For more recent suggestions, check out our Best Plant-based Meats of 2021 blog!
There’s no shortage of healthy, tasty, and eco-friendly alternatives to meat these days. As more people begin to understand the benefits a plant-based diet can bring to their lives, big name retailers are running to keep up! Everywhere from Target to Kroger are carrying more and better plant-based alternatives for you and your family to enjoy.
But wait… What’s that? There’s too many delicious options? You don’t know what to put in your cart? You’re overwhelmingly excited by the power of plants?!
WELL FEAR NOT, because we’re here to coach you through it!
We’ve ranked the Six Best Meat Replacements so you can spend less time deliberating in the store, and more time eating plants for a change.
Honorable Mentions: Tofu & Tempeh
(Image Credit: Nutricilious)
To start off our list we want to give a quick shout-out to two mainstay classics: tofu and tempeh. This protein-packed duo has been a blank canvas for culinary artistry for centuries! Made from everyone’s favorite legume, soybeans, tofu and tempeh find themselves at home in almost any dish. Their versatility is truly unrivaled -- so much so that we consider them in a league of their own. Our favorite is by far a Sunday morning tofu scramble, though. (Mimosas, anyone?)
6. Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo
(Image Credit: Trader Joe’s)
Trader Joe’s is a plant-based cook’s best friend. Since they primarily sell in-house brands, including many exciting specialty items, they’re able to keep their costs down considerably. That means more money in your pocket... or in your belly as their Soy Chorizo! With just a touch of heat, Trader Joe’s has made it easy for those eating plant-based to indulge on the flavors of Spanish cuisine. Try it in your favorite Spanish rice or paella recipe! (Fair warning: it tends to crumble, so plan accordingly.)
5. Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n
(Image Credit: The Fit Fork)
A combination of sweet and savory is just about the ultimate one-two flavor punch. If that’s your jam too, then you need to look for Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n strips at the store (check the health food isle)! Ready in under ten minutes they’re perfect for those that need an easy, convenient meal. Add them to a stir-fry with rice and fresh veggies and you’ll feel like a cooking champion!
4. Tofurky Italian Sausages
(Image Credit: Tofurky)
Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or a romantic, Italian dinner you always want your guests to leave impressed. Tofurky’s Italian Sausage is an easy way to make sure that happens! Toss them on the grill or saute them with peppers and onions, either way your taste buds will be rewarded with pleasant notes of sun-dried tomato and basil. And don’t let the name Tofurky lead you astray, these tender sausages are no squishy tofu -- they have that satisfying bite you know and love! (No offense tofu, we still appreciate you!)
3. Beyond Meat Burger
(Image Credit: Beyond Meat)
Have a meat-lover in the home? Running into trouble getting them to eat less meat? Well, chances are you’ve seen The Beyond Burger in the meat aisle -- it’s time to put it on their plate! The Beyond Burger was the first plant-based burger to truly revolutionize the food industry, so much so that Beyond Meat recently had to triple its production to keep up with the demand! Yeah, it’s that good. Infused with the power of beets, the burger looks and even “bleeds” just like beef does. It’s perfect for those that love a juicy burger! (Bonus: Beyond Meat’s latest product, Beyond Sausage, is available in Whole Foods now!)
2. Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausage
(Image Credit: Field Roast)
Finishing runner-up in our plant-based race to the top is Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages. Is your mouth watering yet? Based out of Portland, OR. Field Roast creates some top-notch meat alternatives that are out of this world! Their grain meat blend creates an umami explosion you’re sure to crave time and time again. (They make breakfast sausages too if you’re looking to upgrade your morning routine!)
1. Impossible Burger
(Image Credit: Impossible Foods)
Hands down, the Impossible Burger is the best plant-based meat alternative on the market! The texture, appearance, and taste are almost uncannily similar to meat. (Dare we say, it almost seems impossible?) Impossible Foods utilizes plant-derived heme to give their products the characteristic aroma and taste of meat -- and don’t worry, the FDA recently granted the iron-rich ingredient it’s official safe-to-eat seal of approval! Impossible Foods has worked tirelessly to make the best product they can to replicate meat with plant-based ingredients, and unfortunately that means it’s not yet available in retailers. However, it’s sold in over 1,000 restaurants across the country like Applebee’s, Cheesecake Factory, and White Castle! The company plans to expand into the retail market soon, but until then, now you have a reason to dine out.
So, that’s our list of the six best plant-based meat alternatives, we hope you find it useful! Were there any surprises? Something you think we missed? Let us know @CompassionUSA on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #EatPlantsForAChange!