Sunday, September 13, 2009

Seitan “Meat Crumbles”

(pictured: seitan after grinding)

You first question will probably be why make your own “meat crumbles”, and a few months ago that would have been my question too. When reading the nutrition section of “Life Over Cancer” I noticed that TVP was included in the rarely or never consume category. Now I am not certain why it is not recommended and need to do more research, but until I do I am minimizing our use of TVP. Most commercial meat crumbles contain TVP, so I decided to make my own.

Making seitan crumbles isn’t a problem if you have the meat grinder attachment for your kitchen aid mixer. Other than making bigoli I never get to use that attachment any longer and now feel as though I can have a reason to keep it.

I decided to give this product a mild flavor but color it like ground beef. For this reason I added the Marmite and Worcestershire sauce. Both add brown color and the needed umami to the final product.

Seitan “Meat Crumbles”
Makes 2 pounds of ground seitan or 32 ounces


2 cups water
1 teaspoon Marmite
1 tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of whole-wheat breadcrumbs
10 ounces of vital wheat gluten


Combine the water, Marmite, Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper in your blender. Process until combined. Pour the flavored water into a large bowl and add the whole wheat bread crumbs. Allow the mixture to stand until the breadcrumbs are thoroughly saturated. Now add the vital wheat gluten and knead the mixture until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. If any dry ingredients remain add additional water a tablespoon or two at a time until the mixture is evenly moist.

Wrap the seitan dough in two layers of aluminum foil, like a giant sausage. Twist the ends of the foil until you have a firm sausage shaped item. If you have kitchen twine use it to loosely (about a quarter inch of room) the center of the seitan loaf in three places. This will keep the seitan from busting out of the foil and becoming misshapen.

Place the seitan in your pressure cooker and add water half way up the sides of the seitan. Lock the lid and cook under high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to come down naturally and remove the seitan to another surface to cool.

When it is cool enough to handle remove the foil and cut the seitan into chunks that will fit into your meat grinder. I used the larger grind disk for larger crumbles. Grind the seitan, as you would meat. It is now ready to be used or frozen for later.

Nutritional Information per ounce:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 50.2
Calories From Fat (7%) - 3.5

Total Fat - 0.39g
Saturated Fat - 0.07g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 105.58mg
Potassium - 35.07mg
Total Carbohydrates - 4.14g
Fiber - 0.52g
Sugar - 0.43g
Protein - 7.59g


This looks frightening like cooked ground beef. My husband and I were both shocked at how similar they look. The texture is similar to very lean ground beef. I haven’t eaten this straight yet, but in a sauce it would pass for ground meat.


  1. This looks really interesting. I've been thinking of making my own crumbles for a while now. Are the breadcrumbs the fine, dry type or fresh crumbs made from slightly stale bread? Thanks :)

  2. Felicity,

    I made the whole wheat bread and then turned it into fine fresh breadcrumbs the next morning. The recipe for the bread is two recipes down if you want to try it. Sorry I forget to put in the link, I will do that now.


  3. I made this with panko breadcrumbs because that was what I had. I left out Marmite and added 1/2 t liquid smoke, and 1 t gravy master. I also found some "beef" bouillon cubes with no beef or animal fat and used that instead of plain water. Since I don't have a pressure cooker, I wrapped it in foil and baked in a 300 degree oven for 90 minutes. I can't believe how good the result is when ground.


Related Posts with Thumbnails