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What is TVP and How to Use It + Best Vegan Recipes with Textured Vegetable Protein

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 I’m going to share 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 5 years ago, I started veganizing classic, traditional recipes. And because I live in Austria (Schnitzel is our national dish, you figure how meat-centric our cuisine is) I needed a good alternative for all the meat in the recipes and I found it by using TVP (= Textured Vegetable Protein). It was an easy way to still indulge in the known and beloved dishes, without all the animal cruelty.

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, 5 years in, I still love meals made with TVP and I always have a stash of all kinds of different forms of TVP at home.

I love TVP because

  • it can be stored at room-temperature like forever,
  • 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 granule, 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 natural food stores, supermarkets (often in the bulk section), 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 on TVP

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. 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 kinds of sauces.

Awesome vegan recipes using TVP

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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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!

Nora

Thursday 8th of November 2018

Can't wait to try these recipes. I threw together some ingredients with TVP and made chili that the whole family devoured. They thought it was real meat!

James Wheeldon

Monday 3rd of September 2018

Life would be so much easier for me as a vegan if I could get on with TVP and I really have tried but I just can't. My body reacts badly to it. I feel uncomfortable after just one meal containing TVP. If I follow it with another within 24 hours I start to get quite unwell. On the only occasion when I have eaten it on three consecutive days I have had violent diahorrea and stomach pains, with a lot of belching. It seems that while for some people TVP is a wonderful meat substitute, for people like me it is just impossible to digest.

Bianca

Monday 3rd of September 2018

Yeah, I've heard of people who can't digest it well. It's too bad because it has a great texture for 'meaty' dishes. Can you eat seitan?