What is Vegan Chicken?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Vegetarians and vegans have many options to choose from when craving a meat alternative. Vegan chicken, an imitation meat product designed to taste like poultry, is a popular vegan food. Vegan poultry can be made of a variety of ingredients, and is usually a healthier alternative to regular chicken products.

Vegan chicken may be used to make chicken soup.
Vegan chicken may be used to make chicken soup.

Imitation chicken has the same texture, and often the same flavor as regular poultry. The most common ingredient in vegan poultry is soy. Soy chicken can be flavored with a variety of other ingredients as well. These can include garlic, onion, dehydrated vegetables, herbs, and various leavening agents.

Vegan chicken and cashew stir-fry with rice.
Vegan chicken and cashew stir-fry with rice.

Vegan chicken is available in most of the same ways regular poultry is packaged. It can be purchased with or without breading, in grilled strips, in nuggets, patties, and many other ways. In the same way as chicken, it can be used in anything from sandwiches to baked entrees, salads to stir-fry dishes. It can be grilled, pan-fried, barbecued, or cooked in any way that other meats can be cooked. They retain sauce, herbs, and flavorings like chicken normally would.

Vegan chicken can be cooked in a variety of ways.
Vegan chicken can be cooked in a variety of ways.

In many instances, vegan food is more costly than meat. This is typically because there is a lower demand for these foods in most chain supermarkets. They often contain higher quality ingredients, which can make them more costly as well. While not every grocery store carries veggie chicken, most health food stores do.

Vegan chicken is often a soy-based product.
Vegan chicken is often a soy-based product.

Several packaged faux chicken options are also available. These include precooked chicken burgers, microwave entrees, and gourmet vegan food. Vegan chicken can be incorporated into any snack or meal, whether it is a vegan breakfast, vegan lunch, or vegan dinner. Common canned or packaged popular foods, such as chicken noodle soup, may also be purchased with vegan chicken as an alternative.

Some vegans choose to refrain from eating meat due to ethical concerns with the way animals are treated in the farming industry. Others may choose to consume vegan whole foods for dietary reasons. Vegan diet food is typically lower in fat and cholesterol than a diet that includes meat. Some people may also require a special needs diet including vegan food in order to avoid hormones or other additives commonly found in meat.

Another benefit from eating vegan chicken is that it can be easier to cook. Many varieties are pre-seasoned with favorite additions, such as spicy seasoning blends or vegan cheese. This can cut costs and time when preparing food, as additional products, such as sauces or seasonings, are no longer necessary.

Dehydrated vegetables can help to flavor soy chicken.
Dehydrated vegetables can help to flavor soy chicken.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments


It is not about eating or not eating meat; it is about eating cruelty free products. No animal has to suffer for me to have a good meal.


So you all whine on about how we are not designed to eat meat yet you desire the taste and texture of meat. If you are truly against meat consumption, you should not consume it in any way shape or form.

If we are not meant to eat meat, then ask yourselves why we have done it for thousands of years. Well I'm off to get the fire started so I can throw a nice juicy steak on the grill.


Without getting into a debate about diet, I've tried the Quorn brand chicken cutlets. They are really good. Honestly, you'd never know you weren't eating chicken. I'd say they're a good alternative for those who either don't eat meat at all, or who are cutting down their consumption of meat, for whatever reason. The Quorn people do pretty well.


By some people's logic, we, being animals and having reproductive organs, were designed to have intercourse. So someone who rapes a baby is just doing what nature has built us to do. Is thinking otherwise also completely stupid?


We have four canine teeth. Look at a cat. Almost all of their teeth are canine. Gorillas and hippos have much more defined canines than we do, but they don't eat meat and aren't apex predators. You couldn't tear flesh with your teeth. Our digestive systems also aren't designed for meat. We also have to train our bodies to digest lactose after age two.


i only have one thing to say about "vegan." Any animal that has canine teeth was intended to eat meat!

We, being animals and having canine teeth, were designed to eat meat. To think otherwise is completely stupid.


If they get the flavor is right who's to know the difference between faux chicken and the real deal?

I wonder if people realize the abject cruelty involved in producing chickens for the mainstream market.

If only Mcdonalds could be replaced by McCartney's so that the burgers were made from vegetable derivatives rather than a sentient being.

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