Shredded chicken is a key ingredient in many cooking recipes.
But what if you find yourself wanting a substitute for shredded chicken because you cannot find any chicken cut sold on the market or just want something new?
Well, there are plenty of options out there, and you are not alone to find out the best shredded chicken substitute.
Keep reading our article to explore some of the best alternatives for shredded chicken.
What is shredded chicken?
The shredded chicken starts out as whole pieces of meat and then gets cut or pulled into strips.
It can be made from any cut of chicken like chicken thighs, chicken legs, and chicken breasts, but the latter is most commonly used because it is healthy with low-fat content and has a tender texture.
Shredding chicken makes it easier to chew and absorb flavors from the sauces or spices.
As already mentioned, shredded chicken can be pulled by hands, cut by a knife, or in a food processor.
Chicken needs to be cooked by roasting, grilling, boiling, or braising before being shredded because it is very hard to pull out raw meat.
Shredded chicken is often tossed in a kind of sauce like BBQ sauce or creamy sauce, and served in a taco, burger, or sandwich with other veggie ingredients.
It can also be used to make chicken jerky, chicken pasta, or chicken casserole.
Can you substitute shredded chicken in cooking recipes?
Of course, shredded chicken can be substituted in any cooking recipe.
In fact, there are many options for you to choose from to alternate shredded chicken.
You can opt for other meat or vegan substitutes depending on your desire and diet restrictions.
Shredded chicken substitutes can be made at home from easy-to-find ingredients, or bought from many brands in any grocery store or supermarket throughout the country.
In most cases, vegan-based replacements are even more expensive than real meat because of their less popularity and lower demand compared to their meat counterparts.
What can you substitute for shredded chicken?
As already mentioned, there are many options for you to substitute for shredded chicken.
Below are some of the best shredded chicken alternatives that are both great for meat lovers or vegetarians:
1. Shredded pork, beef, or turkey
Shredded chicken can be substituted by other shredded kinds of meat, such as turkey, or red meat like pork and beef.
Shredded turkey will do exactly the same as shredded chicken, while shredded red meat will be slightly different in flavor because pork and beef have a stronger taste, and are also less healthy because they contain more saturated fats.
2. Soy curls
Soy curls will be a great vegan substitute for shredded chicken.
They are made from soybeans without using chemicals or preservatives, making them a healthy option for daily consumption.
Soy curls also resemble the taste and appearance of shredded chicken, so you can comfortably use them in place of shredded chicken without giving up on your favorite chicken dish.
However, people with soy allergies should not use this product.
Another alternative for shredded chicken is seitan.
It is made from gluten, so definitely not a good choice for people who are following a gluten-free diet.
Seitan has a savory taste and a firm texture like chicken cutlet, therefore, it can become a great substitute for shredded real chicken and you will feel like eating meat instead of vegan protein.
It still provides you with a sufficient amount of protein while being low in fat and calories.
4. Shredded mushroom
Mushroom is always considered one of the best vegan substitutes for meat because it is a rich source of protein and many essential nutrients.
Normally, oyster mushrooms are great for replacing shredded chicken.
Shredded mushroom also provides a special umami flavor that will make your dish more interesting and appealing to try.
The bottom line
We hope with the list of shredded chicken substitutes, you will never have to worry about running out of this ingredient whenever you want to make some tacos or chicken pasta.
You can either opt for meat substitutes like shredded pork and beef, or any other vegan alternatives from mushroom, soy products, and seitan.
It all depends on you to choose your favorite shredded chicken substitute that best suits your taste buds.
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