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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 full of flavor! Plus, changing up the spices easily makes it customizable for Mexican, Italian, or Indian cuisines.

What does walnut meat taste like? Walnuts have musty, bittersweet flavors and a thick, oily texture. Mushrooms are earthy with a softer, meaty texture. Together, they blend into wonderful vegan ground meat replacements.

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 few 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)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 11 reviews

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, soy sauce, or coconut aminos)
  • 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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41 Comments

  1. Hi, the recipe sounds awesome! But the mushroom is raw, right? Is there any way around that? I assume cooking it would make it soggy…

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, the mushrooms are raw. You can lightly saute the mixture before using it if you prefer to lightly cook the mushrooms and warm up the mixture. Hope that helps!

  2. Coach Comeback says:

    will the consistency be “sticky” enough to make burgers out of the mixture? Or should something be added for packing?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      No, the walnut meat isn’t sticky and really is not meant to be used as patties for burgers. It works best as a topping for salads or pizza or as a filler for tacos, burritos, lasagna, etc. I hope that helps, and sorry I couldn’t be of more help turning them into burger patties!

  3. Can this be used “in” lasagna as opposed to “on top” of the lasagna. I’d love to used this in place of vegan ground beef. Will it get too soggy? I plan to use lentil instead of the mushrooms .

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It should be fine in lasagna, especially if using lentils. Would love to know how it goes, it’s super helpful to others as well!

  4. I’ve heard of people soaking the walnuts before cooking them before processing them. Do you recommend this step? I’m thinking of doing that before lightly cooking the walnuts, later adding the mushrooms, so I can season the ground while cooking. In my head, that’s what’s supposed to happen because that’s what I would do with meat, but maybe veggies are different?

  5. Allergic to walnuts. What is the Best substitute nut? Will any type of nut do?

  6. Natalie Everett says:

    I used the Mexican recipe, and was quite satisfied this both the taste and the speed with which I was able to throw this together! I put my “taco meat” into a Southwest chopped salad from the grocery store. I feel full and satisfied.






    1. Can I use a blender instead of food processor??

      1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

        Great question, Naye! I have not tried using a blender, but it should work just as well with patience and a light hand. Just be sure to not over blend it, or it will turn into a pate.

  7. Hi, it sounds great! Absolutely great. But is there any substitute for tamari souce (for no soya and gluten meal)? Or would it taste great when leaving out the tamari? Have no clue… Thanks…

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, you can coconut aminos in place of tamari – it’s soy, gluten, and wheat free. If you don’t want to sub with that, just add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of water. Do let us know how it goes!

      1. Can I use this vegan meat in cooking or just add it at the end, like in spaghetti or curry

        1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

          Great questions, Iva! I would add it at the end for best results. You can gently warm it before using. I worry if you cook with it the mushrooms will cook too much, but it might be possible if you’re up for an experiment.

  8. I used the American version of this to make a Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pizza. I was delighted at the flavor. It tasted like meat without that lingering aftertaste I get from Beyond Meat. In fact, my kid didn’t know it was a non-meat meal until I told him after dinner. This is a keeper!






  9. This is the BEST meat substitute I have found yet! Here are a few tips: I used whole button mushrooms and washed them a few hours before using them and actually dried them off a bit with a paper towel, then let them sit in a bowl with more paper towels in the ‘fridge so that they would not add moisture to the mix. I found that 2 cups of sliced mushrooms (which required just over one 8-ounce package of button mushrooms) + 2 cups of walnuts resulted in 2 cups of “meat” which = 1 pound of ground beef. I’m so thankful for this recipe because I don’t like using the frozen fake meat which I know is not full of the best ingredients. THANK YOU!!!!






    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay, so glad this worked well for you! Thank you so much for the tips, and enjoy! :)

  10. Great idea. I love walnuts. Will try this soon, and maybe with pasta and vegan chv. BTW the link from my email to your site went smoothly on my iPad. For some reason the attempt on my iMac was impossible. I think VPN could help in this situation. I think yahoo is now running all emails via a “scan and retain” procedure ie just like all iPhone communications are saved in a vault in mid-America. NSA Just thought I would add that bit of info. What a world we live in nowadays.

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