This easy vegan jerky is gluten-free, full of flavor, and packed with plant protein! It works great to pack in school lunches or carry along in your bag for a quick and filling snack.
Perfect for hiking and backpacking too! (Wow! I would have loved to have these when I was backpacking the Appalachian Trail 18 years ago! Instead, I had a few packs of dehydrated tofu, which was not nearly as tasty as this stuff).
Is this jerky expensive?
No, not compared to store-bought vegan jerky. My family loves the store-bought vegan jerky, but it gets expensive to buy it regularly. You can make this recipe for a fraction of the cost of store-bought vegan jerky!
What are they made from?
Vegan jerky is simple to make with Butler Soy Curls. Soy Curls are made from dehydrated soy much like textured vegetable protein, except for they come in large pieces about the size of chicken strips. When re-hydrated, they have the texture of meat.
When I first started using Butler Soy Curls, I knew that there had to be a way to make them into jerky. I tested out a bunch of different flavor combinations until my family finally agreed that the recipe was perfect!
How can I make my own vegan Jerky?
- It couldn’t be much easier to make this jerky! Simply make a marinade with spices and boiling water.
- Then pour in the soy curls into the marinade and give it a stir.
- Allow the soy curls to soak up the flavor for about 5 minutes -giving them a stir every minute or 2 making sure they have soaked up as much marinade as possible.
- Once the soy curls are re-hydrated, put them on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven at 225° F for about an hour until they become chewy and the texture of jerky.
- You can dehydrate them a little more or a little less depending on your taste. I like them slightly dry and crispy, my kids like them soft and chewy.
Pro Tip: They will continue to dehydrate slightly once you take them out of the oven while they are cooling, so take them out when they are still a little softer than you want your final product to be.
What can I use them for?
I make a large batch of them at least once or twice a week. My kids love them in their school lunch! Once they cool, I store them in a sealed jar or put them in snack sized bags, so they are ready to grab and go snacks. They are also great as car food on long trips or just to take along anywhere that it is hard to find a good source of vegan protein. Don't forget to bring along a bag on your next camping or backpacking trip too!
How do I store them?
Since they are still slightly moist, I store them in the fridge to make sure that they stay fresh long term. They are fine to leave out of refrigeration for a day or 2 to take camping or on a trip. I am not exactly sure how long that they stay good for since my family always eats them all in the first few days.
Where can I find Butler Soy Curls?
I can find them at my local natural foods store, but I go through so many soy curls now we had to start buying them by the 12-pound box! If they don’t sell them at your local stores, you can find them on Amazon or order them directly from the Butler Foods website.
Want another meal idea using Butler Soy Curls?
- Use soy curls to make this delicious vegan pulled pork sandwich!
- Spice thing up with the vegan buffalo chicken sandwich using soy curls!
- Try this amazing Green Chile Chick'n Stew...
Don't forget to pin the Easy Vegan Jerky recipe for later
Easy Vegan Jerky
- 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or tamari
- 1 tablespoon black strap molasses
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (hickory flavored)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne more or less to taste
- ¼ cup canola or other neutral tasting oil
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 cups Butler Soy Curls (dry)
- Preheat the oven to 225°F (110°C).
- Put all the ingredients except the water and soy curls into a bowl.
- Add boiling water and then stir well.
- Immediately add the soy curls stirring them to coat with the marinade.
- Let sit for about a minute before stirring them again.
- Continue to do this for about 4-5 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and soy curls are soft.
- Drain off any remaining liquid and spread soy curls onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake at 225°F (110°C) for 1 hour flipping every 15 minutes.
- Bake for 10 minutes less for chewier jerky or 10 minutes more for crunchier jerky.
- Variations in oven temperature and humidity will change bake time slightly.
- Watch jerky closely at the end of the cooking time as to not over dry or burn.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
These are so good and are super close to the store bought ones in flavour and texture.
Used the AF sub with great resutls.
Thank you for sharing.
You're welcome! I'm so happy that you like the recipe! 🙂
Made as suggested for an upcoming backpacking trip and they turned out so yummy! Perfect texture. Someone suggested subbing aquafaba for the oil so I will try that and maybe play around with seasonings when I make this again…and I definitely will. So good! Thanks for the recipe.
I'm so happy that you liked the recipe, Shiela! 🙂
I did these using a very basic dehydrator (off, low, medium, high). I did tofu jerky at the same time. I plan my jerky making so I'm home all day. A little attention, some rearranging, some experience with knowing when it's done. Your soy curl jerky was very good. Thank you for blazing the trail.
I'm so happy that you liked the recipe, Tamara!
Melanie Cantin says
Guess i forgot to hit the Pots Comment, because i don't see my comment that i wrote yesterday haha!
This recipe look so good!
Can i skip the oven part and use my Excalibur dehydrator instead?
If so, what temperature should i set it?
After perfectly dehydrated, i could store the curls in a air tight container.
