Step aside veggie burgers, garden burgers, and black bean burgers—
There’s a new sheriff in town:
That’s right, plant-based substitute meat products are dominating the market and are starting to pop up everywhere you look.
Both vegans, vegetarians, and even meat-eaters love these products—
And for a good reason.
They are deliciously satisfying, packed with protein, versatile, convenient, cost-effective, and more!
But you may still have some questions about plant-based meat substitutes:
What are they made from?
Are plant-based meats actually healthy for you?
What are your options?
How can you cook with them at home?
Not to worry, you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for in this comprehensive article. Here is what we’ll be going over:
- Vegan Meat Substitutes: The Nutrition and Environmental Impact
- Popular Vegan Meat Substitutes: The Best Products to Try Now
- Cooking with Plant-Based Meat: 15 Recipes to Try Out Today
Are you ready?
Let’s get started!
Vegan Meat Substitutes: The Nutrition and Environmental Impact
In today’s society, what are consumers concerned with more than ever?
It’s common knowledge by now that reducing your consumption of animal-based products is one way to lower your carbon footprint on our planet substantially.
A study completed by the University of Oxford found that adopting an entirely plant-based diet can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73%!
With consumers in mind, companies have risen to the challenge of offering products that people can feel good about.
Plant-based meat alternatives that lead with taste.
When looking into whether or not plant-based meat alternatives like the Beyond Burger or Impossible Burger are better for the environment than beef patties, the research shows that it does make a difference.
According to a study completed by the University of Michigan, making a plant-based burger generates the following:
- 90% less greenhouse gas emissions
- Requires 45% less energy
- 99% less impact on water scarcity
- 93% less impact on land use
Fast Company also predicts that If Americans switched from eating beef patties to plant-based patties, it would have the equivalent impact of taking 12 million cars off of the road for an entire year.
But, Are Plant-Based Meats Healthy for You?
Let’s look at the nutrition facts for this one.
While the ingredients for their burger patties are slightly different, they contain very similar ingredients and nutritional values.
Here are the ingredients and nutrition facts for the Beyond Burger:
Now, let’s compare that to the the ingredients and nutrition facts of the Impossible Burger:
Here is the nutrition information for a 4 oz beef hamburger patty:
As you can see—
The nutrition information for these popular plant-based meats are extremely similar, and the nutrition information is comparable to a beef patty.
Of course, we know that eating red meat over time has been linked to certain problems such as:
- Heart disease
- Certain cancers
- Kidney problems
They all have similar numbers for calories, fat, but protein and vary the most when it comes to sodium and carbohydrates.
When it comes to the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger, you can see that the ingredient list is extremely long.
These are just two examples!
Other plant-based meat options (shown in the next section) have similarly long ingredient lists. This might not necessarily be a good thing, as it means the products are heavily processed.
Several dietitians do not recommend plant-based meat due to it being so processed.
Many of them recommend sticking to a diet of whole foods.
On the other hand-- ,
Dietitian Jessica Cording argues that plant-based meat is definitely a step in the right direction.
For consumers transitioning to a vegan diet or just trying to reduce their overall meat consumption, these delicious plant-based meats are a great stepping stone!
The Beet also demonstrates how when eaten in moderations, plant-based meats are a nice addition to your diet.
If you are looking into plant-based meat alternatives purely for your health—
You may want to look elsewhere.
If you are looking to cook up a crave-busting meal that will totally satisfy your tastebuds and is better for the environment, then stick around.
We’re going to show you how.
Popular Vegan Meat Substitutes: The Best Products to Try Now
Now it’s time to talk about the best vegan meat substitutes on the market today.
It used to be rare, but now you can’t go to the store or a restaurant without seeing a few of these brands on the shelves!
We’re going to be walking you through the different brands on the market and the products that they offer.
Field Roast has been dedicated to creating high-quality and tasty vegan meats and cheeses for over 20 years. Here are some of their fabulous plant-based meat products:
- Sausage Patties
- Bratwurst Sausage
- Italian Sausage
- Mexican Chipotle Sausage
- Smoked Apple Sage Sausage
- Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage
- Wild Mushroom Deli Slices
- Lentil Sage Deli Slices
- Smoked Tomato Deli Slices
- Roast with traditional bread stuffing and mushroom gravy
- Miniature Corn Dogs
- FRuffalo Wings
On this extensive product list, you are sure to find a product for any occasion.
Field Roast has superior flavor and seasoning that is perfect for fall and winter comfort meals! (Did somebody say Thanksgiving roast?)
Tofurky creates products that are built to satisfy meat-eaters and plant-eaters alike.
With this product, you can feel good when you make a purchase.
As the company grows, Tofurky makes a point to reinvest their money in worthwhile causes such as animal welfare and environmental initiatives.
Here is a list of their delicious plant-based products:
- Chick’n coming in flavors like Thai basil and barbecue
- Deli Slices
- Sausages & Dogs
- Grounds (chorizo or ground beef style)
- Pockets with flavors like Ham & Ched’r and Pepp’roni Pizza
- Tempeh (flavors include smoky maple bacon and sesame garlic)
You can find this popular brand right at your local grocery store, and you’re sure not to be disappointed with their wide array of products.
The deli slices in particular are perfect for on-the-go sandwiches. This recipe by Supper in the Suburbs is perfect for that!
Upton’s Naturals is focused on simplicity and good ol’ vegan values.
And guess what?
Unlike some other vegan meat alternatives, Upton’s Naturals focuses on ingredients that you will recognize when you read the label.
They have a wide variety of products (and flavors) to choose from. Here they are:
- Jackfruit and Banana Blossom that comes in flavors such as chili-lime and bar-b-que
- Seitan switched up to come in forms and flavors like chorizo, ground, and bacon
- Jerky bites (tarragon ginger-lime is the best flavor!)
