TVP taco meat is the easiest and fastest way to make tasty, high protein vegan tacos! If you’ve never cooked with TVP before, this is the ideal first recipe to try because it’s packed with flavor and takes less than 15 minutes to cook.
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What is TVP?
You might be wondering what the heck TVP is. It stands for Textured Vegetable Protein and is essentially dry soy protein crumbles.
Neither description sounds appetizing but this is an extremely versatile ingredient. Just add liquid to the TVP (and lots of flavor) and the result is a product very similar to veggie ground round or ground meat.
TVP is inexpensive so can be a great staple in a vegan kitchen.
How to Make TVP Taco Meat
TVP taco meat couldn’t be easier to make. To cook TVP, just add liquid.
I’ve seen countless recipes that soak TVP in water, but where’s the flavor in that? TVP doesn’t taste like anything on its own so this recipe for TVP taco meat uses lots of flavor.
Start by sautéing onions and garlic with some oil. Oil adds much needed fat (flavor) to this recipe. Then simply toss in taco seasoning, TVP and veggie broth. Mix well so the TVP is coated with the seasoning and broth then simmer until the liquid is gone.
Start to finish this takes about 12 – 15 minutes, depending on how long it takes you to chop the onion and how hot your pan/ stove is.
TVP as a Ground Beef Substitute
The end result is a perfect vegan replacement for ground beef tacos.
TVP is an excellent ground beef substitute, or really a substitute for any ground meat. You can use TVP in almost any recipe that would normally call for ground meat.
Are TVP Tacos Nutritionally Balanced?
I don’t like to classify food or ingredients as healthy or unhealthy. Instead, look at the nutrition that these TVP tacos provide.
As the name implies, textured vegetable protein is essentially just protein. There’s a small amount of carbohydrates in TVP, but there’s also some fiber, so I tend to simply consider TVP a source of protein.
Some brands of TVP are fortified and some are not. If the product is fortified, read the label to see what nutrients are added. Fortified TVP often contains vitamin B12.
TVP Taco Substitutions
If you don’t have TVP around, you can easily substitute for veggie ground round to make a very similar final product as these TVP tacos.
Veggie ground round is almost the same as TVP except it’s already hydrated which means you don’t have to add liquid. If you want to use veggie ground round to make vegan tacos, simply use one pound of ground round with only ⅓ cup of veggie broth (some broth helps distribute the taco seasoning).
Additionally, you can add lentils to this TVP taco meat recipe. Drain and rinse a can of lentils and add it to the TVP once it’s done cooking. An additional 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning is helpful if you want to add lentils.
Serving TVP Tacos
You can serve TVP tacos however you’d like. There’s almost nothing you can’t add to a taco! I can’t live without fresh lime juice and some avocado, but do what you enjoy.
Some tasty ideas for serving TVP tacos are:
- In corn or flour tortillas
- As a taco bowl/ burrito bowl
- With vegan sour cream (homemade or store-bought)
- Topped with guacamole
- With fresh salsa
- Use vegan cheese shreds
- Add black beans
- Top with veggies like corn, tomato, green or red onion, shredded lettuce
- With hot sauce
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
TVP Taco Meat (Vegan)
- 1 ¼ cups onion , diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tablespoons oil (I use avocado)
- 1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- Warm some oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.2 tablespoons oil
- Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften, about 3 minutes.1 ¼ cups onion
- Add garlic to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes, until the onions are nicely softened.3 cloves garlic
- Add the TVP, taco seasoning and vegetable broth to the pan. Stir well to ensure the TVP is coated with taco seasoning and the vegetable broth is well dispersed.1 cup TVP, 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- Cook until all liquid is completely soaked up by the TVP, about 3-5 minutes.
- As an optional step (for extra flavor and nutrition) add cooked lentils and extra taco seasoning.
- Serve with your favorite taco fillings!
More Vegan Meat Recipes
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.