I am so proud of this vegan balsamic caprese “chicken!” The best seitan “Chicken,” it is tender, but still firm. Tomatoes roasted to perfection. Vegan Mozzarella. Fresh basil and a balsamic reduction. Everything is baked together and it is one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had. I love to serve this “chicken” with pasta drizzled with a little olive oil and some of the leftover balsamic reduction. Any vegan naysayer will instantly fall in love with this dish and ask for more!
What You Need For This Vegan “Chicken”:
- Grape Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper: To make the best roasted tomatoes. They are so simple, but really incredible.
- Balsamic Vinegar and Agave Syrup: These are simmered for about 15 minutes until nice and thick and sweet.
- Extra Firm Tofu: Tofu is what starts the mixture for the seitan.
- Oil, Vegetable Broth, and Soy Sauce: These are the liquids for the seitan.
- Vital Wheat Gluten, Panko Bread Crumbs, and Italian Seasoning: These are the dry ingredients for the seitan.
- Vegan Mozzarella, Fresh Basil, and Pasta: To top the “chicken” and for serving. I used Follow Your Heart and Miyoko’s vegan cheese.
So, I know this is a personal preference, but I really dislike raw tomatoes. I opted to use roasted tomatoes for this vegan balsamic caprese “chicken” mostly for that reason. However, I think you’ll thank me. They really enhances this recipe and they can be made while you steam the seitan! So, everything can be ready to go in the oven together when the seitan is done. This recipe is a little more time consuming than most of my recipes, but trust me. It is worth it!
Why Should You Make This Delicious Take On Caprese?
- The seitan is easy, tender but firm and so delicious. It may be your new favorite seitan.
- The roasted tomatoes, oh. man. They are so good.
- The Balsamic reduction is sweet and tangy and just good on, like, everything.
- After is baked all together it is cheesy and amazing.
- Anything that can be served with pasta is the greatest.
Vegan Balsamic Caprese "Chicken"
- 1 Block(15oz.) Extra firm tofu
- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 2/3 Cup Vegetable broth
- 1/4 Cup Soy sauce
- 1 Cup Vital wheat gluten
- 1 1/3 Cup Panko bread crumbs, vegan
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Pinch of Salt and pepper
- 3/4 Cup Balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Agave syrup
- 1 Pint Grape tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
For The Rest
- 1 Cup Vegan Mozzarella, I used Follow your heart and Miyoko's
- 1/3 Cup Fresh basil
- Pasta for serving if desired
- Make the seitan first. Squeeze as much liquid out of the block of tofu as you can over the sink. It is okay if it starts to crumble a bit. Now break up the tofu into chunks and add the tofu to a food processor.
- Then pour the olive oil, vegetable broth, and soy sauce into the food processor.
- Next add the vital wheat gluten, panko, Italian seasonings, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Process the mixture until it forms a dough ball and is firm and no longer sticky. It may take a few minutes.
- Remove the seitan from the food processor and break into 6 equal pieces. Roll each, then flatten out with your hand to make them look like chicken breast.
- Wrap each piece in parchment paper and put them in a steam basket over a little bit of water.
- Bring the water to a simmer, cover and steam the seitan for 40-50 minutes or until the seitan is firm.
- While the seitan steams make the roasted tomatoes and balsamic reduction.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees(F). Toss the tomatoes in the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place them on a sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes. Press them down a little with a fork to flatten. Then roast for another 5-7 minutes or until juicy and a little brown. Remove from the oven.
- Start the balsamic reduction. Whisk the balsamic vinegar and the agave together in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until it is nice and thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
- Once the seitan has steamed, remove them from the steamer and unwrap them.
- Increase the heat of the oven to 425 degrees(F).
- Place the pieces of seitan you on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Then top evenly with the roasted tomatoes and the vegan mozzarella.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the seitan has brown a little and the vegan cheese has melted as much as possible.
- Serve immediately topped with fresh basil and drizzled with balsamic reduction. On top of pasta if desired.