Best Vegetarian Substitutes for Ground Beef

Widely used throughout China and Japan for centuries, seitan, aka “wheat meat,” was introduced to the American culinary scene in the 1960s as part of the macrobiotic diet (via I love seitan). Due to its firm, easy-to-use texture and high-protein composition, it has become increasingly popular as a delicious vegetarian substitute, not only at home, but increasingly on restaurant menus, as vegan and vegetarian dining options continue to expand (via Technavio). However, it contains gluten and is therefore not safe for people with gluten allergies such as celiac disease.

You can buy ready-made seitan at grocery and health food stores, often near tofu. During storage, I am a food blogger suggest refrigerating, wrapped or sealed, no more than one week before using.

Seitan can be prepared in different ways to replace meat in a dish. To mimic ground beef, first chop it in a food processor to a crumbled texture. Then, according to A green planetThe trick is to season it well before baking with ingredients like nutritional yeast, herbs, vegetable stock, tamari, tomato paste or soy sauce. Because seitan is naturally quite dry, it easily absorbs flavors from sauces and broths, making it an easy and flavorful replacement for ground beef in tacos, chili, sloppy joes, and more.

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