This vintage vegan creamy 'chicken' coriander recipe is a deliciously spiced, hearty and flavorful home-cooked meal. If your a fan of vegan white chilli dishes then you're in for a veggie treat as the flavours are quite similar.
This recipe was inspired by an old Family Circle recipe from 1968, this updated plant-based version uses vegan Quorn pieces, chickpeas, and veggies to create a dish that's both delicious and easy to make. Of course, you can easily substitute the Quorn pieces with tofu, canned jackfruit, or white beans such as cannellini or butter beans.
Best of all, this is a slow cooker recipe, which means you can set it and forget it while it cooks to perfection! Although we have included a stove-top method with our recipe notes.
Origins of chicken coriander
Chicken Coriander is a classic recipe that has been enjoyed by many for decades. While its exact origins are unclear, it is believed to have originated in India, where coriander is a staple herb used in many traditional dishes. Although the dish may also have Mexican roots as coriander is a popular Mexican ingredient featuring in many traditional recipes.
Due to increasing Indian and Mexican immigrants settling in the US, by the 1960s-70s many new recipes emerged that incorporated new cultural flavors into American cuisine.
Different variations of Chicken Coriander has become a popular dish in many parts of the world, and has been adapted to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.
With the rise of vegetarianism, veganism, plant-based diets, as well as flexitarian diets, many people have started to explore new ways to enjoy traditional classic dishes without using animal products.
This vegan creamy coriander 'chicken' recipe is a delicious and satisfying option for those who are looking for a meat-free version of this vintage dish.
What was Family Circle?
Family Circle was a popular monthly magazine that was first published in 1932 and continued to be published until 2019. It was known for its wide variety of magazine articles, on topics such as home improvement, cooking, family relationships, health, and beauty. The magazine was aimed primarily at women and was designed to provide practical advice and inspiration to help them manage their households and live happy and fulfilling lives.
Family Circle also published many books, including the 'Family Circle Great Chicken Recipes' book  which featured the classic recipe for Chicken Coriander.
Over the years, the magazine became a trusted source of information and inspiration for millions of women, and was widely read in the United States and beyond. In 1964 the Family circle magazine began to be published in Great Britain, and was a great success. Despite its closure in 2019, Family Circle remains a fondly remembered part of many people's lives.
If you mention Family Circle in the UK nowadays, a popular tub of McVities biscuits with the same name will often spring to mind. Unfortunately, most of the Family Circle biscuits are not vegan-friendly, with the possible exception of the chocolate Bourbon biscuits, which may be accidentally vegan-friendly. However, it's always best to check the ingredients as recipes can change over time.
Vegan Creamy 'chicken' Coriander
While our recipe for vegan creamy coriander was originally inspired by a Family Circle recipe, we've made a number of changes to make it our own. As a result, the final dish is quite different from the original.
For example, the original recipe called for the chicken to be oven-baked with a buttery coriander marinade, resulting in a drier dish that was served with a separate pan gravy. In contrast, our vegan version uses a slow cooker and vegan Quorn pieces, chickpeas, and veggies to create a creamy and flavorful saucy dish that's completely plant-based.
Also, this vegan creamy 'chicken' coriander has a texture and flavor similar to that of a white chili stew or casserole. Although, this recipe does not include canned jalapeños, adding sliced green chilies as a garnish would be a great way to enhance the dish, especially if an extra spicy meal is preferred.
How to prepare vegan 'chicken' coriander
I love preparing my family's vegan meals with the slow cooker especially this recipe as with just a few simple steps, a rich and creamy dish that's perfect for a cozy night in or a family dinner can be easily prepped. Also as I use frozen Quorn pieces, frozen vegetable base mix, frozen sweetcorn, and previously cooked chickpeas that were also frozen, no chopping of ingredients was required, which was a great time saver.
Begin by preheating your slow cooker on the high setting.
Then, add the vegan Quorn pieces (or your chosen alternative), chickpeas, sweetcorn, and a frozen vegetable base mix consisting of onions, carrots, and celery, or prepare your own veggie mix.
Note that for this recipe, frozen ingredients were used, including pre-cooked chickpeas that had been frozen a few weeks earlier. Frozen veggie ingredients defrost quickly within the slow cooker so they are not an issue.
However, you can use fresh, unfrozen, or canned ingredients if you prefer.
Next, add the coriander powder, cumin powder, garlic powder (or granules), chili powder, plain flour (or all-purpose gluten-free flour), sugar, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
Add vegan butter or margarine (or replace with coconut oil or simply omit), plant milk, lime juice, and vegetable broth to the slow cooker. Give everything a good stir to combine.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours. Once done, adjust the seasoning to taste with extra salt, pepper, and lime juice.
Sprinkle fresh coriander (cilantro) on top and enjoy!
