25+ Vegan Soy Curl Recipes

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If you have ever wondered what in the world soy curls are, we are here to help! This amazing meat substitute is great for turning any recipe into a vegan dish that everyone will love.

In addition to 25 delicious vegan soy curl recipes, this article will answer all of your soy curl questions like what they taste like, where to buy them, and creative ways to use them.

photo collage of 4 soy curl recipes with title for page

If you are looking for an easy versatile meat replacement, there’s no need to look any further because soy curls are the best thing that I have found to use in a wide range of different recipes and most people don’t even realize it’s not meat. We love to make vegan BBQ sandwiches and even meatless stir-fries with them.

What are soy curls?

Soy curls are made from only one ingredient–non-GMO soybeans. There is nothing else added to them during processing–no salt or preservatives–and nothing is taken away from the whole bean. This is a world of difference from most soy-based meat replacers that are manufactured by isolating different parts of the bean and incorporating lots of additives.

They can be used in a wide variety of recipes to replace meat in stir-fries, vegan sandwiches, soups, meat-free casseroles, and just about anything else you can think of.

bag of butler soy curls opened and spread out on white countertop

Are soy curls healthy?

Yes, soy curls are just non-GMO soybeans that have been slowly cooked and textured to resemble chicken. They are then shaped into strands and dehydrated which makes them able to be stored for long periods of time.

Nutrition in soy curls:

One serving of soy curls is approximately 1.5 cups rehydrated (3/4 cup dry) and contains the following nutrients.

  • 120 calories
  • 5 grams fat
  • 11 grams protein
  • 6 grams fiber
  • 8 grams carbohydrate
  • 1 gram sugar
soy curls dried on countertop in bowl with bag beside them

Are soy curls the same as TVP?

Soy curls are NOT the same as TVP (textured vegetable protein). They may seem similar at first because they are both made with soybeans and dehydrated, but that is where the similarities end.

TVP is derived during the process of making soybean oil. Once the oil is extracted from the soybean, it leaves a soybean paste which is then shaped into nuggets, strips, and flakes to make TVP products. Now doesn’t that sound delicious and healthy? No, thank you!

On the contrary, soy curls are made from whole soybeans, ensuring they retain all the fiber, protein, and nutrients naturally found in the bean. They are considered a whole food and don’t contain any preservatives or additives.

Where can I buy soy curls?

I have found that the best way to buy soy curls is online. They can be purchased on Amazon or through Butler, the company that makes them. They can also be found in some co-ops and grocery stores, but it’s a little tricky to find them locally.

How to store soy curls

Dehydrated soy curls will keep in their original packaging for up to 6 months in your pantry. The package says, “Store in a cool, dry, place. Keeps best refrigerated or frozen.” There is a “best if used by” date on every package, so be sure to check.

After they are rehydrated, they can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They also freeze and reheat well.

What do Butler soy curls taste like?

Right from the package, soy curls are flavorless even when rehydrated in water. They need to be seasoned right from the start, and I have some very important tips on the best ways to do that.

Even though the package says they should be rehydrated in warm water, there is a much better way to do that which infuses a tremendous amount of flavor right from the beginning that I will share below.

How to rehydrate soy curls

Add your soy curls to a large bowl. Don’t use a smaller bowl because they are going to expand during the rehydration process. Cover them completely with warm broth and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes. Longer is fine too.

graphic of dried soy curls vs rehydrated in bowl with bag beside them

While the packaging suggests rehydrating soy curls in warm water, that is a sure way to disappoint. I speak from experience because the first time I used them back in 2016, I followed the package instructions and was not impressed at all. They were so bland!

I have learned over time that a much better way to rehydrate them is in warm vegetable broth. I even add a splash of soy sauce to the broth for more flavor. You will need to do this even if you plan to marinate them for a recipe. Believe me, you don’t want to skip this part, no matter how they will be used.

soy curls soaking in veggie broth with jar of stock in background

Dos & Don’ts

There are a few things that are important to note when preparing and using soy curls.

  • Warm liquid– Always rehydrate in warm or hot–not cold–liquid. This helps to penetrate the soy curls faster.
  • Broth– Use vegetable broth to rehydrate instead of water. Adding a splash of soy sauce to the broth is great for infusing flavor too.
  • Rehydrate– Don’t skip the rehydration process even if you plan to marinate them for a recipe.
  • Squeeze– Once they are rehydrated, squeeze out the excess broth so the soy curls will be able to soak up more flavor from any seasonings or marinade you might be using.
  • Marinate– Marinating in BBQ sauce, Asian oil-free sauce, or other sauces before adding to a recipe is a great idea. We have an excellent oil-free BBQ sauce you might want to try.

Marinade sauces to pair with soy curls

Ways to use soy curls

Once rehydrated, soy curls have a texture very similar to chicken, and they soak up flavors of seasonings and sauces very well. This makes them a great option for use as a meat replacer in a lot of different recipes.

They can be used in casseroles like mock chicken casserole, in soups and stews, and even in sandwiches and wraps. Stir-fry them, bake them, air-fry them, and anything else you can think of.

Looking for soy curl recipes?

The recipes below are some of the best and most creative soy curl recipes I’ve seen. They are vegan and easy to make.

If you are feeding the family or a crowd of different types of eaters, I highly recommend trying some of these recipes because no one will ever realize they aren’t eating meat!

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

25+ Soy Curl Recipes

Soy curls serve as an excellent meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian dishes, offering plenty of protein and effortless preparation. Discover 25 outstanding soy curl recipes here.

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  1. I was looking for a recipe to make my own soy curls. I don’t want to purchase a processed food item – even if they don’t put anything in it other than soybeans & spices. I make my own tofu, too. Have you ever tried to make these from scratch? I think I would need some type of emulsifier to keep the bean paste together. What do you think?

    1. Sabine- There is only one ingredient in soy curls, and that is soy beans. I’ve never made my own curls but would think you would need some type of equipment to process them yourself.

  2. Okay, I’m impressed! I read this article with much interest, so I ordered some soy curls. They arrived the other day and today I made my first soy curls dish – wraps with arugula, red onions, tomatoes, and taco seasoned soy curls with a dash of tobacco sauce. Wow! They exceeded all my expectations. I had a few leftover that didn’t fit in the wrap. Just like chicken without all the fat and hormones. Delicious! Thank you for introducing me to soy curls. They’re going to be a favorite in all my dishes.

    1. Hi Ken- YAY! I’m thrilled that you took the plunge and gave soy curls a try. Your wraps sound like they were amazing, and I’m so glad that you love the curls so much. ♥

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