Baked Seitan

I had a very successful go at making my own baked Seitan yesterday. I started with the recipe on Post Punk Kitchen and then dinked with it until it was what I wanted.

First, let me say that if you like Seitan, it can be pretty pricey to buy in stores. What is Seitan? It’s a Vegan replacement for meat that has an extremely “meaty” texture and tastes great. It’s made from Vital Wheat Gluten and is very high in protein with no cholesterol. Seitan nicely absorbs flavors from your spices, so you can really jazz it up and again, it has a great texture.

The reason I LOVE this Seitan is that it’s NOT BOILED. I seriously hate seitan that’s been boiled because to me, it’s so squishy and gross. In order for me to make it edible, I have to dry or bake the heck out of it so it’s just ruined. Baking Seitan in a cool roll like this recipe has you do is just fab. It takes about 5 minutes, start to finish and then 90 minutes to cook. After it’s cooled you can either slice off what you need or you can grind or grate some of it up to make a hamburger consistency to be used in tacos, sloppy joes or whatever your heart desires. My husband took some “sloppy joe” type mix to work that I’d made from seitan and one of his friends, a meat eater all the way, asked if he could PLEASE have the recipe.

The other reason that I love seitan that’s been baked is that unlike boiled seitan, which has a LOT of it’s spices boiled out, baking it keeps all the flavorful goodness packed into the seitan log.

Here’s my version:

Baked Seitan

2 1/2 c vital wheat gluten
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1 1/2 t. salt
3 t. papria
1 t. cumin
1 T. green chilli powder (you can use red too)
3 t. garlic powder
2 t. onion powder
3 t. black pepper

Mix the dry ingredients and then mix the wet ingredients in another bowl

1 1/4 c. of water
2 T. soy sauce
3 T. olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
3 t. veggie worchester sauce (you don’t need this, or the soy sauce, so if you don’t have it, don’t worry.)

Mix the wet into the dry and knead for 30 seconds till it comes into a neat ball.
Roll the ball out into a 9″ or so log and then wrap this in aluminum foil and fold the ends under.

Put the log into a small pan and cook in a preheated oven at 325 for 90 minutes. Take out of the oven and unwrap and let cool completely.


**I keep coming back to update as I play with this recipe. The way I do my seitan now is this:

a whole bag of Bob Mills Vital Wheat Gluten-5 cups
2 t. salt
2 cans tomato paste
1/2 c. onion powder
1/2 c. garlic powder
1 c. nutritional yeast (if I don’t have it on hand, I do without. Contrary to what some people say, leaving it out does NOT make for a rubbery seitan. I don’t even notice a change. I just love the taste of nutritional yeast and the extra nutrient punch it brings.)
3/4 c. red chili powder (mild)
1/2 c. green chili powder (mild)
1/4 to 1/2 c. poultry seasoning
1/4 c. ground sage
1/4 c. dried parsley
This isn’t hot spicey (though it may be to some), it’s just really spiced up. All of these spices keep the seitan from being bland and tasteless…like store bought brands. I would recommend you play around with this recipe, increasing your favorite spices, more than you think you need.

I don’t even measure the water, just pour in some cold water till it looks right. I probably use around a cup or maybe 2. I add and mix with one hand, add a little more. It only takes about 2 minutes from start to finish.

I often cut us some of the finished seitan into 1″ cubes and store in a covered bowl with this marinade: a lot of catusp, a little spicey brown mustard and a litte BBQ sauce. I now-not rocket science. It’s very good, cold or hot. I like to eat it cold, dipping it back in this sauce.

–Store in fridge or cut up/tear up and put into baggies, you can also freeze it. This recipe is so much better than the boiled version that I posted earlier that I’m going to remove that one from my blog. So much cheaper than meat and so much better for you and I promise, it tastes great.

