Looking Beyond the Lunchbox: Exploring the World of Vegan SPAM and Vegan SPAM Recipes


Dec. 8 2023, Published 1:28 p.m. ET

Cans of SPAM meat.
Source: Getty Images

With its unique acronym "Specially Processed American Meat" and rectangular shape, SPAM has become an iconic (if an acquired taste) part of the American lifestyle. For the unfamiliar, SPAM is a pork lunchmeat product sold in cans. The canned meat was introduced in 1937 by the Hormel Foods Company and made famous after a profile of the creator, Jay Hormel, hit newsstands in 1945.

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Fondness for SPAM is still alive and well, but sadly, there is nothing really healthy about SPAM. In 2020, the first plant-based SPAM product offered a healthier alternative. Let’s look at the different vegan SPAM products available, where you can buy them, and recipes to make your own.

Here's where to buy vegan SPAM products.

Thankfully, several vegan SPAM products are on the market, so consumers have a wide variety of options. Vegan SPAM is sold at health food stores like Whole Foods and other grocery retailers like Trader Joe's, Walmart, and Amazon. Here are a few examples of vegan SPAM for you to try at home.

OmniPork Luncheon vegan SPAM

OmniPork Luncheon, made by Hong Kong plant-based meat company OmniFoods, was the first vegan SPAM product in the world when it hit the market in 2020, per VegNews. The ingredients of Omni vegan SPAM include soybeans, beets, wheat, and coconut oil.

UnMeat vegan SPAM

UnMeat vegan SPAM is made by Century Pacific, a Philippines company. It is made with soy protein, potato starch, wheat, yeast extract, and rice powder.

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Better Meat vegan spam

South Korean-based vegan meat company Better Foods, a subsidiary of Shinsegae Food, introduced its vegan spam product in 2021. According to Vegconomist, the Better Foods vegan SPAM is made with vegetable oil and soy. It doesn’t appear that Better Meat vegan SPAM is readily available in the U.S. as of December 2023.

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Check out these vegan SPAM recipes you can make at home.

If you can’t find vegan SPAM products in the store, you can always try to make your own. There are many recipes for vegan SPAM available — here are some of our favorites.

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@cheaplazyvegan's Vegan SPAM Musubi

Musubi is a Hawaiian dish made of a SPAM slice on top of packed rice and wrapped in seaweed. Cheap Lazy Vegan’s version uses homemade vegan spam made with tofu, maple syrup, liquid smoke, soy sauce, mirin, and spices.

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@eastmeetskitchn Vegan SPAM

Vegan food blogger Christina Ng of East Meets Kitchen doesn’t use tofu in her recipe for vegan SPAM. Instead, Ng’s recipe includes soy flour, nutritional yeast, cornmeal, and peanut butter, among other ingredients.

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@fooddotcom Vegan SPAM

Peanut butter is also a main ingredient in a vegan SPAM recipe by Food.com. This recipe is similar to Ng’s but uses dried soybeans instead of soy flour.

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