This meaty vegan TVP taco meat is healthy and high in protein! It is super flavorful and delicious, yet easy to make and only requires 7 ingredients and is ready in 20 minutes. They are also approved by meat-eaters!
TVP is easily one of the best meat alternatives out there ! Thanks to chewy, meat-like texture, it can be used in almost every recipes that calls for ground meat, like meatballs and burger patties.
💚Why you will love this
- Super meaty texture - Unlike any other vegan taco recipes out there, this one uses TVP, which gives these tacos a super juicy meat-like texture.
- Super flavorful - We are going to be rehydrating TVP with vegetable broth instead of water! This swap might sound subtle, but it does really bump up the flavor profile of this dish SIGNIFICANTLY. This recipe also calls for a few aromatics and spices, which takes this simple dish to a whole new level.
- Meat-eater approved and kid-friendly - These TVP tacos has been approved by non-vegan family members, and they even asked for seconds! This dish is relatively mild, but feel free to omit the chili powder if needed.
- Healthy and high protein - This dish is low in fat and relatively high in protein, and contains around 14g of protein and 210 calories per serving.
🥓What is TVP
But first of all, what is TVP? This inexpensive ingredient has been gaining popularity as a substitute for meat due to its meaty texture. Many of the meat replacement products in the market uses this ingredient. It is even used as a meat extender and is added to ground meat in order to cut costs!
It is made from defatted soy flour ( aka soy protein isolate ), which is the by-product in the production of soybean oil. The soy flour is then being cooked under pressure and shaped into various shapes. Some common forms of TVP includes granules, flakes and chunks.
Where to buy
TVP can be found in most well-stocked groceries, usually in the baking or health food aisle. It can also be found at your local health food or bulk food stores.
Or, you can just get them online through Amazon. ( I am using the Bob's Red Mill brand and highly recommend it. )
🌮What you will need
📓Notes / Substitutions
- TVP - Use TVP crumbles or granules, not chunks.
- Chili powder - Feel free to omit if sensitive to heat.
- Oil-free - Simply use ¼ cup of water in place of oil when sauteing.
🌶Optional taco meat add-ins
Here are a few add-in ideas to jazz up your TVP tacos -
- Beans - Drain and rinse your favorite beans and add them in after sauteing your aromatics! Some of my favorite includes pinto beans and black beans.
- Veggies - Diced tomatoes, canned corns and shredded lettuce or some great veggies to sneak in.
- Grains - Throw in some cooked rice or quinoa for a heartier version.
- Walnuts - Roughly chop them before adding them in. They provide a lot of texture and flavor which makes them a great add-in.
- Chili peppers - Love heat? Well, you can add some jalapeno peppers or serrano peppers to really increase the spice level!
- Spices - Make it your own by adding in your favorite spices or seasoning blend like smoked paprika, cayenne or taco seasoning.
🔪How to make
Start by rehydrating your TVP with a cup of boiling hot vegetable broth. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, heat up around ½-1 tablespoon of neutral oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat. Place in onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
Next, stir in garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Place in rehydrated TVP, tomato paste, cumin and chili powder into the pan. Toss until everything is well incorporated and saute for 3-4 minutes.
To serve, toast up some corn tortillas and fill them with TVP taco meat and toppings of choice. Serve and enjoy !
🌾Substitutes for TVP
If you do not have it on hand or are sensitive to soy, here are some great alternatives to use in place. For all below substitutions, simply add them in after sauteing onion and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Tempeh or tofu - Crumble up a block ( around 14 oz / 400g ) of tempeh / tofu into a minced-like texture, before adding them to the pan.
- Store-bought vegan ground meat - Use a package of your favorite veggie crumbles.
- Beans - Drain and rinse 2 cans ( about 3 cups ) of beans, be it black beans, pinto beans or kidney beans. Mash them up slightly using a fork, before adding them into the pan.
- Lentils - Rinse 1 cup of dried lentils, before boiling them in a pot for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. You can also cook them in the instant pot for 6-8 minutes on high pressure. Then, drain and rinse cooked lentils before adding them in.
🍅Serving / topping ideas
Wondering what you can serve with your TVP tacos ? Here are a few of our favorite things to serve with it :
- Use chickpea tortillas or red lentil tortillas if you are looking for a healthier high-protein vessel.
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Fresh chopped veggies like shredded cabbage, lettuce or diced tomatoes.
- Avocado chunks or guacamole
- Italian dressing
- Shredded vegan cheese
- Vegan sour cream or cashew cheese sauce
- Soak TVP in vegetable broth, not water. Or, you can mix in ½ cube of bouillon or ½ teaspoon of vegetable stock powder with 1 cup of boiling water before soaking them in.
- Use TVP crumbles as opposed to chunks. It resembles the texture of ground meat and soak up seasonings better.
- Make it your own by adjusting the amount of spices used. You can also add herbs and spices that sounds good to you !
- Enjoy TVP tacos immediately after assembling them. No one wants soggy tacos!
❔Commonly asked questions
Both store-bought soft corn tortilla and hard corn taco shells are naturally vegan as they are essentially made from ground corn. Sometimes oils and other preservatives might be added, but they are usually plant derived.
It is recommended to store filings and tortillas / taco shells separately.
TVP taco meat can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days, and can be frozen for up to 2 months in a sealed container. To reheat, simply heat it up in the microwave or on stove until thoroughly heated. For the frozen ones, do let it thaw completely in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Rehydrate TVP in either hot boiling broth or water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The general ratio of TVP to water is 1:1, which means 1 cup of liquid is needed to rehydrate every cup of TVP.
🍽More flavorful vegan mains
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Healthy Vegan TVP taco meat
- 8 corn taco shells to serve ( or any other kinds of tortilla )
- fresh tomato salsa ( optional )
- shredded lettuce ( optional )
- diced avocado or guacamole ( optional )
- In a pot or saucepan, heat up vegetable broth to a boil. Turn off heat and pour boiling broth over TVP in a bowl. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat up around ½-1 tablespoon of neutral oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat. Place in onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Next, stir in garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Place in rehydrated TVP, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder and salt into the pan. Toss until everything is well incorporated and saute for 3-4 minutes. Give it a taste and add more salt, if needed.
- To serve, toast up some taco shells or tortillas and fill them with TVP taco meat and toppings of choice. Serve and enjoy !
TVP taco meat can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days, and can be frozen for up to 2 months in a sealed container. To reheat, simply heat it up in the microwave or on stove until thoroughly heated. For the frozen ones, do let it thaw completely in the fridge overnight before reheating. Nutrition facts was calculated using taco shells with taco meat without any toppings.