Eric’s Original Vegan Jerky

A classic vegan jerky recipe that’s affordable, delicious, and packed with protein. The perfect snack for anything from road tripping to movie night. Made with soy curls and oven-baked.

Alright, y’all, listen up. I am a FIEND for jerky. As a kid, I would beg our babysitter to take us to 7-Eleven so that I could get a bag of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and a Slurpee the size of my arm (I was a kid; my arms weren’t that big). The salty and exceptionally chewy nature of the jerky just really satisfied something deep in my soul.

Fast forward to now. Eating meat is like, totally cancelled, but my yearning for jerky lives on. I fell in love with Louisville Vegan Jerky but there’s a limit to how many bones I’m willing to drop at our local Whole Foods to secure it. So Sarah had the bright idea (as she does) to buy some soy curls in bulk and put my flavor game to the test.

container of vegan soy curl jerky, closeup

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Jerky

Now, I don’t want to overreact but…this jerky might be one of the best things I’ve ever made. In my opinion, it’s the perfect snack food. It’s salty, spicy (at least with the amount of cayenne that I prefer), and absurdly flavorful.

As an added bonus, it’s HEALTHY! Soy curls are packed with protein and are also a great source of fiber. You won’t feel like you just scarfed down some potato chips or anything greasy after eating this jerky; you’ll feel like a satiated, musclebound hunk of a human being. (Results may vary.)

Finally, soy curls are very affordable! You can buy theme straight from the Butler website (as we do) or on Amazon. It’s a fraction of the cost of Louisville Vegan Jerky, but just as delicious.

So there you have it: a healthy, cheap, and satisfying snack for any situation you may find yourself in. Hiking for 7 hours and need to refuel your legs with protein? Jerky. On a road trip and need to recoup the energy so you can continue to be a good DJ for your friend driving? Jerky. Watching a movie and don’t want to snack on chips? JERKY! Enjoy these chewy little guys however and wherever you so please.

If you make this at home, take a photo and tag me @theericames!

bowl of rehydrated plain soy curls

Ingredients for Homemade Vegan Jerky

  • Soy curls: These extremely versatile little squiggles of soy are the basis of this vegan jerky recipe. They’re perfectly bland on their own and soak up anything you put on them. In my opinion, they’re basically like little pieces of plain chicken.
  • Olive oil: A little bit of oil provides just enough fat to keep the soy curls from drying out in the oven. You can use a different neutral vegetable oil if you prefer.
  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce provides all of the salt and a splash of umami for our homemade vegan jerky. Make sure you’re using full-sodium soy sauce for this recipe or it won’t have the right amount of salt!
  • Liquid smoke: This gives the jerky that smoked barbecue taste that’s familiar in beef jerky. If you prefer not to cook with liquid smoke, you can substitute in 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. The flavor will be a bit different but it will still be tasty.
  • Vinegar: White vinegar adds a little acidic kick for your tastebuds. You can use apple cider vinegar as well.
  • Spices: These are the tastemakers, as I like to call them (starting right now). Garlic and onion powder are the spice base, ramping up the umami. Paprika adds a peppery (but not spicy) flavor while the ground mustard and black pepper contribute a little bite to the mix. To round it out, add as much cayenne pepper as you like to spice up your vegan jerky.
overhead shot of seasoned soy curls ready to bake

How to Make the Best Vegan Jerky

Don’t be intimidated; this recipe is super easy to throw together! Here are the steps:

  1. Rehydrate your soy curls. Put them in a large bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Allow them to sit for around 10 minutes before draining them off.
  2. Remove excess liquid. When your soy curls are cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible so they’ll absorb the marinade. We like to wring them out in batches using a nut milk bag — it works super well! You can also use a clean, lint-free kitchen towel. You can do it with just your hands too, but it’s harder to get them as dry this way.
  3. Season your soy curls. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over your soy curls and toss well to combine. If you squeezed out most of the extra liquid, they should soak up the marinade like a sponge.
  4. Slow-cook, stirring often. Spread the seasoned soy curls in one even layer on a baking tray and cook them in a low oven, stirring them every 20 minutes or so to ensure they dry out evenly.
  5. Let them cool. You can eat it right away, but the texture of this homemade vegan jerky is best once it’s had a chance to cool and sit for several hours in an airtight container. The moisture redistributes in the sealed container and the jerky develops an amazing chew.
closeup of piece of vegan jerky

How to Store the Jerky

You can store your homemade vegan jerky in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days, but ours almost never lasts that long! You can refrigerate or even freeze it if you think you might take longer to go through a batch.

