Vegetarian and Vegan Soy Chicken Meal Ideas

Vegan chicken tikka masala
Vegan chicken tikka masala Miikka H / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

If you're vegan or vegetarian, understanding how to recreate chicken dishes to fit your new eating lifestyle is essential to your ability to stick to it and be successful. This overview of vegetarian soy chicken recipes offers versatile ways to cook faux chicken recipes using soy. You'll find both vegetarian and vegan soy chicken recipes using tofu, seitan (wheat gluten), or store-bought mock chicken or pre-packaged vegetarian soy chicken. You may need to experiment a bit with the best protein substitute for your taste buds and the recipe needs.

Buying and Making Vegetarian and Vegan Mock Meat

Many mock meat recipes exist online, and once you choose the ingredient you like most, you can enhance both store-bought and your own homemade mock meats. There are seasonings, vegan and vegetarians broths, and dry mock meat options that can make your soy chicken taste even better. Most mock meats and protein substitutes can be found in major grocery stores, local health food stores, or can be ordered online.

Most of these recipes can be made vegan as well, just make sure that your vegetarian soy chicken, if store-bought, is egg-free and dairy-free. Some store-bought mock chicken products are soy-based, whereas wheat gluten is the main ingredient of others. If in doubt, read the label carefully or you can always call the manufacturer for a double check.

Vegetarian Soy Chicken Recipes

  • Southern fried vegetarian "chicken": Although this recipe calls for seitan, you could also use tofu or a store-bought soy chicken. Serve this with some veggies or vegan creamed corn.
  • Vegetarian tempeh mock chicken salad: Using all the familiar ingredients like mayonnaise, celery, and some spices, this vegetarian tempeh "chicken" salad tastes quite similar to the real thing but is much lower in fat and cholesterol. Eat it on a sandwich or scooped onto a salad plate.
  • Vegetarian chicken pot pie: Use store-bought mock meat and puff pastry to make this healthy vegetarian and vegan entree.
  • Kung Pao tofu: Yes, that's Chinese kung pao tofu, not kung pao chicken! Serve this with a side of white rice (naturally gluten-free) and you've got a great meal.
  • Breaded tofu "chicken" nuggets: This recipe will work best if your tofu is well-pressed. Serve with ketchup or barbecue sauce for a very satisfying soy-based mock chicken nugget!
  • Orange-glazed tofu: If you miss orange glazed chicken, try this tofu version for all the same lip-smacking sticky flavors.
  • Vegetarian "chicken" pate: Vegetarian pate is usually made from mushrooms, nuts, and perhaps some bread crumbs or crackers as well, but this version starts with mock chicken.
  • Vegetarian soy chicken salad recipe: This recipe uses vegetarian soy chicken deli slices, available at most health foods stores and larger well-stocked grocery stores, to create a satisfying vegetarian chicken salad sandwich. Using vegan mayonnaise will make this mock "chicken" salad vegan as well.

If you are serving any of these foods to a crowd or bringing them to a buffet, be sure to label them with as vegan or vegetarian and with the chicken substitute you used. If you went through the time and effort of being aware of others' dietary needs, you should let them know.