10.15.2021

Austinite Vegan Tacos

Vegan tacos are my jam: Mexican-inspired spices + plant based protein make for a super filling taco recipe. Get ready to fall in love!

vegan tacos

Most people celebrate Taco Tuesday, but if I had the option, I’d have Taco Wednesday and Taco Thursday, too! I have a thing for tacos! While visiting Austin a few years ago, I got hooked on taco + BBQ fusions found in many restaurants there. Those tacos inspired my Austinite vegan tacos; in name and flavor! I can’t wait to share this vegan taco recipe with you.

I’m not gonna lie, every year since we’ve been dating, Ryan and I have gone to Taco Bell for Valentine’s Day. Romantic, huh?! It’s really because when you’re young and naive, you don’t realize every restaurant is booked on Valentine’s Day… well… every restaurant except Taco Bell! It’s tradition for us now, but if I’m being honest, Austinite Vegan Tacos are where it’s at! Taco Bell’s got nothin’ on these!

You can find find this recipe and 100+ recipes in my new book, Simple Green Meals. 

How to make vegan tacos

My vegan taco recipe combine Tasty Texas BBQ ingredients into taco shells for a great flavor fusion. Here’s how:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the chopped cauliflower, sweet potato and onion on the baking sheet. Drizzle with coconut oil (or olive or avocado oil) and toss to coat. If you want crispy taco filling then be sure the oil well coats the veggies. Season with salt and pepper then roast for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and add the chickpeas. Drizzle your fav BBQ sauce over everything then toss again to coat well. Bake an additional 5-8 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Serve on corn tortillas with 1 spoonful of the BBQ filling along with a spoonful of coleslaw. I also top with cilantro, avocado slices, scallions and tomatoes.

If you’re looking for a ‘pulled pork’ option, then try my BBQ jackfruit tacos. They are shockingly good too. The sweet potatoes add a complex sweetness to this dish, yet you can use regular white potatoes as well (you do you!).

FAQs for plant based tacos

What can I use instead of meat for tacos?

So many ingredients! Cauliflower, jackfruit, black beans, chickpeas, potatoes, nuts… see what I mean? Plants can also be loaded with protein + nutrients, and create an equally filling taco. My vegan taco filling below is a mix of cauliflower and chickpeas with BBQ sauce.

What’s in vegan tacos?

Many taco ingredients are naturally vegan. Swap sour cream with avocados or guacamole, meat with chickpeas, cauliflower, black beans, jackfruit, potatoes, or nuts, then make sure the rice + other ingredients are cooked in vegetable broth or plant based oil instead of butter.

What fillings are vegetarian friendly for tacos?

Other than the obviously veggie + bean toppings for tacos, I love using cashew cream (vegan sour cream), avocado crema, dairy free coleslaw, and rice made with vegetable broth. It’s not hard to swap out meat based products with vegan ones, just make sure you read your labels if you go for store-bought options over homemade ones.

Storing options for filling

This filling can be made ahead of time, cooled completely, then stored in a freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to enjoy it, just thaw a bit in the fridge then bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until crispy. The toaster oven is a great way to reheat this filling, as it can get it a bit crispier than an oven.

You can even freeze toppings like jalapeños, green onions, and avocado slices. Dice and put into separate freezer bags. Thaw out when ready to use.

easy coleslaw recipe for vegan tacos

Vegan taco filling options

I love protein filled foods as much as the next person, yet I choose to get a lot of my protein from plants. Here are some great protein options for tacos, both produce and nuts + all plant based:

Tofu– 15grams per 1/2 cup

Soybeans– 8.5 grams per 1/2 cup

Lentils– 8.84 grams per 1/2 cup

Chickpeas– 7.25 grams per 1/2 cup

Almonds– 16.5 grams per 1/2 cup

Quinoa– 8 grams per 1/2 cup

Beans + Rice– 8 grams per 1/2 cup

Potatoes– 8 grams per 1 baked potato

Walnuts– 9 grams per 1/2 cup

Cashews– 10 grams per 1/2 cup

There are so many unique ways to cook these options too, whether you have smashed potatoes or nut based ‘meat.’ What’s your fav protein option?

