Seitan piccata is a classic & sumptuous option for an at-home date night. Browned seitan is covered in a silky white wine and lemon sauce, dotted with capers.
Serve it with mashed potatoes and sautéed kale for a filling and eye-catching entrée that’s sure to impress.
When I’m traveling, seitan piccata is one of my favorite picks for a fancy night out. Whether it’s Blossom or the now defunct Candle Café West in NYC or Modern Love in Omaha, seitan piccata is attached to some very pleasant memories.
But even when I’m not exploring the world, I can still enjoy the lemony flavors of that celebratory dinner from the comfort of home.
And best of all, it’s so easy for this eye-catching entrée to come together – especially if you already have homemade or store-bought seitan on hand.
What is piccata?
Non-vegan piccata is often found on the menu at Italian restaurants. It is usually made with meat that’s pounded until thin. Then it’s coated in flour and browned. Finally, it’s topped with a lemon caper sauce, loaded with butter.
This vegan version is made a little differently.
First, there’s no pounding involved. Using seitan, you can simply cut the roast to your preferred width. About a half inch thick is ideal.
Second, there’s no flouring. I find it to be unnecessary since seitan is basically made of flour. It browns just fine on its own.
Third, this version is not loaded with butter. It’s topped with an easy piccata sauce made with sautéed onions, white wine, vegetable broth (or water + bouillon), lemon juice, and dried thyme.
Finished with capers and a dollop of vegan butter, this beautifully silky sauce is then spooned over browned seitan.
What kind of seitan chicken should I use?
For this recipe, I use my homemade seitan chicken. It has a nice mild flavor that really lets the sauce shine.
You’ll need just half the loaf of seitan chicken. (This piccata recipe calls for 8 ounces of seitan. The loaf is about 16 ounces.)
But feel free to use any store-bought vegan chicken. (I also give some other plant-based alternatives below.)
What kind of white wine should I use?
Any white wine that you enjoy drinking will work here. I especially love something light and dry.
My favorite option is the Verdejo Viura from LaGranja 360. It’s sold at Trader Joe’s for around $3.99. It has a vegan emblem right on the bottle, which is really handy.
But feel free to use your preferred white wine. To see if your favorite option is vegan, check out Barnivore.
How to make seitan piccata
Sauté onions in a skillet until fragrant & translucent.
Add oil & flour. Cook the flour in the oil. Then combine it with the onions.
Then add the following to the skillet:
- White wine
- Better Than Bouillon, no chicken base
- Lemon juice
- Dried thyme
Bring to a simmer. Stir regularly as it thickens, reduces, and becomes glossy.
Once thickened, add vegan butter & capers.
In a separate skillet, brown half inch slices of seitan chicken. Flip & brown the other side.
Move the browned seitan to dinner plates. Top with the lemon white wine caper sauce.
Make it your own
You can easily tweak this dish to make it your own by doing these simple swaps.
- Fully bread the seitan cutlets before frying for a toothsome entrée.
- Instead of seitan, use rehydrated & browned Soy Curls, store-bought vegan chicken (like Gardein), slabs of extra firm tofu, or even roasted chickpeas as the protein-rich component
- Use vegetable broth instead of water + Better Than Bouillon.
- Instead of or in addition to dried thyme, finish the final dish with freshly chopped parsley
What to serve with seitan piccata
Or get a little fancy & serve them in a tower with the mashed potatoes as the base, followed by sautéed kale, browned seitan, and piccata sauce (as shown above).
Seitan piccata also works well with any of the following:
- Air fryer asparagus
- Sautéed spinach
- Air fryer baby potatoes
- Broccolini with kale
- Roasted cauliflower
- Buttery garlic noodles (I’d leave off the red wine mushrooms since you already have white wine involved. Or cook the mushrooms in white wine instead.)
How to store & reheat leftovers
If you’d like to make the piccata sauce ahead of time, it keeps well in a covered container in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that it will continue to thicken as it cools.
Reheat the sauce in a pot on the stove, slowly bringing it up to temperature, as you stir it often. Add another splash of water if it’s too thick.
Or you can reheat it in the microwave, stopping at regular intervals to stir. Again, if it gets too thick, add another splash of water.
Reheat the seitan cutlets the same way that they were first cooked – by browning them in a pan with a little oil until warmed.
Leftover cutlets & sauce will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator in covered containers.
- 2 Tablespoons organic canola oil divided
- ⅓ cup chopped onions
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup white wine
- ½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon Better Than Bouillon, no chicken base
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
- Pinch salt
- Dash pepper
- 1 Tablespoon vegan butter
- 2 Tablespoons capers drained
- 8 ounces chicken seitan sliced into half inch cutlets
- Bring a large non-stick skillet to a medium heat with one teaspoon of oil. Add onions to the skillet and sauté for a few minutes, until fragrant and translucent.
- Add another Tablespoon of oil to the skillet along with a Tablespoon of flour. Cook the flour in the oil for about a minute. Combine with the onions.
- Add white wine, water, Better Than Bouillon, lemon juice, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Stir with a spatula to combine everything. Allow it to thicken, reduce, and become a glossy sauce. This will take 7 to 10 minutes.
- Once it has thickened, stir in vegan butter and drained capers. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Cut chicken seitan roast into half inch thick slices. You'll need 8 cutlets for this recipe.(If you're using store-bought seitan, use your best judgment on cutting appropriately-sized pieces for 4 people. You can even use seitan pieces, if needed.)
- Bring another large skillet to a medium heat with a teaspoon of oil. Brown the sliced seitan in the skillet, flipping once one side is brown. Once it is brown on both sides, remove from skillet.The seitan will brown the best if the skillet isn't overcrowded. So if you need to work in batches, add another teaspoon of oil to the skillet before browning the remaining seitan cutlets.