Delicious Southern Vegetarian “Chicken” Recipe

Are you a fan of the crispy, juicy and savory flavor of Southern fried chicken, but are looking for a meat-free alternative? Then this recipe is perfect for you! As a chef who specializes in Southern-style cuisine, I have created a vegetarian “chicken” recipe that is sure to satisfy your cravings without compromising on taste.

Using seitan, a plant-based protein made from wheat gluten, this recipe replicates the texture and flavor of traditional fried chicken. By following my step-by-step instructions, you will learn how to make the perfect Southern-style fried vegetarian “chicken” that is crispy, juicy and undeniably delicious.

Whether you are already a fan of vegetarian or vegan diets, or just want to try out new meat-free options, this recipe is perfect for you! Impress both yourself and your guests with this mouthwatering dish that looks and tastes like real fried chicken.

So let’s get started on making this irresistible Southern-style vegetarian “chicken” recipe that packs all the same flavor but without any animal products.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Fried Vegetarian
Southern Fried Vegetarian “chicken”

Welcome y’all! If you’re looking for a meat-free and drool-worthy dish, look no further! Today, I’m bringin’ you a classic favorite with a twist – Southern Fried Vegetarian “Chicken”. Trust me, even the biggest fried chicken fans won’t miss the real thing with this recipe. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love it:

1. It’s Plant-based and Meat-Free: This recipe is perfect for anyone looking to reduce their meat intake while still enjoying the delicious flavors of Southern cuisine. By using seitan or soy curls as the main ingredient, this recipe provides a tasty high-protein alternative to meat.

2. It’s Healthier: Unlike traditional fried chicken recipes that are often heavy and full of calories, our vegetarian version is lighter and packs in more nutritional value without sacrificing taste. The crispy texture is achieved without deep-frying but air frying or baking.

3. It Has All The Flavors You Crave: Who says being vegetarian has to be bland? Our recipe is bursting with all the spices and seasonings that make Southern-style fried chicken so irresistible. From cayenne pepper to garlic powder, our secret blend will have you licking your fingers and asking for more.

4. It’s Versatile: You can use this recipe in multiple ways such as a side dish or as an entrée that can be used in dishes like chicken sandwiches or on top of waffles.

So go ahead, gather up your ingredients and get ready to make the best vegan southern fried “chicken” you’ve ever tasted!

Ingredient List

 Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside!
Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious Southern Fried Vegetarian “Chicken” recipe:

For the Seitan Chicken

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt

For the Coating

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp seasoning salt

For Frying

  • Vegetable oil for frying

Substitutions and Additions:

If you want to change things up or don’t have some of these ingredients on hand, here are some substitutions and additions you can make:

  • If you don’t know what seitan is or can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can use air-fryer soy curls instead for a similar texture.

  • You can also try using fried oyster mushrooms for a vegetarian twist on fried chicken.

  • Plant-based eaters can try substituting tofu skin for a meat-free version.

Stay tuned for the next section, where we’ll tell you why you’ll love this recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 A plant-based twist on a classic southern dish.
A plant-based twist on a classic southern dish.

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to get cooking! This recipe will make the perfect Southern Fried Vegetarian “Chicken” that you and your family will surely love.

Step 1: Prepare the Seitan

Start by slicing the seitan into small thin pieces. In a bowl, mix together 2 cups of water, 1 tsp of baking powder, and 1 tbsp of prepared mustard. Add in the seitan slices and mix well to make sure all slices are well coated.

Step 2: Create Seasoning Mixture

In a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, 1 tsp of cayenne, 1 tsp of black pepper, 2 tsp of garlic powder, 2 tsp of onion powder, and 1 tsp each of salt and seasoning salt. Mix this seasoning mixture together.

Step 3: Coat Seitan

Remove seitan pieces from the wet mixture, let excess drip off, then coat them in the dry seasoning mixture until fully coated.

Step 4: Fry

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat (or use an air fryer or oven). Once hot, add the seasoned seitan into the pot or air fryer in batches until fully cooked and crispy.


Once done, remove them from the pot or air fryer and place on a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Serve hot with your favorite side dish such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, salad or even on top of waffles!

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different “chicken” recipes! You can also try using other meat-alternatives like soy curls or fried tofu to make crispy chicken sandwich, chicken strips, or even a Kentucky Fried Tofu. As with anything, practice makes perfect so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come out perfect the first time.

Enjoy your homemade Southern Fried Vegetarian “Chicken”!

Substitutions and Variations

 You won't even miss the meat in this savory dish.
You won’t even miss the meat in this savory dish.

