Vegan Walnut Meat Crumbles are a savory oil-free plant-based meat alternative you can make in minutes with raw walnuts and simple seasonings. Unlike other walnut meat recipes, this one is made without mushrooms or beans.
All you need are 5 ingredients, 5 minutes, and a food processor. Enjoy them cold or warm in salads, pasta sauces, tacos, and more.
Tofu is a wonderful meat substitute in recipes like Tofu Meatballs and Crumbled Tofu Tacos. But when I'm looking for a simple ingredient that can mimic the texture of ground meat with very little preparation, I turn to raw walnuts.
Seasoned walnut meat crumbles are perfect in Vegan Bolognese and other pasta sauces. Plus you can add them to nachos, tacos, chili, burrito bowls and salads.
This no cook recipe complements a wide variety of dishes. And since it's ready to eat in only 5 minutes, it may become your new favorite plant-based protein source!
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's super flavorful yet only requires 5 ingredients.
- You can make it in 5 minutes and enjoy hot or cold.
- It can be added to your favorite recipes as a wholesome vegan ground meat substitute.
Raw walnuts: Look for bags of shelled raw walnuts. If halves and pieces are available, they are usually less expensive than the whole ones. Since we will be making them into crumbles, broken walnuts are perfectly fine.
Smoked paprika: Paprika can be found in three different forms, sweet, hot, and smoked. For this recipe, I like to use smoked paprika, which is made from smoked and dried peppers. As you can guess, it has a smoky flavor.
Substitutions and variations
Tamari: If you are not following a gluten-free diet, you can substitute soy sauce in place of tamari, if you prefer. Choose low-sodium or reduced sodium if you are following a low-sodium diet. You can also reduce the amount used in the recipe or use coconut aminos.
Seasonings: Feel free to experiment with your favorite seasonings, especially in place of the smoked paprika. Sweet paprika or seasoning blends like taco seasoning or Italian seasoning are tasty options.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Place the walnuts and seasonings in the bowl of a food processor.
- Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as necessary, until small crumbles are formed. The walnut meat is ready to eat as is, or you can heat it up on the stove, in the oven, or in your favorite sauce.
Vegan walnut meat crumbles work well in many dishes where you would normally use ground beef or other meat.
- Stir them into pasta sauces like Vegan Bolognese or Tomato Paste Pasta Sauce.
- Add them to veggie tacos like Sweet Potato Tacos or Mushroom Tacos.
- Include them in taco salads, Quinoa Burrito Bowls, and Butternut Squash Buddha Bowls.
- Mix them into Vegan Black Bean Chili.
Store the crumbles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For best results, freezing is not recommended.
Some people find that raw walnuts are easier to digest if they are soaked in water before consuming. Feel free to soak the walnuts for 30 minutes or even overnight, then rinse and drain them before proceeding with this recipe.
Walnut meat has an earthy, buttery, savory flavor. The texture is a little crunchy and dense.
Walnut meat does not need to be cooked. You can enjoy it straight from the food processor. However, you can cook it if you prefer it warm. And you can cook it in other dishes like pasta sauces and chili.
More "meaty" vegan recipes
And for even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Vegan Walnut Meat Crumbles
- 2 cups raw walnuts*, (whole or halves and pieces)
- 2 Tablespoons tamari**, (or substitute soy sauce if not gluten-free)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
- Process until small crumbles are formed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Do not overprocess.
- Enjoy them in your favorite dishes as is, or warm them up in a skillet or in the oven on a baking sheet. No oil is required.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
In the directions it says you can use a crumbles “as is”, but there is no liquid and they are also raw. I know you said you can soak them, but how would you use them as is for a meat dish? Did I miss something in the recipe? Thanks!
Hi Melissa, you can add the crumbles to any dish you like, or heat them up in a sauce, if you like. You don’t need to add liquid or soak them since walnuts are naturally soft when ground. I hope this helps!