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Whether you want to make healthier choices or are eliminating meat products from your diet entirely, vegetarian and vegan cuisine are more popular than ever. Many restaurants offer delicious meatless dishes, including KFC’s Beyond Meat Fried Chicken with herbs, spices and crunchy texture just like the original recipe. The concept is so popular that multiple recipes that match the distinctive flavor and texture have been trending, making recreating a meat-free KFC meal just as easy as buying the real thing. 

Gather the essentials

Whether you are new to making meatless meals or are a pro at whipping up vegetarian and vegan recipes, success in the form of mouth-watering results begins with essential ingredients and accessories. Here’s a look at what you’ll need to make chicken-free fried chicken.

Induction burner or air fryer: If you don’t have access to a full-size range, an induction burner  will produce even heat for excellent results. If you prefer to cook with minimal oil, use an air fryer instead.

Pan: A large model will provide enough space for deep frying. 

Tofu or pre-made vegan chicken: If you choose tofu, the medium-firm variety provides a texture similar to chicken and isn’t too soft or too hard.

Chicken-less bouillon or vegetable broth: Broth will be used as a marinade and give the tofu or meatless chicken a bold flavor. 

Unsweetened vegan milk and apple cider vinegar or buttermilk: Once marinaded, dipping the tofu or vegan chicken into a mixture of oat, soy or almond milk and apple cider vinegar will create a buttermilk-like flavor. If you choose not to go completely vegan, use buttermilk instead. 

Flour: Flour is the key ingredient to making the breading batter.

Seasonings: Italian herbs like oregano, thyme and basil along with mustard powder, paprika, garlic powder, black and white pepper and celery salt will create a flavor similar to KFC’s secret recipe.

Corn flakes: This popular breakfast cereal will add crunch to your coating. 

Mixing bowls: You’ll use these to prepare your ingredients. 

Utensils: Opt for a set that includes a stirring spoon, fork and whisk that will come in handy when mixing the ingredients. 

Plates: You’ll need standard-size dinner plates during preparation and serving.

Cooking oil or spray: Choose your favorite oil for frying for results you’ll love. If you opt to use an air fryer, you’ll need a cooking spray.

Prepare the recipe

Once you gather the items you’ll need to cook KFC-inspired meatless fried chicken, put them to work with these simple steps that will lead to mouth-watering results. 

  1. If you use tofu, cut it into several pieces. Thaw frozen meat-free chicken pieces. 
  2. Pour the broth into a bowl. If you use bouillon, add 2 cups of water.
  3. Place the tofu pieces or meatless chicken in the broth to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 ½ cups of non-dairy milk in a bowl, or simply pour in the buttermilk.
  5. Add the seasonings to a cup of flour. Use approximately 1 teaspoon to ½ tablespoon of each spice, depending on your preference. Place the mixture on a plate.
  6. Remove the vegan meat from the marinade, dipping each piece in the vegan or regular buttermilk. 
  7. Roll each dipped piece in the flour and seasoning mixture.
  8. Crumble a cup of cornflakes onto a plate.
  9. Roll the meat-free pieces in the cornflakes.
  10. Depending on your pan size, heat 1 to 2 quarts of cooking oil to 350 degrees. If you use an air fryer, spray it with oil and heat to about 400 degrees.
  11. Deep fry for around 10 minutes; air fry for approximately 20 minutes.
  12. Carefully remove the pieces with a serving fork or tongs and serve them with the dipping sauces of your choice. 

Product list

Philips Digital Air Fryer

Philips Digital Air Fryer

This powerful air fryer by Philips offers a generous 3-quart capacity, plus it heats quickly and cooks evenly. Proprietary Fat Removal technology reduces calories while producing a crispy finish. 

Sold by Amazon

All-Clad HA1 Covered Skillet

All-Clad HA1 Covered Skillet

With the quality you’d expect from All-Clad, a reliable nonstick surface and a well-fitting lid, this pan is an excellent choice for frying, sauteing, simmering and more. 

Sold by Amazon and Sur La Table 

Cuisinart Double Induction Cooktop

Cuisinart Double Induction Cooktop

In addition to two burners, this dual cooktop cooks fast and boasts a trim, easy-to-store design. A built-in timer makes it easy to achieve excellent results. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

OXO 15-Piece Kitchen Utensil Set

OXO 15-Piece Kitchen Utensil Set

The 15 well-made pieces in this utensil set are essential for numerous cooking tasks, from stirring to serving, cutting to whisking and much more. 

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

KitchenAid Mixing Bowl Set

KitchenAid Mixing Bowl Set

Although affordable, these mixing bowls offer durable construction, slip-resistant bases and pour spouts, convenient features when preparing ingredients. 

Sold by AmazonKohl’s and Wayfair

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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.