One of the great things about this vegan southern fried “chicken” recipe is its flexibility. You can easily make substitutions and variations according to your preferences and needs. Here are a few options to consider:

– Alternate protein sources: Instead of seitan, you can use tofu skin or soy curls to create the meaty texture that’s similar to chicken. Fried oyster mushrooms also work great as a substitute for the “meat.”

– Air frying option: If you want to avoid deep frying or cut down on the oil used in cooking, you can try air frying your chicken instead. Simply coat your chicken with a bit of oil spray then air fry in your favorite air fryer for a crispy vegan chicken experience.

– Seasoning variations: While our recipe includes a classic southern-style seasoning mix, feel free to play around with flavors like smoked paprika, thyme, or lemon pepper to add some extra zest to your chicken. For an extra kick, adding some hot sauce or cajun seasoning will do the trick.

– Make best vegan southern fried “steak”: Double up on this recipe for a meat-free version of Southern-style Chicken Fried Steak made with seitan pieces. This goes perfectly with some dairy free gravy and mashed potatoes.

– Explore different serving styles: If you’re in the mood for something other than the classic southern-style fried chicken dish, use these gluten-free chicken strips as filling for crispy vegan chicken sandwich or use them in salad loaded with croutons and mandarin oranges.

Remember, there is no wrong way to make this recipe! Feel free to experiment and tweak it based on what you have on hand or what flavors you’re in the mood for. Just don’t forget to share your delicious outcomes with me!

Serving and Pairing

 Ready to satisfy your comfort food cravings?
Ready to satisfy your comfort food cravings?

When it comes to serving and pairing this Southern Fried Vegetarian “chicken,” the options are endless! For a classic Southern meal, serve it alongside creamy mashed potatoes, collard greens cooked with onions and smoked ham hocks, and warm cornbread drizzled with honey.

If you’re craving something a little more modern, try using this vegan chicken to make crispy chicken sandwiches or chicken strips for dipping in your favorite sauce. You can even use it as a substitute for KFC chicken in your favorite recipes.

For a lighter meal, pair the crispy vegan chicken with a fresh green salad or roasted vegetables. You can also turn it into a delicious fried tofu dish by replacing the seitan with tofu skin.

If you’re looking for an indulgent breakfast option, try making Southern-style chicken and waffles recipes using this vegan southern fried “chicken.” The sweet and savory combination of crispy fried “chicken” with fluffy waffles drizzled in maple syrup is sure to be a hit!

No matter how you choose to serve and pair this plant-based meat-free powerhouse, one thing is for sure – it’s guaranteed to satisfy your cravings for authentic Southern flavors without compromising on taste or texture.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Every bite is bursting with flavor in this southern fried masterpiece.
Every bite is bursting with flavor in this southern fried masterpiece.

One of the great things about this Southern Fried Vegetarian “Chicken” recipe is how well it holds up to being made in advance. You can prepare your seitan chicken and store it in the fridge for up to three days before cooking. This makes it ideal for meal prep or hosting a large gathering.

If you happen to have leftovers, don’t worry! The crispy texture and delicious flavor will hold up well when reheated. You can easily reheat your vegan fried chicken by placing it on a baking sheet and reheating it in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can also use the air fryer to reheat your chicken, which will not only keep its crispiness but also take less time.

When storing your vegan fried chicken, wrap each piece individually with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing them in an airtight container. This ensures that the pieces stay separate and maintain their crispy crust while stored in the fridge for up to three days. Don’t forget about labeling them with date written on so that you can accurately monitor their freshness.

Overall, this Southern Fried Vegetarian “Chicken” recipe is easy to make ahead of time and store, ensuring that you always have an amazing comfort meal right when you need it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfectly golden and oh so delicious!
Perfectly golden and oh so delicious!

Making the perfect southern fried vegetarian “chicken” may seem like a daunting task, but fear not! With a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll have crispy, flavorful seitan that rivals any traditional fried chicken recipe. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just looking to try something new in the kitchen, these tips will help ensure your success.

1. Don’t skip the nutritional yeast.

Although it may seem like an odd ingredient at first, nutritional yeast is a key component in achieving that savory, umami flavor that’s so essential in southern-style cooking. Be sure to add it to both the dry and wet ingredients for the best results.

2. Seasoning is everything.

To achieve that classic southern fried flavor, be generous with your seasoning. Use a combination of cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and seasoned salt to give your “chicken” a well-rounded flavor profile.

3. Let the batter sit.

After mixing together the batter for your seitan, allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before dipping your seitan cutlets into it. This will help ensure that the batter adheres properly and creates a crispy exterior when fried.

4. Use an air fryer or frying pan for optimal results.

While deep-frying is traditional for southern fried chicken, using an air fryer or frying pan with minimal oil can produce just as tasty results. Plus, it’s often healthier too!

