Where To Buy Seitan & How To Find It In The Grocery Store

How To Find Seitan Near You

Seitan is a uniquely chewy plant-based meat alternative made from wheat gluten. Vegans and meat-eaters both love how it mimics the qualities of meat. Another plus is how easily seitan absorbs flavor.

Seitan is not as popular as tofu and tempeh so it can be harder to find. Where can you buy seitan? You’ll have the most success finding seitan at natural food stores and health food co-ops. Grocery stores like Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, and Trader Joe’s all carry seitan.

Even if you have one of these grocers near you, seitan can still be hard to find in the store. Below I’ll go over where to buy seitan, how to find it in the grocery store, where you can buy seitan online if all else fails.

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asian flavored seitan stir fry dish in a decorative bowl

What stores carry seitan?

Here are the three types of grocery stores I’d check first for seitan before ordering online.

1. Natural Food Stores & Health Food Co-ops

Small neighborhood health food stores and co-ops almost certainly have seitan. These stores are usually tucked out of the way so it never hurts to check online to see if there’s one nearby.

If you join a co-op store, you can get shares of products and ordering discounts.

2. Grocery Stores That Focus On Natural Foods

Whole Foods was the first to bring natural foods to the frontline. Other’s like Trader Joe’s and Sprouts have followed.

Their entire store is filled with natural foods unlike the usual tiny section in a large-chain grocer’s. Most likely, these types of grocery stores carry seitan. I’d be shocked if you found one that didn’t.

3. Big Nation-Wide Grocers

Nationwide chain grocery stores like Walmart, Target, Costco, Giant, Kroger, and Food Lion will be hit or miss with seitan.

More and more people are switching to “Meatless Mondays” and trying out a plant-based vegan diet so grocers are taking not.

If you don’t see seitan at your local chain store, request some. Often, specialty foods like seitan will only be ordered if they know customers want it.

At this time, you will likely not find seitan at discount grocery stores like Aldi. Hopefully, that will change in the future.

Can you find seitan at a Farmer’s Market?

Seitan, tofu, and tempeh are all great vegan meat alternatives and are easy to make at home. This lends itself to being able to be made for the local Farmer’s Market.

Small mom and pop operations that make seitan may be at your local Farmer’s Market. I recommend checking with the market organizers to see if they have a list of vendors.

Large Farmer’s Markets are more likely to have seitan than ones with only a few booths.

Where To Buy Seitan In Bulk

For a local source of bulk seitan, check your local restaurant food suppliers. Seitan is popularly used in Asian dishes so next time you order your favorite take-out, ask the restaurant if they make their own seitan or have a supplier.

If you’d prefer to order cases online, then I suggest BE-Hive. They offer affordably priced cases of filets, chorizo, taco meat, deli slices, pepperoni, roast beef, bacon, and sausage, all made from seitan! They also sell delicious vegan cheese varieties.

Where To Find Seitan In The Grocery Store

Now that you have some stores in mind to check for seitan, where is it in the grocery store? It’s most likely next to the tofu in every grocery store.

If you don’t know where the tofu is, keep reading and I’ll explain where exactly to go.

Seitan needs to be refrigerated so it’ll be in a refrigerated case section. This could be one with an open front or one with doors depending on the store.

1. Ask Where The Tofu Is Stocked

Seitan is almost always next to the tofu and tempeh. If you need to ask for help from a store employee, you’ll have the best luck by asking them to point you in the direction of the tofu case.

The reasoning is that tofu is so much more popular that even non-vegans know about tofu. You won’t waste time and get frustrated trying to explain what seitan is.

2. Check The Natural Foods Section

Most grocery stores have a natural food section that has at least a few refrigerated cases with kombucha and fermented products.

If you see a natural foods area, check in the cold cases for seitan. That’s the next best place if you don’t find seitan next to the tofu, or perhaps the tofu is here too.

3. Check The Perimeter Refrigerated Produce

Large stores like Walmart and Target keep their tofu, tempeh, and seitan in the refrigerated produce section. That’s if you’re lucky enough to have one that stocks seitan.

This refrigerated case houses other refrigerated produce like mushrooms, fresh herbs, and greens.

4. Check The “Meat Alternative” Freezer Aisle

This is your last ditch effort place to check for seitan. Most grocery stores have a freezer section with faux meat.

While you may not find plain seitan, you could find frozen meals containing seitan in them. Check the ingredients to see what marinade the seitan has.

