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vegan ground beef
Kid-Approved Lunch & Dinner Savory

Vegan Ground Beef

Vegan Ground Beef is super easy to make at home, I promise! I’m always surprised how many folks don’t realize they likely have most of the ingredients on hand already. This vegan ground beef is 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. Beans and lentils are often presented as a good budget-conscious alternative, but I’ve never found them very convincing in the beefy role.

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. After 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 other vegan staples to get the most shipping value and shipped to Arizona within a week.

This recipe can be used as you would use one pound of ground beef.

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! 

Course Main Course
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 1/2-2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup textured vegetable protein
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tbsp ketchup/tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce/aminos/tamari
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp mushroom powder


  1. Bring broth to a simmer in a medium sized saucepan. 

  2. Pour remaining ingredients into an adequately sized heat-safe storage container, such as Pyrex or a large jar.

  3. Add broth & stir, letting sit about ten minutes to absorb liquid.

  4. You can then store this in the fridge or freezer for later use, or use it in a recipe right away. For optimum texture do saute enough to cook out liquid when ready to use.

Recipe Notes

This is meant as simply a base seasoning to get the bland textured vegetable protein, which tastes rather like oatmeal alone, to a basic "beefy" level. It can definitely handle more flavors after this, so don't feel that you need to cut them down elsewhere when using in a recipe. 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. 

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