I am constantly on a quest to find the perfect vegan snacks for our kiddos. If it were up to them, they’d eat popcorn and chips all day long… but we all know that those snacks — while delicious — lack the nutrients our little ones need to grow big and strong!

Enter vegan “jerky”.

This recipe features the infamous “soy curl” from Butler. These are a delicious alternative to meat and are SO versatile. They can be used in fajitas, stir fry, soups, sandwiches… and, of course, as jerky.

These little morsels are made from dehydrated soy (much like textured vegetable protein… except they come in large pieces about the size of chicken strips). When rehydrated, they have a texture eerily similar to meat.

Not only do the kids love this jerky snack, but my partner and I will frequently graze on it throughout the day, too. It also makes for a delicious hiking companion!

This is a more affordable alternative to store-bought vegan jerky which — while equally as delectable — can tend to get expensive when you snack as much as we do.

A 6-pack of Butler’s Soy Curls is available on Amazon for $27.94 and is enough to make 3 large batches of jerky… or to have some extra on-hand to toss in your other favorite dishes!

For this recipe, I used my Waring Pro DHR30 Professional Dehydrator ($69.95 on Amazon) but you could easily swap this kitchen gadget for your good ol’ fashioned oven.

The only thing you want to be sure is that you set your oven to a relatively low temperature — 250 degrees Fahrenheit or lower — so as not to burn your jerky.

In just a few hours, you could be snacking on your very own homemade vegan jerky! Whatcha waitin’ for?

Vegan “Jerky”

Total Time: 15 minutes prep, 2-4 hours cooking
Servings: 12 (about 3 jars full)

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. of dry Butler soy curls
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbsp. liquid smoke (we love this one from Colgin!)
  • 2 tbsp. agave nectar (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red cayenne powder (to taste)
  • 1/4 c. neutral-tasting oil (I used olive)
  • 1 c. water

Instructions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients (except the soy curls) into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over the stove.
  2. Once mixed, pour the liquid mixture over the soy curls and mix thoroughly. Let sit for a few minutes so the soy curls can absorb.
  3. Plug in your dehydrator* OR pre-heat your oven to its lowest setting (250 degrees Fahrenheit or less).
  4. Dehydrate OR bake for 2-4 hours. You can dehydrate them a little more or a little less, depending on your taste. My kids like them slightly dry and crispy, while my partner and I like them soft and chewy.

*My Waring Pro dehydrator’s high setting is around 175 degrees Fahrenheit.