Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (2024)

· Date Modified

Jump to Recipe

This easy vegan ground beef recipe is savory with a rich umami flavor and a meaty texture. It comes together in just about 15 minutes and is perfect for adding to your favorite recipes from pasta to sandwiches. Packed with 14g of protein per serving and costing less than 3 dollars for the whole recipe, it’s a budget-friendly and nutritious addition to any meal.

Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (1)

Jump To: show

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Ground Beef Recipe

This recipe is a staple in my kitchen for many reasons. It is SO savory and creates a delicious, hearty element for any dish you add it to. If you’re a fan of switching up your source of plant-based protein, this recipe is for you!

Here are a few more reasons we love this plant-based ground beef and you will too:

  • High in Protein: With 14 grams of protein per serving, it will help round out any recipe you add it to.
  • Quick to Prepare: Ready in about 15 minutes, it’s ideal for those busy days or weeknights when you need a quick yet satisfying dinner.
  • Versatile: Perfect for adding to pasta, soups, sandwiches, and even vegan meatloaf, its versatility makes it a go-to ingredient.
  • Cost-Effective: At about 75 cents per serving, it provides a budget-friendly option for plant-based protein.
  • Gluten-Free Friendly: When made with gluten-free soy sauce, it caters to gluten-free dietary needs without sacrificing taste or texture.

Why This Recipe Works

While most of my vegan meat recipes like my Vegan Beef Strips and Vegan Steak use vital wheat gluten as the base, this recipe takes cues from popular store-bought options such as Trader Joe’s Beefless Ground and Gardein Vegan Ground Beef Crumbles.

Today, we’re using textured vegetable protein, also known as TVP, as a foundation of this recipe. Like tofu, tempeh and seitan, TVP takes on the flavor of what you season it with, so we’ll be enhancing it with a blend of seasonings to create the best vegan beef crumbles!

The outcome is a savory and versatile vegan ground beef substitute. While it doesn’t replicate the taste of beef exactly, it provides a great vegan replacement for ground beef in various dishes. This recipe offers a similar texture to the real thing and a rich flavor.


This recipe uses straightforward, simple ingredients and seasonings that come together to create a rich flavor and satisfying texture. Texturized vegetable protein can be ordered in bulk online (this is what I do) or you can typically find it at the grocery store in the baking aisle near the nutritional yeast. For the best flavor, I recommend using vegan beef-flavored bouillon which can be ordered online!

Here’s what you need to make this recipe:

  • Hot Water: To dissolve the bouillon cube.
  • Tomato Paste: Adds richness to the broth.
  • Garlic Powder and Onion Powder: To add depth and a warm flavor.
  • Smoked Paprika: For a hint of smokiness.
  • Dried Oregano: Adds a classic herb flavor.
  • Black Pepper: A bit of fresh cracked black pepper adds a perfect finishing touch to this recipe.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Vegan Butter: For cooking the TVP, helping it brown and adding flavor.

Substitutions & Add-ins

Missing one of the ingredients above? Here are some substitutions:

  • Bouillon Cube Alternative: If the vegan beef bouillon is unavailable, vegetable broth or another vegan bouillon can be used. While vegetable broth won’t have the same flavor as the vegan beef broth, it will still add a delicious savory flavor to these plant-based beef crumbles.
  • Tamari as a Soy Sauce Alternative: For a gluten-free version, coconut aminos are an excellent substitute.
  • Adjustable Seasonings: Alter the amounts of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and dried oregano based on your preference or availability. You can also add in about a tablespoon of nutritional yeast for extra flavor or you could add a dash of chili powder for a kick of heat.
  • Oil Options: Any neutral-flavored oil can replace olive oil or vegan butter.
Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (3)

Helpful Equipment

A few basic kitchen tools can make the preparation of this vegan ground beef even easier:

  • Large Bowl: For combining ingredients and rehydrating the TVP.
  • Measuring Cup: To mix together the vegan beef broth.
  • Non-Stick Skillet: For achieving the perfect golden brown char on the TVP.

Step By Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps to create your own delicious vegan ground beef! For the ingredient quantities and full instructions see the recipe card below.

