These vegan TVP tacos are full of flavor and so easy to prepare! High-protein, low-fat TVP (textured vegetable protein) is generously seasoned and sauteed with onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Serve with your favorite toppings for delicious vegan tacos even meat-eaters will love!
TVP tacos are nut-free, gluten-free, low-fat, and can be made without oil. Ready in 20 minutes!
The Best Quick Vegan Tacos
I have a recipe on the blog for vegan taco meat, and it's one of my all-time favorite vegan recipes. Seriously, I say it all time! It's made with soy curls, walnuts, and all of the spices you'd expect, and it gets rave reviews from readers.
The problem with that recipe is that it requires a food processor to transform the walnuts and soy curls into a ground meat texture.
Also, soy curls aren't easy to come by! So I wanted to create vegan tacos that are quick, easy, nut-free, don't require special equipment... and are just as delicious.
And these TVP tacos turned out even better than expected! They're flavorful, rich-tasting, meaty, and have just enough spicy heat from jalapeno. Perhaps best of all, you can have vegan tacos on the table in 20 minutes, with minimal dirty dishes!
What is TVP?
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is a trademark of agriculture giant Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. It was created in the 1960s as a way to utilize the byproduct of soybean oil production. Essentially, TVP is defatted soy flour.
TVP may also be referred to by the generic term "textured soy protein," which is actually more accurate, since TVP is made from soybeans, not vegetables.
And though its origins don't sound very appetizing, TVP does have its perks. It's easy to find in most grocery stores, inexpensive, shelf-stable, very low in fat, contains no cholesterol, and is rich in protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
TVP is available in different shapes and sizes, from larger chunks to small flakes. It has been popular in vegetarian cuisine for decades thanks to its versatility and ability to replace ground meat in everything from burgers to meatloaf.
How to Use Textured Vegetable Protein
Since TVP is a dehydrated product, it needs to be reconstituted in water or broth either before or during the cooking process. Some recipes call for soaking the TVP first, while others include enough liquid for the TVP to be used dry.
If a recipe doesn't give specific instructions to first rehydrate the TVP, it's likely safe to assume the author intends for you to add the TVP in its dried state.
In this recipe, for example, I didn't want the TVP to become too soft or mushy. So by adding the dry TVP directly to a saute pan with just the right amount of vegetable broth, the resulting texture is perfectly chewy, firm, and meaty.
- TVP - textured vegetable protein is usually easy to find in the bulk bins at the grocery store. Currently I'm using this TVP by Anthony's.
- broth - use any vegetable broth you like.
- tamari (or soy sauce) - adds umami and saltiness to the TVP taco meat. Feel free to use a low-sodium variety. You can always add more or adjust the saltiness if needed.
- taco spice blend - instead of using a pre-made taco seasoning, the recipe includes individual spices. We make a lot of chili, so I always keep chili powder, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika on hand. Feel free to use a blend and/or adjust each individual amount to suit your tastes.
- salsa or lime juice - just a touch of acidity from either of these ingredients really kicks up the flavor!
See recipe card below for quantities and the full recipe.
How to Make TVP Tacos
- Saute the onion and jalapeno for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the spices - chili powder, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. Stir well and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the TVP, broth, and 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce/shoyu). Stir very well, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the TVP is piping hot.
Season with a splash of salsa or a generous squeeze of lime. Taste and adjust seasonings, and serve warm with your favorite taco toppings.
Don't you love how easy that is? And sort of like chili, it tastes even better the next day. So if you're looking for a high-protein vegan meal prep option, this is a good one.
Ways to Use TVP Taco Meat
Beyond tacos and burritos, there are so many fun meals you can make with this TVP taco meat. Also add it to:
- taco bowls
- loaded nachos
- stuffed peppers
- vegan queso
- Tex-Mex cabbage rolls
- and pizza!
Yes, since TVP is made from soybeans, with no other ingredients added, it is naturally gluten-free. If needed, look for brands with a gluten-free certification.
The spice level of jalapeno peppers tends to vary, but removing all of the seeds and the white rib portion inside the pepper is the best way to reduce the spiciness. If you are someone who enjoys spicy foods, this TVP taco meat will fall into the mild category. However, if you are highly sensitive to spice, it may seem moderately spicy. Adjust the amount of jalapeno as desired.
Store the prepared TVP taco meat in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freezer for 1 to 2 months.
More TVP Recipes
- 1-Bowl Vegan Meatballs
- Air Fryer Veggie Burgers
- Smoky Jackfruit Burgers
- Vegan White Chili
- The BEST Lentil Chili
- Instant Pot Red Lentil Curry
You might like:
I hope you enjoy these quick and tasty TVP vegan tacos. If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and let us know!
Easy TVP Tacos (Vegan)
- 1 tablespoon oil, optional - Omit for oil-free.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ¼ cups TVP (textured vegetable protein)
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable broth
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons tamari (GF) or soy sauce
- a few spoonfuls of salsa - or a squeeze of fresh lime juice
- salt and pepper
- Preheat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the oil, if using, onion, and jalapeno. Stirring occasionally, cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
- Next, add the seasonings: 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp each cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the TVP, broth, and 1 Tbsp tamari. Stir to combine. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the TVP is piping hot. Stir in a couple of spoonfuls of salsa or a generous squeeze of lime. Taste for seasoning, adding more tamari, salt, and/or pepper, if desired.
- Serve warm with your favorite taco fixings.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
Save it on Pinterest!