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vegan christmas roast chicken
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4.73 from 40 votes

Vegan Roast Chicken

Succulent vegan roast chicken "breasts" with seasonal roast veggies and a deliciously festive cranberry marinade.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Roasting Time1 hr
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: English
Keyword: vegan chicken, vegan roast chicken
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 491kcal
Author: Richard Makin


  • High Speed Blender
  • Steamer (bamboo or electric)


For the Seitan Chicken Breasts

  • 300 g firm tofu
  • 400 g tin of butter beans (including the soaking water. Tinned cannellini beans work too)
  • 2 tbsp mushroom bouillon (available at Chinese supermarkets. Alternatively use uncoloured vegetable stock)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar (alternatively use apple cider vinegar)
  • 350 g vital wheat gluten
  • 6 sheets yuba (or dried, paper tofu)

For the Marinade

  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 60 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp cranberry sauce

For the Roast Vegetables

  • 3 carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 4 shallots (peeled and halved)
  • 200 g new potatoes
  • 1 orange (cut into eighths)
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 4 sprigs rosemary


To Make the Seitan Chicken Breasts

  • Place the tofu, butter beans, bean water from the tin, mushroom bouillon, olive oil, sea salt, miso paste and rice vinegar into the largest cup or jug attachment of a high speed blender.
  • Blend on high speed for a minimum of 1 minute. Remove the cup, shake it well or use a spatula to make sure no chunks are stuck to the side then blend again for another 30 seconds until very smooth and creamy.
  • Add the vital wheat gluten to the mixture and blend on low speed until the mixture comes together. Increase the speed to medium for at least 1 minute. At this stage, the seitan dough should be very smooth and stringy - almost like the texture of tough chewing gum (don't worry - this is correct - it won't be like this once cooked!). Remove the dough and wrap in reusable wrap or a plastic bag, to stop it from drying out.
  • Place the yuba into a deep baking tray and cover with boiled water. Leave to hydrate for a few minutes then discard the water. Set the hydrated yuba aside.
  • Divide the seitan chicken dough into 8 pieces, roughly 150g each. Working with one at a time, pinch the edges of the piece of seitan and tuck it over and into the centre, making one smooth side and one folded, tucked side. Roughly shape the dough into a fillet. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
  • Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on a clean surface and place a roughly crumpled piece of yuba, slightly larger than the fillet, in the centre. Place the fillet on top of the yuba, smooth side down so it's in contact with the yuba. Fold the sides of the greaseproof paper over and wrap tightly. Repeat with all the remaining seitan.
  • IMPORTANT: it's essential that each fillet is wrapped as tightly as possible otherwise the seitan will expand and become spongy rather than firm and meaty. If you have heat-safe cling film, use this to wrap around the greaseproof paper tightly and secure it in a roughly fillet-like shape. Alternatively you can use muslin or cheesecloth bound with thread. Aluminium foil will also work.
  • Place the tightly wrapped seitan chicken "breasts" into a steamer. A bamboo or an electric steamer will work fine. Steam for 1 hour.
  • Once steamed, remove the seitan chicken breasts from the steamer and without unwrapping, leave to cool for at least 20 minutes. While the seitan chicken cools, preheat the oven to 200c (fan) and make the marinade.

To Make the Marinade

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender with 4 tbsp water. Blend on high speed for 10 seconds.
  • Unwrap the cooled seitan chicken breasts and place in a bowl or roasting tin. Pour over half of the marinade. Carefully stir to make sure the marinade covers all of the seitan cover and leave to marinate while you roast the vegetables. Alternatively, place in the fridge and leave to marinate overnight.

To Roast

  • Place the vegetables in a medium bowl. Pour over half of the remaining marinade. Toss to coat the vegetables. Transfer the prepared vegetables and herbs into a roasting tin or a cast iron skillet. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the seitan chicken breasts from the marinade. Remove the vegetables form the oven, give them a stir and top them with the marinated seitan chicken. Place in the oven and continue to roast for a further 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, check on the veggies and seitan. The seitan chicken should be nicely browned on the surface. Use a pastry brush to apply more of the remaining marinade to the seitan and return everything to the oven for a final 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley (optional) before serving with gravy.


Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3858IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 6mg