Plant-Based Ground Beef Recipe (2024)

The sky's the limit with this totally vegan ground beef substitute!

Plant-Based Ground Beef Recipe (1)

Get ready, because your life is about to change for the better. Once you make this vegan ground beef recipe, there’s no stopping you. The sky’s the limit! Just like that, you can swap in this quinoa “beef” for any recipe that calls for traditional ground beef. We’ll show you how in just a minute,but for now let’s just take a minute and really let it sink in.

Vegan ground beef. That sounds like endless possibilities to me!

First of all, let’s take a look at how we got here. I started my journey towards vegan ground beef like so many others: with meatless Monday. Because it was such a great challenge,it really helped to expand my cooking in such a great way. It was also a perfect way to fill at least one day of the week with lots of produce, and it made me feel better, too!

I started with tofu and tempeh (both being really natural meat replacements), and then I went from there. As I continued, I found myself wanting more, but most of all, I wanted something that had the texture of ground beef.

Then it hit me – quinoa has a delicate and crumbly texture, kind of similar to ground beef or turkey, so all I needed to do to transform it into a valid substitute was tomake it a little bit stickier. I baked it with some chopped walnuts, tomato paste, and nutritional yeast and voila – vegan ground beef was born!

How to Use Vegan Ground Beef

Plant-Based Ground Beef Recipe (2)

You can use this ground beef substitute any way you use normally cooked ground beef or turkey. Just add it to your favorite casserole dishes, wrap it up in a tortilla to make tacos or burritos, or have some fun with Asian-style lettuce cups. It’s so versatile and neutral tasting, and it will pick up other spices and flavors really nicely.

All you need to do is change up the flavor profile a little bit to customize it to your needs. For example, we’ve suggested adding salsa, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin for Mexican dishes. This will give the vegan ground beef that taco-seasoning characteristic we all know and love, but that’s not all. We also suggested a way to make it taste more Italian-style by adding marinara, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. This is perfect for lasagna or pasta casserole dishes.

Really, all you need to do is put some thought into the flavor profile of the cuisine you’re cooking. Then, spice the vegan ground beef up appropriately, and then you can enjoy! Sesame oil, ginger, and green onion would be great additions to Asian cuisine, whereas coriander, cardamom, and turmeric would be perfect for Moroccan-style dishes.

If you can’t think of where to get started, let us help! Here are 10 ideas off the top of our head, but if nothing sounds like it will hit the spot, let us know in the comments and we’d love to give you more suggestions!

Vegan Meat Ideas:

Plant-Based Ground Beef Recipe (3)

  • Tacos
  • Spaghetti Vegan Meat Sauce
  • Enchiladas
  • Burritos
  • Taquitos
  • Lasagna Filling
  • Asian Lettuce Cups
  • Tortilla Wraps
  • Chili
  • Casseroles

And now, without further ado, the recipe itself. We can’t wait to hear how this turned out for you, so let us know below!

4.80 from 25 votes

Plant-Based Ground Beef Recipe

This healthy, tasty, and versatile Vegan Beef recipe is perfect for a plethora of dishes.

Review Recipe PIN RECIPE Print Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time 45 minutes minutes

Total Time 55 minutes minutes

Yield 10 people

Serving Size 0.5 cup

Course Dinner, Lunch

Cuisine American

Author Gale Compton

Plant-Based Ground Beef Recipe (4)

Review Recipe PIN RECIPE Print Recipe


US Customary - Metric

Vegan Meat Base

  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth low-sodium
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • 1 cup walnuts raw, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Mexican Dishes

  • 1/2 cup salsa no sugar added
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin

Italian Dishes

  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano or Italian seasoning


  • Add quinoa, broth, salt, and pepper to a medium pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low-boil and cook until the broth is absorbed, 12-15 minutes. Turn off the burner, cover the pot and allow to set 5 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  • Add all other ingredients to the quinoa, stir to combine. Evenly spread on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, stir, evenly spread on the sheet and continue baking 15 minutes.

  • Remove sheet and enjoy in your favorite Mexican or Italian dishes. Vegan meat keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week or can be frozen for later use.


Please note that sprouted quinoa only takes 1 1/2 cups broth. Follow the directions on the package if unsure how much liquid to add or how long to cook.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 163mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g |

SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2

Keywords dairy-free, Diabetic-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian

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Plant-Based Ground Beef Recipe (2024)


How do you make plant-based ground beef taste better? ›

Add nutritional yeast: Use 1-2 tablespoons. This will add additional umami flavor that works well in Italian and Mexican cuisines. Add your favorite seasonings: Just like you would add to a regular ground beef, feel free to add additional seasonings depending on the recipe you're using this plant-based ground beef in.

