17 Best Lamb Substitutes ( For Vegan and Meat Lovers)

Lamb is a delicious ingredient that adds a distinctive taste to many dishes. The only problem is that some people are vegetarian; Lamb can be pretty expensive; because of this, we are constantly looking for more affordable replacement that will work well for your dishes.

Here is the best Lamb substitutes Goat meat, Veal, Veal shanks, Beef, Pork, Turkey legs, Oxtails, Chicken, Beef short ribs, Tempeh, Tofu, mutton, Beef shank, Brisket, Skirt steak, Seitan, Mushrooms.

However, this blog will discuss the highest-quality lamb substitutes that can alternate lamb meat in all your dishes for vegans and meat lovers.

What Is Lamb

Lamb is a young sheep that is not less than a year old. What makes the meat soft and tender is the fact that the sheep is not older than 12 months. When it comes to cooking Lamb, know different cuts of meat require different preparation and cooking method. 

Therefore, the cooking method can be grilled or roasted with veggie side dishes. You can add seasoning while it is cooked for a better taste and flavor. Also, know that lamb meat is very tender, so do not overcook it to avoid dry, chewy meat.

However, Lamb’s shoulder and legs are the parts of the Lamb that are usually hard, which causes the meat in these cuts to be more challenging than others, requiring long, slow cooking to tenderize it adequately.

Different Lamb Cuts and Their Preparations

1. The shoulder and legs have wonderful intense flavors and are some of the more flavorful cuts of the Lamb if cooked well. They are ideal choices for slow-roasting, barbecuing, or stewing.

2. Lamb chops, or cutlets, are the most expensive lamb cuts as they are incredibly flavorful and tender. They work wonderfully well when pan-roasted and are commonly served with mashed potatoes or salads.

3. lamb loin chops also come with rich flavors that develop the taste of heaven when grilling or barbecuing.

4. lamb leg. If you are preparing lamb leg, marinate it beforehand, allowing the meat to tenderize and absorb all the flavors from the spices.

5. Rack of Lamb is the most popular meat cut and the most complicated when it comes to preparation but different methods like braising, grilling, and roasting can give excellent results.

6. Neck or ground lamb meat, this is the cuts in the Lamb that are cheap and great. You can choose to get the most bang for your buck. They are both pretty affordable, yet they still go a long way if you cook them correctly.

Meanwhile, avoid overcooking, whatever cut and cooking method you choose, as it will completely change the texture of the meat.

Read on; let’s get started on lamb substitutes!

Best Lamb Substitutes

In this post, we have 17 best lamb substitutes; whether you’re looking for a replacement that tastes precisely like Lamb with its unique flavor or you are a vegetarian, vegan, or meat lover, we’ve got you secured!

1. Mutton

A sheep older than 12 months is no longer called Lamb but mutton. Also, mutton is not as mild as Lamb, but it has a more robust flavor and taste. However, you will also notice that mutton is a bit tougher and denser, so it will require a longer cooking time.

So, knowing that both types of meat come from the same animal, they have similar flavors and tastes, making it a good lamb substitute.

2. Goat

Goat is the best option when it comes to lamb substitutes. It has the same softness, tenderness, and gamey flavor that Lamb is known for. Also, lamb meat is mild and neutral, while goat meat is sweet, with a subtle hint of gamey flavor and less cholesterol than Lamb.

Also, goat is a healthy option cause it is loaded with high protein and ideal for slow-cooked dishes such as stews, curry, roasts, and soups. You can always marinate the meat before the cooking option, as it will enhance the flavor of the meat and its juicy texture.

3. Veal

Veal is lamb substitutes derived from young cow calves because they can’t produce milk. Veal meat is famous for its pale and tender texture. It also has a delicate taste that works for many recipes.

So, veal is healthier than lamb meat if you are seeking a low-calorie, low-fat diet. However, veal flesh is used in various traditional cuisines, such as many Mediterranean, Italian, and French cuisines.

Veal can also be used in soups and stews or as a filling for ravioli and osso buco.

4. Veal Shanks

Veal shanks are another veal cut that can be substituted for Lamb. The bone in the leg is located between the shoulder and the knee. It can be expensive and is not usually used as lamb substitutes.

Also, veal shank is popularly used in an Italian dish called Italian braised veal shanks. It has a more prosperous, exceptionally robust flavor that will make your dishes taste better.

5. Beef

Beef is usually used as lamb substitutes. The texture and how you cook are both similar. Beef is also widely available in every supermarket.

 When using beef as a substitute for Lamb, know that they have different flavor profiles, so be mindful of the dish type and how you use it. Beef has a more robust flavor than Lamb, best used in dishes like stews and soups.

6. Pork

Yes, you can use pork meat as lamb substitutes. Pork meat has a juicy taste similar to Lamb, which is very popular. Marinating pork with lemon, garlic, oregano, and pepper is best to give it a similar flavor profile since Lamb is red while pork is white.

Also, avoid using lean cuts for stew when cutting pork, as they will dry out during prolonged cooking. However, you can replace the stew meat with pork roasts such as shoulder roast, sirloin roast, blade roast, or baby back ribs. It will not have that beefy flavor, but you will be fine.

