When you think of tacos, you don't usually think of them as vegan. Too often, the only vegan option at a taco stand is beans with salad, which isn't much to get excited about. This vegan tacos recipe is different.
We'll show you how to make tacos vegan with a filling made from walnuts and tofu, plus black beans with traditional spices. Vegan Mexican food never tasted as good as this!
This vegan/vegetarian taco recipe comes in a couple of parts. You'll want to make the filling for the vegan tacos first, as it takes half an hour to bake. While it's in the oven, you just need to prepare the beans and make your tortillas, then assemble and serve.
Vegan Tacos: Spicy Beans and Tofu Walnut Filling
2 cups walnuts
16 oz extra firm tofu
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can black beans (15 oz), drained
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes
Salt and pepper
2 avocados, chopped
2-3 cups lettuce, shredded
Pico de gallo to garnish
Vegan sour cream to garnish
For the vegan taco filling
For the black beans
For assembling the vegan tacos
The first step is to make the filling for the vegan tacos. Set your oven to 350°F to preheat.
In a food processor, blitz the walnuts until they have a crumbly texture. You don't want to grind them into powder, but nor do you want big chunks.
Mash the tofu into pieces using a fork, and add the tofu and walnuts to a mixing bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the nutritional yeast, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, maple syrup, cumin, smoked paprika, tomato paste, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Briskly stir the mixture until the ingredients are blended and it forms a thick sauce.
Pour the mixture over the walnuts and the tofu, tossing to ensure that they are fully coated.
Line an ovenproof tray with a sheet of baking parchment and spread out the mixture across the surface evenly. Bake at 350°F for around 30 mins, taking it out halfway through to stir it up (so it doesn't cook into one single sheet.)
When it's baked, transfer to a bowl and set aside until you are ready to assemble your tacos.
To make the black beans filling, heat the olive oil in a flat skillet pan over medium heat.
Add the chopped onions and garlic and fry until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the chili and cumin to the mixture, and then the black beans.
Cook until the beans are heated all the way through. If the mixture starts to dry out before the beans are hot, add a little water to prevent burning.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside as well.
Heat the tortillas in the microwave or individually in a frying pan until they become pliable. Some vegan taco recipes suggest allowing them to char a little, as it adds an authentic flavor, but we'll leave that up to your personal preference.
To assemble the vegan tacos, add a layer of shredded lettuce to each of the tacos, the vegan filling on top of that, then a layer of the spicy black beans, pico de gallo, and chopped avocado. To garnish the meatless tacos, vegan sour cream makes the perfect finishing touch along with a little finely chopped cilantro.
Serve fresh and enjoy!
What kind of tortilla is best for this healthy taco recipe?
Either corn or flour tortillas are great for a vegan taco. Even store-bought ones will do, as you can always heat them up using a flat skillet pan when it's time to assemble your healthy tacos.
For best results, however, we recommend freshly made flour tortillas. It's worth expending the effort to make your own, especially for vegan or vegetarian tacos, so that you can be 100% sure about the ingredients.
What is good to serve with vegan tacos?
Aside from lettuce, toppings for a vegan taco can include other vegan-friendly ingredients, like guacamole, chopped tomatoes, scallions, or even mushrooms. Basically, you can add whatever you like!
The last word on making vegan tacos
Being vegan doesn't mean bland food. Even meatless tacos can taste really good with a few well-chosen ingredients. The protein in this recipe comes from tofu and spicy beans, and you can dress it however you like. Meat-eating family and friends will definitely be amazed at how tasty vegan tacos can be.
If you prefer to skip the beans, there are other ways to make tacos vegan. Our mushroom taco recipe, for example, is one of the easiest and quickest to make, and of course, it's healthy, too. If you have a lot of tofu in the fridge, you can also make tofu tacos. It is rich in flavor and just as good.
Meatless food can be very tasty. Try our other healthy recipes and your family and friends will wonder why they haven't gone vegan sooner!
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