Pulled BBQ Seitan – The Best Summer Burger

For a few years now I have experimenting with making seitan. I have to admit that before I met Tiia I didn’t even know what it was but I was intrigued right away. Seitan is made from wheat gluten and then steamed, cooked or baked. I always buy seitan flour online or at the supermarket.

I have tried a few recipes but they were always a bit too bland or the amounts just weren’t working out perfectly. So here is what I have come up with over time. The first recipe is for a basic seitan loaf. That can be used to make the pulled seitan burger (scroll further down for the recipe) or, after baked, just be eaten by itself, on bread or as a steak. If you want to make the burger buns yourself you will find our recipe for those here.

Basic Seitan:


1 cup kidney beans (cooked)
4 sage leaves
3 tsp roasted onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsp paprika
3 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp yeast extract
1 1/4 cups water
2 3/4 cups seitan flour

First heat up some water in a steam kettle. If you don’t have one you can just use a big pot and put a colander in it to steam the seitan.

In a food processor blend together the beans, sage, garlic, onion and olive oil until everything is really smooth.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Add the rest of the spices, mix well and add the water and seitan flour. Depending on the type of gluten you’re using you might have to add more water. The dough is right when everything sticks together nicely.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Form a loaf and wrap it in aluminium foil.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Make sure it’s packed tightly and nothing can come out of the sides. When the water is ready, steam the seitan for 60 minutes. Turn it around once after 30 minutes.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Now it depends on what you want to do with your seitan. If you want to use it as pulled seitan for burgers or sandwiches, steaming it should be enough since it will get fried later. If you want to eat your seitan thinly sliced on bread or as a steak for lunch it should go into the oven after it has steamed for an hour. In this case heat up the oven to 175°C and let the seitan bake in the aluminium foil for another 60 minutes.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger
The seitan loaf after steaming and baking

I also like to use this recipe for other occasions like Christmas and fill the seitan with pesto and crushed nuts!

If you now want to make pulled seitan continue with the following recipe.

Pulled BBQ Seitan:


1 loaf (or less) of the ready steamed seitan
1 small onion
3 cloves pressed garlic
1 tsp olive oil

For the sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 apple vinegar
1/3 cup muscovado (or brown) sugar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp paprika
3/4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
3 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a bowl mix together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

Pull the seitan apart with a fork and fry it in a pan with the oil until it gets a crust.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Add the onions and the garlic only after 8 minutes or so since the seitan will take a while to fry and you don’t want to burn them. When the seitan looks done and the onion is glossy turn the stove to medium-low heat and add the bbq sauce. Let it simmer for a while until most of the liquid is gone.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

The bbq seitan will be soft and moist. If you like it to be a bit more firm you can also just bake the loaf in the oven after steaming, like written above in the basic recipe. Afterwards you can cut the loaf into desired pieces for the burgers and start the bbq recipe with frying the onion and garlic instead of the seitan. Add the seitan together with the bbq sauce since it doesn’t need to be fried anymore.

Serve with freshly made burger buns (recipe here) or on sandwiches. We ate our burgers with fresh rucola, avocado and mint. It made a great combination!



2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

6 thoughts on “Pulled BBQ Seitan – The Best Summer Burger

  1. I’ve never cooked with seitan before, but have been hankering out to try it. This burger is definitely something I will be making for myself and my vegetarian family. Thanks for sharing the delicious recipe!

    1. Thanks! 🙂

      I only got to know Seitan through Tiia and since I love to try out new things I started experimenting with it. It’s quite easy and I always recommend steaming it because it will be softer in the end. Nothing worse than tough seitan! 😀

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