Best Meat Alternative Brands 2023

What Are Meat Alternatives?

A meat alternative, also known as a meat substitute or plant-based meat, is a food product designed to mimic the taste, texture, and appearance of traditional animal-based meat but is created entirely from plant-based ingredients. 

The main objective of meat substitutes is to offer a healthy, ethical substitute for traditional meat products. Here are some things to think about when comparing meat substitutes to actual meat, as well as the reasons why they exist:

Why Do Meat Substitutes Exist?

Environmental Sustainability

Resources are used up quickly when producing animal-based meats like beef and pork, which also contributes to deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Meat alternatives aim to reduce the environmental impact associated with meat production by using plant-based ingredients that require fewer resources.

Animal Welfare

There is a growing interest in cruelty-free alternatives as a result of worries about how animals are treated in the meat business. Meat substitutes give people a means to enjoy tastes and textures that are similar to actual meats without directly contributing to the suffering of animals.

Health Considerations

Some people choose meat alternatives for health reasons. Plant-based meats can be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than animal-based meats, which may benefit heart health. They can also be suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions, allergies, ethical concerns. or preferences, such as vegetarians and vegans.

Meat Alternative vs Real Meat

The nutrient content of plant-based meat analogues varied significantly, due to the wide range of ingredients used in their formulation. Some of these products were found to have a low protein content, which in others was enhanced by the addition of cereals and legumes. Compared to the meat products, the plant-based analogues contained lower levels of total fat as well as saturated fat, in contrast, they contained higher amounts of fiber and complex carbohydrates. (R)

Is It Better Than Real Meat?

Whether meat substitutes are better to actual meat depends on one's priorities and point of view. They have a number of advantages, including as environmental sustainability and ethical considerations, but ultimately, the decision comes down to personal dietary preferences and values. To benefit from each, some people decide to include both in their diets.

Best Meat Alternative Brands

1. Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat is well-known for its Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage products, which closely mimic the taste and texture of traditional meat. We start with simple plant-based, non-GMO ingredients. We source the building blocks of meat directly from plants. Using heating, cooling and pressure, we create the fibrous texture of meat from plant-based proteins. Then, we mix in fats, minerals, fruit and vegetable-based colors, natural flavors, and carbohydrates to replicate the appearance, juiciness, and flavor of meat. The result? Uncompromisingly delicious plant-based burgers, sausage, and beef, no sacrifice required.

Beyond Meat products offer greater or equal protein levels than their animal counterparts, no cholesterol, less saturated fat, and no antibiotics or hormones.

a. Beyond Meat Beef Plant-Based Ground 16 oz 

I love to use this for tacos or even burgers. It seasons very well and cooks quickly. I use this all the time. I like to stock up on these when I can. They are great for freezing and storing for later. Some people won't even be able to tell a difference in the taste when you make tacos with this. My guests have been pleasantly surprised.

b. Beyond Meat Meatballs Italian Style 12 ct, 10 oz 

Beyond Meat Meatballs Italian Style 12 ct, 10 oz

I am not a vegetarian but I like to take a break from meat occasionally and I love these. The flavor is so good and they’re easy to cook for pasta or even good just by themselves dipped in marinara. They stay together firmly and actually taste like real meat.

2. MorningStar Farms

MorningStar Farms has been a pioneer in the plant-based meat industry for many years. They offer a wide range of products, including burgers, chicken nuggets, and breakfast sausages.

It's important to note that their product offerings may evolve over time, so you may want to check their website or local retailers for the most up-to-date product availability and information.

a. MorningStar Farms Veggie Breakfast Meatless Sausage Patties 80z

Veggie Breakfast Meatless Sausage Patties

I can't believe anyone would give these sausages less than a 4-star rating. I try to cut down on my beef and pork intake and I've tried turkey breakfast sausages and I've never liked them very dry. I decided to give these a try since I love the morning Star garden burgers and grillers original and grillers prime. 

I tried these this morning for the first time and they are so good. Morningstar has the best veggie burgers and veggie veggie sausages I've ever tried. I actually prefer these over meat sausages and prefer their burgers over meat burgers which is rare because I love the taste of meat. so really it's a win-win has a great taste and it's better for you. Great job morning Star!

b. MorningStar Farms Meatless Chicken Wings

Meatless Chicken Wings

I have fallen in Love with these Spicy Boneless Wingettes. This is my second time buying them. This time I bought 2 bags. Yum Yum

3. Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods is a prominent company known for its innovative plant-based meat alternatives. Their flagship product is the "Impossible Burger," which has gained significant attention for its ability to closely replicate the taste, texture, and appearance of traditional beef burgers.

The Impossible Burger is made primarily from plant-based ingredients, with the key ingredient being soy leghemoglobin (heme), which gives the burger its meat-like flavor and juiciness. It is designed to look, cook, and taste like real beef.

a. Impossible Foods Burger Patties

Impossible Foods Impossible Burger

Impossible™ Burger Patties Made From Plants are made for people who love meat in a convenient burger patty form. Impossible Burger Patties are also way better for the planet and use 96% less land, 92% less water, and generates 91% less GHG emissions than beef from a cow. Because these patties are made from plants, a 1/4 lb Impossible Burger Patty has: 19g protein (same as 80/20 ground beef from cows!)* 0 mg cholesterol (compared to 80 mg)* 13g total fat (compared to 23g)* 6g saturated fat (compared to 9g)* No animal hormones or antibiotics *compared to a 4oz serving of 80/20 ground beef from cows

The texture and taste of the meat taste like real hamburger meat. I added liquid smoke, Worcestershire, and a teaspoon of onion soup mix and it was amazing. Topped it with grilled onions, Muenster cheese, and In-n-Out sauce on a Hawaiian hamburger bun and it was fire 🔥🔥🔥 Will purchase again, definitely.

