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 to make 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
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:
- Spaghetti Vegan Meat Sauce
- Lasagna Filling
- Asian Lettuce Cups
- Tortilla Wraps
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!
Meat Base- Yields: 5 cups | Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Calories: 91 | Total Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 163mg | Carbohydrates: 13g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Protein: 4g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2
- 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 finely diced raw walnuts
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup salsa, no sugar added
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 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 broth is absorbed, 12-15 minutes. Turn off burner, cover pot and allow to set 5 minutes.
- NOTE: 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.
- 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.
Are you as inspired as we are to cook great vegan food? We certainly hope so! By subscribing to our newsletter, you can have all these ideas emailed directly to your inbox. Or, follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get ideas added to your newsfeed.