Who doesn’t love tacos? If you’ve been trying to eat more plant-based meals, tacos are a perfect place to start.
Plant-based tacos will win your heart—if they haven’t already.
Why tacos? For starters, they’re a fantastic way to repurpose leftovers. You can fill a taco shell with whatever you want: load them up, hard or soft, with roasted veggies, beans, veggie burgers, jackfruit, salad, tofu, nuts, and more.
Whether you make your own tortillas from scratch or buy yours premade from the store, that empty vessel offers unlimited options for creative and tasty fillings.
Here are a few ways to make plants the star of your next Taco Tuesday (or any day)!
I like to make a batch of braised jackfruit as part of my batch cooking strategy so that I have an easy filling or topping ready for the week. Yeah, it’s that good!
Jackfruit is a vegan superstar, with a texture nearly identical to pulled meat. It has the delicious ability to absorb any of your favorite flavors and sauces, so you can dress it up with your favorite asada, verde, or mole sauces for a delicious plant-based taco filling.
Love fajitas? You can easily get all of the wonderful flavors of fajitas without adding meat. For an easy taco filling that will satisfy your fajita-flavor craving, sweat sliced peppers and onions in a pan over medium heat. Add fresh garlic and drained and rinsed beans. Continue cooking and add seasonings like cumin, chili powder, nutritional yeast, oregano, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
Nuts in tacos? Yes, please! You can turn nuts into a meat-substitute that may even trick the most die-hard carnivores into thinking they’re tearing into the real thing. Soak ½ pound to 1 pound of raw walnuts in water overnight and then drain. Pulse the soaked and drained nuts in a food processor or blender until they’ve reached your desired consistency. (Don’t over-blend, we’re not making cheese sauce…. yet!) Cook in a pan over medium heat and season with your favorite taco seasonings.
Not-So-Basic Bean Tacos
If you’ve got beans and veggies on hand, you’ve got everything you need to make delicious plant-based tacos. Dice up whatever vegetables you have on hand and saute in a pan. Add beans and seasonings.
If you like a more saucy taco filling, you’ll need to trap the moisture by covering the pan and cooking over low heat. You may need to add a little water to prevent the pan from burning. Add a little cornstarch or arrowroot slurry by mixing water and the thickener in a dish before incorporating it into the pan with the taco filling. A good ratio to use is 1 teaspoon thickener per ⅓ cup of water.
By keeping tortillas, beans, and some veggies on hand, tacos will always be an easy option.
Fun Flavor Combinations
Looking for more inspiration for plant-based tacos? Try these combinations and you’ll be on your way to a delicious meatless meal the entire family will enjoy.
- Roasted garlic cauliflower with red cabbage, shredded carrots, and lemon tahini sauce
- Carnitas-style jackfruit with shredded kale, pico de gallo, and avocado
- Smoky tempeh with greens, coleslaw, and mango
- Roasted root veggies with hummus, mixed greens, and avocado
Let’s Get Cheesy! Vegan Cashew Queso
There are so many options for fillings when making vegan tacos, and the cheese is totally optional. I like to make my own vegan cashew queso in a high-powered blender. Try it out if you’re skeptical about vegan cheese!
Cashew Queso Ingredients:
2 CUPS WATER
2 CUPS CASHEWS
1 T CUMIN
½ T CHILI POWDER
½ T SALT
¼ t BLACK PEPPER
1 CAN MILD GREEN CHILIES
½ CUP NUTRITIONAL YEAST
½ T ONION POWDER
½ T GARLIC POWDER
Add all ingredients to a high-power blender and run until very smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
Plant-based tacos can be a quick, easy, and flavorful weeknight meal. And it’s the perfect way to introduce a meat-loving partner or kids to the concept of plant-based meals. Create a “build your own” taco bar and let your kids mix-and-match ingredients to make their own flavorful creations. When kids get to choose their veggies, they’re much more excited about healthy eating. Plus it’s so colorful, beautiful, and fun – with plant-based tacos, you really can’t go wrong!