Plant-based meat alternatives

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These days it’s becoming easier to find an alternative for any favorite meat or meat products in the supermarket, and research shows the plant-based meat industry will only continue to grow, says Research Drive.

Large investments from major food companies like Conagra and Tyson Foods, along with increased consumer demand, have only made the vegetarian and vegan meat offerings more delicious than ever as more competitors enter the space. This is great news for devotees with vegetarian or vegan diets, as plant-based options are now widely available at grocery stores, restaurants, and even fast-food joints.

We’re highlighting the top brands every plant-based eater should know about to create delicious, satisfying meals that will curb any craving. From shockingly good chicken nugget alternatives to flavorful faux deli meats and juicy vegan burgers, you may just find yourself double-checking the labels of these products to see if they are actually meatless. Prices listed may vary depending on location.

1. Daring

Daring plant based chicken

Whether you’re looking for an alternative for grilled, marinated, or breaded chicken, Daring has you covered with its line of soy-based chicken alternatives. These products stack up well protein-wise for people looking to bulk up their meals, offering up to 14 grams per serving, depending on the variety. And Daring, in fact, kind of tastes — and pulls apart — like chicken, according to a Thrillist review of the Drake-backed faux meat brand (via Veg News).

Daring products are sold frozen and can be cooked several ways. The brand advises that its non-breaded varieties, original, cajun, and lemon & herb should be sautéed or baked, while the breaded variety tastes best when air- or pan-fried.

The brand is widely available at food retailers nationwide, from Walmart to Erewhon Market, and you can use Daring’s product locator to find a retailer near you. Daring chicken alternatives retail for $45 for six 8-ounce bags on the brand’s website.

2. Upton’s Naturals

Uptons Naturals jackfruit

Upton’s Naturals is a Chicago-based vegan food company that offers a range of plant proteins, soups, and macaroni and cheese. Whether you’re looking for shredded jackfruit for taco Tuesdays, vegan bacon for Sunday brunch, or faux meat crumbles for a weeknight dinner, this brand offers a wide range of items that are sure to satisfy. Upton’s Naturals bacon seitan scored the top spot on Mashed’s ranking of the best and worst fake bacon products, while The Beet considers the brand’s Updog vegan hot dog to be one of the best alternatives out there.

Upton’s Naturals products can be found most often in the refrigerated meat and dairy alternatives section of the grocery store and are widely available at health food chains and co-ops across the country. Check out the brand’s store locator to find a retailer near you or shop online via Amazon. While the products range in price, Upton’s Naturals Updogs retail for $5.99 for a pack of four at Whole Foods Market.

3. Gardein

Garden crispy tenders in store

Those who have been vegetarians for years know that Gardein has been around since before plant-based eating was more mainstream. The brand offers an array of vegetarian and vegan products in the freezer and canned aisles of the grocery store. In terms of plant-based proteins, Gardein offers alternatives for beef, pork, turkey, chicken, and fish, and also has a line of frozen meals created with its plant proteins. The alternatives are made with a base of wheat flour, soy protein isolate, and vital wheat gluten to achieve a meat-like texture, and many of its products boast as much as 37 grams of protein per serving.

Gardein’s plant proteins can be found in the freezer aisle of most major food retailers, like Kroger, Safeway, and Walmart, and the brand can be shopped online through Amazon. Many of its products, like the seven grain crispy tenders, have top ratings on the e-commerce site, with even meat-eating Amazon reviewers raving about the flavor profile and texture. Gardein’s seven grain crispy tenders retail for $4.79 for a 9-ounce bag on Amazon.

4. Sweet Earth

Sweet Earth chik'n

Sweet Earth is a vegan food behemoth offering plant-based takes on meat, pizza, burritos, hot dogs, and more. In terms of meat alternatives, the brand sells bacon, seitan, burgers, grounds, chicken, deli slices, and sausages using ingredients like vital wheat gluten, adzuki beans, and soy protein. Sweet Earth’s plant-based meats have some of the highest protein contents on this list with certain items boasting as much as 25 grams per serving.

