14 Substitutes for Ground Beef

Substitutes for Ground Beef
Photo by Hayffield L

Ground beef seems to be one of the most commonly used meats in American cuisine, but that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to just one recipe when you’re in the mood for a burger or meatballs!

The great thing about ground beef is that it can be substituted with almost any kind of meat (including those you might find at your local butcher).

So if you want to make your next meal healthier or save money, try out one of these excellent substitutes for ground beef! And don’t forget that our guide on cooking with ground beef can help you out even more!

1. Ground Pork

When browning ground pork, cook it until it’s well done. This will help to prevent any potential foodborne illness. Ground pork pairs well with various flavors, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Try adding some spices or herbs to give it a unique taste. Ground pork can be used in place of ground beef in most recipes. Substitute an equal amount of pork for meat.

2. Ground Turkey

Are you looking to cut down on red meat but still want a delicious and hearty meal? Ground turkey is among the perfect substitutes for ground beef. It’s leaner than ground beef, so it’s a healthier option. 

Plus, it’s just as versatile as ground beef. You can use it in tacos, chili, meatloaves, and more. Give it a try the next time you’re looking for a flavorful and filling meal.

3. Ground Lamb

Ground lambs are substitutes for ground beef. It has a rich flavor that pairs well with bold spices. And while it might not be quite as fatty as ground beef, it is higher in protein than other meats. 

You can buy ground lamb pre-ground at most grocery stores or find a local butcher who will grind up fresh meat for you.

Ground lamb works well in Greek dishes like gyros and souvlaki. Just cook it thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

4. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a great source of protein and can be used as a replacement for ground beef in many recipes. When cooked, they have a similar texture to ground beef and can be used in tacos, burritos, and even lasagna.

They’re much lower in fat and calories, so you can enjoy your favorite substitutes for ground beef without guilt.  

5. Lentils

Lentils are a versatile and delicious substitute for ground beef. They can be used in tacos, chili, spaghetti sauce, and more. Plus, they’re packed with protein and fiber, making them a healthy option for your next meal.  

6. Beans

Black beans, kidney beans, and lentils are all great substitutes for ground beef. They’re high in protein and fiber, and they’re low in fat. Plus, they’re cheap and easy to find. You can use them in any recipe that calls for ground beef.

Here are some tips for using beans as substitutes for ground beef:

  • If you’re using them in a recipe that calls for browned ground beef, cook the beans until they’re soft before adding them to the recipe.
  • To give the beans more flavor, try cooking them with onions, garlic, and spices.
  • If you want a texture similar to ground beef, mash the beans before adding them to the recipe.
  • Some recipes call for shredded or chopped vegetables like carrots or potatoes instead of ground beef. Cook these vegetables first and then add them to the rest of the ingredients at the end of cooking time.

7. Firm Tofu

Tofu is an excellent alternative to ground beef. It’s high in protein and low in fat, making it a healthy option for any meal. Plus, it’s easy to cook with and can be flavored to taste like almost anything.  

8. Mushroom

Who knew that mushrooms could be such a versatile ingredient? They can be used as one of the substitutes for ground beef in burgers, tacos, and even lasagna! Not to mention, they’re a lot healthier for you. 

Here are some tips on using mushrooms as a substitute for ground beef – Be sure to cook them well enough before adding them into any dish, or else the word may have an unpleasant taste. 

  • Replace ground beef with 1/2 pound of mushrooms per person (or 4 ounces if you’re making it for one). 
  • Add flavors like garlic or herbs when cooking. 
  • If using mushrooms in a burger, add breadcrumbs and spices before forming the patties. 1) To replace one pound of ground beef in your favorite recipes, swap out half the amount of meat with half the amount of mushrooms. 

 For best results when using them raw, always choose portabella or cremini mushrooms because they’re more flavorful than white button mushrooms. 

When cooking with dried porcini or shiitake mushroom powder instead of fresh mushrooms, remember to rehydrate them first by soaking them in water for at least 10 minutes before cooking.

Cook porcini or shiitake mushrooms separately from other ingredients because they’ll release liquid while cooking, diluting the flavor and appearance of any dish it’s cooked with.

9. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is among the great substitutes for ground beef. It’s low in calories and fat and high in fiber. Plus, it’s a good source of vitamins C, K, and B6.

To use cauliflower as one of the beautiful substitutes for ground beef. Cook it until it’s browned, and then add it to your recipe. 

Cauliflower is an excellent option if you’re looking for a healthy and delicious substitute for ground beef. Not only is it lower in calories and fat, but it’s also high in fiber and vitamins.

Plus, it’s easy to cook and can be used in various dishes. Here are some recipes to get you started:

  • Cauliflower Parmesan
  • Caulletcurr
  • Cauliflower and Chickpeas

10. Seitan

Seitan is a protein-rich food made from wheat gluten. It’s a popular meat alternative for vegetarians and vegans and can be used as a substitute for ground beef in many recipes.

When cooked, seitan has a chewy texture and savory flavor that makes it a great stand-in for ground beef. Plus, it’s packed with nutrients like iron and calcium. Here are some recipes to get you started

11. Tempeh

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy substitute for ground beef, look no further than tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that is high in protein and low in fat. 

It has a firm texture and can be used in any recipe for ground beef. Plus, it’s easy to cook with and can be found at most health food stores.

Here are some tips for cooking with tempeh: 

  • Marinate it: Tempeh absorbs flavors well, so marinating it before cooking is a great way to add extra flavor to your dish. 
  • Simmer it: Tempeh can be challenging if not cooked properly.

12. Bulgur Wheat

Bulgur wheat is a healthy and delicious substitute for ground beef. It is high in fiber and protein, low in fat, and has a nutty flavor that pairs well with many other ingredients.

To use bulgur wheat as a substitute for ground beef, cook it the same way you would. Add it to soups, stews, chili, or even tacos. You can also use it as a filling for lasagna or stuffed peppers.

13. Walnuts

Did you know that walnuts can be used as a substitute for ground beef? They provide a similar texture and flavor, making them perfect for dishes like tacos, chili, and meatloaves. They’re a healthy option since they’re packed with protein and fiber.  

14. Ground Veal

Veal is a young cow, and the meat is very tender. It’s perfect for dishes like spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna. If you’re looking for healthier substitutes for ground beef, try using ground turkey or chicken.

Both are leaner than beef and just as flavorful. Just be sure to add some extra spices to compensate for the lack of fat. 

You can replace your regular ground beef with bison, venison, ostrich, or even rabbit (if you’re feeling adventurous).

All of these substitutes for ground beef offer unique flavors while being low in fat and high in protein. Try one out the next time you want to mix up your usual recipe.


By trying one of these substitutes for ground beef, you’ll indeed have a delicious and healthy meal that the whole family will love! So don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients.

You might just be surprised at how much you enjoy it. I will try some quinoa in my following burger recipe because I heard it’s excellent!

I hope this blog post has helped you figure out what substitutes for ground beef are available.

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