My mashed potato hash recipe:

  • ground meat (any kind)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cheese (any kind)
  • Herbs/spices (any kind)

Brown meat, drain fat into paper towel. Add mashed potatoes, cheese & herbs/spices, then brown mixture in the skillet with the meat, serve warm.

How do I make this recipe vegetarian? I’m asking because my stepsister is a vegetarian.

2 Answers 2


Short answer: You don't use the meat. In my experience, it tends to taste just fine if the herbs are right.

Longer (still short though) answer: You use a ground meat vegetarian substitute. This would depend on the kind of meat substitutes commonly available in your country. I see that you are from the US, so you should not have much trouble with this. I believe that my favourite, Quorn, is sold there as well and so you could try using the Quorn Mince which is the closest to ground meat I have seen yet. If not, at least one soy-based substitute will definitely be available at shops near you.

  • Until you told me I hadn’t heard of this stuff before! Nov 13, 2017 at 23:44
  • @AbrahamRay Glad I could be of some help then :). I really like Quorn as their substituteness is just another level compared to other stuff I tried, but, to my surprise after I became veg*n, you can really easily replace almost any kind of meat. Cheese is a tougher problem though. Also, good luck, I hope your stepsister will like all the stuff you decided to prepare for her :). Nov 14, 2017 at 8:36
  • if you can get plain extra firm tofu, press it real dry, crumble it down with a fork, and saute to hell with some finely diced mushrooms, plenty oil (in this special case, you WANT plenty of it absorbed!), and dark soy sauce (and/or tian mian jiang), maybe also some sugar... often a better ground meat sub than what you can buy ready. Dec 12, 2017 at 22:17

Grated cauliflower makes a surprisingly decent textural substitute for ground or minced meat, for those not keen on using processed substitutes. This idea comes from Richa Hingle's cookbook, Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen, but her recipe uses lots of lovely spices to flavour it, so don't blame Richa if you don't like my recipe!

Here is the basic method I use to prepare cauliflower as a meat substitute in a recipe:

Cauliflower replacement for cooked ground meat

  • 2 cups cauliflower (approx)
  • 1 red or white onion (about 1 scant cup)
  • 1-2 tsp neutral oil such as peanut, canola (rapeseed) or safflower
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce (or to taste) (replace with 1/2 veg bouillon cube or 1 tsp veg stock powder or 1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt if you hate soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (optional)
  1. Grate the cauliflower (yep, with a grater) and set aside
  2. Grate the onion and set aside
  3. Heat the oil and when fairly hot add the garlic and cook until golden
  4. Add the cauliflower and onion and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the soy sauce and a few tbsps of water, and cook until the cauliflower is tender (about 8 minutes).

A good nutritional substitute is lentils. Use puy or dark green lentils which don't break up when cooked.

Lentil replacement for cooked ground meat

  • 1 cup puy / dark green/brown lentils
  • 1.5 cups water (be ready to add more water if needed)
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato (about 1 medium tomato)
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce (or to taste) (replace with 1/2 veg bouillon cube or 1 tsp veg stock powder or 1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt if you hate soy sauce)
  1. Boil the lentils without salt (you are encouraged to add a bay leaf if available). Add a little more water if needed. Cook until tender (about 30 minutes, but age of the lentils affects cooking time).
  2. Heat the oil in another pan and when hot add the mustard seeds.
  3. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes and soy sauce / bouillon / salt, and cook until saucy, about 7 minutes again. Feel free to add herbs, chilli sauce etc if liked.
  5. Stir the lentils into the onion tomato mixture and cook gently for a few more minutes.

For those who want to replace cheese, one reasonable flavour substitute is a mixture of yeast extract (can be replaced with nutritional yeast) and cashew nut butter. Use 1/2 tsp of yeast extract or 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast per ~3 tbsp nut butter

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