Sweet Earth’s products can be found in both the refrigerated meat and dairy alternatives section, as well as the freezer aisles in many grocery stores like Kroger, Target, and Whole Foods Market. The brand’s mindful chik’n strips has an impressive 4.5-star Amazon rating, and the hickory and sage benevolent bacon has an average 4-star Amazon rating. Prices range depending on the type of product, but its benevolent bacon goes for $4.29 for a 5.5-ounce pack on Amazon.

5. Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat in grocery store

Beyond Meat is one of the biggest names in plant-based meat, as its investors include figures like Bill Gates, Jessica Chastain, and Kyrie Irving, according to TIME and Forbes. Its products are also widely available at establishments across the country like TGI Fridays, Cinemark Theaters, and Courtyard by Marriott, according to PETA, making it even more of a household name. While Beyond Meat initially released its now-iconic burger that is much more meat-like than your typical black bean or soy burger, the brand has since debuted chicken, meatballs, jerky, ground meat, and sausages. Its products are made from ingredients like pea protein, rice, and plant-based oils.

Beyond Meat is widely available in supermarkets and convenience stores across the country, including Sam’s Club, Target, Wegmans, and Wawa. You can also shop Beyond Meat online via Amazon and Fresh Direct. A review of the brand by Best Products says that its offerings taste identical to meat, satisfying every herbivore and meat-eater alike at your next backyard gathering. Plus, several of the products have as many as 20 grams of protein per serving.

6. Good Catch

Good Catch plant based tuna

New vegetarians and vegans who used to rely on seafood cakes or burgers as a regular lunch staple will be thrilled to learn about Good Catch. The brand is dedicated to mimicking the flavors of your favorite seafood items using a blend of six types of legumes for a protein-packed fish alternative. You can find Good Catch products in the freezer aisle. The brand has everything from salmon burgers to fish sticks, crab and fish cakes, fish filets, packaged tuna, and fish burgers.

Good Catch’s offerings are available in major and local health store chains nationwide such as Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods Market. You can also shop the brand online through its website, Amazon, and Thrive Market, with the latter selling the most Good Catch products. The brand was honored as PETA’s 2021 Company of the Year for bringing delicious vegan seafood to the masses, and its products have up to 21 grams of protein per serving. Good Catch’s prices start at $3.99 for a 3.3-ounce pouch of plant-based tuna on Amazon.

7. Tofurky

Tofurky products

Oregon-based Tofurky is one of the most storied brands on this list by a long shot, as it first launched in 1980 and paved the way for the other plant-based alternative brands that have popped up since. The brand is wholly dedicated to producing meat alternatives that include deli slices, roasts, tempeh, burgers, sausages, and chicken. Tofurky’s products are made with ingredients like vital wheat gluten, tofu, and soy flour to create meat-like alternatives that are high in protein — some products have more than 20 grams per serving.

Tofurky is available at a wide range of food retailers nationwide from major grocers to independent health food stores, according to the site’s product locator tool. You can also shop the brand on Amazon. According to reviewers, its deli slices are some of its top-rated products, with many boasting 4.5-star ratings on Amazon. Tofurky’s prices start at $3.99 for a 5.5-ounce pack of its plant-based deli slices at Whole Foods Market.

8. Field Roast

Field Roast sausages and meal

Field Roast has been serving up plant-based meats since 1997, and today it not only offers sausages, deli slices, burgers, and roasts, but it’s also home to a popular plant-based cheese brand, Chao Creamery. Its products can be found in the refrigerated meat and dairy alternatives section of the grocery store. The food items are made with ingredients like vital wheat gluten, potatoes, lentils, and pea flower (some ingredient substitutes every vegan should know) to create inventive vegetarian takes on meat products with some offering as much as 28 grams of protein per serving.