This is a good way to test out different spices on the seitan to see what you prefer.

What do seitan packages look like?

Seitan packages are shrink-wrapped with clear plastic around the strips of seitan. It can be plain seitan or even contain marinade.

The plastic wrap keeps all air out of the seitan so it stays fresh. This packet is typically in a cardboard box with a window to see what the seitan looks like.

Seitan packages look very similar to tempeh. If you need help finding tempeh, look here.

Where to buy seitan in Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s if full of delicious plant-based vegan goodies. I could spend a few hours there browsing the aisles and still not see it all.

One product I love from there is their seitan. It isn’t carried at all Trader Joe’s so if yours is far away, call first to check if it’s in stock.

Since seitan is a refrigerated item, it can be found in the refrigerated cases with all of the cheeses and dairy, right next to the tofu and tempeh. The seitan is closer to the refrigerated dips like hummus and baba ganoush.

Can you buy seitan online?

Yes, you can buy seitan online. Sometimes you simply can’t find a local store that carries it so ordering online is the best option.

Seitan is a perishable product that does require refrigeration during transport. If you have a Whole Foods Market nearby, you can order their 2-hour delivery.

If you want your seitan to be delivered directly to your house, then ordering from BE-Hive is the best option. Their seitan is flavorful, high quality, and inventive.

Can you make your own seitan?

Yes, making your own seitan is quite easy for the home chef. Seitan is basically gluten dough that you use as mock meat. It’s extremely chewy and takes seasonings well.

What can seitan be made from?

  • Vital Wheat Gluten – This is the faster way to make seitan because it’s already just the gluten. (recipe)
  • Whole Wheat Flour – This way takes longer but is still very easy. (recipe)

If you want to try making seitan at home, I recommend this book full of plant-based seitan meals. You can also pick up some inexpensive vital wheat gluten which is the key component of seitan.

What is seitan?

Seitan is made out of hydrated wheat gluten which is the protein from wheat. Because gluten is so chewy, seitan makes the perfect meat substitute for vegans.

How do you pronounce seitan?

Seitan is pronounced “say-tan” with each syllable fully pronounced. The word is Japanese in origin.

Do you need to cook seitan?

Yes, seitan needs to be cooked before being eaten. Seitan is pretty flavorless without seasoning. At the very least, sauté seitan in some oil and garlic.

Since seitan is made from the gluten of wheat flour, it’s recommended to not consume raw flour due to potential bacteria contamination.

Does seitan have soy?

No, seitan is made from wheat gluten and does not contain any soy. If you’re buying pre-packaged seitan, check the ingredients label to make sure soy products weren’t added.

What does seitan taste like?

Plain seitan is chewy and has a taste like a bland mushroom. Seitan’s mild flavor allows it to take on strong flavors and sauces well.

You can fry it, bake it, boil it, and marinade seitan to make it taste however you’d like. It’s chewy texture holds up well during the cooking process making it an effective meat alternative.

Which Is Healthier: Seitan or Tempeh?

Both tempeh and seitan are healthy but are very different from one another. Tempeh is made from fermenting soy beans into a block. Seitan is wheat gluten steamed.

Seitan and tempeh need additional flavoring in order to taste good. Their health is impacted mainly by how you prepare and season them. If you fry them it oil and then slather on a high calorie sauce, it won’t be healthy no matter how hard you try.

Tempeh is a good protein option for people who can’t eat wheat gluten. Seitan is good for someone who want’s to stay away from soy products.

Both make transitioning to a plant-based diet easier. If you don’t have any restrictions, then enjoy them both moderately.

Can seitan make you sick?

Seitan is made from wheat gluten so if you’re gluten-intolerant or have Celiac disease, then eating seitan will likely make you sick. Check with your doctor before consuming seitan.

Conclusion

Seitan is a chewy vegan meat alternative that is starting to gain more popularity. While it is still difficult to find seitan in a lot of grocery stores, the good news is that it can easily be made at home.

Now that you know where to buy seitan and how easy it is to make it yourself, how do you plan on using it?

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Stephanie Mantilla

Plant-Based Diet & Vegan Lifestyle Expert

Stephanie is the founder of Plant Prosperous, a plant-based vegan living, and parenting blog. She has been eating a plant-based diet for over 24 years along with a B.S. in Biology & Environmental Science. Stephanie is currently raising her son on a plant-based diet and hopes to help others who are wanting to do the same. You can read more about her here.

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