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Easy Vegan Meat Substitute Plant-Based Recipe

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.

Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based

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

 Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based

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.


Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based

Mushrooms are another main ingredient in this vegan meat substitute and they add lots of flavor and savory, meaty texture.

Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based

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.


Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based

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.

Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based

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.

Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based

Just process the cooked rice, sauteed mushrooms, and cubed tempeh in a food processor with the seasonings and, voila, perfect burgers.

Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based

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.

Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based

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!

Getting this by email and can’t see the video? Please go to the original post to watch!



Basic Easy Vegan Meat Recipe Plant-Based
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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!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 215 kcal



  1. Cook the rice according to package directions.

  2. 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.

  3. Cut the tempeh into 1-inch cubes. 

  4. 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.

  5. Use immediately or allow to stand for a few hours or overnight. Use in your favorite recipes. 

Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Meat Substitute
Amount Per Serving
Calories 215
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

XO Lisa

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Samantha Meiklejohn
Samantha Meiklejohn
5 years ago

Is that 12oz of sauteed mushrooms or 12oz of fresh mushrooms that are then sauteed?

5 years ago

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!

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