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Tofu Ground Beef

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Turning TOFU into Vegan Ground Beef is Cheap, Easy and DELICIOUS! You can use this Tofu Ground Beef in just about any DISH!

Look I love the convenience and taste of store-bought pre-made vegan ground beef. But to be honest, this stuff is just as good, and it’s way CHEAPER! In fact, I might say that this is even better than the store-bought stuff. Maybe I’m biased, but maybe I’m right!

Use in any dish you’d use ground beef in, except burger patties. It simply won’t bind together. But any sort of crumbled beef application, this stuff will absolutely shine in!

why you’ll love tofu ground beef

In a nutshell it’s…


I’ve been enjoying it all week in tacos, pasta, over rice and in sloppy joes of course! The possibilities are pretty endless and you can really let your imagination go wild! It’s a really simple recipe too that comes together relatively quickly.

You can save leftovers too and reheat them in a matter of minutes and use in just about any dish you can think of.


As per usual, I highly recommend Super Firm tofu that’s vacuum sealed, and doesn’t need pressing.

You can use Extra Firm, but you’ll want to press it and / or bake it longer to dry it out in the oven (I’ll explain in more detail below).

seasonings / marinade

For the seasoning and marinade, we are packing a lot of UMAMI with a variety of sources. A few of the ingredients have substitutions in parenthesis in the recipe, so use whatever you have access to.

The marinade employs staples like soy sauce, nutritional yeast and pantry essentials, If you can, use some Beefless Broth, Gravy Master, and Marmite.

However, you can also substitute with things like Steak Sauce, Vegan Worcestershire and Tomato Paste.

You can also use things like Blackstrap Molasses for color and flavor as well.

how to make vegan ground beef

There’s quite a few recipes for Tofu Ground Beef out there. They typically have you marinade the tofu and bake it and then call it a day. When I do this, the tofu is chewy, but too dry.

I thought, what happens if I rehydrate it, will it still be chewy but also JUICY? The answer is YES! So it while it is a simple process, I do think that added step is necessary for MAXIMUM ENJOYMENT!

Here’s how to make it!

Remove tofu from packaging and pat dry. Crumble into a bowl.

Make the marinade by combining all the ingredients.

Pour over the crumbled tofu.

With clean hands, toss the crumbles and coat thoroughly in the marinade.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper / cooking spray and spread out the tofu pieces in a single layer. Bake at 350 F / 175 C for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the tofu is slightly dry and chewy.

Transfer the tofu to a 12 inch skillet, and add 1 cup of liquid and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and then reduce most of the liquid.

This step is CRUCIAL so I don’t suggest skipping it. While dehydrating the tofu in the oven will give it a chewier texture, it will also dry it out. When we rehydrate it the tofu, it’s still chewy, but will also be JUICY now too!

Taste and adjust for seasoning.Your meat is done! Enjoy as you wish! Like I said it can be used in just about any application you would use regular ground beef!

After that, you can use it anyway you wish! If you want to make it in bulk to use over the week, 3 blocks of tofu seems to be a good enough amount and will fill up a 12 inch pan pretty well for rehydrating. That’s what I did and it worked out perfectly!

use this recipe to make these!


Store any leftovers in the fridge and eat within 3 – 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Here’s a handy dandy video!

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If you made and enjoyed this recipe, please leave a rating & review! It really helps out the blog and it makes my day, thank you!

Tofu Ground Beef

Thee Burger Dude
4.50 from 101 votes
Servings 4 – 6 Servings


Tofu Ground Beef

  • 1 package 16 oz SUPER FIRM (or Extra Firm) tofu


  • 1 tsp Beefless Broth or Veggie Broth Concentrate
  • 2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp marmite or 1 Tbsp Steak Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp Browning Sauce or 1 tsp Vegan Worcestershire
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 heaping Tbsp of Tomato Paste optional for more umami
  • 1 Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses optional for Color and Flavor!


  • Remove tofu from packaging and pat dry. You can press the tofu if you wish, but I didn't find it necessary. Crumble into a bowl.
  • Make the marinade by combining everything in a bowl. Pour over the crumbled tofu. With clean hands, toss the crumbles and coat thoroughly in the marinade.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper / cooking spray and spread out the tofu pieces in a single layer. Bake at 350 F / 175 C for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the tofu is slightly dried out and chewy. Extra Firm tofu may need an extra 10 minutes, so 30 – 40. I would suggest checking it every 15 minutes if you're unsure so you don't dry it out too much.
  • Transfer the tofu to a 12 inch skillet, and add 1 cup of liquid (either water, broth, or a mixture, depending on how salty you want the meat, I suggest tasting the tofu before adding any broth so it doesn't get too salty) and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and then simmer until the liquid is mostly reduced. About 10 minutes or so. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  • Your meat is done! Enjoy as you wish! Like I said it can be used in just about any application you would use regular ground beef!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. This is a weekly staple in my household! We usually use it for either tacos or sloppy joes. One change I make is that I cut out the soy sauce just to reduce the sodium when feeding to my toddler. Even without though it’s still delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This is the best recipe for tofu ground beef i’ve ever made! I added a little spicy taco sauce and imitation beef stock to the tofu crumble before baking! I also added the the imitation beef stock instead of water when cooking in skillet. Super yummy. Thanks!

