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Plant-Based Meat 

Abbot’s Butcher Vegan Ground “Beef” Review

These plant-based crumbles cook quickly and beef up your meals with richly flavorful, simple ingredients.

EV Rating
star rating

These plant-based crumbles cook quickly and beef up your meals with richly flavorful, simple ingredients.

Taste

Porcini mushrooms provide a pleasing earthy flavor while garlic, onion and thyme, among other herbs, build a just-robust-enough blend.

Price

A box is typically $7.99 at Target. It’s enough for two people or next-day leftovers. While not cheap, per se, I think it’s adequately priced for the amount and quality.

Texture

Pea protein accentuates the mushrooms’ chewy texture to create tender crumbles that successfully mimic real ground beef.

EV’s Take on Abbot’s Butcher Plant-based Beef

Abbot’s Butcher makes ground plant meats from simple ingredients, allowing home chefs to create plant-based versions of their favorite meals. They have two flavors of vegan chicken crumbles and a chorizo that I reviewed recently. But for this review, I’m sampling another vegan substitute for a much-loved meat: ground beef. 

If you are vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian—or just taking a peek into the plant-based world—you probably have your reasons for avoiding beef. There are so many different benefits of skipping the steak. Humane treatment of animals. Reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Heart-healthy diet choices. I’m sure there are more I’m not covering.

So when vegan meat brands like Abbot’s Butcher release a delicious alternative to animal protein, it’s easy to say, “Why not? I’ll try it” given all of the good reasons to put it on your plate. And my official recommendation is, yes, do try it!

Abbot’s Butcher focuses on using simple, whole food ingredients, and this is evident in their vegan ground beef. This product isn’t trying to be a near-perfect imitation of beef, in the style of a Beyond or Impossible burger. Rather, Abbot’s Butcher puts their own spin on the original: the veggie-ful flavors and slightly different texture are what makes their beef special—and really delicious. 

What Is Abbot’s Butcher Beef Made Of?

Their beef is crafted in large part with porcini mushrooms. These create a warm, earthy aroma during cooking and deliver a juicy, meaty texture and umami flavor. The mushrooms and pea protein form a dynamic duo here, ensuring the crumbles have a chewy bite—not unlike meat, but not unlike hearty vegetables, either. And I love how this “beef” showcases the best of both worlds.

Pea protein is the first ingredient listed on the back of their ground beef package. This provides—you guessed it—a good serving of protein. A half-cup serving of their ground beef contains 18 grams of protein, which comes very close to real beef’s 22 grams. 

After pea protein, Abbot’s Butcher keeps their ingredient list pretty straightforward, with plant foods we all recognize like tomato paste, porcini mushrooms, onion and thyme. Extra virgin olive oil is in there too, which assists in crisping up your crumbles as they cook. You don’t need to add much more oil to the pan, especially if you’re trying to eat healthier. 

Because of their less processed ingredients, Abbot’s Butcher’s beef alternative does have some nutritional advantages over cow’s beef. The same amount of real beef has about double the fat, more calories and more cholesterol.

Wait, What Is Pea Protein?

If you keep seeing pea protein in plant-based foods and have no idea what it is, you’re not alone. This ingredient has been somewhat of a mystery to me as a newer vegan. Essentially, amino acids—what protein is made up of—are extracted from yellow split peas and this is added to food as a powder or in a textured form. It’s a natural source of fibrous plant protein that is easy to digest and enables those with soy or other allergies to enjoy plant-based meat substitutes.

How to Cook Abbot’s Butcher Vegan Beef

The package says to heat your pan, lightly coat with oil and sauté the grounds “until thoroughly browned—about 8 to 10 minutes.” This can seem strange at first, since the meat is already brown. But now that I’ve cooked the beef a few times, I know that 9 minutes does the trick. Once you hear the meat crisping and feel the rougher texture as you stir intermittently, you can take it off the heat.

For my very first time trying the beef, I simply sautéed and added the crumbles onto a pre-made salad for an extra easy dinner. I immediately loved the flavor and the meaty texture it added to my salad. Later, I used leftovers from that package to put together tacos. The plant-based meat was a great vegan replacement for real ground beef and was delicious on a warm tortilla with all the fixings. 

More Vegan “Beef” Recipes

Abbot’s Butcher beef offers an exceptionally easy, quick way to add more flavor, chew and nutritional value to your meals. Besides tossing into your salad, another simple weeknight option is this chunky “beef” chili that tops off creamy baked potatoes.

Next on my list of meaty vegan meals? An incredibly satisfying pasta bolognese that made eating (mostly) healthy, whole foods feel decadent. While this review is not sponsored, Abbot’s Butcher kindly sent me a little kit to put this Italian staple together, complete with their beef, a gluten-free fusilli and Rao’s marinara!

The plant-based beef crumbles added even more flavor to the tomato sauce and made for a rich and hearty bolognese. Also, the pasta they sent me—Jovial’s organic brown rice pasta—was the best gluten-free pasta I’ve had yet. I do not usually opt for gluten-free foods, so I was very impressed by the “real” pasta taste and texture. With some Wegmans shredded plant-based parmesan sprinkled on top, this was a meal to remember—and create again and again.

Where Can I Buy Abbot’s Butcher Vegan Ground Beef?

Oh, you want to try it now? I had a feeling you would!

The only store near me that carries Abbot’s Butcher is Target. But their products are available at a large variety of big-box and smaller grocery stores. Large grocers that carry them include Whole Foods, Sprouts and The Fresh Market. 

We hope you enjoy this vegan ground beef just as much as we did. Let us know what you create with it in the comments. Happy eating!

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Comments

  • Just tried your vegan ground beef and I love it. I appreciate the simple ingredients – I cant eat other products as they irritate my stomach.

  • I wouldn’t give it a 4 out of 5. This is a 5. My husband thought he was eating chicken and asked me if I had made a mistake. I made shepherds pie out of the “beef” and it’s perfect. Very satisfying taste and texture. I’m very excited to have found a healthy meat substitute. It makes cooking and meal planning much easier.

  • I love it.The mushrooms put it above all the other plant based beef I’ve tried. It’s not like eating spiced soy at all and they have carefully monitored the flavor while designing it.
    Perfect.

  • Both the chicken and the ground beef have an off chemical taste. No matter how I tried to season or sauce it, the plant based meat tasted the same. I wanted to like this product because the macros are great. Many other products out there that are better without the chemical taste.

  • I am trying to use Abbot’s 10 oz. “Ground Beef” in a recipe calling for 16 oz. real ground beef and can’t find any reference to how to use the equivalent replacement in recipes…frustrated! But looking forward to trying it. Fingers crossed.

    • Hi, Katie! In my experience, I would use 1:1 in terms of weight. So you’d need 16 ounces of Abbot’s ground beef to replace 16 ounces beef. One of my minor “beefs” with plant-based brands is that they often sell it in odd-sized packaging, which makes it difficult to replace it directly. In your case, you’d need to buy two packages of Abbot’s and use one and half containers.

      What are you making? You might be able to supplement the Abbot’s with something else (6 ounces of cooked red lentils or 6 ounces of minced, cooked mushrooms)

      • I’m making a Thermomix recipe of Creole Baked Beans. And since the recipe is flexible enough I just used the single 10 oz. Of Abbot’s “ground beef” instead of the recipe 16 oz. Mostly because I only had a single package anyway. They smell amazing and I’m looking forward to dinner. Definitely unfortunate that the packages are non-standard.

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