Recipe Collections

40+ TVP Recipes – What is TVP and How to Cook it

Have you heard other vegans talking about TVP and wondered what it was? Maybe you’ve seen this strange product in your bulk food store and are curious about how to cook it. In this post I’ll tell you exactly what TVP is, how to cook it and give you some awesome TVP recipes to get you started with this versatile vegan meat alternative!

Collage of TVP recipes

What is TVP?

TVP stands for textured vegetable protein. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? You may also have heard it called by its other names: soy curls, textured soy protein, tvp mince, soya chunks and soy meat. All of these names are equally terrible.

As the names make clear, TVP is a soy product. In fact it is a by-product of extracting soybean oil. Once the oil has been extracted, the remaining defatted soy flour is cooked under pressure, extruded into various shapes and sizes (you may see it as crumbles, flakes, chunks or strips) then dehydrated.

As you may have gathered, that makes TVP a processed soy product. Which leads me to my next question:

Is TVP Healthy?

TVP is fat-free and high in protein (about 70% protein), potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron. However, TVP has less fiber and isoflavone concentration than other less-processed soy foods such tofu and tempeh.

Of course common sense will tell you that eating whole foods and minimally processed foods is better. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot occasionally include TVP in your diet: it still provides high-quality protein and will always be a better choice than meat.

If using TVP helps you to achieve that “meaty” texture you’ve been craving and keeps you on your plant-based diet, then it’s perfectly fine to consume in moderation.

You may be thinking: but soy has phytoestrogens, won’t I grow man-boobs or get cancer? Um, no. There is no clinical or epidemiologic studies to support those claims. Actually, soy foods have been found to reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. If you don’t believe me you can read the science here. And there’s also the fact that people in Asia eat a ton of soy and still manage to be healthier than Americans, so…

But GMOs. There are many brands TVP made with non-GMO soy if that’s something you’re concerned about. Bob’s Red Mill is a widely-available non-GMO brand.

How to cook TVP

As mentioned, TVP is a dehydrated product. It doesn’t have much flavour on its own, which makes it the perfect vehicle for absorbing all the delicious spices and seasonings you add to your dish.

The most widely-used type of TVP is the small crumbles or granules. Once cooked it resembles ground beef and is often used for spaghetti Bolognese, chili, taco meat, sloppy Joes, soyrizo, shepherd’s pie, etc.

The larger soy curls can be used for chili and tacos as well as stir fry, salads, sandwiches and burritos, and as a chicken replacement in pot pies, butter chicken, chicken and biscuits, etc.

The recipe you’re following will usually tell you how to prepare your TVP. Most commonly this involves rehydrating it in water for about 10 minutes before adding it to your dish. However, you can infuse more flavour into your TVP by rehydrating it in vegetable stock. You’ll want to pre-rehydrate your TVP like this when using the larger soy curls/chunks or when you are preparing a recipe that doesn’t have a lot of liquid in it.

On the other hand, when you are preparing a recipe with a lot of liquid like a chili or a stew, you can add the small dried TVP crumbles directly to the pot. They will rehydrate and soak up lots of flavour while they are cooking. You can see how I did this in my vegan chili recipe video.

So let’s get to the recipes! I’ve scoured the internet to find the most amazing, delicious TVP recipes to get you started with the cheap vegan product. I’ve divided the recipes into two sections depending on the type of TVP called for. First are the TVP crumble/granule recipes and further down you’ll find the soy curls recipes. Enjoy!

TVP Recipes

TVP granules / crumbles:

Vegetarian Chili Recipe (pictured) – The Stingy Vegan

Vegetarian chili recipe in a bowl garnished with cilantro, vegan sour cream and avocado.

Vegan Sloppy Joes – Hell Yeah It’s Vegan

Perfect Bolognese Sauce – Davina Da Vegan

Vegan Meaty Shepherd’s Pie (pictured) – Divine Healthy Food

Vegan shepherd's pie on a white plate

Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup – Vegetarian Times

High Protein Vegan Burgers (pictured) – Full of Plants

Vegan burgers made with TVP and vital wheat gluten.