The brand is widely available across large and local grocers nationwide such as Whole Foods Market, Target, and Publix, and you can also shop online through major brands like Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart. While the brand originally started with vegan roasts, novelty items like its signature stadium hot dog are wildly popular and led to collaborations through Goldbelly, as well as a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. Field Roast’s product prices start at $4.67 for a 10-ounce pack of signature stadium plant-based hot dogs.

9. Lightlife

Hand holding Lightlife bacon

Lightlife offers a wide range of plant-based meat options to fill you up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. From breakfast sausage to chicken tenders and tempeh, there’s something for every protein preference on its extensive product line. The brand employs ingredients like pea, brown rice, and soy proteins to create hearty meat alternatives. The protein content of its product line ranges from 5 grams to 20 grams per serving, and there are numerous unique flavors that make mealtime fun, like tikka masala tempeh cubes and chorizo-style sausages.

This brand is found in the refrigerated meat and dairy alternatives section of the supermarket and is available nationwide at stores like Walmart, Kroger, and Target. You can also shop Lightlife online via Amazon. All of Lightlife’s offerings have garnered 4 or 4.5 stars on Amazon with some Amazon reviewers saying the brand has the best tempeh on the market. Pricing for Lightlife’s products start at $2.99 for an 8-ounce pouch of tempeh at Whole Foods Market.

10. Quorn

Quorn meatless grounds bags

Quorn is a U.K.-based brand that is centered around an ingredient that’s unique to its product line: Quorn mycoprotein, a sustainable and protein-rich food source derived from a special fungi fermentation process, according to the brand. This microprotein is fiber-rich and eco-friendly, making it an innovative and interesting choice as we learn how to reshape our food systems for a changing environment. The brand’s product line includes meatless patties and burgers, chicken filets, grounds, meatballs, and more, along with entrees and appetizers.

You can find Quorn products in both the freezer aisles and refrigerated sections of grocery stores, and the brand is available nationwide in major chains like Kroger, Whole Foods Market, and Publix, as well as local natural food stores, according to Quorn. The brand is also shoppable online on Amazon and Instacart. The brand receives top Amazon ratings for its delicious, meaty flavors, and some reviewers noted that the offerings are especially delicious and unique due to the fact that they don’t contain soy. It’s pretty budget-friendly, too, as it’s $10.99 for a 2-pound bag of meatless nuggets at Kroger.

11. Impossible

Impossible burger meat

Similarly to Beyond Meat, Impossible is another major player in the plant-based meat industry, as it also has a glamorous list of investors like Jay-Z and Katy Perry, according to LiveKindly. Created by a former Stanford biochemistry professor, Impossible’s approach to plant-based meat is unique, as it looks at the product from a molecular level to create realistic imitations and uses ingredients like soy, potato, and coconut. Impossible’s products range from burgers, pork, sausage, nuggets, and meatballs with some products touting up to 19 grams of protein per serving.

Impossible’s products are available across major grocery chains, fast food joints, and even coffee shops like Starbucks across the country. They can be found in the freezer and refrigerated meat sections of food retailers like Wegmans and Safeway, as well as online through Amazon. Its flagship product, the Impossible Burger, really does look, taste, and cook like a traditional burger, thanks in part to the addition of heme iron which gives the burger a distinct flavor and allows it to "bleed," says The Kitchn. Impossible’s products start at $6.69 for a 12-ounce package of Impossible Burger meat at Wegmans.

12. Abbot’s Butcher

Abbots Butcher ground beef

Abbot’s Butcher is a newer brand that’s all about bringing carefully crafted meat alternatives made from the world’s best ingredients to the market, such as porcini mushrooms, Italian olive oil, and yellow peas. The brand’s products are both soy- and gluten-free, making them a great option for plant-based eaters with food allergies or intolerances. Their ground beef, chicken, and chorizo alternatives range from 14 grams to 18 grams of protein per serving to make for a satisfying dish.

