The stuff that (vegan) dreams are made of - Vegan Kebab Meat!
This vegan kebab meat recipe is simply perfect for a delicious vegan doner kebab, stuffed with your favorite kebab toppings and also divine baked with vegan cheese or simply on its own.
Welcome to the delicious world of vegan kebabs!
If you're a kebab lover like me, you're in for a treat. Today, I'm sharing my secret recipe for crafting the perfect Vegan Seitan Kebab.
Kebabs hold a very special place in my hearts – that irresistible mix of flavors and textures and the comforting aromas wafting from the grill... simply mouth-watering!
In this post, I'll guide you through crafting your very own Seitan Kebab that's bursting with flavor. It's easy, it's meaty (without the meat!), and it's a true showstopper for any occasion.
📝 Vegan Kebab Meat Recipe
This recipe is:
- 100% vegan
- made from Seitan using Vital Wheat Gluten
- simply delicious & mouth-watering
- perfect for a vegan doner kebab
- easy to make with these simple step-by-step instructions
- full of aromatic herbs and spices and packed with flavor
- freezer-friendly and perfect for batch cooking & meal prep
🌱 Ingredients & Notes
In this recipe, I've created the seitan from vital wheat gluten, but it's the herbs and seasoning mix that gives the kebab meat the delicious flavor that you all know from kebab!
Vegan Kebab Meat herbs and seasonings
To create the perfect flavor in this vegan seitan kebab, there are a variety of herbs and spices involved. Same as with non-vegan kebab meat, the flavour is all in the spices!
The Herbs & spices I've used in this recipe:
- fine sea salt
- ground black pepper
- garlic powder
- ground cumin
- onion powder
- chilli powder
- dried oregano
- dried thyme
- dried parsley
- nutritional yeast flakes
- Vital Wheat Gluten - If you don't have vital wheat gluten, you can make Seitan from scratch using regular flour. However, the process is very different, and you'll need to wash the dough to remove the starch. Refer to my Vegan Chicken Recipe for a detailed guide to making Seitan from washed flour. Blend in the herbs, spices and seasonings from this kebab recipe after washing the flour and rest the Seitan afterward. Then continue with steaming, pan-frying and shaving as per the instructions below.
- Tamari Soy Sauce - Swap tamari for double the amount of dark soy sauce or coconut aminos.
- Nutritional Yeast Flakes - If you're out of nutritional yeast flakes, consider using vegan bouillon powder or a combination of spices like paprika and garlic powder for added flavor.
- Seasonings - Customize the seasoning mix to your preferences. You can experiment with different herbs and spices to create unique flavor profiles. Make sure you try my Vegan Gyros version as well!
- Cooking Oil - Use any high-heat cooking oil you prefer for pan-frying, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil.
- Cast-Iron skillet - I love to use a cast-iron skillet, it simply gives the kebab crispy edges and the best flavor.
- Spatula or wooden spoon - To mix the Seitan dough. It's best to mix all ingredients by hand (& spoon) for the best, firm and meaty texture.
- 2 mixing bowls - Use separate bowls to first mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients before combining them. This ensures for even distribution of flavors throughout the Seitan kebab.
- Extra-strong kitchen foil - aka tin foil, aluminum foil or aluminium (if you're not from the US!). Use the foil to firmly and tightly wrap the Seitan - It will keep the Seitan in shape and give it a denser texture whilst it steams and expands in the oven. Roughly 2 metres of extra strong kitchen foil should be sufficient.
- Muslin cloth - To prevent Seitan and kitchen foil touching during the cooking process, you can firmly wrap the Seitan in a layer of clean muslin cloth first. I've seen other recipes recommend wrapping it in parchment paper, but I personally wouldn't recommend this as it tends to undercook the Seitan dough and create a spongy texture.
🧑🍳 How to Make Vegan Kebab Meat from Vital Wheat Gluten
When it comes to the method of making this vegan kebab, there are a few important things to note:
Step 1: Combining the ingredients
Firstly in creating the Seitan dough, you will need to combine all the dry ingredients and all the wet ingredients separately, then slowly mix them together afterwards. By doing it this way you will ensure even distribution of all ingredients and avoid any lumps in the kebab meat later.
Step 2: Kneading the Seitan dough
Once the Seitan dough is combined, it's important to gently knead it with your hands for about 5 minutes until well combined and smooth. The gluten should become soft and spongy during this process. Do not overmix as it will change the texture of the Seitan. Five minutes is more than enough - I like to do this on my kitchen counter with a little vital wheat gluten sprinkled over the top to avoid it sticking to the counter.
