This vegan schnitzel recipe is perfect for a comforting dinner! The meatless schnitzel cutlets are made using seitan (vital wheat gluten) for an incredibly realistic result. Tender and soft, with a crispy breadcrumb coating, they are guaranteed to impress vegans and meat eaters alike!
Add the tofu, olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, salt and vegetable stock to a blender or food processor. Blend until very smooth and no tofu lumps remain.
10 oz extra firm tofu, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 cup vegetable stock
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the vital wheat gluten. Combine it thoroughly into the wet ingredients using a rubber spatula, then knead for 5-7 minutes using your hands. The texture should be stretchy and firm, but not so tough that it becomes impossible to work with.
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
Shape and cook the 'cutlets'
Transfer the seitan dough to a large, flat work surface. Divide it into 4 equal sections, or 6 if you want smaller schnitzel cutlets. Use a rolling pin to roll out each section into a rough oval shape around 1/2 inch in thickness.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer over a medium heat and place the seitan cutlets inside. Cover, and allow to simmer for around 30 minutes, before removing them with a pair of kitchen tongs and transferring to a flat surface. Use a kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture.
Bread and fry
Set up your breading station. On a large, flat plate mix together the breadcrumbs, paprika and chicken seasoning. In a bowl, whisk together the plant based milk and flour until no lumps remain.
1 cup breadcrumbs, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp chicken seasoning, 1 cup flour, 1 cup plant based milk
Cover the surface of a large non-stick skillet with olive oil and allow it to heat up for a few minutes over a medium-high heat.
2 tbsp olive oil
Submerge each schnitzel 'fillet' in the batter and drip off any excess. Next, coat evenly on both sides with breadcrumbs.
Fry the cutlets for around 3-4 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown, then transfer to a flat surface covered with a kitchen towel to allow any excess oil to drip off.
Serve immediately, or store in the fridge in an airtight container, or wrapped with cling film, for up to 4 days.
Flavoring the seitan: You can add any other spices or herbs to the seitan batter to adjust the flavor to your preferences. You can also add nutritional yeast if you want more of a cheesy flavor.Gluten-free: Unfortunately, the vital wheat gluten is a key ingredient in this recipe to achieve a realistic 'meaty' texture, so this recipe can't be made gluten-free.Frying time: When frying the vegan schnitzel, make sure not to overdo it as this will cause the texture to become too tough and chewy. It's best to err on the side of caution and stick to a lower cooking time.How to bake the schnitzel: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and then bake the schnitzel for around 25 minutes, flipping half way through.To freeze: Wait until the cooked schnitzel is fully cooled down, then transfer the cutlets to a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for 3-4 hours, then transfer to a freezer-friendly container or bags.To reheat from frozen: Allow the schnitzel to thaw fully in the fridge, then pan fry as instructed above. You can also bake them from frozen at 180 degrees C/350 for around 45 minutes, and then also pan fry afterwards if desired.