How much TVP for a pound of ground beef? ›

To replace 1 lb of ground meat: use 1/3 lb of TVP and 1 1/3 cups of boiling water or broth. Place dry TVP in a bowl and pour boiling water or broth over the granules. Stir and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Use as directed in your recipe.

How do you cook plant-based beef? ›

Plant-based meat cooked to medium-rare (125 degrees) is mushy and pasty. On the flip side, cooking plant-based meat until well done (160 degrees) yields meat with an unpleasantly bouncy, chewy texture. We found medium doneness (130 to 135 degrees) to be the sweet spot for tender, juicy meat.

What's the best vegan ground beef? ›

  • 1 Beyond Meat. California-based Beyond Meat has several ground beef options, all of which are made with pea protein. ...
  • 2 Gardein. ...
  • 3 Impossible Foods. ...
  • 4 Lightlife. ...
  • 6 Future Farm. ...
  • 1 Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza. ...
  • 2 Cheeseburger Tater Tots With Cashew Cheddar Sauce. ...
  • 3 Spaghetti Bolognese.

What is used to make plant-based meat taste like meat? ›

Soy protein concentrate and pea protein are common ingredients used to mimic the true taste and texture of real meat. Editor's note: Some plant-based meat options, notably Impossible Foods products, contain GMO soy.

How to make Beyond meat taste like beef? ›

The quickest and easiest way to boost flavor in plant-based meat (meatless) dishes is to increase the amount and numbers of herbs and spices in the dish. If a favorite Beef Stew recipe calls for ½ tsp of dried marjoram, try making a meatless version with double that amount.

How much does 1 cup of TVP make? ›

Plain TVP 1 cup yields 2 ¼ cups 3 oz. yields 14 oz. TVP can be added directly to soups and stews, or rehydrated for a healthy, meatless option. To rehydrate, add 2 cups of water to 1 cup of TVP and soak or simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Is TVP cheaper than beef? ›

TVP is primarily used as a meat substitute due to its very low cost at less than a third the price of ground beef and, when cooked together, will help retain more nutrients from the meat by absorbing juices normally lost.

Does TVP taste like ground beef? ›

You do have to flavor it. TVP in its plain form is tasteless, like plain tofu. I use a double or triple strength bouillon, or more recently, water seasoned with Vegeta seasoning found here on Amazon. Add some oil and a little sugar when you season it, for a better meat substitute experience.

Can you overcook plant-based meat? ›

Like beef from cows, Impossible Burger can be overcooked. We recommend cooking it to medium and slightly browned.

Can you fry plant-based meat? ›


I highly recommend a Deep Fry Thermometer to monitor the oil temp. Use a neutral tasting, high smoke point oil (Canola, Vegetable, Peanut etc.) Make sure to use UNSWEETENED plant milk. I like RIPPLE the best.

What is the best way to cook plant-based burgers? ›

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12‑inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Using spatula, transfer 6 patties to skillet and cook until well browned on first side, about 3 minutes. Flip patties and continue to cook until browned on second side and meat registers 130 to 135 degrees, about 2 minutes.

Does plant-based ground beef taste good? ›

I immediately loved the flavor and the meaty texture it added to my salad. Later, I used leftovers from that package to put together tacos. The plant-based meat was a great vegan replacement for real ground beef and was delicious on a warm tortilla with all the fixings.

What vegan meat does burger King use? ›

The Impossible Whopper patty is made from plants. The main ingredients are soy and potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and heme.

Which vegan meat is the healthiest? ›

Specifically, meat substitutes like tofu, tempeh, and seitan have equal amounts of protein but with less saturated fat and more vitamins and minerals, besides B12.

How can I improve my plant-based meat? ›

Dehydrins can be particularly useful for enhancing the juiciness and texture in the ground meat replicas. The texture of a meat dough also can be modified by adding cream of tartar to the preparation.

What can I add to ground beef to make it taste better? ›

The magic lies in the seasoning – a simple yet potent mix of garlic, onion, cumin, and cayenne, creating some of the most tasty ground beef.

Why do plant-based burgers taste like meat? ›

Heme is found in a protein called hemoglobin that is found in every living plant and animal, and is something we've been eating since the dawn of humanity. This ingredient not only makes Impossible Burgers taste like meat, but helps them stay juicy, moist, and slightly red at the center.

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