Best Vegan Meat: 6 Must-Try Picks for Meat-Free Meals

Meat may be the go-to protein source for most people, but a growing trend sees individuals cutting it out from their diets. There are various good reasons behind this shift in dietary choices, including prevention of animal cruelty, addressing health concerns, protecting the environment, and more.

The good news is more and more vegan companies are stepping up to the plate, providing a variety of plant-based meat alternatives. Their products are meant not just to satisfy your protein requirements but to delight your palate as well.

Not sure where to start and what to pick? We have scoured the physical and virtual aisles of different grocery stores to bring you six of the best vegan meat options that are perfect for starters and long-time vegans alike.

These choices are not only delectably satisfying but also cater to various taste preferences and culinary needs. Let’s dig in!

Best Vegan Meat Options

  1. Beyond Meat Beyond Burger
  2. Gardein Ground Be’f
  3. Tofurky Deli Slices
  4. Gardein Crispy Tenders
  5. Lightlife Smart Dogs

Beyond Meat Beyond Burger: The Pioneer of Plant-Based Patties

Beyond Meat Beyond Burger

Heralded as the OG of vegan meat, the Beyond Burger by Beyond Meat is a plant-based patty that looks, cooks, and tastes like traditional beef. Packed with pea protein, this burger boasts an impressive sizzle on the grill and a juicy center that mimics the real deal.

Best Suited For:

  • Beyond Burger is perfect for those transitioning to a plant-based diet who crave the familiarity of a classic burger experience. It is also suited for barbecue enthusiasts and anyone seeking a convincing meat alternative.


  • High protein content.
  • Remarkably similar taste and texture to beef.
  • Versatile cooking options (grill, stovetop, oven).


  • Slightly higher price point compared to some competitors.
  • May be too realistic for those seeking a more distinctive plant-based taste.
  • Contains processed ingredients.

Gardein Ground Be’f: A Groundbreaking Plant-Based Alternative

A package of ground beef

Gardein’s Ground Be’f is a versatile and convenient alternative to traditional ground beef. Made from a blend of soy and wheat protein, this plant-based ground can be used in tacos, spaghetti, pies, casseroles, and more, offering a meaty texture without ethical concerns.

Best Suited For:

  • Gardein’s Ground Be’f is perfect for busy individuals seeking a convenient meat substitute for quick and easy meals. It is also ideal for families looking to introduce plant-based options into their favorite recipes.


  • Quick and easy to cook.
  • Versatile for various recipes.
  • Free from cholesterol and saturated fat.
  • Good value for price.


  • Contains soy. 
  • Some find the texture slightly softer than traditional ground beef.
  • May not satisfy those seeking a whole-foods-based option.

Tofurky Deli Slices: A Delightful Companion to Sandwiches

A package of food

For those who miss the convenience and flavor of deli meats, Tofurky Deli Slices is a delightful solution. Made with a blend of organic tofu and wheat protein, these slices offer a satisfyingly savory taste reminiscent of traditional cold cuts. Whether you are crafting a sandwich or adding protein to a salad, Tofurky Deli Slices brings plant-based versatility to your table.

Best Suited For:

  • Sandwich lovers and those seeking a convenient and tasty deli meat replacement.


  • Authentic deli flavor.
  • Available in a variety of flavors
  • Versatile for various dishes.
  • Affordable and widely available in various meat retailers both online and off.


  • Texture may be too soft for some.
  • Higher sodium content.

Gardein Crispy Tenders: A Versatile and Delicious Flexitarian Option

A bag of food on

When the craving for crispy and flavorful chicken tenders strikes, Gardein Crispy Tenders steps in as the ideal vegan alternative. Made from a blend of soy and wheat protein, these tenders boast a satisfying crunch and a taste that rivals traditional chicken. Perfect for dipping into your favorite sauces, Gardein Crispy Tenders elevate plant-based snacking to a whole new level.

Best Suited For:

  • Snack enthusiasts, families, and anyone looking for a quick and delicious plant-based finger food.


  • Authentic crispy texture.
  • Convenient and easy to prepare.
  • Reasonably priced and available in most grocery chains.


  • May contain allergens for some.
  • Slightly higher in sodium.
  • Limited flavor options.

Lightlife Smart Dogs: Plant-Powered Hot Dog Perfection

A package of hot dogs

Description automatically generated

When the craving for classic hot dogs strikes, Lightlife’s Smart Dogs offer a plant-based solution. Crafted with soy protein, these vegan hot dogs provide the familiar snap and taste of traditional franks, making them a hit at barbecues and cookouts.

Best Suited For:

  • Perfect for those nostalgic for the classic hot dog experience without meat. Lightlife Smart Dogs are ideal for families, picnics, and anyone seeking a guilt-free indulgence.


  • Authentic hot dog taste and texture.
  • Low in saturated fat and calories.
  • Free from cholesterol.


  • Contains soy and gluten.
  • The texture may be too firm for some.
  • Limited flavor options compared to traditional hot dogs.

Field Roast Italian Sausage: Transforming Everyday Meals into Flavorful Creations

A package of sausages with a label

Description automatically generated

If you are craving the rich taste of Italian sausage, Field Roast’s plant-based version might be just what you need. Made from vital wheat gluten and seasoned with classic ingredients like onions and sweet peppers, this vegan sausage offers a full-flavored experience.

It is a versatile choice that goes well with pasta, tops off a pizza beautifully, or makes for a filling sandwich. To top it off, each serving packs 25 grams of protein, making it a satisfying meat substitute for any meal.

Best Suited For:

  • Italian cuisine enthusiasts, home cooks looking to add a meaty kick to their dishes.


  • Authentic Italian sausage flavor.
  • Firm and satisfying texture.
  • High protein content.


  • Higher in fat than some alternatives.
  • Slightly chewier texture.
  • Limited flavor options.


As more people turn to plant-based diets, discovering the best vegan meat that matches your taste and preference is easier than ever!

The six standout options we have highlighted offer a solid foundation for your exploration into the world of flavorful and satisfying meat alternatives.

Whether you are transitioning to a plant-based diet, trying out Meatless Mondays, or a vegan in search of new flavors, these top selections are designed to provide a smooth transition and enrich your culinary experiences with plant-based variety.

Dive in and prepare for your tastebuds to be delighted—they might even make you question whether you ever need the animal-based versions again.

Two More Recommendations for Your Plant-Based Journey

1. This is the best free video training I’ve found on plant-based nutrition. You’ll learn how to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and obesity—all with plant-based food. Watch the free “Food for Health Masterclass” here.

2. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in my 14 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).