Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan | Vegan Recipe (2024)

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This spicy beet seitan gets its red color from beets! The combination of spices in this recipe are similar to those you might find in pepperoni, giving this seitan a hearty, smoky flavour that is great in sandwiches, stir fries, and other savory dishes. Keep in mind, I keed the salt on the low side so you can add the seasonings as you like in your finished dish. So it’s a little bland if you just eat it right after steaming. But sprinkly a bit of salt and all the other flavours come alive too!

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Video Tutorial for Vegan Spicy Beet Seitan

The Inspiration for Vegan Spicy Beet Seitan

I was just trying to use up the beets that had been sitting at the bottom of my refrigerator for a few weeks. I go through phases with beets: sometimes I love them, sometimes I hate them. Sometimes beets are sweet and other times, they have a strong earthy flavour. And by earthy, I mean they taste like dirt. So after cooking with this batch of beets and just not liking the flavour at all, I decided to utilize the nutrients and the color in them and hide them in aspicy, flavourful seitan.

I was pretty happy with the results but tested it a few more times with various adjustments. The result is this spicy beet seitan recipe.

Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan | Vegan Recipe (1)

How to Make Vegan Spicy Beet Seitan

I like to make recipes as simple as possible. For this recipe, all you need to do is blend up your ingredients and combine that with vital wheat gluten to form a firm dough.

Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan | Vegan Recipe (2)

You can steam the seitan or bake it. Each method results in a different texture. Steamed seitan is firm and easy to slice. The starch from the beet makes the bite a bit softer than my beefy beefless seitan or simple savory seitan for sandwiches.

It is nice plain but it is really spectacular when you fry it up with a little oil to make the outside a bit crisp. Brush it with one part maple syrup and one part BBQ sauce and you have a great crispy, smoky, sweet and salty filling for a breakfast sandwich or just to eat on it’s own. You could use this seitan where one might’ve used bacon in their pre-vegan days but keep in mind that they are two totally different things. Three and a half years into eating a plant-based diet, the thought of “bacon” doesn’tappeal to me in the least. But this “seitan bacon” is drool-inducing and totally worth the time it takes to make.

Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan | Vegan Recipe (3)

If you bake the beet seitan and let it cool, you can pull it apart with your fingers to create pieces that are great to use in stir-fries. The texture of the baked version is softer and chewier than the steamed version and retains the gluten strands. Like my beefy beefless seitan, this seitan is meant to be a starting point to make even more delicious foods. You can enhance the seitan by adding sauces or glazes and baking it further, sauteing, or frying.

Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan | Vegan Recipe (4)

How would you use this seitan? Does the color and texture freak you out or do you like that kind of thing? I’m on the fence about that part but I have to say, it tastes amazing.

Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan | Vegan Recipe (5)

Other seitan recipes:

  • Simple Savory Seitan for Sandwiches
  • Chinese Five-Spice Seitan Roast
  • Stuffed Seitan Holiday Roast with Mushroom Gravy
  • Beefy Beefless Seitan – great for stews
  • Vegan Hot Dogs #1 // Scallion Seitan Sausages
  • Vegan Hot Dogs #2 // Paprika Seitan Sausages

Printable recipe for Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan

Yield: About 1 pound seitan

Vegan Spicy Beet Seitan

Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan | Vegan Recipe (6)

This spicy beet seitan blends herbs and spices that one would find in cured products such as pepperoni to create a smoky hearty flavour. Deep red beets add color but also healthy nutrients like B vitamins. You can fry it up and brush it with maple syrup for a smokey salty chewy and crisp addition to a breakfast sandwich or stir fry with onions and sweet BBQ sauce to top noodles or rice. The possibilities are endless.

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes

Total Time1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1 cup cooked beans, any kind (150g)
  • 1 raw beet, peeled and chopped (120g)
  • 1 cube or 1 teaspoon mushroom/vegetable bouillon powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (marjoram, sage, thyme, rosemary, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten )120g)
  • 3/4 cup hot water (175ml)


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Make Seitan Dough

Blend all the ingredients EXCEPT for the vital wheat gluten in a blender until fairly smooth.

Transfer the puree to a large mixing bowl and add the vital wheat gluten. Mix until it forms a dough.

With clean hands, knead for one to two minutes. This step develops the gluten strands which creates texture in the final product.

Steam or bake the seitan as below.

To Steam

Shape the dough into a log shape and wrap in parchment paper. Simply roll it up in the parchment and fold the two ends under the loaf.

Steam over high heat for one hour and fifteen minutes if you are cooking the whole batch in one loaf. For a half batch, steam for only one hour.

Remove from heat, remove the parchment and let cool until just warm. Then cool completely in the refrigerator before slicing or cutting into cubes. This seitan is now ready to eat or use in other dishes.

