How to Cook with Plant-Based Beef

Allan I. Fleming

Plant-dependent beef from manufacturers like Over and above Meat and Impossible Food items is quickly becoming a new staple. If it’s not already on the menu of your most loved rapid-foodstuff chain, odds are good that it’s coming soon, and it’s most very likely already in the meat area of your community grocery store.

Guaranteed, you may well be equipped to explain to the variance among an Unachievable burger and just one designed with Angus beef. But if you’re crumbling the plant-dependent stuff into a recipe or seasoning it seriously for taco meat or kebabs, you’d probably be equipped to trick even the staunchest carnivore.

This is by design. Equally Over and above Meat and Unachievable Foods have engineered their merchandise to be nearly equivalent to serious beef in every single sense. Jonathan Valdez, a dietitian and founder of Genki Diet, explains that both of these companies’ products are fortified with vitamins and minerals that aren’t the natural way discovered in plant foodstuff but that are normally found in beef, like iron and vitamin B12. Their total and saturated excess fat material is equivalent to ground beef that’s 80 percent lean, twenty percent excess fat. That’s a selection the providers designed, not for the sake of nutrition—the Nutritional Tips for Individuals advise restricting saturated excess fat to fewer than 10 percent of your every day energy, no matter of no matter whether it will come from crops or animals—but so the faux beef better mimics the serious stuff. 

Thanks to that very careful formulation, you can substitute the very same total of plant-dependent beef in just about any recipe that calls for ground beef. (Although Valdez warns that plant-dependent beef is better in sodium, so you may well want to go quick on the salt.) If you’d like to abide by a recipe that is been made and analyzed with plant-dependent beef, here are 3 to try out.

Pineapple Tacos 

“I love this taco recipe, simply because it’s approachable, vibrant, and fulfilling,” suggests Jasmine Shimoda, chef and owner of Jewel, a plant-dependent restaurant in Los Angeles. She explains that imitation ground beef browns in a skillet just like the serious stuff and really packs a tastier punch than most store-acquired ground beef, thanks to yeast extract that lends it sufficient umami taste. 


  • one tablespoon canola oil
  • one pound plant-dependent ground beef
  • one yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • two garlic cloves, minced 
  • two teaspoons chili powder 
  • one teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce (from a can)
  • one teaspoon kosher salt (or fewer, to style)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • one cup chopped refreshing pineapple
  • three tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided 
  • one compact jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 5 radishes, thinly sliced 
  • ⅓ cup chopped refreshing cilantro
  • one serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeds taken off, thinly sliced 
  • ¼ cup uncooked purple onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1½ tablespoons Vegenaise 

For serving: heat corn tortillas, heat black beans, vegan crumbly cheese, cilantro, lime wedges


Warmth the oil in a substantial sauté pan in excess of medium warmth. When the oil is incredibly hot, insert the plant-dependent beef, and break up with a substantial spoon or spatula. Spread it out in the pan to ensure the highest total of caramelization. After the plant-dependent beef is browned, about 4 to five minutes, transfer to a plate and established apart someplace heat, leaving most of the excess fat in the pan. 

Return the pan to the stove. Cook the yellow onion in the remaining excess fat until eventually translucent, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Incorporate the garlic and prepare dinner for two extra minutes, then insert the chili powder, chipotle, salt, and pepper, and stir all the things collectively. Flip up the warmth to medium-high, and toss in the diced pineapple, cooking for two extra minutes until eventually the pineapple is heated by way of and somewhat soft. Incorporate the imitation beef and just one tablespoon of lime juice. Stir all the things to incorporate, then get rid of the pan from the warmth. 

Meanwhile, combine collectively the jicama, radishes, and cilantro, as well as the remaining two tablespoons of lime juice, the purple onion, and the Vegenaise in a bowl. Period with salt and pepper.

Assemble tacos by topping tortillas with the beef-pineapple filling, jicama slaw, and garnishes. Serves 4.

