Vegan Honey BBQ Chick'n Strip Sandwich
Updated: Sep 24
Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich! Another genius combination by Whataburger, made even more genius by making it VEGAN!
I’m continuing my veganization of the Whataburger menu! This time, I tackled another one of the All Time Favorites! For this sandwich, I used Gardein Chick’n Scallopini Filets, Violife Smoked Provolone, BBQ sauce mixed with some Bee Free Honee, and then piled all of it on some Texas Toast! I gotta say, I’ve never had the Whataburger version of this, but this was one of the best sandwiches I ever did eat, so I get the hype. Also, why did it take me 42 years to experience Texas Toast? Better late than never I suppose, but I’ll definitely be making lots more sandwiches with it (and probably some more Whataburger creations as well!)
Quick note that unfortunately, the Bee Free Honee company is no more. You can use Agave or Maple Syrup in it's place if you aren't lucky enough to have a jar at home.
Tips for Fried Chick'n:
If using Gardein Chick'n products, thaw them overnight in the fridge or on the counter top for about an hour. DO NOT microwave or you'll end up cooking them and they won't be pliable.
Use an electric Deep Fryer like this FryDaddy.
If not using an electric deep fryer, get a deep fry thermometer. You can use a different one if you fry in a pan, but for my money, the deep fry thermometer has been a big help. I like to fry at 375° F.
Use a wire rack after frying to prevent the chick'n from steaming itself and getting soggy. You can also keep the Fried Chick'n warm in the oven on a wire rack. Just set the oven to lowest setting possible. Mine goes down to 170° F as an example.
Don't use olive oil to fry. You need to use something with a high smoke point, I usually fry with peanut or vegetable oil.
For the vegan buttermilk, really let the plant-milk and vinegar sit for a good 5 -10 minutes. I have found that different plant-milks will thicken more or less. If it's not thick enough, add some more vinegar.
The seasoning for the dry mix is something you can and should tailor to your tastes! I personally like using a Cajun Seasoning most the time.
Shake off the excess flour and batter when you dredge.
Make sure you press the flour into the chick'n so it sticks!
You can freeze these for later, just Air Fry to reheat (I would do it at 380° in 5 - 6 minute increments and check until it's heated through). Or if using an oven, preheat to 400° F and let the Chick'n sit at room temperature while the oven heats up. Then cook on a wire rack for 10 - 15 minutes.
I'm using Gardein Scallopini filets in this recipe, but you could just as easily use my recipes for Tofu Fried Chick'n HERE or my recipe for Fried Seitan Chick'n HERE or even my recipe for Fried Oyster Mushrooms HERE.
If you prefer less oil, you can use the same technique for Air Frying with THIS RECIPE.
Additionally, you can use half the ingredients for the dry and wet batter and Air Fry this recipe too. All you need to do is line your Air Fryer with some parchment paper that you've poked holes with (the parchment paper keeps the batter from sticking to the air fryer). Then do a single dredge and place your chick'n in the air fryer. Make sure not to crowd the air fryer, you don't want any pieces touching. Next, spray the chick'n with some cooking spray, you want to make sure you don't see any dry flour. Then flip them and spray again.
Air Fry for about 6 minutes at 380° F, then flip and spray them again, and repeat the process until they are at your desired doneness!
One important note, DO NOT preheat your Air Fryer with the parchment paper. Otherwise the paper will fly into the coils and cause a fire! NOOOO!
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Makes 2 Sandwiches (and some leftover chick’n strips)
4 Gardein chick’n scallopini filets (thawed)
2 slices vegan cheese
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp vegan honey (or agave, syrup)
4 slices Texas Toast (mandatory)
2 Tbsp vegan butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp Mrs. Dash chicken seasoning (or seasoning of choice)
1 cup plant milk
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Texas Pete (or hot sauce of choice)
Oil for frying
Heat oil in a large pot to 375 degrees.
While oil is heating up, prepare your dredging station. Combine the apple cider vinegar, hot sauce and plant milk in a bowl, let them curdle for a 5-10 minutes. If it's not thick enough to stick to the chick'n, add more vinegar. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and seasoning.
Cut each chick'n filet in half lengthwise. Form the strips with your hands so they match the length of your Texas Toast. You should have 8 strips. So you'll have 3 per sandwich, and then 2 leftover for snacking.
Once oil is up to frying temperature, dredge your chick’n strips in the flour, then the milk, shaking off any excess, and repeat to Double Dredge. Carefully add to oil and fry until golden brown. Once fried, let them rest on a cooling rack.
While Chick’n rests, heat up a pan and spread the vegan butter on both sides of all the Texas Toast. Add to pan. Once they are toasted on one side, flip to toast the other. Add a slice of cheese on top of two of the pieces of Toast and cover to melt.
After the Cheese is melted, remove the Texas Toast from the pan, top with BBQ Sauce, 3 chick’n strips per sandwich, more BBQ Sauce, and then top with the other slice of Texas Toast and DIG IN!!