This meaty vegan jerky recipe is made in the air fryer and full of that classic Bloody Mary cocktail flavor. Vegetarian soy curl jerky is the perfect game day snack and pairs beautifully with a cold beer or as part of a Bloody Mary brunch bar! The recipe makes a big batch – perfect for plant-based travel snacking!
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Interestingly enough, the first time I ever tried jerky was about a year and a half after I went vegan. The idea of a chewy stick of animal-based meat was always a bit unsettling to me, but when I tried my first bag of plant-based jerky, I was ALL about it.
In fact, I’m pretty sure the bag (that I was supposed to be sharing with T…sorry T) didn’t last the 20-minute car ride home. The flavor was intense and wonderful, and that meaty AF texture was a DREAM. I was a jerky convert right then and there.
Mission: Veganized Jerky
As per usual in moments like this, I became dead-set on my mission to make my own homemade vegan jerky. And make it I did.
In fact, I made a number of versions of this vegan jerky throughout the last few years and even took a big bag of it on our trip to Madrid back in November. Side note: They make the PERFECT travel snacks!
But, I can honestly say this Bloody Mary flavored version is our hands-down favorite. It’s spicy, smoky, snack-able splendid-ness. Not to mention, this recipe has been an enormous hit (and highly-requested Tiki Bar snack) with all our family and friends down the shore this summer.
AKA: This vegan jerky is 100% omnivore-approved!
Key Ingredients for Vegan Jerky
This vegan jerky is soy-based, using soy curls as the plant-based meat. You can find them at your local health food store or order that shit from Amazon, my friend! We usually order this 3-pack and store one in the fridge / 2 in the freezer.
If you’re new to soy curls, check out this Soy Curls Recipes post where we have several awesome recipes for them! They come dehydrated and when flavored and cooked in just the right way, create THE most killer meaty texture that is perfect for this vegan jerky.
Vegan Chicken Bouillon Powder
Our secret weapon in the flavor department here is our homemade veggie bouillon powder. This is a staple ingredient whenever we rehydrate soy curls – the flavor power of this stuff is unreal! The recipe is SUPER easy to make, but if you have a favorite store-bought bouillon, feel free to use that instead. You can also substitute 1 – 1 ½ bouillon cubes.
A staple ingredient in a classic Bloody Mary cocktail is Worcestershire, which most often contains anchovies. There are a lot of vegan Worcestershires on the market these days though – including (we recently discovered) a few store brands!
We’re also long-time fans of The Wizard Worcestershire which is gluten-free as well. This stuff can be found on Amazon or in many grocery stores throughout the US. Long story short, check the ingredients at your local grocery store and you’ll probably find something you can use!
Another ingredient to look out for is the prepared horseradish. We didn’t realize until we were developing this recipe, but a lot of prepared horseradish contains mayonnaise, so eggs – ugh! It was pretty easy to find an egg-free version though, so just like the worcestershire, check your ingredients.
How to Make Vegan Jerky
Step 1: Marinate the soy curls.
Step 2: Make the sauce.
While that rehydrates, you’ll start making the Bloody Mary sauce! Whisk together a few basic ingredients like the aforementioned Worcestershire and horseradish, some tomato paste, hot sauce (big fans of this one here), and of course, a splash or two of vodka because what is a Bloody Mary without vodka?! If alcohol is not your thing though, feel free to omit it.
Mix all that together with a fork until it’s nice and saucy.
Step 3: Air fry the soy curls.
You’re going to add half this sauce to the rehydrated soy curls and stir it all up.
We cook our vegan jerky in the air fryer which is a literal Godsend for this recipe because the everything cooks perfectly in very little time. Be aware though, you will need an air fryer that has a basket for this recipe. This is the one we have.
Halfway through cooking, we like to toss the jerky with the second half of the Bloody Mary sauce to coat it really well. After cooking, let your vegan jerky cool completely before you get to snacking!
Can I make this vegan jerky in the oven?
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can make this vegan jerky in the oven too. Follow the same temperature instructions but you will have to cook the jerky longer to achieve the same texture.
Other Vegan Snack Ideas:
- Easy Vegan Cheeseball
- Carrot Dogs in a Blanket (also a favorite!)
- Jackfruit + Cheddar Taquitos (in the air fryer )
This vegan jerky would be a total show-stopper for game day or for snacking throughout the week! It’s also killer dipped in a bit of vegan ranch if you’re looking for a way to balance out the heat. And like I said, beer works too. 😉
If and when you make this vegan jerky, we wanna hear ALL about it! You can rate the recipe and leave a comment below or tag us in your fun jerky photos on Instagram. If you’re not already following along, we’re @theplantpowercouple with the “the”.
Cheers and happy snacking!
- 1 (8 oz.) bag soy curls
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2.5 Tbsp vegan chicken bouillon powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
For the sauce:
- Rehydrate your soy curls: Add the soy curls to a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over them and add the rest of the marinade ingredients. Stir, cover, and set aside for 5-10 minutes until completely rehydrated.
- Make your sauce: Mix together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl with a fork or whisk until everything is well-combined.
- Cook your jerky: When the soy curls are rehydrated, add half your sauce to them and stir. Transfer the sauced-up soy curls to your air fryer and fry at 250F for 20 minutes, stopping once to shake the basket.
- Finish it off: Toss your soy curls with the remainder of the sauce and add them back to the air fryer. Fry at 250F for another 10-20 minutes, until your desired texture is reached. Allow them to cool fully before digging in; they will firm up even more as they cool!
- You can store this vegan jerky in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 10 days or the freezer for 2 months. They’re great served with Bloody Marys or dipped in vegan ranch!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 913mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.