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. Malika January 23, 2021 at 9:27 am #

    It looks delicious! As I don’t have a food processor, do you think a vitamix would work?

    • avocadosandales January 23, 2021 at 9:32 am #

      You’d have to work it in really small batches to prevent the blade from sticking. But it might be possible! Let me know if you try and/or ir works. A kitchen aid stand mixer or bread Machine would also work for kneading

      • tinaaar February 6, 2021 at 4:38 pm #

        Does this freeze well? How long does it last in the fridge? Many thanks — I’ll also try digging through the comments

      • avocadosandales February 6, 2021 at 5:12 pm #

        Yes, it freezes up to three months, very well! Lasts about a week in the fridge (I’ve had it last longer but food safety standards are a week I say)

      • Smanders October 4, 2022 at 9:52 am #

        I was just wondering if a bread machine would – thank you for the answer and the instant gratification! This looks delicious. I am going to break out my Zo.
        🙏 thank you!

      • avocadosandales October 4, 2022 at 10:04 am #

        Some people have done it in a bread maker, just skip the bake cycle!

    • Joe April 15, 2021 at 11:34 pm #

      Check the owner’s manual and see if has dough kneading capability. I have a Vitamix which tapers down to the blades so the blades wouldn’t be able to grab enough dough. You could divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces and try working with that.

  2. Emma January 23, 2021 at 10:22 am #

    Hi there!

    Amazing flavour profile on this one! I don’t own a food mixer but did get some good results doing it by hand!

    I recommend – pop on your favourite TV show – and divide the dough into three pieces.

    Over the next hour – I lightly kneaded the dough to get the stringy consistency (and found it easier working with smaller pieces of dough – hence the division.

    • Joe April 27, 2021 at 10:40 pm #

      Wow that’s impressive!

  3. Tracy January 30, 2021 at 6:31 pm #

    I’ve tried many setan recipes, this is the best by far. Great texture and taste. Even my son agreed. I followed your directions and it came out great.

    • Theresa April 14, 2021 at 8:00 pm #

      Can i use “better than bouillon no chicken broth basw” in the 1 cup of water in recipe to add flavor from the start? And any other spices etc?

  4. kristina February 12, 2021 at 9:53 am #

    I made this today for the first time and instead of wrapping it in aluminum foil I just put it in a round pan and steamed it for 2 hours, it looks perfect, the taste is great and this is something I will be making more of, its a great alternative to other types of veggie meats! Great recipe 😀

  5. CC February 12, 2021 at 8:42 pm #

    I can’t tell u how much this helped me. I can’t believe u just put this comment on today too! I don’t use foil (4 several reasons) so I keep looking 4 an alt when doing recipes that call 4 it! I’ll try this one without as u did…now…2 find a round pan…

  6. Angela N. February 14, 2021 at 7:12 am #

    Do you happen to live in the Springfield area? We just moved here and are desperately searching for vegan options that actually have flavor!

    • avocadosandales February 14, 2021 at 7:43 am #

      Sure do! The best vegan option in the area is probably La Fiesta in Chatham – lots of flavor and spice! I’d also recommend either of the Indian restaurants in town, and Mekong Cafe downtown. All seem to be very cognizant of vegan options!

  7. krysten voss February 15, 2021 at 7:34 pm #

    I don’t care for miso. What can I use instead?

    • avocadosandales February 15, 2021 at 8:20 pm #

      You can just omit it, or add nutritional yeast.

    • Megan Curtis May 15, 2022 at 3:32 pm #

      I have been using Tahini and it turns out beautifully.

  8. Barb February 16, 2021 at 2:29 pm #

    I don’t use oil, can I still make this?

  9. Maryann February 26, 2021 at 1:32 pm #

    I am unable to eat miso of any kind as it is one of my migraine triggers. Can it be omitted or is there something that I can use in it’s place?

    • avocadosandales February 26, 2021 at 2:41 pm #

      I would use nutritional yeast in its place.

      • Matty April 20, 2021 at 10:19 am #

        Lol. I waited for two weeks for my Miso to be mailed to me so I could make this, all the while I have a huge tub of Nooch on the shelf.

  10. Lesslee March 5, 2021 at 5:55 pm #

    Looking forward to getting this! Have you tried adding poultry seasoning to the seitan as it’s mixing? Or does that change the end product?

    • avocadosandales March 5, 2021 at 7:00 pm #

      It might change the color slightly! But it won’t affect the texture.

