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7 vegan popcorn chicken recipes for when chicken nuggets just don’t work

Popcorn chicken is something of a niche food – it’s not as popular as chicken nuggets or chicken tenders, but this popcorn snack has something that doubles as a meal too. The vegan chicken game is showing off vigorously in supermarkets – from the many plant-based nuggets to frozen grilled chicken strips – but popcorn chicken is just beginning to break into mass retail. While we wait for the flurry of options, here are seven vegan popcorn chicken recipes that you can make at home.

Francesca Bonadonna

1. Easy, crispy vegan popcorn chicken by Francesca Bonadonna

Don’t settle for firm tofu when shopping for ingredients – extra firmness is the key to that juicy, meaty bite. This recipe is as authentic as it gets, so be ready to fry! The result is sixty golden pieces of seasoned, whipped, and fried tofus that are gone in no time.
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The edgy vegetables

2. KFC Popcorn Chicken ’ by The Edgy Veg

After you have prepared this recipe, the deep fryer will have a permanent place on your kitchen counter. Better than bouillon no chicken cubes (which are vegan), chewy soy curls penetrate with an authentic chicken taste and add flavor to every single component. The curls are dipped in a flavored batter, dipped in bubbly oil, and then placed on a refrigerated shelf for a crispy exterior. Let it cool just long enough not to scorch your mouth (it’s hard, we know).
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The Viet vegan

3. Vegan popcorn chicken by The Viet Vegan

Turn up the tunes and have fun with this recipe – step five involves a little shake-and-bake! Well, technically the breaded soy pieces are deep fried, but you can also have fun shaking the Ziploc bag to coat each textured nugget. Don’t skip the dip either. This dill-infused vegan sour cream couldn’t be easier to make, and it can rival any dipping sauce you might find on a drive-through – including a certain controversial chicken chain that is closed on Sundays.
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Dad is going vegan

4th Vegan popcorn chicken from Dad Goes Vegan

When it comes to kid-friendly finger food, fathers definitely know best. This solid recipe is based on high protein tofu and a simple vegan buttermilk dredge to achieve fast food flavor with vegan ingredients. The instructions cover the flat frying and hot air fryer cooking methods so anyone can do this regardless of the kitchen appliance situation.
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Chez Jorge

5. Vegan Taiwanese Popcorn Cauliflower by Chez Jorge

Cauliflower florets work wonders at mimicking buffalo style chicken – it’s no surprise they translate exceptionally well into popcorn chicken too. Social media star George Lee gives this American classic a Taiwanese twist by adding fried basil, Sichuan pepper, and five ground spices. These simple accessories will transform your ordinary fried cauliflower from boring to bold.
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6th Cauliflower Popcorn Chicken by Morgan Shupe

Can’t you take the spice? Return to this tried-and-true baked and breaded cauliflower popcorn chicken recipe. While deep-frying usually provides the crispness you need, carbonated water and coarsely ground corn flakes mimic this satisfying texture with no excess oil. Enjoy these healthy bites alone or on a deeply filling salad drizzled with vegan ranch.
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Six vegan sisters

7th Seitan Fried Chick’n by Six Vegan Sisters

Seitan’s dense and chewy texture makes it a perfect addition to veganized popcorn chicken. Although store-bought seitan is available at most supermarkets, it is best to make your own using this recipe to get the right chicken flavor. If you are short of time, try to find a chicken-flavored seitan in the store (ex Upton’s Naturals Chick Seitan). Once you have your base the process is as simple as seasoning, dredging, and frying until golden brown. “Addicted” doesn’t even explain the appeal of this deliciously hearty snack.
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Tanya Flink is digital editor at Vegetable News as well as a writer and runner who lives in Orange County, California.

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