This dish pairs well with rice as an accompaniment, and you can also add a dollop of vegan mayonnaise or creme fraiche for added richness and flavor which my family particularly enjoys.
Recipe notes and frequently asked questions
To store leftover vegan coriander 'chicken',place it in a covered container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 3-4 months.
To reheat vegan coriander 'chicken', follow the following steps:
To reheat using a microwave:
- Remove the leftovers from the refrigerator and place them in a microwave-safe dish.
- Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving a small vent to allow steam to escape.
- Microwave the leftovers on high for 1-2 minutes [after 1 minute give the leftovers a stir], or until heated through.
To reheat on the stove-top:
- Place the leftovers in a saucepan or skillet and if necessary add a splash of plant milk or broth to prevent sticking.
- Heat the leftovers over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until heated through.
Just be sure to reheat the leftovers until they are piping hot throughout.
Yes of course.
1. First melt the vegan butter in a non-stick pan.
2. Add the vegan Quorn pieces (or your chosen alternative), chickpeas, sweetcorn, and a vegetable base mix consisting of onions, carrots, and celery, or prepare your own veggie mix. Cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Next, Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, garlic powder (or granules), chili powder, sugar, salt, pepper, and flour. Stir to combine and cook for about 1 minute.
4. Pour in the vegetable broth, plant milk and lime juice. Stir well to combine.
5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the veggies are tender.
6. Adjust the seasoning to taste with extra salt, pepper, and lime juice.
7. Sprinkle fresh coriander (cilantro) on top and serve with rice or your preferred accompaniment.
***Please note: as this stove-top method is originally adapted from our slow cooker recipe, more vegetable broth or stock may need to be added if the sauce is too thick to cook the veggies. Simply add a little extra stock at a time as necessary. If your sauce is too thin at the end of cooking, a cornflour [cornstarch] slurry can be used to thicken the sauce. We have outlined an easy method for using a cornflour slurry within our Vegan Mango 'chicken' curry post [check out the recipe notes section located above the recipe]***
Yes, you can make vegan coriander chicken suitable for gluten-free diets. Here are some tips to make this recipe gluten-free:
1. Substitute the plain or all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
2. Use a gluten-free vegetable broth or stock. Many vegetable broths or stocks contain wheat or gluten-containing ingredients, so be sure to choose a gluten-free option.
3. Quorn vegan pieces may contain wheat gluten so be sure and check the label of any vegan Quorn products that you find, as you may need to choose another protein alternative that is certified as gluten-free.
Any vegan 'chicken' style pieces or chunks are the perfect replacement for vegan Quorn pieces. Use either fresh, frozen or dried [although do rehydrate dried chunks before using].
Tofu: Firm tofu is a popular plant-based protein that can be used in many recipes as a substitute for meat. It has a neutral flavor and a firm texture that makes it a good substitute for Quorn pieces. You can press the tofu to remove excess water and then cut it into cubes or slices before adding it to the slow cooker.
Canned Jackfruit: Young green jackfruit has a meaty texture that can be used as a vegan substitute for chicken or pork. Canned jackfruit is readily available at many grocery stores and can be used in place of Quorn pieces in this recipe. Just be sure to drain and rinse the jackfruit before adding it to the slow cooker.
White Beans: Cannellini or butter beans are a good substitute for Quorn pieces if you want to add more fiber and protein to your dish. They have a creamy texture that works well in this recipe and will absorb the flavors of the sauce. Just be sure to drain and rinse the beans before adding them to the slow cooker.
Soy Curls: soy curls are an excellent substitute for Quorn pieces. Soy curls are made from whole soybeans that have been cooked, extruded, and then dehydrated, resulting in a meat-like texture. Like Quorn pieces, they are a good source of protein and have a neutral flavor that can be seasoned to suit your tastes. You can rehydrate the soy curls by soaking them in hot veggie broth for about 10 minutes before adding them to the slow cooker, and then cook them with the rest of the ingredients.
Textured Vegetable Protein [TVP]: TVP is made from defatted soy flour that has been processed into a dry, granular form. When rehydrated, it has a texture that is similar to ground meat or meat chunks, making it a popular meat substitute in many veggie recipes. TVP is a good source of protein and is also low in fat and calories. To use TVP in place of Quorn pieces in your recipe, simply rehydrate it with hot veggie broth and then add it to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients.
All the above suggestions are usually gluten-free but of course do check any product carefully to be 100% sure, if a gluten-free dish is necessary.
Absolutely. Vegan Quorn pieces cook fine within the slow cooker especially if cooked on the high setting for up to 4 hours. Any longer may result in a breakdown of the Quorn structure.
Incidentally, Quorn does not actually recommend slow cooking on a low temperature for a long time, for their product, as they state that the texture can change. However, I have not found the vegan Quorn pieces to be adversely affected if cooked on the higher setting for up to 4 hours.
