The Best Vegan Taco Meat

Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 55 minutes / Serves 4-6 / ~475 Calories per Serving

Everyone loves tacos! If you don’t, well we will taco-bout that later! I have some suggestions at the end of this recipe if deliciousness wrapped in a warm tortilla is not your thing. This vegan taco meat is a great filling for any vessel and a great way to enjoy the tasty treat without any meat. Whether you are vegan or just looking for a healthy spin on a classic, this is the recipe for you!

Three tacos filled with vegan taco meat, topped with red cabbage, salsa, and guacamole, on a plate with black beans.

This is the kind of recipe that you can customize to your personal taste. Don’t like mushrooms? Don’t add them. Want to add extra spice to your vegan taco meat? Add more jalapeños (or a habanero if you are brave)! The important thing is that you are fueling your body with healthy food. We try our best to “eat the rainbow”, so we have incorporated as much color as possible into this dish. The best part is that all of these ingredients can be grown in your own backyard!

We like things with a kick in my household, but if you are making this for your kids you can easily adjust the amount of chili powder used or omit it. Yes, my chili powder comes in an unmarked ziplock bag that is just labeled “HOT”. That’s how you know it’s good. I buy my chili powder from my local chili dealer. Just kidding, well kind of. I get it from a farm stand and it is the best I have found. I’d tell you the name, but it is a family secret and I would probably be disowned (or worse) if I told you. We take our chili very seriously in these parts.

Vegan Taco Meat Ingredients

Ingredients for vegan taco meat on a cutting board: quinoa, mushrooms, bell pepper, jalapeno, corn, onions, vegetable broth, and spices
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth*
  • ¾ cup water
  • 5 oz mushrooms, finely chopped  
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced 
  • ½ cup onion, diced 
  • ½ cup corn (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup salsa*
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Vegan taco meat made with quinoa, mushrooms, peppers, corn, and onions toasted in the oven on a sheet pan.

How To Make Vegan Taco Meat

  • In a medium saucepan on medium heat, toast quinoa for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Preheat oven to 375, spray sheet pan with olive oil
  • Add water and vegetable broth to the quinoa and cook for 15-25 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Let cool for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  • Toss quinoa with the veggies, seasonings, and oil. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until quinoa is toasted. Be careful not to burn.
  • Serve in your desired vessel with your favorite toppings!

Baking the vegan taco meat helps to add texture. The quinoa gets a bit crispy on the outside and stays soft on the inside. While the veggies soften, but maintain their color. It makes for the perfect taco meat substitute.

Serving Suggestions For Vegan Taco Meat

Choose your vessel: 

  • Flour or corn tortillas, soft or crispy
  • Enchiladas
  • Nachos
  • Tostadas
  • Taco Salad
  • Stuffed Bell Pepper

Choose your toppings:

*You can make your own vegetable broth or use store-bought, but you own a Growing Dome so… My recipe varies depending on what I have available. Sometimes I just use veggie scraps, sometimes I will throw in some hardy greens like kale or collards. For this batch, I added some jalapeño ribs and seeds so the broth has a kick.

*This Dome-grown salsa recipe is what I used. Again, you can use store-bought salsa, but you have fresh ingredients at your fingertips!

If you like this recipe, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive more fresh and healthy recipe ideas straight to your inbox! You may also like: Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Tacos, The Best Vegan Lasagna, and Lumpia: Vegan Filipino Egg Rolls.

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Shelby Lucero Social Media Coordinator
I graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2018 with a BA in Environmental Studies. I began working for Growing Spaces in August of 2020 and have had the pleasure of working in many departments. I enjoy being a part of this amazing team that helps others achieve their dream gardens! In my spare time, I enjoy working in the 15’ Growing Dome that my husband and I share.

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