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Opinion 25 ‘meaty’ vegan beef recipes that are easy & delicious

Kitchen Tips
Liv's author bio image

Author: Liv Published: June 28, 2024

From ‘beef’ stroganoff to bourguignon, pot roasts and pastries – there’s a delicious vegan version of all your traditionally meaty favourites.

If you’re hankering for a classically ‘beefy’ comfort meal but still want to choose wisely for your health, animals, and the environment, there are heaps of easy plant-based dishes you can make at home to hit the spot! 

We’ve rounded up some of our tried-and-true favourites to get you started. 

Many of these recipes use versatile plant-based ingredients – like mushrooms, TVP, lentils, and soy curls – to recreate the flavour and texture of beef. 

But you can also do a 1:1 swap for a store-bought vegan beef product if that takes your fancy! You can find countless options in stores and online these days, including burger patties, sausages, mince, strips, steaks, and even entire roasts

Some beef-style stocks happen to be vegan-friendly too, and can help lend your dishes that signature ‘beefy’ flavour that’s tricky to put your finger on!

Check out these succulent, beef-inspired vegan recipes that are so yum, you won’t even notice they’re meat-free: 

1. Easy Mushroom Bourguignon 

An overhead image of a hearty bowl of mash and beef bourguignon, laden with mushroom, carrot, gravy and shallots.

This hearty, comforting stew is much easier to cook than it is to spell 😉 The recipe swaps beef out for mushrooms – but you could also use vegan beef strips if you prefer!

2. Rich Mushroom Stroganoff 

A blue bowl full of pasta with a rich mushroom stroganoff, served with a wedge of lemon.

A classically ‘beefy’ dish like stroganoff is surprisingly easy to make plant-based! Just switch out the meat for button mushrooms, soy curls, or your favourite vegan beef product.

3. TVP Bolognese

A fork sits in a bowl of spaghetti bolognese made with TVP.

TVP spaghetti Bolognese is ridiculously tasty and an ideal dish to serve to a mixed crowd at dinner parties. Amp it up with a dash of red wine and liquid smoke for extra depth of flavour. 

4. Crispy Chilli Stir-fry with ‘Beefy’ Soy Strips

A stirfry on a bed of white rice with plant-based beef strips, garnished with spring onion.

Imagine sticky, saucy morsels of melt-in-your mouth beef – only 100% made of plants! This speedy stir-fry uses TVP strips and beef-style stock to create the illusion of meatiness. 

5. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

An overhead image of a skillet filled with Shepherd's pie. A slice is taken out and sits in a bowl beside, showing the delicious filling of hearty veg and lentils.

Our veg take on shepherd’s pie is highly nutritious and deliciously light compared to its meaty counterpart. If you’d prefer to ‘beef’ it up, try using TVP or plant-based mince in place of lentils.

6. Easy TVP Tacos 

A close up of TVP mince tacos.

Is there any better last-minute dinner than tacos? These bad boys take only 15 minutes to whip up – and with TVP as the stand-in for beef mince, they’re nice and cheap too.

7. Herbed Mushroom & Lentil Sausage Rolls 

A tray of four sausage rolls, a few cut open to show a meaty looking centre. The pastry is perfectly flaky.

Another beef-inspired vegan recipe that your friends won’t believe is meat-free! Once these deliciously umami sausage rolls hit the snack table, they’ll be snapped up in seconds.

8. Rich Walnut Ragu

A beautifully presented spaghetti dish, covered in a rich walnut ragu and topped with vegan parmesan.

It’s no secret that you can create some amazing plant-based substitutes using nuts as the base – but a rich, meaty-tasting ragu made with walnuts?! This one has to be tasted to be believed. 

9. Classic Mushroom Wellington

An overhead image of a plate of roast vegetable with a mushroom wellington coated in gravy.
Image: BOSH!

Looking for something special to serve for a holiday main course? You can’t go wrong with this super satisfying portobello mushroom wellington … and a boat-load of vegan-friendly gravy.

10. ‘Leftover’ Vegetable Stir-fry

A colourful plate of stirfry on a yellow table runner.

If you’ve got some vegan beef strips hanging out in the freezer and some veggies begging to be used up in the fridge, why not throw them all in the wok together for an easy, filling stir-fry?

11. Mushroom ‘Meatballs’ in Napolitana Sauce

A small bowl of mushroom 'meatballs' in a rich red sauce, topped with basil leaves. A crusty breadstick is just in shot.

This mighty, mushroom-based version of meatballs is everything you could ever want from a plant-based comfort meal – tasty, nutritious, and the perfect match for some vegan garlic bread.

12. Easy Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

An overhead close-up image of a blue bowl filled with Moroccan Tagine. It's laden with vegetables and garnished with a side of parsley.
Image: The Mediterranean Dish

Add some chunks of your favourite plant-based beef alternative to soak up all the warming flavours of this easy Moroccan tagine. It’s perfectly spiced, packed with wholesome veggies, and studded with sweet pops of apricot.

13. Mushroom Jerky

Several glass jars and plates sit on a bench full of a beef-style mushroom jerky.

Chewy, savoury, and honestly kind of addictive, this shiitake mushroom jerky would be a great addition to any plant-based lunchbox. Add it to your must-try list of homemade vegan snacks!

14. Potato & Bean Stew with Spiced Almonds

A close-up image of a potato and bean stew with almonds, garnished with parsley.

