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TVP – What is it? How to use it? +10 Recipes!

In this guide about TVP, I’m going to share with you what the abbreviation stands for, where to buy it, how to use it, and last but not least my favorite recipes using TVP! Let’s get started! 

TVP Textured Vegetable Protein - What is it and how to use it? | ElephantasticVegan.com

When I went vegan 10 years ago, I started veganizing classic, traditional recipes. And because I live in Austria (Schnitzel is our national dish, you go figure how meat-focused our cuisine is) I needed a good alternative for all the meat in the various dishes. And I found it by using TVP (= Textured Vegetable Protein).

It was an easy switch and allowed me to indulge in all the traditional dishes I grew up with without the need for meat.

TVP definitely has helped me transition to a vegan diet, it made the process of adopting a plant-based diet a whole lot easier. Now, 10 years in, I still love meals made with TVP and I always have a stash of various types of TVP at home.

I love TVP because

  • it can be stored at room-temperature – like forever,
  • it is inexpensive,
  • it expands when cooked, so it doesn’t need much space when storing it
  • and it’s versatile!

What is TVP?

TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein, often also called soy meat, soya chunks/granule/slices. It is made out of defatted soy flour, which is extruded into shapes (such as granules, flakes, chunks, slices, strips, nuggets,…).

Because there are so many different kinds, they can be used for all kinds of recipes – I’ve included my favorites below!

TVP Textured Vegetable Protein - What is it and how to use it? | ElephantasticVegan.com

Where to buy TVP?

TVP can be found in health food stores, supermarkets (often in the bulk, vegan, or healthy section), I’ve also seen them in Asian and Indian stores, or ordered online.

You might not be able to find all shapes of TVP, but they are getting more and more popular and should pop up in more stores with time.

Nutritional info

As the name already suggests, it is high in protein (actually much higher than meat). It contains a wealth of complete soy protein and it’s a great source of dietary fiber, iron, and magnesium. It’s also naturally gluten-free.

How to use TVP

For the slices, chunks, and strips, it’s best to cook them in water or veggie broth until they are soft and about double the size. This will take about 5-10 minutes.

For the granule, put them in a pot, add just a splash of water and let it cook on medium to low heat until the water has been absorbed. The granule should be soft and can be used in any kind of ‘meaty’ sauce. Because of its smaller sauce, it cooks much faster than the larger kinds of TVP.

Awesome vegan recipes using TVP

Soy Protein Burger
Skip expensive store-bought burger patties, and make your own Soy Protein Vegan Burgers with soy granule!
Vegan TVP Meatballs with Spaghetti
These high-protein vegan Meatballs are made with soy granule. They are flavorful, easy to make, and freezer-friendly!
Vegan Lahmacun - Turkish Pizza
Lahmacun is a Turkish Pizza topped with minced meat, onions, garlic, tomato, red pepper, and parsley. This is my vegan version of the dish!
Vegan Bacon Bits made with TVP
Vegan Bacon Bits
Vegan Gyros with Soya Chunks
Vegan Gyros with Soya Chunks
Vegan Butter Chicken with Soy Curls served basmati rice and naan
Vegan Butter Chicken with Soy Curls

Don’t forget to bookmark or pin this page, so you’ll always have TVP recipes at hand!

Let me know, have you tried TVP? What are your favorite recipes with textured vegetable protein?

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Chris Reynolds

Monday 28th of March 2022

Can it be used in mashed potatoes? With such a high fiber content, shouldn't it delay the conversion of starch (in potatoes) to sugar to metabolize that starch much more slowly so your liver does not have to work as hard?

Igor Ryuzan

Monday 28th of March 2022

Cheers, Bianca! I’m an ethical vegan for more then 16 years by now and my favourite dish made of TVP is beef stroganoff/goulash thing^^ ATB🙏🏻🍀🌱💚

Janna

Friday 1st of January 2021

Also try the Asian markets. They have lots of soy products.

TVP is the way to go. It is so versatile and delicious when made properly with different herbs, spices, etc. It's good to have in an emergency pantry since it needs no refrigeration and you can make a variety of meals with it. Just play with it and try different recipes.

Núria

Wednesday 15th of January 2020

Hi Bianca, do you know where can I buy TVP from potato? Thanks and congrats for your blog

San

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

Many Mexican grocery carry TVP.

Bianca

Saturday 19th of January 2019

Good to know, thanks San!