What are the best vegan meat substitutes

Meat substitutes: the 12 tastiest vegan alternatives

Not in the mood for meat today, but still wanting burgers, schnitzel, roasts & Co?

Then we have something for you: Delicious and healthy plant-based foods that make good meat alternatives, such as tempeh, green spelled, lupins or the exotic jackfruit.

They are not only interesting for vegetarians or vegans, but also for everyone who wants to eat a little less meat in between.

Here you will find delicious recipe ideas for every meat substitute that you can cook right away.

Go directly to the content:

1. Jackfruit: Deceptively real pulled pork

2. Seitan: the jack of all trades

3. Lupins: gluten-free and rich in protein

4. Tofu: The box office hit made from soy

5. Tempeh: The fermented stomach protector

6. Textured soy: soy slices and soy granules

7. Vegetable schnitzel: breaded classics with a difference

8. Gebüseburger: Vegetable patties

9. Green spelled: the iron-rich ancient grain

10. Chickpeas: Greetings from Levante

11. Portobello: mushroom XXL

12. Black beans: the protein bombs

1. Jackfruit: Deceptively real pulled pork

What is the jackfruit? A fruit from the tropics, also called Jacob's fruit. Harvested before they are fully ripe, their pulp resembles meat in consistency, but tastes neutral and can be seasoned as desired. In this country you can get it in well-stocked grocery stores or in Asian shops in cans. But be careful: only the unripe version is suitable as a meat alternative. The flesh tastes sweet when ripe.

Ingredients: A medium-high amount of various vitamins, minerals and trace elements from vitamin C to potassium to iron.

Deceptively real: our pulled pork burger made from jackfruit. Photo: SevenCooks

Seitan: the jack of all trades

What is seitan? Seitan is concentrated wheat protein. With the help of water, the starch is "washed" from wheat flour. The result is a substance with a high gluten content and a meat-like consistency. People with gluten intolerance (celiac disease) should avoid seitan products. It tastes quite neutral when it is not seasoned.

Ingredients: The protein content of seitan is very high and can be up to a third. The proportion of fat and carbohydrates, on the other hand, is very low.

The vegan sausage made from seitan. Try it! Photo: SevenCooks

3. Lupins: gluten-free and rich in protein

What are lupins? The lupine is a native plant that belongs to the legumes. Of the numerous subspecies, however, only the seeds of the sweet lupine are edible. So you shouldn't get the idea of ​​picking a lupine on the side of the road and cooking it.

Ingredients: Lupins contain almost up to 50 percent high-quality protein and are gluten-free. The fiber content is a lot higher than that of tofu.

Mmmmh, lasagna always works, right? Photo: SevenCooks

4. Tofu: The box office hit made from soy

What is tofu? Tofu is not a newly developed trend food of the last few years, as some might think, but a traditional Asian food that was probably made over 1000 years ago. Soybeans are the basis of tofu. They are made into a pulp, then fibers and peel are skimmed off. The soy milk obtained in this way is thickened into tofu with the help of coagulants. Tofu comes in a wide variety of consistencies, from soft, creamy silken tofu, as is often used in soups, to firmer variants that can be cut like meat. Its diversity makes it one of the most popular foods for vegans.

Ingredients: In terms of protein, tofu can compete with some meat, is also low in calories and contains various minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium. Since tofu is grown worldwide and the quality and ingredients can vary greatly, it is worth taking a look at the origin and manufacturer. Tofu is also available from organic and regional cultivation.

Vegan chilli with tofu: simply heavenly! Photo: SevenCooks

5. Tempeh: The fermented stomach protector

What is tempeh? Tempeh is obtained through fermentation, similar to sauerkraut or the traditional Korean dish kimchi. To do this, soybeans are peeled, boiled and “inoculated” with a noble mold. Mycelium forms around the beans, creating a solid block. Untreated tempeh has a mild, slightly nutty taste.

Ingredients: Tempeh contains a similar amount of protein as seitan, but the fermentation makes it more accessible to the body. This makes it easier to digest. It also contains significant amounts of magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.

Would you like to crunch? Then give this tempeh sandwich a try! Photo: SevenCooks

6. Textured soy: soy shreds and soy granules

What are soy shreds and soy granules? Textured soy is made from defatted soy flour that is pressed at high heat. Without any chemical additives, it has a very meat-like consistency. It is offered in various forms, for example as shreds or granules, but also as medallions or cubes.

Ingredients: As is typical for soy products, it is cholesterol-free, contains a lot of protein and various high-quality fatty acids.

Don't let the charmless name "soy granulate" put you off. You can use it to prepare delicious dishes, like this sliced ​​meat. Photo: Jérome Eckmeier

7. Vegetable schnitzel: breaded classics with a difference

What is vegetable schnitzel? The vegetable brother of the traditional schnitzel: instead of meat, slices of vegetables are fried - or breaded.

Ingredients: Depending on the vegetables used, a variety of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Kohlrabi, for example, contains a lot of fiber, as well as vitamin C as well as magnesium and folic acid. Oyster mushrooms, on the other hand, are rich in vitamin B3.

Never tried Kohlrabi Schnitzel? The time has come! Photo: abjetztvegan

8. Vegetable burgers: Plant-based patties

What are vegetable burgers? The structure is similar to the classic burger: a patty (= meatball / meat cake ????) between two slices of bread. The patty here does not consist of meat, but of vegetables of your choice.

Ingredients: Depending on the vegetables, a delicious mixture of different vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

With this burger every barbecue evening becomes an event. Pst, the patty is made from eggplant. Photo: Julia Hoersch

9. Green spelled: the iron-rich ancient grain

What is green spelled? Green spelled is spelled that was harvested before it was finally ripe and then roasted and dried. It tastes very spicy. Like other grains, green spelled can be bought as flakes or flour.

Ingredients: Many B group vitamins as well as phosphorus and magnesium. It has a high protein content of around 10 percent and is also relatively rich in iron (around 4 milligrams per 100 grams).

Trendy for years: Grünkern. You wonder why Then try this chili. Photo: SevenCooks

10. Chickpeas: Greetings from Levante

What are chickpeas? Legumes that are grown in many subtropical areas and that can be found in every supermarket.

Ingredients: The protein content isn't quite as high as that of tofu, but it's still decent. There are also some vitamins, especially C, B and E. and a large amount of iron (approx. 3 milligrams per 100 grams).

Chickpeas are very healthy and also taste great as a schnitzel. Photo: Simply Vegan

11. Portobello: mushroom XXL

What are portobello mushrooms? Giant mushrooms, so to speak. Because they grow longer, they are larger, but also have a stronger taste. This is because the lamellas on the underside of the shade open.

Ingredients: The low energy content of 21 kcal per 100 g makes mushrooms popular with calorie counters. In addition, they contain a considerable mix of vitamins - especially those of the B group - and minerals such as potassium, iron and zinc.

Aromatic, light and nutritious: steaks made from portobello mushrooms. Photo: Florian Ankner

12. Black beans: the protein bombs

What are black beans? Black beans are an ancient ingredient that Native Americans ate. The main growing areas today are in South America. They not only stand out due to their color, but also impress with their meaty consistency and strong aroma.

Ingredients: Black beans are high in protein and fiber, but low in fat and sugar. Also a number of vitamins, mainly from the B group, and a good amount of vitamin C.

Burgers without meat: the black bean makes it possible. Photo: SevenCooks

Was there the right thing for you?

We hope there was something for you among our vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives!

If not: Have a look at our recipe collection Vegan Classics - there you will find many traditional recipes such as spaghetti Bolognese, cheese spaetzle or sushi in a vegan version.

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Cover picture: SevenCooks