Vegan Butter Chicken

by Adam Sobel

Indulge in the creamy and flavorful goodness of our vegan butter chicken made from seitan. This plant-based version of the classic Indian dish is easy to make and will satisfy your cravings for comfort food. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread for a complete meal that everyone will love. Check out the complete step-by-step guide to making this Vegan Butter Chicken, along with information about modifying it to suit different dietary needs. This recipe was contributed by Chef Adam Sobel from The Cinnamon Snail, a vegan and kosher caterer located in New Jersey.


Seitan and marinade

2 ½ cups (300 grams) of seitan torn into bite-sized pieces

½ cup unsweetened vegan yogurt

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 ½ teaspoons garam masala

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika

¾ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil to cook marinated Seitan in.


For the vegan butter chicken sauce

¼ cup vegan butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 minced clove garlic

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons chana masala

½ teaspoon asafoetida powder

14 oz (400 g) crushed tomatoes

½ cup water

1 teaspoon red chili powder (or less if you are averse to spice)

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon sugar

Cilantro and mint leaves to garnish

  1. In a container, combine the yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, ground coriander, chili powder, and salt with a whisk. Stir in the pieces of seitan and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator if time allows.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add seitan pieces. Fry until lightly browned for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the seitan and set it aside. You can place it back into the container you marinated it in if you want to reduce the number of dishes you make a mess of.
  3. In a frying pan over a high flame, melt the vegan butter. After about 60 seconds when the butter is hot and bubbling, add the onions and fry them, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes until translucent and lightly golden.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices. Sauté for 1 minute until fragrant
  5. Add crushed tomatoes, chili powder water and salt. Lower the flame to medium and cook for 3 minutes until a deep brown-red color is reached.
  6. Add the contents of the pan into a blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Pour the puréed sauce back into the pan and place it over medium heat. Stir the coconut milk and add the cooked seitan with any remaining marinade. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the sauce is thick and the seitan is thoroughly covered in it.
  8. To serve the vegan butter chicken, ladle it over vegan biryani or steamed basmati rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro and mint leaves.

  1. This Vegan Butter Chicken recipe was contributed by Chef Adam Sobel from The Cinnamon Snail, a vegan and kosher caterer located in New Jersey. Find more of Adam’s recipes on Facebook and Instagram.

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