In this paper a novel approach based on evolutionary polynomial regression (EPR) is presented to develop constitutive models of materials. Stress–strain data are used to train EPR and develop EPR-based material models. It is shown that it is possible to construct the material stiffness (Jacobian) matrix using partial derivatives of the developed EPR models. The EPR-based Jacobian matrix is implemented in finite element (FE) model and two boundary value problems are used to verify the proposed EPR-based FE methodology. It is shown that the EPR-FE model can be successfully employed to analyse structural problems with both linear and non-linear material behaviour.