I also made these seitan sausages/hot dogs and wanted to show you what they look like. You KNOW how expensive these suckers are, often $4.99 for 4! I just rolled cut off a smaller piece and rolled it up exactly like the seitan log above. I cooked these at the same temp but only for 60 minutes, then unwrapped them and let them cool for an hour before I baggied them up and put them in the fridge. These actually have taste, unlike the store bought ones. You can keep working on them until they’re as spicey and flavorful as you like them. I got about 12 sausages from less than half a bag of Vital Wheat Gluten, which cost me $6.00.

*Now when I make Seitan, I usually make the whole bag at once. Seitan keeps really well in the fridge, in a gallon sized baggie, so I can afford to make more than we’d use in a 2 week period. The best I can figure, an entire bag of Seitan makes about 22 sausage-like servings of about 3-4″ long and about 2″ around, for about 130 calories each if you don’t add any oil to the recipe, I usually don’t anymore. I pinched off 22 sausages so I could see how many servings I was getting. In reality, I usually pull off about 1/3 of the batch and knead 1 T. of Sage into it, and make those into sausages and then just roll the rest into 2 huge chubbs, slicing off what we need as we go.)

*update: I have to add this because it’s so great. I had torn up the seitan above, and put it in a baggie in my Mom’s fridge then pulled it out to make chilli tonight but of the three adults in the house, not a ONE of us could tell if it was meat or not when we tasted it!!!! My Mom, who was raised on a farm, *I* was raised on a farm, and my husband…we had to try it over and over to be sure I hadn’t picked up a baggie of seasoned hamburger she might have left in her fridge. It took me tearing up several pieces to see that it indeed, it was gluten based! My Mom was just delighted and completely sold on it. I can’t think of a better disclaimer than that and I really hope you’ll be interested in trying this baked seitan. Makes me SO HAPPY!

**update, update: To the above recipe, I also added some “sausage spices” that turned my seitan into a sausage tasting dream. Yum! Typically when I make seitan now, I use the whole bag of gluten and mix up the dry ingredients. Then, I pull out about 2 cups of this mix and to that I add my sage spices for sausage type links: 3 rounded teaspoons of ground sage, more if you like, 2 t. poultry seasoning. I then roll the little sausages individually in foil as in the above recipe.

It’s finally sunny again today. The past 2 days have been just awful: pouring sheets of rain. I went hiking with two women in Tacoma, WA at Point Definance-a 4 mile hike that turned into 5 1/2 miles in slogging mud because we got lost.

We saw bald eagles and this baby elk! Look, can you see him on the log? He was super calm. Just watched us as I took 10 pictures of him.

Here’s a large Madrona tree, perched on the edge of a sweeping cliff. Madrona’s only grow 50 miles from the ocean, so they aren’t just everywhere. Aren’t they pretty? The wood is so hard that it’s very difficult to cut-you could make a bowling ball out if it, it’s that hard!

Lastly, this big tree is just amazing:

I have to finish my oatmeal with molasses and head out to pick someone up for a hike in Olympia, WA. Someone I know is on vacation so we’re hiking all over the place this week.

Be safe, be happy.

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About Fit Living Daily

I love healthy living! I've been married for 35 years and have 2 grown children, one in Albuquerque, NM and one in Washington state. We are currently living in Washington for my husband's job---until he FINALLY retires, but our house is in Albuquerque.
This entry was posted in Dinner Ideas, Exercise, Healthy foods to try, Hiking, vegan and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Baked Seitan

  1. Britt says:

    Hi there! Just wanted to say I made your recipe. I made 4 “sausages” and one “loaf”. I think I may slice the loaf thinly for deli meat… Anyhow, it came out awesome! I’m very happy since I have been craving a meaty texture and this hit the spot!

  2. Britt,
    I’m so glad it turned out well for you!!!

  3. Pingback: Making Baked Seitan today! | Fit Living Daily

  4. Jennifer says:

    Ok, I actual bought the vital wheat gluten at the store today. I’m going to try it! However, I couldn’t find nutritional yeast and even asked management. They said they don’t carry it. Are you sure it’s not needed?