      • Lesslee March 6, 2021 at 9:20 pm #

        Made it to recipe’s specs. It was great! Had it for dinner and froze three packages of shredded product in fajita, teriyaki, and Italian marinades. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

      • avocadosandales March 7, 2021 at 6:40 am #

        Glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Kat March 13, 2021 at 11:54 am #

    I haven’t been able to go thru All of the comments, but have you, or anyone, tried any other white bean? Did it turn out as well. I have 10lbs of white Mayocoba beans, and need to use them! : )

    • avocadosandales March 13, 2021 at 12:10 pm #

      Yes, they absolutely will work! Mayocoba beans are lovely, I think they would work well for this.

  12. Debi March 29, 2021 at 2:29 pm #

    Would this work to make chicken nuggets if some of it was cut or torn in nugget shapes instead of shredded?

  13. Raiza Hammoud March 31, 2021 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi! I want to make this recipe, but am confused by step 3. Do I ad the chickpea mix and the vital wheat gluten in a bowl and leave it to rest while the wheat absorbes the chickpea mixture? And after 15 minutes mix them and add them to a food processor to knead?

    • avocadosandales March 31, 2021 at 2:35 pm #

      Yes, stir them together and leave them to rest. Then knead in the food processor.

  14. Potato April 7, 2021 at 5:07 pm #

    This is wonderful. Whenever I needed shredded chikun, I always used chef skyes recipe but this one not only tastes better but is cheaper to make since chickpeas cost less than tofu. It’s funny because when I went vegan in the summer of 2017, this was one of the first recipes I saved but it took me this long to try it. Amazing stuff.

  15. Mary April 9, 2021 at 12:44 pm #

    I’ve been searching for a good basic seitan recipe without weird additions. The only decent commercial seitan was Trader Joe’s, and they discontinued it a few years ago. Tasted like white chicken, it shredded, not greasy or salty, and had umami. The main ingredients were vwg and chickpea flour, like yours. TJ’s didn’t discontinue because it didn’t sell, but just the opposite: they couldn’t find a manufacturer to make as much as they needed to satisfy demand. Instead, they now sell a sifferent brand of seitan that’s disgusting, has three kinds of starch in it, it’s sticky, gooey and it’s molded and mushy… their old one was like this recipe, mild, shredded, chickenlike with recognizable ingredients. I’ll need to reduce the recipe… i live alone, only a small freezer. When I was a hippie I made it from flour but that was a pain in the rear. You couldn’t get vwg back then. You had to keep the faucet running or the flour could block your pipes. And it wastes running water, when the planet is under permanent drought conditions. I’m using vwg. Thanks for a decent recipe.

  16. Christina April 15, 2021 at 3:00 pm #

    Ooooh! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks!

  17. Elaz April 16, 2021 at 4:45 pm #

    I divided it in two in order to put each half in my food processor (a Cuisinart). I’m using a metal blade as I don’t have a plastic “dough” blade. However, the dough keeps kicking the blade off every 5- 10 seconds and I have to stop, take the dough out and reset the blade. Ugh! I did each half as long I could stand it (maybe 3-4 minutes each half), then put all of the dough in my KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook. I ran it for 20 minutes and the dough is warm, stretchy and smooth, but I don’t see any strands of gluten. It was sort of taffy-like, so I kept folding it over on itself in hopes that each fold will become shreddable “strands” once it finishes steaming in the Instant Pot. I think your instructions said knead in a Kitchenaid for at least 15 min. I did 20 (plus a little in the food processor before that, but sort of gave up on seeing gluten strands for fear of burning out the motor in my stand mixer. How long and at what speed does it take in the KitchenAid with dough hook? If you could post a pic of what the dough should look like, that would be great!

    • Elaz April 16, 2021 at 8:59 pm #

      It actually came out great! I had wrapped it in a single layer of parchment paper before the 2 layers of foil and found the packaging sort of blew apart inside the Instant Pot. Must have been late in the process because it has amazing texture, even has a darker “skin” on it (at first I thought it was the parchment, lol) can’t wait to make some white bean chickwheat chili, BBQ chickwheat sandwiches, chickwheat fajitas… Thanks so much for this great recipe! Totally worth all the appliance BS.

      • avocadosandales April 17, 2021 at 6:14 am #

        I loved this combination of comments. I could tell from what you said in the first comment that your dough had been kneaded enough, it definitely won’t have those strings once it hits taffy stage, but thats what makes the shreds happen! I typically do parchment and tightly wrapped cheesecloth these days. But it’s definitely normal for the ‘skin’ to be darker than the rest. Still tastes the same, just a different color.

  18. Juliette May 10, 2021 at 2:16 am #

    I just wanted to thank you for this awesome recipe, it tastes really good and the texture is just unbelievable! The recipe is also very easy to follow especially with Mary’s video!
    I do not own a food processor so I used a standmixer with a dough hook, as Mary did in her video. Probably not as convenient as a food processor but still got a nice result.