Love vegan Quorn pieces?
Try out our other veggie recipes that feature tasty Quorn or can be prepared with Quorn. Of course the Quorn can be easily substituted for your preferred vegan meat-free chunks, white beans, chunky mushrooms, tofu, or even humble potatoes!
***please note: For US measurements: 'cups, tablespoons, and ounces' click the button within the recipe that states US customary and the measurements will change***
Vegan Creamy 'chicken' coriander [slow cooker recipe]
- slow cooker 3.5 litres / 3.5 quarts plus in size
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter [optional, or a dairy-free margarine such as Flora/Vitalite, omit if on an oil-free diet]
- 200 grams vegan Quorn pieces [or any vegan 'chicken' style pieces, tofu, or replace with cooked white beans such as butterbeans, eg. one drained 400g/14oz can]
- 1 can chickpeas [about 240g which is one drained 400g/14oz can]
- 125 grams sweetcorn
- 180 grams frozen vegetable mix [a mixture of fine diced carrots, celery and onion]
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder [cilantro]
- ¾ teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder [or garlic granules]
- 2 tablespoon plain flour [all-purpose flour or use a gluten-free plain flour blend]
- 1 teaspoon sugar [such as granulated or your choice]
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon lime juice [plus extra for seasoning if liked]
- 400 mililitres soya milk [unsweetened, or use any milk of your choice]
- 150 mililitres vegetable stock [use a vegan 'chicken' flavour broth if available]
- 25 grams fresh coriander [cilantro]
- rice [of your choice, cooked according to packet instructions]
Switch the slow cooker to the high setting.
- Add the Quorn pieces, chickpeas, vegetable mix, sweetcorn, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, garlic powder, flour, sugar, salt and some black pepper to the slow cooker.200 grams vegan Quorn pieces, 1 can chickpeas, 125 grams sweetcorn, 180 grams frozen vegetable mix, 1 tablespoon coriander powder, ¾ teaspoon chilli powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoon plain flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt
- Give the ingredients a good mixture ensuring the flour is stirred through.
- Pour in the milk, vegetable stock and lime juice, also add the vegan butter or margarine. Stir well.1 tablespoon vegan butter, 2 tablespoon lime juice, 400 mililitres soya milk, 150 mililitres vegetable stock
- Pop the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours.
- Once cooked, stir well and mix through about half of the chopped fresh coriander. Taste the seasoning and add extra salt and pepper to taste.25 grams fresh coriander
- Serve with extra coriander scattered over the top. A fresh squeeze of lime juice over each portion is also tasty.Sliced spring [green] onions are a nice addition, as are a few jalapenos from a can or jar, or a few pieces of a sliced fresh green chilli. Rice is a nice accompaniment, as is a scoop of vegan mayonnaise or vegan creme fraiche which adds extra creaminess.rice
- Nutritional data is provided for guidance only and may vary based on ingredient selection.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for 3-4 months.
- Leftovers are delicious when served over a slice of toasted bread for next day's lunch or scooped into a baked potato and enjoyed with a salad for dinner.
- The frozen vegetable mix used for this recipe was sourced from Tesco [UK] and is named 'classic vegetable base mix'.
- Instead of the ready prepared vegetable mix, you can prepare your own by fine dicing an onion, a few small-medium carrots and 1-2 celery sticks. Use 2 cups of this mix, and do cut the veggies into a fine dice so that the veggies cook through.
- Soy milk can be replaced with any milk of your choice.
- To add extra richness, substitute the soy milk and a tablespoon of the required flour for a can of coconut milk.
- Gluten-free plain flour can be used instead of plain/all-purpose flour.
- Instead of vegan butter or margarine, use coconut oil.
- Quorn pieces can be replaced with rehydrated soy curls or TVP, tofu, white beans, or canned jackfruit.
- If using dried meat-free chunks, if possible use a vegan 'chicken' flavored hot stock or broth to hydrate the pieces as this adds extra flavor.
- Can't source vegan Quorn pieces? At time of writing Asda [UK] have this product.
- If your outwith the UK the vegan Quorn pieces, or a similar product, may be labelled differently such as in the US you may be able to find Quorn vegan Chik' n tenders for sale at Walmart.
- Want to prepare this recipe on the stove-top? Check out the recipe notes and FAQ section above the recipe card for details.
Thank you for trying out our vegan creamy coriander "chicken" recipe! We hope you enjoyed making and eating it as much as we do.
If you tried this recipe, please let us know in the comments below how it turned out for you, or if you made any modifications.
If you share your creations on social media, don't forget to tag us (@traditionalplantbasedcooking) and use the hashtag #traditionalplantbasedcooking, so we can see your delicious dishes!
Lastly, if you found this recipe helpful, please share it with your friends and family, so they can enjoy it too.
Thank you, and happy cooking!
Love, Jacq x