Abbot’s Butcher is available to shop at select health food stores and natural grocers nationwide such as The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Natural Grocers, and Erewhon Market. You can also find the brand’s products online through Amazon and Hungryroot. Eat This, Not That considers Abbot’s Butcher ground beef to be one of the best plant-based products on the market right now, and states it’s plenty delicious on its own to simply cook and serve. The brand’s product line retails for $9.99 for a 10-ounce package of ground beef at GTFO it’s vegan.

13. Simulate

Simulate nuggs

Newcomer Simulate considers itself to be a "nutritional technology company" that’s solely focused on plant-based chicken products. It was founded by a then-19-year-old entrepreneur, Ben Pasternak, in 2018 and has since garnered major investments from names like Jay-Z, according to VegNews. The brand currently offers nuggs, spicy nuggs, dino nuggs, and chicken wings that have garnered some serious attention online. A Glamour reviewer was blown away by how much the brand’s products taste like the real things, and says that even Bella Hadid is obsessed with these plant-based nuggets made from textured wheat and soy proteins, wheat and corn flours, and breadcrumbs. Plus, these nuggets offer between 11 and 13 grams of protein per serving.

Simulate’s products are available nationwide at major food retailers like Walmart, Target, and Kroger. However, you won’t be able to purchase these through e-commerce retailers. The brand’s offerings are pretty cost-effective at $5.99 for a 32-ounce package of nuggets, and the wings sell out quickly, so be sure to snag a box when you notice a restock.

14. Raised & Rooted

Raised and Rooted products

Raised & Rooted is a brand from Tyson Foods that strives to make plant protein more accessible and appealing to everyone, whether you’re a vegetarian looking for more delicious alternatives or are simply cutting back on your meat intake (though vegan Wagyu may soon be a thing). While the brand was originally not suitable for vegans, Raised & Rooted has since changed its formulations to be suitable for all types of herbivores, according to LiveKindly. The brand’s line includes eight meat alternatives: chicken nuggets and tenders, burgers, grounds, and bratwurst-style sausages. Raised & Rooted products offer between 8 and 24 grams of protein per serving, with the plant-based ground packing in the most.

Considering that Raised & Rooted is the brainchild of the people at Tyson, this product line is available to shop at major food retailers around the country like Kroger, Shoprite, and Target, in both the freezer aisle and refrigerated sections. Prices of Raised & Rooted products start at $4.99 for its chicken nuggets at Target.

15. Boca

Boca tacos and box

Long-term vegetarians know that Boca is one of the longest-standing plant-based meat brands, and its burgers paved the way for vegetarian alternatives in the early ’90s, according to Eater. However, in more recent years, the brand has sought to keep up with the times by expanding its line of plant-based patties to include veggie meat crumbles and chik’n nuggets. Its products can tout as much as 28 grams of protein per serving and the brand relies on ingredients like wheat gluten, soy protein, and corn flour to create products with meaty textures.

Boca’s products are available at major grocery store chains nationwide, and you can also shop the brand online through Amazon. If you’re looking for a product that mimics cookouts from your childhood, Taste of Home says that the brand’s all American veggie burgers offer the best fresh-from-the-grill taste. Boca’s pricing starts at $3.99 for its chik’n nuggets at Kroger.

16. Hodo

Hodo products

Hodo is an Oakland-based plant protein brand powered by organic soy. The brand’s vast product line carries a lot, including nuggets, burgers, marinated tofu cubes, egg scrambles, and yuba noodles. Its products range from 11 grams to 21 grams of protein for those looking for nutrient-dense meat alternatives that will keep them full for hours. Those who love Sweetgreen’s tofu offerings are already familiar with the brand, as that’s what the buzzy salad chain uses, according to CookingLight. But for those who haven’t sampled it at Sweetgreen yet will be comforted by the brand’s many 4.5-star reviews across Amazon.

Hodo is available to shop in the refrigerated meat and dairy alternatives section of major grocery stores such as Wegmans, Whole Foods, and H-E-B, and the brand can also be shopped online through Fresh Direct and Sunbasket, among others. Pricing for Hodo’s products start at $4.17 for an 8-ounce pack of Thai curry nuggets.

