When I stopped eating meat, I knew the first vegetarian meat replacement I’d need to figure out was taco meat.
We liked the vegan meatless crumbles you can buy at the store, made by brands such as Morning Star Farms, Quorn, Aldi, and Boca – but they can be a bit expensive. So I decided to figure out a way to make tasty vegan taco meat using TVP.
TVP stands for textured vegetable protein and it’s usually made from soy protein. It can be bought in small pieces that look like Rice Crispies as well as larger, 1/2″ to 1″ size pieces. To make TVP taco meat, you’ll want to buy the smaller pieces. I buy it at a bulk-foods grocery store where it is labeled as “ground beef extender (TVP).”
More Vegan Taco Meat – Sofritas
This is my FAVORITE vegan taco meat, made from tofu! You gotta try it.
How To Make Vegan Taco Meat with TVP
First, put your TVP into a frying pan. I’m using about 2 cups here.
Stir together the water, soy sauce, and aquafaba. I like using aquafaba to add just a bit more body, but you can just use water and soy sauce too.
Pour the liquid into the TVP, and turn on the heat to medium-high. Let the TVP absorb the liquid.
The TVP will start absorbing more and more liquid. Stir to ensure it’s absorbing evenly.
You want to keep cooking it in the pan until there’s no liquid left.
Once it’s looking a bit more dry, add in the spices. Now it will get its color and flavor. Add in the oil and keep sautéing, being sure to stir and scrape the bottom well so it doesn’t burn.
Once it starts to brown, add in a little more water.
You now have the perfect vegan taco meat made from TVP! You can add a little more water, depending on what kind of recipe you’ll use it in.
It goes well as-is for taco or burrito fillings and for taco salad, chili, nachos, etc. TVP will become mushy if you let it cook in a lot of liquid, so if you’re adding it to a chili, add it in at the end.
TVP Taco Meat
- 2 cups TVP
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup aquafaba
- 5 tsp chili powder NOT cayenne!
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin powder
- 2 1/2 tsp msg or white miso
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp marjoram
- dash of black pepper
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- Mix the water, soy sauce, and aquafaba together in a bowl.
- Heat TVP and the liquid from step 1 in a frying pan until the liquid is completely absorbed.
- Add all the spices and cook, stirring so it doesn’t burn, allowing the mixture to brown a bit in the pan.
- Add 2 Tbsp of oil and keep browning it another 5 minutes.
- Once it becomes more browned and drier, turn off the heat and add 1/2 cup water.