To Bake

Divide the dough into two pieces.

Prepare a sheet of aluminum foil by oiling the shiny side. Leave a couple inches at the side un-oiled. One piece of dough in the middle and roll it up in the foil. Fold the two sides under the roll and the edges to seal. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F or 180C for one hour on the middle rack, turning every 20 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a half hour. Then place in the fridge to cool completely.

Unwrap the foil before slicing or pulling apart to create chunky pieces. This seitan is now ready to put into stir-fries or toss with glaze and bake again to make the seitan a little crispy.


  1. This seitan is intended to be a starting point which is why the salt is optional. Once you've prepared this, you can fry it, saute, glaze and bake or use another method to enhance it.
  2. For maple glazed seitan "bacon," slice the seitan into strips. Then fry it in a little oil over high heat. Before flipping the pieces, brush on a thin layer of glaze made from one part maple syrup and one part barbecue sauce. Cook until browned or as crispy as you desire.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan | Vegan Recipe (7)

recipe recipe with video seitan

Showing 39 comments

  • Heloisa Miura


    I’m completely obsessed with your youtube channel and have already watched all videos in less than a week (in detriment of many school obligations…lol).
    I’d like to know how and for how long we can store the cooked seitan.
    Thank you and please keep posting!

    • Mary


      Thank you so much for your kind words. I do hope you can focus enough on school stuff to reach your goals though 😉 This seitan can be store in the fridge for about one week (5 – 7 days). It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. If you decide to freeze it, I find it best to slice or cut up into chunks first (whatever form you think you would like to use it in later). That way, it won’t take long to defrost in the fridge or microwave. Thanks again for your comment, dear. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or requests 🙂

  • Michelle


    I tried it with semi-cooked (steamed) sweet potato. I cooked it very lightly so it wasn’t so hard and used the steamed hot water instead of plain hot water when I blended them. I would have used beets but mine were too soft so I had to compost them. I have made plenty of beet burgers/balls and they are very good so next time I will try this with beets. Love your recipe videos and look forward to more of them

    • Mary


      Thank you for sharing your experience, Maggie. I really appreciate it as other readers may get some good ideas from that 🙂

      • Gerard


        Would this recipe work for a corned beef style dish served in rye warm with sauerkraut

  • Maggie


    I’m so happy I found your blog. This was super yummy. I didn’t have marmite nor miso and I forgot the chili flakes but it turned out great anyway 🙂

  • Maggie


    And when reading the recipe again I see that it’ didn’t matter I didn’t have marmite… must have mixed it up with another one of your recipes hahaha

    • Mary


      Hi Maggie,

      Not to worry! Ha! Sometimes I get mixed up, myself! <3

  • Karen


    I used shichimi, a smoked hickory flavoring mix, smoked paprika and mixed herbs. Waiting to finish baking. Can’t wait to taste. Not keen on cooking with foil so am using baking paper.

    • Mary


      That sounds amazing!

  • MichelleM


    My dough didn’t look or feel as firm as yours in the video so I added some more gluten. Hopinf for the best! It might be because I accidently put in slightly more water than I should have…what do I do?

    • Mary


      That sounds fine; adding extra gluten if you added extra water. I would just try to add a bit more flavouring if it was a bunch more water+gluten. Also, if you have a soggier dough, you may want to stick to the baking method as that will draw out some moisture. Good luck!

  • Nemo


    This looks amazing! I’m so eager to try this out. Can I use regular flour instead of the vital wheat glutten? Would can I substitute it with?

    • Mary


      Thanks for the kind words, dear. Vital wheat gluten is actually vital in this recipe. You see, regular flour has only about 10% gluten while Vital Wheat Gluten is about 80% gluten. There is no substitute.

  • Aaron


    This came out great! The second time I tried it, I used too much water and it didn’t hold together as well. It reminded of fatty meat in ramen soup from the distant pre-vegan days. So, I tried the seitan fried in ramen soup. Nice combination. This is going into my regular repertoire. Thanks for inventing it!

    • Mary


      You’re most welcome. Nice work! I’m glad you’re really enjoying this recipe 🙂

      • Barbara Brass


        Well I’m trying this recipe now . I chose the steam method, excited and cant wait until it’s ready, however my beets had some small pieces , it all didn’t puree , but it’s bursting with flavor ????.

  • Tom


    Is it possible to steam this in a steamer instead of the big oven? Or could I just use a toaster oven to cook it? If I use a toaster oven what temperature should I use? I don’t like using the big oven that long lest my energy bill skyrocket!

  • Tom


    Oops. Never mind just saw the instruction for steaming. It was hard to read on my phone lol. The recipe looks great. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Mary


      Glad you found the instructions 🙂 Have fun trying the seitan!

