The 8 Best Vegan Jerkies – ABC4 Utah

Which vegan jerky is the best?

For a snack or a hike, few things pack a quick protein punch better than jerky. The problem is that jerky can be loaded with preservatives, sodium, and artery-clogging fats. And if you avoid animal products, finding the best vegan jerky can be a serious challenge. But there are some solid options to satisfy your jerky cravings.

Why buy vegan jerky?

There are many reasons why people might choose vegan jerky.

  • For the planet : Some people are concerned about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with beef production.
  • For their health: Although vegan jerky may also contain too much sodium, additives, and sugar, some people choose to limit their animal protein intake as a preventative measure against heart disease.
  • For ethical reasons: Some vegans change their diet for ethical reasons. They refuse to eat any type of animal products, including animal by-products such as honey.

Dried vegan ingredients

So what makes it jerky? The main ingredients that replace animal products are prepared to mimic that satisfying, chewy bite of traditional jerky. When it comes to vegan varieties, you have several options for the star ingredient.

  • Soy: Soy curls and soy are usually tasty choices for protein-rich jerky.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are one of the premier meat substitutes in jerky and bacon products. Portobello, shiitake and oyster are the most common.
  • Wheat: Seitan is made from vital wheat gluten. Its hard chew makes it very similar to traditional jerky.
  • Jackfruit: Jackfruit is a good substitute if you avoid soy or gluten.
  • Kelp: For a taste of the sea, choose vegan jerky made from kelp.
  • Coconut: Coconut jerky isn’t just soy-, wheat-, and gluten-free; it is also approved for paleo diets.

Clean Ingredients Matter

Many people believe that vegan snacks are healthy because they lack animal products, but that’s not always true. A plant-based diet won’t do you much good if you’re shoveling in tons of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. The best vegan jerky has clean ingredients that you can recognize – and not much else.

The 8 Best Vegan Jerkies

Louisville Vegan Jerky

It contains 15 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat per bag. The Carolina barbecue flavor is both sweet and tart. The ingredients are sourced locally in Kentucky, and the list is clean and short. The protein is soy-based and this jerky is gluten-free.

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Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky

Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky

This is a sample of 24 individually wrapped 1 ounce jerky servings. Flavors included are Thai Peanut, Mesquite Lime, Teriyaki, Hot & Spicy, Smoky Hickory, and Texas BBQ. Some varieties use mushrooms as a base, but some may use soy, so check labels if avoiding this ingredient.

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Tasty Vegan Wild Portabello Mushroom Jerky

Tasty Vegan Wild Portabello Mushroom Jerky

Portobello mushrooms carry the savory and spicy flavors of sesame, ginger and chili. This jerky is gluten-free and made from non-GMO ingredients. There are no preservatives and no hydrogenated oils. One serving contains 10 grams of protein.

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Beyond Plant-Based Jerky

Beyond Plant-Based Jerky

This 10-pack includes two flavors: original and teriyaki. The original is smoky and savory, but the teriyaki has a slightly caramelized sweetness. There is no soy or gluten in either flavor. It uses peas and mung beans to provide a jerky-like chew.

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Be Leaf Spicy Vegan Jerky

Be Leaf Spicy Vegan Jerky

It is both sweet, salty and spicy. Each large 7 ounce bag contains 20 servings and 40 grams of protein. It is low carb for keto diets. There is no added gluten, but it is processed on shared equipment. It is also available in four other flavors or as a variety pack.

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Pleather Black Pepper Vegan Jerky

Pleather Black Pepper Vegan Jerky

This serious vegan jerky has a playful name. It is made from seitan, which means it is not suitable for gluten-free diets. Handcrafted, it has a hint of black pepper and cayenne and a smoky finish. Each 90 calorie serving contains 16 grams of protein. Other flavors include Red Pepper Bourbon BBQ and Ginger Sesame.

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Noble Jerky Chipotle Vegan Jerky

Noble Jerky Chipotle Vegan Jerky

The spicy, smoky taste of chipotle meets soy protein in this plant-based jerky. All ingredients are vegan and natural, and the jerky is nitrate free. Each bag contains 14 grams of protein with an exceptionally long shelf life.

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The Bunny James Store Vegan Jerky Sampler Gift Set

The Bunny James Store Vegan Jerky Sampler Gift Set

This is a great vegan sampler for trying different types of meat alternatives. It offers eight different varieties of jerky made from jackfruit, soy, seitan and fruit. Sample brands are Primal Jerky, Noble Jerky, Perky Jerky, Wild Joy Jerky, and Solely Organic Fruit Jerky. Protein levels vary, as do the ingredients, so check that they work for you.

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Suzannah Kolbeck written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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