7. Turkey Legs

I know you will like turkey legs as lamb substitutes. They are cut from the turkey’s thigh, just below the knee. It has a mild and neutral flavor, just like Lamb, and they are a cheap lamb alternative.

So, with the right spices and seasoning, you can alternate it with Lamb in all recipes. Also, it is suitable for slow cooking, where you can roast or grill it. Ensure you don’t overcook it, too, to avoid it from becoming dry and chewy.

8. Oxtails

Are you wondering what it is? Oxtails, well, oxtails, are derived from a cow’s tail and can serve as lamb substitutes in certain dishes. They have a very similar texture to Lamb but a different taste.

However, oxtails can replace Lamb in slow cooking like stews, soups, and roasts, giving them the most needed juicy flavor and taste.

9. Chicken

Chicken is the most widely used poultry meat, which is used as an excellent lamb substitute in many dishes and is very easy to prepare. Chicken thighs or chicken breasts  can be use to replace Lamb with its tender, neutral, and flavorful nature.

Although Lamb and chicken are two different meat, chicken can replace Lamb in many dishes worldwide, such as salads, sandwiches, burgers, curries, gyro, or roasts with potatoes and mixed veggies. 

Meanwhile, when preparing chicken, ensure you do it at an average temperature so you won’t end up with chewy, dry, and flavorless meat.

10. Short Beef Ribs

Beef short ribs are taken from the chuck region of beef, consisting of 5 ribs. But the meat is not as tender as Lamb, so it requires slow-cooking or braising to boost the flavor and preserve its juicy nature.

So, beef short ribs can serve as Lamb substitutes almost in all recipes.

11. Beef Shank

A beef shank is a tough cut of meat taken from the steer’s forearm and upper hind legs. It is very popular with a vibrant flavor. It is the best lamb substitutes, especially lamb shank.

Also, it is not as tender as Lamb, but with the proper treatment and cooking, you can turn it into a tender plate of juicy and flavorful meat.

However, when preparing beef shank, additional moisture is needed to retain its juiciness since it is tricky. So, if not properly cooked, just like lamb cuts, the beef shank will become relatively flavorless and dry, losing all its natural juices. 

12. Brisket

Brisket is a beef cut from a cow’s lower breast or pectoral muscles. Because this area is so well-exercised, it is tough and full of connective tissue. So, it is not best suited for low and slow cooking.

Meanwhile, these cow meat cuts consist of the fatty point cut and the leaner flat cut. However, when using brisket as lamb substitutes, as lean as Lamb can be, it is better to go for the fatty cut of the brisket because it gives more taste and flavor due to the fat content.

13. Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is an extended, flat cut of beef from the plate section, one of the most flavorful, delicious, and fattier cow parts. Also, marinating the meat before grilling is best to absorb the marinade flavors quite well.

Since it is flavorful, it can be used as Lamb substitutes almost in all recipes.

So, let’s move down to vegetarian lamb substitutes

Vegetarian Lamb Substitutes

If you are a vegan, you have not left out; some easy replacements to alternate Lamb in your recipe exist. Here we have it!

1. Seitan

Seitan is vegetarian meat substitutes, making it the best lamb substitutes. It is a non-soya base substitute. It is also called “wheat meat.” Taking a bit of seitan will be like eating chicken or mushrooms in dishes like stews and soups.

Also, seitan is gluten-free with more nutrients and low fat, making it a complete vegetarian meat that will give your dish that chewy texture you would get from Lamb or other meat.

 However, seitan is already prepared, so it does not require too much cooking, and you can quickly get it in the store.

2. Tempeh

Tempeh is an excellent vegetarian meat substitute with high protein and is made from fermented soybeans with a nutty flavor. Tempeh is a low-fat alternative and can be used as a substitute for Lamb in many dishes.

However, the fermentation process in tempeh makes it easier to digest than other soy products and allows much of the nutrients and fiber to stay intact.

3. Tofu

Tofu has been a staple dish for many vegetarians or vegans. Tofu is made from soaked soya beans that have been smashed till the texture is puree-like. Despite being a meat substitute, tofu is made similarly to cheesemaking.

Meanwhile, tofu is a fantastic lamb substitute because its various nutrients make it a healthy option. It is also high in protein with other various nutrients. You can use tofu in salad, sandwiches, curry, and rice.

4. Mushrooms

Do you know that mushroom is an excellent substitute for Lamb in any recipe? This is because it has wide varieties with different flavors that combine with seasonings to give your dish a yummy taste. So, mushrooms have versatility, making them an excellent choice for vegans.

Although they are not a great source of protein, with their rich, savory flavor and meat-like texture, mushrooms are a great alternative to Lamb for everyone to enjoy.

However, mushrooms have a natural flavoring known as umami, which adds an exceptional taste to your recreating meal. So, depending on the recipe you are trying to make, know that mushrooms have wide varieties that will replace Lamb at any time.


So, if you love Lamb but are looking for a suitable replacement that you can use, whether vegetarian, vegan, or meat lovers, also, maybe you are looking for a different taste for your dish or you detest the taste of Lamb, pick any substitute and explore.

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