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15+ TVP Recipes – What is TVP? How to use it?

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/granules/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, and 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.

15+ Awesome vegan recipes using TVP

TVP Recipes

Recipes with soy granules

Soy Protein Burger
Soy Protein Burger
Skip expensive store-bought burger patties, and make your own high-protein, healthy, you-know-exactly-what's-in-there-burgers!
Get the recipe
Vegan TVP Meatballs
Vegan TVP Meatballs with Spaghetti
These high-protein vegan Meatballs are made with TVP (short for Textured Vegetable Protein, also known as soy protein or soy granule). They are flavorful, easy to make, and freezer-friendly!
Get the recipe
Vegan Cashew Carbonara Pasta with TVP Bacon
Vegan Cashew Carbonara Pasta with TVP Bacon
Pretty pasta + creamy cashew carbonara sauce + flavorful TVP bacon = a match made in heaven! This totally unauthentic, but delicious vegan carbonara pasta dish needs to be on your dinner table soon!
Get the recipe
Vegan Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza)
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!
Get the recipe
Vegan ‘Meaty’ Tomato Dip
Vegan 'Meaty' Tomato Dip
This is the perfect smoky & ‘meaty’ Tomato Dip to serve with Tortilla Chips! Thanks to soy granule, no one will know that it’s actually vegan!
Get the recipe
Vegan Bacon Bits
Vegan Bacon Bits made with TVP
These vegan bacon bits are made using TVP (soy granule). You can enjoy them in tacos, burritos, salads, sprinkled over pasta, or sauerkraut, pretty much anything that needs extra flavor and crunch!
Get the recipe
Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese
Spaghetti Bolognese with TVP
Soy granule is the perfect alternative for the traditional meaty Bolognese sauce! This vegan Spaghetti Bolognese is quick to make, tastes like the real deal and no one would think it’s vegan!
Get the recipe
Vegan Lasagna with Nooch Cheese
Vegan Lasagna with Nooch Cheese
This very "meaty" tasting vegan Lasagna with homemade nooch cheese contains soy granule. The vegan cheese sauce is made with Nutritional Yeast Flakes. So yummy! No one will notice this lasagna is vegan.
Get the recipe
‘Meaty’ Vegan TVP Chili
Meaty Vegan TVP Chili
If you want a meaty vegan chili, TVP (soy granules) is the way to go! This TVP Chili convinces even the most stubborn meat-eaters! It’s perfect for parties because it can be prepared ahead and it’s a real crowd-pleaser, or make a big batch for meal prepping.
Get the recipe

Recipes with slices/medallions

Vegan Schnitzel
Vegan Schnitzel
Recipe for vegan Schnitzel made with TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein). It's so delicious and tastes just like the real deal!
Get the recipe
Vegan Fried TVP Chicken
Vegan Fried TVP Chicken
This vegan Fried TVP Chicken is made by wrapping TVP slices in rice paper, dipping them in egg replacement and flour, and lastly pan-frying them until golden and crispy.
Get the recipe
Vegan “Chicken” Garlic Slaw Burger
Vegan Chicken Garlic Slaw Burger
The plant-based alternative to a Chicken Sandwich. Flavorful TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) slices with purple garlic slaw in homemade pretzel buns. This is burger perfection.
Get the recipe

Recipes with strips/curls/chunks

Vegan Gyros with Soya Chunks
Vegan Gyros with Soya Chunks
You can make really easy and delicious vegan gyros using soya chunks. It’s perfect for a gyros platter with rice and yogurt sauce or in wraps!
Get the recipe
Vegan Butter Chicken with Soy Curls
Vegan Butter Chicken with Soy Curls served with basmati rice and naan
Did you know you can make a delicious vegan Butter Chicken with soy curls? It’s super rich and creamy! Serve it with fluffy Garlic Naan and basmati rice for the complete Indian-inspired feast! 
Get the recipe
Vegan Chicken Tacos with a Cilantro Coconut Sauce
Recipe for vegan Chicken Tacos using TVP soy strips as the chicken alternative. Served in homemade tortillas with salad, avocado, tomatoes and a Cilantro Coconut Sauce.
Get the recipe

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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Cindy Brees

Thursday 16th of May 2024

Good morning, Is there an alternative product for folks allergic to soy?

Thank you

Bianca

Thursday 23rd of May 2024

Actually there is! Sunflower Family products (chunks and granule) are made out of sunflower protein! But they might be harder to come by, depending where you live.

Martha James

Saturday 21st of January 2023

I have the TVP steaks and donโ€™t know how to prepare them . Do you have a recipe?

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! Iโ€™m an ethical vegan for more then 16 years by now and my favourite dish made of TVP is beef stroganoff/goulash thing^^ ATB๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ€๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿ’š

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.