How to Use Soy Curls

Soy curls are a fantastic plant-based staple and the secret ingredient in many of our veganized chicken recipes. In this post, we’re sharing our best tips, tricks, and plenty of vegan soy curls recipes with you! We’ll explain what exactly soy curls are, where to buy soy curls, and how to use soy curls to replace chicken in your own family recipes.

Soy curls are a fantastic plant-based staple and the secret ingredient in many of our veganized chicken recipes. In this post, we’re sharing our best tips, tricks, and plenty of vegan soy curls recipes with you! We’ll explain what exactly soy curls are, where to buy soy curls, and how to use soy curls to replace chicken in your own family recipes.

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Oh, friends, friends, friends. If you’ve never heard of soy curls, or have heard of them but shied away from using them because you just didn’t know where to get started, you are in for a treat today! Get ready; your vegan cooking game is about to level up times three!

So many of you have seen the photos of our vegan soy curls recipes (like our vegan chicken noodle soup, vegan pot pie casserole, or vegan crunchwrap!) and asked what kind of plant-based chicken we use to get those dishes SO meaty. 

The answer, my friends, Butler soy curls: an amazing plant-based product trademarked by and only available from Butler Foods and made in Oregon. We were lucky enough to have been introduced to them at a vegan pop-up flea market here in Philly a few years back by our friends at V Marks the Shop. And our lives forever changed for the better that day.

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Why We Love Soy Curls:

  • They are incredibly versatile. We’ve created so many vegan soy curls recipes and know we’ve barely scratched the surface!
  • Soy curls mimic the texture of chicken AMAZINGLY for all your old favorite soups, stews, and casseroles!
  • They’re a fantastically tasty way to get protein AND fiber!

Soy Curls FAQ

First, let’s clear up some of the most commonly asked questions about soy curls! If there’s a question we haven’t answered here, please feel free to leave it in the comments so we can make this a more complete resource!

What are soy curls?

Soy curls are a dehydrated, minimally processed soy product available through Butler Foods. A good source of both fiber and protein, they’re a 100% natural food that is vegan and gluten free.

Soy curls take on and mimic the texture and (when marinated) flavor of chicken for use in a tremendously wide variety of dishes. (Though I have used them in a “beef” stew as well with great results.)

Are soy curls healthy?

I think my most honest response to this would have to be Dr. Greger’s oft-used answer: “compared to what?”. Yes, soy curls are generally considered a healthy food, but I guess it would really depend on what you’re doing with them and how it’s being prepared. Soy curls are high in fiber and protein, offer decent amounts of potassium and Omega-3, and, of course, have zero trans fats or cholesterol. 

Are soy curls the same as TVP?

Though commonly conflated, TVP and soy curls are not the same. They’re quite different actually. TVP (textured vegetable protein) is made from defatted soybean flour dehydrated through high pressure and heat (read: very processed). Soy curls are made using the whole soybean. They are minimally processed and made without preservatives, additives, pesticides, GMOs, etc.

Where can I buy soy curls?

In-person availability is rather limited as soy curls are a trademarked product only produced by one company here in the United States. We’ve seen them in some mainstream grocery stores and in a few specialty/boutique vegan stores (if you’re in South Philly, check out V Marks the Shop!), but most often we order soy curls in bulk from Amazon. 

This vegan chicken stew makes the perfect cozy winter dinner. This creamy vegetable stew with meaty soy curls is easy to make using common ingredients, methods, and hidden vegetables like cauliflower! This vegan stew recipe is freezer-friendly and the perfect plant-based meal prep recipe. It’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, and easily made oil-free.

How to Use Soy Curls

Soy curls come dehydrated and are best stored in a cool, dark place. We order soy curls in bulk and store them in the freezer. 

Use them in any recipe where you’d use (unbreaded) chicken strips! Our favorite ways to use them are in soups, stews, stir fry, and casseroles. Because the soy curls come dehydrated, we find they really hold that meaty texture in recipes like this, whereas some other vegan chicken strips might get water-logged and mushy (bleh).

There are 2 ways you can go about rehydrating your soy curls: You can either rehydrate the soy curls before cooking/using them or throw them in to rehydrate in the soup/stew/whatever you’re making (this trick works really well in our vegan chicken noodle soup).

Remember, you’ll need to add flavor to the soy curls too because they come as a completely blank canvas. We always start with hot water mixed with our homemade vegan bouillon powder and highly recommend this method!

Soy Curls Recipes

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of soy curls, let’s get to the good stuff – soy curls RECIPES!

1. Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

This vegan chicken noodle soup is the stuff of our childhood sick day dreams! Warm + cozy broth bursting with flavor, thick brothy noodles, tender chicken-free chicken. Easy, soothing, gluten-free option. #vegan #soup #plantbased #veganrecipe //

How could we not start with this absolute classic?! Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup! Also, how could anyone get through a winter without giant pots of this slurptastic soup filled with chickeny chunks!

