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, especially if they're vegan tacos! While visiting Austin a few years ago, I got hooked on taco + BBQ fusions found in many restaurants there.
Those flavor-exploding tacos in Austin inspired these vegan tacos; in name and flavor! I used cauliflower and garbanzo beans smothered in bbq sauce to create a solid base. Here's everything you need to know about making a tasty vegan taco recipe.
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:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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 Taco 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.
Vegan Taco Filling Protein Options
- Tofu- 15 grams per ½ cup
- Soybeans- 8.5 grams per ½ cup
- Lentils- 8.84 grams per ½ cup
- Chickpeas- 7.25 grams per ½ cup
- Almonds- 16.5 grams per ½ cup
- Quinoa- 8 grams per ½ cup
- Beans + Rice- 8 grams per ½ cup
- Potatoes- 8 grams per 1 baked potato
- Walnuts- 9 grams per ½ cup
- Cashews- 10 grams per ½ cup
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:
- BBQ Jackfruit tacos
- Healthy taco salad
- Crispy chickpea tacos
- Walnut meat tacos
- Tacos de papa
- Spiralized taco salad
- 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?
Austinite Vegan TacosRate this Recipe Print Recipe
- 1 head cauliflower (cut into small florets)
- 1 sweet potato (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- ½ cup BBQ sauce (plus more for serving)
- 12 corn tortillas (warmed)
- 1 cup Cashew Coleslaw
- ½ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- avocado (sliced)
- green onions (sliced)
- tomatoes (diced)
- 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.
- 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.