Carolina-Style Barbecue Seitan Sandwiches

So as I have mentioned in my last few posts, Graham has just finished his PhD at UC Berkeley, and many people have been asking us, “What are we doing next?”  Well, the answer is, “We are moving to North Carolina!”  Graham recently accepted a tenure-track faculty position near Charlotte, NC, and so we will be departing California later this summer.  We are really looking forward to exploring a new place, and lots of people have told us how much they love North Carolina – the scenery, the people, and the food!  And especially the barbeque!

So I had clipped a recipe for Carolina-style barbecue seitan from Vegetarian Times a while ago, and given how much we’ve heard about the region’s barbeque, we really wanted to try out this recipe to get our taste-buds ready for our new home.  While it may not be entirely a traditional recipe, the sauce was pretty amazing.  It was my first time making home-made seitan, however, and suffice to say, I need to practice a little more.  The consistency and texture was not quite what we were looking for and what we’ve had in the past.  But we look forward to trying new variations and coming up with our own “Carolina-style barbecue!”

We are also excited about continuing the blog from our new location, and trying new dishes and recipes that have a fun Southern feel to them.  It will be interesting to see how tasty, easy, healthy, and green we can make our cooking back East, as the availability of fresh, local and organic produce has been really helpful to our efforts here in California.  But we’ve heard there are a growing number of similar options in North Carolina – we can’t wait to check them all out!

Carolina-style Barbecue Seitan Sandwiches

Adapted from Vegetarian Times, May/June 2010

This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so if you have a larger group you are serving, you can easily increase the amount of seitan.

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces seitan, slice into thin strips
  • 4 hamburger buns or 8 slices of bread
  • pickles
  • lettuce or coleslaw

In a medium sized pot, stir together vinegar, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, molasses, and hot sauce.  Simmer mixture over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Remove 1 cup of the sauce and set aside.  Add the sliced seitan to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes.   Divide the seitan among the buns or bread and top with lettuce and pickles.   Serve with the extra sauce.

Homemade Seitan

Adapted from recipe on package of Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour

  • 2 cups wheat gluten
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water


  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

In a large pot, mix together water with molasses and soy sauce and bring mixture to a boil.   While the broth is heating, mix together the gluten, sage, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Add 2 cups of water to the gluten mixture and stir it together until it forms a very spongy dough.  Knead the dough for a few minutes to make it more elastic.  Cut the dough into several pieces and add it to the boiling broth.  Cook it in the broth for about 1 hour.  After 1 hour remove the seitan from the heat and drain off the remaining liquid.

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Three Chefs (Average Tastiness)

We liked the flavor of the sauce, but the consistency of my homemade seitan was not so good. A different recipe or store-bought seitan might improve the rating for this dish.

Easy Rating


Four Easy Chairs (“ABC, Easy as 123…”!)

If you buy pre-made seitan at the store, this recipe is very easy to make.

Healthy Rating


Four Apples (Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)

Seitan is a good vegetarian protein source and very low in fat. If you are sensitive to gluten, this is not the recipe for you.

Green Rating


Three Leaves (Average Environmental Friendliness)

Some but not all of the ingredients were organic.
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14 comments to Carolina-Style Barbecue Seitan Sandwiches

  • The recipe looks great. I have also found that homemade seitan has a funky texture. The last time I made it though, I cooked it in veggie broth and sliced it really thin before dropping into the broth. It turned out a whole lot better. Good luck with your move and welcome the the east.

  • how interesting, i have never heard of it before. That sauce sounds great though, i love strong gutsy sauces :)

  • I never made seitan, thanks for the recipe…the sandwich looks very tasty with all the sauces in it. Good luck on your move to North Carolina and congratulations on Graham’s tenure-track position…have a great week Sally :-)

  • I tried homemade seitan few times now and I really don’t like it…it comes out not soft as the pre-made…
    These sandwiches look delicious though…good luck with the move!

  • Fantastic! I’d love to try a new seitan recipe so I’ll give this a go!

  • This is a work of art. Your sandwich looks gorgeous and I’m sure it is as tasty as it is photogenic. I don’t believe I’ve ever had seitan. I’ll have to remedy that. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Yum! That looks awesome. We love seitan around here, even my meat loving hubby loves seitan. I’ll give this a try for sure :)

  • Oh this looks like such a great use of seitan! And even better that it’s all homemade! Good luck in your new venture to North Carolina =)

  • Love that sandwich, and good luck on the East Coast!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  • Jay

    this looks wonderfully tasty..yum..!
    first time here..amazing space you have..interesting posts..
    love ur presentation..
    happy to subscribe your space.:)
    do stop by mine sometime..

  • Thanks for visiting my site and for your comments. I am glad I found you. You have a lovely space and I will keep visiting and hope to see you more. This sandwich looks fabulous and filling and I love the way you rate each recipe. Charlotte is a great place, quite and peaceful and lot of places to explore. I am sure you will have a great time.

  • This is new to me and i think I will like it :)

  • [...] in my Google Reader.  We are also starting to pack up and get organized for our next adventure—our big move across the [...]

  • Stevie Ragle

    Vegetarian protein is great and as an alternative to animal protein. i always think that vegan is much healther.

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