This vegan mince recipe is a rich, tasty substitute for minced beef. Made with mushrooms, lentils and walnuts, it has a great texture and plenty of protein. It's a healthy, versatile, easy to make plant-based mince.
What you'll love about the recipe
- Meatless mince which is rich and flavoursome, with a good texture
- This vegan mince recipe has plenty of protein to keep you feeling full. It's also a good source of iron and omega 3 oils, as well as other vitamins and minerals plus plenty of fibre
- Natural and healthy, homemade vegetarian mince is free from soy and additives. It's also gluten-free. I also think it's MUCH nicer than soya mince, and cheaper too:)
- An ideal vegan substitute for minced beef in numerous recipes
- Great for meal prep (in my experience it tastes even better the next day!) and freezer-friendly
Olive oil, or another healthy cooking oil.
Onion, carrot and celery. This combination is also known as mirepoix or sofrito and is a great way to give depth of flavour to your vegan mince. You can use white or red onions.
Garlic also adds flavour.
Tomatoes and tomato puree. Tomatoes add a natural sauce to the mince, and tomato puree adds further depth of flavour.
Mushrooms. Even if you're not a mushroom lover, I urge you to try this vegetarian mince recipe! Chopped very small, the mushrooms add a meaty, savoury deliciousness which is not noticeable as mushroom! In addition to this umami flavour, they also add a good colour to this vegan minced beef alternative.
Lentils and walnuts. The combination of lentils and walnuts makes this a balanced meat free mince which is rich in protein, omega 3 and iron. The healthy oils in the walnuts also add a richness which makes a delicious tasting vegan bolognese.
You'll need brown or green cooked lentils for the recipe. A drained can of lentils weighs about 250g. If you prefer you can precook the lentils yourself. You'll only need 100g of dried lentils to give 250g of cooked weight.
Marmite and ground pepper. If you'd prefer not to use Marmite, you could also use soy sauce, or just season generously.
How to make vegan mince
You can either chop the veggies with a knife or use a food processor. If you've got one, a food processor does speed up the process and chops the veggies finely and evenly. Blitz the mushrooms carefully so that they don't turn to mush.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then fry the onion, celery and carrot. Continue to fry, stirring regularly for 10 minutes until it starts to brown slightly. This caramelisation will enhance the flavour of the finished dish.
Add the garlic, lentils, mushrooms and walnuts. Fry for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.
Add the tinned tomatoes, puree, Marmite and ground pepper to taste. Mix well and simmer very gently for another 5 minutes. Your vegan mince is now ready!
If you want to serve your vegan mince in tacos or tortillas, you might want to spice it up. Add a teaspoon of chilli flakes or paprika, or try more fragrant spices such as ground cumin or coriander.
Serving and storage
This vegan mince recipe is extremely versatile. It's ideal for vegan spaghetti bolognese, or serve with rice or baked potatoes. You can also incorporate it into other recipes as an alternative to beef mince.
- Use as a base for a vegan lasagne. Use this vegan white sauce recipe, and sprinkle with vegan cheese. You might also like this vegetarian lasagne with sweet potatoes and kale.
- Meat-free mince can also be used in moussaka
- Top with mashed potato for a delicious vegan mince cottage pie. You might also like this red lentil shepherd's pie recipe. You could also use this recipe as the base for a vegetarian hotpot.
- Serve in tortillas or tacos with avocados, tomatoes and lime wedges
Vegan mince can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Frequently asked questions
Most bought vegan mince is made from reconstituted textured soya protein. Whilst this makes an easy replacement for meat, I'd prefer to use a homemade version made from lentils, walnuts and mushrooms.
Plant-based mince is usually much lower in saturated fat than meat. In addition, it often contains fibre and a number of vitamins and minerals. This homemade plant based mince recipe contains more iron than a beef bolognese and is also high in fibre.
Other vegan recipes you might like
You might also like to try some of these other healthy vegan recipes. These nutritious balanced meals have all got plant of plant-based protein to keep you feeling full. There's also more inspiration in vegetarian meals.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Vegan Mince Recipe
- Food processor or can also chop ingredients by hand
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large carrot grated
- 1 stick celery very finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic peeled and very finely chopped
- 250 g mushrooms very finely chopped
- 250 g canned green or brown lentils drained
- 100 g walnuts finely chopped
- 400 g canned tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- ½ teaspoon Marmite
- ground pepper to taste
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium-hot heat. Add the olive oil, onion, celery and carrot and fry for 10 minutes until starting to brown. Stir frequently.
- Add the garlic, lentils, mushrooms and walnuts. Stir fry for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.
- Add the tomatoes, puree, Marmite and ground pepper. Mix well and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- If you'd prefer not to use Marmite, you can use soy sauce, or just season the dish generously.
- You can either use a can of lentils or precook dried lentils for this recipe. You'll need 100g of dried lentils to get 250g cooked weight.
- If you have one, it saves time to chop the veggies in a food processor. Blitz the mushrooms carefully otherwise they'll turn to mush!
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.