Portobello and shiitake mushrooms, in particular, have a dense texture and a rich, umami flavor that makes them popular meat substitutes. Grilling or roasting them can enhance their meaty qualities.
Eggplant, especially when cooked or grilled, takes on a meaty texture. It can be used in dishes like eggplant parmesan or as a substitute for meat in sandwiches and wraps.
Jackfruit has a fibrous and meat-like texture, making it a popular choice for vegetarian and vegan dishes. It has a mild taste that can absorb the flavors of the seasonings and sauces used in cooking.
Seitan, also known as wheat gluten, is a high-protein meat substitute with a chewy texture. It's often used in vegetarian and vegan dishes as a stand-in for chicken or beef.
Tempeh is a fermented soy product with a firm texture and a nutty flavor. It's a versatile ingredient that can be marinated and grilled or used in stir-fries and sandwiches.
Lentils, especially the larger varieties like brown or green, have a hearty texture and earthy flavor. They can be used in stews, casseroles, or as a base for meatless burgers.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, can be mashed or blended to create a meaty texture. They are commonly used in dishes like falafel, chickpea burgers, and curries.
TVP is a processed soy product that comes in granules or chunks. It has a texture similar to ground meat and can be rehydrated and seasoned for use in various dishes, such as tacos or spaghetti sauce.