These easy vegan tacos are perfect for your next taco night. I love that they are soy-free, so you don’t have to use tofu or processed meat substitutes. Instead, they’re made from a combination of vegetables and walnuts, seasoned with a classic taco spice mix, to create a healthy taco “meat.”
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This recipe comes from my friend Ali’s new book, Inspiralized & Beyond.
If you’re not familiar with Ali, she’s the force behind Inspiralized.com, a go-to resource for spiralized recipes. (She even designed her own spiralizer– the Inspiralizer— which is what I use in my own home.)
In her latest book, Ali shares even more creative ways to enjoy vegetables, beyond just spiralizing them. For example, in her cover photo, you’ll see that she’s turned zucchini halves into the “bun” for a vegetarian meatball sandwich. She also includes recipes for using vegetables as lasagna sheets, brussels sprouts as mini “slider” buns, and bell peppers stuffed with a savory Philly Cheesesteak filling. If you need some fresh inspiration when it comes to serving vegetables, this book has you covered!
Vegan Taco Meat
These vegan tacos are a great way to sneak more vegetables into your day. The vegan “taco meat” is entirely plant-based, made from mushrooms and cauliflower that have been briefly pulsed in the food processor, then sauteed with crushed walnuts and plenty of taco seasoning.
I served them in traditional taco shells to appease my picky family members, but you can also serve them in jicama “shells,” as Ali suggests in her book, for a lower carb meal with a refreshing crunch.
When you top them with your favorite taco toppings, like shredded lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, and avocado, they’ve got all the classic taco flavor that you love. I hope you’ll enjoy them.
- 2/3 cup crushed walnuts
- 8 ounces button mushrooms , sliced
- 4 cups cauliflower florets , chopped
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno (about half of one)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (15 ounce can) black beans , drained and rinsed
- Fresh cilantro leaves , for garnish
- 1 small jicama, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds
- 3 limes , quartered
- sliced black olives
- pico de gallo
- In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until ground but not powdered, about 7 pulses. Transfer to a large bowl. Place the mushrooms in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped, about 15 pulses. Add them to the bowl with the walnuts. Place the cauliflower in the food processor and pulse until crumbled, about 10 pulses; do not overpulse. Add to the bowl with the walnuts and mushrooms.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, wide skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and jalapeno and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower mixture, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is no longer crunchy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans and cook for 2 minutes, until heated through. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Transfer the meat mixture to a serving bowl and top with the cilantro. Serve alongside the jicama shells, lime wedges, and optional toppings of your choosing for tableside assembly.
For each of 6 servings: Calories: 238, Fat: 11g, Carbohydrate: 26g, Fiber: 12g, Protein: 11g
Recipe reprinted with permission from Inspiralized & Beyond by Ali Maffucci
- For food combining purposes, this recipe is properly combined when served in jicama shells, or simply in lettuce wraps. If you would like it to be properly combined with a corn or flour tortilla, omit the walnuts.
- This recipe is also Paleo-friendly when you serve the “meat” in a lettuce wrap or jicama shell.
Giveaway (Now Closed)
Congrats to Heidi S.! The winner has been contacted via email. Thanks for your entries!
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite creative way to serve vegetables? I think my favorite might be cauliflower rice. Cauliflower “Fried Rice” and my Mexican Cauliflower Casserole are two staples in my home!
Disclosure: Ali sent me a complimentary copy of her new cookbook, but I am under no obligation to post a positive review.
Questions and Reviews
It is soooooo hard to eat how you want to when you have a family i find. I have to make a lot of compromises, that i didn’t have to make in my single days. I love the idea of jicama shells, but i’d be the only one eating it. I remember trying to make zucchini pasta for my famiy once and my husband looked at me and was like… “that isn’t pasta… thats a salad”….GAH!
Karen, Just an idea…..maybe you could spiralize zucchini & mix with spaghetti (pasta) so they look similar and put sauce over them & maybe your husband would be more receptive to the zucchini noodles. ????? If he tastes it, maybe he will like it! 🙂
nope. they still don’t like it. i serve it to them that way and they just pick it all out.
I like to make pesto with half basil and half baby spinach. No one seems to notice, and I feel better serving it.
That is a great idea Valerie. I tried an avocado based pesto and everyone turned their noses up at it, but basil and spinach I might be able to get away with. Thanks for the suggestion!
I love also ado gnash, zucchini noodles and cauliflower rice! Thanks for the recipe for the tacos!
I used kale and basil for my pesto n it was yummy!