17. Morningstar Farms

Morningstar Farms products

MorningStar Farms is the O.G. plant protein brand in the U.S. as it was first founded in 1974, according to Crunchbase, and it remains a major player in the meat alternatives space today. The brand also has one of the largest arrays of product offerings, from breakfast sausages to chicken nuggets, burgers, hot dogs, and appetizers that are made from soy, legumes, oats, egg whites, and mushrooms. The brand also launched Incogmeato, a line of products designed to compete with the Beyond Meats and Impossible Foods of the industry with meatier textures, flavors, and appearances than their traditional offerings, in 2020.

MorningStar Farms and Incogmeato products are available in food retailers nationwide, from Kroger to Walgreens and even Dollar General. You can also shop the brand online via Amazon. This vegetarian mainstay has garnered many 4.5-star ratings on Amazon, and its veggie lovers burger is considered one of the best store-bought burgers by EatingWell. The brand’s product line starts as low as $4.31 for a 10-ounce package of grillers prime veggie burgers at H-E-B.

18. The Very Good Butchers

The Very Good Butchers products

The Very Good Butchers is a Canadian brand that was founded to offer more nutritious and delicious plant-based meat alternatives to the market made from beans. Its first plant-based butchery opened in Victoria, Canada and has since transformed into a global retailer offering 15 different products across North America and the U.K. The product design is seamless and looks just like an artisanal meat product you’d pick up from a local butcher, and the brand also offers vegan cheeses through The Very Good Cheese Co. Its creative product line ranges from pepperoni to ribs and British-style bangers.

You can check out the brand’s store locator tool to find a local retailer, but it’s important to note that most of its in-store offerings are only available on the East and West Coasts. However, you can shop The Very Good Butcher through its online shop, whether you want to build your own butcher box or snag one product. The brand’s offerings are also available through Amazon. The company’s A Very Good Box, which is a pack of six meat alternatives, has a 4-star rating on Amazon with most reviewers being impressed by both the flavor and packaging. One reviewer even says that they felt less sluggish after eating these products than other meat alternatives. Prices for The Very Good Butchers start at $6.99 for a 7-ounce stick of pepperoni.

19. Hilary’s

Hilary's black bean burger

Hilary’s is a great pick for those with food allergies or intolerances as the brand is committed to creating allergen-free meat alternatives. The Kansas-based company’s formulations are free from 12 common allergens yet still manages to create delicious burgers and sausages. However, Hilary’s products are a bit lower in protein than the other brands on this list, with the highest protein content coming in at 8 grams per serving. However, it’s still a great pick for those looking for products made from whole foods like beans, root veggies, cauliflower, and rice.

Hilary’s products are available at major grocery stores, health food chains, and local food retailers nationwide from Sprouts to Whole Foods Market and Winn-Dixie. You can also shop online through Amazon, Fresh Direct, and Thrive Market. The brand has many 4.5-star ratings on Amazon and its products start at an impressive $2.99 for a 6.4-ounce pack of veggie burgers at Whole Foods Market.

20. Nasoya

Nasoya tofu

Every tofu-loving vegetarian, and omnivore for that matter, needs to know about Nasoya. The Massachusetts-based brand has been producing soy products since 1978 and boasts being the country’s No. 1 tofu brand. Its product line ranges from your standard package of unflavored tofu to Korean BBQ-spiced steak, breakfast scrambles, and bolognese alternatives. You can also find dumplings, kimchi, and other tasty items from Nasoya. Its products offer as much as 14 grams of protein per serving, all of which come from soybeans. There are also organic options for those who are interested.

Nasoya is widely available in grocery stores large and small nationwide from Target to ShopRite and BJ’s Wholesale Club. You can also shop the brand online through Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart. Amazon reviewers give Nasoya’s organic firm tofu an average 4.5-star rating. Nasoya’s prices start as low as $2.69 for a 12-ounce package of wonton wraps at Target to make delicious tofu appetizers with.