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Our Favourite UK Vegan Chicken Alternatives

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Our Favourite UK Vegan Chicken Alternatives

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It is estimated that over 60 billion chickens are slaughtered each year and over 70% of them are raised in intensive industrial farming systems.

Fortunately, chicken is one of the easiest meats to replicate and there are now plenty of amazing plant-based alternatives.

Here are some of our favourite substitutes, simply click on a link in the contents to your left to skip to that section.

Whilst you’re here, why don’t you check out our egg alternatives?

We’re spoilt for choice with chicken alternatives. Nowadays, vegan substitutes can be made with anything from seitan (vital wheat gluten) to pea fibre, fresh tofu, dehydrated soy, jackfruit, potato starch, and even mushrooms. The majority of commercial products are made using soy or wheat but more and more brands have started to use pea protein.

There are so many alternative protein sources out there and each one comes with an array of different benefits. We would recommend eating a variety of protein sources to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need. For example, you could replace chicken with tempeh, tofu, chickpeas, soy curls, or a product with a high protein content (e.g. THIS™).

n.b. We are not nutritionists so always consult a trained professional or your doctor before making any dietary changes.

We honestly think that some brands taste even better than the real thing. For example, THIS™ have fooled plenty of meat-eaters into thinking they are eating meat – watch the video below to see their PR stunt!

The best UK vegan chicken brands

this isn't vegan chicken pieces

1. THIS™ ISN’T CHICKEN

This may not be chicken, but it IS a gamechanger! Oh my days, the taste and texture of these soy and garlic chicken pieces are insanely good. Perfect in every single way, you will never know that these aren’t meat.

THIS makes vegan chicken nuggets, tikka pieces, and sea salt and cracked black pepper pieces (and the vegan bacon we mentioned in this post, of course). They also partnered with a bunch of different brands to create sandwiches, baguettes, and other delicious snacks for commuters, travellers, and those on the go! To be found in WHSmiths, Greggs and more.

Made from: soy and wheat protein

2. Birds Eye Green Cuisine Chicken Free Southern Fried Strips

Made from wheat protein and bamboo fibre, this brand is a little bit blander than the other alternatives but the real thing isn’t exactly bursting with flavour anyway. The texture of Green Cuisine’s Chicken-Free Southern Fried Strips is great and they taste amazing when paired with a good sauce. Love the breadcrumbed crunch!

As part of their Green Cuisine range, Birds Eye also makes plant-based versions of chicken grills, burgersdippers and nuggets.

Made from: wheat protein and bamboo fibres

the vegetarian butcher vegan chicken pieces

3. The Vegetarian Butcher's What The Cluck

A Southampton-based vegetarian butcher making plant-based chicken…who would have thought it? This particular soy-based product takes the form of chunks, which can easily be added to a delicious curry or pasta sauce.

 They also sell Little Peckers (plant-based nuggets), escalopes, and chicken burgers!

Made from: soy protein

frys vegan chicken style strips

4. Fry’s Chicken-Style Strips

Did someone say vegan chicken waffles?

Lucy and I LOVE Fry’s products. Their chicken strips are divine, high in protein, and are available in Australia, the UK, South Africa, and the US! Pretty sure they’re also exporting to Asia as well now. 

They also make THE BEST vegan chicken burgers!

Made from: soy and wheat protein

quorn vegan chicken fillets

5. Quorn Vegan Fillets

There are definitely better alternatives for taste and texture…we’re not really selling these, are we? However, they are really high in protein, are great to store in the freezer for a quick mid-week dinner, and taste good in a sauce.

Plus, they also make vegan chicken pieces, nuggets, escalopes, chicken-free slices, Tex-Mex nuggets.

Made from: mycoprotein, pea protein, and wheat protein

vfc vegan fried chicken

6. VFC (Vegan Fried Chicken)

Move over Colonel, you’ve got competition! These bundles of vegan fried chicken are insanely tasty and no animals were harmed in the process. If you’ve got a lickin’ for some crispy fried chicken, then we seriously recommend you check these guys out.

Not only does VFC produce one of the tastiest meat alternatives available on the UK market, but they also campaign for animal rights. Their latest campaign involved taking vegan activists and celebrities undercover to chicken farms to demonstrate to the world that these poor little factory-farmed hens deserve better.

