Meatiest Vegetarian Recipes
By Cooking Panda
All the meaty vibes without the animal. Prepare to be mind-blown.
Beyond Burger Tostadas with Marinated Kale
- 3 Tsp. olive oil, separated
- 4 corn tortillas
- 2 Beyond Meat burger patties
- 1 tsp. Cumin
- ½ tsp. Paprika
- ½ tsp. Chili powder
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 2 cups kale, chopped
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 can vegan refried beans
- 2 cups vegan cheddar shreds
- 1 tomato, diced
- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat in a skillet and fry the tortillas, turning over after 2 minutes. Cook for another 2 minutes until both sides start to brown and they’re crispy. Set aside.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in same pan and add Beyond Burger patties, cumin, chili powder and salt. Break up into crumbles with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Once the “meat” is fully browned, set aside.
- Put kale into a large bowl with remaining lime juice. Massage together until the kale begins to turn brighter green and release its essence, about 1 minute.
- Heat refried beans according to can instructions (I just nuked them in the microwave for 2 minutes).
- Assemble tostadas [sic] with refried beans, Beyond meat, kale, vean cheese and tomatoes. Add any other toppings you desire and enjoy.
*You can replace the chili powder with cayenne or any other kind of pepper (I actually used New Mexico Pepper Powder) for a little more heat.
This recipe is gluten-free.
Inspired by The Nut-Free Vegan.
Spaghetti and Easy Vegan Meatballs
Ingredients for Chickpea Meatballs
- 3 cups drained and rinsed chickpeas *this is how much is in 2 cans of chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons ground flax
- 8 tablespoons water
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ½ – ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
Ingredients for Pasta
- 1 pound spaghetti (whole grain preferred, gluten free if necessary)
- 1 25 oz jar your favorite spaghetti sauce
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the ground flax and 8 tablespoons water. Let sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the chickpeas.
- In a food processor with the “S” blade, add the chickpeas and pulse until there are almost no whole beans left. If you do not have a food processor, you can mash them by hand with a potato masher. Add the processed chickpeas to the large bowl with the flax/water mixture.
- Now add all the other meatball ingredients to bowl and stir well with a large wooden spoon.
- Roll into balls (about a heaping tablespoon) and place on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning about halfway through.
- While the meatballs are baking, prepare spaghetti and sauce according to package instructions. When the balls are done cooking, serve by placing spaghetti noodles n plate, top with a few meat balls and drizzle marinara sauce on top. Serve with crusty bread and a salad if desired.
To make gluten free, use gluten free breadcrumbs and pasta.
Inspired by Nora Cooks.
Spicy Vegan Pasta with Sausage
- 1 lb. rigatoni pasta with 2 cups reserved pasta water (after the pasta is cooked)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 package vegan sausage, casings removed and roughly chopped** (see notes for recommendations)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine or vegetable broth
- 1 cup cashew cream* (see notes)
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Red pepper flakes, for topping
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 2 cups of starchy pasta water.
- Heat olive oil in a large deep pot over medium high heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until very soft, about 10 – 15 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking into small pieces until browned and crispy.
- Reduce heat to a medium-low and add in the garlic, fennel seeds and tomato paste. Saute until pasteis lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add in the wine or broth and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot to get the browned pieces of sausage that have stuck the pain. Cook until reduced, about 4 – 5 minutes.
- Add in the cashew cream, spinach and ½ cup reserved pasta water. Let simmer for 5 minutes and add in the salt to taste.
- Add in the cooked pasta to the sauce and add a little reserved pasta water at a time, stirring to incorporate, adding as much pasta water as needed to let the sauce cling to the noodles. Stir in red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.
**To make cashew cream, pour boiling water over ¾ cup raw cashews and let soak for 30 minutes. Puree with 1 cup water or broth until very creamy and smooth. You may need more water. Depending on the power of your blender, this may take 5 minutes.
**I used the Beyond Meat Hot Italian Sausage and OH MY GOSH. Highly, highly recommend using those if you can find them. I know they are expensive, but I think they are worth it. Other recommended brands are the Field Roast Italian Sausage, sliced.
Inspired by Delish Knowledge.
Meaty Vegetarian Lasagna
- 16 oz meatless crumbles (I buy mine in the organic frozen section of Kroger)
- 16 oz sliced mushrooms
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 25 oz pasta sauce (I used mushroom flavor)
- 12 oven ready lasagna noodles
- 1 ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
For the Ricotta Mixture
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup shredded asiago cheese
- In a large skillet, combine garlic, onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and mushrooms.