Make sure the jerky has cooled entirely before storing it. If it’s still hot, moisture will accumulate in the container and may cause the jerky to develop mold.

FAQ & Troubleshooting

Where to find soy curls?

Usually it’s easiest to just buy soy curls online. You can find them on Amazon or purchase directly from the Butler Foods website — sometimes they even throw in free samples of their other products, too!

Occasionally we also spot 8 oz bags of soy curls at health food stores (Natural Grocers sells them, for example). If you have a vegan specialty market near you, that’s also a great place to check.

Can this recipe be made gluten-free?

Yes! Soy curls are naturally gluten-free, so you’ll simply need to use gluten-free soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos).

Can this recipe be made oil-free?

Unfortunately, we haven’t had good luck with this. A small amount of oil is necessary to make the soy curls retain just the right amount of moisture. Otherwise they become too dry and crispy in the oven.

My jerky is too dry/too wet after the specified cook time

The time listed is just a guideline. There are a few variables at play:

  • How well did you squeeze out the extra water from the soaked soy curls? If they were still a little soggy, you may needed to add extra cook time. Add it in 5 minute increments.
  • All ovens are a little different. An oven thermometer is useful to ensure your temperature is accurate.
  • The humidity of your kitchen will influence the result a bit, too.

More Vegan Soy Curl Recipes

container of soy curl jerky, closeup

Eric’s Original Vegan Jerky

A classic vegan jerky recipe that’s affordable, delicious, and packed with protein. The perfect snack for anything from road tripping to movie night. Made with soy curls and oven-baked.
4.3 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Sarah Sullivan


  • mixing bowl
  • cheesecloth, nut milk bag or lint-free kitchen towel
  • large baking tray
  • silicone baking mat or parchment


  • 1 8 oz bag dry soy curls
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce regular, not low-sodium
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • black pepper to preference


  • Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  • Cover soy curls with water just off a boil. Allow to soak for 10 minutes to rehydrate.
  • Drain soy curls and allow to cool. (You can rinse them under cold water to speed up this process.) Using a clean tea towel, a nut milk bag, or a few layers of cheesecloth, wring out as much excess liquid as possible from the curls. It helps to work in small batches.
  • Add soy curls to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine all marinade ingredients. Whisk to ensure everything is combined well. Feel free to taste a piece and adjust seasonings to preference, if desired. (Keep in mind that the flavors will concentrate as we dehydrate the jerky, so the finished product will taste saltier.)
  • Pour marinade evenly over soy curls and mix thoroughly to combine. You want to ensure that each piece of jerky has the same amount of marinade so you don't get any bland or overly flavored pieces.
  • As evenly as possible, spread soy curls on prepared baking tray.
  • Bake for roughly 1 hour. Every 20 minutes, give the soy curls a thorough stir and spread them out evenly again before returning to oven.
  • You may need to cook the jerky slightly longer to fully dehydrate it. If there is still some excess moisture after 1 hour, give the jerky another stir and continue baking it in five-minute increments until done. We typically end up cooking ours for an extra 10-15 minutes.
  • The jerky will be tasty right out of the oven, but the texture is best after it’s been cooled completely and then stored in an airtight container for a few hours or overnight! In a sealed container, it develops an even better chew, and any pieces that initially seem dry will reabsorb some moisture. Just make sure to cool it before sealing, otherwise condensation will form in the container and the jerky will go bad faster.


If you have any questions/need help, check the FAQ & Troubleshooting section at the bottom of the blog post.
Did you make this recipe?We’d love for you to leave a review on the website! You can also share a photo on IG and tag @sarahsvegankitchen_ or #sarahsvegankitchen.


  1. Pingback: Vegan Chicken Salad - Sarah's Vegan Kitchen

  2. Does substituting Dijon for ground mustard make much of a difference?

  3. 5 stars
    Yummmmmm! This was delicious! Great recipe!

  4. Is it possible to make these in an air fryer?

  5. Todd Laviolette

    I’m planning on making your vegan jerky recipe but wanted to know how would you prepare in a air fryer oven/dehydrator

  6. 2 stars
    Sadly I made this and it has very little, if any, flavor. Maybe because I doubled the recipe? Weighed the soy curls (I buy in bulk), measured everything carefully, squeezed dry in a nut milk bag, and baked until dry-ish. I guess I’ll go back to winging it. It seemed like there wasn’t enough sauce once mixed as the sauce itself had good flavor and enough salt. Off to try to save the batch somehow. Might try again with 1 1/2 – 2 times the sauce

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recipe Rating