11 Best Lamb Substitutes


Roasting meat is one of the favorite meals that people enjoy making with almost any cut of meat. And lamb is one of the ones which is always on the table if there is a family gathering.

Lamb is a young sheep that is no less than a year old. There are many cuts from this animal that are used to make tasty juicy dishes.

Different cuts are used in different ways of cooking, grilled or roasted with some veggie side dish. You can add seasoning while it is cooked for an even better taste and aroma.

Anyhow, when the lamb is roasted, there is a specific smell that some people do not really enjoy. In that case or if you want to try something else, you probably wonder if lamb can be replaced?

The best substitutes for lamb are goat meat, beef, veal, veal shanks, turkey legs, pork, chicken, oxtails, and beef shorts ribs.

Also, since many people do not like meat, we also have alternatives like Tofu and Tempeh. Read below to find out more about every cut of meat, when you can use it, and how.

Best Lamb Substitutes

The following list consists of both meat and non-animal products for vegans and vegetarians. So scroll down and take your pick.

1. Goat meat

The first substitute on our list that works as a great replacement for lamb in most recipes is goat meat. They are quite similar and goat meat actually contains less cholesterol than lamb.

This cut of meat has a tender texture with a mild taste which requires a different type of method of cooking. You can always marinate the meat with sauce and combine it with various side dishes. You can use goat meat in stews, soups, and other recipes that require lamb meat.

2. Beef

Beef Skirt

Another common cut of meat that makes a good substitute for lamb is beef. Actually, beef has a lot of proteins, vitamins, and minerals which are good for your diet.

Further, you can make the swap if you are making a stew, roasting, or even slow cooking. However, make sure that the meat is properly cooked before serving and you can combine beef with many side dishes as well. 

3. Veal


Veal is yet another suitable replacement for lamb in many recipes. The difference between the two cuts of meat is that veal is from cow calves and lamb from a young sheep.

Veal is also a tender type of meat with a mild, gamier taste. It has a delicate taste that works for many recipes. So you can make a lot of special dishes with it. Use it to make the replacement in most recipes and make sure that you properly cook the meat. 

4. Veal shanks

Another cut from the veal that is good to use instead of lamb is veal shanks. It comes from the hid shank. It is the leg bone that is loaded below the shoulder and the knee region.

They are expensive but can help you with recipes that ask for lamb. Veal shanks are famous since they are used in a popular Italian dish that is known as osso buco. Serve and combine with a side dish or in stews.

5. Turkey legs


If you are looking for a cheap lamb replacement in your meal, look no further than turkey legs. They are cut from the turkey’s thigh till, just below the knee.

What is important to note is that this cut of meat is not expensive. You can roast it, grill it or place it in a slow cooker as well.

6. Pork

pork loin

Lamb finds its replacement in pork in almost every recipe. This is a very commonly used cut of meat, which will make your dish very tasty and juicy.

They have very similar tastes even though they come from different animals. You can add spices, lemon, and other things to your dish.

When mixed with the taste and smell of the pork, these additions will result in a mouthwatering meal. Use pork in some lamb bowls, stews, or any other recipe. 

7. Chicken

Marinate Frozen Chicken

If you don’t enjoy lamb and you are looking for a different replacement, then the chicken is the ideal alternative. Even though the meat comes from a very different animal, chicken is very commonly used in many cuisines all over the world.

There are many ways that you can cook it and mix it up with other ingredients to get a nice dish. Make sure to cook it at a proper temperature since you don’t want to dry out the meat. Chicken does not require long cooking so always keep an eye while cooking. 

8. Oxtails


You may not have expected to see oxtails on the list. However, this type of meat is a good replacement for lamb. This is a meat that is like gelatin and has a very rich amount of collagen. The taste is practically the same as beef.

You can easily swap them in soups, stews, or even beef stock. Lamb has a specific taste and smell once it is cooked, but the oxtail can still make a good replacement in recipes. Even though their profiles are not the same, you can make a nice dinner. 

9. Beef short ribs

Short Ribs

Beef short ribs can serve as a substitute for lamb in almost every recipe. This is a cut from the chuck region of beef. Further, you should know that this meat is not good for steaks.

Keep in mind that beef short ribs are tougher but very tasty. You can cook them the same as lamb, braised and oven slow cooked. 

Vegetarian Substitute for Lamb

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the vegan and vegetarian alternatives for lamb that can provide similar results in your recipe if seasoned properly.

10. Tofu

Marinated tofu

If you are a vegan or vegetarian or avoid meat, you are probably looking for a non-animal lamb alternative. You can easily replace lamb with tofu. It is a product with low calories and a lot of proteins.

There are many varieties that you can choose and you can adjust tofu in your recipes. Tofu is made from soaked soya beans, mashed until the texture becomes smooth as puree. The liquid is separated and you can make a nice dish to replace lamb. 

11. Tempeh


Tempeh is another vegetarian option that can replace lamb. It is a fermented, high in protein plant food with a brown color. Cook the tempeh before using it and make the swap in every recipe that calls for lamb.

Related Questions

Is lamb similar to pork?

Lamb and pork are both red meat but they come from different types of animals. They both can be used as a substitute for each other.

Can I replace beef with lamb?

Yes, you can use beef instead of lamb in your recipe. However, beef needs to be cooked longer since the meat is tougher than lamb.

Can I substitute ground turkey for lamb?

You can use ground turkey for lamb. But the meat can not be compared as much due to the fact how ground turkey is made and the taste. Typically, people tend to use it in many recipes.

What is a good substitute for lamb shank?

You can add shoulder shank, lamb shank, beef short ribs, veal shanks, and other types of meat.

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