The taco meat for these Vegan Tacos is unbelievably delicious and made with 100% plants! Everyone will enjoy these plant based tacos made from mushrooms, walnuts and a few other pantry-staple ingredients. Ready in 20 minutes!

If you love making taco meat substitutes out of vegetables as much as I do, then you’ll also love my Cauliflower Vegan Taco Meat and Easy Chipotle Sofritas!

3 assembled vegan tacos in a row.

Looking for an easy and vegan-friendly dinner that’s packed with flavor? These Vegan Tacos feature a meaty mushroom and walnut filling that comes together in just 20 minutes. Top them with vegan sour cream, avocado, salsa, and any other toppings you love, then enjoy!

You’re going to love these vegan tacos because

  • The meatiest taco “meat”. Mushroom walnut taco meat is where it’s at. It’s made from a simple blend of mushrooms, walnuts, tomato sauce, and spices to lend a realistic meaty texture and flavor. Load it into tacos, burritos, salads, and more!
  • A foolproof weeknight dinner. This dinner is practically impossible to mess up because the walnut mushroom “meat” is made with simple ingredients and cooked in one pan. You’ll know it’s ready to eat when the irresistible smoky and meaty aromas are filling your kitchen and the mixture has thoroughly browned.
  • It’s all said and done in 20 minutes. This naturally gluten free and vegan dinner is ready to eat in no time. It’s the perfect choice for quick weeknight dinners!
mushrooms and walnuts in a food processor.

How to make the best vegan tacos

Find the complete printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.

Pulse the mushrooms and walnuts in a food processor until they’re crumbly. The mixture should still have some texture and not be a paste. If you don’t have a food processor, just chop everything up very finely.

crumbled walnuts and mushrooms in a food processor.

Sauté the onion in an oiled large skillet over medium heat until soft and translucent.

Add the mushroom walnut meat into the pan. Sprinkle the spices and tomato sauce on top, then stir to combine.

Cook the walnut taco meat in the pan, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have softened, browned, and released almost all of their liquid. Add a splash of water if the pan gets too dry.

Scoop the filling into corn or flour tortillas with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

cooking vegan taco meat with spices and tomato sauce in a large grey pan.

Taco toppings

Get creative and add an array of colorful, flavor-packed toppings over your vegan tacos, such as:

Tips and variations

  • Gluten free – The walnut taco meat is naturally gluten free but you can use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas to make the tacos 100% gluten free.
  • Instead of walnuts – Crumbled almonds or cashews should lend the same meaty texture to the vegan taco meat.
  • Nut free – Replace the walnuts with pepitas or sunflower seeds to make the mushroom “meat” nut free.
  • Spicy tacos – Add a pinch of cayenne to the list of seasonings or saute diced jalapenos along with the onions in the pan.
  • Warm the tortillas – They’ll be much more pliable and soft when they’re warmed over a low flame on a gas range or in the microwave.
cooked vegan taco meat in a large grey pan.

Serving suggestions

Pair the vegan tacos with black bean salad, rice and beans, and vegan queso for a colorful Mexican-inspired meal.

The vegan taco meat can also be used to beef up all kinds of dishes, like vegan burritos, burrito bowls, stuffed baked potatoes, and nachos. Alternatively, add a scoop to any ordinary salad or taco salad to make it extra hearty!

Frequently asked questions

  • Do you have to make this in a food processor? Chop the mushrooms and walnuts very finely by hand if you don’t have a food processor.
  • How do you store the taco filling? Keep the leftover taco meat in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Can you freeze it? Yes! Store it in an airtight container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat the frozen meat in a skillet until warmed through, then serve!
close up on vegan tacos filled with walnut mushroom meat, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Want more vegan tacos?

3 assembled vegan tacos in a row.
4.25 stars (4 ratings)

The Best Vegan Tacos

The taco meat for these Vegan Tacos is unbelievably delicious and made with 100% plants! Everyone will enjoy these plant based tacos made from mushrooms, walnuts and a few other pantry-staple ingredients. Ready in 20 minutes!
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

Taco meat

  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

For serving

Instructions 

  • Add the mushrooms and walnuts to a food processor and pulse until they are crumbly, but not too much that they become a paste. You want a meat crumble type texture. Set aside.
  • Warm the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  • Now add the mushroom-walnut mixture from the food processor, as well as the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and tomato sauce.
  • Cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened and it begins to brown. Add a little water if it gets too dry.
  • Assemble tacos with toppings of choice.

Notes

  1. May use another nut for the walnuts if needed, such as almonds, cashews, pepitas or sunflower seeds even.
  2. I like to warm my corn tortillas right on my gas stovetop to get them a bit blackened and soft. So good!
  3. This vegan taco meat will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Simply reheat on the stovetop or microwave. It freezes well, too.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 6 servings | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. This is the first recipe of yours that didn’t do it for me. We ended up adding about a half of a packet of taco seasoning just to add some extra flavor. Once we added all the extras, it still made a good dinner! Thank you!

  2. This made a really delicious taco filling!  I was using a very small food processor, and next time I will break the walnuts down a bit smaller.  But this is a great “ground meat-consistentcy” hack

    1. Hi Courtney. Yes, I love the way this taco filling has the ‘ground meat’ consistency! I’m so glad you loved the recipe! Thank you for your wonderful feedback!

    1. Thanks so much for your wonderful review, Debbie! Next time, pulse the walnuts in the food processor a few times before adding the mushrooms. This should help break them down a bit more so you can avoid the crunch.

  3. Made this tonight because we were having taco night anyway – perfect timing for this recipe to be in my inbox! Made exactly as stated (except that my mushroom container was 10 ounces rather than 8). Not as “taco tasting” as regular taco seasoning but very very flavorful and I actually LOVE that it doesn’t use a taco seasoning packet. I think I let it cook down longer than 10 minutes; I just let it keep simmering and I stirred every so often until it was basically the “thickness” of regular taco meat. So delicious! I’ve been vegan for over a year now, but I’m constantly on the watch for plant-based recipes that the rest of my family will like and this one was a hit – thank you!

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