You can make it in a dehydrator. You put it in the oven to essentially dehydrate it. I don't have an Excalibur dehydrator, so I'm not sure the temperature on your appliance that will work best, but I'm guessing about 200° F? Yes, you will want to store them in an air-tight container. Enjoy! 🙂
Is there a substitute for liquid smoke that I could use?
Melissa, You could use about 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika instead. It would still give the jerky a smokey flavor.
How much grams or onces is 4 cups Butler Soy Curls (dry)?
Thanks a lot.
It is the size of an 8 oz bag of soy curls, so 1 bag will make 1 batch. (I buy them by the 12 lbs. box since my family goes through so many, so I measure them by the cup). Hope you enjoy them! 🙂
Thanks for posting how to make Vegan Jerky. Having a histamine intolerance, I'm told Soy, legumes, lentils and nuts aren't good for me. I'm at the stage where I have to find my histamine tolerance level. Hopefully I will be able to get Soy back into my diet. If I can't, I'll be forced to not be Vegan. 😛 I react to Quinoa. I want to try making Tofu Jerky. I'll have to make it mostly nightshade free, but can have fennel and garlic. I'm hoping that if I did green smoothies every day, that I can defeat the histamine intolerance so that I can tolerate more histamines as I am anaphylaxic to all poultry and meats, but not fish or eggs. I wanted to be Vegan ever since I found out that hamburger came from Cows at the age of 3!
Kytriya, I hope that you are able to figure out your health issues and are able to move to a vegan lifestyle! 🙂
these are soo good! and definitely won't last very long! I love how easy they are to make and now I have a post-workout snack. I'll definitely be making these again. Also, I was thinking that the crumbs and smaller pieces could be used like 'bacon' bits.
thanks for another awesome recipe!
Thanks Sarah! So happy that you like them! Yes, they do work great for bacon bits too. I actually have a recipe for bacon bits on my site too. 🙂 You can find it here https://thehiddenveggies.com/vegan-bacon-bits-gluten-free-dye-free/
Hi Sarah, I agree, these are so good! I use two bags of curls and pick out the bigger ones for the jerky. I usually save the bits for ground burger recipes but when I do my next batch, I'll make the whole bag and then use the bits for savory salad sprinkles. Great idea, thank you for the inspiration! Be good!
Angela Jo Rodriguez says
Can you use a dehydrator?
Yes, I'm sure that you can use a dehydrator. I haven't done it that way yet, so I can't give you the exact amount of time it would take. A dehydrator only heats at about 130° F, so I would guess that it would take about twice as long. Let me know if you try it! 🙂
I want to try this, can the oil be eliminated - make it low fat?
You can simply leave out the oil for a low-fat version, however, it will be a little crunchier, and not as chewy as regular jerky. (I like the crunchy texture though, so it's just up to your personal preference).
I replaced the oil with aquafaba, the water from canned garbanzo beans or white beans. It worked perfectly!
Great to hear! So glad that you liked it! 🙂
Thanks for this suggestion! Trying to avoid added oils. Will try this next time.
Excellent. I've made 3 batches so far and will be bringing some backpacking next week in the Grand Canyon. I've always wanted to make tofu jerky, but figured it would take forever to dry out. Brilliant solution using soy curls.
I'm so happy to hear this Ryan! Enjoy your trip! It doesn't get much better than backpacking in the Southwest! 🙂
Edward John says
These were AMAZING! I added a touch of maple syrup. Question, can one freeze them?
Thanks so much! I'm glad that you liked them! I have never frozen them, but I think that it would be fine to do so. Just squeeze out as much air as possible and make sure they are seal tightly. Enjoy 🙂
Thanks, I'm so happy that you liked them! Yes, you can freeze them, just be sure to seal them in an air tight container. I also keep them in the fridge for about a week. They usually don't last that long in my house though. Many times they don't make it off the cookie sheet in my house. 🙂
These things are awesome! I made them for lunches, but my family at the whole try before they even cooled! I'll have to start buying soy curls by the case! 🙂
Thanks Gabby! I'm so happy that your family loves them! 🙂
Sorry to hear that you didn't like the soy curls. My dogs do love them and this Jerky! 🙂 You can defiantly use the same recipe with tofu (but omit the water)and then bake it at about 300°F for about 1 1/2 hours. We make tofu jerky frequently as well and it is very good!
Can you please double check your recipe to make sure that the oven temperature is actually set at 225 degrees? I am only asking because in your narrative, 275 degrees is mentioned as the oven temperature to prepare the jerky.
Oh wow, thanks for catching that! It should be at 225° F. I will fix the narrative to reflect the correct temperature. Thanks for letting me know.
Ianella Johnson says
WOW!!!!!! These are amazing. My family and I are very thankful for you and your yummy recipe.
Thanks so much Ianella! So glad that you like them! One of my family's favorite snacks!
Emily Pompadoro says
So easy to make and tastes amazing!