    • Jennifer, you don’t need the nutritional yeast, it adds a cheesy flavor and lots of protein, but it’s not totally necessary. You can get it at healthy food stores (it’s NOT brewers yeast though). Some areas it can be hard to find but you can always find it online.

      • Jennifer says:

        I guess I have to go back out anyway because I don’t have any tomato paste in the house! Ugh! Can I get an idea of how many servings your first recipe would provide (with 2.5 C of vital wheat gluten) so that I can plug this into my livestrong app?

        Do you eat it as is after it cools? Or, why would you let it cool completely before eating? Would you typically slice up the log (like a meatloaf) and eat as is or fry it in a pan like hamburger? As you can see, I don’t have the slightest idea what I am doing, but was anxious to give it a try!

      • Jennifer,
        After it’s cooked you unwrap the logs and let them cool. You can eat it right away while it’s warm or eat it cold out of the fridge. I prefer to warm it up in the microwave. You can fry it up to crisp it, or cut it into cubes and then grind it up in a food processor and use it like hamburger. You can cut it into slivers or cubes or anything. You can freeze it for quite awhile or it keeps in the fridge for weeks. I really like to make half of it into longer, thicker “logs” to use in main dishes, and half of the recipe into big sausage type links (maybe 5″ long, 3″ around), then you can use them as hotdogs or whatever. I like them small because then there’s more of an edge to them i.e. more “rind” or whatever you want to call it. I love to just heat up a sausage and dip it into a mix of catsup and mustard.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I tried the recipe, nearly exactly as you provided it, but with a tad less chili powder. No one “loved” it, and it pretty much disgusted my son, but both daughters ate their portions without too many grimaces. My husband enjoys meat a lot, and so although he was very impressed by the nutritional value, I don’t think he’s ready to give up meat. Their were jokes thrown around about SpongeBob Squarepants….

    Anyway, now that I’ve made it and see what you mean about the “rind” I think I would have preferred to make more links and not just two larger logs. The “edge” to it is what I liked the best.

    We ate it directly out of the oven for dinner last night and then I took two “slices” and heated them in a frying pan and then put a bit of cheese and bacon on them as a burger. Not bad, but certainly not a replacement for McDonald’s angus. 🙂

    I’d love to try grinding it and using as a mix-in for chili or spaghetti meat sauce. I don’t have a food processor though. Do you think a blender would do it or would it just “gum up” the bottom of the container?

    • I’m not sure what a blender would do but you might try it! Some people don’t like it because it’s hard not to compare it to meat. We really, really prefer it now! But hey, GREAT job for trying something new, Jennifer! Go, you!

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  7. tomgleasonom says:

    nice… trying to learn to cook seitan that doesn’t taste so squishy….I think you’re on to something here. I bake the heck out of it, then fry it.

  8. Ann says:

    I do agree with you about boiled seitan. It’s awful IMO EXCEPT when you wrap it in cheesecloth. I tried the recipe for Vegan Turkey Roast from EDTV and it’s pretty good. Admittedly it only slightly resembles roast turkey, but taken as is, it is tasty especially in sandwiches. The recipe calls for wrapping the seitan in cheesecloth and simmering it for 1 hour in water then unwrapping it and baking it in the oven for 30 minutes. I substitute ground flax seed for the the oil. I’m a Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn devotee and try to eliminate oil from my diet including olive oil.

    Also for those who don’t like aluminum touching their food Reynolds has just come out with wrap that is one side aluminum foil and the other side parchment paper.

    • Kristen Shackelford says:

      So I’m vegan and have been trying multiple recipes to make seitan. I tried boiling it and of course it came out spongy but when fried correctly tastes pretty good. I tried your recipe and it’s great right out I the oven however I can’t figure out how to recook it without it being too dry… Any suggestions?! Oh also I’d like to share a recipe I came up with that gives the seitan a more chicken/pork flavor!

      2 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
      1 cup nutritional yeast
      1 teaspoon dried rosemary
      1 teaspoon dried thyme
      1 teaspoon dried oregano
      1/4 teaspoon cumin
      1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
      2 cups water
      1/3 cup Tamari
      1/2 teaspoon onion powder

      Preheat oven to 325°.

