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Tofu Ground Beef

In this recipe, I’ll show you how to transform tofu into a mince resembling tofu ground beef – perfect for using in sauces, tacos, crumbled on top of nachos, and so much more. Ready in less than 20 minutes with the perfect deep, umami flavor, you’ll be amazed at what tofu can do in this recipe.

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it can be difficult to find a good replacement for ground beef. Many meat substitutes resemble ground beef, but they’re not to everyone’s taste.

This tofu ground beef is a simple, high-protein alternative that can be used in a change of cooking. It’s one of my favorite ways to cook with tofu because it’s so versatile.

You can whip up a batch of tofu ground beef and store it in the fridge to use for sauces – like a bolognese or lasagne, for example, – or to add to tacos, nachos, or other dishes to increase the flavor and protein content!

Ingredient Notes

The exact quantities of the ingredients you need for this recipe are included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here, I’ve added a few notes on the ingredients you need, plus a few potential substitutions you could make if you can’t eat/find a certain ingredient.

  • Tofu: You’ll need to use either Extra-Firm or Firm tofu for this recipe to give you the perfect crumbly texture. Silken tofu won’t work in the same way.
  • Tomato paste: Tomato paste or tomato puree packs a flavorful punch in this tofu ground beef, helping to thicken the marinade ingredients and add umami flavor.
  • Marmite: Believe it or not, marmite is a fantastic savory addition to this recipe. It also helps deepen the color of the tofu.
  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce also helps give the tofu ground beef that all-important salty, umami flavor.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil helps to coat the tofu and the other marinade ingredients for a crispy texture. If you don’t have olive oil, vegetable oil will also work.
  • Seasonings: Smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and cayenne chili powder make up the flavors in this recipe.

Substitutions & Variations

Here are a few potential substitutions and variations that work well in this recipe:

  • Add chipotle paste to give the tofu a smoky, spicy flavor that works perfect in Mexican-style cooking.
  • Adding some liquid smoke can be a great addition to the umami flavor of this tofu ground beef.

How To Make This Tofu Ground Beef Recipe

Again, the exact step-by-step instructions and ingredient quantities will be in the recipe card at the bottom of this page. Below is an overview of making this recipe, plus some process shots to help you visualize how this recipe should turn out.

Step 1) Crumble The Tofu

Drain your tofu and pat it dry with a clean cloth. Wrap the block of tofu in the cloth and give it a few gentle squeezes to remove as much of the excess water as possible. You can also press your tofu with a few heavy books for 30 minutes.

Crumble the tofu into a bowl using your hands. Aim to crumble the tofu enough to resemble a ‘mince’ texture.

Step 2) Make The Marinade

In another bowl, stir together the marinade ingredients. 

Step 3) Combine The Tofu with The Marinade

Pour ¾ of the marinade over the tofu and stir to fully coat it. Spread the tofu over a baking tray covered with baking paper.

Step 4) Bake

Bake the tofu for 15 – 20 minutes until it’s cooked and crispy. Pour the remaining sauce over the tofu and stir to coat it while still hot. This gives the tofu ground beef a bit of moisture again, perfect for using in a range of different recipes.

Expert Tips!

Spread the tofu evenly on the baking tray so it gets extra crispy all over. 

Make sure you’ve dried the tofu as much as possible – wet tofu won’t crispy up or absorb the flavors of the marinade as well. Aim for small crumbles, too. You don’t want big chunks of tofu in the mix.

What To Serve With Tofu Ground Beef

This recipe is so versatile, you can use it in so many different ways. Here are a few ideas:

  • Stir it into mac and cheese
  • Use in a hotpot
  • Use in a veggie chili recipe with nachos and guacamole
  • Use in tacos
  • Crumble over crispy mexican potatoes with avocado sauce
  • Use in pasta dishes, such as this red pepper pasta


Store your tofu ground beef in an airtight container for up to 3 – 5 days. You could also freeze it – some people prefer the taste of tofu after it’s been frozen, because it gives it a chewier texture.


What’s the best tofu to use for this recipe?

Use firm or extra-firm tofu for this recipe. You should be able to find this type of tofu in most stores. Avoid silken tofu for this recipe as it won’t work the same.

Does this tofu ground beef actually taste like ground beef?

If you are eating this tofu ground beef immediately after eating actual ground beef, then look, it’s probably not going to taste that similar.

However, it’s got a great texture and flavor to act as a substitute for ground beef for vegan and vegetarian recipes.

Can I fry the tofu ground beef?

You could fry the tofu instead of baking it. I like how crispy the tofu gets in the oven for minimal oil – you might need more oil for frying the tofu.

Other Tofu Recipes You’ll Like:

Tofu Ground Beef

Tofu Ground Beef

Yield: 2-3 portions
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This easy tofu ground beef recipe is ready in just 20 minutes and gives you crispy, chewy tofu perfect for using as a ground beef replacement.


  • 1 block (200g) extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne chili pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C | 395F.
  2. Drain the tofu and pat it dry with a clean cloth. Squeeze the tofu gently with the cloth to drain as much water out as possible.
  3. Crumble the tofu into a bowl using your hands, aiming for a ‘mince’ type of texture.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the marinade ingredients together.
  5. Pour ¾ of the marinade over the tofu, and stir to ensure every tofu crumble is fully coated.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Tip the tofu onto it and spread the tofu ground beef mixture evenly on the tray.
  7. Bake the tofu ground beef for 15 - 20 minutes until slightly crispy.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 201Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1444mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g

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