Soy curls recipes are some of my favorite comfort foods. Better yet healthy comfort food. Soy curls are non-gmo, vegan, gluten-free, and considered whole food plant based so chances are they fit into your eating plan.
If you have never had soy curls you are really in for a treat. They have a mouthfeel like chicken, but aren’t nearly as processed as many of the vegan chicken options you have in the freezer section of the grocery store. They just have one ingredient – non-gmo soy beans, so you know what you are getting and that’s why they are a whole food.
Soy curls are so versatile you are going to be amazed at what you can make with them. Use them in recipes from your pre-vegan days to replace chicken, add them to soups, stews, or casseroles, or do my favorite thing ever and make Southern Style Air Fryer Soy Curls.
I will be updating this page with new soy curl recipes as I create them, so be sure to check back for more goodies.
What are Soy Curls?
Soy curls are non-gmo soy beans that have been cooked and extruded into strips, then dried. They are a simple product that is wonderful to have on hand for quick dinners and we use them weekly.
Soy Curls VS. TVP: Are Soy Curls and TVP the same?
TVP, or textured vegetable protein, is made from defatted soybean flour making them much more processed than Soy Curls. Remember that TVP can be made from gmo soybeans and be grown with pesticides, so read the labels carefully.
Where can I buy them?
If you are in the pacific northwest you can find them in local health food stores and some groceries. I’ve heard that most vegan market and some Seventh Day Adventist stores have them too.
Since I’m in North Carolina I order mine on Amazon.
Are there different Brands?
While there may be similar products, Soy Curls is trademarked by Butler Foods. You can use different dried products in the recipes or just use the ready to go vegan chicken substitutes available at your local grocery.
How to cook them?
Since they are a dehydrated food, you need to reconstitute them first in most recipes*. Many recipes, like Southern Style Air Fryer Soy Curls I’m just using hot water to soak them in, draining, then adding a flavor coating on the outside. In other foods you might choose to use a vegan chicken bouillon, like my inexpensive homemade version, mixed with water to give them more flavor.
Do you always rehydrate Soy Curls before cooking?
In some of my recipes I actually add them dry in the slow cooker or Instant Pot and just add extra cooking liquid. I do this in my Slow Cooker North Carolina BBQ Soy Curls, because it takes less time and the flavor of the sauce is absorbed into the soy curl for a bigger flavor.
How to rehydrate Soy Curls
This is the easiest part! You can either toss them in a pan or your Instant Pot with water or broth to cover. Bring the water almost to a boil, take off the heat and let sit until they look like vegan chicken strips.
My cheater way to do it is to put the dry soy curls in a stainless steel bowl, heat water in my kettle, pour the hot water over them and let them sit until they are plump.
How are they made? Are they processed?
Butler foods says on their website, “Our soybeans are grown in the USA on a family farm, certified Non-GMO and grown without chemical pesticides. We soak the beans in spring water (no chlorine). Then the beans are stirred while being cooked. Soy Curls™ are dried at low temperature thus ensuring the natural goodness of the whole soybean high in fiber and omega-3.”
Are Soy Curls healthy?
If you are not allergic to soy and your Doctor hasn’t told you to avoid soy for a health reason, they are healthy. They are also considered an option for whole food plant based eaters as well as vegans.
Are they gluten free?
Lucky for me and anyone else out there that can’t have gluten, soy curls are gluten free. They are also vegan, plant based, and they are safe for your dog to eat when they ask for a bite.
Do Soy Curls have protein? How many calories are in them?
Per one ounce serving of dry soy curls they have 120 calories, 8g of carbs, 5g fat, 6g fiber, and 11g protein. So I’d say they are a great source of vegan protein.
Do Soy Curls taste like chicken?
While they have the texture of chicken once they are reconstituted, they have a very mild flavor and don’t taste like much by themselves. Kinda like tofu, they need to have a coating on the outside to flavor them or a marinade.
How to make soy curls taste like chicken?
Your first option is to reconstitute them with a vegan chicken -style broth which gets it’s chicken flavor notes form nutritional yeast. That way it will soak up all that flavor!
The other option is to put that flavor on the outside. I rehydrate first with hot water, then I squeeze them out and toss with nutritional yeast, poultry spice blend, and I like to add a little Cajun spice too. Toss and bake or air fry.
Do they go bad?
Since they are dehydrated you might think they can last forever in your pantry, but that would not be true. Soy Curls can and do go bad because of the natural oil in the soy beans. In other words, they can get rancid and hot environments will speed up the process.
How long do Soy Curls last?
If you are storing them in their dehydrated form they can last up to 6 months in your pantry, and if you want to rehydrate them ahead of time those will last up to 4 days covered in the fridge.
How can I tell if they are bad?
One smell and you will know. If they are just turning you can taste one, it won’t hurt you. But it will taste off and leave a little film in your mouth.
What’s the best way to store them? Do you have to refrigerate soy curls?
If you will eat then in a month and it’s not hot, you could store them in your pantry. The refrigerator is a great place to extend the life of your Soy Curls, but it’s even better to keep them in the freezer. Many people I know buy the 12 pound box and store it in smaller bags in the freezer.
What are Soy Curls used for?
Soy curls can be used in recipes that call for chicken or vegan chicken strips after they are rehydrated. They can also replace tofu or tempeh in recipes if you don’t have them on hand. In general they are an easy way to add protein and texture to your recipes.
Other soy recipes:
What to make with soy curls
Ever since I had my first soy curls in Portland, Oregon I have been hooked. I can’t remember exactly what we got at the Homegrown Smoker, but I do remember it was delicious.
They are non-GMO and can be easily reconstituted when you need them. Plus I have some soy curl recipe ideas that your family is going to love!
