This copycat Chick-fil-a Vegan Chicken tastes so much like the store version. This recipe is perfect for meal planning can be used in so many ways!
If you loved eating fast food before going vegan, then you likely loved the chicken from Chick-fil-a. It had a juicy texture. It had a crunch. It was perfectly flavored and just so so good. Making this copycat Chick-fil-A Vegan Chicken is probably one of our most favorite recipes to do.
Have yall had something that when you taste it you’re like hold on a minute, are you sure this is vegan?
We know that it’s happened a few times to us, but when we bit into this, we were both like, “man, if we didn’t make this, we would for sure be questioning more about the product.”
It’s truly that good.
It has all your favorite parts about how Chick-fil-A makes their chicken, but it’s all plant based. No animals harmed in the making of this amazing vegan recipe.
Never miss another post! Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get them all delivered easily! Plus, 15 easy recipes delivered immediately!
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!
Frequently Asked Questions?
What is the best type of tofu to use?
We prefer extra firm for this recipe and would highly recommend using that.
This recipe will also work if it’s just firm tofu. We do not advise using silken or soft tofu for this recipe.
What can I sub the tofu for?
At this time there are no tofu substitutions for this recipe. We hope that we have another soy free version in the future, but we do not at this moment.
How do I press out tofu?
The easiest way to press out tofu is to use a tofu press. We use this tofu press because it’s easy to use and works great.
However, if you don’t have a tofu press then you could wrap the block of tofu in a kitchen towel, place it on a plate, and then put something heavy on top like a cast iron skillet.
Can I prep this copycat Chick-fil-A Vegan Chicken ahead of time?
Yes! Once cooked and cooled, you can store it in an air safe container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Alternatively, you could make it, let it cool completely, and then store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
We find it best when prepping it ahead and not eating right away that you reheat in an air fryer; however, if you do not have an air fryer, then you can heat up in the oven or just a microwave (although doing it this way will not be as crunchy, it’s still good).
Can I make this recipe Top 8 Allergen Free?
Because the base of this dish is tofu, it contains soy.
At this time, we do not have a recommendation to make this soy free.
For the vegan flour, you can replace with cornmeal. You should be able to replace with a gluten free measure for measure flour, but we have no tried that at this time, only the cornmeal we’ve tested.
Besides that as long as you use a safe for you dairy free milk, we prefer oat milk, then you are good to go with top allergens.
Do I need to include pickle juice?
Believe it or not, this is Chick-fil-A’s signature way of getting flavor and juiciness into their chicken. We do the same because we arr wanting to copy that signature flavor.
We highly recommend including this step and not omitting it. Your taste buds will love you for it.
Is this more like the breakfast or lunch/dinner version of Chick-fil-A chicken?
This copycat Chick-fil-a Vegan chicken is both. In fact, Chick-fil-a admits that their breakfast chicken and regular chicken are the same.
The only difference is that the breakfast version is cut down into smaller pieces so if fits onto a biscuit.
Therefore you can use it for either. In fact, check out our Vegan copycat Chick-fil-a biscuit sandwich recipe so you can see how to make the biscuit sandwich with or without vegan egg and vegan cheese.
Can I air fry these instead of baking?
Yes! Set your air fryer to 375 degrees F. Let cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Do not overcrowd your air fryer with the pieces.
Can I make these into vegan copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets?
Absolutely! The only change is that when you are cutting the tofu into pieces, instead of 4 large pieces or 8 smaller pieces of “chicken” you want to make them even smaller.
Not really as small as cubes if you were making something like our Crispy Tofu in Garlic sauce, but slicing the tofu in half lengthwise, then in three strips, then either three or four slices in the opposite direction, yielding 18 to 24 nuggets would be a great size.
Can I make this into a vegan version of Chick-fil-a’s Breakfast sandwich?
Yes! Checkout our Copycat Chick-fil-A Vegan Chicken Biscuit recipe.
Follow the instructions in the post for how to make the most delicious vegan buttermilk biscuits to pair with this vegan chicken recipe and even how we added vegan egg and cheese to look just like the real thing!
