A Vegan’s Guide to Meat Alternatives

Meat alternatives header of someone holding a vegan burger

There are so many incredible vegan meat and dairy alternatives out there now and all the health food shops and supermarkets stock them. If you can think of a meat or dairy item, there’s a vegan replacement for pretty much all of them. You can find something to suit every budget as Iceland, Aldi and Lidl are now on board! Some of the other supermarkets and health food shops have low-cost options too.

But why would you want to eat something that resembles meat or dairy?!

Most people stop eating meat because of the ethical, environmental and health implications not because they don’t like the taste! There are many textures, tastes and flavours that people enjoy and have been brought up on. So meat substitutes are convenient and fantastic for many. It means you can enjoy your favourite flavours without the suffering and environmental destruction.

Some vegans choose not to eat meat substitutes and that’s absolutely fine too. From a health perspective it’s always better to use fresh ingredients and to cook from scratch but substitutes are great from time to time (and healthier than meat!). Here are some of our favourites although there are loads more to choose from!

For all of our favourite dairy-free swaps, head to A Vegan’s Guide to…

Sausages

Aldi deli vegan sausages

Our top budget sausages

Aldi The Deli Sausages

Linda Mccartney's vegan sausages

Our top mid range sausages

Linda McCartney’s Sausages

Beyond meat vegan sausages

Our top posh sausages

Beyond Meat The Beyond Sausage

Nut sausage and mash with gravy vegan

Try this recipe

You can also make your own! We recommend our delicious Nutty Mushroom Sausages. They freeze well so it’s worth making a couple of batches.

Mince

No bull vegan mince

Our top budget mince

Iceland No Bull Vegan Mince

Tesco vegan mince

Our top mid range mince

Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda own brand or Linda McCartney

naturli pea mince

Our top posh mince

Naturli Pea Based Mince

Vegan lasagne

Try this recipe

Our favourite mince recipe is the timeless classic, Traditional Lasagne. Lovely deep rich flavours, layered up with a creamy béchamel sauce, topped off with a layer of cheese… indulgence at its best.

Burgers

iceland no bull vegan burgers

Our top budget burgers

Iceland No Bull Burgers and Aldi No Beef Burgers

linda mccartney's quarter pounder burgers

Our top mid range burgers

Linda McCartney ¼ lb Burgers

beyond vegan burgers

Our top posh burgers

Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers

vegan recipe club vegan bean burgers

Try this recipe

A brilliant vegan staple, Spicy Vegan Bean Burgers. Easy to make, economical and open to lots of creative variations! They can be as spicy or mellow as you like. You can also add more fresh veg – e.g. chopped peppers, celery. So raid the fridge and get experimenting!

Bacon

plant pioneers vegan bacon rashers

Our top budget bacon

Plant Pioneers Smoky Vacon Rashers

cheatin vegan bacon rashers

Our top mid range bacon

VBites Meat-free Streaky Rashers

this isnt bacon vegan bacon rashers

Our top posh bacon

This Isn’t Bacon Plant Based Rashers

seitan bacon

Try this recipe

You can even make your own vegan bacon! This recipe is very tasty. It’s also cheap to make but takes a wee while so it’s worth doubling up the quantities to make a large batch – it freezes for up to 3 months so go for it.

Fish

iceland no fish fingers

Our top budget fish

Iceland No Fish Fingers

quorn fishless fingers

Our top mid range fish

Quorn Fishless Fingers and Battered Fishless Fillets. Also the VBites fishless range.

gardein fishless filets

Our top posh fish

Gardein Golden Fishless Fillets

10 minute tofish

Try this recipe

This tofish recipe is a revelation as it really only takes 10 minutes! Lovely chunky tofu wrapped in seaweed and covered in crispy beer batter… perfect for evenings when you’re short of time and need some comfort food!

Breaded chicken

aldi breaded chicken burgers

Our top budget breaded chicken

Aldi No Chicken Burgers and Quorn Vegan Nuggets

linda mccartneys vegan chicken bucket

Our top mid range breaded chicken

Linda McCartney Chicken Bucket

gardein vegan crispy tenders

Our top posh breaded chicken

Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders

vegan recipe club chicken poppers

Try this recipe

Seitan – or gluten – is the original meat alternative. High in protein, low in fat, and dense in texture, it lends itself to all sorts of dishes, including stir fries, ‘steaks’, deli slices for sandwiches, meat balls/chunks and more. Get started with our Seitan Popcorn Chicken.

Chicken pieces / strips

iceland no chick strips

Our top budget chicken

Iceland No Chick Strips and Tesco Meat-free Chicken Style Pieces

frys vegan chicken strips

Our top mid range chicken

Fry’s Vegan Chicken Strips, Quorn Vegan Pieces and VBites Vegi-Deli Chicken Pieces

The Vegetarian Butcher Vegan No Chicken Chunks

Our top posh chicken

The Vegetarian Butcher Vegan No Chicken Chunks

vegan recipe club mock chicken wrap

Try this recipe

We highly recommend our Creamy Mock Chicken, Avocado & Tomato Wraps. Just yummy… a simple, quick dish to please sceptical meat-eaters and just about anyone.

Beef

Vbites Cheatin Roast Beef slices

Our top budget beef

VBites Cheatin’ Roast Beef Slices

Plant pioneers vegan steaks

Our top mid range beef

Plant Pioneers Vegan Steaks

Gardein vegan beefless strips

Our top posh beef

Gardein Beefless Strips

Vegan recipe club steak and ale pie

Try this recipe

Looking for some dinner inspo? Give our Vegan ‘Steak’ & Ale Pie a go. Full of lovely veg, a nice rich boozy sauce and golden, crispy pastry… what more could you want… well apart from gravy of course!

Ham slices

Quorn vegan ham free slices

Our top budget ham

Quorn Smoky Ham Slices

VBites Cheatin’ Ham Style Slices

Our top mid range ham

VBites Cheatin’ Ham Style Slices

Tofurky Plant-Based Deli Slices

Our top posh ham

Tofurky Plant-Based Deli Slices

Deli style ham bagels vegan recipe club

Try this recipe

We recommend using vegan ham slices in a Deli-style Sandwich or Wrap. Simple, easy to make and very tasty!

Turkey centerpiece

VBites Meat-Free Turkey Roast

Our top budget turkey

VBites Meat-Free Turkey Roast

Tofurky Roast

Our top mid range turkey

Tofurky Roast

Love Seitan Classic Seitan Log

Our top posh turkey

Love Seitan Classic Seitan Log

Vegan recipe club turkeyless roast

Try this recipe

You guessed it, you can even make your own vegan turkey! This roast is just heavenly and the ultimate centrepiece for your Christmas dinner! It’s actually very straightforward to make and is sure to impress friends and family… not to mention saving some beautiful turkeys in the process.

Duck

Granovita Mock Duck

Our top budget duck

Granovita Mock Duck

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Shredded Hoisin Duck

Our top mid range duck

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Shredded Hoisin Duck (it is suitable for vegans)

VBites Meat-Free Duck Pieces in Hoisin Sauce

Our top posh sausages

VBites Meat-Free Duck Pieces in Hoisin Sauce

Vegan recipe club companion mock duck

Try this recipe

We love these brilliant, fast and healthy Mock Duck Pancakes – which are also much kinder to ducks, of course. Because you assemble each wrap yourself and pass dishes around, it’s also a very communal-style meal – a great conversation starter!

Next: A vegan's guide to plant milk
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