Tag Archives: using TVP

How To Re-Hydrate Dry TVP

I just received a question about rehydrating dry TVP (textured vegetable protein). Many stores carry ready to cook TVP in the form of faux “meats” (whether frozen, refrigerated, or canned), but in some areas, these types of products can be difficult to find. In that case, dry TVP may be your only alternative.

For people in those areas here’s my advice. The general rule of thumb for rehydrating TVP is 1 cup of TVP to ¾-1 cup of boiling water. I always start at the lower measure first, you can always add more water. After pouring the water over it, give the TVP about 10 minutes to rehydrate. Once it has plumped up and is softened, squeeze out the excess water and use.

If you feel the TVP is still too wet, simply spread it out on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes and the texture will become drier and chewier. If you are going to bake off excess water, make sure to check the TVP at 10 minutes, since all ovens bake differently. If the TVP does become too dry – I prefer it on the drier side – I would still use it, unless it’s totally blackened. Once you add it to your recipe, it will plump back up. If at first you’re not satisfied with the results you get, give it a few tries, you’ll get the knack of it!

Use fine-textured TVP in sauces, or for tacos and chili. Use the larger crumbles to replace beef in stews, stir-fries, soups, and pot pies. Dry TVP can be stored in a cool dry location for up to 6 months. Rehydrated TVP needs to be refrigerated and should be used up within 3-5 days.



TVP or “mock-meats” are getting a lot of attention these days, and for good reason. With up to eighty percent less fat than lean animal meats, these products lend themselves remarkably well to many recipes that traditionally use beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, or pork. In fact, some of the most popular recipes on our website are made with TVP and we get a lot of mail with questions about how to use these products.

Mock-meat sales at college cafeterias have more than doubled in the past few years and general market sales are expected to reach record highs by 2008. There are a number of companies that produce these meat alternatives and they have improved taste and texture significantly. Their popularity is understandable, as they provide a low fat meatless option to transitional vegetarians or flexitarians who desire kicking the meat habit, but are not ready to walk away from many of their favorite, traditional meat-based dishes.

At first, I was a bit ambivalent about using mock-meat, but I must admit that I enjoy not only the culinary challenge of preparing it, but also the positive response of diehard meat eaters to dishes prepared with TVP. Consuming meat replacers a few times a week will make a huge difference to your overall health while helping reduce the negative impact a meat-based diet has on animals and the environment. It’s a win win situation, no matter how you look at it.