In case you haven’t noticed, there are a LOT of recipes out on the internet that call for ground beef.  As a vegetarian, you can either ignore all of those recipes or come up with other things to put in place of the beef.  They sell faux crumbles at the store, but I’m not a fan of overly processed food, and question if they are any healthier than meat.  
That’s why I was thrilled when I saw that Veggie Converter had posted a recipe for ground beef substitute.  I had to give it a try!  I made some changes to make it my own, and here is what I came up with.  I was very pleased with how it turned out – it’s not “meaty” tasting, but it has the right consistency to use in recipes that call for hamburger.  


Ground Beef Substitute

  • 2 C Brown or Red Rice
  • 2 C Green or Brown lentils
  • 2 Tbsp. steak seasoning (I used McCormick’s Santa Fe spice blend instead of a steak seasoning)
  • 1/8 C olive oil
  • 1/8 C steak sauce
  • 1/4 C diced sauteed or marinated mushrooms
  • 1/4 C vital wheat gluten
  • 1 C rolled oats, chopped (I used a coffee grinder)


Cook rice, lentils and steak seasoning until slightly soft (I put them in my rice cooker on brown rice setting).  Be sure there is no excess water when done.  Mash slightly with a potato masher – leave it chunky though!  This step gave it a great texture in my opinion.  Combine with remaining ingredients, mashing some more if needed.  Spread into a large pan and bake at 300F for 1 hour, stirring at least every 15 minutes to evenly dehydrate mixture. Store in portion-sized freezer bags. It will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or freezer until used.



This makes a lot!  This time around I put the entire mixture in one casserole dish – I think next time I will use two dishes to let it cook better.  I’ve used this in one recipe so far with great results!  I use 2 and 1/2 cups of this mixture to equal a pound of ground beef.  

16 thoughts on “Ground Beef Substitute

  1. Thanks for the recipe. I never heard of such a thing. It sounds good and better for you than hamburger for sure. I am going to print and pin itl Thanks so much for the great idea.

  2. Thanks for this recipe. I’m just starting my path away from meat so your ground beef substitute will definitely come in handy.

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