Pin this copycat Chick-fil-a Vegan Chicken for later:
Copycat Chick-fil-a Vegan Chicken
- Deep Fryer or Large heavy bottomed pot
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- ½ cup dill pickle juice
- 1 tablespoon vegan cane sugar
- ¼ cup water
For the Seasoning/Dry Rub
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder'
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (sub for cornmeal if gluten free)
- ¼ cup cornstarch (sub for arrowroot powder)
- 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
Dredge (2nd wet batter)
- ½ cup dairy free milk (we like oat)
- 1 ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter, melted
- oil for frying (peanut is best or vegetable if allergens)
- Place tofu, in package, in the freezer and freeze overnight.*This step is crucial for texture, don't skip.
- Defrost by sitting out until thawed or microwaving for 10-15 minutes at a time.
- Press tofu out for 30 mins by using a tofu press.*See post for details if you don't have a press.
- Carefully pat dry any excess moisture with a towel.
- Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, then diagonal to end up with 4 pieces (can cut smaller to make 8 if desired).
- Whisk the brine ingredients together in a shallow bowl (cake pans or pie plates work great) and add tofu pieces and push down gently with hands.Remove and lightly pat dry the excess moistness just on the outside (do not press down). Do not let tofu pieces sit in the brine for more than 1 minute. Set aside.
- In 3 separate shallow bowls or dishes, mix together the ingredients for the seasoning, breading and dredge. Set up an assembly line.
- Bring a deep fryer to 375˚F (can use a heavy bottom skillet or pot if needed)
- Evenly rub the seasoning mixture over both sides of all your tofu pieces.
- Dip each piece into the breading and carefully push to coat evenly.
- Move into the dredge and coat and then bring it back to the breading and coat.
- Add tofu to deep frying basket, lower, and let cook for 1 ½ to 2 mins until golden brown.
- Place on paper towels or drying rack to let cool down.
- Serve warm on sandwiches, biscuits, and more.
Let’s see your creations!
Share to Instagram and tag us @makeitdairyfree so we can see and share it!
Love this idea and very much miss Chik Fil A since going vegan. I was wondering, could I air fry instead of deep frying the pieces of vegan chicken?
Although the taste was very good, the breading and tofu texture was not. I believe the corn starch and the oiI selected (safflower) was a bad combo. The breading melt in your mouth, yet crispy breading should be textural, and well, crispy. Unfortunately the tofu was softer than I had hoped and half fell apart. The unusual texture did not stop me from eating the sandwich, however if I try this recipe again I will opt for seitan chicken, no corn starch and different frying oil. Thank you for the yummy favor.
Highly recommend using an oil listed in the recipe in the future! Did you freeze and thaw the tofu?
Can’t wait to try this one! This will be my cheat meal Sunday!
Hope you loved it
I’ve never had a Chil-Fil-A sandwich before but this was delicious! It was moist without being soggy, very flavorful and the breading was nice and airy. My only thing is I would like it a tad bit more crunchy but none the less this is something I would absolutely make again.
I would love to try it with the biscuits….My kids were a tad impatient and wanted to eat the “chicken” right away Lol so they had this on a wrap.
HHAHAHA, we totally understand about the kids! Next time, make the biscuits first and then the “chicken”. You could double batter the pieces for extra crunch. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, we appreciate it
Made this a handful of times now and it always turns out so well! So so so good!
So happy to hear you are enjoying it. We really appreciate you taking the time to leave a review! Have a great day!
I made these today and they were so good! Will definitely go into my snack rotation.
So happy to hear you like it. Thanks for taking time to leave a review
Excited to try this recipe!
We hope you love it!
I am wondering why the chicken looks so much darker in the video than in the photos? Is there something that I can do for a lighter color?
It’s been a while since we shot this but it’s likely just the lighting of the photos vs the video. The more times you use oil though and the longer cook time, the darker the pieces will come out.
This was spot on! My vegan family has been missing chick-fil-a. This was an amazing clone! Thanks for the great recipe.
We’re so happy to hear that!
So delicious! Could not believe how juicy this was!
So happy to hear that! We appreciate you taking time to leave a review. Have a great week!