Vegan Taco Meat

PUBLISHED: 5.5.2020  |  SHARE:

This tasty vegan taco meat is packed with nutrients and works great in tacos, burritos and tsalads, etc.

This tasty vegan taco meat is packed with nutrients and works great in any mexican dish from tacos, burritos, taco salads… you name it!

I know… I know…Vegan taco meat?!

There’s a lot of nasty vegan meat alternatives out there— and we’ve all gagged on most of them. But if you’ve tasted this homemade recipe, you would celebrate with me. It’s a winner.

Tacos are my favorite food of all time. Maybe it has to do with growing up in LA and having unlimited choices for amazing Mexican food.

Bottomline: I don’t like to go a week without tacos. Sometimes that Chipotle, other times that’s Panchos, my fav little hole in the wall restaurant… yet most often it’s a homemade dish like this one right here.

Vegan tacos are for everyone

Avocados? Check!

Pico de gallo? Check!

Now we’re gonna finish it up with plant-based meat and cashew cream to make a wholesome and flavorful meal. No joke, every time Ryan and I make this meal, I always say “Gosh, I wish we made more! It’s sooooooo good!”

Cabbage leaves make great taco shells

You can use this vegan taco meat recipe in a traditional Mexican meal or go a more plant-based route. It doesn’t matter. It’ll still be tasty.

The meal above is from Fresh Start: A 21-Day Cleanse. For three weeks, we avoid all dairy, gluten, meat and processed food and just use plants to nourish our body. A seasonal wholesome cleanse is a fantastic way to reset your cravings, kickstart your weight lost and feel amazing.

What is vegan meat made of?

If you buy it at a store, it’s got about 22 ingredients that you can’t identify. Yet if you make it at home, it doesn’t get more simple and tasty than this vegan taco meat recipe because we’ve stripped it down to the core of what is needed (and skip any additives). All you need is 6 ingredients to make this:

  • walnuts
  • cumin
  • chili pepper
  • lemon juice
  • tamari
  • paprika

3 Ways to go Vegan with Tacos

If you’re trying to eat cleaner and more plant-based, here’s a few tips for doing that when it comes to tacos.

  • Swap a flour tortilla (which may contain lard) for a corn tortilla (or a cabbage leaf)
  • Swap sour cream with cashew cream
  • Skip the shredded cheese and opt for more salsa or roasted shredded carrots on top of the vegan taco meat.

Vegan VS Plant-based

You’ve most likely heard both of these words flying around a bit lately. They are quite similar in many ways, yet different too. Plant-based eating is the basic principle of embracing fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains; while trying to “limit” the amount of meat, dairy, eggs and processed foods. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid eggs, dairy, meat— yet they will not benefit you as greatly as plants will.

Whereas, according to The Vegan Society, “veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

At Simple Green Smoothies, we welcome both groups to enjoy our recipes. Yet our team creates recipes and lives a lifestyle based around the plant-based mindset— or what we like to call “plant-power!” We eat mostly plants, yet aren’t gonna say no to homemade ice cream or a slice of pizza when visiting the city.

21-Day Plant-Based Diet

When it comes to this taco meat recipe, you can check the vegan and plant-based boxes. Yet you don’t have to be one or the other. I actually consider myself more of a “plant-powered” person, where I celebrate plants and use them as my #1 energy source.

No matter where you’re at right now, you can try to embrace a more plant-based, vegan or plant-powered lifestyle with our 21-Day Plant-Based Cleanse. It will help you experience the amazing flavors (and incredible results!) in just 3 weeks. You won’t be starving, you’ll get to enjoy tacos with vegan taco meat, nourishing veggie soups, homemade granola bars and daily smoothies.

Vegan Taco Meat in a plant-based mexican dish
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon

Amazing Vegan Taco Meat

  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: meals
  • Method: Soak
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan taco meat is a great plant-based option to boost your protein and still get your taco fix. Works great in any mexican dish by swapping out traditional “taco meat” with this recipe.



  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Place walnuts in medium bowl, add 2 teaspoon lemon juice and enough water to cover. 
  2. Let soak overnight for at least 8 hours. If you don’t have that much time, you can do flash soaking (see notes below)
  3. Drain and rinse well. Place the drained walnuts, tamari, and spices into a food processor.
  4. Pulse until the walnuts are chopped and look like ground (minced) meat. 
  5. Taste and add more spices if desired. 
  6. Store in airtight container until ready to assemble tacos.


Flash soaking nuts: boil 2 cups of water and pour over walnuts with a squeeze of lemon juice. Allow to soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour and continue making the recipe. Please note that flash soaking does destroy some of the nutrients in the walnuts. 

Keywords: vegan taco meat


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Melissa Koeppel says:

    I was not looking forward to trying this. I am so glad I did – it was really delicious! All the components together really worked.

  2. Ivonne S says:

    I’ll give it a try.

  3. Kamilah says:

    I’m allergic to most nuts (all but peanuts), do you think I could do this with seeds (pumpkin, sunflower?) or would peanuts work?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      That’s a good question, Kamilah! You could try peanuts but I’m not sure if those or seeds would work as well. I suggest giving mushrooms a try, like baby Bellas for example. I made some taco meat from another SGS recipe and it called for mushrooms + walnuts but I think you could use mushrooms only. And even if you’re on the fence with mushrooms, please try it out anyway! With all the wonderful spices and the way mushrooms (especially Bellas) have a meaty texture, you won’t be able to tell your taco “meat” used to be fungi. 😀

  4. Olivia says:

    I’ve made this taco “meat” when doing the cleanse, and it’s surprisingly a great swap for ground beef. It has the right texture and size, and the seasoning makes up most the flavor 🙂

  5. Tanya says:

    Do you just eat this cold (or room temperature) when it’s time to assemble the tacos? Or do you warm the walnut “meat” up?

    • Jen Hansard says:

      You can go either way. I usually eat it at room temp, but it’s really good warmed up too. I would just be careful to only heat it too much (like you don’t want it to be smoking hot) because that’ll “zap” the nutrients out of the nuts.

  6. Dani Mitchell says:

    This is my go-to taco meat recipe! So glad it’s on the blog on!!! The first I had it from your 21-day autumn cleanse I felt like I was in heaven— it really tastes like taco meat!!!! And it’s so easy to make… and store in the fridge during the week. I still make this at least once a month and love how much protein I can get here. Happy Cinco de Mayo Jen and the rawkstar team!

    • Jen Hansard says:

      Awww! I’m so glad you fell in love with this recipe like I did. It’s really a winner (and a great way to get meat lovers to see how “meaty” plant-based recipes can be. It’s not all soups and salads here!

  7. Mada Campos says:

    Can I sub pecans for walnuts?

    • Jen Hansard says:

      For sure! That’s probably the best substitute there is since it will have a similar color, taste and texture. Enjoy Mada and happy Cinco de Mayo!

popular recipes
Natural Remedies Recipe Book

Learn my go-to natural remedies that'll boost your immune system, crush your next cold and help ease congestion quickly.

free instant download
Top 7 green smoothie recipes ever!


follow along on instagram

get my go-to

Our go-to natural remedies to boost your immune system, crush your next cold and help ease congestion quickly.

Artboard 3