STEP 1: Prepare the vegan beef broth by dissolving the bouillon cube in hot water. Mix well!

STEP 2: Add the tomato paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the broth. Then mix until the tomato paste dissolves.

Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (4)
Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (5)
Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (6)
Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (7)

STEP 3: Rehydrate the TVP by pouring the broth over it. Give it a stir and let it sit for 5 minutes.

STEP 4: Cook the TVP in a skillet over medium heat with olive oil, allowing it to dry and start to sizzle.

STEP 5: Add spices to the TVP, mix, then let it brown in the skillet for another 10 minutes over medium-high heat.

Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (8)
Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (9)

Serving Suggestions

Once panfried and cooked, this vegan ground beef substitute is ready to be added to your favorite recipes that call for regular ground beef. One of the ways I use this recipe most frequently is by sautéing up some yellow onion and garlic which I then add to the crumbles. This makes the best base for a vegan and vegetarian spaghetti sauce!

Below are a few more of my favorite ways to use this recipe to help inspire you!

  • Vegan Bolognese Sauce: Stir into a rich tomato pasta sauce with some Italian seasoning and serve over noodles.
  • Meatless Baked Ziti or Lasagna: Add it to baked pasta dishes for the perfect meatless Monday meal.
  • Stuffed Bell Peppers: Mix with rice and vegan cheese, then stuff into bell peppers and bake.
  • Enchilada or Taco Meat Filling: Spice it up with taco seasoning for a great taco night option. You can use it to fill corn tortilla shells or you can add it to a taco salad!
  • Vegan Shepherd’s Pie: Use as a filling for a comforting shepherd’s pie topped with mashed potatoes. You can substitute the lentils in the recipe linked with this vegan ground beef! I recommend doubling this recipe so you have enough filling.
  • Sloppy Joes: Perfect for a quick and tasty vegan sloppy joe sandwich.
  • Vegan Chili : Add on top of your favorite vegan mac and cheese recipe for extra protein.
  • Vegan Meatloaf: Use this recipe to make a meatless meat loaf with a perfect texture and flavor. These crumbles help balance out the flavor of the Beyond Meat in the recipe I’ve linked.


  • Refrigerator Storage: Keeps well in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer Storage: Can be frozen in a freezer bag for 2 months.
  • Reheating Tips: Warm in the microwave with a bit of extra vegetable broth or water to help bring back some moisture.

Helpful Tips

For the best results, here are a few tips from my kitchen to yours:

  • Texture is Key: Make sure the TVP is fully rehydrated for the best meat-like texture.
  • Flavor Adjustments: Tweak the seasonings to suit your taste and the recipe you plan on adding these meatless crumbles to. For example, if you’re adding to an Italian dish, feel free to add a teaspoon or so of Italian seasoning.
  • Cooking Technique: Allow the TVP to brown in the skillet for that authentic ground beef appearance and taste.
  • Meal Prep Friendly: Make a larger batch for easy meal prep throughout the week. This recipe makes about 2 cups (275g) or 10oz once cooked but can be doubled or tripled if needed!
  • Creative Uses: Experiment with adding these beefless crumbles to various dishes, exploring new flavors and textures.
Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (10)
Looking for more plant-based meat recipes?
  • The Best Vegan Beef Recipe {Beef Strips or Cubes}
  • Vegan Steak with Garlic Butter
  • Vegan Ham with Marmalade Glaze
  • ​Air Fryer Vegan Buttermilk Chicken
  • How to Make Seitan {Vegan Meat Substitute}
Did you make this vegetarian and vegan ground beef recipe?
⭐️ I’d love to know! Leave a star rating and comment below!⭐️
Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (11)

Easy Vegan Ground Beef Recipe

Yield: 10 oz

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

This easy vegan ground beef recipe is savory with a rich umami flavor and a meaty texture. It comes together in just about 15 minutes and is perfect for adding to your favorite recipes from pasta to sandwiches.

Packed with 14g of protein per serving and costing less than 3 dollars for the whole recipe, it's a budget-friendly and nutritious addition to any meal.


