Vegan Taco Salad with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes

PUBLISHED: 1.12.2021

We’re always looking for ways to serve them in an exciting way and this taco salad is perfection. It definitely hits the spot when craving Mexican.

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This is not your average vegan taco salad. It’s full of butter rich flavor from sweet potato noodles as well as smooth cashew cream. The avocado pico de gallo brings a pop of color, and a bed of kale ribbons finishes off the picture of perfection. Not only does it look delicious, it tastes heavenly! Whoever said vegan food isn’t filling hasn’t loaded up on this vegetarian taco salad…

Not your average taco salad

I’ve eaten a lot of taco salads at a lot of restaurants. Any time I ask for the vegetarian option, I’m told to swap the meat with beans. Every once in a while I’ll get a mushroom topping option. The tomatoes are usually slimy and not ripe, and the iceburg lettuce is wilted. Not in this salad! I chose spiralized sweet potatoes for the base, as they add a mild sweetness to the dish, as well as a heartiness. The avocado pico de gallo ups the fat content, and provides a rich creaminess. And don’t skip out on the cashew cream! It ties the whole dish together, in my opinion.

Vegan taco salad swaps

While this recipe was designed to be eaten on a 7-day reset, you can definitely make it your own. Each component of this salad is meant to fuel your body with a balance of healthy fats, fiber, protein, and some carbs. So keep that in mind while making swaps. If you’re looking to lower the fat (or just get rid of the avocados), then you can replace the avocado with diced tomatoes or bell peppers.

Swap the cashews with almonds or macademia nuts in the cashew cream recipe. Swap the walnuts with cashews or almonds. And don’t be afraid to go wild with toppings! If you like it on your tacos, then you’ll probably like it on this vegetarian taco salad.

Spiralized Vegetarian Taco Salad

Tips for the best vegan taco salad

Because I want you to get the best from this salad, I’m offering all my tried and true tips + tricks for making this vegetarian taco salad a hit from the first bite. First, don’t skip on soaking the nuts! Walnuts have a completely different texture raw vs soaked. If you want the right consistency for the ‘meat,’ then soaking is important. The same is true for the cashew cream. If you are a sour cream lover, then this cream is for you! Yet the cashews need time to soften up through soaking before they can become the cream of your dreams.

Finally, if you like taco salad that you eat with crunchy chips, then you can still love this version! Just bake those spiralized sweet potatoes until crispy. This will give you a crunchy base for your vegan taco salad, as well as give a satisfying crunch to each bite. Need help getting the noodles crispy? Make sure to rub in the oil with your hands, so every bit of sweet potato is covered. Spread out the noodles on the baking sheet, to give them a bit of breathing room. And don’t be afraid to broil them (watching closely!) at the end of baking to finish.

Vegetarian Taco Salad with avocado pico de gallo

Whole foods to help you THRIVE

This vegan taco salad recipe comes directly from the pages of my Thrive 7-day Reset. This reset is NOT: a juice cleanse, a punishment, or a starvation diet. It’s not a diet at all. It is a week long, whole food, plant based meal plan designed to help you reset your body, eating habits, sleeping habits, energy levels, and more. Yes people often lose weight while doing this, because your fueling your body with 100% plants (delicious ones, I might add). Yet even greater, you’ll find that following this plan for 7 days will bring you better, more restful sleep. It will give help your body feel energized, and clear brain fog.

I knew I needed to do more than survive in my life, so I created a plan to help me and this community THRIVE. And guess what? It did just that.

More cleansing recipes

Curious as to what kinds of recipes are in this 7-day reset? Here are some recipes you can expect in Thrive. All of these recipes are in either my 7-day resets or 21-day cleanses:

With recipes like these, how can you not try this reset?! So make this vegan taco salad, leave a comment + rating below to let me know how you liked it, then sign up for our next live Thrive 7-day Reset. Your body and mind will thank you!

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Spiralized Taco Salad

  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. We’re always looking for ways to serve them in an exciting way and this taco salad is perfection. Each healthy bite is full of mouthwatering flavor. It definitely hits the spot when you’re craving Mexican flavors.


