TVP - What is it and 25 of the Best Recipes to use it! (2024)

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TVP is one of those foods that may sound a little weird, but if you are vegetarian, vegan, or simply want to reduce your meat consumption, you definitely need to know about it. TVP stands for textured vegetable protein. The name makes it sound like it's made from vegetables, yet it's a soy-based meat alternative. It's a dry pantry staple that is rehydrated and cooked to use in place of meat in just about any recipe that you want.

TVP - What is it and 25 of the Best Recipes to use it! (1)

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TVP can also go by the name textured soy protein, soya chunks, or soy meat. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but it is all used the same way in cooking.

Jump to:
  • ❓ How is TVP produced?
  • 📜 History of TVP
  • ❤️ Why you'll love TVP
  • 🏪 Where to buy it
  • 👍 Favorite brands
  • 🔘 TVP vs Soy Curls
  • 🥄 How to prepare it
  • 🌟 TVP recipes
  • 🍞 Is TVP gluten-free?
  • 🥡 Storage
  • ✨ How to rehydrate TVP

❓ How is TVP produced?

Textured vegetable protein is made from soy flour mixed with water to form a paste. This soy paste is then put under pressure to cook and form a shape before it is dehydrated. It comes in the form of dry crumbles or chunks and takes the flavor of any broth that it is rehydrated in.

📜 History of TVP

TVP was first made in the 1960s by the Archer Daniels Midland Company which has a trademark on the name TVP. It later became popular in the 1970s when it was approved for the school lunch program. Due to its meat-like texture and ability to be seasoned in a variety of ways, it's become a popular plant-based meat substitute for vegetarians.

❤️ Why you'll love TVP

  • It's a low-fat, high-protein meat alternative.
  • You can keep it in your pantry until you are ready to cook it.
  • It will keep for years in a cool dry place before rehydrating.
  • TVP is great for camping or backpacking since it's lightweight and doesn't need refrigeration until after it is rehydrated.
TVP - What is it and 25 of the Best Recipes to use it! (2)

🏪 Where to buy it

You can find TVP on the shelf in the health food section of most major grocery stores. It is also commonly sold in bulk in health food stores. If you have trouble finding it, you can always order it online.

👍 Favorite brands

There is not a big difference in taste between brands of TVP, but there are a few key things that you may want to consider. One of the biggest factors for you may be the use of organic soybeans or non-GMO soybeans in the processing of TVP. There are many different shapes and sizes that seem to vary among brands, so you may want to choose the size based on the texture that you prefer. Overall I am very happy with Anthony's brand TVP since it is organic and non-GMO plus has a nice texture, and comes in a large bag that will last my family a while.

Some types of TVP come pre-flavored. If you get TVP with seasoning already in it, you just need to add hot water and not season it as much.

🔘 TVP vs Soy Curls

Butler soy curls are very similar to TVP and can be used interchangeably in most recipes. The main difference is that TVP is usually made from defatted soy flour and soy curls are made from whole soybeans. If you prefer a less processed product, use Butler Soy Curls instead.

🥄 How to prepare it

The hot water to TVP ratio is 1:1. Remember, you can rehydrate your TVP in any flavored broth that you want. You can eat it simply rehydrated in broth or you can sauté the rehydrated TVP to give it more flavor and texture.

Dry TVP can be directly added to soups, stews, or chili. Just remember to add an extra cup of broth to your soups for each cup of TVP that you use. The TVP will double in size once it's rehydrated so 1 cup of dry TVP will expand into 2 cups of meat substitute.

TVP - What is it and 25 of the Best Recipes to use it! (3)

🌟 TVP recipes

Rehydrate the TVP then sauté it
  • Vegan Tacos with TVP
  • Vegan Ground Beef
  • Soyrizo
  • Vegan Sausage Crumbles
TVP - What is it and 25 of the Best Recipes to use it! (4)
Rehydrate the TVP then mix it with other ingredients and form it into shapes
Add it to sauces, soups, stews, and chili
TVP - What is it and 25 of the Best Recipes to use it! (5)
Add TVP to make meaty meals
TVP - What is it and 25 of the Best Recipes to use it! (6)
Hydrate the TVP then dehydrate it again to achieve a crunchy or chewy texture
  • Vegan Bacon Bits
  • Vegan Jerky

🍞 Is TVP gluten-free?

Yes, TVP is naturally gluten-free since it is just soy flour. This makes it a great meat alternative for vegans and vegetarians who are also gluten-free.

🥡 Storage

Dry TVP - Keep dry TVP in a sealed container in a cool dry place. It will keep well for a few months. I do notice that it will start to absorb flavors if left in a plastic bag for too long. If you want it to keep more than 2 months in the pantry, store it in a tightly sealed glass jar for the best flavor.

