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Vegan Naked Chicken Chalupa (Taco Bell-Inspired)

  • Author: Gregs Vegan Gourmet
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 chalupas


Inspired by Taco Bell, this vegan naked chicken chalupa is made with seitan “chicken” in a crunchy coating, pan-fried until golden and finished off with lettuce, diced tomatoes, and avocado aioli sauce.


  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth for simmering
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup oil, for frying
  • 2 cups lettuce, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced tomato

Cashew Avocado Aioli:

  • 1 avocado, halved
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (omit if allergic)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup nondairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Whisk together vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast until combined. Add 1/2 cup broth and stir until it forms a dough ball. Knead a few times with your hands until dough has no dry spots.
  2. Divide the dough into golf ball-sized chunks. Roll out each piece to a 1/4 inch thick oval shape.
  3. To a pot or deep frying pan with a lid, add 2 cups broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then add as many rolled out seitan pieces that can fit without overlapping too much. We worked in batches of 2.
  4. Cover, reduce heat to low-medium (gentle simmer) and cook 15 minutes. Remove from pot and repeat with remaining pieces.
  5. To a mixing bowl, add flour, bread crumbs, paprika, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Press each piece of seitan into the breading mixture to coat. If it seems a bit dry, dip in some broth or spritz with oil to help the bread crumbs stick.
  6. Add a frying pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Add a few tbsp of oil and once hot, add the breaded seitan (again, we worked in batches of 2). Fry about 4 minutes per side, until golden and crispy.
  7. Remove from heat and fold in half (like a taco shell shape) and let cool slightly. (If you are making all of them at once to serve, you can keep the folded seitan pieces warm in the oven until ready to serve.)
  8. In a blender or food processor, blend aioli ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  9. To assemble tacos, add a few tbsp of lettuce and tomato into each and drizzle with aioli. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes

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