TVP: Textured Vegetable Protein

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein, is an excellent meat substitute that appears in many backpacking recipes because it is extremely lightweight, great meat supplement, quick to prepare, long shelf life, relatively low price, high in protein and fiber, and low in fat and sodium.
TVP, available as a powder or in the form of small chunks or flakes, is made from soy flour containing 50% soy protein. It needs to be rehydrated before using, at a weight ratio of 1:2 with water. However, TVP when made from soy concentrate contains 70% protein and can be rehydrated at a ratio of 1:3. It can be used as a meat replacement or supplement. The extrusion technology changes the structure of the soy protein, resulting in a texture similar to meat. It can replace ground beef, ground lamb, etc in most recipes, and in tuna fish salad to the extent of 30% or more. Using textured vegetable protein, one can make vegetarian or vegan versions of traditionally meat dishes. TVP also has a very mild flavor that readily absorbs the flavors of the foods it is mixed with.

When stored dry at room temperature TVP has a shelf life of more than a year, but after rehydration it should be used at once or stored for no more than three days in the refrigerator. It’s usually rehydrated with warm water, but a bit of vinegar or lemon juice can be added as a preservative.

Textured Vegetable Protein is available in bulk at natural food stores, large supermarkets, and online from Wilderness Dining.

For more information about TVP, please visit the TVP: Textured Vegetable Protein article on Wild Backpacker.


14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by carrajoe on April 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    This sounds like a great thing to have especially as I don’t eat meat. I love that is can meet the texture and taste of meat, although I have no idea how it does that. I checked out Wilderness Dining and just searched ‘tvp’. For $4.95 you get 3 ounces of the stuff, or about 19 Tablespoons. Sounds like a good deal I might just get some and try it out. Thanks for the info!


  2. I’ve been wanting to try this stuff (TVP) but was having trouble finding it in a store, I think I will get order it on line.


  3. Posted by Celeste on May 26, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    You can get this stuff really, really cheap if you live near a health food store that has a bulk section. They usually carry it for around 3 or 4 dollars per pound. Being a vegan, I can tell you this stuff can be a life saver when you need something quick and healthy yet extremely versatile.
    Just thought I would throw that out there for you guys 🙂


  4. Posted by Terri Shaver on July 15, 2009 at 5:43 am

    I’m looking for a site with lots of recipes for using TVP for backpacking. Can anyone direct me?

    Terri S.


  5. Posted by Smithy Smith on July 15, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Hey Terri, I’ve found a couple good recipes I’ve used in the past at the Recipeland website. (We can’t post url’s in here for some reason)

    I checked it out at that Wilderness Dining site and they have it listed for 4.95 a bag – a little expensive, but I’d done business with them and they’re pretty smooth. .


  6. Posted by dgranat on August 9, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    hey everyone,
    you can find textured soy af any mexican grocery store in the usa. i used to live in mexico and learned how to cook with it there. it is readily eaten there. add a little fresh lime juice about one key limes worth when cooking it then use it in whatever your making. also, for those of you who enjoy desserts on the trail, you can take a few tiny 3.5 oz. cans of sweetened condensed milk sold by nestle under the name of “la lecherita” (the little milk) to use as a topping for your desserts. this can be found at any mexican grocery store also.


  7. Posted by Candi on January 25, 2010 at 5:38 am

    This stuff is great. Sometime they can order a large bag for you at the health food or whole food markets. I buy mine in 25 lb bags as it can last for a long time on the shelf. It cost me around 50.00 to buy it this way so way cheaper than at my grocery store.


  8. It’s good to have products like these, especially to those who are not-so-meat-lovers. Aside from the fact that it’s a great source of vegetable protein, it’s also quick to cook. TVP can be someone’s excellent option to eliminate red meat.


  9. indeed a marvelous solution, i am using this stuff since 30 years backpacking and climbing. as diabetic i cant eat tht much pasta and rice, so TVP is a very important part of my nutrition during tours. great to see it is promoted



  10. Posted by cooking tips on April 16, 2012 at 12:55 am

    The food items provided by you are fantastic. We provide some tips which will be useful a lot while cooking. Please go throw cooking tips


  11. […] TVP: Textured Vegetable Protein « Backpacking Recipes – Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein, is an excellent meat substitute that appears in many backpacking recipes because it is extremely lightweight, great meat supplement, quick to prepare, … […]


  12. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d
    like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.


  13. Aren’t meat-based proteins and vegetable proteins different? Can you really use soy as a meat substitute? Does it regenerate muscles the same way meat protein would?


  14. Great post, TVP is great for backpacking.


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