Easy Tofu Ground Beef Crumbles
Easy Tofu Ground Beef Crumbles– forget buying expensive processed faux meat, these tofu ground beef crumbles are made with whole food pantry ingredients and are super simple to prepare. Each serving packs 21g of complete plant-based protein!
I’ll be the first to admit that I like to take shortcuts and buy packaged foods that save me time in the kitchen. There’s no shame in my game. But now that I’ve made these tofu ground beef crumbles, I’m officially changing my ways. At least when it comes to buying prepared vegan ground beef.
Here’s why you’ll love these tofu ground beef crumbles
- Easy to make. You just stir together a few ingredients in a bowl, crumble the tofu, stir and then bake. When ready to serve, just rehydrate them in a pan on the stove for 10 minutes.
- Cheaper than store-bought. Making your own plant-based ground beef crumbles saves you big which I know we could all use a little more of right now. Thanks inflation.
- Higher in protein. Depending on the brand of tofu you use (Trader Joes high protein tofu is my go-to and it’s less than $3 a block), you can pack in a lot more protein than what you can get from the store. Plus using tofu provides a complete source of protein rather than protein isolates typically found in packaged faux meat.
- Leave out the junk. Most store bought vegan meat contains added oils and flavorings that weren’t exactly incorporated with our health in mind. This homemade recipe uses recognizable ingredients that you can control to your liking.
Easy Tofu Ground Beef Crumbles Ingredients
- Extra Firm Tofu- You definitely want to stick with firm tofu for the best texture. As I said above, Trader Joes High Protein Tofu is my favorite because it’s affordable and packs a hefty serving of protein. I only have to pat it dry with a towel but depending on how much water is in your tofu, you may want to press it before using in the recipe.
- Reduced Sodium Tamari– If you’re unfamiliar with tamari, it is simply a gluten-free version of soy sauce so regular soy sauce will work the same. The fermentation of the sauce provides a nice kick of salty umami flavor to the crumbles so this ingredient is essential.
- Tomato Paste- Tomatoes are another key player in adding umami flavor. If you don’t have tomato paste, you can also use ketchup which will be slightly sweeter but overall similar enough.
- Vegan Worcestershire– This is what gives the crumbles more of a beefy flavor so please don’t skip it! Regular worcestershire isn’t vegan so be sure the brand you buy is vegan, if desired.
- Nutritional Yeast- Another fermented product that adds savory flavor. I don’t recommend skipping it.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- We’re using just a bit of oil to prevent burning and provide moisture. Feel free to use whatever neutral flavored oil you prefer.
- Vegetable Boullion- Better Than Bouillon makes everything taste better, in my opinion, so naturally I had to include it here. However, any kind of bouillon you like will work.
- Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Smoked Paprika- I feel like all three are necessary for best results so please don’t leave them out. The smoky flavor from the paprika is very subtle and lends even more of a meaty flavor to the tofu crumbles.
How to Make Easy Tofu Ground Beef Crumbles
- Whisk together all of the ingredients (minus the tofu) in a large bowl.
- Crumble the tofu into the bowl. Stir until evenly coated.
- Spread out on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Rehydrate on the stove with vegetable broth. Serve warm and enjoy!
Ways to Serve Tofu Ground Beef Crumbles
- Tacos– they make a delicious filling for taco night. Simply heat and serve with your favorite taco toppings.
- Burrito Bowls– serve over rice with salsa, corn, avocado, and cilantro for a scrumptious protein packed meal.
- Nachos- add overtop a bed of tortilla chips with your favorite toppings for nacho bliss.
- Tofu Bolognese– instead of rehydrating with vegetable broth, cook the crumbles in marinara sauce and serve over pasta or spaghetti squash.
- Stuffed Peppers- add to your favorite stuffed pepper recipe for a meaty protein boost.
- Shepherds Pie– I can imagine they would taste incredible in my vegan lentil shepherds pie.
- Sloppy Joes- Rehydrate in a sloppy joe sauce for a quick and easy meal.
How to Store Tofu Ground Beef Crumbles
This recipe is great for making ahead if you store them after they are cooled from baking. Simply seal in an airtight container and refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for several months. When ready to serve, skip to rehydrating step and cook as directed. If cooking from frozen, it’s best to let them thaw to room temperature first then rehydrate.
Looking for more tofu recipes?
- Crispy Blackened Tofu Tacos
- Tofu ‘Chicken’ Noodle Soup
- One-Pot Tofu Potato Skillet
- Vegan Thai Peanut Curry
Easy Tofu Ground Beef Crumbles (vegan + gluten-free)
- 16 ounces extra firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons reduced sodium tamari, or soy sauce/coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste, or ketchup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vegetable boullion, plus ½ teaspoon for rehydrating
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
- Remove tofu from package and wrap in a towel to dry any excess liquid.
- In a large bowl, combine the tamari, worcestershire, tomato paste, water, nutritional yeast, olive oil, bouillon ,garlic powder, smoked paprika and onion powder. Whisk together until smooth.
- Using your fingers, crumble the tofu over the bowl, making the crumbles as large or as small as you prefer. Stir until crumbles are evenly coated in sauce. Transfer to baking sheet and baked for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow to cool completely and store until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, warm a skillet over medium heat. Combine the crumbles with ½ vegetable broth (use remaining ½ teaspoon bouillon to make broth) in the skillet. Bring to a low simmer and continue to stir as the crumbles rehydrate, for about 7-10 minutes.* Serve warm and enjoy!