  • ½ of a Vegan Beef Bouillon Cube, (5.5g) like Edward and Sons
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 ½ tbsp (26g) tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tbsp (18g) vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp (14g) low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 cup (100g) dry textured vegetable protein, like Anthony’s TVP
  • 1 tsp (3g) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp (3g) onion powder
  • ½ tsp (2g) smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp (1g) dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp (25g) extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter


  1. Prepare Vegan Beef Broth: In a glass measuring cup or bowl, combine ½ of a vegan Beef Bouillon Cube with 1 cup hot water. Stir until the bouillon mostly dissolves.
  2. Add Flavorings: To the broth, add tomato paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce. Stir well until the tomato paste is fully dissolved.
  3. Rehydrate TVP: Place the TVP in a large bowl. Pour the flavored broth over it and let it sit for 5 minutes, allowing the TVP to absorb the liquid and rehydrate.
  4. Cook TVP: Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the rehydrated TVP and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it dries out a bit and starts to sizzle.
  5. Season and Brown: Sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and oregano over the TVP. Stir to combine, then flatten the mixture in the skillet. Allow it to cook for 5 minutes without stirring too much to brown the bottom. Stir and continue cooking for another 5 minutes until the TVP is golden brown and slightly charred. Top with black pepper and salt to taste.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: The vegan ground beef is ready to add to your favorite dishes like pasta, sandwiches, sloppy joes or vegan meatloaf.

This recipe makes about 2 cups (275g or 10oz) once cooked, which is roughly 3 large servings or 4 smaller servings.


  • Flavor Adjustments: Tweak the seasonings to suit your taste and the recipe you plan on adding this meatless ground beef to. For example, if you're adding this to an Italian dish, feel free to add a teaspoon or so of Italian seasoning.
  • Meal Prep Friendly: This recipe can be doubled or even tripled to make a larger batch for easy meal prep throughout the week.
  • This recipe makes about 2 cups (275g or 10oz) once cooked, which is roughly 3 large servings or 4 smaller servings.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield: 4Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving:Calories: 146Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0.8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 855mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 14g

    Nutritional info is an estimate.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    ⭐️ Want to save this recipe for later? pin this image to pinterest! ⭐️
    Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (12)
    Vegan Ground Beef Recipe {High Protein & Easy} (2024)


    Does vegan ground beef have protein? ›

    The good news: Meatless burgers are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The protein content of these newer plant-based burgers has been created to compete with beef and poultry gram for gram.

    How much TVP equals 1 lb of meat? ›

    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.

    Which meat alternative has the most protein? ›

    Which meat substitute has the higher amount of protein? Seitan is one of the most high-protein meatless substitutes, with up to 25 grams of protein per cup, almost like a portion of 100 grams of chicken breast which has 27 grams of protein.

    What is a substitute for ground beef protein? ›

    Brown lentils, due to their small shape and similar color, make an excellent stand-in for ground beef. These legumes can be cooked from dry or use the canned variety for extra convenience. Left whole, lentils can make a hearty addition to shepherd's pie and meatless meatloaf.

    What is healthier beyond meat or impossible? ›

    Are Impossible and Beyond Meat Healthy? From a nutrition standpoint, Impossible and Beyond Meat stack up quite similarly to beef (see below for a side-by-side comparison). That said, there are a few notable differences: Beyond has significantly less saturated fat than both ground beef and Impossible Burger.

    What do vegans eat instead of meat for protein? ›

    How to get protein without the meat
    • Pulses. Pulses are an inexpensive protein choice, are high in fibre and a source of iron. ...
    • Soya beans. ...
    • Quinoa. ...
    • Nuts. ...
    • Seeds. ...
    • Cereals and grains. ...
    • Quorn™ ...
    • Dairy.

    Is TVP heavily processed? ›

    TVP can be considered somewhat highly processed because it must be extruded, which causes a change in the structure of the soy protein. Many TVP producers also use solvents, such as hexane, to separate soy fat from soy protein. There's always the possibility that tiny amounts of the solvent linger in the TVP.