Step 3: Shape the kebab meat
After kneading, you need to gently form a log shape and wrap the Seitan dough in multiple layers of extra-strong kitchen foil (aluminum foil). Wrap it tightly! This is very important as the seitan will otherwise rip the foil and explode in your oven. This not only ruins the seitan texture but also creates a mess. I usually wrap it tightly in about 5 layers of foil to be on the safe side.
Step 4: Steam/Bake the Seitan
Transfer the Seitan to your preheated oven and bake at 200°C (390°F) for 30 minutes. Add an ovenproof dish filled with water to the bottom of your oven at the same time.
This will create the right moisture in the oven and make the perfect environment for your Seitan dough. Steam-baking the Seitan this way will make it firm and juicy without making it spongy and it's the perfect cooking method for your vegan kebab meat.
Step 5: Cool Down
After steam baking, let the Seitan cool down entirely in the foil. During this time the texture of your vegan kebab meat will settle. Please don't skip this step!
Once cooled down, you can continue with the recipe to create the perfect fried kebab chunks.
Alternatively, you can keep the Seitan kebab in the fridge for up to 3 days or keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months, before creating kebab chunks for your vegan doner kebab.
Pan-frying and shaving the vegan kebab meat
The pan-fry and shaving of the Seitan log creates the typical doner kebab chunks that you all know. For this process, I like to use a cast-iron skillet as it creates the perfect smoky and crispy layer on the vegan kebab.
Step 6: Pan Frying
Simply heat some oil in a cast-iron skillet and place the entire kebab log into it once both the skillet and oil are hot.
The secret is to consistently brush a little oil over the kebab log on the skillet, as well as tamari soy sauce. This will create a salty, slightly caramelized, crunchy layer for the kebab meat. Carefully turn the log regularly until all sides are gently crispy fried.
Step 7: Shaving
Remove the Seitan log from the skillet and carefully 'shave' off the outer layer with a sharp knife to create thin strips. I like to stick a fork into one end of the log log to keep it in place whilst shaving off my kebab shreds.
Return the log to the pan afterwards and repeat the pan-frying process until the entire log is shaved into kebab chunks.
🍱 Storing & Re-heating
You can store any leftovers of the fully cooked vegan kebab shreds in the refrigerator for you to three days. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out, then place it in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.
How to freeze
If you want to store the seitan kebab for a longer period, you can freeze it for up to three months. Wrap the kebab tightly in plastic wrap and then wrap it again with aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Place it in an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag and don't forget to label it with the date.
How to reheat
You can reheat the refrigerated Seitan kebab in the oven or by panfrying. If the kebab is frozen, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
To reheat in the oven, first preheat to 350°F (175°C) and layer the kebab onto a baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out and heat it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. To keep the kebab juicy during reheating, you can brush it with a little oil, vegetable broth or a marinade of your choice.
You can also use a microwave to reheat small portions of the kebab, however, I wouldn't recommend this method as it makes the kebab spongy and less crispy.
💡 Recipe Tips
- Marination Time - For even more flavor, marinate the Seitan kebab meat in your preferred spices and sauces for a few hours or overnight before cooking. By marinating you can also add a delicious twist to the kebab! For example, for a mediterranean flavor, use olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano in your marinade or for an Asian fusion, marinate the Seitan with soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil.
- Grill Option - Instead of pan-frying, you can also grill the kebab meat for a smoky, barbeque-like flavor. Brush with oil and grill until charred and cooked through.
- Spice Level - Adjust the level of spiciness to your taste by increasing or decreasing the amount of chili powder in the seasoning mix.
- Make Ahead - Prepare the Seitan kebab meat in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze it for longer shelf life. This allows for quick and convenient meal prep.
- Use Seitan Slices - Instead of shaving the entire kebab log, slice it into thin rounds to create Seitan kebab slices. These can be used in sandwiches, wraps, or as a topping for salads.
🍢 Serving Suggestions
There are many delicious ways to serve this Vegan Kebab Meat and it's honestly delicious just on its own as well. Here are some tasty ideas to try:
- Classic Vegan Doner Kebab - Serve the seitan kebab meat wrapped in warm pita bread with fresh, crunchy vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. Drizzle with your favorite vegan yogurt-based sauce or tahini dressing and sprinkle with fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro.
- Vegan Kebab Bowl - Layer cooked grains like quinoa or rice as the base, add the seitan kebab meat on top and include a variety of roasted or grilled vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant. Drizzle with a flavorful sauce like hummus, tahini, or a vegan tzatziki.
