Easy and Delicious Gluten Free Vegan Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe from the Pantry- Allergy Friendly

Fortunately I have quite a lot of food in my house, enough to last a while, with the stock built up over a long period of time, mostly things purchased when they were on sale, so that I could shop from my pantry instead of paying full price for things from the grocery store. Though I do have animal proteins at home, I am trying to stretch them out, so I am making more meals vegan these days.

For that reason, when I was organizing my pantry and saw the TVP flakes, I knew I wanted to make spaghetti with "meat" sauce. TVP, short for texturized vegetable protein, is a byproduct of making soy oil, and is used as a meat substitute because of its meaty texture. It's often used to secretly stretch ground meat (our local stuff often lists "with added vegetable protein), and can be really, really cheap. And unlike many other meat subs, its totally gluten free.

A friend of mine asked me why I don't just make spaghetti with ground meat instead of this, and the number one benefit of this over that is cost. The package of TVP that I bought cost me 95 cents, and I used less than half for this recipe, so basically 45 cents for this, vs however much about a pound of ground beef would cost, and being that its about $4.50 a pound for ground beef on sale locally, and $6.50 when not on sale, this is between 1/10 and 1/13 of the equivalent with ground beef, so I'd say its definitely worthwhile. Other benefit is that this is all shelf stable and can be kept long term, so its great to have the ingredients on hand and shop from your stockpile in emergencies.

So does it taste good? Definitely. Does it taste like meat? Not particularly, but even meat sauce has more of a strong tomato sauce taste to it than a meat taste, so I didn't feel much was missing. And while most fake meat sauces made with lentils or beans or nuts have an after taste, this didn't have that. I'd say it was neutral meat flavor-wise regarding taste, but in terms of texture, it definitely has a meaty feel to it.

If you're just vegetarian and not vegan, this tastes even better with cheese added to it, but it is quite fine even without it. Or if you're vegan and not looking to make this as cheap as possible, feel free to add your favorite vegan cheese to this.

Easy and Delicious Vegan Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe- Allergy Friendly

1 cup TVP/soy flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1-2 tablespoons oil
1 onion
1 can concentrated tomato paste (approximately 2 cups)
1 can water (approximately 2 cups)
1 spring fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
A few fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried (optional)
Salt (to taste)
Cheese, vegan or dairy, optional (to taste)
Spaghetti of choice.

1. Mix TVP flakes with onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Add boiling water and let sit 10 minutes to absorb the liquid.

2. Chop up an onion and saute until golden.

3. Add the rehydrated TVP to it, then the tomato paste and water. Mix until uniform.

4. Add oregano and basil (or honestly whatever spices you like in your tomato sauce) and salt, and bring to a simmer.

5. Serve over spaghetti (use gluten free spaghetti to keep this recipe gluten free). Top with cheese or vegan cheese if desired.


Have you ever cooked with TVP before? How much does it cost you locally? What do you make with it? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. G'day Penny, I like a lot of your recipes - haven't tried them yet I must admit only came across your site just before. BUT this recipe may be tasty and easy to make BUT HEALTHY IT IS NOT! That's sad! The first ingredient in your recipe is what ruins it straight up! 1 cup TVP/soy flakes! Neither TVP nor Soy flakes are healthy! Just check it out! Just the way it is made is so full of chemicals - it is one of the worst things you can eat. I do not eat anything made with soy (the exception occasionally I use Japanese fermented soy sauce). So please review this as I do like your way of life style. Hope you are not offended but it is best to avoid these pitfalls. Cheers Peggy in Australia.

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