- Sautee on medium high heat for 13-15 minutes, or until onions become translucent and mushrooms begin to release their liquid.
- Add meatless crumbles, oregano, salt, and pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Continue cooking on medium high for 7-10 minutes. You want to get a little bit of brown on the meatless crumbles.
- Add the pasta sauce and stir to combine everything.
- In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, basil, and asiago cheese and set aside.
- Grease a 13 X 9 casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Spread one cup of the sauce mixture onto the bottom of the pan
- Top with 3 oven ready lasagna noodles (spread out a little if need be)
- Spread 1 cup of ricotta mixture over noodles
- Top with 1 cup of sauce
- Add ½ cup of shredded mozzarella
- Add 3 more lasagna noodles
- Top with 1 cup of ricotta mixture
- Sprinkle on ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- Top with 3 lasagna noodles, the remaining ricotta, and then 1 ⅓ cups of sauce
- Add the last 3 noodles and top with the remaining pasta sauce
- Top with the remaining mozzarella and cover with foil
- Bake at 375 degrees for 55-60 minutes
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving
Inspired by Build Your Bite.
Vegan Taco Salad Bowl with Walnut Meat
Ingredients for Walnut Meat
- 1 red onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts (raw, no shell, unsalted)
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon paprika powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cups mixed salad (I used a mix of Lollo Bionda, Lollo Rosso, arugula and spinach)
- 1 cup purple cabbage (shredded)
- ¼ cup canned corn (rinsed and drained)
- 4 cherry tomatoes (quartered)
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayo (I’ve mixed it with a splash of water to make it easier to drizzle)
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
Instructions for Walnut Meat
- In a food processor, chop the peeled red onion and garlic clove. In a pan, add the olive oil and bring to medium to high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and let it cook until softened and translucent.
- Now chop the walnuts in the food processor until coarsely round. Add them to the onion and garlic in the pan. Mix in the soy sauce, paprika powder, salt, and thyme. Combine everything and let it cook for 5-7 minutes until nice and toasty. Stir it every now and then to prevent it from burning. Add more salt or soy sauce to taste.
Instructions for Taco Salad Bowl
- For the salad bowl, start with the leafy greens at the bottom, then drizzle the purple cabbage, Walnut Meat, add the cherry tomatoes, and corn. Drizzle the vegan mayo on top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Inspired by Elephantastic Vegan.
Ingredients for the Vegan Steaks
- ¾ cup (123g) Canned Chickpeas (Drained)
- ¼ cup (15g) Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- ¼ tsp Cumin
- ¼ tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp Oregano
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- ½ cup (130g) Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Paprika
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- ¼ tsp Liquid Smoke
- ½ cup (120ml) Vegetable Stock
- 1 and ¾ cups (263g) Vital Wheat Gluten
Ingredients for the Marinade
- ¼ cup (60ml) Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- ⅛ tsp Liquid Smoke
Ingredients for Frying
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil (or other oil)
Ingredients for Serving (Optional)
- Baked Potatoes with Vegan Sour Cream
- Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Add the chickpeas, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, coriander powder, oregano, soy sauce, tomato paste, paprika, black pepper, dijon mustard, liquid smoke and vegetable stock to the food processor and process until well mixed.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the vital wheat gluten. Stir in with a spoon briefly and then get in there with your hands, mixing it into a dough. Knead the dough for around 2 minutes, you want it to go from sticky and soft to firm and stretchy, so that when you pull it, it snaps back into place. See our full post for lots more info on kneading. Make sure you don’t over-knead it because that will cause your steaks to become very tough.
- As soon as you have a firm, stretchy texture, flatten it out and cut into 4 roughly equal sized steaks. Use a potato mashed to bash the steaks down a bit to flatten, but don’t do this too much as it counts as kneading, and you don’t want to overdo it.
- Wrap the steaks individually in tinfoil and then steam them for 20 minutes. Don’t wrap them too tight as they will expand while steaming. You can steam them in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water, or in any steamer you have.
- While the steaks are steaming, prepare your marinade sauce by adding all the ingredients to a bowl and whisking them together. Let it sit for a little while and then whisky again. You want it to be nice and smooth and it can take a couple of minutes for the brown sugar to dissolve properly.
- After steaming for 20 minutes, unwrap the steaks from their tinfoil and place into a square dish. Pour the marinade sauce and use a brush to make sure the steaks are properly covered. Turn them over in the sauce a few times.
- Heat a pan with a little olive oil (or other oil, 1 Tbsp is fine) and then fry the steaks (I found they all fitted into the same pan) flipping them regularly and brushing more marinade sauce on them every time you flip them, until they are nicely browned and caramelized.
