Chickwheat Shreds 

17 Dec

I live in a large town in Illinois, and we are lucky to have an abundance of local stores that sell chickpeas. Most of the time I wonder why I lived so much of my life without the joys of baked chickpeas and I spend an exorbitant amount of my free time planning what I’m going to do with my next batch of chickpeas, because I buy them in 5 pound bags and always am looking for new recipes.

I enjoy seitan making as much as I enjoy chickpeas. If you’ve followed my Instagram lately, you have seen how much seitan I’ve been experimenting with. This recipe was the result of running out of tofu and not being able to leave the house with two small children. The chickpeas add lysine (and lots of flavor) to the seitan and the method used to knead the seitan gives it a great shredded texture. I add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the recipe to cancel out the strong gluten flavor, but feel free to omit if you don’t have it.

This recipe is pretty dependent on an Instant Pot for similar results. If you have a conventional steamer, you may possibly be able to achieve a similar result if you are able to maintain the steam for 2 hours. If not, try making several smaller packets and steaming for an hour. Edit: since the writing of this recipe, many people have tested different cooking methods and steaming on the stove top or in a stove top pressure cooker works well!

Most food processors come with a dough hook, it’s just a plastic thingamabob that kneads instead of chops. If you don’t have one, or can’t find it, you should be able to get a similar texture with your metal blade. Just be sure to process long enough that it comes together and turns stringy and taffy like. You can also use a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook for 15 minutes or longer.

I prefer to weigh the ingredients in this recipe, as I think it yields the most consistent results, but I have included volume measurements for most of the ingredients if you don’t have a kitchen scale.

For those of you who prefer recipe videos, check out this one from Mary’s Test Kitchen!

If you make this recipe, please use the tag #chickwheat on Instagram or public Facebook posts! I’d love to see your creations!!


  • 2 cups/300g cooked chickpeas (cold, don’t use warm)
  • 1 cup/225 ml aquafaba (vegetable broth or water can be substituted)
  • 2 tbsp/30 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp/35g white miso paste*
  • 1.5 tsp/10g salt**
  • 1 tbsp/12g onion powder
  • 2 tsp/6g garlic powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cup/255g vital wheat gluten


  1. Measure all ingredients up to the vinegar.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Weigh out vital wheat gluten while chickpea mixture is blending.
  3. Combine vital wheat gluten and chickpea mixture in a large bowl. Let rest about 15 minutes to allow gluten to absorb the moisture.
  4. Separate dough into 2 parts. Fit a food processor with a dough hook (see note above), blend each portion until the dough is warm, stretchy, smooth, and ‘shreds’ of gluten are visible. This can take up to 8 minutes, depending on your food processor. Don’t be alarmed if it initially starts to break apart into crumbles. Keep processing it and it will come together into a large ball. If it’s too crumbly, add a few more tablespoons of liquid and it should come together.
  5. Combine 2 kneaded balls of dough onto a large sheet of aluminum foil.
  6. Fold foil into a rectangular package and seal each end tightly. Cover with another large sheet of aluminum foil and repeat.
  7. Add 2 cups of water to Instant Pot and insert trivet. Place packet on top of trivet. See my above note if you don’t have an instant pot.
  8. Set Instant Pot for manual, high pressure for 120 minutes.
  9. When roast is finished cooking, quick release the pressure, and allow to come to room temperature. Remove foil whenever it is cool enough to touch.
  10. When roast has cooled enough to handle, split roast in half.
  11. Shred gently along the grains that were formed by the food processor, until entire roast is shredded. Refrigerate for best texture.
  12. When ready to cook, sauté in a pan with a light layer of oil. Add at the end of recipes with high moisture content (soups or stews) otherwise use as you would any other meat alternative.

Note: this recipe is meant to be seasoned or sautéed post steaming. You may find the initial product a bit bland and/or gluten flavored. It is a base ‘bland chicken’ recipe. Please consider it like you would bland chicken.

P.S. This blog is not my full time job, but if you found this content useful, you can donate to me through PayPal

*sub chickpea miso if soy intolerant.

**use less salt if using canned salted chickpeas.

**A special thanks to Chef Skye Michael for the methods and techniques which inspired this recipe.


205 Responses to “Chickwheat Shreds ”

  1. Krissy December 4, 2019 at 6:24 pm #

    I made this and it turned out amazing!!! I used my regular blade on my food processor and I honestly looked at it and thought there was no way it was going to shred and be ‘chicken’ like. I was so wrong! Thank you for the amazing recipe. I can’t wait to make all sorts of vegan dishes with it.