These products are not quite the same as the alternative plant-based meat, they are made from products like jackfruit and seitan.
These plant-based ingredients are naturally “meaty” in texture and take on great flavor!
The Gardein brand was found over 25 years ago by a Canadian culinary artist.
This brand is also cholesterol free as well as trans and saturated fat free, but they taste exactly like the old classics that we all know and love.
You’ll find these products in the frozen section of your grocery store, and you will love how convenient they are to cook up.
- Seven grain crispy tenders
- Beefless ground
- Beefless burger
- Teriyaki chick’n strips
- Meatless meatballs
- Mandarin orange crispy chick’n
- Home style beefless tips
- Chick’n scallopini
These products are made with classic flavors in mind and are great for kids that are picky eaters.
Impossible Foods has an awesome motto on the header of their site:
“Grill burgers. Not the planet.”
Impossible burger debuted in restaurants, but now their products are available in grocery stores for you to cook up at home.
You can even take advantage of their delivery service and have their products delivered right to your door!
Get their already made patties or just the ground “meat” to transform different recipes in your kitchen.
Check out this lemongrass skewers recipe from their site!
Here are the different restaurants where you can find Impossible food:
- Burger King Impossible Whopper
- White Castle Impossible Slider
- Chipotle Impossible Meat
- Hard Rock Cafe Impossible Burger
- The Cheesecake Factory Impossible Burger
- Qdoba Impossible Tacos
- Red Robin Impossible Burger
- TGI Fridays Impossible Burger
Keep in mind--
When checking out these restaurants, many of these options may still include cheese or other animal derived products.
In order to keep it strictly plant-based, make sure you check the ingredients and ask for accommodations when necessary!
Beyond meat is all about looking towards the future.
They believe that transitioning from animal-based products to plant-based alternatives is a way to positively affect climate change and animal welfare.
Here are the products you can purchase:
- Beyond meatballs
- Breakfast sausage (patties and links)
- Beyond burger
- Cookout classic burger
- Beyond beef (ground)
- Beyond sausage
- Beyond beef crumbles
Beyond meat products can be found at many restaurants as well! Just like with Impossible burgers, make sure to check that the meal does not contain any cheese, eggs, or other animal-derived products to keep the meal vegan.
Here are some restaurants where you can try beyond meat:
- KFC Beyond Chicken
- Carl’s Jr. Beyond Meat
- Hardee’s Beyond Meat
- Dunkin Donut’s Beyond Sausage Sandwich
- Del Taco Beyond Meat
The Herbivorous Butcher:
This brand does not have a wide array of products, but they are good at what they do!
The Herbivorous Butcher has created fake meat that is extremely versatile and can be transformed into anything.
Check out their food preparation instructions to see how you can transform their product into ribs, steak, chicken, and more!
Who would have thought that consumer’s demand for plant-based options would bring us so many amazing, environmentally friendly products to try!
Vegan Chipotle Burrito Bowl from Nicole of Allergylicious
Cooking with Plant-Based Meat: 15 Recipes to Try Out Today
These vegan meat substitutes are all beyond delicious.
Whether or not you’re newly vegan and working on transitioning your diet, a seasoned vegan looking to try new recipes, or a vegan looking to impress your meat-eating friends—
There is a recipe you’re sure to love on this list.
- This gardein vegetarian mongolian beef recipe by Home Chef, plated with jasmine rice and green onions, makes the perfect dinner in.
- If you’re on the hunt to make an old classic, then look no further than this spaghetti and meatless meatballs recipe by Coach Debbie Runs.
- Use your favorite meatless ground beef to make this vegan chipotle burrito bowl by Allergylicious.
- Who doesn’t love using their slow cooker? This vegan beef bourguignon slow-cooker recipe by Vegan in the Freezer is perfection.
- For a bit of comfort food, try this 20 minute Southwestern vegan crispy tender skillet by Beautiful Eats and Things.
- Just in time for the holidays, this seitan roasted ham by Veganosity will impress your guests. They also have a pretty amazing instagram account you can follow for more holiday goodies!
- Taco Tuesday isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and this easy vegan taco recipe by Leafy Greens is an amazing recipe to have on standby. This is an easy way to use Upton’s Naturals products if you’re unfamiliar.
- If you’re looking for a fresh recipe, then check out this buffalo crispy tender taco recipe with vegan ranch by Well Vegan.
- Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen gets creative by using the Impossible Burger to create an entire vegan meatloaf!
- This Wife Cooks creates a thick pub-style burger using the Impossible Burger that is completely out of this world.
- Vegan ground beef is super versatile and easy to cook with. Try out this Impossible Meat beef taco recipe by Fresh n’ Lean to get started.
- Feeling a little under the weather? This easy vegan chicken noodle soup by Namely Marly uses Gardein’s chick’n scallopini to make this recipe flawless.
- This recipe by Tia Blanco is “stacked to perfection.” Who knew you needed a Hawaiian vegan Beyond burger in your life?
- This one-pot penne pasta with mushroom sausage from Tofurky is carbolicious.
- Don’t know what to make for dinner? This field roast, onions, and kale recipe by All Recipes makes for a quick and nutritious meal.
Impossible to Beyond: Vegan Substitute Meats To Try
Now you know everything there is to know about vegan meat substitutes:
- The popular brands
- The health facts
- The effects on the environment
- How to cook with them
These vegan meat substitutes are great if you are craving some old recipes you had during your meat eating days, you want to feed your meat-eating friends, or you just want to get creative in the kitchen.
Interested in learning more about the vegan lifestyle? Check out this blog about tofu and tempeh.