Going vegan can be scary at first, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are 4 vegan meat alternatives to help transition to a plant-based diet.

Person holding an Impossible Burger, displaying one of the more popular vegan meat alternatives.
Impossible Burger, a popular vegan burger served at restaurants
Photo from Official Impossible Facebook.

You’ve probably heard about the Impossible Burger, but did you know that there are dozens of other vegan meat alternatives out there? Switching to a vegan lifestyle can be daunting at first, but I’m here to help with that. Keep reading to learn about 4 of my favorite vegan meats.

I first went vegetarian 5 years ago, and became vegan a few years later. When I first cut meat out of my diet, I honestly had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t read any articles on recipes or products, and I didn’t use the resources around me. I was a college student with no vegan friends in a family that had no vegans (but now, both my parents and significant other are all vegan!).

Fortunately, there are so many up-and-coming vegan meat brands to choose from! Often, people go vegan for health or environmental reasons; not because they hate meat. Instead of longing for meat, try meat alternatives that are better for your body and the world around you.  

Beyond Meat

At first glance, it is hard to tell the difference between a Beyond Burger and a real beef burger.
Beyond Burger
Photo from Official Beyond Meat Site

Beyond Meat is one of the more popular meat alternative brands. You can buy Beyond Meat from the grocery store and many popular chain restaurants. The texture and taste of these burgers are very similar to real meat, making them popular among both vegans and non-vegans.

The company has created other products besides their signature burger. You can enjoy Beyond Meat sausages with the burgers, and breakfast patties in the morning. If you’re in the mood for crumbles to make tacos or pasta, check out their seasoned beef crumbles that can usually be found in the frozen section.

By shifting from animal to plant-based meat, we can positively impact four growing global issues: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources, and animal welfare.

Beyond Meat Website

Recently I have noticed the brand receiving criticism from meat companies because of their ingredients. There are a few claims that the ingredients are not as natural as beef. It is important to take this information with a grain of salt for Beyond Meat and every brand on this list.

These products aren’t meant to be clean and healthy enough to eat every day; they are meant to substitute meat and the footprint that animal agriculture leaves on the world. Don’t forget that a pack of beef from the grocery store contains a lot more than just 100% beef!

Tofurky

These deli slices are one of Tofurky's more popular products.
Tofurky deli slices, perfect for any sandwich
Photo from Tofurky Official Site

Tofurky has been around for a while. At first, their products didn’t receive much praise; making delicious vegan meat in the ‘90s was a bit difficult. Recently though, Tofurky has made it big! You can find their products at almost every grocery store, along with tons of other vegan options.

Deli slices are among one of their most popular products. I have their turkey deli slices on my weekly shopping list and always have a pack in my fridge. They aren’t expensive and are just as good as the real thing. If you are a sucker for cute packaging, Tofurky always creates a cute mascot for their product packages too!

Tofurky also sells holiday roasts, perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They aren’t difficult to prepare, so this makes them perfect for any holiday where a vegan dish is needed alongside a real turkey. Non-vegans around you may even become curious and want a bite.

Field Roast

Selection of Field roast meat substitutes, all of them being incredibly delicous.
Selection of Field Roast Products
Photo from Plantbased.

Field Roast is one of my favorite vegan meat brands on this list. Their products have never once disappointed me, and I am obsessed with their apple sage sausages. All of their products taste handmade with so much flavor it is unbelievable.

The company sells a variety of sausages, roasts, burgers, and deli slices. Along with their apple sage sausage, I absolutely love the mini breakfast sausages. They are perfect for big breakfasts and can even be wrapped in vegan croissant dough to make ‘pigs’-in-a-blanket.

Unlike other companies on this list, Field Roast also has their own cheese line! You can find Chao cheese at many different grocery stores, usually alongside their vegan meat products. Chao cheese is becoming increasingly more popular, so if you don’t see it at your local grocery store, it may be there soon. I feel like more vegan products are added to my local grocery every week.

Chao Creamy original cheese, which goes with pretty much anything that calls for cheese.
Popular flavor of Chao cheese
Photo from Official Field Roast Site

Chao cheese maintains the same level of quality, and comes in a variety of flavors. Personally, I am a fan of the Creamy original pictured above, combined with Tofurky turkey slices. This cheese can be a little expensive, but it’s okay to splurge on something this amazing every once in a while.

Vegan cheese can be scary to some people, but it doesn’t have to be! If you are interested in a mac n’ cheese product, try their prepackaged mac that can be found in the freezer section of many grocery stores. All you have to is pop it in the microwave for a few minutes and enjoy!

Frozen foods might not be for you but luckily, Field Roast has posted a mac n’ cheese recipe that you can make at home. There are a lot of ingredients, but if you have extra time, the outcome is definitely worth it. This cheese tastes like the real thing, so you can even serve it non-vegans with no complaints.

Gardein

The signature Gardein bag with a delicious-looking chick'n sandwich, showing that Gardien products are highly customizable.
A Gardien chick’n scallopini that has been breaded and fried
Photo from Official Gardein Facebook

Gardein products are a must have for your freezer. Their products are incredibly simple to make and taste very similar to meat. It’s hard to pick the best product, because they sell everything ranging from chicken strips to meatballs to crab cakes. Basically, if you can think of a meat product, they sell a vegan version.

These pre-prepared bags are great for a quick meal, without lacking in quality. I have the sweet and sour ‘porkless’ bites sitting the freezer ready to be enjoyed on a bed of rice. Gardein includes sauces too, so you don’t have to buy extra sauces.

If you need a recipe using Gardein products, check out this vegan cajun chicken pasta. I make this recipe almost every week, it is delicious and simple. This dish is also great to make when non-vegan guests visit. It’s not too bizarre and will definitely win them over. If you want to make the recipe but can’t find any Gardein, Tofurky sells chicken strips that work just as well.


Don’t forget, there are tons of other options out there! It seems like every day, more vegan meat brands are popping up. Food manufacturers are taking notice of the growing vegan population, and there are several companies that produce vegan options alongside their meat choices.

In 2020, you should never feel like there is a lack of options. Comment your favorite vegan meat brands below, and feel free to include any brands not discussed!