4 Vegan Meat Substitute Recipes for Meat Lovers

Are you looking to switch to a vegan diet? Or, are you looking to incorporate more vegan meals into your diet?

Whether you're going full vegan or are just looking to reduce your meat consumption, there are plenty of tasty meals out there that can help you on your journey. 

But, if you're new to the world of veganism, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what to cook. Contrary to what many people think, veganism doesn't mean eating salads three times a day, and it doesn't mean eating junk food to fill yourself up. 

There are plenty of great meal options out there that even the most hardcore carnivore lovers will find filling and delicious. 

What are they?

Check out this guide to discover the top vegan meat substitute recipes for meat lovers. 

1. Black Bean Burgers

If you feel like you can't give up juicy hamburgers, then you've clearly never had a delicious black bean burger. 

While black bean burgers don't mimic the taste of meat exactly, they're bursting with flavor, and they taste great with many classic burger toppings such as cheese, ketchup, mayo, and pickles. 

Plus, black bean burgers are super easy to make and they're packed with protein. 

Here's what you'll need to make your black bean burgers:

  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 0.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worschestire sauce 

Here's what you need to do to make the burgers:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Spread the beans evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes so they're slightly dry
  3. While the beans are cooking, saute the onion, pepper, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat
  4. After sauteing, place veggies in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients
  5. Once everything is well-stirred, add black beans
  6. Pulse the mixture and leave some of the larger bean chunks
  7. Scoop out mixture into 1/3 chunks to form patties
  8. Place black bean patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees, flipping halfway through

As we said, these burgers taste great with regular hamburger toppings. They also go great with avocado, vegan aioli, or guacamole. You can also freeze them for up to three months, making for a great meal when you need something quick and healthy! 

2. Jackfruit Pulled Pork 

vegan pullpork jackfruit burgers

Most people have tried or at least heard of vegan burgers. But a vegan version of pulled pork? 

That's right! Meat lovers can have their cake and eat it too with this jackfruit pulled pork recipe. For those who don't know, jackfruit is a fruit that's native to Southeast Asia. 

It has a spiky outer skin, and when you open it up, you'll find multiple bright yellow bulbs. The bright yellow bulbs are the portion that you eat, save for the seed inside. When consumed fresh, jackfruit has a very sweet taste. 

While jackfruit is popular throughout Asia, it's difficult to find fresh jackfruit in the States. However, you can find shredded, canned jackfruit, which is perfect for making vegan pulled pork. 

Here's what you'll need for the recipe:

  • 2, 20-ounce cans of young green jackfruit, in brine or water
  • 1 small diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup of BBQ sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 4 to 6 vegan buns 

Then, here's how you prepare the jackfruit slaw:

  • Rinse and drain the canned jackfruit
  • If the jackfruit was packed in brine, make sure to rinse it really well
  • If there are harder center portions, you can chop these off
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet
  • Add onion and cook until translucent, for about 3 to 4 minutes
  • Add jackfruit, water, and BBQ sauce to skillet
  • Stir well until combined, and then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • After 20 minutes, remove the lid and mash the jackfruit with two forks or with a potato masher in order to create a shredded texture
  • Add salt and hot sauce to taste
  • Remove from heat and serve on vegan buns

To really kick this recipe up a notch, you can also top off your burgers with vegan coleslaw. You'll be surprised at how close it tastes to the real thing!

3. Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos

roasted cauliflower and lentil taco recipe

Tacos are another food that many meat-eaters just can't imagine their lives without. Luckily, roasted cauliflower and lentil tacos are here to save the day. 

Here's what you for the roasted cauliflower:

  • One large cauliflower head, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here's what you need for the lentils:

  • 3/4 cup rinsed brown lentils
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup of chopped white or yellow onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Here's what you need to make the chipotle sauce:

  • 1/3 cup mayo (or veganaise)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp adobe sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You'll also need about 8 small corn tortillas, as well as some fresh cilantro for garnishing. 

Here's how you make the tacos:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Toss the cauliflower in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3. Roast the cauliflower for 30 to 35 minutes, flipping halfway through
  4. In a medium pot over medium heat, saute the garlic and onion for 5 minutes
  5. Add the cumin, chili powder, and tomato paste and saute for another minute
  6. Add the vegetable broth and lentils
  7. Raise the heat to bring the mixture to a gentle simmer
  8. If needed, add more veggie broth or water if all the liquid evaporates before the lentils are fully cooked
  9. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a separate bowl
  10. Warm tortillas in a pan over medium heat
  11. Once everything is ready, assemble your tacos with lentil, roasted cauliflower, a drizzle of chipotle sauce, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro 

Next time Taco Tuesday rolls around, your former meat-eating self will crave this recipe! 

4. Tempeh BBQ Strips

vegan bbq strips

While becoming vegan might mean giving up BBQ ribs, it doesn't mean giving up delicious, BBQ-flavored recipes. 

If you're a BBQ lover, one recipe you have to try is tempeh BBQ strips. For those who don't know, tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that are shaped into a firm block or patty. 

Many vegans will tell you that tempeh is an upgraded version of tofu. The texture is more appealing, and it has a delicious, nutty flavor that goes well with many dishes. In addition to creating tempeh BBQ strips, you can also find recipes for tempeh bacon, tempeh vegetable curry, tempeh tacos, tempeh burgers, and more. 

Plus, tempeh is a lot healthier than tofu. A half of a cup of tempeh contains a whopping 15.5 grams of protein, and because it's fermented, it's a lot easier to digest. This makes it a great substitute for athletes and runners

Here's what you need to make your tempeh BBQ strips:

  • 1, 8 oz pack of tempeh
  • 1 cup of BBQ sauce, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp tamari, soy sauce, or liquid amino
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Water to simmer

Here's how you make the BBQ strips:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper
  3. Open the package of tempeh and rinse it well
  4. Simmer the tempeh in enough water to cover it along with garlic, tamari, and onion powder in a medium pot
  5. Cook the tempeh in this simmering "broth" for around 10 minutes
  6. Use tongs to remove the tempeh and place it in a container
  7. Add around 1/4 cup of the simmering liquid along with one more tablespoon of tamari (or soy sauce/liquid aminos)
  8. Allow this mixture to marinate for 15 to 20 minutes
  9. Remove the tempeh from the marinade and cut into strips
  10. Bake the tempeh for about 10 minutes
  11. Remove the tempeh from the oven and broth both sides with a generous amount of BBQ sauce
  12. Place the pan back in the oven and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes
  13. Remove and enjoy!

These BBQ tempeh strips taste especially delicious with white rice and fresh veggies. 

Are You Ready to Try These Vegan Meat Substitute Recipes? 

Now that you've read this article, it's time for you to try your hand at these vegan meat substitute recipes!

Before you know it, you'll no longer be craving meat thanks to these delicious recipes! 

If you're looking for some more tasty and healthy recipes, then be sure to check out this guide on the best weight loss smoothies!  


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