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Pesto Parm Sliders

Chloe Coscarelli Guac Burgers + Parm Sliders + Holiday Nut Roast
Chloe Coscarelli Guac Burgers + Parm Sliders + Holiday Nut RoastTyler Essary / TODAY

Chef notes

Enjoy all the goodness of a comforting chicken Parmesan without any of the animal protein or dairy. This recipe packs in all the melty cheesiness, authentic Italian flavors and saucy goodness of the original in a much healthier package.


  • 8 ounces seitan, cut into approximately 2-inch pieces (irregular shape is fine)
  • 2 cups plain, unsweetened oat milk
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Canola or safflower oil, for frying
Mozzarella Cheeze
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Pesto Sauce
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan Topping
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
To assemble
  • Slider buns or dinner rolls
  • 1 cup store-bought marinara sauce, heated through
  • Fresh basil leaves, for assembly


For the "chicken" patty:


Marinate the seitan in the oat milk for 1 hour.


In the meantime, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, salt and baking powder.


Fill a pot or deep-sided skillet with approximately 2 inches or more of oil and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches approximately 325°F. Drop a tiny piece of seitan in the mixture, and if it bubbles, the oil is ready.


Remove each piece of seitan from the milk and dredge it in the dry mixture, kneading with your knuckles to create a nice shaggy coating. Fry the seitan for about 3 minutes on each side. Once golden brown and crispy, use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining seitan.

For the mozzarella "cheese":

In a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix), combine all ingredients. Blend on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

For the vegan pesto:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If pesto is too thick, add a little water.

For the "parmesan" topping:

In a food processor, combine almonds, nutritional yeast flakes, and salt, then process until a fine meal forms. Drizzle in maple syrup, and pulse until incorporated.

To assemble the sliders:

Slice slider buns in half and lightly brush the insides with olive oil. Toast in a sauté pan over medium heat until lightly browned on the edges.

Layer a spoonful of tomato sauce, a piece of fried seitan, add a dollop of melty cashew cheese, a spoonful of pesto sauce, a teaspoon of the Parmesan-ish topping and a basil leaf in each slider bun. Stick each slider with a party pick to hold it together. Serve immediately.