2-ingredient plant-based meat is here: my mushroom almond flour ground beef ! Ready in under 5 minutes, it’s vegan, Paleo, keto, high-protein, grain-free, oil-free, soy-free and versatile.
Imagine, for a moment, a recipe for a delectable, versatile, plant-based version of ground beef that is:
Made with 2 ingredients
Ready in under 5 minutes
Free of grains, gluten, oil and soy
Imagine no more, my friends. The recipe is here! It’s my Mushroom Almond Flour Ground Beef, and it is so easy and delicious you might need to pinch yourself to make sure it’s not a dream.
The Easiest & Fastest Recipe for Plant-Based Meat
The genesis of the recipe evolved from a simple goal: create a pared down recipe for plant-based meatballs using almond flour as a key ingredient. With more testing came two significant revelations:
The essential ingredients could be limited to 2 (mushrooms & almond flour)
I had a created a plant-based meat with uses well beyond meatballs!
Mushrooms deliver tremendous umami flavor in one fell swoop, while almond flour provides structure, additional flavor, and fat (without the addition of oil). I like to add salt, too, but it is always optional/variable, according to your preferences and needs.
Trust me, this recipe works. And it’s great. Hooray!
Here’s how to make it happen.
Step 1: Process the Mushrooms
In a food processor, finely chop 8 ounces (227 grams) mushrooms. Nope, no need to cook them first, just throw them in raw.
If your mushrooms are relatively large, give them a rough chop before placing in the processor bowl. This keeps them from getting hung up on the blade.
Stop the machine several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and keep processing (I recommend on/off pulses) until the mushrooms are pulling together into a cohesive mixture.
What variety of mushrooms should I use?
I recommend using ordinary white mushrooms or any other commonly available mushrooms. I used baby bella mushrooms for the photos in this post, hence the darker color (both raw and cooked).
A Moment of Hilarity
As fate would have it, my 13-year-old son walked into the kitchen at the precise moment when I was scraping the processed mushrooms into a bowl.
He is already suspicious of many of my kitchen experiments; the look of terror on his face upon sighting my bowl of chunky brown puree kept me in giggles for the rest of the afternoon.
I assured him that, despite all appearances, it was nothing more than mushrooms. I think he still has doubts. :).
Step 2: Combine the Mushrooms & Almond Flour
When you are free from the watchful eyes of wary children and partners, scrape the mushrooms into a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 and 1/4 cups (140 grams) almond flour or almond meal.
This is also the time to add salt, if using. I found that 1/4 teaspoon was perfect for my tastes, but you can start with less and adjust according to your own preferences.
Can I Use Something Other Than Almond Flour?
Any other nut or seed flour or meal can be used in place of the almond flour. Other flours–such as chickpea, coconut, cassava, wheat, etc–will not work.
Grinding your own nut or seed meal is a great option. The imperfect consistency of nuts or seeds ground in a food processor gives great texture to this plant-base meat.
For best results, measure the nuts or seeds by weight rather than cups. For an equivalent amount to the almond flour, your will need 140 grams (about 5 ounces).
Step 3: Mix until Combined
Mix the mushrooms and almond flour, and voila, you are done! You now have roughly 13 ounces of plant-based ground beef that is:
You can scoop, bake and shape the ground beef into meatballs:
Crumble and bake into crumbles (for use in dishes such as tacos, wraps, casseroles, sauces, and chilis):
Or shape and bake into burgers! I have instructions for making all of these options in the recipe notes.
Can I Store the Plant-Based Meat?
The recipe is easily doubled or tripled, but I recommend using the meat soon after making it. It does not freeze well (uncooked mushrooms do not freeze well in any circumstance) and should only be stored in the refrigerator for a short while ( a few hours) before using.
Once cooked, the meat can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for longer periods of time. I have guidelines in the recipe notes.
I hope you love this new option as much as I do!
Keep in mind that, although this recipe is for plain “ground beef,” it can be seasoned in countless ways.
For a short list of idas, consider: garlic powder, onion powder, taco seasonings, curry powder, finely chopped fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary), dried herbs, and so much more.
In a food processor, process the mushrooms until very finely chopped, stopping to scrape down sides of container several times. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
Add the almond flour and (optional) salt. Add any herbs or spices, if using. Stir until completely combined.
Storage: The raw plant-based meat is best used shortly after making it. It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. I do not recommend freezing (the mushrooms will release most of their liquid upon thawing). Once the meat is cooked (e.g., crumbles, burgers, meatballs), it can be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.
Mushrooms: I recommend using commonly available mushrooms, such as white, button, or baby bella mushrooms.
For Browning: Crumble the meat onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (or lightly spray with cooking spray). Bake in a preheated 350F(175C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes until browned and the crumbles appear dry. Use a spatula to scrape up the crumbles. Great for use in tacos, burritos, casseroles, and chili.
For Meatballs:Shape the meat into 1 and 1/4 inch (3 cm) balls (about 18 total). Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in preheated 350F(175C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes until browned. Let cool on sheet for 1 minute and then slide a spatula underneath to remove from try and avoid sticking.
For Burgers:Shape the meat into 3 patties, about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and between 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick (each will be about 4 and 1/3 ounces). Place on a parchment paper lined (or sprayed with cooking spray) baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350F(175C) oven for 23 to 28 minutes until browned and dry to the touch. Let cool on sheet for 1 minute before sliding a spatula underneath to remove from pan.
Flavoring Ideas:This recipe is for plain ground beef, but it can be spiced up in any way you like. Some ideas for flavorings include: garlic powder, onion powder, taco seasonings, curry powder, finely chopped fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary), dried herbs, and so much more.
I honestly thought this would be weird, but to my surprise it was really, really good. I made the meat crumble and added taco seasoning, layered it with a can of refried beans, salsa, green onions and made stuffed mini peppers AND stuffed zucchini boats, it made more than I thought. I'm looking forward to making the burger and meatballs too. So far... ALL of your recipes have been really good. Thanks for these great & healthy recipes! :)
Thursday 22nd of October 2020
I did the burgers. Added garlic and onion powder, pepper, some Mishroom powder and some chipotle pepper flakes. I ate almost an entire burger during the taste test! Used a combo of criminis and shiitakes. This is a keeper for sure. Thanks!
Friday 23rd of October 2020
Yum, yum, and yum! So glad these were a success, Kate!
I’ve made these twice. Once as burgers kinda fell apart but tasty but other time as meatballs added to a casserole and they were perfect. They recipe makes so much that I could freeze then for another meal. Also I replaced garlic with coconut aminos due to a dinner guest they could not have garlic. It was a nice substitute .