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I’m going to admit something that I really shouldn’t, but this recipe post really needs it to be said.  When I was a kid, I loved anything Chef Boyardee.  My personal favourites were the overstuffed ravioli and, of course, the beefaroni.  Well, needless to say, my tastes have changed over the years, and I can no longer bring myself to buy prepared canned food at the grocery store.  (Other than canned beans or legumes.)  But after learning to cook with textured vegetable protein, and realizing how much potential there was using that particular product, all of my childhood favourite recipes became mealtime options once again.

Skillet Vegetarian Beefaroni

If you have been following my blog, you certainly will have noticed that I love to cook with textured vegetable protein (TVP).  The product is a high-fiber, high-protein meat substitute made from soy flour and available in a variety of flavored and unflavored varieties, as well as different sizes, from large chunks to small flakes. Because it is cheap and widely available, it is popular amongst many people cooking on a budget, in vegetarian cooking and is used in some vegan recipes.

Skillet Vegetarian Beefaroni

Textured vegetable protein is a versatile substance; different forms allow it to take on the texture of whatever ground meat it is substituting.  Using TVP, one can make vegetarian or vegan versions of traditionally meat-based dishes, such as chili con carne, spaghetti bolognese, sloppy joes, tacos, burgers, or burritos.  After I prepared my own version of Vegetarian Pasta Bolognese, I knew I could recreate many of the dishes I was used to eating before meeting the vegetarian.  This dish is one particular result of that realization.


Skillet Vegetarian Beefaroni

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Skillet Vegetarian Beefaroni
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 2 312g packages of prepared textured vegetable protein (Yves is a great brand!)
  • 450 grams elbow macaroni
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. In a very large, deep skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil
  2. Add the salt and pepper
  3. Once the onion is translucient, add the minced garlic and TVP; sauté for a few minutes until the garlic is cooked and the TVP is heated thoroughly
  4. Stir in the paprika and the crushed red pepper flakes
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer the mixture to a large metal bowl and set aside
  6. Add 5 cups of water to the skillet, bring to a boil and add 450 grams of elbow macaroni
  7. Allow the macaroni to cook in the skillet until the water has been absorbed
  8. Don't worry if the macaroni is not fully cooked; it will continue to cook in the next step
  9. Add back the TVP mixture, tomato paste, canned tomatoes and juice
  10. Heat all ingredients together, stirring consistently
  11. Once the liquid from the tomato juice has been absorbed, add the chopped parsley and continue to cook for one more minute
  12. Serve hot with grated parmesan cheese and more fresh parsley
Macaroni pasta is traditionally used in beefaroni, but you can certainly use rotini or penne pasta if you wish. Also, add more or less of the crushed red pepper flakes to suit your personal tastes.

Skillet Vegetarian Beefaroni

One pot vegetarian beefaroni; cooked in a skillet with minimal effort and maximum taste.

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This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. I’m not a fan of beef meat so I am sure that I’d love this dish 🙂 Looks amazing and its dinnertime here so my stomach has started growling just by looking at it 🙂
    Gorgeous photos of a very tempting looking dish and of course, a great recipe and write up as always 🙂
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Madiha. I’m slowly becoming less and less fond of meat too. I’m sure John.e will be happy about that. 🙂

  2. Ok, you are officially a miracle worker. I can’t stand that meat replacement stuff (what can I say, I’m a carnivore at heart I guess) but your photos had me drooling!! Great recipe Byron!!

    1. Hahaha – Thank you! It was really good. I really enjoyed the bit of heat from the crushed red pepper flakes.

  3. “1 can tomato paste”
    I almost always buy a 6oz can of tomato paste when a dish calls for it. Most recipes only need a scant tablespoon or so buying a full, 15oz can is never typically the ask. Can you clarify if you mean a 15oz can or a 6oz can in your recipe?

    1. Hi Josh,
      Yes, I always use a 6oz can of tomato paste when needed. I very rarely use less than the entire 6oz can. Thanks for dropping by. Let me know if you try the recipe. Cheers!

    1. To be quite honest, I’ve tried the dried version of TVP only a few times; I tend to buy the pre-packaged/seasoned kind from the cooler section at my local grocery store. Yves is a great product. You can purchase seasoned types such as Italian or Mexican, or can you buy the original type. With the original flavour, you can add anything you like. I prefer to buy this one so that I can add my own seasonings and make it taste the way I prefer.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that, Jessica. I’m unsure of how your version of the recipe would develop a “weird sweet flavor.” As you can see, none of the ingredients are sweeteners with the exception of the added sugar to the canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Did you use the Yves brand of TVP? If not, there might be extra sugar in the brand you opted for.

    1. That’s a great idea, Deborah! We love seitan products as well and I am experimenting with making my own seitan. I will write a blog post when I perfect the recipe.

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