Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

tvp vegan steak dough with tomatoes and onions
TVP mixed with tomato and onion to make a dough for vegan steak. Tiia Monto (Own work) / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Texture vegetable protein, TVP for short, is a high-fiber, high-protein meat substitute made from soy flour and available in a variety of flavored and unflavored varieties, as well as different sizes, from large chunks to small flakes. Because it is cheap and widely available, it is popular amongst many people cooking on a budget, in vegetarian cooking and is used in some vegan recipes.

TVP can be found in the bulk foods section of many natural foods stores, such as Whole Foods and community co-ops.

Cooking with TVP

Because it is a dehydrated product, TVP needs to be reconstituted in hot water for about ten minutes or more in the cooking process before eaten. Most recipes will include this step. So you know, TVP has a similar texture to ground meat when cooked and TVP works well in dishes such as casseroles, pasta sauces, vegetarian soups, and chili. TVP absorbs spices and flavorings well, much like tofu, so it is an extremely versatile vegan and vegetarian grocery staple. Try adding a half cup of dry TVP to your favorite soup, chili, or pasta sauce recipe while cooking​ or sauté rehydrated TVP with diced tomatoes, diced onion and chili powder for an easy taco filling.

Here are some TVP recipes for vegans and vegetarians to try: