Instant Pot Seitan

Hail seitan!  (Ha!  Seriously, how about that Wiki redirect note, eh?! Oh, it made me laugh!)

We used to make seitan on the stove top.  Then in the slow-cooker.  Then in the oven.  Currently though, my favorite is made in the Instant Pot.
Chikn fried seitan with mashed potatoes and gravy.
They're all yummy, but each quite different, too, especially when it comes to the texture.  I can't really see myself falling back on any of the previous methods ...maybe the baked one...maybe.  Its so gall dang easy with the InstantPot--more hands off, less time commitment in the kitchen, better texture, wonderful flavor. 

And we adore seitan.  Wheat Meat.  It might be a gluten-free, low-carb nightmare, but it is a heavy-hitter around our dinner table.  It is hearty and filling, packed with protein and other goodness, easy and affordable to make at home, and extremely adaptable in a wide range of recipes.  
Deep dish cast-iron pizza with seitan (and frico crust!)
We like it sliced and fried with potatoes.  In biscuits and gravy.  On sandwiches.  In curries.  On pizza.  In stroganoff.  Slathered with BBQ sauce.  In stir-fry.  As chikn fried steaks.  And so on.
Orange-glazed seitan bites.
We've had our Instant Pot for approaching two years now.  I don't believe I've really written about the IP though.  I was deep in "learning-mode" and didn't want to jump on the oh-it-is-so-awesome bandwagon before I was more familiar with the contraption.  At this stage in the game I think it is safe to say we thoroughly enjoy having an electric pressure cooker.  We use every week, often a couple times a week.  It kicks the crap out of our old stove-top pressure cooker, for sure, and is exceedingly more multipurpose than our slow-cooker.

[Sidebar:  In addition to regularly making seitan, we especially like it for cooking beans, making stock, steaming tamales, "roasting" copious amounts of garlic, cooking rice, culturing yogurt, and making vegetable curries.)
A seitan dog fresh off the grill.  Ignore the fact it is slathered in the world's ugliest homegrown green tomato ketchup.
The base recipe as written here was developed as "basic" for a reason--so I could sub it for chicken in recipes from my beloved 660 Curries cookbook--but by playing around with the broth, spices, and herbs it can perform a number of different culinary roles.  
A vegan Indian feast featuring a seitan mock-chicken dish at left.
Basic Seitan  (with flavor variations at the bottom!)
2.5 cup vegetable broth
3 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari/Bragg's aminos)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoons sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well for several minutes.  I use a wooden spoon to sort of knead it in the bowl.  Technically, seitan is "supposed" to be kneaded by hand for a few minutes.  I'm lazy though about all kneading though.  I just spoon-knead it in the bowl and that works out fine.  Matt kneads it on the counter for a few minutes when he makes it.  Either way, it should form into a nice big lump of stretchy dough, about 1 lbs.

There are a couple of ways to go at this point, depending on what we want to make with the finished seitan.  All will end up being cooked using the Pressure Cook function--on high pressure--for around 30 minutes.  We usually make one big seitan loaf.  It is the most versatile.
  • For a big seitan roast:  There are two ways to make a big ol' seitan roast.  If you have a silicon baking dish this is a great use for it. The seitan is restrained by the silicon walls of the dish making for a taller, denser roast.  Sometimes it is so dense it is almost squeaky.  The silicon pan isn't required though and most of the time we skip it.  We just plop the mound of seitan into the Instant Pot freestyle.  If using a silicon dish add 1-2 cups of water around the silicon dish to create the steam for pressure cooking.  If letting the roast freefloat in the inner pot use 1-2 cups of vegetable broth and just let the seitan loaf bob around in it.  Matt really prefers the texture of the freeform roast.  Pressure cook on high pressure for 30-35 minutes. 
  • For seitan dogs/sausages: Roll out the dough into a rope and cut into hotdog sized lengths.  Because the primary ingredient in seitan is gluten they're very stretchy and spring back a lot.  I like to roll them out, let them rest five minutes, and then roll them out again.  Wrap the links individually in aluminum foil and placed them in a steamer basket.  With 1-2 cups of water beneath the steamer basket cook at high pressure for 25-30 minutes. 
  • For seitan nuggies: I use my silicon egg baking dish to make seitan nuggets.  Pack the seitan into the egg cups, put the silicon egg dish into the InstantPot and add 1-2 cups of water around the silicon dish to create the steam needed for pressure cooking.  Cook at high pressure for 25-30 minutes.
Flavor options:  
For a sausage-flavored seitan, increase the spice load with 1 tablespoon fennel, 1 tablespoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, and and extra teaspoon each of liquid smoke, and fresh ground black black pepper.

For a richer, more beefy flavor use the basic recipe but use only beef-flavored broth in both the dough and the cook pot.
Tucking in!  Mmmmmmmmmm..... seitan....and gravy....


  1. What a great idea Beth!...I'll have to try making seitan in the IP...
    ~Have a lovely day!

    1. Yes!! It is such a good use for the InstantPot! Hooray for homemade seitan!


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