- Serve with a side salad, baked potatoes with vegan sour cream, and if you like sauces with your steaks, then a creamy mushroom sauce goes wonderfully with this!
- I really recommend you weigh out the wheat gluten for accuracy. I couldn’t find a ‘standard’ measure for a cup of wheat gluten, so just weighed it out and this is what I came to. But for accuracy, it would be best to weigh it.
- These steaks keep very well in the fridge so leftovers can be sliced up and used for vegan steak sandwiches the next day.
- If you want to make these in advance, you can make them up to the stage where they have finished steaming, and them unwarp them and place them in a sealed container for 3-4 days until you’re ready to marinade them and fry them up. You can also place them in the marinade sauce and then leave them for a day or two in the fridge soaking in the marinade and then fry them up when you’re ready. If they’re already in the marinade sauce then a couple days is fine, if you want to keep them a little longer (¾ days) then don’t put them in the marinade, just them them, unwrap them and put them in a sealed container and only soak them in marinade when you’re ready to make them.
- Nutritional information is for 1 vegan steak (of 4) without the mushroom sauce.
- Recipe adapted from the Bosh with The Happy Pear.
Inspired by Loving it Vegan.
Easy Grillable Veggie Burgers
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup raw walnuts (or sub bread crumbs)
- ½ Tbsp avocado oil (plus more for cooking)
- ½ medium white onion (finely diced // ½ onion yields – ¾ cup)
- 1 Tbsp each chili powder, cumin powder, and smoked paprika
- ½ tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more for coating burgers)
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sub organic brown or muscovado sugar)
- 1 ½ cups cooked black beans (well rinsed, drained and patted dry)
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs (if gluten-free, use gluten-free bread crumbs)
- 3-4 Tbsp vegan BBQ sauce
- If your brown rice isn’t cooked yet, start there by following this method for the best results. Otherwise, move onto the next step.
- Heat skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add raw walnuts and toast for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden brown. Let cool and move onto the next step.
- In the meantime, heat the same skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and onion. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is fragrant, soft, and translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once walnuts are cooled, add to blender or food processor with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and coconut sugar and blend until a fine meal (see photo) is achieved. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add drained, dried black beans and mash well with a fork, leaving only a few whole beans (see photo).
- Next add cooked rice, spice-walnut mixture, sautéed onion, panko bread crumbs, BBQ sauce, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes, or until a moldable dough forms. If dry, add extra 1-2 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) BBQ sauce. If too wet, add more panko bread crumbs. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- For larger burgers, divide into 5 patties (1/2 cup in size // amount as original recipe is written), or form 10 smaller burgers (1/4 cup in size // amount as original recipe is written). To help form the patties, line your 1/2 or 1/4 measuring cup with plastic wrap and pack with burger mixture. Press down to pack firmly, then lift out by the plastic wrap’s edge, and slightly flatten with hands to form a 3/4-inch thick patty. Set on a baking sheet or plate for grilling.
- If grilling, heat the grill at this time and brush the grill surface with oil to ease cooking. Otherwise, heat the same skillet you used earlier to medium heat.
- Once skillet is hot, add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of your skillet, then add your burgers – only as many as will comfortably fit in the pan. Otherwise, add burgers to the grill and close lid.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes or until well browned on the underside, then flip gently. They aren’t as firm as meat burgers, but will definitely hold their shape. Reduce heat if cooking/browning too quickly. Cook for 3-4 minutes on other side.
- Remove burgers from heat to let cool slightly, and prepare any other toppings/sides at this time (such as grilling/toasting your buns).
- Serve burgers as is, or on toasted buns with desired toppings. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. See notes for freezing/reheating instructions.
*To cook rice, I recommend this method from Saveur. It yields fluffy, perfect rice, which is key to keeping these burgers from becoming too wet or gummy in texture. // Prep time does not include cooking rice.
*One 15-ounce (425 g) can of black beans yields only 1 1/4 cups black beans. So if using canned, be sure to grab two cans (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)! Also, if black beans are unsalted, add 1/4 tsp extra salt to burger mixture (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
*For a simple burger sauce mix 2 parts vegan mayo and 1 part ketchup. Add hot sauce or Sriracha for extra heat.
*To freeze for later, cook burgers as instructed on grill or skillet. Then set on a baking sheet or plate and freeze. Once frozen completely, seal in a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 weeks. Reheat in a 375 degree F oven on a bare baking sheet for 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through and golden brown (or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of BBQ sauce and without a bun or toppings.
Inspired by the Minimalist Baker.