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Walnut Meat (4 Ways)

Walnut Meat is a fantastic, healthy alternative to its ground predecessor! Made with walnuts, mushrooms and spices, it’s quick, easy and amazingly delicious!

head on view walnut meat in a bowl with items surrounding.

This raw nut meat is crumbly with a nice texture, and is full of flavor! Plus, it’s easily customizable for Mexican, Italian, or Indian cuisines by changing up the spices.

What does walnut meat taste like? The walnuts have musty, bittersweet flavors with a thick, oily texture. And the mushrooms are earthy with a softer, meaty texture. Together they blend up into wonderful vegan ground meat replacement.

If you don’t care for mushrooms, I assure you that you cannot tell they are there, in taste or texture. But if you don’t want to try my way, you can always replace them with more walnuts or cooked lentils.

One of the reasons I love the addition of mushrooms in the walnut meat is to help make a good serving size without too much fat. Although the walnuts are full of good fats, too much is too much. It just made perfect sense that mushrooms should be a key ingredient in raw nutmeat.

Both the mushrooms and walnuts used in this recipe are full of goodness. Together this recipe is full of omega’s, protein, healthy fats, and trace minerals!

So without further ado, let’s un-cook something wonderful!

top down view of ingredients used to make walnut meat.

What Ingredients are in Walnut Meat?

This savory mixture includes walnuts, mushrooms, tamari, and spices of choice.

These are just a few ideas for how to change it up:

  • Mexican: Make walnut taco meat using spices like cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder, cayenne, coriander, paprika, cilantro and/or lime.
  • Italian flavor: Use oregano, basil, marjoram, sun dried tomatoes, sage, thyme, rosemary, Italian seasoning, or Herbs de Provence.
  • American: Garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Indian: Garlic, onion or ginger powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, garam masala, and/or cayenne.

You can see there are many ways to change up the spices to suit the cuisine type you are cooking, you’ll just need to play with the spices to find your perfect fit.

side by side photos showing the process of making walnut meat in a food processor.

How To Make Walnut Meat

(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)

  • Simply add the walnuts, mushrooms, tamari and spices to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Give a pulses until just combined and crumbly, as shown above.

And that’s it, now you’re ready to use it any way you like!

Top Tips

  • Don’t over-process. Over-processing will turn the mixture into a pate texture.
  • Warm it up. You can easily warm up the nut mixture over low heat or in the microwave until warmed through.
  • Can I omit the mushrooms? Yes, if you don’t care to use mushrooms, simply replace them with additional walnuts or cooked lentils.
  • How do you store leftovers? Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 4 days. It’s not recommended to freeze.
  • If you have nut sensitivities, you may want to soak the cashews in cool water for 8 hours before using them to remove the phytates and tannins.
top down view of walnut meat in wooden spoon with item in the background.

How To Use Walnut Meat

side angle view walnut meat in a bowl with items surrounding.

More Easy Topping Recipes!

side angle view of healthy vegan taco salad with items surrounding.

Let me know if you try this raw nut meat recipe or have a question! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

WALNUT MEAT (4 WAYS)

Walnut Meat (aka raw nut meat) is a fantastic, healthy alternative vegan faux ground meat made with walnuts, mushrooms and spices. It’s quick, easy and amazingly delicious!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Yield: Serves 3
  • Category: How-to
  • Method: food processor
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale

Walnut Meat Base:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tamri (nama shoyu or soy sauce)
  • salt + pepper, to taste

Mexican:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or cayenne)

Italian:

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (or garlic powder)

Indian:

  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (or garam masala)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or onion powder)

American:

  • 3/41 teaspoon EACH garlic and onion powder
  • salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions

Pulse to combine: Simply add the walnuts, mushrooms, tamari and spices to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until just combined and crumbly. Careful not to over process or it will turn smooth like pate.

Taste for seasoning, adding more of any spice you like.

Warm it up: Optionally, heat on the stove over low heat, stirring frequently until warmed through. Alternatively, heat in the microwave using 15 second intervals, stirring between each, until warm. Just don’t overcook.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Serves 3

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 4 days.

Notes

Full list of flavor variations to play with:

  • Mexican: Make taco meat with spices like cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder, cayenne, coriander, paprika, cilantro and/or lime.
  • Italian flavor: Use oregano, basil, marjoram, sun dried tomatoes, sage, thyme, rosemary, Italian seasoning, or Herbs de Provence.
  • American: Garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Indian: Garlic, onion or ginger powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, garam masala, and/or cayenne.

If you have nut sensitivities, you may want to soak the cashews in cool water for 8 hours before using to remove the phytates and tannins.

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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31 Comments

  1. Absolutely delicious! Must try the different spice combinations. But the Mexican spices and my taco simmer sauce saved the evening! Thank you!

  2. I am so happy to have found this! After reading about the questionable healthiness of meat substitutes like Beyond and Impossible, I was looking for a ground beef substitute made with with simple ingredients. This was great, both simple ingredients, healthy and fairly simple to make. I used it to make Cincinnati Chili spaghetti sauce. The texture was a little crunchier than with beef, but with the sauce made with “Walnut meat”, I felt so much better after the meal than when I would make it with lean ground beef. No more indigestion! Thank you very much for sharing!

  3. Kathleen McCluskey says:

    Can you make burgers with this recipe, or does anyone have a soy free, gluten free vegan recipe for walnut mushroom burgers?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Kathleen! This recipe works best alone as a topping or filling. Making mushroom burgers would take a few more ingredients, especially a binder. I don’t have a mushroom burger recipe at the moment and haven’t made any to recommend. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

    2. Absolutely! 1st use the nutmeat plus oats, some chopped onion, garlic, the minced type in a jar, a bit of salt, and any other herbs or spices you enjoy (see suggestions listed above)Add eggs and stir through until wet. Let stand in fridge until thickened an hour or two or over night. Make into small Pattie’s. Fry well on first side and turn gently. Add oats and/egg as needed for the right consistency to hold together while frying. Enjoy with catsup, mustard, mayonnaise or all three. Add lettuce, tomato, and a slice of onion. Enjoy! Yum!!

  4. My family LOVED this walnut meat SO much! We used it on taco salad and it was absolutely delicious! So much better than store bought crumbles – and super easy! I do not have a food processor so I just chopped the walnuts using my nut chopper and chopped the mushrooms by hand into small pieces. It worked great! I also baked it a bit in the oven – 375 F for about 20 minutes just to warm and firm it up a bit. I am not a big mushroom fan but you seriously cannot taste them in this! Don’t waste any time – try this recipe today! I can’t wait to try it with pasta one night!

  5. Hello. I’ve been eating a variation of this that I love so much for a few years but it recently starting making me sick to my stomach. What can I do about the phytates and tannins in this particular recipe? I don’t’ want to have to stop making it altogether but I’m guessing soaking the walnuts in water won’t work. Please help! I don’t eat meat and this is my last option.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Amber! You can definitely soak the walnuts in cool water for 8 hours and let them dry before using them to help remove some of the phytates and tannins. This is especially helpful if you have sensitivities. I also suggest eating walnut meat in moderation, maybe 2 – 3 times per week at most. I hope that helps!

      1. Could you soak the walnuts, rinse then use them in the recipe to create a ‘wetter’ mix that might work for a more mince like texture do you think?

        1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

          Sure, you can try that!

    2. You could also try using sprouted walnuts, that helps reduce the sensitivities.

  6. Amazing!!! My daughter and I used this for our burritos! It was SO good. She’s not a mushroom fan but she couldn’t really taste them and ate the whole thing. I will definitely be using this recipe for a lot of things! Thank you so much!

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