Beyond Meat is a brand of plant-based "meat" products. Made from a combination of plant-based proteins and fats, Beyond Meat is available in grocery stores and on restaurant menus. It is cooked and served just like regular meat, from ground beef to links like sausages and pre-formed patties that resemble hamburgers.
What Is Beyond Meat?
Beyond Meat is a brand of plant-based, vegan meat alternatives that cook and taste like meat. It is made up of a combination of pea and brown rice proteins, fats such as coconut and canola, minerals including calcium and iron, along with natural flavorings and colors. The combination of ingredients and how they are processed results in an authentically meaty texture, appearance, and flavor. It is sold in grocery stores as patties, sausages, and crumbles, and can be prepared just like real beef or pork. As a specialty item, it tends to be more expensive than regular ground beef or sausage.
How to Cook Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat products are cooked exactly like meat. Products are sold ready to cook with no further prep needed. The ground "beef" can be used in the same manner and recipes as real ground beef. Cook and crumble in a pan to make tacos, pasta sauce, or chili. Form into meatballs or burgers, and cook in a skillet or oven. Patties should be treated like burgers or sausage patties, respectively, either cooked on the grill or in a skillet. Link sausages can be handled similarly, browned in a pan, roasted, grilled, or sliced and added to soups. The Beyond Meat crumbles are already cooked and should simply be heated through from frozen.
What Does Beyond Meat Taste Like?
Beyond Meat tastes remarkably similar to beef. It is iron-rich, fatty in the same way as ground beef, and lightly salty. It has a slightly crumbly, hearty texture, markedly similar to ground beef or sausage (depending on the product). Sausages and crumbles have added spices and herbs for more flavor. It's not uncommon for people to eat it and not realize they aren't consuming beef.
Beyond Meat vs. Impossible Burger
Two Silicone Valley heavy hitters have emerged in the plant-based meat industry, both with the goal of reducing carbon emissions caused by the beef industry. While the two companies share similar goals and end products, their ingredient lists differ. Beyond Meat has a base of pea, brown rice, and mung bean protein; while Impossible Burger's main ingredients are potato and pea protein. Impossible has (on average) more protein with 19 grams per four-ounce serving. Beyond Meat is, however, lower in saturated fat. Beyond Meat is easier to find in the grocery, and while both are popular in restaurants, Impossible tends to be a favorite of restaurant chefs.
Beyond Meat is sold in supermarkets in a few different variations:
- Beyond Beef: The vegan equivalent to ground beef, this product is sold in 1-pound packages.
- Beyond Burgers: The same basic product as Beyond Beef but formed into burger patties.
- Beyond Sausage: A vegan "pork sausage" link product available in original brats and Italian sausage.
- Beyond Breakfast Sausage: A ready-to-cook item mimicking sausage patties available in classic and spicy.
- Beyond Beef Crumbles: Frozen, already cooked "beef" crumbles.
Beyond Meat Recipes
Beyond Meat products can be used in any recipes that call for ground beef, burger patties, or sausage. Follow the recipe as written, substituting the appropriate Beyond Meat product. If using Beef Crumbles instead of Beyond Beef in a recipe, skip any browning, and add the meat in the last few minutes just to heat it through.
Swap Beyond Meat for the beef or pork called for in these recipes to make them vegetarian or vegan:
- Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili
- Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Savory Breakfast Muffins
- Sausage and Cabbage Stew With Beans and Tomatoes
Where to Buy Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat is available at a number of supermarkets and grocery stores in the meat aisle, vegetarian refrigerated food section, and the freezer aisle (especially Beyond Beef Crumbles, which are sold frozen). Burgers are sold in two-patty packages totaling one-half pound, sausages are sold in packs of four, and Beyond Beef is sold in 16-ounce packages. All of these items are packaged to look similar to their corresponding meat products. Always check the expiration date before buying.
Beyond Meat can also be found on restaurant menus, from fast-food chains to burger joints to cafés. Food menus will specify if Beyond Meat is used.
Storing Beyond Meat
All Beyond Meat products, except Crumbles or other frozen sausages, should be stored in the refrigerator in their original container and used within a week or before the expiration date. Once open, store the excess in a sealed container and use all Beyond Meat products within a few days. Crumbles should remain frozen until ready to cook, and do not need to be thawed before using. Unfrozen Beyond Meat products can be frozen, tightly wrapped for up to three months.
Nutrition and Benefits of Beyond Meat
Depending on the Beyond Meat product, a serving can contain 11 to 20 grams of plant-based protein. Most Beyond Meat products are 35 percent lower in saturated fat than their meat counterparts (ground beef and pork sausage). Much like red meat, Beyond Meat is high in iron and low in carbohydrates. Gluten and soy-free, Beyond Meat easily fits into many diets.