Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seitan Cutlets with Rosemary and Sage

As you saw on the menu the omnivores are having turkey for Thanksgiving. I wanted something for the hubby and I that was “meat like” so seitan immediately came to mind. Since I wanted something that had a similar flavor profile as turkey I decided to make a “poultry like” cutlet by keeping the flavors light and adding rosemary and sage. I used more rosemary than sage since I prefer the flavor. Additionally, rosemary contains carnosol (a type of terpene), which reduces the ability of cancer to spread. The National Institute of Health has been studying rosemary and its ability to help chemotherapy penetrate cancer cells with good success.

As usual I turned to my typical steam baked method since it is my husband’s favorite form of seitan. When you first add the wet ingredients to the breadcrumbs the mixture is going to appear to be too green. Don’t worry that is how it should look. After you add the gluten the green color will not be noticeable. Here is the recipe for the cutlets I made today for Thanksgiving on Thursday.

Seitan Cutlets with Rosemary and Sage
Makes 8 cutlets


½ cup yellow onions, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup water
additional water to make 2 cups of liquid
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, fresh
6 sage leaves, fresh
¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
½ teaspoon Italian finishing salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
2 cups vital wheat gluten
olive oil for the pan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (convection setting).

Water sauté the onions and garlic until completely soft. Place the mixture in your blender. Add enough water to make 2 cups of liquid. Add the rosemary, sage, mustard, finishing salt, and black pepper to the blender and puree until completely combined and smooth.

Pour the contents of the blender over the breadcrumbs and allow the mixture to stand for at least 10 minutes. You want the bread to be completely soft before proceeding.

Add the vital wheat gluten to the wet mixture and knead to combine all the ingredients. If any of the vital wheat gluten remains dry add a little more water a tablespoon at a time and knead to combine.

Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet with a little olive oil. I always use my cast iron skillet.

Divide the dough into 8 roughly equal pieces. Form each piece into a cutlet shape. Cook each cutlet on both sides until crisp top and bottom. Move the cutlets to a half sheet pan. Crisp the exterior of the remaining cutlets and move to the baking sheet.

Now add ½ cup of water to the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes turn the pan around (to make certain both sides cook evenly) and add another ½ cup of water. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. If at the end of cooking the pan is not dry return it to the oven until the water is all gone.

At this point the cutlets can be used as you would use chicken breast. Or they can be cooled and wrapped with plastic cling film and frozen in a zip top bag until needed. These cutlets freeze beautifully. I always make a full batch even though there are only two of us.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 196.34
Calories From Fat (11%) - 21.28

Total Fat - 2.39g
Saturated Fat - 0.41g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 256mg
Potassium - 121.1mg
Total Carbohydrates - 16.87g
Fiber - 2.27g
Sugar - 1.94g
Protein - 27.2g

The numbers above assume that ½ tablespoon of olive oil is absorbed into the cutlets when they are being seared. The fat numbers may be a little overstated, but are definitely not too low. Being a recovering accountant I always err on the conservative side with my numbers.


This seitan is mild in flavor that is reminiscent of poultry due to the sage and rosemary. We had it cold tonight on a quick salad and it really worked as a chicken or turkey substitute. I can’t wait to try this hot with a little mushroom gravy, which is the plan for Thursday.

Unrelated note:

As always I didn’t get as many items crossed off my to do list as I had planned. The bread cubes for the stuffing are drying out now. Seitan cutlets are wrapped and waiting in the refrigerator. Caramelized garlic for the mashed potatoes and cauliflower is also done. The onions and celery have been diced and are ready to be used. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day in terms of Thanksgiving preparation. I may not have many posts but will be working on them off line while I cook and will get them posted as soon as I have a few minutes.

I am off to clean the kitchen and plan my day tomorrow. If I have time I will post the salad we had for dinner tonight before we turn in. Otherwise I will get the salad posted tomorrow morning. I hope you all have a great evening.


  1. I'm so happy I found this recipe! They're finishing up in the oven now, and even not having tasted them yet, I can tell that the sear/steam method of yours is going to be a fave of mine.

    will have to come back to let ya know how the fam receives them!


  2. Don't get mad,

    This is my husbands favorite seitan cooking method too. He likes the crispy exterior on the cutlets. I have tried this method with many different flavors of seitan. I think the apple and leek is at the top of the list here. I hope your family enjoys the seitan.


  3. It was really great. My omni husband devoured it and went back for more.

    We all really loved it. I do have one question though. What are the approximate knead/rest times on the seitan? I've learned in making a million recipes with so many different methods that too much/too little kneading and resting can all too easily change the texture drastically.

    this particular blog entry didn't specify and i think my cutlets could have been a bit less chewy had I done it differently, but I'm terrible at remembering which way to go with it...more or less kneading or rest. hehe.

    thanks again, these are delicious! apple and leek?! i'll be looking up those, for sure!

  4. Don't Get Mad,

    Thank you so much for letting me know they were well received at your house. The omnis I know really like the cutlets too. *scratches head* LOL

    The longer you knead the firmer the cutlets. I didn't specify because I only knead until it comes together to make a less chewy seitan. I hope that makes some sense since it is hard to describe.

    Sorry this didn't get your comment posted right away. I am not in the habit of checking the dashboard and blogger didn't send me an email.

    enjoy what is left of your evening,


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