Who else is super excited for Veganuary?! We know a lot of you are dipping your toes in the water, trying more vegan food or even doing the whole month vegan! Well done everyone!! This is why we’ve curated some 25 of the Best Meaty yet Meat-Free recipes we could find!
Going vegan should never be about sacrificing yummy food. So we’re rounded up the best dishes that are great meat substitutes. These are made from a range of jackfruit, tofu, legumes and vegetables, seitan, TVP (or textured vegetable protein) and ready made ‘meat’ options. A range of gluten free and soya free options too.
Our roundup features recipes from some of our favourite vegan bloggers as well as a few of our own. There is something in here for everyone, so you can explore all the different options of meat substitutes.
Heads up! This post contains affiliate links, so we’ll earn a little commission from qualifying purchases. This keeps us creating vegelicious content 🙂
This magic fruit from India has a meaty texture, and is especially great when shredded (think pulled pork but meatfree!). It is available in tins (affiliate link) and packets from supermarkets and healthfood stores.
This time of year calls for stew. This one is irresistible as it’s packed with veggies, including jackfruit, giving it that great meaty bite! This is gluten-free comfort food at its best.
What is a tinga?! Something fabulous it seems! It’s like a burrito (yum!) and usually made with shredded chicken and chipotle sauce. When you shred jackfruit it literally tastes like shredded chicken or pork (but meat free of course!).
Tofu is one of our favorite ingredients and is made from soya beans. It is packed full of protein, and its firm texture (use firm tofu for this as soft versions are also available) tastes wonderfully ‘meaty’. Available in major supermarkets as well as health food stores.
We are ALWAYS on the look out for new breakfast ideas. I mean, don’t trust a person who doesn’t love breakfast, right?! The tofu filling can be prepared in advance, so perfect for busy weekday mornings. Packed with protein and a yummy Romesco sauce.
This is our ‘fake-away’ option that is an absolute winner! We always loved Chinese takeaways, and prawn toasts were a favourite. Made from tofu and baguette, these make the perfect fakeaway option and taste super meaty. That’s Friday night sorted!
This crispy on the outside and soft on the inside tofu is just divine. Pair with the flavour explosion of curry, and we’re in heaven. Coated with almond flour, this is also great for those who want to gluten free options.
Kebabs are a classic, and are also half about the veggies, and how you season them. So easy to with tofu for a meatfree alternative! As a nut butter addict I am ALL over this satay sauce recipe…
Mexican food, especially tacos, are a classic. They lend themselves so well to vegan versions as they are all about the flavours and veggies. This recipe gets you break up and flavour the tofu with spices and add walnuts for extra meaty crunch.
This recipe is for ‘bacon’ bits that can then be added to salads, soups, sandwiches etc. We love these ‘go-to’ recipes that are so versatile. For that smokey taste the recipe uses liquid smoke (affiliate link)– you need such a small amount so the bottle lasts AGES. This is a staple in our kitchen for adding that smokey meaty taste!
This is a great marinade to have up your sleeve for when you don’t know what to cook. Very easy, and then you can just eat the flavourful tofu with broccoli and rice or just as a meaty meatfree snack. Great for mid-week!
This is like your fast-food meaty crispy chicken sandwich. Sandwiches remind us of childhood days, so we always have fun making them! Crispy-up your tofu with breadcrumbs and spices, and fry it. Irresistible for a treat!
I couldn’t help making this dish. I adore cooking with red wine (lots of vegan brands out there now such Proudly Vegan, and most supermarkets will direct you to their vegan wines). This dish has all the richness and depth of the traditional dish but is made with mushrooms and tofu to make it meaty but meatfree.
When made well, seitan literally tastes & looks like meat! It is a wheat gluten protein which can be bought as a flour or ready-made in chunks. Available in some supermarkets, online (affiliate link) and in healthfood stores.
This is a quick and easy family dinner. Made using vegan yoghurt for the tzatziki sauce these flatbread wraps will make you think you’re in Greece.
Your absolute classic hotdogs but meatfree, topped with your choice of condiments and pickles.
Lentils, Beans and Veggies
Legumes and vegetables are healthy, delicious and easy on the wallet! They make brilliant meat substitutes, especially in things like meatballs and curries!
Made with meaty Portabello mushrooms, this dish is the perfect one pot family meal with rich gravy, yummy vegetables and delicious flavours.
One of our best recipes. These kofkas are made with two types of lentils (there are a range to buy online) (affiliate link), buckwheat flour and other yummy spices. They taste so meaty and hold together amazingly.
Chickpeas are cheap and easy, and so versatile for meatfree cooking. Make this childhood yummy dish and dip into your favourite condiment.
We’re big fans of buckwheat in our meatfree ‘meat’balls as it gives a great chewy texture and helps them hold together really well.
This is a fermented tofu with a great firm and meaty texture. Available in most health food stores and some supermarkets. Also available online.
We love a good meatfree fakeaway as your know, and sticky ribs are an old nostalgic favourite of ours. These don’t disappoint; all the flavours, protein and goodness you remember!
Another marinade to have up your sleeve for meatfree living! Easy to make marinade that pairs easily with rice and veggies!
This is textured vegetable protein (TVP) (affiliate link) which are soya chunks you buy dried in packets (also known as soya curls or soya crumbles). Easy to store and a brilliant meat substitute. Available in healthfood stores and some supermarkets.
Classic sub sandwich made from curls of ‘meat’ (soya chunks). This is a meatfree ‘fast’ food treat you can indulge in with things like vegan mayonnaise.
This salad satisfies our Asian cooking cravings, made with so many delicious vegetables and herbs.
Bolognese is a classic mid week meal that we won’t give up. We love this version with all the Italian flavours and that favourite staple, pasta.
Commercial Fake Meats
There are so many incredible vegan meatfree ‘meats’ popping up. This is great news as you can get all sorts of burgers, sausages and ‘bacon’ in your local supermarket. This is perfect if you’re short of time and just need something ready made!
This cheezy, meaty soup is made with Beyond Meat products, which are available now in most supermarkets and health food shops. They are a fab go-to when you don’t have time to make everything from scratch. Beyond Meat has mastered taste and flavour in the meatfree market, with many people not being able to taste the difference to real meat!
Another classic we love is pesto and pasta, and why not add in some meatfree sausage! Various brands of vegan sausages are available now in supermarkets (such as Linda McCartney). Or why not try and smaller brand? We adore the sausages made our friends at the Green Meat Co.