Every week I roast a few sheet pans of vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper. I find that most vegetables are improved by roasting. I snack on them and add them to meals as needed.
I can’t wait to try these! Love that they have a legume-free base since I’m allergic. I’ll be interested to see if my 4 year old will like them. The only way I seem to be able to get vegetables into him these days is to hide them in smoothies and pasta sauces, lol. You should write a vegetarian cookbook for children, Megan! There really isn’t much out there.
Butternut squash Mac and “cheese” and your sweet potato queso! Cauliflower rice stir fry is also a great option…so many choices!
I’m still adjusting to a gluten free, dairy free diet. I really enjoy vegetable lasagna.
I love veggies in smoothies! You can get away with so much in a smoothie with a reluctant veggie eater. Can’t wait to try out these tacos!
We use spiralized noodles for pasta and red sauce or fun salads!
My favorite is using cauliflower rice in place of regular rice for taco bowls or sushi bowls. I don’t miss the rice at all and I can eat more of it if I’m super hungry and not feel guilty.
My husband hates mushrooms, at least he thinks he does. I sneak them into so many meals by mincing them and well…by not telling him. He hates them when he can tell they are mushrooms. 😂 Many nights I do a half and half pasta with a high quality italian spaghetti and spiralized zucchini. This week I made vegan zucchini boats stuffed with quinoa, peppers, onions, beans, corn and spices! I just can’t get enough vegetables in my life. I can’t wait to make this for my mushroom hating husband.
My kids love smoothies so I throw spinach & kale into them. Not that creative, but at least they’re getting some greens!
This may not be creative but roasting/grilling veggies and loading them on a salad is the easiest and most delicious way to eat them every day! But also love sneaking them into smoothies and sauces!!
I try to put veggies in almost everything my kids (5,3,2) eat. Smoothies usually have carrots, cucumber, zucchini, Beets, kale, spinach, plus whatever frozen berries we have. Zucchini and carrot muffins are always a hit. Plus we always have veggies with dinner!! Your recipes definitely make it easy to incorporate veggies! Thanks!
I make lentils with veggies, homemade pizza with veggies on top, a veggie humus, veggie soup, veggie tacos with potato or protein, stuffed zucchini or onion with veggies and qunioa, homemade turkey burger patties made by mixing in veggies, baked potato with protin and some veggies on top, zucchini with onion and tomatoe with cheese, zucchini and onion with cheese for breakfast. And many more…we love veggies!
My favorite way is to have fun with smoothies! My kids asked for a mint one this morning that I pulse a small handful of chocolate chips into at the end and is green because of kale! It looks like the green mint ice cream I won’t buy because of the food coloring and they LOVE it!
I blend veggies into smoothies, use butternut squash noodles, bake them into baked goods. I also chop raw red cabbage and carrots and mix them into rice and pasta for my little ones to get more raw veggies into them!! 😊
Love to put veggies in my smoothies
Hi Megan – Just wanted to say “Thank you” for your hard work in coming up with these delicious recipes and making our lives easier and healthier.
Cauliflower rice has become a staple for me. My absolute favorite is cauliflower fried rice. Smoothies with greens (spinach, kale, broccoli) blended in with fruits help me get my daily dose of greens in a pinch. My husband, who hates veggies, loves kung pao chickpeas, and we have Mediterranean chopped salad at least once a week. The upside to all this is that we’ve shifted to a much more healthy lifestyle and managed to lose quite a few pounds in the process.
smoothies, avo pudding, roasted veges is THE ONLY way i can “hide” or get my family to eat veges 🙂
Lately I have been on a cauliflower fried rice kick, switching out the spices and veggies to make it different each time. My husband prefers the faux loaded potatoes with cauliflower. Can’t wait to try these tacos! Yum!
I love using it to make cold cucumber salads. Cucumber is very veritable and you can very creative with your toppings.
Megan, my family loves ALL (and I do mean all) your recipes! I’m excited to try this one. I have so many food intolerances due to an autoimmune disorder and your site is one of the few where we don’t have to make any edits to the recipe! Thank you thank you thank you for all you do! We can’t wait for the new book!
In terms of the giveaway, one creative way we serve veggies is through vegan BBQ with carrots being the primary ingredient instead of pulled pork. It’s delicious!
Any time I have extra vegetables from preparing food at the beginning of the week, I put on a vegetable soup. When it’s done I separate it in mason jars. Half of the mason jars go in the freezer half stay in the regrdigerator. This has saved my life so many times when I meet up with my friends after work and don’t have time to grab a good bite to eat!