5. Experiment with different protein sources.

Seitan is a great option for this recipe, but don’t be afraid to try other plant-based proteins like tofu skin, soy curls, or even fried oyster mushrooms to mix things up.

By following these tips and letting your creativity run wild in the kitchen, you’ll be making mouth-watering Southern-style vegan “chicken” in no time!


As you get ready to prepare this southern fried vegetarian “chicken” recipe that will blow your taste buds away, you might find yourself wondering about some of the things you need to do or avoid. Fortunately, I have taken my time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions in this guide. You will love this part because it gives concise answers to your burning questions and will set your mind at ease as you prepare a fantastic meal for yourself, family or friends!

What is vegetarian fried chicken made of?

The ingredients used to make vegan fried chicken vary depending on the chosen recipe or product. Seitan, pea protein, or soy protein are often used in vegan fried chicken recipes.

What is the difference between fried chicken and Southern fried chicken?

When it comes to Southern-style cuisine, there’s nothing quite like a perfectly fried piece of chicken. This dish involves coating chicken with a seasoned flour or batter mixture and then frying it to achieve a crispy outer layer while keeping the meat inside juicy and full of flavor. Whether you pan-fry, deep fry, pressure fry, or air fry, this classic recipe is sure to satisfy.

How to make Paula Deen’s fried chicken?

As a seasoned chef in southern-style cuisine, I’ve got a delicious recipe for crispy fried chicken that’ll give everyone a taste of the south. Before we get started, let’s whip up some seasoning to add that extra kick of flavor. Simply grab all your preferred seasonings, mix them up, and store them away in an airtight container for future use – trust me, it’ll save you time!

First, let’s prepare the egg wash that’ll give the chicken its signature crunch. Grab a medium-sized bowl and crack in some eggs, then whisk them up with a bit of water until they’re fluffy and golden. In a separate bowl, mix some flour and pepper together – this will be the coating for our chicken.

Next up, it’s time to get our hands dirty and get that chicken coated! Dip each piece of chicken into the egg wash, making sure to coat it well. Then, drop it into the flour mixture and make sure it’s completely covered with flour.

Now we’re ready to fry up that chicken! Grab a deep pot and fill it up with oil, heating it up to about 300 degrees (be careful not to overheat it!). Once the oil is nice and hot, gently place each piece of chicken into the pot, making sure not to overcrowd it. Fry up the chicken until it’s a beautiful golden-brown and crispy on the outside.

And there you have it – a delicious recipe for southern-style fried chicken that’ll have everyone at your table drooling. Whether you’re serving it up for a family dinner or a backyard BBQ, this recipe is sure to impress. So go ahead, give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern Fried Vegetarian “Chicken” recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to enjoy the comfort of southern-style cuisine in a meat-free way. With the perfect blend of seasonings and texture, it is sure to satisfy both vegans and meat-lovers alike. Plus, with options for Air Fryer Soy Curls or Fried Oyster Mushrooms as substitutions, there is bound to be a variation of this dish that will appeal to everyone.

So why not give it a shot? With the detailed instructions and tips provided here, you’ll be able to make the best vegan Southern Fried “Chicken” recipe you’ve ever tasted. And who knows? You may just become a Southern-style cooking aficionado, impressing all your friends and family with your newfound culinary skills.

Remember, with seitan, nutritional yeast, and a few other pantry staples, you can create a mouth-watering fried chicken made entirely out of plant-based ingredients. So let’s all embrace the amazing flavors of Southern cuisine while prioritizing our health and well-being. Trust me – you won’t be disappointed!

Southern Fried Vegetarian "chicken"

Southern Fried Vegetarian “chicken” Recipe

Vegan un-chicken recipe. Deep Fried Seitan. Found on, havent tried it yet but it sounds good.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 190.2 kcal


  • 1 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 dash cayenne (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb seitan, cut into 1-2-inch square pieces
  • oil (for frying)


  • In a medium to large bowl, mix together the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, flour, black pepper, cayenne and nutritional yeast.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mustard and water. Add 1/3 cup of the flour mixture to the mustard mixture and combine well.
  • Add baking powder to the flour mixture and combine well.
  • Coat pieces of seitan or mock chicken with the mustard batter, then coat each piece with the dry flour mixture.
  • Fry chunks of "chicken" in the oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet for 3-5 minutes, turning once until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel, serve with ketchup or barbeque sauce and enjoy!
  • Tip: If your chunks are turning brown or black rather than a crispy golden brown, your oil is probably too hot! Reduce the heat a small amount and try again.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 114gCalories: 190.2kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 5.7gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1303.2mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Egg-free, Free Of..., Inexpensive, Lactose-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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