7 Delicious Dishes You Won't Believe Are Made with Meat Alternatives

With these reimagined vegetarian recipes, classic meaty dishes like pulled pork, crab cakes and even bacon are no longer off-limits for those following meat-free diets.
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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Made with Mock Meats

Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you won't still have an occasional craving for a crispy BLT or juicy pulled pork sandwich. The promise of better health has a growing number of people adopting vegan and vegetarian diets, which means there are more meat-free alternatives than there used to be. But it can sometimes be tricky to turn them into meals that taste great. That's why we got creative with meat alternatives and came up with new spins on some classic dishes — including lentil-mushroom meatballs, nut-meat tacos and even a mushroom "bacon" — that will sate your comfort food cravings while remaining totally vegetarian.

Lentil-Mushroom Meatballs

These uber-savory meatballs are packed with ingredients that contain glutamate, the compound responsible for umami flavor. Lentils, onions, garlic, tomato paste, soy sauce and nutritional yeast all play their parts in making these vegan meatballs taste meaty. The meatballs are full of protein and fiber, too.

Get the Recipe: Lentil-Mushroom Meatballs

Mushroom Bacon

Caramelized, crispy mushrooms take on the meaty flavor of bacon in this recipe. Put a few slices on toasted bread with sliced tomato and crisp lettuce for a vegetarian BLT. Or, serve alongside a bowl of oatmeal for a great breakfast to jump-start your day.

Get the Recipe: Mushroom Bacon

Nut-Meat Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

These simple meatless tacos with nuts and sun-dried tomatoes are a unique twist on the classic weeknight meal, but still deliver traditional taco flavor with spicy chili powder and smoky paprika. Top with pickled red onions, vegan Cotija cheese and fresh cilantro for a dish you and your family will love.

Get the Recipe: Nut Meat Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

Vegan Chickpea Crab Cakes

All the flavors are here — Old Bay, lemon and that distinct brininess — but there's no crab in sight with these cakes. Instead, chickpeas stand in for shellfish, and they are just as satisfying.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Chickpea Crab Cakes

Vegan Pinto Bean Breakfast Sausage

These meatless, bean-packed sausages taste just like the real thing, and they're full of fiber — 5 grams per link, to be exact. Serve them with avocado toast and fresh tomato for a well-rounded, meat-free breakfast.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Pinto Bean Breakfast Sausage

Vegan "Pulled Pork" Sliders

The "pulled pork" in these vegan sliders is made from mushrooms that have been slowly roasted in a marinade of molasses and spices. Slap it on a slider roll, top with some creamy vegan coleslaw and enjoy.

Get the Recipe: Vegan "Pulled Pork" Sliders

Vegan Sunflower Seed Tuna Salad

This vegan take on a deli classic uses soaked sunflower seeds two ways: in place of the tuna and the mayonnaise. With bright flavors of lemon and fresh herbs and a little crunch from fresh celery and shallots, this salad is so satisfying that you won't miss the fish.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Sunflower Seed Tuna Salad

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