This super easy vegan meat substitute is my go-to recipe for burgers, meatballs, crumbles, etc. It’s so simple and uses whole, plant-based but easy to get ingredients. Just short grain rice, mushrooms, tempeh, oats, and seasonings.
This makes great burgers and fantastic meatballs. I’ve got a recipe with meatballs that uses this easy vegan cheese sauce and the meatballs held up perfectly.
Short Grain Rice
Start with a base of cooked rice. Any short grain rice that is suitable for sushi will work here. I used white Cal-Rose rice, but brown short grain rice is also available.
The rice is what helps it all stick together.
Mushrooms are another main ingredient in this vegan meat substitute and they add lots of flavor and savory, meaty texture.
Simply saute the mushrooms using your preferred method. I sauteed mine with water, but they’re good done with oil, too. Just make sure to get all the moisture out so the “meat” isn’t soggy.
Tempeh really makes this vegan meat substitute awesome.
Who knew cooked soybeans held together with mold could be so delicious? I certainly didn’t. But it’s true. Tempeh is my new favorite food. It’s a little harder to find than tofu, and I can’t get it at my little local grocery … YET. However, we get it at Krogers and that’s pretty mainstream. Just $2.59 for a 12 oz block. More than enough for two people.
FYI: It’s normal for tempeh to have spots of black moldy looking spots. No, really. It is. They don’t show in these photos, but they were there.
Just process the cooked rice, sauteed mushrooms, and cubed tempeh in a food processor with the seasonings and, voila, perfect burgers.
Use this right away if you like … but if you have the patience or foresight to make them the ahead of time and let them sit for a few hours or as long as overnight, they’re even better.
Just shape them as desired and then cook using your favorite method.
I made some burgers and meatballs and pan toasted them without oil. They’re great and hold up really well in just about any recipe.
Here’s a recipe video for the Easy Vegan Meat Substitute!
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Easy Vegan Meat Substitute
Super easy, delicious vegan meat substitute that's plant-based, whole-food, with no added oil. Healthy and tasty replacement!
- 2 cups cooked short grain rice
- 12 oz sauteed sliced mushrooms saute until any moisture is gone
- 12 oz tempeh cubed
- 1/4 cup quick cook oats
- 1 tbsp dried minced garlic
- 1 tbsp dried minced onion
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
Cook the rice according to package directions.
Saute the sliced mushrooms until they're brown, tender, and all the moisture has cooked off. They will release a lot of liquid as they cook, but add a little water or vegetable broth if needed.
Cut the tempeh into 1-inch cubes.
Add the rice, mushrooms, tempeh, and the remaining ingredients to a large food processor. Pulse to get the ingredients combined, then process until evenly incorporated and finely chopped. It will all start sticking together.
Use immediately or allow to stand for a few hours or overnight. Use in your favorite recipes.
Hello! I’m Lisa, a vegan artist, photographer, author, Vegan Life Coach Educator, and RYT 200 yoga teacher. I love showing others how simple and delicious a plant-based diet can be. I draw and paint, cook, write, take lots of pics, eat lots of chocolate, and practice gratitude daily.
Is that 12oz of sauteed mushrooms or 12oz of fresh mushrooms that are then sauteed?
Hi Samantha, that’s 12 oz fresh that are then sauteed.
Can you think of any substitute for tempeh? Would hard tofu, eggplant, or white beans work? I have not seen tempeh locally. Thank you, looking forward to making them!
Hi Ido, yes, extra firm tofu that’s been pressed is good or try using a 15 oz can of garbanzo beans that have been well drained and patted dry.