What Is Meatless Gardein Chick’n and How Do You Cook It?

updated Jan 21, 2020
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Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Chick’n, sometimes also spelled chik’n, is the name used to describe a variety of meat substitutes for (you guessed it!) chicken. There are number of different companies making products under the name chick’n, including Tofurky and Lightlife, but the company that makes the most different kinds of chick’n — and is widely available — is Gardein.

The most versatile are their lightly seasoned “chick’n strips,” which you can cook directly from frozen anywhere you’d use regular chicken. Visually, they resemble white-meat chicken quite closely, and while a plain chick’n “strip” isn’t a dead ringer for the real thing, when it’s used in dishes, it has the flavor and texture of chicken without the carbon footprint.

How did Gardein originate?

Founded by chef Yves Potvin, who was looking to make plant-based fast-food delicious, healthy, and earth-friendly, the Canadian company has more than a dozen chicken alternatives, as well as “beefless,” “porkless,” and “fishless” products, all of which are widely available in the frozen section of most large grocery stores.

How is Gardein Chick’n different from other alternative meats? 

Many meat alternatives are focused on replacing burgers or ground beef, but only a few are replacing chicken, even though it is the most popular meat in America. Made to replace chicken anywhere you’d cook with it, Gardein’s chick’n products use a combination of soy, wheat, and pea proteins, plus grains like quinoa, amaranth, and millet, to give Chick’n more body and nutritional value.

Compared to actual chicken, Gardein’s products cook much faster, and because they are stored and cooked from frozen, they last a long time and are relatively convenient. 

Is Gardein Chick’n healthy?

Gardein’s chick’n is made with no saturated fat or trans fats, and no cholesterol, and is a good source of fiber. It is certified non-GMO and includes a variety of protein sources including soy, pea, wheat gluten and grain, for a wider array of amino acids.

Where can I buy Gardein Chick’n? 

Look for the products in the frozen foods section of most large grocery stores. To find out if a store near you carries them, visit Gardein’s store locator.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How do I cook Gardein meatless chick’n?

Gardein has a broad spectrum of chick’n products, many of which are sold ready to eat, such as Nashville hot chick’n nuggets, chick’n tenders, teriyaki chick’n strips, and the like.

When it comes to cooking with chick’n strips, it’s best to sear them quickly. Cook the breasts according to package instructions and add a sauce, or chop or slice them and add them to salads, stews or soups, or in big hunks in main dishes. They’re delicious in stir frys, butter chicken, or fajitas, and the breast-like chick’n scallopini would work well in dishes such as chicken marsala.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

The Best First Recipe to Make with Gardein Meatless Chick’n

Your turn: Do you cook with chick’n? What’s your favorite way to prepare it? Tell us in the comments, below!