Do not that some of the recipes do not call for them to be reconstituted before you add them in, like in some slow cooker and instant pot recipes. So read the recipes carefully!
You can have your pic of these soy curl recipe ideas and if you are like me you will have trouble picking just one.
Vegan instant pot pad Thai with soy curls seems to be everyone’s favorite Thai dish. It has lots of flavor, and it’s slightly sweet which seems to lure picky eaters into trying it. The noodles will be a little sticky because we aren’t rinsing them after cooking.
Plop everything into a pot, stir, and dinner is practically done! This meatless take on stroganoff is an upgrade on the classic comfort food. Tender noodles and soy curls soak in all the umami seasonings built into the broth, cooking to perfection all in one bountiful, brilliant dish.
Tender spaghetti with smoky soy curl pancetta and a luscious eggy sauce makes this vegan carbonara the absolute best twist on an Italian classic! Ready in 35 minutes!
Made with Soy Curls, loaded with vegetables, and drizzled with sauce, Vegan Shawarma is lunchtime perfection. Enjoy this vegan wrap for lunch at home on the weekend or pack them up and take them with you to the office.
I’ve got your new favorite quickie dinner – vegan southern style air fryer soy curls! This recipe is easy, convenient, full of flavor, crunch, and fun to eat as well. They are oil-free, gluten-free, and you can change up the seasoning to suit your mood.
Spicy and hearty, this vegan chicken gumbo will satisfy your craving for Cajun food with no added fat. This is one of those dishes that improves with age, so consider making it a day ahead of serving.
I love a thick hearty chili and I bet you do too. My instant pot caballero bean and soy curl chili is different from the traditional version and is closer to a vegan white chili. If you can’t get a hold of the seasonal heirloom caballero beans, use any dry white bean that you have in your pantry.
This easy and comforting dinner is a snap to make. Plus it’s a one pot meal your whole family can get behind.
You won’t miss the beef in these tasty Mongolian soy curls! This soy curls recipe is a delicious vegan take on the popular Mongolian Beef dish from PF Chang’s.
This creamy and easy whole food Vegan Chicken Salad is made with soy curls, vegan mayo, and seasonings. In 10 minutes, you’ll have a delicious filling for sandwiches or a flavorful side dish you can bring to barbecues.
Sometimes you want just a little sweet and smoky flavor to play off the other flavors on your pizza. Well, this is it, and these Soy Curls are so good, you’ll find yourself using them every chance you get.
Leftover Sweet and Smoky Soy Curls will keep for several days, so you can make a batch ahead of time, and toss them on a pizza when the mood strikes.
If it isn’t obvious yet, this meal of vegan fried chicken and sourdough biscuits is one that’ll comfort you and stick to your bones! Hearty, flavorful, and perfect for weekend brunch. Plus, it’s non-vegan approved!
This warm and cozy vegan casserole is loaded with wholesome ingredients and perfect for family dinners, potlucks, and holidays!
Amazing Vegan Tikka Masala! It’s an Indian-spiced masala sauce stewed with marinated soy curls and served over cilantro rice for a delicious vegan and gluten-free meal. Serve it with homemade naan and salad.
The best vegan chicken with broccoli in a homemade garlic ginger sauce. Asian style protein loaded Chick’n, quick and easy to make, gluten free, meaty and perfectly chewy with crispy edges, made with whole food soy curls and an easy umami stir fry sauce. Air fryer method included.
Meet your new favorite veggie taco meat! Protein-rich soy curls and ground walnuts create a seriously good vegan taco meat perfect for filling tacos and burritos or for topping salads and grain bowls. Gluten-free with oil-free and nut-free options.
Need some crunchy vegan bacon bits for your salads and baked potatoes? Make your own with healthy, protein-rich soy curls! Oil-free, gluten-free, and so much better than store-bought vegan bacon bits.
These Lemon Pepper Soy Curls are bursting with bright lemony flavor. They’re quick and easy to make, so they’re perfect for dinner on busy week nights. This recipe is a vegan take on lemon pepper chicken. It’s vegan (of course!) and gluten-free.
This Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip is super creamy and tangy with the perfect amount of spicy heat and so incredibly delicious! It’s the best appetizer or snack for sharing!
Make this recipe for Hawaiian BBQ Soy Curls in the slow cooker and pour over rice. Slow cook the soy curls all day in a tangy BBQ sauce with pineapple, onions, and peppers. This vegan dish is perfect for when you want to come home to a delicious, healthy, protein-filled meal
Looking to switch up your lunches? This Vegan Curried Chicken Salad is a Vegan spin on a classic deli sandwich. It’s packed full of delicious flavor!
This recipe for Hoisin Orange Soy Curls comes together quicker than getting take-out! This is perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
Jackfruit, potatoes, brown rice and tons of veggies in a hearty bowl of vegan chicken soup! I don’t always claim things taste like chicken, but in this case, it really tastes like chicken soup! Trust me, try it!
Bursting with fresh flavour, and incredibly simple to prepare, this vegan orange chicken will have your taste buds doing a happy dance! It’s protein packed, pairs perfectly with noodles or rice, and it’s wonderfully wholesome and delicious.
This mouth watering vegan chicken salad is loaded with big, bold flavour, a little crunch, a little sweetness and a lot of deliciousness! Smothered in a rich and creamy, oil free dressing that is as delicious as it is easy to make!
As we continue to deal with Covid-19 and find our passions while spending more time at home, I decided that having a vegetable “chicken” noodle soup would be just the recipe to soothe the soul.
I remember the dishes I used to eat before I started eating a plant-based diet and some of those were pretty tasty! Like Tetrazzini… all creamy and gooey with peas, mushrooms, and noodles.
But now I can enjoy it again without the guilt with this Vegan Tetrazzini with Soy Curls. I have to admit, this dish also reminds me of tuna casserole.
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