Ground Beef Substitutes

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Want to find ground beef substitutes to include in your favorite recipes? Click here for incredible beef-free recipes that take minutes to make.

Ground beef is a staple in dozens of recipes. While there are tons of tasty beef recipes out there, you don't have to restrict yourself to this ingredient for protein!

Whether you're focused on eating plant-based or looking to switch things up, we're here to help you explore substitutes for ground beef. We have beef-free and vegan-friendly recipes that can help open up your options for protein at mealtime!

Vegan-Friendly Beef Alternatives

Let's start by checking out the meatless beef alternatives. It's a significant life change when you decide to go vegan, vegetarian, or cut out a type of meat from your diet.

If you're new to this eating style, you might be wondering how to add protein and substance to your meals to keep you nourished and feeling full. Here are a few beef alternatives you can consider trying when cutting out meat:


You've probably heard of tofu as a meat alternative before, but do you know what's so great about it? Tofu is a terrific source of protein made from soybeans. It's a reliable alternative for ground beef, and you can substitute tofu for ground beef in most of the meat-based recipes you already know and love. 

Cooking firm-textured tofu begins with removing the water by placing a paper towel around it. From there, place a heavy plate on top of the tofu for ten minutes, allowing the excess water to seep out onto the paper towel. This process will enable you to enjoy a tofu texture that's similar to ground beef, making it a terrific alternative.


Tempeh is similar to tofu because it originates from soybeans. What's unique about tempeh is the fact that it's fermented and contains probiotics. Still, it's comparable to tofu because it includes a high-protein content, making it more filling as a central ingredient in your recipes. 

When you want to use this as a ground beef alternative, break it up in your hands, a bowl, or a plastic zip bag. Next, brown the tempeh in a skillet with oil to have a browned ground beef substitute that's fit for your favorite recipes. 


Legumes are another fantastic option you can choose to include in your meals instead of ground beef. Lentils are a type of legume that you can use to replace beef in many dishes. They're also full of moisture, giving them an excellent texture for replacing beef in your recipes.


Want a beef alternative that still contains a savory flavor? In that case, mushrooms might be the ground-beef substitute for you. We suggest trying out portabello mushrooms to give your dishes a meaty texture. You can use a full mushroom cap for burgers or use chopped mushrooms in skillet dishes like chili and casseroles. 


Maybe you'd like to avoid soy products while substituting meat in the food you consume. Not a problem! For a soy-free beef alternative, you can use seitan, a product made from wheat gluten.

This ground beef alternative isn't super flavorful on its own. Still, you can pair it with the seasoning of your choice to make your favorite meatballs, taco meat, burgers, and other meat dishes.


Here's another high-protein, soy-free meat alternative! Beans make an excellent foundation for many traditional meat-based meals. They're also inexpensive, making them cheaper than beef while being just as tasty. Use them in your favorite soups, chilis, tacos, and burgers for extra protein without the meat. 

Reasons To Substitute Ground Beef

Maybe you've heard about people cutting out ground beef, and you're curious about why someone might do that. There are several reasons someone might choose to eliminate ground beef from their diet, ranging from lifestyle choices to food allergies and restrictions. Let's look at some of the motivations behind cutting out beef.

Vegan Lifestyle

Lots of people feel compelled to eat a vegan diet. Some do it for environmental reasons. Others prefer not to support the dairy and meat industries because of how they treat animals. These are just a couple of the motivations a person might have for going vegan.

Dietary Restrictions

Some people have dietary restrictions that include monitoring meat consumption. In these cases, switching to meatless meals can help support heart health. Still, if your doctor has suggested that you cut back on meat, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your meals! 

Interest in Exploring More Food Groups

Perhaps you've grown tired of eating the same few dishes repeatedly. You can cut out ground beef to try delicious meat alternatives and flavorful Jow recipes.

Use What You Have

Perhaps you're trying to be resourceful with your food. If you're out of meat but you have other ingredients in stock, you can still prepare a tasty and exciting plant-based meal. 

Animal Protein Swaps for Ground Beef

Let's say you're simply tired of ground beef. Maybe you're someone who tends to stick to the same few tried-and-true recipes, and you're looking to change things up a bit. Here are a few ground beef alternatives you can enjoy!

Ground Turkey

This beef substitute is a fantastic choice to select when you're looking to add more protein to your menu. As a bonus, it's also cheaper than ground beef. Enjoy it in pasta, meat sauces, and anything else that would typically call for ground beef. 

Ground Lamb

Want to give ground lamb a try? This meaty beef alternative is super flavorful, so you don't lose any of the savory taste when switching to this option. It's also leaner than ground beef, making it a go-to pick for those who are heart-health conscious. Try choosing ground lamb this week if you want to make a small change to your meals.

Ground Pork

While ground pork may taste slightly different than ground beef, it still maintains a rich flavor that makes a great addition to ordinarily beef-centered meals. It also contains vitamin B12 and essential amino acids, making it nutritious. It's less fatty than ground beef, and you may love the alternative taste it adds to your dishes.

Quick Meatless Recipes

Ready to give beef-free recipes a try? Let's explore our favorite meatless recipes you can try this week. All of our recipes are straightforward, and we can even help take care of grocery shopping for everything needed to make them. Let's start with a few vegetarian-friendly options you'll love:

Roasted Eggplant With Turmeric

This dish is creamy, flavorful, and unbelievably simple. Try it this week for a meatless hot meal that's ready in under an hour.

Vegan Poké Bowl

Poké bowls combine flavorful ingredients to create a mouth-watering dish. This tasty recipe is perfect for when you're craving a fresh, meatless meal. 

White Bean and Avocado Salad

Are you tired of your salads not filling you up? Try our vegetarian-friendly white bean and avocado salad for a protein-packed alternative to make you feel full.

Kidney Bean Curry

Want to try a veggie curry that keeps you satisfied? This creamy curry is a perfect meal when you want to add more flavors to your weekly menu.

Squash, Lentils, and Avocado Cream

You won't believe your taste buds when you try this divinely creamy dish! Try it this week for a meal that's ready in thirty minutes.

Fig and Citrus Couscous

Who said salads had to contain lettuce? This delicious salad is colorful and ready in under ten minutes.

Veggie Nuggets, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

Need a meat-free meal that's kid-friendly? This vegan-friendly meal is perfect for serving little ones in under fifteen minutes!

Roasted Cauliflower with Green Beans

You can roast and season cauliflower instead of opting for a beef-based meal. This dish is excellent for a cold afternoon when you need a warm dinner.

Spicy Tomato and Bean Soup

Want to kick your tomato soup up a notch? You'll love how easy and tasty this dish is.