10-Minute Raw Vegan Taco “Meat”

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Wood cutting board with corn tortillas topped with Vegan Taco "Meat", radishes, avocado, and jalapenos

Friends! Vegan taco “meat” is here!

It’s made with delicious wholesome raw ingredients and ready in 10 minutes. Let’s do this!

Wood cutting board with ingredients for making Vegan Taco "Meat"

This recipe starts with raw walnuts, which are blitzed into a fine meal. This creates the perfect texture while providing tons of healthy fat and protein.

Next comes a spicy, smoky red sauce made with sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and dry spices. Once it’s blended into a paste, simply combine the two and – seriously – that’s it!

Food processor with Mexican spices and flavors for making Vegan Taco MeatFood processor with freshly blended sun-dried tomatoes and spices for Vegan Taco "Meat"

This taco “meat” is seriously dreamy! We love the slightly chunky texture, the heartiness from the sun-dried tomatoes, and the spice from fresh habanero peppers. Mmm, it’s dinner time.

Stirring walnuts and sun-dried tomato mixture in a glass bowl for gluten-free vegan Taco "Meat"

We hope you all LOVE this dish! It’s:

Smoky
Spicy
Healthy fat + Protein-packed
Quick + Easy
Customizable
Versatile
& So delicious

This would make the perfect item to add to things like tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, and more. We could also see it being a lovely addition to dishes like our Tortilla Soup, 1-Pot Lentil Chili, and Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas! You could also add it to a Perfect Roasted Sweet Potato with Garlicky Guacamole, Easy Red Salsa, and a little Vegan Sour Cream for the ultimate decadent (yet healthy) meal!

Digging vegan Mexican dishes? Be sure to check out our Vegan Quinoa Taco “Meat” and these 14 Vegan Mexican-Inspired Recipes!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Corn tortillas topped with homemade Mexican Vegan Taco "Meat" and fresh vegetables

10-Minute Raw Vegan Taco "Meat"

Easy, delicious, 10-minute vegan taco "meat" made with walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, spices, and peppers! The perfect balance of spice and smokiness, and loaded with protein and healthy fats. Add to tacos, nachos, salads, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Cutting board with a taco made with our delicious Vegan Taco Meat recipe
4.98 from 68 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 (1/2-cup servings)
Course Entree, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week

Ingredients

WALNUT TACO MEAT

  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (preferably packaged dry, not in oil)*
  • 3 cups raw walnuts
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (omit if avoiding sugar, or sub a little stevia)
  • 1-2 small habanero peppers (deseeded and chopped // more or less to spice preference // or sub 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, plus more to taste, but this will make the recipe no longer raw)
  • 1-2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ~1/4 cup water as needed (plus more as needed)

FOR GARNISH/SERVING (optional)

  • Tortillas
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Radish

Instructions

  • Add sun-dried tomatoes to a small bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside and allow to soak for at least 5 minutes.
  • To the bowl of a food processor, add walnuts and pulse into a semi-fine meal (some larger chunks are okay. Be careful not to churn into a butter). Transfer walnuts to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Drain the sun-dried tomatoes (reserving the water in a small bowl to add back to the sauce later on) and add to the bowl of the food processor. Add garlic, sea salt, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, coconut sugar, habaneros, and nutritional yeast (optional) and blend until a smooth paste is formed. Add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of reserved water at a time until a thick but pourable sauce is formed (see photo).
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, garlic for more “zing,” peppers for heat, cumin for smokiness, or coconut sugar to balance the heat.
  • Add mixture to walnuts and stir to combine. At this point, you can taste and adjust flavors as needed once more. We added a bit more salt.
  • Enjoy in any setting one would use taco meat: tacos, salad, nachos, burritos, and more. Leftovers can be stored up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer.

Video

Notes

*If your sun-dried tomatoes are packed in oil, this will add more potentially unwanted moisture to the spice mixture. To avoid this, either pat them dry or rinse, drain, and proceed with recipe as instructed. If large, chop into small pieces. We prefer to use Trader Joe’s sun-dried tomatoes that come in a bag (not packed in oil).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 373.6 Carbohydrates: 16 g Protein: 9 g Fat: 33 g Saturated Fat: 3.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 23.73 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.65 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 253.4 mg Potassium: 272 mg Fiber: 4.8 g Sugar: 6.2 g Vitamin A: 818 IU Vitamin C: 5.48 mg Calcium: 66.77 mg Iron: 2.7 mg

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  1. Samara says

    I’ve cut meat out of my diet, and this recipe is hearty, satisfying, and delicious. Love using this meet on rice bowls, tacos, and in collard green wraps. Perfect!

