Let’s be honest — most vegan synthetic meat is unappetizing. I’ve been following a vegan diet for a year now, and I’ve tried more vegan meats than I can count. Out of all of the vegan ground beef products on the market, Trader Joe’s Beef-less Ground Beef takes the cake. Its texture is perfectly crumbly, it’s well seasoned and it cooks in just a few minutes. Here are three ways to transform this plant-based protein!

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Tasty Lettuce Cups

One day, I was really craving some lettuce cups from my favorite restaurant in my 

hometown. After some experimentation, I created a vegan version! 

Ingredients (makes 3 lettuce cups):

  • ⅓ of a package of Trader Joe’s Beef-less Ground Beef
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup sliced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of a shredded carrot
  • 3 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • Furikake seasoning to taste
  • Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette


  1. Finely chop the mushrooms and white onion. 
  2. In a large pan, combine the mushrooms, onion and minced garlic.
  3. Sauté the mushrooms and onions over medium heat for a few minutes until the onion pieces become translucent. 
  4. Add in the Beef-less Ground Beef and cook the mixture for 5 minutes before adding in the soy sauce and hoisin sauce.
  5. To serve, place the Beef-less Ground Beef mixture into a lettuce cup and top it with shredded carrot, furikake seasoning and spicy peanut vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Beefless Tacos

Everyone loves a good taco. Here’s a plant-based swap!

Ingredients (makes 5 tacos):

  • ½ a package of Trader Joe’s Beef-less Ground Beef
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • ½ of an onion, thinly sliced
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Lettuce for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a nonstick skillet lightly coated with coconut oil, cook the bell pepper and onion slices on medium heat.
  2. Add paprika, cumin, salt and pepper to the skillet. I usually aim for 1 teaspoon of each spice.
  3. After 10 minutes, add in the Beef-less Ground Beef and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Fill a corn tortilla with the taco “meat” and garnish with lettuce, avocado and a hot sauce of your choosing, like Cholula. If you want to be extra fancy, you can make your own guacamole! 

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

I must confess, I make this dish at least twice a week. It’s definitely my comfort meal of choice.  

Ingredients (makes 3 servings):

  • ½ a package of Trader Joe’s Beef-less Ground Beef
  • 1 cup of brown-rice pasta
  • ⅔ cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 14-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • ⅓ cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cup of marinara sauce
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Cook the brown rice pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. In a separate small pan, combine the onion, mushrooms, garlic and spices. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add in the diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, water and Beef-less Ground Beef. Cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  4. In a bowl, pour the bolognese sauce over the base of pasta and serve! 


If you’re looking to eat more meatless meals during the week, give these recipes a try! While it may not taste exactly like beef, this plant-based substitute eliminates the hassle of cooking meat and cuts down on the environmental impact of the cattle industry. Head to Trader Joe’s before this fan favorite sells out!


Stephanie Gerson
Stephanie Gerson is a fourth-year Art History major and On the Menu Co-Editor. She can usually be found taking long walks, wandering about museums or grocery shopping.