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.


370 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.

    • Miriam Cantu April 9, 2020 at 2:23 pm #

      I’m so glad you wrote this lol, I’m making it right now and thought I totally messed it up but it’s coming out great!

  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?

    • Rachel August 31, 2020 at 2:49 pm #

      Can a stand mixer with a dough hook work? I don’t think my food processor has a dough hook

      • avocadosandales August 31, 2020 at 3:34 pm #

        Yes, just process it much longer! About 30 minutes

  10. Kate April 13, 2020 at 12:25 pm #

    Hi Lacey! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. From the amount of comments, it looks like a winner. I was wondering if you think garbanzo flour would work? I’m having trouble getting dried chickpeas, but have a bunch of flour at the moment. Looking up 2/3 cup dry chickpeas, I get 135 grams for weight and since they triple when cooked, that would be 2 cups. So, I’m thinking use 135 grams flour and add 165 grams extra liquid. What do you think?

    • avocadosandales April 13, 2020 at 4:15 pm #

      I’m honestly not sure the texture would be quite right with flour, and chickpea flour tends to get very thick when cooked. I have yet to see someone do it, so hopefully someone else can chime in with an answer.

  11. Teri of NC April 14, 2020 at 5:36 pm #

    This is a wonderful recipe! You are brilliant! Thank you so much for posting it!

  12. Hannah M April 17, 2020 at 9:35 pm #

    This is our go to seitan. Easy, cheap and easy to customize! We have flavored it so many different ways and sliced/shredded it many ways also

  13. Greg April 19, 2020 at 8:30 pm #

    Hi, I’m having some trouble with this recipe. The first time I tried it it turned out perfectly. The next two times however I couldn’t get the dough long and stringy, it would stay together in one loaf. The only difference from your recipes is that I’m using a stand mixer with dough hook. Any ideas why it’s not working? Maybe the dough is too wet? Any insight would be appreciated!

    • avocadosandales April 20, 2020 at 5:08 am #

      Hi Greg, it sounds like you just need to give it more time in the stand mixer. I find when using a stand mixer it takes almost triple the time compared to the food processor.

      • Greg April 20, 2020 at 8:15 am #

        Hi, thanks for the reply. I did put it in the stand mixer for a lot longer, ~40 minutes on medium

  14. Jennifer April 20, 2020 at 5:49 pm #

    Hey, is this recipe achievable by hand kneading? I have neither a food processor nor stand mixer, but I do have lots of elbow grease.


    • avocadosandales April 20, 2020 at 6:12 pm #

      You can come close, but the shreds won’t quite be as smooth.

  15. Wendy April 30, 2020 at 4:18 am #

    Hi! I’m so excited to try this recipe but unfortunately I don’t have a pressure cooker. Do you think this could work by steaming it alone? I have a steamer on hand but little else :/

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • avocadosandales April 30, 2020 at 5:54 am #

      Yes, many people have had success just steaming. It may take an extra bit of time steaming because it is a large loaf.

  16. Tchernika May 1, 2020 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks so much! I tried this the other day and kneaded it with my Kenwood dough hook in medium speed for about 30 min. Is it possible that was too long? The dough was very warm and much smoother than on the photos.
    Still, I was able to pull it apart and used it in a chickwheat salad, which was very nice all the same :).

    • avocadosandales May 1, 2020 at 11:14 am #

      Nope, that sounds perfect! It takes my stand mixer much longer and the shreds are much smoother!

  17. tkvann May 5, 2020 at 10:10 pm #

    Can you use can chickpeas?

  18. Louise May 14, 2020 at 12:27 pm #

    I can’t thank you enough for this recipe! I’d tried so many chicken seitan recipes with no success but this recipe is perfect. It’s so tasty I end up snacking on it when I’m tearing it up to put in the fridge. I used to buy expensive mock meats for some of my dishes but now I use this recipe and my meals are massively cheaper and even tastier.

  19. Vanessa M. May 26, 2020 at 10:26 am #

    I’ve made many chicken seitans over the years. This just became my favorite homemade one. Thank you!

  20. Natrisha Choonilall May 28, 2020 at 6:57 am #

    Hi, thanks for an amazing recipe..can I use just plain vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar? Thank you

    • avocadosandales May 28, 2020 at 8:00 am #

      Sure! I use rice vinegar when I’m out of apple cider vinegar as well!

