11 Vegetarian Substitutes for Meat

Vegetarian Substitutes for Meat

Several vegetarian substitutes for meat are available today, ranging from fishless fingers to plant-based burgers.

These meat alternatives take no shortcuts in their quest to transport the palette on a delicious journey, whether it be assisting you in preparing a full, healthy meal or easing your transition to a vegan diet.

These vegetarian substitutes for meat never stop challenging real meat products and don’t take a backseat when it comes to appealing to the senses.

Thanks to their alluring flavors and unusual fragrances, they can quickly make you fall in love with them.

1. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are starting our list of vegetarian substitutes for meat. Mushroom is the way to go if you want that umami, or meaty flavor.

Mushrooms have a rich, earthy, and meaty flavor, particularly in cremini or Portobello. 

They can be used instead of meat in any recipe and are satisfying and healthy.

The preferred mushroom cooking method is vegan butter with thyme, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar. 

Unless stacking them high on a crunchy bread to form a French Dip sandwich, then serve them over polenta.

A vegan “Lamb” burger or this mushroom stroganoff are two dishes to try.

Serve Portobello Wellington and stuffed mushrooms with pecans to impress your dinner guests.

2. Jackfruit

Jackfruit is also one of the vegetarian substitutes for meat. If you haven’t had jackfruit yet, you should get some immediately. 

Although jackfruit is technically a fruit, it has the amazing ability to replace meat in savory meals. It comes in a can, either sliced up or raw for purchase. 

A sumptuous, filling Philly Cheesesteak can be made with jackfruit because it has a very mild sweet flavor.

Any beef, chicken, pork, barbecue sandwiches, and stir-fries recipe is ideal for jackfruit.

3. Eggplant

Although aubergine is typically the first vegetable that springs to mind when someone says they are going vegetarian, you can use it for much more than just making parmigiana. Eggplant is incredibly adaptable and has a rich, meaty flavor. 

Try it in these Eggplant Burgers if you don’t like eggplant, and you might be surprised.

Vegan mozzarella-stuffed eggplant meatballs, crispy eggplant fries with marinara dipping sauce, and spiralized eggplant noodles are all delectable ways to prepare eggplant.

4. Lentils

Lentils are favored vegetarian substitutes for meat. This nutritious food, blessed with a delicate earthy flavor, gives every vegan meal a distinctive and necessary texture.

This is why lentils, particularly their green, black, or brown varieties, offer a wonderful substitute for dishes containing meat

Red lentils can be used instead of pig mince because of their distinctive flavor.

They are a wonderful addition to a vegan diet because they are one of the least processed plant-based foods.

Lentils, rich in protein and minerals, can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and even blood sugar levels, among other things. They aid in preventing colon and breast cancer.

They even help lessen constipation issues because of their good fiber content and maintain healthy gut flora.

5. Legumes and Beans

Legumes and beans are incredible vegetarian substitutes for meat. There are a variety of beans to pick from, including black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, aduki beans, chickpeas, and black-eyed peas, to mention a few.

They are also affordable, healthful, and satisfying. Beans can be used to make filling soups, stews, and chili.

What about a White Bean and Kale Soup or a Bean Bowl with Tamale Influence? Amazing Hoisin Black Bean Burgers, Black-Eyed Pea Italian Sausages, and Chickpea “Tuna” Salad can all be made using beans and legumes instead of meat.

6. Cauliflower

You’re probably asking yourself, “How can cauliflower replace meat at this point? It’s very dull and white.

Cauliflower can be the star of any dish when properly prepared and seasoned. 

In Asian meals like Cauliflower, Manchurian, and even Buffalo wings, I like substituting cauliflower for chicken.

You can create a delicious Cauliflower Piccata by slicing the cauliflower into steaks. 

7. Potatoes

Potatoes can be used on more than just sides. They can serve as the main component of numerous dishes.

Potatoes are a staple food that can be roasted, boiled, baked, mashed, fried, or any other method you like. 

Creamy Potato and Cauliflower Soup to start your meal.  Spicy and tasty potato samosas with coconut-mint chutney. 

Add potatoes to your burgers in this Spicy Potato Cauliflower and Moussaka Burger with Béchamel Cheese Sauce.

When it comes to dessert, remember the potatoes you heard correctly. These vegetarian substitutes for meat will astound you.

8. Seitan

Seitan is one of the tasty vegetarian substitutes for meat produced from wheat gluten.

It was created in the seventh century by Buddhist monks, who soaked wheat dough in water to draw out the wheat protein or gluten. 

Seitan is an excellent substitute for duck flesh since it has a taste that is remarkably comparable to that of duck and has a rich, chewy texture.

In addition, the inexpensive ingredients can be found in sausages, cold cuts, and cutlets. This flavorful meat alternative can be grilled, fried, or braised.

Being one of the greatest sources of protein and carbohydrates compared to meat, the food is a beneficial addition to a balanced diet.

It is low in calories since it contains little or no starch. Additionally, it encourages sustained satiety and controls hunger cravings.

9. Beets

The candy of nature is beets. They are sweet, delicious, and ideal for salads, but they have a different side.

Additionally, earthy beets are delicious in savory recipes, especially when roasted, like in this meal with roasted beets and greens. 

Roasted beet burgers with cumin-scented ketchup are the perfect follow-up to a stunning presentation of beet carpaccio.

Eat some Beetroot Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes to round out the meal.

10. Tofu

Tofu is one of the most traditional forms of vegan meat.

It is a versatile ingredient that has long been a part of Asian cuisine. Pork, shrimp, poultry, and beef can all be substituted with this tasty soy milk product. 

These delectable vegetarian substitutes for meat are recognized for readily absorbing any flavor because it is soft and spongy.

Tofu is available in various textures, from soft and silken to dense and solid, making it the perfect complement to a wide range of meals.

The food is low in calories, gluten-free, and provides several vital nutrients the body needs.

Tofu can also help to lower cholesterol levels, improve cognitive function, and support the health of the heart and bones. Even some forms of cancer can be prevented by it.

11. Nuts

Nuts are ending our list of vegetarian substitutes for meat.

Although technically not vegetables, nuts can be used to make vegan cheese and substitute for meat in recipes. 

A substantial and rich “meat” loaf can be made with nuts because they have a particularly “meaty” flavor.

Vegan burgers frequently have nuts added for more “meatiness.” Try these burgers with walnuts and kidney beans with Mississippi Comeback Sauce.


Increasing numbers of consumers are raising concerns about eating meat and the impact of our diets on animals, the environment, and our health.

The rising demand for substitutes for meat also reflects this.

Various vegetarian substitutes for meat made from legumes, vegetables, grains, and other plant-based materials are available at reputable supermarkets. 

Compared to meat, these vegetarian substitutes for meat listed above provide several advantages.

Burgers manufactured without meat, for instance, typically have fewer calories and less fat than their meat-based counterparts while still being devoid of cholesterol.


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