2. Creamy Vegan Chicken and Rice Casserole

This easy vegan chicken and rice casserole is going to rock your busy winter weeknights. It's rice and veggies and gravy all cooked up and topped with meaty soy curls. Just dump, bake, and enjoy. #vegan #casserole #broccoli #soycurls #rice #veganrecipes //

This Vegan Chicken and Rice Casserole is another comfort food classic. Sublime in its simplicity, this cozy vegan casserole is sure to please the entire family! And best of all for the chef, it’s SO easy to put together.

3. Vegan Taco Chicken

This 8-ingredient vegan taco meat is easy to make and delicious! It’s tender, juicy, and full of zesty Mexican-inspired flavor. No one will know it’s #vegan! #tacotuesday #plantbased #oilfree #glutenfree #plantpowercouple //

If you’re looking to spice things up a little in the kitchen, this tequila-infused Vegan Taco Chicken is the way to go. Fantastic in fajitas and quesadillas, but it reigns supreme in our vegan crunchwrap.

4. Creamy Vegan Chicken Stew

This vegan chicken(less) stew is the PERFECT winter comfort food! It's warm and soul-healing but also FULL of surprise veggies and flavor. It's also freezer-friendly and has a gluten-free option. #vegan #stew #veganrecipes #cauliflower #comfortfood //

This Vegan Chicken Stew is creamy, hearty, and absolutely gorgeous! Topped with puff pastry, this delicious vegan stew lives at the corner of Fancy and Comfort Food. Perfect for a date night in.

5. Vegan Tetrazzini

This vegan tetrazzini recipe is easy to make and just as comforting as traditional tetrazzini without any of the dairy! It’s a freezer-friendly weeknight dinner. #vegan #vegandinner #tetrazzini #vegantetrazzini #vegancomfortfood #plantpowercouple #soycurls #cashews #tofu //

This Vegan Tetrazzini is an absolute favorite of kids and adults alike! If you’ve never had this dish before, you are in for a treat! A true family favorite, pasta meets casserole…pastarole?

6. Bloody Mary Flavored Vegan Jerky

This meaty vegan jerky is made in the air fryer and full of that classic Bloody Mary cocktail flavor. The perfect snack to enjoy with a cold beer! #vegan #plantbased #jerky #recipe //

Grab a spear and some olives for a grand garnish, or just grab a handful of these Bloody Mary flavored vegan jerky pieces for a delicious snack! Great on party trays, served on a Bloody Mary bar, or all by themselves!

7. Vegan Pot Pie Casserole

This vegan pot pie casserole is a quick, easy, and delicisously vegan version of the chicken pie I fell in love with in London back in the 90s. Made with tremendously simple and easily found ingredients, the hardest part of this dish is waiting for it to be done cooking! #vegan #vegetarian #vegandinner #potpie #soycurls #veganrecipes //

Perfect for a snowy day…or any day. Make this vegan chicken pot pie casserole for your family or friends, and just let the accolades and gratitude wash over you. Or keep it ALL for yourself: you might miss the accolades, but you’ll still be grateful.

8. Slow Cooker Vegan Chicken and Rice

This easy slow cooker vegan chicken and rice is classic comfort food made vegan! Great for a busy weeknight or meal prep session, it's also healthy, gluten-free, and can easily be made oil-free. #vegan #crockpot #slowcooker #rice #soycurls //

This Slow Cooker Vegan Chicken and Rice recipe is the last word in comfort food. The ease of the slow cooker with the warmth and deliciousness of this traditional dish made vegan. Grab a big bowl, a big spoon, a big blanket, and get cozy with your favorite show (additional persons optional.)

We hope you enjoyed this post and learned something about soy curls, were inspired to make one of these recipes, or perhaps invent your own soy curl creations! 

Whatever it is, we want to hear all about it. Don’t forget to leave a comment below with any soy curls questions, challenges, or wins you want to share.

And tag us in your soy curl creations on Instagram! If you’re not already hanging out with us over there, we’re @theplantpowercouple with the “the”. 

Happy cooking, friends!

7 thoughts on “How to Use Soy Curls

  1. I've never tried soy curls and was wondering if they're tender? I know it's mentioned chewy, but I always liked tender chicken, so was wondering if they're tender?
    1. Hi, Cindy! Depends on the recipe. For our soup, we like them a little chewier. They can definitely be made tender. After you marinate them, just bake the moisture out until desired tenderness. We do it this way all the time for our mashed potato bowls. Hope that helps!
  2. Hey Guys, I've been using soy curls for several years and always have a hard time using up the tiny bits and 'dust' at the bottom of my 3 lb. bag. Any suggestions/recipes for this? Thanks!
    1. Hi, Lauren! Honestly, I don't think I've ever had a bag that big, but I just like to toss the last bits into whatever recipe I'm making. They end up great in the stews/casseroles. They'd probably be fantastically unobtrusive in the chicken soup.
    2. I used the last crumbs in my bags in my egg roll filling - they’re just perfect! And many thanks to Plant Power Couple for introducing me to the wonderful world of soy curls 🙃

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