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.



372 Responses to “Chickwheat Shreds ”

  1. phaedrisintx May 5, 2022 at 8:44 pm #

    Hi Stacey, I’ve made this chickwheat recipe many times and love it! There’s something I’ve been meaning to try for quite a while which I finally attempted tonight. I cut one of the chickwheat fillets in half vertically. I pushed some vegan cheese into the bottom of one of the halves, then placed the other half on top and used my fingers to push the two halves together to make a chickwheat ‘breast.’ Then I steamed as usual. Darned if it didn’t come out super delicious! I’m going to play with the type and amount of cheese but so far I’m really happy with the results.

  2. Mike S May 12, 2022 at 3:05 pm #

    Found this over at Mary’s Test Kitchen on YouTube. I’ve just made it, and am freaking out right now. This tastes just like chicken! How is this real? My word, what a bird! This changes everything!!!

  3. Gabby December 2, 2022 at 2:09 am #

    Hi there, If you don’t have a pressure cooker what method could be a substitute?

    • avocadosandales December 2, 2022 at 8:10 am #

      Steaming on the stove top works for a lot of people!

  4. Leah December 19, 2022 at 2:00 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe! I made it for the first time using my new instant pot. I processed it using my food processor for 8 minutes. It was a bit crumbly so I added two tbsp water. It turned out kind of gummy/spongy. Is it supposed to be like that or did I do something wrong? Any suggestions would be helpful!

    • avocadosandales December 19, 2022 at 4:11 pm #

      Hi Leah! Thanks for the details, did you wrap it tightly before cooking in the instant pot for two hours? It sounds likely that you could have kneaded it longer, the dough really needs to be warm and stretchy for the right consistency. It also helps to shred it while it’s warm and not wait until it’s completely cooled off.

  5. Cory Schneider April 29, 2023 at 2:17 pm #

    Made this recipe today but swapped 300 g chick peas for 300 g extra firm tofu. I also split the dough into three strands, then braided it, then knotted it, before steaming in the IP. I loved the result. Very good recipe!


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