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Vegetarian Ground Beef Substitutes

Ground beef is delicious; whether it is used as an ingredient to add flavor to recipes like burgers or the star of the show like in meatball recipes, it will surely lend a delicious meaty flavor to whatever you have on hand.

Everybody likes ground beef. Hold that thought; almost everybody likes ground beef except those who follow a vegetarian diet plan, those who don’t consume red meat because of some medical complications, and Hindus.

If you are a vegetarian, substituting meat in your diet would be something you are already familiar with, and ground beef isn’t an exception. You can easily replace ground beef in your recipe with some of these substitutes, and you would get a similar meat feel.

This article highlights what ground beef is, how you can incorporate it into your recipe, and finally, the best vegetarian substitutes for ground beef.

Ground Beef Nutrition Facts

Vegetarian Ground Beef Substitutes..

What is Ground Beef?

Ground beef (also called minced beef or beef mince) is a collection of meat that is finely chopped either with a knife or a meat grinder. These meats are usually trimmings or meats attached to bones; they do not include organs of any type.

Ground beef is extremely popular in the United States, and it makes up 60% of the entire beef consumption in the country.

There are four major types of ground beef you would find in a grocery store or butcher’s store: Ground Sirloin, Ground Round, Ground Chuck, and Regular Ground Beef. Each of these varieties contains only meat from that specific beef cut.

Uses of Ground Beef in Recipes

Ground beef can be introduced into a wide range of recipes, it is a cheaper option for meat, and it is quick and easy to cook, so you may often see it as a meat option in a lot of fast food recipes.

It is popularly used in hamburgers, spaghetti bolognese, sausages, and cottage pies as a supplementary flavor in these recipes. It can also be a prominent ingredient in meatballs, meatloaves, sloppy joes, tacos, and other Midwestern cuisines.

Ground beef can also serve as a meat option. As stated earlier, just like regular meat, you can grill it, smoke it, boil it, or fry it. Feel free to experiment with cooking ground beef in different recipes.

Below are examples of recipes that use ground beef.

Vegetarian Ground Beef Substitutes 

Ground beef is certainly a staple in the diet of most Americans. I mean, who wouldn’t love the rich, delicious taste of beef? It is perfect whenever you want something quick and delicious. Still, if you follow a vegetarian diet plan, you would abstain from consuming beef or any other food involving animal slaughter.

However, you could still get something close to that delicious taste of beef without actually including beef in your diet. Yes, you’re vegetarian.



Tofu is sometimes called bean curd, and it is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the coagulated milk into solid white blocks of different textures. It is a good source of protein, and it is used to substitute beef in many vegetarian recipes.

To turn tofu into a ground beef substitute, get a tofu block with a firm texture, freeze for about 24 hours, defrost and remove excess water by pressing with a paper towel. Next, you can crumble the tofu block, season with your favorite seasonings, bake until golden brown, and add it to your dish as a direct replacement for ground beef.




Lentil is an edible legume with lens-shaped seeds. According to many sources, lentils make an amazing vegetarian ground beef substitute. The only thing to worry about is that lentils have more moisture than ground beef, so to fix this, you can reduce the quantities of other liquid ingredients in your recipe, and you do not allow the lentils to cook fully.

You can use this substitute in meat pies, burgers, casseroles, soups, and whatever recipe you have on hand.



Mushrooms have always been a good vegetarian substitute for meat, so why don’t we chop some mushrooms into fine shreds? The best part about the fungi that are mushrooms is that they would still give you that juicy texture and rich umami flavor you would get from meat.

For the best results, I would recommend portobello mushrooms.

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)


This has to be one of the best vegetarian plant-based meats on the market. Textured vegetable protein (also called textured soy protein) is a deflated soy flour product, and it is gotten after soybean oil has been extracted.

You would still get a lot of protein from TVP because it contains a decent amount of protein which can level up to certain meats.

If you already have this at home, quickly make the switch and enjoy your recipes without any guilt.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the different types of vegetarians?

There are seven different types of vegetarianism practiced: Lacto vegetarianism, Ovo vegetarianism, Ovo-Lacto vegetarianism, Pescetarianism, flexitarian, pollotarianism, and Fruitarianism, and then we have the vegans who do not consume any animal byproduct.

What are the health benefits of a vegetarian diet?

Some of the health benefits of a vegetarian diet include regulated blood pressure and a lower risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

Is ground beef part of a keto diet?

Ground beef is suitable for individuals on a ketogenic diet plan as 1oz of beef contains no carbs. So if you are on a keto diet, you can include this cheap meat in your shopping cart.


Ground beef is delicious that it has become a must-have item in many restaurants, and it has taken its place as a staple in the diets of many Americans; however, if you are a vegetarian, there is no need to shy away from recipes calling for ground beef because you can still get amazing results with these substitutes.