20 Meatless Foods So Delicious You Won't Know the Difference
There's a reason why plant-based diets are all the rage right now: Swapping meat for produce is more sustainable, cost-effective, cruelty-free, and has been scientifically proven to reduce your risk of deadly metabolic diseases such as obesity. That's exactly why there's been a 600 percent surge in vegan diets in the U.S. since 2014 and why about six to eight million American adults don't eat meat, fish, or poultry.
If you want to jump on the plant-based bandwagon but are concerned about missing your favorite meats, don't fret. We've rounded up 20 of our go-to meatless kitchen staples that are so delicious that you won't even notice you're chomping on plants. Whether you're looking to improve your overall health or make PETA proud, try replacing meal a day with some of these protein-packed picks stat!
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Sweet Earth Harmless Ham
Build a better (and more sustainable) ham sandwich with the help of Sweet Earth's Righteous Breakfast Meats. You'll get the same taste and texture you expect from cured deli meat, but without the cancer-causing nitrates and nitrites.
With its pulled pork texture and eerily meaty flavor, you really can't go wrong by throwing this plant-based patty on the grill. Stack it up with crunchy lettuce, briny pickle chips, and juicy tomato, and pair with roasted veggies for a balanced meal.
Beyond Meat Grilled Strips
For a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids required for metabolism function, grab a pack of Beyond Meat's grilled strips. This revolutionary poultry alternative packs in a respectable 20 grams of protein coming from non-GMO soy protein isolate and pea protein isolate and works wonders in wraps, sandwiches, and salads. What's more, you'll get 15 percent of your daily recommended value of energy-producing iron. Can you chalk up these benefits to real chicken?
Field Roast Italian Sausage
Swap that questionable Nathan's link for Field Roast's delectable Italian sausage and you'll gain a whopping 20 extra grams of protein and 2 more grams of fiber. Field Roast frankfurters are traditionally crafted the old-school way and sneak in fresh eggplant, sweet peppers, and aromatic garlic for a delicious experience that will send your taste buds straight to Sicily.
Beyond Meat Burger
This meatless burger can be found in your grocery store's meat aisle for good reason: it's jam-packed with 20 grams of complete protein and even "bleeds" (in the form of beet juice). In fact, we discovered that the Beyond Burger is beyond juicy, meaty, and an almost-exact replica of a poultry patty in our exclusive veggie burger taste test.
Field Roast FieldBurger
Built with hearty ingredients such as barley, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, and onions, we wager that Field Roast's vegan burger tastes even better than the real thing. Just one patty clocks in under 300 calories and packs in three grams of blood-sugar-stabilizing fiber and 25 grams of muscle-maintaining protein for sustained energy.
Sweet Earth Seitan, Curry Satay
Instead of shelling out extra cash at your local Indian spot, opt for trying your hand at cooking up Sweet Earth's curry seitan. Just two ounces of the meat substitute provides an impressive 26 grams of protein in addition to five grams of healthy fats.
Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Tempeh
Tempeh is an Indonesian-born meat alternative made from fermented and fried soybeans. Add this sweet and savory take on the breakfast staple to salads for extra crunch and alongside over-easy eggs for a double dose of both fiber and protein.
Lightlife Smart Tenders Savory Chick'n
Add a filling dose of plant-based proteins to Buddha bowls, fajitas, and lettuce roll-ups with Lightlife's lean chick'n strips. The wheat-based meal is rubbed with a savory spice blend of mustard, sea salt, onion, garlic, lemon, and paprika to jazz up your lunch and spike up the protein content.
Field Roast Fruffalo Wings
Field Roast's vegetarian take on bold buffalo wings are just as addicting as the snack you pop during Sunday night football. Smoked apple sage sausages are lightly battered, fried to perfection, and come with a piquant sauce to kick the heat up a notch.
Field Roast Miniature Corn Dogs
The corndogs you'll find at the annual fair are coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter and deep-fried to a crisp, lending your belly loads of fat and sodium. With Field Roast's mini dogs—made with veggies and slimming apple cider vinegar—you can bring the carnival back home without any of the guilt.
Tofurky DIY Chorizo Style Sausage
Who says you can't meal prep on Meatless Mondays? Tofurky's DIY chorizo-style sausage cooks in under 8 minutes for a balanced and piquant plant protein that can be stuffed into taco shells, low-carb tortillas, and topped over leafy greens. The vegetarian line also features a DIY Italian-style sausage flavor with tantalizing hints of black pepper and licorice.
Beyond Meat Sausage
Choose from Original, Hot Italian, and Sweet Italian, or throw all three on the barbie for a filling frank this summer. Unlike your go-to link, these plant-based hotdogs boast 3 grams of waist-cinching fiber that will help fend off midday cravings yet fulfill your guilty cravings for processed meat. Chances are, you'll be in awe that the Beyond Sausage tastes better than the beef links you grew up with.
Yves Veggie Canadian Bacon
Swap out your regular pork strips for Yves' slow-cooked Canadian bacon. Pair the smoky slices with an egg scramble, whole-grain waffles, and even bake it into a quiche for a delightful breakfast that skips the cholesterol and fat.
Gardein Teriyaki Chick'n Strips
Skip the weekly takeout and toss these meatless chicken strips on a cauliflower crust with tomato sauce, basil, and cheese for an easy and delicious dinner at home. Or opt for rolling the teriyaki slices with nori, sticky rice, avocado, and cucumber for a vegan-friendly take on your favorite sushi roll.
Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo
Upgrade your omelets with this savory chorizo alternative. Unlike the notoriously fatty pork sausage, this meatless hot dog packs in just two grams of saturated fat and a decent 11 grams of protein.
Upton's Naturals Bar-B-Que Jackfruit
While fruits are usually saved for dessert, jackfruit is known for its fibrous texture that almost seamlessly mimics real meat. This spiky fruit hails from Southeast Asia and works wonders in a sweet and sour sautee dish. Add any of our other picks on this list to the mix to skyrocket the protein count.
Quorn Meatless Chick'n Tenders
Whether you're frying some homemade chicken nuggets or tossing the chunks into a quick stir-fry, these meatless chick'n tenders will become your new go-to. Try swapping Quorn's pick in one of our 35 Healthy Chicken Recipes for Weight Loss and see results in no time!
Amy's Meatless Veggie Sausage
Amy's vegetarian sausages are blended with seasoned quinoa and veggies, deeming this pick a perfect addition to breakfast scrambles and quick dinners alike. And unlike most sausages, one four-link serving of Amy's clocks in under 350 milligrams of belly-ballooning sodium.
365 Everyday Value Meatless Meatballs
Wheat protein lends these meatless meatballs a spot-on texture and taste, which is why the fare well on a bed of pasta such as Banza or zoodles. Don't forget to consult our guide on best and worst pasta sauces before putting this dinner together.