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30 minutes is all that stands between you and this delicious, healthy twist on a classic Mexican favorite. These tacos are loaded with fiber rich quinoa and toasted walnuts giving you a quick and easy plant based meal that your family will love!!
Classic Mexican flavors of cumin and chili powder are paired with quinoa and walnuts to give you a taco filling with that signature crumbly texture. You’ll leave this meal feeling satisfied but not stuffed – which is the beauty of plant based eating!
How to make simple vegan tacos:
You’ll start by adding the quinoa and water to a small pot. Cook according to package directions (typically: bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the water has evaporated). Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
Then you’ll saute onion in olive oil and add garlic and a few key spices.
Then add walnuts and soy sauce and cook for another minute or so. The soy sauce might seem like an interesting choice, but it adds great depth of flavor when paired with the spices.
Then add the quinoa back in. Stir to combine and cook until heated through.
How to make cilantro avocado sauce:
You’ll combine avocado, cilantro and lime juice (surprising, I know) in a food processor along with a pinch of salt and a splash of water. The end result is the creamiest, dreamiest taco sauce in all the land.
What is vegan taco meat made of?
A lot of vegan taco recipes include some sort of meat substitute (seitan, tempeh, tofu, etc.).
These vegan tacos however, contain NO MEAT SUBSTITUTES. A combination of quinoa and chopped walnuts gives you the the perfect “meaty” texture while a few select spices give it that signature Mexican flavor.
Is quinoa a good meat substitute?
Quinoa might actually be the best meat substitute ever, in my humble opinion. It’s incredibly nutritious – loaded with tons of protein and fiber. It’s mild flavor allows it to take on the flavors of whatever spices you’ve got on hand and the texture of quinoa makes it a great option for replacing ground meat in a dish.
What are some other meat substitutes?
- chopped walnuts
Are taco shells vegan?
Most corn and flour tortillas are in fact vegan. Which makes tacos a “go-to” meal for many plant based eaters. Be sure to check the ingredient list on your taco shells if you’re trying to maintain a vegan diet – you’d be surprised how many animal products are in the foods you eat.
Tips for making the best vegan tacos:
- To achieve that taco meat texture: chop your walnuts finely. You can also throw them in the food processor if that’s easier. The walnuts are going to give your “taco meat” that signature texture so they should resemble crumbly ground beef.
- Get creative with your toppings! Boost the flavor of your vegan tacos with black beans, (vegan) refried beans, salsa, onions, sliced cabbage, cilantro or pico de gallo. These options will add tons of flavor and more nutritional value than traditional taco toppings.
Other vegan favorites you’ll love:
- Vegan Tomato Soup
- Vegan Black Bean Chili
- Vegan Lentil & Potato Curry Soup
- Vegan Curry Ramen Noodles
- Vegan Asian Pasta Salad
30 minutes is all that stands between you and these delicious tacos! This twist on the classic Mexican favorite is loaded with fiber rich quinoa and walnuts.
- 1/2 cup tri-color quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 8 flour tortillas
- 2 avocados, pitted
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- large pinch of Kosher salt
- splash of water
- pico de gallo
- lime wedges
- sliced cabbage
- fresh cilantro
- Add quinoa and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil and cook quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes.
- Add garlic, walnuts, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, soy sauce and 2 tablespoons water.
- Cook, stirring frequently for about 1 minute.
- Then stir in quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine and cook until just heated through.
- Serve with your favorite taco toppings!
To achieve that taco meat texture: chop your walnuts finely. You can also throw them in a food processor if that’s easier. The walnuts are going to give your “taco meat” that signature texture so they should resemble crumbly ground beef.
Get creative with your toppings! Gone are the days of shredded iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese and sour cream. Boost the flavor of your vegan tacos with black beans, refried beans, salsa, onions, sliced cabbage, cilantro or pico de gallo. These options will add tons of flavor and more nutritional value than traditional taco toppings.
Keywords: vegan tacos, vegetarian tacos, healthy tacos, clean eating tacos, walnut tacos, quinoa tacos
This post was originally published in May of 2018. It was updated in February 2019 to include process shots and tips for making the most delicious vegan tacos every single time!