  • Julie


    Hi Mary,

    I loved this recipe although I did add 3 teaspoons of Marmite so mine might taste a little different. I wasn’t sure if I needed to cook the beetroot so I did lol I probably wasn’t paying enough attention! I used kidney beans in mine and the colour wasn’t as good as yours. I also needed to add more VWG but I might have had a lot of water in my beans or beets. The texture was really good and got the thumbs up from my meat eating husband (although we eat vegan at home). I broke some up into chunks for stir fries and sliced the other batch for sandwiches etc and froze them.

    Did you ever eat stuffed pork slices or bacon strips in your pre vegan days? I only really ate meat that didn’t have a meaty texture and had lots of flavours added and stopped eating meat and fish altogether at about 14 years old. I remember my mum telling me that I used to like stuffed pork slices and bacon strips and although I can’t remember what they tasted of I was wondering if you would please maybe try to make a vegan version some day?

    Thanks for the videos and website!

    Love Julie ?

  • Gerard


    How do you think this recipe Will work for a corned beef warmed with sauerkraut on rye bread imitation?

  • Katherine Martel


    Is the beet cooked or raw? Can’t wait to try this!

    • Mary


      Hi Katherine,
      I used raw beets but if you only have cooked (like canned) those work as well.

  • Matthew


    Hello, and thank you for posting this recipe!

    I am unfamiliar with Vegetable Stock Powder so I am (today) unprepared to make this dish.

    Can you substitute wet vegetable stock?

    • Mary


      Hi Matthew,
      You would have to boil 2 cups of vegetable broth down to 3/4 cup. This would replace the 1 cube of vegetable bouillon + 3/4 cup water. Good luck!

  • Kerrie


    I just shredded my first batch of this. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I didn’t have miso so I mixed some soy sauce and veggie broth base together to replace the 2 Tbs of miso. The flavor is really good. This recipe filled a 64oz food storage container with shreds and chunks that’s a lot of meal options! Thank you for the video it definitely gave me the confidence to jump in and I enjoyed watching it. You have a very personable way of sharing information. My dough came together pretty fast in the food processor. It was warm and gliding on top of the blades in less than 2 minutes and I had to hold my Cuisinart down because it was trying to walk off the counter so I stopped. Also, I was so excited I used Ove Gloves to shred it right out of the IP. My chickwheat was semi-shreddable but not really shreddable like yours. Should I have let it go longer in the processor or let it cool a bit more or both?

    • Kerrie


      Ugg forgot I’d gone exploring for other recipes and posted this to the wrong recipe. Sorry!!!

      • Mary


        No problem, I’ll answer there 🙂

  • Robyn


    Hi! could i use beet powder instead of beet?

    • Mary


      Hi Robyn,
      Good question! But I’ve never used it in this recipe before so I don’t really know. Perhaps if you sub the whole beet for another starchy vegetable (maybe carrot?) and just added enough beetroot powder to achieve the colour you want. Just an idea. Hope that helps.

  • Pat


    Hi Mary,
    Just made this spicy beet seitan, but I haven’t tasted or cooked with it yet. I look forward to trying it. My question is, can I freeze one of the loaves? And how long does it last in the fridge? Thanks so much,

    • Mary


      Hi Pat,
      Yes you can freeze them! Generally will last a month in the freezer when properly wrapped up.
      When you’re keeping your fresh made seitan in the fridge, it will generally last about one week.

  • Cati Vicencio


    Hi mary i love your youtube videos! A question though or a couple
    1. I usually use transparent plastic wrap paper to steam the seitan, when i used parchment paper the seitan ripped it and it opened because it got bigger. How did you solve this?
    2. Tried baking in the oven and the seitan didnt grew as much as the steamed one, it almost stayed the same size
    3. Some other recipes ive seen recommend to let the seitan dough to rest for 15-20 min before cooking. Do you know if it makes a difference?

    If you can help me with this questions, thank you! And once again, i love your channel 🙂

    • Mary


      Hi Cati,
      Thanks for the kind comment. To answer your questions…
      1. You can wrap the seitan in parchment first, then foil to secure. But I don’t really do that. I don’t have a problem with it bursting…
      2. Yes. that is expected. You can see in the video the baked version is more compact-looking.
      3. Resting the seitan lets the gluten in it relax. It’s not necessary for this recipe.
      I hope that helps!

  • Julia


    I use beets to colour all sorts of foods. Lately I’ve been putting beet juice (from my fermented beets) into my tofu (it helps as a coagulant too). Makes a nice pink tofu!