Rehydrated TVP - Once you rehydrate and cook the TVP, it needs to be kept in the refrigerator. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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✨ How to rehydrate TVP

5 from 4 votes

TVP - What is it and 25 of the Best Recipes to use it! (7)

Print Recipe


How to rehydrate TVP (textured vegetable protein)

Prep Time5 minutes mins

Cook Time5 minutes mins

Total Time10 minutes mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: vegan

Keyword: soy protein, textured vegetable protein, TVP

Servings: 4

Calories: 84kcal

Author: Monica Davis


  • 1 cup TVP
  • 1 cup hot broth (or water)

US Customary - Metric


  • Boil broth (or hot water) then turn off heat and add the TVP.

  • Stir it well, then cover and let it sit for 5 minutes to soak up the flavor and rehydreate.

  • Use as you would "meat" crumbles in any recipe.


Use a 1:1 ratio of liquid to TVP to rehydrate it.

Change the flavor of the broth to change the flavor of the TVP.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Click the stars above or leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you!

TVP - What is it and 25 of the Best Recipes to use it! (2024)


What is the best way to use TVP? ›

Because its texture closely resembles meat, TVP can be used in similar ways that ground beef would be. Work it into a delicious chili recipe or use it as a meat replacement in homemade lasagna. Adding TVP to your plant-based recipes will boost protein and texture while also adding bulk to a meal.

What are the disadvantages of TVP? ›

Possibility of consuming other harmful ingredients — Because TVP is found in mostly processed foods, you're likely to consume additives, preservatives, lots of sodium and added sugar, and other unwanted ingredients if you consume a lot of products that contain it.

Is it OK to eat TVP every day? ›

In short, the answer is yes. While TVP is a processed food, it's derived from a healthy ingredient and provides a complete source of plant-based protein essential to one's health. That being said, like anything, TVP should be enjoyed in moderation. Additionally, it should not be your only source of protein.

How to make TVP taste better? ›

Bring veggie broth to a boil and pour over tvp. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes until completely absorbed. (A beef-flavored broth, such as the Better than Bouillon No Beef Base, will make these taste more convincing.)

How do you make TVP less chewy? ›

One thing you can do is to mix rehydrated TVP with wheat gluten, and then knead it to develop texture.

Should TVP be refrigerated? ›

Leftovers of dishes made with TVP should be refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within three or four days.

Is TVP healthier than tofu? ›

Tofu does not contain nearly as much protein per serving as TVP – 1 ounce of tofu contains 2 g of protein – but I still rank it as a higher quality protein because it is far less processed.

Is TVP good or bad for you? ›

TVP is a heart-healthy food because it is high in fiber. High in protein: TVP is a rich source of protein with 51.5 grams of protein.

Is TVP a highly processed food? ›

In conclusion, while TVP is a processed food, it is not considered highly processed compared to many other food products on the market. Its nutritional benefits, particularly for those seeking plant-based protein sources, can make it a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

Is Bob Red Mill TVP healthy? ›

Textured Vegetable Protein is a highly nutritious soy product. It's rich in complete protein and contains no fat, so it is an excellent alternative to meat.

How long does TVP last in the fridge? ›

That said, when it comes to rehydrated versions, Nutriciously shares that it can be stored in the fridge for about five days — or better yet — it can be frozen, which will extend its shelf life for up to three months.

Can TVP go bad? ›

In its dehydrated form, TVP has a shelf life of longer than a year, but will spoil within several days after being hydrated. In its flaked form, it can be used similarly to ground meat.

How much does 1 cup of TVP make? ›

Plain TVP 1 cup yields 2 ¼ cups 3 oz. yields 14 oz. TVP can be added directly to soups and stews, or rehydrated for a healthy, meatless option. To rehydrate, add 2 cups of water to 1 cup of TVP and soak or simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Can you eat TVP without rehydrating? ›

Before using TVP, you need to rehydrate it with hot water or broth. Then, it's easy to use as a plant-based alternative to ground meat in dishes like meatballs, burgers patties, or chili. Even if you don't follow a plant-based diet, you can still add TVP to your meals to add texture and nutrients.

Can you eat TVP without cooking it? ›

You can eat it 'raw,' it's chewy but not tough like dehydrated chicken. It's pretty bland though. It has a weird smell, but not offensive. However, it doesn't taste weird (even raw).

How do I activate TVP? ›

Rehydrate. To rehydrate, pour boiling water or broth over TVP®. Stir and let stand for 5–10 minutes.

Does TVP taste like ground beef? ›

So, 1/4 cup of dry TVP is equal to 1/2 cup ground meat, 1/2 cup is about 1/4 pound ground meat. TVP has a toasty cereal taste by itself and will take on the taste of whatever it is cooked with.


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