Vegan Beefy Beefless Seitan

This hearty seitan has a dense bite and a fibrous texture which makes it perfect for stewing, grilling, stir-frying, roasting, or simply slicing up for sandwiches. It has a hearty flavour from mushroom stock and marmite that is reminiscent of beef but filled with plant-based nutrients. If you’re new around here, you might wonder why vegetarians and vegans bother with “fake meat.” To me, it’s not fake. It’s plant-based delicious food. In this case, the main ingredient is wheat. With this seitan, I can use lots of my old favourite spice mixes, sauces, and cooking techniques that were once associated with meat in a cruelty-free way that’s delicious and full of essential nutrients.

Video Tutorial for Vegan Beefless Seitan

If you’re not familiar with Marmite, it’s a yeast extract that, when mixed with water, tastes a lot like beef bouillon. If you don’t have Marmite, you can also use soy sauce or miso paste instead.


More Seitan Recipes:

This beefy seitan is super easy to make. All you do is blend all the wet ingredients together, mix with some vital wheat gluten flour to make the dough, then steam it for an hour.

Blended wet ingredients

Blended wet ingredients

This produces the dense, hearty “raw” seitan. Raw is in quotes as it’s clearly not uncooked. However, I really mean raw in the sense that it’s meant to be an ingredient to be further prepared in other ways. Sliced thinly for sandwiches or to top crackers, it’s still tasty, but this seitan can be made more tasty after a bit of searing or grilling.

Freshly steamed seitan. It doesn't look so appetizing...yet!

Freshly steamed seitan. It doesn’t look so appetizing…yet!


It’s great for stews too. Just sear it first, then drop into a flavourful stew and simmer just to heat up or for longer to let the stew’s flavours into the seitan.

Irish Stew featuring vegan beefy seitan.

Irish Stew featuring vegan beefy seitan.

For this sandwich, I seared the seitan first, added a couple spoonfuls of my vegan not-honey garlic sesame sauce and chopped red onion, tossed that in the hot pan and stuffed that into a fresh made fluffy flax roll.


Or you can keep it simple, season with salt and pepper and add to a noodle bowl like this one.


The possibilities are endless. Let me know in the comments what you would do with this beefy seitan!

Printable Recipe for Beefy Beefless Seitan

Vegan Beefy Beefless Seitan
Serves 6
This hearty seitan has a dense bite and a fibrous texture which makes it perfect for stewing, grilling, stir-frying, roasting, or simply slicing up for sandwiches. It has a hearty flavour from mushroom stock and marmite that is reminiscent of beef but in a plant-based form that's high in protein and free of cholesterol.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 1 cup hot water [237ml]
  2. 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans, rinsed and well-drained [75g]
  3. 1 cube mushroom bouillon (or 1 teaspoon powder) [5cc]
  4. 1 teaspoon minced garlic [5cc]
  5. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar [15ml]
  6. 1 teaspoon marmite (see notes for substitutions) [5ml]
  7. 1 teaspoon onion powder [5cc]
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper [1.25cc]
  9. 1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (gluten flour), plus more if needed [140g]
  1. Blend all ingredients together except the vital wheat gluten. You want the ingredients to be fairly smoothly pureed. It's OK to leave some texture in though.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the liquid with the vital wheat gluten.
  3. Stir together until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead for one minute. Do not overknead. You should see the gluten strands develop and the dough should be firm and spring back easily. It should be dense and stiff; add more gluten flour if needed. See this video for a demonstration.
  4. Set up your steaming apparatus. Heat the water to a boil and oil the steaming basket so that the seitan doesn't stick. Place the seitan into the steamer, cover and steam over high heat for one hour. Do not let the water boil dry; check it regularly and add water if necessary.
  5. After one hour, remove the seitan and let it cool before slicing into cubes.
  6. This seitan can be used immediately, but the texture can be improved by searing the cubes on all sides, especially if using for stew.
  7. In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. When the oil is simmering, add the cubes. Cook until the bottom is brown, about thirty seconds, then turn the cubes and repeat until all the sides are nicely browned and a bit crispy.
  8. Serve immediately, use for other dishes, or cool and store in the freezer or fridge for later use.
  9. Enjoy!
  1. After steaming, you can cool and store the seitan in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
  2. Frozen seitan will last for 2 to 3 months.
  3. Instead of marmite, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce or 1 tablespoon of miso paste.
Mary's Test Kitchen http://www.marystestkitchen.com/

Showing 12 comments
  • Stephanie

    OMG Everything you make looks amazing. Now I just have to get off my butt and make some of it.

  • Tammy

    Where would you get Marmite and mushroom boullion in Calgary? Would you happen to know which stores carry it?

    • Mary

      Hi Tammy,
      I get mushroom bouillon from T&T. Stores that sell Chinese and Vietnamese foods especially tend to have it. Also natural grocery stores like CNF and Planet Organic tend to carry it. Not always though.
      You can get marmite at Co-op. Probably the other major grocery stores too but that’s where I get it.
      Hope that helps. Cheers – Mary

    • Carrie

      I found some at World Market!

  • David schwartzberg

    Can this be done in an instant pot or pressure cooker ?

  • kelsey

    Amazing! Made the ginger beef and couldn’t believe how meaty it was. Me and my boyfriend ate the entire recipe in one night. lol

  • Varie Anderson

    If I can’t get mushroom bouillon, can I use vegetable bouillon? I live in a small town and I can’t get mushroom πŸ™

    • Mary

      Yes, if mushroom bouillon is impossible then vegetable bouillon is a close second πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  • Alex

    I don’t care for marmite and modified, 1 T shoju, 1/2 t liquid smoke, 1 1/2 T tomato paste, 1/2 t smoked paprika. Yummy.

    • Mary

      That’s awesome, Alex! Thanks for sharing the subs. That’s sure to help others who don’t like or can’t get marmite!

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