  19. Suzanne May 25, 2021 at 11:37 pm #

    Amazing and delicious recipe. Super easy to follow, and not difficult to make (I am a beginner in the kitchen).
    My favorite way of using the chickwheat was in saucy dishes like “mole,” a traditional Mexican dish.
    The chickwheat really imitates chicken.
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  20. Angela May 28, 2021 at 12:45 pm #

    Hi! I have the smaller instant pot which although nice for it’s small size always causes me problems with regular recipes for it. If I made a half recipe, would you recommend only half the time (60 min) in the instant pot at high pressure? Thanks so much!!

    • avocadosandales May 28, 2021 at 12:55 pm #

      I’d still recommend at least 75 minutes for a half batch!

      • Angela May 28, 2021 at 1:19 pm #

        Okay, thank you! Is there anything else other than that you’d recommend changing for a half batch? Or do you think it’d be okay to do a full batch, but wrap it up as a round ball instead of a loaf shape? I’m just worried a full recipe won’t fit in my smaller IP. Thanks again!

      • avocadosandales May 28, 2021 at 1:25 pm #

        You might be able to do it in two packets to make it fit, I haven’t played with a smaller IP to know for sure though. Nothing else i would change for a smaller batch though!

  21. phaedrisintx June 6, 2021 at 11:31 pm #

    Hi Lacey, I thought I’d posted a review of this recipe some time back. I can’t find if I had indeed did indeed post it so this will be a review and some modifications which have really improved this IMO.

    I’m not a fan of the ‘blank canvas’ school of cooking. I want my mock meat to be flavorful, very flavorful! So I used both aquafaba and chicken broth, with extra broth. I added in 1 Tbsp mushroom seasoning, 1 tsp MSG and 1 heaping tsp marmite.

    It turned out great! So tasty and seemed to literally melt in my mouth. Mmmm. Thank you so much for creating this recipe and partnering with Mary. Bon appétit!

  22. Nour June 8, 2021 at 7:12 pm #

    Can I use the No Chicken Better Than Bouillon in place of the miso paste?

  23. Stephanie June 11, 2021 at 7:22 pm #

    I’ve made this before and it’s incredible! I just got through the first stage and everything is resting right now absorbing moisture but I realized I don’t have any tin foil. Any suggestions as to what I can use in the instant pot instead?? (At the very least for when I end up in the same situation in the future haha)

  24. Pangaea June 12, 2021 at 12:50 pm #

    HI — I have been reviewing lots of recipes and am going to try cooking seitan for the very first time. I have one question. I’ve seen some recipes using chickpea flour along with the vital wheat gluten. What’s your opinion of using that instead of chickpeas?

    • avocadosandales June 12, 2021 at 4:11 pm #

      I would not use chickpea flour at all, it will create an entirely different texture for this.

  25. Mansour July 1, 2021 at 10:26 am #

    Hi There! I really love this recipe! I’m wondering when combining the two balls, do I knead them into each other or just stick them on top of each other without kneading? also I’m wondering when do I know it has been processed enough in the kitchenaid? I used the hook for about 8 minutes on each ball on full speed, it went into small bits but didn’t form into a ball afterwards, then I combined these small bits without kneading them and formed it into a ball, then steamed them. is that the correct way to go about it?

    • avocadosandales July 1, 2021 at 11:29 am #

      Hello! It will take much longer in the kitchenaid, you can tell it’s done in the kitchen aid when the dough is warm and smooth and elastic. When I combine the balls I knead them together. Extra kneading will never hurt this, so don’t be afraid to add extra time and extra kneading.

  26. Dan July 8, 2021 at 2:19 pm #

    If I use a stand mixer instead of a food processor, how long should I let it knead?

    • avocadosandales July 8, 2021 at 2:47 pm #

      I typically let it go up to 40 minutes in a stand mixer.

  27. Craig July 10, 2021 at 3:41 pm #

    I’ve been looking for a chik’n as opposed to ste*k / saus*ge seitan recipe, found this and thought that I would try.
    Takes a LONG time (soak beans, cook, cool, blitz, mix, knead, rest, cook (2HRS!), cool, pull apart.
    But totally worth it.
    Have never found a better chick’n recipe..
    Well done!

  28. Andrea August 17, 2021 at 7:09 am #

    Could I use canned chickpeas?

  29. Amelia January 7, 2022 at 8:58 am #

    One can of chickpeas is *almost* 2 cups (says 1 3/4 but I think it’s a little more); could that be sufficient? I don’t want to open another can unless I absolutely have to…


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