7 Delicious vegan taco recipes

I have a serious love for tacos as well as a joy in finding new ways to incorporate plants into meals for my family. These 7 recipes will hopefully give you some new recipe inspo for weeknight dinners:

  • Cauliflower BBQ vegan tacos (below)

While you could just omit the meat and fill your next taco with toppings, I wanna taco that’s filling. So I’ve created a wide variety of tacos where you won’t miss the meat… and you may just start making these on the regular! Which one do you want to make first?

delicious vegan recipe

Austinite Vegan Tacos

When I created this vegan taco recipe, it just felt like it had an Austin flair going on, so I named it after that city. Austin, Texas, is one of my favorite cities, thanks to the great music, the variety of healthy foods available, its natural landscape, and the fact that my awesome aunt and uncle live there. 
5 from 4 votes
PRINT RATE IT Print Recipe
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican-Inspired, Plant-Based
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Jen Hansard

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower - cut into small florets
  • 1 sweet potato - cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow onion - diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil - melted
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas - drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce - plus more for serving

For Serving

  • 12 corn tortillas - warmed
  • 1 cup Cashew Coleslaw
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
  • avocado - sliced
  • green onions - sliced
  • tomatoes - diced

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the cauliflower, sweet potato, and onion on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. Season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and add the chickpeas. Drizzle the BBQ sauce over everything and toss to coat. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
  • Serve with one spoon of the BBQ filling into the tortillas and top each with a spoonful of the coleslaw, a sprinkling of cilantro, avocado slices, scallions, tomatoes, and any additional BBQ sauce you’d like. Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  • To make this nut free, omit the cashew cream and replace with a nut free vegan option.
  • This version has BBQ flavoring, yet you can swap with a more traditional taco seasoning.
  • Replace the corn tortillas with romaine lettuce.

Nutrition

Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 482mg | Potassium: 929mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 8250IU | Vitamin C: 80mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @simplegreensmoothies or tag #simplegreensmoothies!
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About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a realistic plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Ratings & Comments

15
  1. Munchkin says:

    Hi – I want to make this but the link is dead for the cashew coleslaw. Can you please share the recipe? Thank you!

  2. Janice says:

    Very good! Too labor intensive for me though.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      They are so yummy! Two ways to cut down on the labor… It would be more expensive, but you could totally buy several of the ingredients already chopped in the produce section of your grocery store (like onion, sweet potato) and pre-packaged cabbage already shredded for the slaw. A second idea is to pick one ingredient to chop each evening during the week, then prep and eat your tacos at the end of that week. That way the labor is totally spread out and everything’s chopped and ready several days later. 🙂

  3. sheila says:

    5 stars
    So yummy! Way beyter then I ever imagined. This was a big hit for dinner last night. Must make!!!

  4. Kim says:

    5 stars
    Thanks to this recipe I was able to bring back Taco Tuesdays. Delish! 🙂

  5. Katie says:

    What BBQ sauce do you recommend? It’s difficult to find one without added sugars or some type of artificial sweetener. Thanks!

    • Christine says:

      I used Annie’s organic sweet and spicy bbq. Came out delicious!

  6. Dani Mitchel says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe!!! I have your hook but it wasn’t until I watched the video of you making it that I was like: “okay- it’s time to make this!!” Thanks for showing me how simple it can be- and the tast was amazing!!! Even my 7-year old gobbled on up! Plant-power it is!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Dani,

      Yay!! SO happy that you love this recipe and that our Youtube channel was able to help you see just how easy it really is 🙂

  7. Krista says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. How do you prepare the corn tortillas for the tacos?

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Krista,

      You can try them a few different ways. You can just use them plain right out of the bag, place them in the oven until they are that perfect crispiness, or for a real BBQ style place them on the grill for a few minutes.

      Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  8. Dan says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is awesome. I made it a couple weeks ago from the book. The cashew cream is the perfect topping!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Dan!

      The cashew cream really is extra delicious in this recipe!

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