This Vegan Taco Meat recipe is a game-changer! It’s made with cauliflower, mushrooms, nuts, and spices. This vegan taco meat alternative is perfect as a vegan taco filling, over nachos, on a taco salad, or wrapped in a burrito.
Meet one of my new favorite recipes! You could not believe how delicious vegan taco meat can be. I’ve been testing this one over and over and over again – to perfect it, but also because I want to eat it on/with everything lately.
Growing up, tacos were one of my favorite foods (and still are – like many of you, I’m sure). My mom would make us tacos as an easy dinner. I’d help her make the ground beef with taco seasoning from a pouch, and we’d saute corn tortillas in a little oil to make them nice and crispy. We’d serve them up with cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and tomato, and be the happiest of eaters.
Since switching to a primarily plant-based diet, I’m still alllll about tacos. I love a good fajita veggie taco or a tempeh taco. BUT – I’ve also always missed that ground taco meat taco from my childhood. The other kinds of tacos just aren’t quite the same.
So – vegan taco meat became a MUST-make. I’ve had similar vegan taco meats and vegan chorizos at restaurants. My favorite types always tend to be nut-based with loads of spices.
What makes up this Vegan Taco Meat?
I tested this recipe a number of times, and the first tests ended up a little too dry for me…so I added VEGGIES! Mushrooms and cauliflower, when diced finely or pulsed in a food processor, add just enough moisture and help give this vegan taco meat a great meaty texture.
The primary ingredients in this vegan taco meat are:
- Nuts (I like pecans or walnuts)
- Sundried Tomatoes
- Lots of spices
The sun-dried tomatoes pack an umami punch. Since we use sun-dried tomatoes that have been packed in oil, the oil helps to bind and flavor the mixture as well. For the spices, we replicate the flavor of that taco seasoning packet my mom always used with a healthy dose of cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and cayenne pepper.
I like preparing this mixture in the food processor. My food processor is small, so I do the veggies in separate batches than the nut mixture, and then stir it all together. If you have a larger food processor, you can combinate the diced veggies, nuts, spices, sun-dried tomatoes, and water all in the food processor and pulse until everything is well-mixed and finely diced. From there, you’ll saute the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes or so, and then it’s ready to eat!
This specific batch you see here was for the delicious tacos you’re looking at, and a batch of homemade vegan NACHOS – both of which used this taco meat and my homemade vegan cheese sauce. Two totally decadent recipes that you’d never guess were made mostly with VEGETABLES!
You can use this vegan taco meat for so many things! Here are a few ideas you can use it for…
- Taco filling
- Vegan nachos with this vegan cheese sauce
- Burrito filling
- Taco salads
- Burrito bowls
Meal Prep Tip: You can pre-make the vegan taco meat a few days ahead of time so that you can make tacos (or whatever else you’re using this meat for) in a few minutes when you have a hectic day!
Enjoy!! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you do, it would mean the world to me if you left a ⭐ star ⭐ review below and let me know what you thought of the recipe!Print
This Vegan Taco Meat recipe is a game-changer! It’s made with cauliflower, mushrooms, nuts, and spices. It’s perfect as a taco filling, over nachos, on a taco salad, or wrapped in a burrito.
- 1½ cups diced cauliflower florets or cauliflower rice
- 1½ cups diced cremini mushrooms
- 1½ cups nuts, walnuts, pecans, or almonds all work
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne powder, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- ¼ cup water
- In the bowl of a large food processor, combine all of the ingredients except for the water.
- Pulse, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the nuts and vegetables are broken down slightly. Add the water and pulse a few more times, until the mixture sticks together but still has texture.
- If you have a small food processor, like me, pulse the vegetables in the food processor first. Place in a large mixing bowl, and then pulse the rest of the ingredients together. Mix all of it together until fully combined.
- Heat a few tablespoons of avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the vegetable-nut mixture. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s cooked to your desired consistency. It should be tender and flavorful. If it dries out too much, you can add a splash of water.
- Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For the tacos: I served the vegan taco meat on a grain-free tortilla with pico de gallo, avocado, cilanto, and a drizzle of vegan cheese sauce.
Keywords: taco meat, vegan, vegan tacos, gluten-free, vegetarian, nut meat