“Beef” and Barley Stew

This veggie-filled soup recipe puts a spin on vintage beef and barley stew, with the addition of chili powder for a pretty really serious kick. And as a substitute of hulled barley, it calls for pearl barley, which is softer and cooks extra swiftly simply because the rough outer layer has been taken off. The recipe is reprinted with permission from Adams Media’s The Spicy Plant-Based Cookbook, a collection of easy dishes flavored with all the things from refreshing chili to homemade incredibly hot sauce. 


  • two tablespoons olive oil
  • one medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • two medium stalks celery, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • one medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • one medium green bell pepper, seeds and stem taken off, coarsely chopped
  • one cup h2o
  • 2½ cups tomato juice (like Mott’s or V8)
  • ⅓ cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons dried parsley
  • two bay leaves
  • one pound plant-dependent ground beef
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • Refreshing parsley, for garnish


Put a substantial soup pot or stockpot in excess of medium warmth, insert the oil, and sauté the onion, celery, carrot, and bell pepper until eventually nearly soft, about 4 to five minutes. Incorporate the h2o, tomato juice, and barley, stirring well to incorporate, then insert the chili powder, parsley, and bay leaves. Reduce warmth to reduced, address, and prepare dinner for twenty minutes. Incorporate the plant-dependent beef and prepare dinner uncovered until eventually the barley is soft, about another five minutes. Period with salt and black pepper to style.

To provide, get rid of bay leaves, and ladle soup into bowls. Garnish every single bowl with parsley, and provide with crusty bread for dipping. Serves six.

Chiles Rellenos

Standard chiles rellenos are battered and deep-fried, but San Francisco chef Traci Des Jardins prefers to roast them as a substitute, which usually means that her edition is a lot easier and a minor lighter. “Without all that fried batter, you really style the interplay of the chile and the filling,” Des Jardins suggests. She involved this recipe in Impossible the Cookbook: How to Help save Our World, 1 Tasty Meal at a Time, which she aided creator.


  • eight refreshing poblano or pasilla chiles 
  • three tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • twelve ounces plant-dependent beef
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin 
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon 
  • Pinch of ground allspice 
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • one yellow onion, finely diced 
  • two cloves garlic, minced 
  • ½ cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • two tablespoons raisins 
  • 1½ cups chopped refreshing parsley leaves (about just one compact bunch)
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted 
  • one teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted 
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper 


Preheat a broiler. Put the chiles on a baking sheet and broil, turning every single several minutes, until eventually blackened on all sides, about fifteen minutes. Transfer the chiles to a substantial mixing bowl, and address with plastic wrap or position in a zip-best plastic bag. Allow steam for about five minutes to support loosen the skins.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Rinse the chiles below h2o, removing the charred skin. Make a two-inch slit on just one aspect of every single chili, so you can open up them up a minor bit. Utilizing a teaspoon, meticulously get rid of the membrane and as numerous seeds as attainable. Put the chiles on the lined baking sheet. Established apart.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet in excess of medium-high warmth, heat just one tablespoon of oil. Crumble the plant-dependent beef into the skillet and prepare dinner, stirring occasionally, until eventually browned and cooked by way of, about 3 minutes. Incorporate the oregano, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves, and combine well, then time with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and established apart.

Incorporate the remaining oil to the skillet. Lower the warmth to medium-reduced, and insert the onion, garlic, and canned tomatoes. Prepare dinner, stirring, until eventually the onions soften, about 10 minutes. Incorporate the raisins, and prepare dinner for one more two minutes. Incorporate this to the meat mixture, and stir. Set apart just one tablespoon of parsley, just one teaspoon of almonds, and some sesame seeds for garnish, then add the remaining parsley, almonds, and sesame seeds to the meat mixture. Combine well. 

To assemble, spoon the picadillo mixture into every single chile by way of the slit in the center, filling it as much as attainable. Transfer the chiles to another parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until eventually heated by way of, fifteen to twenty minutes. 

Provide garnished with the remaining parsley, almonds, and sesame seeds. Serves 4.

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