With so many meat alternatives on the market, there is no excuse for anyone to eat meat. You can be the laziest human in the world and still fit meat alternatives into your schedule and your recipes. People who say it is too expensive has clearly never purchased meat alternatives. You can get two “burger” patties ranging in price from $3.99 to $6.99 depending on the state in which you live in and the brand. With so many plant-based meats on the market, it can be tricky to navigate through them all and decided which brand is best.
I thank my lucky stars that I went vegan around a time when so many companies are stepping up their vegan game and producing high-quality products. Take a peek below at my favorite brands that I use every day for meals. Purchasing one of these will help keep Marty the Cow alive to moo for another day, and it will keep you tummy dancing.
If you’re a numbers person let me throw a number out at you: 13 BILLION DOLLARS. Yes, billion with a big, fat, capital B. That is how much this company is worth, which is an excellent indicator as to how exceptional its products are.
When I first went vegan, I was under the wings of fellow vegan people who had been vegan for years and were pretty much strictly raw vegans. The only time they broke that habit was when they could get their hands on Beyond Meat.
Besides providing healthy meat alternatives to people their goal is to:
“Help growing issues attributed to livestock production: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources and animal welfare.”
Beyond meat makes alternatives in the form of:
My favorite out of the Beyond line is the burger patties and the Italian sausage. These are super cheap and easy to grab before we head over to any family or friends cookout. After the first few cookouts, people stopped giving us sh*t and even started leaving us extra space on the grill for our food.
Beyond is an excellent go-to product I use in place of typical meat in almost all my recipes. If you are new to cooking with vegan meant, try to do things backward. Instead of putting your meat in a pan to cook it and then add ingredients to it, you are going to warm up and saute your ingredients first, and then add the crumbles to the recipe last. Doing this prevents you from overcooking the “meat,” and it stays fresh. Overcooking vegan meat makes it chewy, and you feel like a doggie chewing on a bone.
Favorite recipes I cook with Beyond Meat include:
- Naked Burger
- Sausage Chicago Dog
- Sloppy Joe
Morning Star is one of the OG plant-based meat products on the market, with 40 years in the game. They offer one of the largest varieties of meat alternative options. Being an older company means it is going to be much easier to find in grocery stores and food markets.
If you are a family who participates in the Kellogs Family Rewards Program, then you are in luck because Morning Star products are part of them! So collect those bags and add em to your points. Fun fact: you don’t need to have kids to be able to participate in the rewards program!
You will need to read the ingredients in each product because some of them are vegan, and some are vegetarian. I will list all products in case you are vegan but may live with a vegetarian; it’s good to know your options.
Morning Star offers meat alternatives in the form of:
2. Meal Starters
Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles, Griller Crumbles, Chik’ n Strips Grilled, Steak Strips, Chorizo Crumbles
4. Veggie Patties
Buffalo Chick Patties, Orginal Chick Patties
Grillers Prime Burger, Spicy Black Bean Burger, Mediterranian Chickpea Burger, Tomato, and Basil Pizza Burger, Grillers Original Burger, Meat Lovers Vegan Burger, Veggie Lovers Vegan Burger, Falafel Burger, Tex-mex Burger, Garden Veggie Burger, Farmer Cheeseburger
6. Progressive Burgers
Spicy Indian vVggie Burger, Roasted Garlic and Quinoa Burger, White Bean Chili Burger
Morning star has an impressive list of options, and a few of my favorite are:
- Buffalo Chik Pattie
- Chik N Nuggets
- Corn Dogs
- Tex-Mex Burger
I use morning star when I want to make a simple dinner that reminds me of my childhood. This company took time to nail classic meats that most people grow up on. I am relatively confident that I could trick my nieces and nephews into eating these without knowing they aren’t the real thing.
Favorite recipes I use with Morning Star include:
- Chik panini
- Chili Mac Skillet
- Stuffed Pasta Shells
I’m going to be honest, and upfront with you; the grilled veggie meal starter Chik’ N Strips are disgusting. The texture, smell, taste, and everything else about them are gross. Overall smell is comparable to dog treats.
I’ve tried the strips multiple times in various recipes, and I just can’t. The only thing I’ve remotely liked them in is when I make homemade chicken tenders, and let’s be honest, those are all about the breading and the dipping sauce. Save your money and just buy the nuggets.
Another OG in the alternative meat industry, Tofurky has been around since 1980. The company is from Hood River, Oregon, and all of their products are 100% vegan. You can freeze their products for up to one year! They provide 80% kosher products and gluten-free products as well.
Tofurky offers meat alternatives in the form of:
1. Slow Roasted Chicken
Lightly Seasoned, Thai Basil, Sesame Garlic, BBQ
Chorizo, Ground Beef Style
5. Pockets (a.k.a hot pockets)
Pepperoni, Turkey Broccoli & Cheddar, Ham, & Cheddar
6. Moochoo Cheesecake (not meat still good to know)
Double Chocolate, Vanilla, Lemon Berry Swirl, Variety Pack
Smokey Maple Bacon, Sesame Garlic, Organic Five-grain, Original Soy Cake
Ham Roast with Glaze, Year-round Ham Roast, Roast, Roast & Gravy, Feast, Gravy
When I’m craving a good ol sub or sandwich, I love grabbing a pack of Tofurky. I am super weird with texture, and they made the “meats” to match not just the flavor of real meat but the texture of the real meat as well.
I like that these products are infused with, and each product isn’t just plain; the spice and herb department nailed it with these products.
My favorite Tofurky products are:
- All the deli slices
- Spinach pesto sausage
- Chorizo grounds
You can eat the deli slices straight out of the package, or you can throw them on top of a pan to give them a nice, golden crisp.
Favorite recipes I use with Tofurky include:
- Breakfast scrambles
- Chick pot pie
- Salisbury Steak
- French dip sandwich
- Monete Cresto sliders
- Italian sub
- Italian sausage soups
Tofurky has some of the best quality meat options. Products stand up to the heat of cooking and don’t get tough and dry. I like that the deli meats are clearly labeled and you can walk into a grocery store and know exactly which meat alternative is supposed to be like the real meat. You can tell which deli product is supposed to be an alternative for ham, turkey or bologna.