This handy guide to vegan meat alternatives gives you options to make from scratch and some to buy. And they're all totally delicious and cruelty free!
You don’t need meat alternatives to eat vegan, but vegan meat can help folks make the transition to and stick with veganism. As a long-time vegan, I still eat vegan meat regularly, and I know I’m not the only vegan who stocks the fridge with seitan and the freezer with Gardein.
Related: Why do vegans eat "fake" meat?
Like plant-based milks, vegan meats have come a long way since I stopped eating meat. These are the meat substitutes that my family and friends turn to when we are preparing our meals.
Store-Bought Vegan Meat Alternatives
Store-bought meat substitutes vary in how processed they are. If you’re vegan for the animals, like me and many of the long-time vegans I know, though, that’s not really a big deal. These are my favorite brands of pre-made vegan meats.
Beyond Meat – Beyond Meat makes amazing burgers, ground beef-style crumbles, and chicken strips. The Beyond Burger is rocking the vegan world right now. You can find it in grocery stores and on restaurant menus
Field Roast - These roasts, sausages, hot dogs, burgers, and lunch meats are some of my family’s favorites. If you’re looking for a less-processed option that’s available at grocery stores, Field Roast is your best bet.
Gardein – If you miss chicken strips, chicken tenders, pork bites, beef tips, crab cakes, or fried fish, Gardein has got you covered. Their Crabless Bites are my favorite, and my husband loves their Fishless Filets. We use both as taco fillings, and they’re so good!
Herbivorous Butcher – This widely-acclaimed vegan butcher makes vegan meats and cheeses from a variety of vegan ingredients, like wheat gluten, jackfruit and beans.
Impossible Foods - This competitor to Beyond Meat tastes spookily meat-like, and I am frankly obsessed with their burger. You can find the Impossible Burger at restaurants, and the company just started rolling out its product to stores in September.
No Evil Foods – This Asheville-based vegan butcher makes vegan chicken, pork, sausage, and turkey from vital wheat gluten and chickpea flour.
Simple Truth – Kroger’s store brand sells frozen, meatless chicken and beef products that are similar to Gardein but less pricey. They also offer vegan sliced lunch meats and sausages. Not all Simple Truth products are vegan (or vegetarian), but I'm a fan of the vegan products in this line!
Tofurky – This is the original vegan meat, and Tofurky’s line has come a long way, baby. Their sausages and lunch meats are top notch!
Trader Joe's - Trader Joe's offers quite a few vegan meat options. Their chorizo is top notch. They also just added vegan "turkey" burgers, which I haven't tried yet but plan to. TJ's also has a frozen "Mandarin chicken" that I am anxious to try!
Uptons Naturals - This Chicago-based vegan meat company makes excellent seitan bacon, burgers, and sausages. They also have a line of seasoned jackfruit. If you're new to using jackfruit as a vegan meat alternative, their products are a great place to start.
Vegan Meat Substitutes to Make
Below are amazing recipes for vegan meat alternatives that you can make in your own kitchen.
MORE Vegan Bacon
You can make vegan bacon out of everything from tofu to tempeh to mushrooms or carrots. I've rounded up the very best vegan bacon recipes right here.