  21. Taryn June 6, 2020 at 7:04 am #

    Can this be made without oil?

    • avocadosandales June 6, 2020 at 8:04 am #

      Sure! Just sub tahini or omit and add a little extra liquid

  22. wilandlane June 16, 2020 at 10:09 am #

    I tried making this tonight and it seems like a big failure. I followed the recipe perfectly, but when I finished blending the mixture seemed a bit “grainy” and not as smooth. After mixing for 45 minutes in my stand mixer, I took it out and formed it in the loaf shape, and pressure cooked it. After cooking I opened and peeled it apart. The interior was still “grainy” like I noticed early on. Was this just from lack of blending?

    • avocadosandales June 16, 2020 at 11:03 am #

      Yes, sometimes this happens if there is still a little bit of uncooked chickpea in the mix. More blending would help, but the chickpeas are the culprit.

  23. Daudrie Perry June 18, 2020 at 8:34 pm #

    I’m certainly going to try it

  24. Life of Swarlitos June 20, 2020 at 6:41 pm #

    Macros per 100g serving
    240 cal

    This is based on my attempt to make this recipe. I had only 230g of chickpeas but otherwise used all the same ingredients.

  25. Catherine July 4, 2020 at 10:30 pm #

    Hi there! I’m wondering if it’s best to freeze the leftovers shredded or leave it as a log. Thank you so much for this recipe!!

    • avocadosandales July 5, 2020 at 3:46 am #

      Shredded works best for me, it gets pretty hard to shred after it cools down.

  26. Sana July 6, 2020 at 8:25 am #

    Hi, I’m having some trouble with this recipe. The first time I tried it it turned out perfectly. The next two times however seitan was chewy and hard to eat, not soft as it’s first time. I used food processor. Any ideas why it’s not working? Why is the dough hard?
    Thank you

    • avocadosandales July 6, 2020 at 9:49 am #

      Hi, it may be a difference between the moisture content of the beans, but I guessing the difference you are noticing is between eating it hot or cold, or perhaps waiting until it cools to shred it. Seitan tends to firm up more when completely cool.

  27. Taj July 20, 2020 at 5:31 pm #

    Hola! I am currently in the process of making this. My only question is. Why did my ball of seitan come out really smooth, warm and stretchy?Instead of how the photos look. I didn’t process it for long. Like 3 mins for each section. It didn’t take long to form into a ball. Will it still come out shredable?

    • avocadosandales July 20, 2020 at 5:35 pm #

      Is it fully smooth, can you stretch it easily? If it’s fully warm and stretchy, it should be fine.

  28. Heather Kelly July 23, 2020 at 11:56 am #

    Been waiting to try this! Could I make these into cutlets and then marinate in BBQ sauce and grill? Or would it be better to shred a bit and marinate? Trying to wow everyone at a BBQ!

    • avocadosandales July 23, 2020 at 12:25 pm #

      I prefer to shred them first, but either would work!

      • Heather Kelly July 23, 2020 at 12:36 pm #

        Thanks so much! One more question, sorry to bug you. You’re using cooked from dry chickpeas, correct? Not canned? (I have both)

      • avocadosandales July 23, 2020 at 1:04 pm #

        Correct! But either should work.

  29. Kris August 4, 2020 at 11:04 pm #

    W O W. This is life changing!!! Some things:

    -Don’t be an flippin idiot like me, and walk away from the food processor even for a moment. I thought the suction cups on the bottom of my machine would keep it in place. They didn’t. Minor tragedy ensued; amazingly my old AF food processor survived. For now.
    -I’ll try adjusting the salt down next time, and vinegar up; based on personal salt preferences & attempting to offset the “wheaty” flavour of VWG with a bit more vinegar. Again this recipe is awesome as-is; this is just personal preference.
    -No instant pot/pressure cooker- i steamed the old fashioned way. I might try increasing the steaming time next go around, just for fun. 🙂
    In summary: make this!!

  30. Azure September 12, 2020 at 7:26 pm #

    Hi, this recipe is amazing!! It really shreds well and I find it even tastes great without seasoning! I process it in my KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook, and then steam in a regular steamer for 2 hours.

    May I ask why it needs to be steamed for so long? Will it have similar results if steamed for a shorter period of time? Thank you so much!!

    • avocadosandales September 13, 2020 at 6:34 am #

      The shortest period of time I’ve been able to steam it has been 90 minutes, and it was relatively undercooked in the middle. It just takes a long time for the heat to fully penetrate to the middle of the loaf. If you shape it differently (more flat) you may be able to reduce the cooking time.

  31. Jerri Estep September 18, 2020 at 1:55 pm #

    I normally make my own chickpeas in my instant pot. I was wondering, would the juice off them be what I should use instead of normal aquafaba or would broth be better.

    • avocadosandales September 18, 2020 at 1:59 pm #

      Definitely use the juice off the ones from. Your instant pot.

      • Susan Williams November 28, 2020 at 6:19 pm #

        I made this for Thanksgiving. I tweaked the seasoning with marjoram, sage and a little salt and pepper. I also roasted the whole loaf the next day with fresh veggies. It was amazing. I did use my Kitchenaid (food processor bit the dust 30 seconds into mixing).
        The texture was perfect. Small shreds resembled poultry. I can’t wait to make the “beef” version.

  32. Meghna September 21, 2020 at 9:29 am #

    Hi, super excited to try this recipe. I want to know if I can sub red miso for white?

    • avocadosandales September 21, 2020 at 12:08 pm #

      It will changed the end color! But the taste will be the same.

  33. Hennick October 12, 2020 at 8:32 pm #

    Looks interesting.i could use this protein source.

  34. Shaun October 25, 2020 at 11:10 am #

    I made this for the 4th time today. Made two batches, one using chickpeas and one using butterbeans. Didn’t know if you’d experimented using other beans / legumes? The butterbean is milder in flavour and lighter in colour but still shreds the same. Thanks for the fantastic recipe and for the extra kitchen experiment enthusiasm!!

  35. Lori November 14, 2020 at 1:31 pm #

    My mixture was extremely wet and wouldn’t come together until I added more vital wheat gluten and it’s not shredding like in the video…what did I do wrong?

    • avocadosandales November 14, 2020 at 2:11 pm #

      Hmm! It shouldn’t have been very wet, the mixture is moist but not too wet. Was there a possibility of the ingredients being mismeasured? It sounds like something is amiss but without being in the kitchen with you it’s hard for me to troubleshoot.

  36. Ayanna December 8, 2020 at 9:44 pm #

    Can you use tofu instead of chickpeas?

  37. Michaela January 1, 2021 at 4:06 pm #

    Made this today & cannot wait to get using tomorrow. Hubby was eating it as I was shredding so I hope it’s a winner. Will be looking at your other recipes and just started following you on Insta
    Thank you x

  38. Margaret January 3, 2021 at 11:59 am #

    A lot of time has passed since you’ve created this recipe and still, it is the inspiration for so many of us! Thank you for that!
    QUESTION: In my house, we never use garlic poder or onion powder. Is there a way to use fresh garlic and onion? Maybe sautéing and then adding less liquid? I am still a seitan newbie although I have tried some recipes already so I always prefer to ask 😀

    • avocadosandales January 3, 2021 at 1:30 pm #

      I think that sounds like it would work well! It should blend in with the chickpeas until it’s smooth but I think your logic is good.

      • Margaret January 15, 2021 at 10:41 am #

        Done it as I intended and it turned out fantastic- beautiful shreds at my first try!

        Also, for anyone who wants to make some changes: I used a KitchenAid for kneading plus did knots 3 times(knot, shape into log, knot…). Plus, as it was easier, I made 3 small roasts, which I wrapped in parchment paper and then aluminum foil. And as these were smaller 1h of steaming was enough ( used stovetop steamer too as I don’t have an instant pot).

        All in all, the shreds were perfect and I am sure I’ll be making this again as my family loved it! Thank you so much!

  39. Phoebe January 17, 2021 at 12:52 pm #

    Hi – I tried this recipe the other day but I made it in two loaves on the stovetop. I thought I steamed it for long enough but once I shredded it I wasn’t so certain. Is there any sure-fire way to finish cooking it through? I really don’t want to bin everything. Thanks!


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