Transform this recipe from a humble bean stew to a hearty ‘beef’ stew by tipping in a bag of your favourite plant-based meat pieces (with an extra cup of stock to keep it stew-ey). Then let them simmer in all that veggie goodness!

15. The Best Vegan Meatloaf 

A plant-based meatloaf log sits on baking paper. It is garnished with parsley, and a slice is cut revealing the centre.

Best served alongside creamy mashed potatoes and roast veg, this vegan meatloaf is easy to make, bursting with savoury flavour, and jam-packed with protein thanks to the chickpea base.

16. Mushroom & Kidney Bean Veggie Burger 

A frontal image of a simple burger on a wholemeal bun, served with a side of wedges.

Craving a juicy burger? Swap out the beef for these mushroom-based patties instead – or if you’re short on time, try out one of the many amazing plant-based patties available in stores.

17. Slow Cooker Lentil Bolognese with Creamy Polenta

A rich lentil bolognese sits atop a bed of creamy polenta. A blue napkin sits to the side, slighty lighter in colour than the blue of the tablecloth.,

This rich and herby Bolognese is incredible on top of pasta, polenta, a baked potato, or even smushed into a toastie with some melty dairy-free cheese. Who knew lentils could be so meaty?

18. TVP & Gravy Pie 

A full pie with flaky pastry sits on a bench next to a chequered tea towel. A slice of the pie sits on a plate to the side, with a beefy looking filling with peas.

Featuring the mince-like texture of TVP, this might just be the ultimate vegan version of the iconic Aussie beef pie – saucy, chunky indulgence wrapped up in a perfectly flaky crust.

19. Roast Vegetable Pasties

Vegetable pasties sit on a tray, one cut open to reveal a filling of hearty – mainly root – veg. A ramekin of sauce sits to the side.

These golden roast veggie parcels are delightful to sink your teeth into. And if you feel like going for a meatier vibe, this would be the perfect filling to combine with your favourite plant-based mince.

20. Vegan Beef Seitan Roast 

A roast loaf sits on a chopping board, with roast potatoes to the side and decorated with rosemary. A slice is cut revealing a dense, very beefy texture, achieved using seitan.
Image: School Night Vegan

Keen to try making your own vegan beef from scratch? This seitan recipe is well worth the effort – the result is a juicy, decadent roast that’s protein-packed and slices just like actual meat!

New to seitan? Learn more about it here!

21. Chimichurri Mushroom Steak Tacos

Overhead image of soft tacos filled with mushroom, pickled red onion, and chimichurri. The image is very colourful with green and pink ingredients.

Beautiful in its simplicity, this veggie taco recipe uses a medley of fried mushrooms for the ‘meaty’ filling, upping the ante with a bright chimichurri sauce and quick-pickled red onion.

22. Double Potato, Mushroom & Lentil Pot Pies

Two individual opt pies sit side by side. One has been broken open with a fork to show a very hearty looking centre of mushroom, gravy and veg.

These cosy pot pies give us beefy vibes already with their tender bites of mushroom, potato, and gravy – but if you fancy, you could always throw in some chunks of plant-based meat too. 

23. Vegan Beef Stew 

A stew sits in a large pot. a ladle is shown close to camera showing veg and plant-based beef chunks.
Image: Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen

A veggie-laden ‘beef’ stew has got to be one of the best ways to pack your bowl with nourishing, whole-food ingredients. (Hot tip: You’ll need a vegan-friendly beef-style stock for this one.)

24. Spicy Lentil & Walnut Tacos

An overhead image of crispy taco shells filled with a lentil and walnut beef-style mince. The plate sits on a white bench surrounded by colourful additions including guacamole, diced tomato, sour cream, chilli and greens.

Mushrooms, lentils, and walnuts are this taco recipe’s trifecta! In combination, they create quite a filling ‘mince’ that’s super flavourful and with a remarkably similar texture to traditional taco meat.

25. Vegan ‘Beef’ Wellington

A beef-style wellington sits on a chopping board. It is covered in pastry and a slice has been cut to reveal a red centre, surrounded by a darker filling.
Image: BOSH!

This plant-based impostor not only looks the part of a beef wellington, it tastes the part too! Serve it up as a Sunday roast or festive centrepiece and you’re guaranteed to impress.

There’s plenty of room for experimentation when it comes to creating meaty meat-free recipes, so don’t be afraid to tweak these dishes however suits your preference. 

If a recipe calls for vegan beef pieces, but you prefer the natural ‘meatiness’ of mushrooms, for example, just swap them out – and vice versa.

Half the fun of plant-based cooking is learning how to recreate all your old favourites in a way that appeals to you, whether that be by using a readily available meat substitute, or by relying solely on wholefood ingredients.

Whatever your tastes, hopefully this list serves as a drool-worthy reminder that there’s a vegan ‘beef’ recipe to suit any craving or occasion!

Still hungry for meal ideas? Check out our lists of vegan chicken, pork, and seafood recipes for even more meat-free inspiration.

Liv's author bio image

Meet Liv!

Having grown up in a “meat and 3 veg” kind of household, Liv’s embarrassed to admit that she was a bit of a one-note chef until she began exploring the world of plant-based food. Vegan cooking has given her a whole new appreciation for the symphonies of flavours that simple, nourishing wholefood ingredients can create. (Even eggplant, once her greatest nemesis, is now — in a delicious, miso-glazed redemption arc — her all-time favourite veg.)

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