    Is TVP healthier than ground beef? ›

    It is a great item to have in your cooking repertoire. A serving of 1/2 cup, or about 50 g of TVP, provides 24 g of protein (compared to 50 g of ground beef which provides 13.5 g of protein). It also provides 9 g of fiber and 0.5 g of fat, plus more than 40% of your daily iron needs.

    Is TVP cheaper than ground beef? ›

    Items like beans, tofu, and textured vegetable protein can be used to replace meat in almost any dish and they cost less than meat. Beans and legumes are great in soups, burritos, and casseroles. Tofu works well in chilies, stir-frys, soups, or even when made into burgers.

    How can a vegan get 100g of protein a day? ›

    100 grams of vegan protein
    1. ¼ cup of protein granola (10 grams of protein)
    2. One scoop of plant-based protein powder (20 grams)
    3. 1 ounce of nuts (5 grams)
    4. Two tablespoons of peanut butter (7 grams)
    5. Two tablespoons of chia seeds (about 10 grams)
    6. One tablespoon of hemp seeds (4 grams)
    7. Two slices of rye bread (10 grams)
    Apr 6, 2024

    How to get 100g protein without meat? ›

    Plant-Based Protein

    Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas, are great vegan/vegetarian protein sources. Because they are low in one key amino acid (methionine), we call legumes incomplete proteins. However, when you combine legumes with other protein sources (such as nuts and seeds), they become complete proteins.

    How to get 40 grams of protein without meat? ›

    5 Protein-Packed Foods for Healthy, Meatless Meals
    1. Eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein. ...
    2. Tree Nuts. Tree nuts include walnuts, almonds and pecans — don't confuse them with peanuts, which are legumes. ...
    3. Legumes. Legumes include a range of beans and peas such as black beans, chickpeas and lentils. ...
    4. Soy. ...
    5. Yogurt.

    What would be the best protein substitute for ground beef to create a vegan version of spaghetti bolognese? ›

    Let's talk Textured Vegetable Protein, aka TVP. This is a basic recipe for plain, ground 'beef', and can be used in tacos by adding some taco seasoning, used in tomato sauce for bolognese and really anywhere you would want to substitute beef!

    What plants have the same protein as meat? ›

    Here are some vegetables that have as much protein as beef: 1. Lentils: Lentils are a type of legume that are high in protein and fiber. One cup of cooked lentils contains about 18 grams of protein, which is about the same amount of protein as a 3-ounce serving of beef.

    How can I increase my protein intake without meat? ›

    Beef up your salads

    It also helps to have some kind of plant protein in the salad like tempeh, legumes, lentils, eggs, etc… My suggestion is to always have some cooked whole grains, toasted nuts, cheese (if you eat dairy), and one of those plant proteins prepped in your fridge to add to your bowls and salads.

    Is plant-based meat considered protein? ›

    Protein can come from both plants and animals, although the number and type of amino acids within them differ. Common sources of protein are red meat, poultry, fish, lentils, soy, nuts, legumes, grains and tofu.

    Is vegan meat good protein? ›

    What are the health benefits of fake meats? Many of the new fake meats, the ones made typically with pea or soy, are “rich sources of protein and the amino acid lysine, which most plant foods lack, aside from legumes,” Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN, a registered dietician specializing in veganism, says.

    Is plant-based meat still protein? ›

    Furthermore, plant-based and meat-based products generally presented similar amounts of total proteins despite large differences in the contents of single amino acids.

    Does vegan meat have enough protein? ›

    Plant-based alternatives have enough protein to be a part of a healthy meal, but Bonci says plant-based “meats” can take away from your fiber intake overall. The rule of thumb for daily protein intake, Bonci says, is 0.4 grams of protein per pound of an individuals' body weight.

    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Cheryll Lueilwitz

    Last Updated:

    Views: 5398

    Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

    Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Cheryll Lueilwitz

    Birthday: 1997-12-23

    Address: 4653 O'Kon Hill, Lake Juanstad, AR 65469

    Phone: +494124489301

    Job: Marketing Representative

    Hobby: Reading, Ice skating, Foraging, BASE jumping, Hiking, Skateboarding, Kayaking

    Introduction: My name is Cheryll Lueilwitz, I am a sparkling, clean, super, lucky, joyous, outstanding, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.