Vegan Ground Beef is super easy to make at home, I promise! I’m always surprised how many folks don’t realize they have most of the ingredients on hand already. It’s as versatile as can be. You can still add it to tacos, lasagna, stuffed shells, or you could even add some to my everyday mac and cheese recipe for the beginning of a nice vegan chili mac. Often folks seem to think they have to buy expensive store-bought substitutes, that while delicious, aren’t very practical for everyday use. I actually prefer how this tastes, anyway!
Beans and lentils are often presented as a good budget-conscious alternative, but I’ve never found them very convincing in this role. They’re great as their own thing, but they just aren’t that beefy. Seitan crumbles are fantastic, but pretty time-intensive. Enter, Textured Vegetable Protein, or “TVP.”
TVP is a defatted soy protein that looks a lot like steel-cut oats, and when rehydrated in only water, tastes a bit like it too. Rehydrating in a rich, flavorful broth, however? You won’t miss a thing. In fact, many store-bought options are actually just prepared TVP with a massive markup. While there’s nothing wrong with having a few convenience foods on hand, it’s always nice to have options. You can buy it on Amazon, but I found the best price online was actually from a store called Country Life Natural Foods. They carry all sorts of things and shipped to Arizona within a week.
So if you’re lamenting that you miss ground beef, you don’t need to buck up and watch another documentary, embrace lentils “until your tastebuds change,” or buy premade options that are fairly expensive for daily use. You can still make all of the food you ate before, just vegan. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty to eat. TVP is an excellent, inexpensive option to have on hand.
Vegan Ground Beef Recipe
This vegan ground beef is so simple, I almost hesitate to call it a recipe! Use it in anywhere you'd use ground beef. Mix up the seasonings for ground chicken and sausage, too!
- 1 cup TVP
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
- 1 tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
Heat your broth until just under a boil. While it's heating combine the rest of the ingredients. Once it's hot, add in the broth, stir, and let sit until all of the liquid is absorbed. You can then store this in the fridge or freezer for later use, or use it in a recipe right away.
This is a good base seasoning, but it can definitely handle more flavors, so don't be shy or feel that you need to cut them down elsewhere. If you don't have broth, water can do in a pinch if you up the seasonings a bit, especially if you're cooking with it after.