Are you looking for a healthy, vegan, but delicious substitute for shredded chicken so that you won’t have to give up on your favorite recipe?
This blog post will introduce you to a few of the best alternatives for shredded chicken, and the best part is that they are vegan.
Let’s check it out!
What is shredded chicken?
Shredded chicken is a quick and delicious way to make a hearty meal.
It is cooked chicken (often chicken breast) that is pulled apart by hands or forks.
It can be made from either chicken thighs or a mixture of chicken breast and chicken thighs too.
There are different ways to cook chicken before shredding it, like poaching, roasting, or grilling.
The point is to keep the chicken meat moist so that you won’t end up with a dry and chewy dish.
Shredded chicken can be used in tons of recipes like tacos, sandwiches, salads, soups, and more.
It pairs well with spices and herbs like salt, pepper, onion, garlic, bay leaves, or cumin.
You can also toss the shredded chicken in a BBQ or creamy sauce per your preference before serving.
Can you substitute shredded chicken with a vegan alternative in cooking recipes?
Normally, people substitute other kinds of shredded meat like shredded beef or pork for shredded chicken.
And it might sound impossible to use a vegan ingredient in place of shredded chicken.
However, it turns out to be very easy to alternate shredded chicken with a meat-free ingredient.
There are many plant-based or soy-based products that have the same meaty texture and can work well to substitute for shredded chicken in any cooking recipe.
They might not have the chicken flavor like real chicken meat, but you can easily season them to make these alternatives more flavorful and savory.
What vegan substitutes can you use in place of shredded chicken?
Below is a list of five common ingredients that can be used in place of shredded chicken in your next recipe:
1. Shredded mushrooms
Mushrooms have always been one of the best choices to substitute for meat because they have a meaty and chewy texture that can resemble real meat.
Shredded mushrooms are often made from oyster mushrooms that work great in any recipe that calls for shredded chicken.
This substitute ingredient has a special umami taste of mushrooms and is rich in vitamins and minerals while being low in fat and calories.
Shredded mushrooms can be a staple in any vegan diet.
2. Soy curls
Soy curls can also be a great vegan substitute for shredded chicken.
They are often pre-made and sold in plastic packages in most organic stores.
Soy curls are sold in small pieces so there is no need to shred them.
This ingredient absorbs well the flavors from other ingredients and spices, so you can turn this vegan product into a savory dish that tastes like real chicken.
However, soy curls are made from soybeans, so they are not ideal for people with soy allergies.
3. Shredded jackfruit
Shredded jackfruit, or pulled jackfruit, is a product that is made from a tropical fruit called jackfruit.
Jackfruit has a meaty texture that can be easily shredded into thin strips that are reminiscent of shredded chicken breast.
Shredded jackfruit is high in nutrients, especially antioxidants and vitamins.
It is a perfect vegan ingredient that can be used to substitute for shredded chicken in any cooking recipe, from stir-frying to making salads and sandwiches.
4. Shredded seitan
Seitan is a popular product that is made from hydrated gluten.
Shredded seitan can alternate with shredded chicken because it has the same texture.
Like most of the other vegan substitutes, seitan doesn’t have a strong flavor, but a neutral and mild one.
Therefore, it absorbs well the tastes of other ingredients or spices that it is cooked with.
Shredded seitan is great, but is not an ideal choice if you are following a gluten-free diet.
5. Shredded tofu
You might wonder how tofu can be shredded to replace shredded chicken.
In fact, there is a kind of tofu that has an extra firm texture.
To have the long strips of tofu that resemble chicken strips, you should use a knife instead of your hands like when pulling real chicken.
Shredded tofu has a soy-like taste, and it can be seasoned with many spices, herbs, and sauces that you like to make your dish more flavorful.
The bottom line
The best vegan substitute for shredded chicken should have the same texture as its meaty counterpart.
Each of the aforementioned alternatives has its own flavor, but normally, it has a more bland taste compared to chicken.
The tip is to flavor them with your favorite spices and herbs to resemble the flavorful taste of real chicken meat.
Experiment with all of our vegan substitutes for shredded chicken and let us know what works best with your palate.
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