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Vegan Ground Beef: How to Make Plant-Based Taco Meat

How to make vegan ground beef
Foto: Paula Jerez Torres/Utopia.

Craving some meat but currently on a plant-based diet? Learn how to make a tasty, vegan ground beef to include in your meat-free recipes.

Going vegan or even just eliminating meat from your diet doesn’t mean you have to give up on your favorite recipes. Nearly any traditional meat dish can be turned into a meat-free one. All you need? Some creativity and time in the kitchen. In this article, we’ll show you how to make a vegan ground beef that you can use to replace conventional ground beef in recipes, or as a healthier substitute to store-bought plant-based meat. All you need is tofu, olive oil, soy sauce, and plenty of spices.

How to Make Vegan Ground Beef

Use a clean kitchen towel or table cloth to press the tofu.
Use a clean kitchen towel or table cloth to press the tofu. (Foto: Paula Jerez Torres/Utopia)

The following plant-based ground beef recipe will yield approximately 6-8 tacos, and will take about 30-35 minutes to prepare.


  • 1 block extra firm organic tofu
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika (make sure it’s smoked)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp parsley powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Wrap your tofu with a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the moisture out of it.
  2. In a bowl, add the olive oil, soy sauce, nutritional yeast and all the spices. Mix until well combined.
  3. Add the pressed tofu to the mixture. Mix it until the tofu is broken into tiny pieces and all the ingredients are fully combined.
  4. Transfer your tofu mixture to a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes and you’ll end up with vegan ground beef.

Plant-Based Taco Meat: Tips & Tricks

This vegan ground beef can be used in any recipe where you'd add beef.
This vegan ground beef can be used in any recipe where you’d add beef. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Ragabz)

Vegan ground beef is a great high-protein option that you can use in many dishes. Thanks to the health benefits of tofu, it is a great alternative to use instead of store-bought vegan meat, which tends to be more processed. You can make this plant-based taco meat and use it in any dish where you’d normally include ground beef. Here are a few meal ideas:

  • Tacos: This recipe is perfect for those wanting a healthy, vegan taco. If you want to achieve an actual beef texture, leave your plant-based ground beef in the oven for a little longer. This way it will be a bit crunchier and of a similar taste and texture than actual taco meat. Pro tip: You can make some guacamole and pico de gallo as well, and you’ll have tasty, healthy vegan taco meat for Taco Tuesdays.
  • Vegan Lasagna or Vegan Bolognese: These two dishes usually include ground beef, and now you can make your own from scratch. In these cases, if you’d like a more tender meat texture, don’t leave your vegan ground beef in the oven too long; remove it before the tofu gets too brown. We recommend you make the ground beef first, and then you add it to your lasagna layers or to the vegan Bolognese. Don’t forget the easy vegan cheese sauce to use in your lasagna.
  • Shepherd’s Pie: This is another well-known dish that could easily be turned vegan with this plant-based ground beef recipe. You can prepare the dish per usual, but instead of adding regular meat, you can add your homemade vegan ground beef.
  • Chili: If you’ve removed meat from your diet, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep eating your favorite dishes. Vegetable chili recipes exist, but the addition of vegan ground beef elevates this dish to the next level. So add your vegan taco meat to your chili recipe and enjoy a healthy, vegan version of it.

This recipe will come in handy if you’re looking for some healthy meal prep ideas. Since you can use the same vegan ground beef in several dishes, you can prepare it in advance and use it throughout the week. This way, you will save personal time and you will only be using the oven once, which is way more eco-friendly! After cooking your plant-based ground beef, let it cool down to room temperature and then store it in an airtight container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

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