  3. Made this tonight and put it in spaghetti sauce and it was better than the sauce I recently made w meat in it. So much flavor! Thanks for a great recipe.

  4. Omg I just found you on Youtube. Iโ€™m so psyched to try this recipe out. Iโ€™m trying to decrease the amount of meat I eat and increase my plant-based proteins so this is such a great find, thank you for sharing!!! Does this freeze well?

  5. Iโ€™ve made this so often that I felt obliged to leave a comment to specifically thank you. Thank you!!!

    1. Dude… I followed this my my second time ever cooking tofu. Just trying to change up my life. Put in a shepherd’s pie. I would of never knew better. If I would of not watched my self make it.

  6. We make this all the time now, it’s unbelievably good and really simple. I have to make it a minimum of 3 bricks of tofu because I literally cannot stop eating it while I’m checking for doneness.
    I always use extra-firm tofu and press it for a bit but it does take quite a bit longer to dry out in the oven – like 1hr + ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Making this the second time this week! itโ€™s so good thank you for sharing. Can this be frozen?

  8. Could I put the tofu in a dehydrator after marinating? I’d like to meal prep and freeze the tofu ground beef in bulk.

  9. I have regular Brer Rabbit brand “full flavor” unsulphured molasses, not blackstrap. Do you think this would be too sweet?
    Thanks! Linda

      1. Thanks! I’ve never tasted blackstrap, so wasn’t sure of the difference.
        Thanks for all the great recipes!

  10. Dude… this was another slam dunk. Had it two nights in a row. First night with rigatoni and homemade pasta sauce made with our garden tomatoes, second night as enchilada filling along with some garden squash and peppers. This was the missing ingredient! You have brought a lot of happiness to our household!

  11. I just finished making this and upon tasting, Iโ€™m kind of surprised by how not-salty it is. Thatโ€™s okay though. I can season further as needed. It would be neat to experiment a little to try and create a chorizo flavored ground tofu. Or maybe add something like methylcellulose to make patties out of it for tofu burgers.

  12. I found this yesterday and hey I had a pack of super firm tofu in the fridge so I tried it. Wow it tastes so good!! I made tacos for lunch with it and they tasted great. So thrilled I found this, it’s a lot cheaper than the pea protein meats I’ve been buying, plus the ingredients are a lot better too. Thank you!!!

  13. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 5 Star recipe & my favorite go to for healthy & cost effective ground โ€œmeatโ€! Thank you Thee Burger Dude!!!

  14. Well, Dumbalina here accidentally ordered 12 lbs of soy beans. SO I learned to make my own soy milk, and tofu. Now I’m on fire I know what to do with it all. I don’t eat meat so this is a big win for me. Thanks

  15. Thank you for the substitutions: marmite and browning sauce are not things I’ve ever purchased, but I certainly have steak sauce and vegan Worcestershire sauce. I really appreciate not having to come up with my own subs. Also, I already know this will be too salty for my husband so next time I will add Dr. Greger’s umami sauce for the soy sauce. Quite tasty crumbles…thank you!

  16. I usually freeze my tofu then press it the heck out of it, marinade and cook. Would this allow me to skip the baking step to dry out in your opinion?

    1. I haven’t tried that out but if that’s what you usually do then I think it should totally work! Just use whatever tofu you normally use as super firm doesn’t really benefit much from freezing.

  17. Thee Burger Dude, Thank-you so much for this recipe!!! Best ground beef substitute I’ve tried. Works great in everything. Tacos, sloppy joes, lasagna we’ve even used it for enchiladas. Usually make a double batch on the weekend to use during the week. Again Thank-you.

  18. Super excited to try this, especially after all the rave reviews. I do have a question though. If I am going to add this to a vegetarian chili, wouldn’t it rehydrate then? Even if I add it at the end, if there are leftovers, does it still resemble ground beef?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi, I haven’t tried this, but in theory I see no reason why it wouldn’t work, so I’d say go for it!

  19. Dear Burger Dude… This recipe is soooo good. A huge hit here in our house! We have been making our own tofu from Hemp hearts. You just blend the hearts 1 cup to 3.5 cups water. Strain , and then heat up the resulting milk. When it starts to boil it begins curdling…no coagulant required. The resulting tofu works perfectly with your recipe. I’m making some again tonight! We did your Bolgnese , the Sloppy Joes and tonight it’s Hemp tofu tacos. Thanks so much Dude. Appreciated big time. Alan.

  20. Is using just firm tofu out of the question? It’s all I have on hand if it’s a matter of longer drying time I don’t mind. Would there be another reason?

    1. Yeah you may just need to bake it for longer. I would press it overnight too if possible before baking.

  21. Hiya, i just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
    iโ€™ve been wanting to vegetarian for a while now, but bc of food intolerances i canโ€™t eat most store bought substitutions. This recipe has been a game changer! itโ€™s easy to follow and tastes absolutely amazing

  22. 5 stars
    Your recipe is delicious! It’s definitely a keeper! I want to try your other recipes from your channel, thanks!

  23. 5 stars
    I just had vegan tacos tonight and they were everything I hoped (and dreamed) they would be. I’m going to have them for lunch tomorrow too. Thank you so much for developing and sharing this recipe. <3

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