Vegan pollo asado translates to vegan grilled chicken in English. Pollo asado or pollo guisado is very popular in most Latin American countries and is eaten quite regularly. This vegan pollo asado recipe will make any meat-eater want to go vegan; the texture is surprisingly close to chicken, it is flavorful, slightly smokey, and perfectly tasty!
Make a large batch of this vegan pollo asado so you can eat it with rice and beans, in tacos, burritos or in a salad. My favorite way of eating it is in a taco, with homemade salsa, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. I’ve also meal prepped with it and had a savory burrito bowl the next day, so yummy!
Some people ask me why I like to “veganize” meats and make recipes that resemble meat. It’s mostly because I did not grow up vegan/vegetarian and a lot of the foods that I grew up on WERE meat. I also understand that it may be hard for people to transition to a plant-based diet without finding good substitutes for meat. It’s definitely a lot easier to go plant-based when having delicious meat alternatives — a big plus if they bring back childhood memories!
Tips & Substitutes:
I highly recommend getting the high-protein tofu from Trader Joe’s for this one. I have used firm tofu and it takes significantly longer to achieve desired texture. If using softer tofu I suggest baking for an extra 5-15 minutes depending on how soft it is. For best results, use extra protein or extra firm tofu.
To optimize the texture of your tofu; FREEZE IT! Yes, you heard right. Freeze your tofu overnight and then fully defrost it before cooking it. This helps you get a more chicken-like texture which will blow any meat eater’s mind.
You have three cooking methods to choose from for the tofu; stove-top, air-fryer, and oven-baked. I recommend an oven or air-fryer because it produces a meatier texture.
I used avocado oil but you can also use olive, canola, or vegetable oil.
Tamari is gluten-free but if you aren’t worried about gluten you can use a low-sodium soy sauce.
If you don’t tolerate spicy foods well I recommend avoiding the cayenne powder but encourage you to still use chili powder which is very mild.
I highly recommend keeping other ingredients the same! The flavor comes from the spices and seasonings.