I put veg in anything I can- pasta sauce, meatloaf, muffins, or smoothies. Usually, you cannot taste it, but I like knowing we are getting more veg in our diet.
Raw, my family loves raw veggies. However to get my 18 month old to get his veggie intake I make him cooked spinach(in oil and a little salt) and chop it up and he loves it. I also make a smoothie that has spinach, berries, flaxseed and oranges.
We try to include vegetables in every meal. I’ve been a little scared of getting a spiralizer – haha – and end up spending way too much money on already-spiralized veggies (ugh!). Thanks for the chance to win this awesome prize (and to get over my fear!) 😊
These look delish! I try to sneak veggies into everything… most effectively with green smoothies and smoothie popsicles for the kiddos! They don’t even miss regular popsicles or realize how many veggies are in there!
I love to blend spinach up with water or almond milk and add it to my pancake recipes
I love integrating veggies into a lot of my meals! Whether it is adding greens to my smoothies, adding veggies to a scramble, or substituting spaghetti squash for noodles instead of using pasta and still be able to enjoy meatballs and marinara sauce without missing out!
Yum!! Can’t wait to try 🙂 I personally love incorporating lots of veggies into soups! So hearty and satisfying— minestrone is my favorite!
We love to slice them up and put lemon juice on them and the top with Celtic salt and fresh ground pepper
I don’t really love raw carrots but I wanted to incorporate more of them into my diet. I found I enjoy them so much more when I finely shred them instead of chopping them. I combine them with my green salad and it’s delicious! My kids also will eat them this way so it’s a win win!!
I love using as many vegetables as possible! I almost always sneak shredded zucchini into my oatmeal and overnight oats. But I’d love more inspiration from this book!
I tried to comment before and now I don’t see it so I’ll just say my favorite recipe is butternut squash Mac and “cheese” is my favorite way to sneak veggies in!
Because I work long hours, I try to incorporate veggies any way I can. My favorite way is to put My veggies in my smoothies. I put kale, spinach, zucchini, etc. I also make my doggies their food and add veggies as well, carrots, peas, squash, broccoli etc.and they love it!!
I sneak frozen peas and spinach into my daughter smoothies. And for breakfast, sometimes we have sweet potatoes toast, and I’ll have a bunch of different toppings like, avocados, peanut butter, almonds butter, plain Greek yogurt, honey and cinnamon..you name it! 🙂
I got all my creative veggie-use ideas from you! Haha
I love serving my kids veggies in muffins for snacks throughout the week
There’s so many awesome ways to get creative with veggies. One of my favs is to mix them all together in an awesome wrap! I love putting homemade hummus with olives, artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, ribboned carrots and zucchini and making the most delicious nutritious wrap, no need for meat as a filler!
I blend a carrot with a small amount of water and add to my to my from scratch tomato sauce for a bit of sweetness. Spiralized zucchini for noodles. Parsley or mint into blended green drinks.
I mostly eat my veg kind of plain, but occasionally I like to make a Thai peanut sauce to put on them
I love swapping spiralized zucchini for pasta to add extra veggies into dinner!
We use veggies to. Subsitute csrbs…. like eggplant or portebello based puzzas instead of a dough
Or spiraluzed various veggies instead of noodles
It’s hard to choose! We add a ton of veggies when we eat Mexican.. be it salad fajitas burritos whatever. I put an onion,bell pepper, handful of spinach, zucchini or squash mushrooms, anything in the fridge in my vitamix. Blend and added to ground beef or chicken then top with sautéed peppers and onions, salsa, guacamole, and fermented carrots with cilantro
I love my eggs over steamed or sauted cabbage in the morning.
I have redone Shepard’s pie using zucchini and topping it with mashed cauliflower along with ground turkey, onions & garlic. Would love to win a spiralizer so I can add more vegetables in unique ways to our meals!
With little kids I am always looking for creative ways to sneak veggies into food- pasta sauce with purees, smoothies ,etc
So happy to discover your blog – the jicama taco shell idea brought me here. Saw it on Ali’s page. Hoping to win an Inspirilizer so I can put all these ideas to good use. Not overly creative but I make bite size crust less spinach quiches in mini muffin tins (lots of spinach, green onions, and mushrooms if I have them. A quick breakfast to grab when running out of the house.
I sauté cabbage and quinoa and top with tomato sauce and ground-up almonds and nutritional yeast 🙂 I’m sure I got the idea from you lol 😂