Easy Tofu Taco Recipe
Tacos are a perfect cheat meal, a party snack, or a game-day food for the whole family. And of course, most recipes out there demand that taco filling should be made out of meat.
Trying to take something that inherently meaty, and making it vegan-friendly can get a little bit challenging. Every time you take meat away from something and replace it with a substitute, it simply feels inferior. Like something's missing, you know? Maybe it's the texture of the meat, maybe it's the rich flavor, maybe it's...something.
Well, this is not one of those cases.
These tacos are missing nothing. We would be shocked if you could even tell difference if you didn't already know!
This tofu taco is rich in flavor, lovely in texture, and as good (or even better) than the meat version! No wonder there was a rumor that Jack in the Box used only tofu for their tacos!
Tofu Tacos - The Best Vegan Taco!
- 1 block (12 oz) of extra firm tofu
- 2 Tbsp of neutral oil
- 1 Tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tsp of chili powder
- 1 tsp of chipotle chili powder (can substitute with smoked paprika)
- 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp of onion powder
- Taco shells or tortillas (store-bought are fine, homemade are divine)
- 1 can of rinsed and drained black beans (optional)
- 2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 cup of prepared salsa
- Sliced veggies for serving
- In a large bowl, combine oil, soy sauce, and spices. Form a fairly runny paste. If required, add a little bit more oil.
- Using your hands, crumble up the super firm tofu into small pieces. Make sure no major sized bits are left remaining. It's okay if the crumbles differ in size - they will crisp up differently and provide a great variety of texture.
- Add the crumbled tofu into the bowl with the seasoning paste. Combine well, making sure that all the tofu pieces are coated evenly.
- Lay all the tofu pieces on a covered baking sheet.
- Stirring occasionally, bake at around 355°F for 25-35 min, or until all of the tofu is nice and crispy. Some pieces will be darker than others, and that's perfectly fine - just make sure not to burn them.
- Finish the tofu with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, if desired, for an extra cheesy note and B-vitamins!
- Heat up the salsa in a saucepan until it's hot all the way through and reaches a nice, thick consistency. If desired, this is where you add your black beans for the final minute or two of cooking.
- Mix your tofu with your salsa mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill your tortillas with the tofu mixture. Add veggies, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Tofu Taco FAQs
Why does my Tofu need to be crumbled?
So, what's the secret of this tofu taco recipe? It's perhaps the best tofu ground beef alternative out there, known as tofu crumbles (and a little bit of basic science). You see, marinating slabs or cubes of tofu is a common practice, done in countless vegan meals.
Crumbled tofu has a lot more surface area, which means it absorbs the flavors all the way through.
How does the tofu get a meaty flavor?
The meaty flavor is a result of the mixture of soy sauce and a smoky, savory spices. Those ingredients will give the tofu a meaty umami taste. And then, everything goes into the oven to crisp up.
Can I make this recipe without an oven?
Don't have an oven? No problem! A flat skillet pan on medium heat will also work in a pinch. The process will be a bit more labor-intensive, but the results will be nearly the same and your tofu tacos will taste just as good.
Can I make my own tortillas for this recipe?
What makes a taco a taco - a tortilla. And while store-bought tortillas are perfectly fine, making your own tortillas can elevate this dish to a whole new level. It's pretty easy to learn how to make flour tortillas, and the payoff is absolutely worth it. You might not return to the store options ever again.
If you are looking to try this option out, you will need a tortilla press like this one. Cast iron presses are the best in our opinion and are most likely to churn out the most authentic-looking tortillas possible.
What should I serve with my tofu tacos?
With the tofu all nice and ready, you'll have to work on your salsa and favorite veggies. I just pick a nice jar of salsa and from time to time, go for some extra black beans. They're not only really tasty, but also a great additional source of protein, making this tofu tacos recipe even more filling.
As for what veggies go on this tofu taco...knock yourself out. There's nothing wrong with going classic Taco Bell and using some shredded lettuce and diced tomato.
Tofu Taco Takeaway
Whether you decide to go with the classic additions or customize your tofu tacos with all of your favorite fillings, this recipe will have you looking for more ways to incorporate tofu into your diet! Grab your taco holder for easier serving of your tacos!
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