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Vegan Jerky

Vegetarian? Not a problem, there’s a jerky for you.   Good thing, there’s a wide variety of ready-to-eat vegan jerky products on the market .  For more information on retail vegan jerky, visit  Vegan jerky  on Amazon.

But for those who like homemade jerky, below is a brief overview of vegetarian jerky.

Main Ingredient

There were two primary main (protein) ingredients for making vegan jerky that kept popping up: [1]

  1. Tempeh – an Indonesian product made into a cake from fermented soybeans. [2]
  2. Tofu (Firm Block) – sometimes called ‘bean curd’ this product is made from coagulating soy milk. It is pressed into soft, firm or very firm blocks. For making jerky you want ‘firm’.



We did come across some other vegan recipes that contained different products such as:

  • Shitake Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Oatmeal



The seasonings for making vegan jerky varied widely and can be almost anything you like but some recommended seasoning – and ones that we kept seeing were:

  • Mesquite Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt (adds flavor & helps with drying)
  • Hot Sauce
  • Brown Sugar


Making Vegan Jerky

The list is general observations.  The links to recipes – following –  will give more in-depth directions.   The process for making homemade jerky will depend on what ‘vegetable’ product you are using to make the jerky.

  • Slice the tempeh/tofu into your preference of slice size. Don’t forget, the thicker the slice, the longer to dehydrate.
  • Flavor/season with selected spices, etc. and marinate overnight
  • Dry like you would regular meat jerky

The drying part can be a little tricky. If using a dehydrator: drying time typically will take 6-8 hours. An oven will take less time. However, you do not want the jerky to reach 250 degrees. This tends to cook it not dry it.  Most of the research we read indicated that drying in the oven will result in a jerky that is crispier and not so chewy.  Again, goes to personal taste.





The following are some recipes we found that looked like they would be tasty:

Tofu Jerky using liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and brown sugar – Get recipe

Tofu Jerky using vinegar hot sauce, soy sauce, honey, garlic salt –  Get recipe

For the adventurous ones out there, this is the link to making jerky from  mushrooms, eggplant, and oatmeal – Get recipe

Not wild enough? How about making jerky from Jackfruit? Cauliflower? Watermelon? or Pumpkin?  –  Get recipes








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