Scale

Ingredients

For “meat”:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts (soaked overnight)
  • 12 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Big pinch sea salt

For sweet potato/swoodles:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato (peeled, spiralized)
  • ¼ teaspoon each: chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper
  • Pinch ground cayenne (optional)

For avo pico de gallo:

  • ½ medium avocado (diced)
  • ¼ cup mango (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 12 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • Pinch sea salt

For toppings:

  • 1 cup kale (cut into thin ribbons)
  • 12 tablespoons Cashew Cream (ingredients below)
  • 12 fresh lime wedges

For Cashew cream:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • water for soaking, plus 1/4 cup for blending
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Pinch sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep cashew cream: Place cashews in a medium bowl. Cover with plenty of water. Let soak 1-4 hours. Drain and rinse well.
  2. Blend: Place soaked cashews, 1/4 cup fresh water, lemon juice, and sea salt in food processor or blender. Puree until smoothie and creamy. Stop and scrape down sides as needed, and add a little more water if mixture is too thick to blend.
  3. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Preheat: Set oven to 425°f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  5. Process: Place presoaked walnuts, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Alternatively, finely chop the walnuts with a chef’s knife, place in a bowl and add the lime juice and spices. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Mix: Toss the spiralized sweet potato with olive oil and season with the spices, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
  7. Mix: Meanwhile, prepare the avo pico. Stir together all of the ingredients and season with a pinch of sea salt.
  8. Serve: To serve, place the baked swoodles on a plate. Top with the walnut “meat,” kale ribbons, avo pico de gallo, cilantro, and some cashew cream. Serve with lime wedge(s) on the side.

Keywords: vegan taco salad, sweet potato noodles, taco salad, vegetarian taco salad

COMMENTS
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  1. Kimberly Wade says:

    This was delicious! I used tomatoes instead of mango and added some green onions. I’m taking off one star, because it was so time consuming to make. I don’t have a food processor. The sweet potato was charred around the edges after less than 12 minutes, so i would recommend keeping an eye on that.

  2. Rebekah says:

    This is one of the best combos I’ve ever had! I’m fresh off of the fall cleanse and want to continue eating the rainbow! We did not even put hot sauce on it (that’s saying a LOT for flavor).

  3. Liz says:

    Somehow we missed this during this original reset so added it to the spring one now — hands down the best of the meals!! So incredibly delicious — and we love most of the meals in the resets.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      I love this one, also! It was a big hit in my house, even with the meat-eating folks. 🙂

  4. Marina says:

    I am allergic to cashews!

  5. Genevieve says:

    This walnut meat has managed to creep into a ton of our mexi recipes! So flavorful with amazing texture and meatiness without being meat. Such a delicious recipe. I absolutely adore the depth of the walnuts with the creaminess of the cashews, the sweet of the potatoes and the bright fresh creaminess of the avo pico. Love this recipe so much!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Me too, it’s one of my faves!! I love how all the flavors come together so well. 🙂

  6. Jessica Dufresne says:

    This was amazing!! I just finished the 21-day cleanse and needed something new to keep me going. This was perfect.

  7. Sandy says:

    This looks so yummy! I’d have to leave out the walnuts because my husband has nut allergies but I think black and or pinto beans would be a great substitute. Cook them up with some cumin, cayenne, smoked paprika and some minced onion and garlic and it should all be good :).

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Yes beans or legumes would make a delicious swap in this recipe. Mushrooms too!

  8. Christie says:

    This recipe was delicious! My husband and I did the reset and this was one of our favorite recipes! We were both skeptical of eating walnuts as “meat” but don’t hesitate to try this recipe. You won’t miss the meat at all! I can’t wait to find more vegan recipes that taste this good. Thanks so much!

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Thanks for the love, Christie! And I’m so happy you joined us for our Thrive Winter Reset!!!

  9. traci says:

    Had this tonight. YUM!! Although I am working on the 21 day healthy eating challenge I wanted something different for dinner and found this recipe. I did add meat instead of the walnuts, not ready to go meatless but this was a winner for dinner!! The whole family ate it and getting them to eat kale is a challenge and the family wants to this recipe to be a keeper!

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Traci,

      YAY! I love that you loved this recipe. And I especially love that you can swap recipes from Thrive into Fresh Start too!! How are you feeling throughout your 21-day cleanse?

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