Slow-Cooker Seitan Pot Roast


Whenever I know I have a busy afternoon coming up, I know I can rely on my slow cooker to help me get dinner on the table. I love seitan any way I can get it, but a seitan pot roast made in the slow cooker has to be near the top of my list of favorites. It was an easy choice for last night’s dinner menu. Within minutes, I was layering onions, potatoes, and little carrots in my slow cooker, seasoning them with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, and vegetable broth. I then made a quick batch of seitan (from vital wheat gluten, which I buy in bulk). After shaping the seitan to fit in my cooker, I set it on top of the vegetables, turned on the cooker, and walked away. Within an hour, the house smelled amazing. Within 4 hours dinner was ready, even cooking it on low (I have several cookers — the one I used cooks quite hot, even when set to low). Fortunately, I had rubbed a little olive oil on the inside of the crockpot because the seitan wanted to stick to the sides, but it came loose easily after running a knife around the edge.
Instead of a sauce, I served the cooking liquid from the crockpot, which I later thickened by mashing some of the cooked veggies into it. The rich flavor of this meal is absolutely amazing and so easy. My only lament is that the potatoes and carrots don’t get that nice roasted brown crispness from oven roasting, but the rich slow-cooked flavors more than make up for it. To satisfy that crisp roasted craving, however, closer to dinnertime, I switched on the oven and roasted some asparagus. The photo shows a spoonful of horseradish in the foreground of the platter. I also served some applesauce on the side. What a great dinner!

Slow-Cooker Seitan Pot Roast
This is an easier version of the pot roast recipe in Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.
Important:  You may need to adjust your cooking time according to the quirks of your own crockpot. The one I used for this recipe cooks fast — if I had used one of my other slow cookers, it would have taken nearly twice as long.

1 sweet yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 pound baby carrots
1 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth, or more as needed
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup or tomato sauce

1. Arrange the onion, carrots, and potatoes in the bottom of a lightly oiled slow cooker. Season the vegetables to taste with salt and pepper and add the stock, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon each of the thyme and marjoram.
2. In a large bowl, combine the wheat gluten flour, onion powder, garlic powder, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme and marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Add the water or stock, soy sauce, and ketchup. Mix well, adding a little more water if the mixture is too dry, then knead for 2 minutes until smooth. Shape the gluten to fit inside your cooker and place on top of the vegetables. (You can place it on top of a piece of aluminum foil or wrap it in cheesecloth, if desired, to keep its shape). Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours (or longer, depending on your slow cooker), or until the seitan and vegetables are cooked.
3. To serve, remove the vegetables and seitan from the slow cooker. Cut the seitan into slices and arrange them on a serving platter. Surround with the vegetables and spoon the cooking liquid over all or transfer the cooking liquid to a saucepan and thicken into a gravy.
Serves 4

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57 responses to “Slow-Cooker Seitan Pot Roast”

  1. Corinne says :

    Awesome – thank you so much for responding so quickly! 🙂

  2. Corinne says :

    Success! It came out wonderfully, although I couldn't resist putting my own spin on it. I just posted pics and wrote up my spin on your recipe on my blog. 🙂
    http://www.itsvegetarian.com/2011/02/slow-cooker-seitan-roast-with-vegetable.html

  3. Robin at Vegan Planet says :

    Looks great, Corinne. Glad it worked out well for you!

  4. eric says :

    Seitan pot roast is one of my all time fav meals, it amaizes people when they try it, thanks for posting this and the picture too.

  5. Pam says :

    Made this once a while ago and it was a miserable failure (taste was good but the seitan was serious rubber). Finally got up the courage to try again last night/today and it came out near-perfect. My issue – we were out of onions and I forgot the salt in the seitan. This time I timed my kneading (and added a little more) and set the crock's timer for 4.5 hours.

    BTW, making the seitan the night before worked just fine. I just left it a little liquidy and stored it in the fridge overnight in a large plastic yogurt container – the one that had held the stock with which I made the seitan. (I'm the Pam from the December 12th post.)

    Thanks! Next I want to try the “corned” version…

  6. Robin at Vegan Planet says :

    I'm happy to know that it worked out for you Pam and hope you enjoy the corned seitan version as well.

    Another troubleshooting tip is that different brands of vital wheat gluten behave differently, so in addition to moisture issues and kneading, this is another thing to be aware of.

  7. toocheapforpinenuts says :

    I've got this in my crockpot now and can't wait to taste it!

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