10 Simple Swaps and Substitutes to Turn Your Meaty Dinner Meat-Free

You can have rich, hearty meals without the inclusion of meat
tempeh

 Photo Modified: Flickr / Stacy / CC BY 4.0

10 Simple Swaps and Substitutes to Turn Your Meaty Dinner Meat-Free

tempeh

 Photo Modified: Flickr / Stacy / CC BY 4.0

Ditch any preconceived notions you may have had about what a meat-free diet should be and consider what it could be. Click ahead to see 10 Simple Swaps and Substitutes to Turn Your Meaty Dinner Meat-Free.

Beans

beans

Photo Modified: Flickr / whologwhy / CC BY 4.0

Ground beef can easily be replaced by ground beans. From black bean burgers to bean-filled tacos, replacing your beef with beans is as simple as choosing a seasoning and letting the flavor take over.

Click here for our Black Bean Burger recipe.

Beets

beets

 Photo Modified: Flickr / Stacy / CC BY 4.0

You probably don’t associate beets with meatiness, but tapping into their savory, earthy side can allow you to make some incredibly meaty meals. Roasting beets tends to bring out their true savory qualities.

Click here for our Roasted Beets with Avocado-Habañero Crema recipe.

Cauliflower

A lot of dishes benefit from swapping in cauliflower — we’ve even shown you how to make it taste better than steak. With olive relishes and hot wing sauce, cauliflower can become a truly hearty food.

Click here for our Buffalo Cauliflower Bites recipe.

Eggplant

eggplant

 Photo Modified: Flickr / liz west / CC BY 4.0

You’re probably expecting to see eggplant parmigiana here, and we’d be remiss not to include our best recipes for that widely-loved dish. You should consider, however, replacing beef with eggplant the next time you’re making burgers or a panini.

Click here for our Grilled Eggplant and Mozzarella Panini recipe.

Jackfruit

Why is a fruit on this list, you ask? Don’t let its fruit designation mislead you — jackfruit happens to function quite well in savory dishes in its unripe form. When ripened, jackfruit acquires a much sweeter taste. Try jackfruit curry or a jackfruit casserole (vegans beware: This casserole contains eggs and cheese). 

Mushrooms

mushrooms

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You can’t say “meatless umami” (OK, so maybe you’ve never said that particular phrase, but bear with us) and not think of mushrooms. These delicious fungi can get as meaty as shepherd’s pie, tacos, and even gravy

Quinoa

quinoa

 Photo Modified: Flickr / jules / CC BY 4.0

If your meatless meal is begging for a protein-rich side, look no further than quinoa. It can also be incorporated into chili and burger recipes.

We have plenty of Recipes That Will Make You Fall in Love with Quinoa.

Seitan

seitan

 Photo Modified: Flickr / Stacy / CC BY 4.0

Seitan can be a vegetarian’s best friend because it is rich in the protein humans need to survive. Made from cooked wheat gluten, seitan appears in meatless bacons and barbecue sandwiches as a meat replacement.

Click here for our best seitan recipes.

Tempeh

tempeh

 Photo Modified: Flickr / Stacy / CC BY 4.0

Tempeh, an Indonesian food made by deep-frying fermented soy beans, is an amazing meat replacement. From meatless meatloaf to burgers and satay, tempeh’s versatility knows no bounds.

Click here for our Tempeh Satay with Curried Cashew Sauce recipe.

Tofu

In addition to its many other uses, you can dip, fry, dry, or marinate tofu, rendering it quite the versatile food source. From hearty barbecued tofu to faux meat tofu products, there’s no limit to how you can use tofu in place of meat.

Click here for our best tofu recipes.