4. Dr. Praegers

Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods has been proud to make delicious, nutritious, and convenient plant-based frozen food for over 25 years. Our Pure Plant Protein items are juicy, delicious, and packed with plant protein. Made with clean, veggie-forward ingredients, our vegan, gluten free and soy free Perfect Burgers, and Chick’n Tenders, more are a winning combination of satisfying taste and plant based nutrition!

a. Dr. Praegers Mushroom Risotto Veggie Burgers

Dr. Praegers Mushroom Risotto Veggie Burgers

4 Mushroom Risotto Veggie Burgers with only 130 calories per serving. Serve it rightaway by popping one in your microwave, tossing one on your stovetop, or bake it to perfection

Doesn't taste like all other veggie burgers. Love the risotto mushroom taste.

b. Dr. Praegers Super Greens Veggie Burgers 

Dr. Praegers Super Greens Veggie Burgers

Packed with 6 super greens with only 100 calories. Enjoy a quick, easy-to-prepare meat-free meal the whole family will love.

I 1st looked at it and thought this is not going to taste good. Saute a little bit with some Olive oil spray put some vegan cheese on top you can eat it plain or get some vegan bread. It just taste really good.

5. Gardein

Gardein offers a variety of meatless meats that are full of mouth-watering flavor. With multiple tasty options that are made with our garden-based chicken, pork and beef substitute, Gardein makes being a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, delicious!

a. Gardein Plant-Based Meatless Meatballs

Gardein Plant-Based Meatless Meatballs

- Contains one 12.7-ounce bag of Gardein Classic Meatless Meatballs
- With 14 grams of vegetarian protein per serving
- Dairy free, certified vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified

I was able to sneak some of these into my hubby's pasta bowl without telling him they were not meat. He never suspected! Saying they were really tasty, he ate them without incident and I just kept politely quiet. I figured, why ruin a good thing? Far healthier for him, these meatballs will help lower his cholesterol and keep me from buying ground meat quite as much (I do not eat meat, but he does. Darn it all, anyway!) Good choice - good taste, quite a lot in the bag, and very worth the money spent on them.

b. Gardein Gluten-Free Ultimate Plant-Based Beefless Ground Crumbles

Gardein Gluten-Free Ultimate Plant-Based Beefless Ground Crumbles
- Contains one 13.7-ounce bag of Gardein Gluten Free Ultimate Beefless Ground
- Gluten free, dairy free and certified vegan

I've been eating vegan meat for sometime now and so far this is my favorite. It almost feel and taste like real meat. I like that I can cook it in the microwave instead of using a skillet. I've only cooked tacos with this. Looking forward to other recipes.

c. Gardein Plant-Based Sweet & Sour Porkless Bites

Gardein Plant-Based Sweet & Sour Porkless Bites

- Contains one 10.5-ounce bag of Gardein Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites
- Dairy free, certified vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified

These little vegan protein bites were tasty with or without sauce. They're very little, so you can cook a lot or a little for your meal. Note that when you cook them separately from other stew or stir fry ingredients, they drip some oil, so have a drip pan or drain them/pat dry.

6. Quorn Foods

Quorn® is on a mission to produce delicious, sustainable foods to meet the growing protein demands of our world’s ever-expanding population. Quorn mycoprotein is the unique protein ingredient in all Quorn products. It's made from a natural protein that is sourced from the Earth and fermented (like many of our favourite foods & drinks). This process creates a sustainable meat alternative that has a similar taste and texture to meat compared to other plant-based proteins.

a. Quorn Foods Meatless Nuggets

Quorn Foods Meatless Nuggets

- Contains one frozen 10.6oz box of Quorn Meatless Nuggets
- Excellent source of protein (12g per serving), soy-free and non-GMO
- Sustainably produced with mycroprotein which has a 70% lower carbon footprint than chicken production according to Quorn's 2019 Sustainability Report

I prep these by sticking them in the microwave for a minute or so to heat the middle (because they are frozen) then fry them in a pan with a little bit of oil to to crisp the outside. I found them to be really good, with taste and texture. They crisp up like a normal nugget and I can tell the difference between these and other nuggets. The real judge is my kid who eats them as well. Better than McDonald's nuggets if prepared correctly and no need to leave the house.

b. Quorn Foods Meatless Grounds

Quorn Foods Meatless Grounds

- Contains one frozen 12oz bag of Quorn Meatless Grounds
- Only 100 calories per serving; Excellent source of protein (15g per serving); soy-free; non-GMO; 0g cholesterol
- Sustainably produced with mycoprotein which has a 90% lower carbon footprint than beef production according to Quorn's 2019 Sustainability Report

There are *so* good that I buy them in the two's and three's. Flawless texture, quick to cook, and guilt-free, plus no 'stuffed' feeling that you traditionally get with meats. Love, love, LOVE this product. Made our very own spaghetti sauce to stock for the winter!


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