    • Mary


      Very cool! I’ll have to try that 🙂

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Spicy Vegan Beet Seitan | Vegan Recipe (2024)


Is seitan good or bad for you? ›

Is Seitan Healthy? In many ways, yes, seitan is quite a healthy option. The seitan nutrition facts are hard to argue with: notable amounts of protein, iron, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. This combination of macro- and micronutrients can result in some pretty impressive health benefits.

Can you eat seitan everyday? ›

The answer is, yes! —as long it's part of a well-rounded diet. A 100g serving of seitan has about 141 calories and 25 grams of protein, making it comparable to the amount of protein in chicken or beef. Because the starches are removed from the wheat when seitan is made, it has very little fat and carbs.

Is seitan good for diabetics? ›

High Sodium Content

Premade seitan contains incredibly high amounts of added salt, thus making packaged seitan a high-sodium food. Also, people with other comorbid conditions like diabetes, and hypertension should avoid having it.

Who should avoid seitan? ›

While seitan is a versatile plant-based protein, people with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or gluten allergy should avoid it. Premade seitan can also be high in sodium, so it's important to read the nutrition label if you monitor your sodium intake.

What are the disadvantages of seitan? ›

What are the cons?
  • Not suitable for those with gluten-sensitivities or coeliac disease.
  • Doesn't absorb much flavour.
  • High amounts of sodium (salt) in the packaged product.
  • Seitan is hard to source unlike other vegetarian protein alternatives meaning you may have to venture to a specialty vegetarian “butcher”

What is healthier seitan or tofu? ›

Both seitan and tofu are plant-based proteins. However, while seitan is an excellent plant-based protein alternative, tofu is a complete protein (seitan lacks the amino acid lysine). Unseasoned tofu is typically lower in sodium than store-bought seitan, which can be processed with salt, sugar or other flavors added.

Is it cheaper to make or buy seitan? ›

Because of its meaty texture, seitan can be used in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches and stir-fries to stews and soups. The best part is that making seitan at home is easy, and it's much cheaper than buying pre-made or store-bought seitan.

Why isn t seitan more popular? ›

The main concern about seitan it that it's just plain and pure gluten. In this respect some claim that the human body can easily become over-saturated with gluten, leading to gluten intolerance (aka celiac disease).

Which is healthier tempeh or seitan? ›

Seitan is highest in calories and protein, as its main ingredient is vital wheat gluten, which has a similar nutritional profile to protein powder. Tempeh is high in protein, vitamins and minerals, but also low in sodium and carbs.

Why does seitan make me gassy? ›

There's some evidence in medical research that wheat gluten may increase the permeability of your intestines, leading to what some health authorities call "leaky gut syndrome." If you find you experience bloating, gassiness, or other digestive symptoms after eating seitan, you may want to avoid it next time.

Is seitan good for you to Lose Weight? ›

So seitan is the perfect ingredient for meals in a protein diet. If you're on a protein diet, you often lose a lot of weight in a short time. It's also important to be aware that, at the start, you'll lose quite a lot of fluids. So if you have problems with fluid retention, a protein diet would be great for you.

Does Trader Joe's sell seitan? ›

In the world of plant-based protein, seitan (pronounced SAY-tan) is a name you need to know. It's as high in protein as steak, plus it's readily available at grocery mainstays like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Target.

What is another name for seitan? ›

Seitan (UK: /ˈseɪtæn/, US: /-tɑːn/; Japanese: セイタン) is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is also known as miànjīn (Chinese: 麵筋), fu (Japanese: 麩), milgogi (Korean: 밀고기), wheat meat, gluten meat, or simply gluten.

Why is seitan rubbery? ›

Boiling seitan makes it have a brainy spongey texture, frying seitan (without first steaming it) makes it rubbery and spongey, baking it makes it dry and rubbery. Steaming seitan, on the other hand, will yield the perfect meaty, juicy, chewy, yet tender seitan every single time.

Which is healthier tofu or seitan? ›

Is seitan better for you than tofu? Both foods are a good source of plant-based protein. Seitan has twice as much per serving than tofu. However, tofu has more calcium, phosphorus, and antioxidants than seitan.

Is seitan better for you than meat? ›

While seitan provides similar protein and iron content as meat, animal meat is a complete protein, and seitan is not. In addition, iron found in animal-based products is generally more easily absorbed than iron from plant-based foods. Meat typically also has more fat than seitan.

Can you lose weight eating seitan? ›

So seitan is the perfect ingredient for meals in a protein diet. If you're on a protein diet, you often lose a lot of weight in a short time. It's also important to be aware that, at the start, you'll lose quite a lot of fluids. So if you have problems with fluid retention, a protein diet would be great for you.

Is seitan a low quality protein? ›

Proteins of seitan, tofu, soya milk and pea emulsion are highly digestible. Seitan protein quality is low because of the low lysine content of wheat protein.


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