Vegan Turkey Dinosaurs
Whether you’re young at heart or looking for a vegan alternative to Turkey Dinosaurs for your kids dinner, I’ve got you covered! Find out just how easy it is to make vegan turkey dinosaurs from seitan below.
A childhood classic
After recording an episode of the Meat and Veg Podcast all about the food I ate as a child, I decided I would finally take matters into my own hands and come up with a plant based “turkey” dinosaur recipe. Turkey dinosaurs were one of my favourite dinners as a child and I have been petitioning brands like Quorn for years trying to convince them to make them. But, desperate times called for desperate measures and so I started trying to replicate them in my own kitchen. The good news is they are surprisingly easy to make, once you know how.
All you need is time, vital wheat gluten, and some dinosaur cookie cutters.
What are these “turkey” dinosaurs actually made from?
To get a meaty texture I make seitan from scratch which I cook, cut into dinosaur shapes then coat in breadcrumbs before baking. The result is a vegan turkey dinosaur that kids and adults will both love!
What is seitan?
I first wrote about seitan in my A to Z of Vegan Cooking. Seitan is a “mock meat” product made from vital wheat gluten. which was first developed in Asia. To make seitan at home, you mix vital wheat gluten with spices and water to form a dough. You then steam, bake, boil, fry or otherwise cook the wheat gluten dough depending on what meat you are trying to replicate. For these dinosaurs I steam it before coating it in breadcrumbs and baking in the oven.
How do you flavour seitan?
If you just mix vital wheat gluten and water the resulting seitan doesn’t really taste of much. But swapping the water for stock and adding spices to the dough is the perfect way to add some flavour. The easiest way to make seitan taste of chicken or turkey is to
Can you use regular flour?
In theory yes. But, I haven’t tried. Vital Wheat Gluten isn’t too expensive and if you want to experiment with making your own meat substitutes at home I recommend investing. I know that vegan cooks on TikTok have made it look like making mock-meat from regular flour is easy but it add yet more time and effort to a recipe that is already quite labour intensive. In my opinion, using vital wheat gluten is best!
Rumour has it that Quorn will be releasing their own vegan turkey dinosaurs very soon but I why wait when you can make them at home now!
Vegan Turkey Dinosaurs
- Steaming basket
- Dinosaur cookie cutters
For the seitan
For the batter and breadcrumbs
- 75 g chickpea flour
- 75 ml water
- 200 g breadcrumbs
- Add all of the dried ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to ensure they are well combined.
- Stir together the veg stock and olive oil in a jug before pouring into the dried ingredients, mixing well as you add the liquid.
- Once the liquid has been added you should have a stretchy, sticky dough ball. Knead the dough ball on a lightly floured surface to bring it together well.
- Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll out until it’s about 1cm thick. The shape doesn’t matter too much as you will cut out the dinosaurs later.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and place the dough into the steaming basket (you may need to do this in batches so that they aren’t overlapping). Cover with a lid and steam for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes they should have puffed up slightly and be firm to the touch. Leave them to cool while you get the ingredients ready to make the batter.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour and water until you have a smooth batter and place to one side.
- Once the seitan has cooled, use dinosaur cutters to cut out dinosaur shapes.
- Set up your work station so that from left to right you have your seitan dinosaurs, the bowl of batter, a plate of breadcrumbs and a baking tray.
- Take your first seitan dinosaur and dip it in the batter. You only need a very thin coating.
- Next, dip it in the breadcrumbs. Make sure it is completely covered and place on to the baking tray.
- Repeat with the remaining dinosaurs.
- Place the dinosaurs in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the seitan is piping hot.
- Serve with chips and veggies.
More family favourite recipes
I hope your family enjoy these recipes as much as mine do.