Homemade Soyrizo (Vegan Soy Chorizo) – Yup.. It’s Vegan

Chickenless Nuggets – Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen

Vegan Bolognaise Lasagna with TVP (pictured)– Valises et Gourmandises

TVP lasagna on a plate

Vegan Tuna Salad – Make a Vegan Tuna Melt! – The Hidden Veggies

Vegan Nacho Pizza (pictured)– The Stingy Vegan

Vegan nacho pizza is a pizza with nacho toppings. Am I blowing your mind right now? A pizza crust slathered with guacamole and topped with vegan taco meat, veggies, jalapeños, cilantro and vegan sour cream. How many days can I live off this?

Strange But Good Vegan Bacon Bits – Sprint 2 the Table

Super Meaty TVP Meatloaf – Kroger

Vegan Sausage – Italian, Breakfast, and Beer Brats (pictured) – The Hidden Veggies

Step by step vegan sausages with tvp

Spicy Vegan Italian Meatballs – Plant Power Couple

Vegan Taco Stuffed Tomatoes – The Stingy Vegan

Basic Vegan Ground Beef – VegWeb

Vegetarian TVP Stuffed Peppers (use vegan cheese) (pictured)– Dietitian Debbie Dishes

Bell peppers stuffed with TVP in a baking dish

Veggie Nachos – Cilantro and Citronella

TVP Tacos – The Buddhist Chef

TVP stuffed tacos

Soy Curls / Chunks

Vegan Popcorn Chicken (pictured) – The Viet Vegan

Vegan popcorn chicken in a cone with dipping sauce on the side.

Best Vegan BBQ Sandwich with Soy Curls – Nora Cooks

Orange Chicken with Soy Curls – The Edgy Veg

Mongolian Soy Curls – VNutrition

Vegan Chicken Alfredo (pictured) – Vegan Heaven

a plate of vegan chicken alfredo

Vegan Air Fryer Southern Fried “Chicken” Soy Curls – Healthy Slow Cooking

Easy Vegan Teriyaki Bowl – Living Vegan

Vegan Chicken Pot Pie in the Crock Pot – The Hidden Veggies

Vegan Chicken and Biscuits (pictured) – TheVegLife

a bowl of vegan chicken and biscuits

Vegan Butter Chicken – Elephantastic Vegan

Teriyaki Soy Curls with Pineapple and Bell Pepper – Healthier Steps

Vegan Buffalo Soy Curls Wraps (pictured) – Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen

soy curl vegan wrap on a plate with a salad in the back

Instant Pot Vegan “Beef” Stew with Soy Curls – Holy Cow Vegan Recipes

Vegan Schnitzel (pictured) – Elephantastic Vegan

vegan schnitzel on a fork

Vegan Fajita Filling with Soy Curls – Vegan Runner Eats

BBQ Soy Curls Bowl with Ranch Dressing – My Darling Vegan

Cajun Soy Curls and Vegan Jalapeño Grits – The Curious Chickpea

A bowl of vegan cajun soy curls and grits

Vegan Jerky – The Hidden Veggies

Chicken-Style Soy Curl Salad – Julie and Kittee

vegan chicken salad sandwich on a white plate with potato chips.

Soy Curls Chick’n Enchilada Meat – Helyn’s Plant-Based Kitchen

Peanut Butter Coconut Soy Curls – Vegan Street

Have a favourite vegan TVP recipe that you think should be included in this TVP recipe collection? Leave me a comment below with the link!

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  • Reply
    john hyson
    February 27, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Do you have a recipe for top red beans and rice

  • Reply
    April 18, 2020 at 6:45 am

    Just bought a 1kg bag of it (non-GMO) from a bulk online store as gave up tofu due to plastic packaging. The variety and yumminess of the dishes is unbelievable. Didn’t know it was a byproduct (probably that’s why so cheap). Thanks for enlightening!

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