Its so easy to make this homemade seitan in the slow cooker! The seitan does not need to be pre-made, just put the dough in with the salsa and let the crockpot work its magic. Make a big batch of slow cooker seitan and feast on vegan tacos, enchiladas and burritos all week!
Just how many “slow cooker 2 ingredient salsa chicken” recipes have you seen on Pinterest? I see them allll the time. It’s such a great concept. Throw a couple of things in the slow cooker, enjoy tacos, enchiladas and all things spicy for the following week. I want in! But, y’know, without the chicken.
So here’s my offering to the vegans and vegetarians of the world: Slow cooker salsa seitan! Its a little more work. It’s not just 2 ingredients, since you’re making the seitan from scratch here. But it’s not exactly difficult. It takes about 15 minutes.
Ummm… What is seitan?
Sei-WHAT? I know. It’s a weird word.
Seitan is also known as “wheat meat” or “mock duck” in Chinese cooking, where it has been used as an alternative to meat for years (particularly by practitioners of Buddhism). Unlike tofu or Quorn or other common vegetarian protein sources, it has the distinction of being firm and chewy in texture, so it holds up well in a slow cooker recipe.
What do I need to make seitan?
You really only need one ingredient : vital wheat gluten. I’ve written about seitan once before, in my yakisoba with mock duck recipe, and there I made the seitan incredibly simple using nothing more than the wheat gluten and water. It worked well for those purposes (small chunks of seitan dotted into a dish packed with noodles and veggies), but for this version I wanted something more tender, with more of its own flavor.
To achieve this, the wheat gluten is mixed with nutritional yeast (at 2 parts wheat gluten to 1 part nutritional yeast) and lots of seasonings.
Where can I get vital wheat gluten in the UK?
I’ve yet to find a UK supermarket that carries vital wheat gluten, even my beloved Ocado. So if you aren’t able to find any in your local supermarket or health food store, or if (like me) you prefer to shop online, there are plenty of options available for ordering online. I recommend Sous Chef, who sell the Suma brand, and have a great selection of vegetarian and vegan faves such as nutritional yeast and canned jackfruit.
How to make seitan in the slow cooker
Seitan is robust, and not too picky in how it wants to be cooked. It can be steamed, boiled or baked, and the crockpot is a great method. You simply make the dough, add something moist, and let it cook for a while. The resulting texture will be amazing.
For this recipe, you will make your dough in a bowl, and pick off small pieces to drop into the slow cooker atop some salsa. You will do two layers. Leave it to cook for about 4 hours and you’re good to go.
How to use your salsa seitan:
Here are some ideas.
- Layer it into a rice and bean packed burrito
- Spoon a little on your taco over some rice, and then pile it high with guacamole, olives and lettuce
- Stuff enchiladas with 50% salsa seitan, 50% avocado chunks in the filling
- Spread your tostadas with refried beans and then a dollop of seitan salsa
Let me know if you find any other great uses for this recipe!
Easy Slow Cooker Salsa Seitan
- 2 cups (475 ml) salsa
For the seitan
- 1 cup (120 g) vital wheat gluten
- ½ cup (8 Tbsp) nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 ½ cups (350 ml) vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Combine the dry seitan ingredients (vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast and seasonings) in a bowl.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients (vegetable broth, soy sauce and olive oil) in a measuring jug.
- Pour the wet mixture into the bowl gradually, stirring through with a fork. The mixture will stick together and clump.
- Use your hands to knead together the mixture into a dough. Knead for a few minutes until you see that it’s becoming tough and stringy.
- Pour half of the salsa into the slow cooker. Add the seitan by tearing off small chunks (about the size of an olive) and adding them on top. Try not to overlap them too much.
- Once that layer is full, pour the rest of the salsa over the top and add the rest of the seitan. You will not use all of the seitan- maybe about half – and the rest can go in the freezer for another day.
- Turn the slow cooker onto high and cook for 3 to 4 hours until the seitan is tender. Stir once, about halfway through the cooking time.
- If the texture is more chunky than you’d like, use a wooden spoon to break up some of the seitan chunks.