "finger" shapes, if you prefer, but I like chunks. 

    Prepare your seitan
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce
  3. Next, heat a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the seitan until lightly browned on all sides, stirring frequently (about 5 to 10 minutes).

    Heat olive oil
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce
  4. Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the hot sauce, maple syrup, lime juice and salt stirring to combine well.

    Put over medium heat
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce 
  5. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce and seitan to simmer for about another 3 to 5 minutes, stirring to coat the chunks of seitan well with the sauce.

    Reduce heat to low
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce 
  6. Remove from heat and serve immediately with a traditional blue cheese dressing, or, if you need a vegan idea, try serving them with a homemade vegan ranch dressing

See also: What is seitan?

Like cooking with seitan? Here's a few of my favorite vegetarian and vegan seitan recipes to try.