The 11 Best Vegan TVP Recipes (High Protein)


Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is made from soybean flour.

While it’s a processed food, TVP is pretty healthy, and is a great addition to a vegan diet to get a little more variety in protein sources.

The popularity of TVP has only started to rise recently, so most people aren’t exactly sure what to eat it with yet.

This page should help you with that.

Which Recipes is TVP Best In?

TVP has the texture of a ground crumble (i.e. ground beef), except it has a very neutral flavor.

This property means that it absorbs flavor from seasonings and is a versatile ingredient that can be used as a mock meat in many meals.

Note that TVP can cause gas if not cooked correctly.

Vegan TVP Recipes

Here are 11 of my favorite vegan textured vegetable protein recipes.

Vegan Kung Pao

tvp kung pao

Making the sauce for this recipe is the main work you’ll need to do.

Most of the ingredients are pretty standard, except possibly hoisin sauce. Most hoisin sauce is vegan, but double-check before buying any.

There’s quite a bit of sugar in this recipe. When I made it in the past, I cut the sugar down to approximately half to make it healthier and it still tasted great.

Vegan Taco Stuffed Tomatoes

tvp tomatoes

These stuffed tomatoes are an interesting variation on stuffed peppers.

They’re affordable and deceptively simple to make.

There’s 13 grams of protein per serving, and you’ll only need a few ingredients besides TVP and taco seasoning.

Mock Vegan Bulgogi

tvp vegan bulgogi

Bulgogi is a Korean meal, and this is one of the best vegan imitations I’ve come across.

It doesn’t require too many ingredients (mainly ust TVP, green onions, carrot), and can be served over most grains, but rice is most common.

Vegan TVP Meatballs

vegan tvp meatballs

These super easy meatballs can be eaten by themselves or added on top of pasta.

The dough is made from TVP, nutritional yeast, and flour, along with spices. It’s an easy recipe that comes fairly close to replicating the texture of traditional meatballs.

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

vegan tvp chili

I like adding TVP to bean chilis to add a little bit more protein and that extra bit of meaty texture.

This is my favorite vegan chili recipe that includes TVP in it. There’s 21 grams of protein per serving, and it’s easy to eat multiple servings at a time.

Vegan Meaty Shepherd’s Pie

tvp vegan shepherds pie

When it comes to imitating ground beef for a vegan shepherd’s pie, there are two main options: TVP or lentils.

I like it both ways, and mix it up depending on how I’m feeling.

This recipe obviously calls for TVP for the bottom layer, along with traditional ingredients like mushroom broth and vegetables like carrots.

TVP Tacos

tvp tacos

When most think of ground beef, they think of tacos, so of course TVP can be used to make awesome vegan tacos.

While you could use a store-bought taco seasoning, this recipe omits it in favor of a homemade seasoning blend including:

  • Chili powder
  • Soy sauce
  • Ketchup

Obviously you’ll need to make sure the taco shells you buy are vegan (many are), and then add whatever other toppings you like on top like lettuce and tomato.

Super Meaty TVP Meatloaf

tvp meatloaf

This is one of the few recipes you’ll find with both vital wheat gluten and TVP. Both are somewhat processed ingredients that are among the best vegan sources of protein.

Once all your ingredients are prepared, you’ll simply need to mix them all together and form a loaf shape, so it’s a pretty easy recipe to follow.

I like to pair meatloaves with potatoes on the side.

High Protein Vegan Burgers

tvp burgers

I’m not a huge fan of bean burgers because they still usually taste like beans.

Since TVP has such a neutral flavor, it’s actually the perfect ingredient with a meaty texture to make vegan burgers from in my opinion.

Be warned that this recipe takes a while to make, so you’ll need to plan ahead, but I think it’s worth it.

It contains both TVP and vital wheat gluten, so it’s extremely high in protein.

Vegan Chickenless Nuggets

tvp nuggets

If you’re missing chicken nuggets, this is a fairly easy vegan alternative that is high in protein.

The “nuggets” themselves are made with TVP, nutritional yeast, and a few spices. Then you just need to roll them in breadcrumbs to make the outer coating.

If you haven’t made vegan food with breading before, your first few attempts may not turn out perfectly, but you’ll get there over time.

Vegetarian TVP Stuffed Peppers

tvp stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers always seemed like a fancy meal to me, even though they’re fairly simple to make.

The filling in this recipe is made with TVP, black beans, taco seasoning, and a few other common ingredients.

Then you just stick it in a pepper and bake it.

You can either omit the cheese in this recipe or use any vegan cheese instead.

Questions About Cooking With TVP

1. Can TVP be cooked without rehydrating it first?

No, it’s essential to rehydrate TVP before cooking. TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein, and it’s made from defatted soy flour. Rehydrating allows it to absorb liquid, becoming tender and more palatable. To rehydrate TVP, mix it with hot water or vegetable broth in a 1:1 ratio and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes until it absorbs the liquid and expands. Once rehydrated, it can be used in various recipes as a meat substitute.

2. How can I add flavor to TVP for better taste?

TVP itself has a neutral flavor, so it’s great at absorbing the flavors of the ingredients it’s cooked with. To enhance its taste, marinate the rehydrated TVP in a flavorful mixture of soy sauce, spices, herbs, or vegetable broth. This not only infuses the TVP with delicious flavors but also ensures a more satisfying overall dish.

3. Can TVP be used in recipes that call for ground meat?

Absolutely! TVP is an excellent substitute for ground meat in many recipes, such as tacos, chili, spaghetti sauce, and more. Once rehydrated, its texture becomes similar to ground meat, making it a versatile and cruelty-free alternative for those who follow a plant-based diet.

4. Is it possible to overcook TVP?

Yes, overcooking TVP can result in a mushy texture. It’s best to follow the recommended cooking times and methods for specific recipes. Generally, using TVP in dishes that involve simmering or sautéing for a moderate amount of time works well. Keep an eye on the texture, and if it starts to become too soft, remove it from heat promptly to maintain a satisfying bite.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.

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