Vegan Quinoa Walnut Tacos

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These Vegan Quinoa Walnut Tacos are loaded with fiber-rich quinoa and toasted walnuts giving you a quick and easy plant-based meal that your family will love!! 30 minutes is all that stands between you and this delicious, vegan twist on a classic Mexican favorite.

White plate with vegan tacos garnished with avocado sauce and fresh cilantro

Quinoa & Walnut Taco “Meat”

  • A lot of vegan taco recipes include some sort of meat substitute (seitan, tempeh, tofu, etc.) however, these vegan tacos contain NO MEAT SUBSTITUTES. I’m just not a huge fan of fake meat and I prefer to use other ingredients to achieve the same result.
  • In this recipe, classic Mexican flavors of cumin and chili powder are paired with quinoa and walnuts to give you the perfect “meaty” texture. These vegan quinoa walnut tacos will leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed – which is the beauty of plant-based eating!
  • Quinoa might actually be the best meat substitute ever, in my humble opinion. It’s incredibly nutritious – loaded with tons of protein and fiber. Its mild nuttiness allows it to take on the flavors of whatever spices you add and the texture of quinoa makes it a great option for replacing ground meat in a dish.
Close up shot of vegan tacos drizzled with avocado cream sauce

Instructions

Cook quinoa according to package directions, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Metal pan with cooked quinoa in it

Saute onion in olive oil. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, walnuts, quinoa, water, soy sauce, and lime juice.

Large white pan with ingredients to make vegan taco filling

Stir until well combined and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently until everything is heated through. Add more water as needed.

Large white pan filled with vegan taco meat

While the taco “meat” is cooking, throw together my super quick and easy Creamy Avocado Sauce. Please note you’ll have to use vegan sour cream to make the avocado sauce vegan.

Assemble the tacos filling the flour tortillas with “meat” and adding all your favorite taco fixings!

Large white serving platter with vegan tacos garnished with creamy avocado sauce

Tips

  • To achieve that taco meat texture: chop your walnuts finely. You can also throw them in the food processor if that’s easier. The walnuts are going to give your “taco meat” that signature texture so they should resemble crumbly ground beef.
  • Add more water as needed to make sure the “meat” doesn’t dry out or stick to the bottom of the pan while cooking. Start with 1/2 a cup of water and add more if necessary. Different pans will cook differently. You want the taco “meat” to have the same texture and moisture level as regular meat so just keep that in mind when adding the water.
  • Get creative with your toppings! Boost the flavor of your vegan tacos with black beans, (vegan) refried beans, salsa, onions, sliced cabbage, cilantro, or Pico de Gallo. These options will add tons of flavor and more nutritional value than traditional cheese and sour cream taco toppings.
  • This vegan taco “meat” freezes well which makes it one of our family’s favorites. Store leftover taco “meat” in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat frozen taco “meat”, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge, then heat it in a saute pan over medium heat, adding water as needed and stirring frequently until it’s heated through. Be sure to season to taste with salt and pepper.
White plate with vegan tacos garnished with creamy avocado sauce

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Easy Vegan Tacos


  • Author: Kylie Lato
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x

Description

30 minutes is all that stands between you and these delicious tacos! This twist on the classic Mexican favorite is loaded with fiber rich quinoa and walnuts.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup water, more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about half a lime)
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 8 flour tortillas

Serve with:


Instructions

  1. Add quinoa and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil and cook quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, walnuts, quinoa, water, soy sauce, and lime juice. Stir until well combined.
  4. Cook, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes or until everything is heated through.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with Avocado Sauce, Pico de Gallo, diced red onion, and sliced jalapeno!

Notes

To achieve that taco meat texture: chop your walnuts finely. You can also throw them in the food processor if that’s easier. The walnuts are going to give your “taco meat” that signature texture so they should resemble crumbly ground beef.

Add more water as needed to make sure the “meat” doesn’t dry out or stick to the bottom of the pan while cooking. Start with 1/2 a cup of water and add more if necessary. Different pans will cook differently. You want the taco “meat” to have the same texture and moisture level as regular meat so just keep that in mind when adding the water.

Get creative with your toppings! Boost the flavor of your vegan tacos with black beans, (vegan) refried beans, salsa, onions, sliced cabbage, cilantro, or Pico de Gallo. These options will add tons of flavor and more nutritional value than traditional cheese and sour cream taco toppings.

This vegan taco “meat” freezes well which makes it one of our family’s favorites. Store leftover taco “meat” in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To reheat frozen taco “meat”, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge, then heat it in a saute pan over medium heat, adding water as needed and stirring frequently until it’s heated through. Be sure to season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: vegetarian tacos, healthy tacos, walnut tacos, quinoa tacos

This post was originally published in May of 2018. It was updated in July of 2020 to include process shots and tips for making the most delicious vegan tacos every single time!





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