Co-founded by Matthew Glover and Adam Lyons, this UK brand is on a mission to change the food system and we salute them for their efforts! Go grab a bundle of their fried fillets and bites and feel good knowing that you’re supporting an active brand.

Made from: vital wheat gluten (wheat flour/seitan)

linda mccartneys vegan chicken bucket

7. Linda McCartney's Vegetarian Chicken Bucket

A family size bucket of chicken. Haha just kidding, we devour this bucket all by ourselves! We’re sorry Linda, but this product is not built for sharing 😅

The chicken bucket, chicken mushroom pie and southern chicken burgers are all available from Tesco. If you’re looking for the Linda McCartney chicken roast, you can get this from Ocado. Alternatively, head to Amazon for her chicken pieces and loads more!

Made from: soy and wheat protein

plant kitchen no chicken kiev vegan product on Ocado

8. Plant Kitchen's No Chicken Kievs

For years Lucy and I were searching for a vegan chicken kiev and then, lo and behold, plenty of brands started making them.

We rate the Plant Kitchen version at M&S for its delicious garlic sauce that oozes out of the centre…mmm!

Made from: soy and wheat protein

lazy vegan chicken pieces

9. Lazy Vegan Chicken Style Pieces (free from soy & wheat)

Looking for some plant-based meat that’s free from soy and gluten?

It can be hard to find but luckily, Lazy Vegan make some delicious chicken style pieces using pea protein – no animals, no soy, no hassle!

Made from: pea protein (soy- and gluten-free, yippee!)

Squeaky bean BBQ style chicken pieces inside their packaging, which displays bright and fun branding including the use of an exclamation mark

10. Squeaky Bean Ready To Eat Sweet Smokey Bbq Chicken Style Pieces

If it’s plant-based deli meat you’re craving, then look no further than Squeaky Bean’s range…seriously, we eat their BBQ-style pieces and roast chicken slices straight out of the packet. But you can use them in a sarnie, on a vegan cheeseboard, or sliced up into salads – whatever floats your boat.

p.s. You HAVE to try their pastrami, it’s honestly to die for!

Made from: you guessed it…soy and wheat protein!

DIY Vegan Chicken Recipes

Want to cook your own meat alternatives? Nowadays, you can make plant-based chicken out of pretty much anything and the great news is, there are plenty of soy- and gluten-free options. From mushrooms to vital wheat gluten and good old tofu, here are our favourite recipes to try at home:

seitan chicken recipe
Photo credit: Super Happy Win Food

1. Easy Seitan Chicken - Chick Wheat Style

Vital wheat gluten (seitan) is the secret to the shredded texture of this vegan alternative to chicken. Seitan recipes can be long and bothersome but this one is relatively simple to make and really tasty!

vegan fried chicken tofu recipe
Photo credit: Sweet Simple Vegan

2. Vegan KFC Tofu Fried ‘Chicken’

Want to learn how to turn the humble tofu into the crispiest, tastiest, vegan fried chicken?

You’re welcome 😉

vegan chicken fried oyster mushroom recipe
Photo credit: Vegan With Curves

3. Fried Oyster Mushroom Chick’n

Anyone who knows me knows that I love mushrooms. I’m a bit obsessed with them actually and deep-fried mushroom chicken is the ultimate comfort food.

Other chicken alternatives

Whether you’re looking for something a little less processed or you simply want to add more variety to your diet, here’s a list of ingredients commonly substituted for chicken:

    1. Tofu
    2. Tempeh
    3. Jackfruit
    4. Soy Curls
    5. Chickpeas
    6. Cauliflower
    7. Seitan

 

Based in the US? Check out our favourite US vegan chicken alternatives.

But what about bacon?

Alice Johnson

Alice Johnson

Writer, scientist, amateur mycologist | I write stuff for a living. Mainly about vegan things, science, fungi, and travel. Find out more at Alice's Cerebrum

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I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through some of the links on this page (see full disclaimer here). But don’t worry, I’ll use the money to fund more useful articles and resources, and of course, to buy more vegan snacks to keep me fueled up. I promise not to blow it all on vegan ice cream…I’ll save some for a cocktail or two. A girl’s gotta eat (and drink)!

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