  2. Marina December 22, 2019 at 6:37 am #

    I am planning on making this and using it as the base for my vegan duck on Christmas.
    I want to wrap it in marinated yuba sheets for the skin and then fry or bake it (not sure yet).
    Do you think this will work?
    I hope i wont mess up the Christmas Dinner 😅

    Also i don’t have VWG and i am planning on making it myself by washing the regular seitan dough (flour & water) but can i still add in the other ingredients after i washed it?
    How much flour will i need?

    Thank you for your recipe ☺️

    • avocadosandales December 22, 2019 at 7:19 am #

      The yuba will definitely work, however you need to have vwg for this recipe. Rinsing out flour is going to leave a loaf that can’t be combined with the other ingredients.

  3. Marina December 22, 2019 at 1:01 pm #

    Thank you so much for the quick answer! I wish you lovely Holidays !!

  4. Renae February 14, 2020 at 9:35 pm #

    I knew this recipe was going to be different as soon as I added the chickpea mixture to the vital wheat gluten. The seitan has such a soft, nonsticky texture; as a result I was instantly optimistic. I was tired of seitan that was chewy, wet & hard and this recipe was anything but.

    Tender perfection is the best way I can describe it. It is well worth the 2.5 or so hours to have seitan that is actually palatable. I will be keeping this on hand, moving forward.

  5. Deborah February 23, 2020 at 3:17 pm #

    Hi . Love the recipe. My husband wants me to try to use this a hot dog… He really loved the plain chick wheat flavor.

    Any suggestions on how many hot dogs it should make and how long to steam them in an instant pot? I was thinking of trying to wrap each hot dog separately. The nice skin the orginal recipe makes would be great for a hot dog. So, I wonder if reducing the time would lose that nice skin??

    I have seen other hot dog recipes steamed for 45 minutes, but they were not done in an in an instant pot.

    Would love any suggestion you have, Thank you(It makes me do a happy dance to have something plant based my husband will eat)

    • avocadosandales February 23, 2020 at 5:35 pm #

      I’d make at least 12 dogs with this recipe! Wrap each individually and steam for 45 minutes. They will be soft at first but will firm up in the fridge. I also highly recommend the hot dog recipe from Mary’s test kitchen if you want added flavor!

      • Deborah February 26, 2020 at 4:35 pm #

        Hi. First thanks again for a wonderful recipe and answering me so quickly. Your suggestions were perfect.

        (I used olive oil instead of veg oil and used south river chick pea miso(I also cook for my sister a 19 year breast and ovarian cancer survivor avoiding soy)

        Steaming for 45 minutes was perfect. I did an experiment. I did 6 hot dogs at a time. The first group I did not knead the dough. The 2nd group I did. It was better not to knead the dough. The first group were delicious. The kneaded “hot dogs” were a bit tough.

        My husband loves them!!!! Thanks again!!!!

        Also, love the directions for cooking chick peas in the instant pot. The best directions ever.

        God Bless

  6. teri February 26, 2020 at 8:51 pm #

    can you freeze the chick wheat? does anyone know how long it can last in the fridge?

    • avocadosandales February 27, 2020 at 6:41 am #

      7 days in the fridge, up to 3 months in the Freezer in an airtight container.

  7. Lindsay March 5, 2020 at 12:44 pm #

    I am blown away by this recipe. I’m not the biggest fan of traditional seitan as I find it chewy and hard to eat. These chickwheat shreds are tender and delicious. I honestly don’t even mind them completely by themselves. It’s a really easy recipe to follow, and the work isn’t even all that much. It’s a lot of mix together, leave alone, let the machines do the work. I have been non-stop recommending this recipe to people since it was recommended to me. So freaking good!

  8. Raymond April 1, 2020 at 5:37 am #

    Thank you so much for coming up with this AMAZING creation!! I saw it on Mary’s Test Kitchen and had to try it.

    Was in awe at how much it actually shred and tore apart like meat. It also had quite a chewy and tender texture too.

    Was so proud to have in front of me what looked like a whole chicken – without having to lose a life. Definitely one of, if not the best seitan recipe I’ve come across. Thanks again x

  9. Morgan April 6, 2020 at 9:25 am #

    Is it possible to make this without an instant pot?


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