I have to editorialize by stating that I'm a big fan of vegan chicken substitutes! As such, I love all these recipes, so they are in no particular order. Mock chicken and soy vegan chicken can be wonderfully sneaky, as it lends itself well to satisfying - sometimes even fooling- the staunchest meat-eaters. From deep-fried soy chicken nuggets to soothing and traditional vegetarian "chicken" soup, going vegetarian (or vegan!) doesn't have to mean giving up some of your favorite dishes.
You've heard of Chinese kung pao chicken, but have you ever tried kung pao tofu? Use traditional Chinese ingredients to make a vegan chicken-free kung pao tofu with all the flavors of kung pao chicken.
Making vegetarian buffalo wings can be prepared much the same way as with real chicken. The chicken substitute, seitan, is coated with spices, fried, then coated once more with spicy hot sauce. These vegetarian buffalo wings are nice and greasy, just like the real thing, so serve with plenty of napkins!
Made with vegetarian chicken-style deli slices, this soy chicken salad recipe, pictured, is full of flavor and looks gorgeous served on a bed of crisp green lettuce. Or, make into a sandwich by serving on toasted bread or a soft roll. Most vegetarian deli slices are made with a combination of soy and wheat gluten.
I know I said I love all of these picks equally, but truth be told, deep-fried Southern-style vegetarian "chicken" nuggets are out-of-this-world good. Even the staunchest meat-eaters will approve of this recipe. Just be sure to maintain a medium-hot oil temperature, otherwise your nuggets will be burnt and brown instead of crispy and golden brown. This recipe has been rated five stars by readers.
When it comes to satisfying cravings for meat, it doesn't get much better than this barbecue "chicken" wing pizza, made with store-bought vegan barbecue chicken wings, barbecue sauce, mozzarella cheese and garnished with fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. It's got lots of texture and lots of chewy vegetarian "chicken".
For a vegetarian main dish, try this pot pie recipe filled with vegetarian "chicken", veggies, and savory spices. You'll find it's just as hearty and filling as any other pot pie, yet much lower in fat and cholesterol-free.
A lower fat version of the deep-fried seitan recipe above, soy chicken nuggets are relatively low in fat and healthy enough to eat every day. Kid-friendly tofu nuggets are reminiscent of chicken nuggets and can be dipped in ketchup, barbecue sauce or ranch dressing. About.com readers have rated this recipe five stars.
A quick Cajun rub enlivens store-bought vegetarian soy chicken. Easy enough to do on a stove-top grill pan, and indoor grill or outdoor on the barbecue. Vegetarian chicken can be grilled in almost exactly the same way you'd grill regular chicken, but the lower fat content of vegetarian chicken substitutes means you'll want to add a bit of oil to the grill to prevent sticking.
Vegetarian chicken (and bacon!) rounds out this simple Parmesan pasta dish with veggies. Served hot as an entree or cold as a pasta salad, this is a great way to use a vegetarian chicken substitute in your meal.
Like Asian-style orange chicken? Try this vegetarian tofu version with all the same yummy flavors. You could also try this recipe with chunks of fried seitan for a chewier vegetarian faux chicken recipe. Delish!