Our favourite UK vegan chicken alternatives for every taste

Embarking on a plant-based journey often poses a delightful challenge for the palate, especially when it comes to finding the perfect substitutes for our comfort food favorites. With the rise of veganism in the UK, the quest for the ultimate vegan chicken alternative has become a passionate pursuit for many. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply dipping your toes into the world of plant-based eating, this guide will be your companion through the ever-growing landscape of our favourite UK vegan chicken alternatives.

2024 promises an exciting array of options that not only mimic the texture and flavor of traditional chicken but also offer the benefits of a cruelty-free, environmentally friendly choice. Let’s dive into the best vegan chicken alternatives available across the UK, from supermarket finds to homemade creations that could fool even the most discerning carnivores.

What is vegan chicken made of?

Vegan chicken, an innovative culinary creation, is designed to replicate the taste and texture of poultry without any animal products. Typically, these alternatives are crafted from a variety of plant-based ingredients such as soy, pea protein, wheat gluten (seitan), and even fungi. The versatility and adaptability of these ingredients allow for a wide range of flavors and consistencies, catering to the diverse tastes of vegans and non-vegans alike.

Developments in food technology have led to impressive advances in the texture of vegan chicken, with many brands achieving a fibrous, meaty chew that is reminiscent of the real thing. Additionally, seasonings and marinades infuse these meatless wonders with the familiar, comforting flavors of chicken, making them a satisfying alternative for any dish.

For those with dietary restrictions or allergies, it is important to read labels carefully, as some vegan chicken products may contain allergens such as gluten or nuts. Despite these considerations, the burgeoning variety of vegan chicken offerings ensures that there is something for everyone.

Where to find the best vegan chicken in the uk

Finding top-tier vegan chicken in the UK has never been easier. Health food stores, mainstream supermarkets, and even online vegan specialty shops all stock a growing selection of meat-free alternatives. From the bustling streets of London to the quaintest towns, plant-based eaters can rejoice in the accessibility of these products.

Restaurants, too, are increasingly catering to the vegan community, with many adding plant-based chicken dishes to their menus. Whether it’s a quick takeaway or a fine dining experience, there’s likely an establishment nearby offering a delicious vegan chicken meal.

And let’s not forget the numerous food festivals and pop-up events that celebrate vegan cuisine. These gatherings are fantastic opportunities to sample a variety of vegan chicken options and discover your new favorite.

Frequenting vegan-only eateries can also elevate the experience, with dedicated chefs pushing the boundaries of what plant-based chicken can be. From gourmet interpretations to comforting fast food, these specialists often lead the charge in innovation and taste.

Vegan chicken recipes to make at home

Crafting vegan chicken at home can be a rewarding and creative endeavor. The internet is a treasure trove of recipes, ranging from simple, few-ingredient dishes to elaborate, gourmet meals. Home cooks can experiment with seitan, tofu, and jackfruit to create their own versions of classic chicken dishes, such as nuggets, curry, or even a Sunday roast.

Here’s a simple outline for making your own vegan chicken:

  • Choose your base: Seitan, tofu, or jackfruit are popular choices.
  • Season generously: Use herbs, spices, and marinades to achieve the desired flavor profile.
  • Cook to perfection: Whether you bake, fry, or grill, ensure your vegan chicken gets the texture you’re after.

For those who enjoy meal prepping, these homemade alternatives can be made in large batches and frozen for later use, ensuring that a tasty and ethical meal is always at hand.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your vegan chicken dishes. The flexibility of plant-based cooking means that the only limit is your imagination. Try out exotic spices or unconventional cooking methods to find your ideal homemade chicken alternative.

Is vegan chicken healthier than real chicken?

The health debate between vegan chicken and its animal-based counterpart is nuanced. On one hand, vegan chicken alternatives often boast a lower saturated fat content and eliminate the cholesterol found in real chicken. They also contribute to a higher intake of fiber and plant-based nutrients, which can be beneficial for overall health.

However, some store-bought vegan chicken products may contain high levels of sodium and additives to achieve their desired flavor and texture. As with any processed food, it’s important to consume these in moderation and to balance them with whole, nutrient-dense foods.

For those concerned about protein intake, many vegan chicken alternatives are designed to be protein-rich, ensuring that one can maintain a balanced diet while following a plant-based lifestyle. Careful consideration of ingredients and nutritional labels can guide consumers toward the healthiest vegan chicken options.

Ultimately, whether vegan chicken is healthier than real chicken depends on individual dietary needs and the specific products or recipes in question. The key to a healthy diet, vegan or not, is variety and moderation.

Best vegan chicken in UK supermarkets

The UK’s supermarkets are veritable hotspots for vegan chicken alternatives, with many brands lining the shelves. Some of the standout options include:

  • M&S Plant Kitchen No Chicken Kyiv: A modern twist on a classic dish, this option is lauded for its succulent filling and crispy coating.
  • Squeaky Bean Chicken Tikka Style Pieces: These ready-to-eat pieces are perfect for a quick meal or snack, offering a burst of flavor and convenience.

Supermarket own-brands are also stepping up, offering competitive and often more affordable alternatives to the established vegan brands. This increase in availability not only caters to vegans but also to those looking to reduce their meat consumption, making plant-based eating more accessible than ever.

When shopping for vegan chicken at supermarkets, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for new products and special offers, as the market is constantly evolving.

Top vegan chicken brands reviewed

The UK is home to some of the best plant-based chicken brands in the market. Here are a handful reviewed for your convenience:

  • Heura Vegan Mediterranean Chicken Pieces: Often praised for their juicy texture and Mediterranean-inspired seasoning, these pieces are a great addition to any meal.
  • Moving Mountains No Chicken Burger: Satisfying the burger craving without compromise, this burger is known for its hearty bite and versatility on the grill.
  • THIS Isn’t Chicken Plant-Based Pieces: With a remarkable similarity to chicken, these pieces are a crowd-pleaser in stir-fries, salads, and more.

Each brand offers its own unique take on vegan chicken, with pros and cons that cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. Sampling various products is the best way to find your personal favorite.

Now, let’s take a moment to check out a quick and easy recipe using one of these fantastic products. Watch as they transform simple ingredients into a vegan masterpiece in the following video:

Whether you’re a digital nomad seeking a quick plant-based bite, a busy professional meal prepping for the week, or a traveling vegan foodie exploring the flavors of the UK, there’s a world of vegan chicken options waiting to delight your senses. Remember to explore, sample, and savor as you discover our favourite UK vegan chicken alternatives. Happy eating!