Seven Meat Substitutes You Can Incorporate Into Your Meal Plan

Published on June 17, 2020

Whether you’re vegan or vegetarian or just trying to eat right, changing your diet from what you’re used to can be somewhat challenging. Especially if you’re trying to take something out of your diet and incorporate something new.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been trying to better my own health during the quarantine. Taking foods out of my diet that aren’t good for me and replacing them with other healthy foods. This was a challenge at first but now, I’m getting used to it. 

One main ingredient I’ve been trying to step back off of is meat. I enjoy a burger here and there, but I also want to better my diet, so I’m trying to discipline myself to try other meat substitutes. If you are like me and doing the same or want to try out some different meat substitutes, then you’re in the right place. 

Here are some common meat substitutes that you can incorporate into your diet. Trust me, you won’t be able to tell the difference and it can be a lot tastier as well. 


Tofu is an excellent substitute for all types of meat, like pork, chicken, or beef. It can be used as a substitute for seafood as well. Tofu made from soybeans and high in calcium and protein. For an added bonus, it cooks very easily. It also goes with anything you make because it picks up the flavors of what you are cooking it with. It’s like the chameleon of healthy foods!


Jackfruit is a tropical fruit and often used as a meat substitute. You can eat jackfruit shredded, cooked, chunks like chicken or pork, and with seasonings. It’s said that its taste is neutral, and also it packs a a ton of nutrients.


Different, but yes, eggplant can be a meat substitute. Sounds surprising, I know. In an article on Food Network Jackie Newgent, RDN, culinary nutritionist and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook breaks down the benefits of the food. Newgent says, “one of its standout nutrients is nasunin, a health-promoting anthocyanin.”


Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soy product that is made from fermented soybeans. It’s known to lower cholesterol levels and build strong bones. It’s also packed with vitamins. According to One Green Planet, “tempeh is a good source of manganese, copper, fiber, protein, phosphorous, and vitamin B2.”

Gluten-free, Vegan Meat

You can always go for the vegan meat options. There are many vegan brands out there that have a line of gluten-free meat out there for you. If you’re not feeling any of these products, then going for vegan meat is always fine. You are still getting just as much as you are from the other products, and it’s just as healthy. 


Quinoa is another nutritious and popular meat substitute among the health community. It has high protein and also contains amino acids for good health. So, you can’t go wrong with using this substitution.

Textured Vegetable Protein 

Textured vegetable protein or also known as soy protein or soya chunks is a defatted soy flour product. It’s quick and easy to cook with a protein comparable to meats.

Jori Ayers is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily based in Tampa, Florida. She was formerly with the editorial team at Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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