- Kebab Salad - Toss the Seitan kebab meat with a variety of fresh greens, such as mixed lettuce, spinach, or arugula. Add colorful veggies like cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and red onions. Sprinkle with olives, pickled peppers, or capers and drizzle with a vinaigrette or your favorite vegan dressing.
- Kebab Loded Fries - Serve the kebab meat over a plate of crispy French fries, top with vegan cheese or cheese sauce and add diced onions, jalapeños and pickles. Finish with a drizzle of vegan mayo or barbecue sauce.
- Vegan Kebab Tacos - Fill soft or hard taco shells with Seitan kebab meat. Add shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and vegan cheese. Drizzle with a spicy vegan sauce or salsa and garnish with fresh cilantro or lime wedges.
- Vegan Kebab Sandwich - Create a hearty sandwich by placing the Seitan kebab meat on your favorite bread or roll, alongside classic sandwich fillings like lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo. Add pickles, avocado slices, or roasted red peppers and serve with a side of coleslaw or sweet potato fries.
- Kebab Platter - Present the Seitan kebab meat on a platter for a party or family gathering! Accompany it with an assortment of sides, such as stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, and falafel and offer a selection of delicious sauces and condiments for dipping and drizzling.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
You can refrigerate the Seitan kebab for up to three days or freeze it for up to three months. Ensure it's tightly wrapped and labeled with the date.
You can serve the kebab in wraps, bowls, salads, loaded fries, tacos, sandwiches, or as a part of a Mediterranean or Asian-inspired dish. Get creative with your sides and sauces!
Absolutely! Marinating the Seitan with your preferred spices and sauces for a few hours or overnight can enhance its flavor.
To reheat refrigerated kebab, place it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes, covered with aluminum foil. Frozen kebab should be thawed first, then reheated using the same oven method.
Yes, grilling is a fantastic option! Brush the kebab with oil and grill until charred and cooked through for a smoky flavor.
Absolutely! You can prepare the kebab in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze it for longer-term meal prep.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
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Vegan Kebab Meat (Seitan Doner Kebab)
- 2 large mixing bowl(s)
- extra-strong kitchen foil
- 1 ovenproof dish with water
- 1 cast iron skillet
- 1 kitchen brush
- 1 sharp knife
- 280 g vital wheat gluten
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 4 tsp dried thyme
- 4 tsp dried parsley
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 400 ml water
- 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp liquid smoke
For pan frying:
- extra virgin olive oil
- tamari soy sauce
- Start by combining the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix using a spatula. Knead on the countertop using your hands - sprinkle a little vital wheat gluten on the countertop to avoid it sticking. Alternatively, you can combine the dry and wet ingredients in a Magimix with a dough hook.
- Knead for about 5 minutes or until combined and the dough is feeling stretchy and even. Gently form a log shape.
- Tightly wrap the Seitan log in multiple layers of Extra Strong Kitchen Foil. Place it in the oven with a tray of water underneath. Cook for 30 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
- Let the log cool down entirely without removing it from the foil. Once entirely cooled down, you can remove it from the oil.
- Place the Seitan in a cast iron pan, continue brushing the log with oil and pour over small amounts of tamari soy sauce. Turn the log into the pan until the outside is crispy all around. Remove from the pan, shave off outer layer with a sharp knife, then set back into pan and repeat until the entire log is shaved off.
- Serve as a doner kebab or on its own. Enjoy!
- Freezing - the kebab can also be frozen - either after the baking process for later frying OR after the pan-fry. Ideally freeze in portion sizes for easier handling!
- Serving - I love to serve this Kebab meat in a homemade flatbread, with lettuce, tomato and vegan tzatziki sauce or yogurt.
- Marinate for Extra Flavor - Consider marinating the seitan kebab with your preferred spices and sauces for added taste.
- Spice Customization - Adjust the level of spiciness by varying the amount of chili powder in the seasoning mix.
- Make-Ahead Convenience - Prepare the kebab in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze it for longer shelf life.
- Grilling Alternative - Grill the kebab for a smoky, barbeque-like flavor by brushing with oil and grilling until charred and cooked through.
- Spices and Seasonings - Customize the seasoning mix to your taste by experimenting with different herbs and spices.
- Reheating Methods - For reheating, use an oven for refrigerated or thawed kebab. Alternatively, pan-fry for a slightly crispy texture. While you can use a microwave for reheating small portions, it may result in a less crispy texture and I wouldn't recommend it.
Looking for more vegan dinner inspiration? Check out these delicious vegan mains!