      In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients. Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl. Whisk well until mixed.

      Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for a minute or two.. it doesn’t need long.

      Form into a log (6-8″ long), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends. Bake for 90 minutes. When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way. Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.

      I got this recipe by altering another I found online… I’m not sure if that is the exact amounts of wheat gluten and nutritional yeast I put in but if it’s too much just add a little water. I. Sure you can figure it out….

      And as for the comment about mc Donald angus burgers…yuck!

  9. Maggie says:

    Hubby and I are trying to reduce our meat intake so your baked seitan looks like the ticket! I located several boiled seitan recipes that just didn’t look appealing! I love the fact of being able to tweak the favors with an array of spices! I can’t wait to give this a try! Thanks!!!

  10. Romina says:

    I just made it and it turned out wonderful!! So much tastier than the traditional boil kind.
    I added all the suggestion you listed and but I added thyme and dill. Also, I forgot to add the oil. Delish!

  11. John says:

    Thanks for your blog. Keep your fingers crossed. I just made a batch of Black Pepper & Garlic Jerky and it’s baking now. I can’t wait! I have a jerky extruder and had seasoning & curing spice. I don’t know if it will work but reading your results from baking gives me hope.

  12. david says:

    Hello, ive been making my own gluten and its like rubber, any attempt to knead erbs and flavors in fails as theyre just not absorbed, they simply fall out. Ive boiled very strong mixes for hours but unless its sliced very thin the flavor doesnt reach far. im currently soaking one in flavor for two days, and next i have a hand grinder to see if i can do it mechanically. If someone knows how they make the flour out of gluten rubber id be interested!

  13. mama2cd says:

    I have been making boiled seitan for awhile and knew there had to be a better way that was less squishy. I tried baking your loaf recipe tonight and it was awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  14. vegandiane says:

    Great recipe, very versatile, really top notch.

  15. Clara says:

    Hi, I love your ideas and I too have been looking for another method than boiling which seems to use a lot of seasoning but never gets really absorbed into the gluten.
    I wanted to ask what your experience has been with adding oil. Does it add moisture or anything texture wise???
    Thanks!
    Clara

  16. Schingeck says:

    Rainy day in Tacoma listening to David Sedaris and Wife and I decided to make some seitan as it had been a few weeks since we’d had it. We have used the seitan log recipe from food.com which has been very good, haven’t tried this recipe yet. We’ve had different results depending on how much liquid was used. We ALWAYS add 5Tbsp extra liquid now to give it that fresh hamburgery texture. Here are our favorite changes:

    2 T prepared brown mustard
    3T Olive oil
    2T Balsamic vinegar
    2T Lemon juice
    1T Liquid smoke
    2T Tahini or almond butter

    Substitute 3/4C Veg broth instead of water

    1t Caraway seed
    1t Celery seed
    2T Turmeric
    1T Black pepper
    Substiture 1T Chipotle chili pepper for one of the other spices you aren’t keen on in the original recipe

    We also ALWAYS add at least the following:

    1 whole shredded carrot
    1 whole onion finely diced
    4Tbsp hemp seeds
    Whatever mushrooms are in the fridge that need to be used up…

    The point is that this is a cheap and easy food that tastes fantastic and is an easy substitute for beef or whatever meat you want to replace. Other posters have mentioned that frying it leaves it too dry but adding the extra liquid will help with that. We have even BBQ’d this stuff.

    This food is vegan, unlike most gardenburgers that have eggs in them, so don’t worry when your friends or relatives go vegan because this is sooooo easy. And it really keeps for 2-3 weeks without reduced flavor or texture quality.

    Also try it with brown gravy on top just as you would meat loaf with mashed potatoes.

  17. nowyat dust says:

    Thanks for your article. I wanted to bake it for the same reason you mention, because I’ve got it perfectly seasoned this time and didn’t want to boil away the flavor. I will follow your foil and bake directions. They are exactly what I wanted!

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