  2. Allie says

    I didn’t have enough walnuts so I added some almonds, cashews and Hemp hearts. It turned out fantastic!!!! Topped our tocos with avocado, pickled red onion and fresh jalepano slices, even our toddler ate some of this taco “meat”! Will definitely make again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad it turned out well with the substitutions! Thanks so much for sharing, Allie! xo

  3. Anna says

    [Repost with 5 stars] I never knew walnut meat was so easy to make. The flavor was perfect too—flavorful but not too spicy. Walnuts are mega anti-inflammatory, too, which is another reason to make this. Thanks, Dana!

  4. Anna says

    I never knew walnut meat was so easy to make. The flavor was perfect too—flavorful but not too spicy. Walnuts are mega anti-inflammatory, too, which is another reason to make this. Thanks, Dana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Anna. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  5. Anita says

    This truly was delicious and easy!! If your blender is unpredictable, just hand chop the walnuts to make sure they don’t pulverize.

  6. natalie says

    This is so good! I love how easy it is to make and how quick it is.
    I ate this with a tortilla yesterday and today I added it to my pasta. It tastes better warmed up to me! SO GOOD!

  7. Deanna says

    Amazing! Even my meat-eater boyfriend thought it was excellent!! I served it on a sprouted wheat tortilla, and topped it with a cabbage, carrot, jalapeno mixture and added micro greens, hemp hearts and chia. OMG Yum!

  8. Cecile Malik says

    This recipe was delicious! My picky 11 yo even loved it, which is impressive as he doesn’t like anything new. That’s going to be our go to recipe for taco night from now on. Thanks for sharing all your delicious recipes!! Your website is becoming a favorite.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there, you should be able to print just the recipe by clicking the print button in the recipe box. Let us know if you have trouble doing so!

  9. Liliya says

    Sooooooo good!!! Thank you! I did mine with fire roasted pepers and no hot spices but instead upped the garlick on top of the rest of listed spices. To die for!

  10. Danielle says

    I would love to try this recipe but sadly I am allergic to tomatoes. What would be the best substitution? I’ve been craving tacos for sooo long since I became vegan and I don’t want to give up on this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, that’s a bit tricky as they are a key flavor. Maybe fire roasted bell peppers?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Stacey, We wouldn’t recommend it as the quantity of brazil nuts consumed in one serving may be excessive in regard to selenium content.

  11. Mims says

    Hello Dana! We are entering our third week of self isolating in Seattle suburbs. Fortunately husband and I have jobs we can work from home. We take preparedness seriously and luckily always have lot of TP and dried rice, beans and a deep pantry of spices, etc to be ready for a earthquake. I come for a family of firefighters and first responders, so Be Prepared! has been drilled in me all my life. Never thought I would be using supplies for a pandemic though!
    Anyway, I made your the walnut tacos, and so DELISH. Tip: Instead of water, I used the rice vinegar from the pickled red onions I always have on hand..and it really elevated it.

    Sadly we only have one package of sprouted corn tortillas and a few avocados left, but 2 pounds of walnuts in the freezer, so i will figure out what else this pairs with well. Happy cocooning everyone . The silver lining is that once past this, maybe folks will stock up on things and not just live “just in time”. You never know when a deep pantry will serve you!

    Here is love and hope everyone gets through this and finds their inner grit and resolve. I feel like folks born in the 70s going forward have had a pretty easy ride. OF course, we had AIDS, 9-11, the great recession, Gulf War, but we did not experience world wars, spanish flu, polio, the great depression. Life is isn’t fair, but WE CAN DO THIS!

  12. Carrie Richard says

    Loved this! Have never tried ‘raw’ before but it was awesome. I only had sun dried tomatoes in oil so used those and didn’t add as much water. Worked out great. Our family decided to make a change for our health and your recipes have made it SO much easier than I thought it would be. My kids (15 & 9) have even loved the recipes and are eating vegetables they never knew existed before. I also loved giving collard greens a try a wrap – I’ll definitely be using them instead of a tortilla in other recipes!

  13. Schneia Robinson says

    I’m transitioning to eating plant based and I was so elated to find and test this recipe. I absolutely loved the flavor of this “meat”. I can’t wait to sub this recipe in for some dishes that I make!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Schneia. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  14. Jennifer says

    I am new to raw nutrition. Do I have to soak the raw walnuts? Isn’t there something concerning nuts and inhibitors?

  15. B says

    Dana this is amazing! I had some shallots I wanted to use up so I used that instead of the garlic. I also used sundried tomatoes in oil since that is what I already had. Because of the oil in the sundried tomatoes I didn’t need to add much water to get it to a consistency I liked. Very tasty and very fast! Will definitely make again

  16. Felicia says

    This is honestly the most delicious taco “meat” I’ve eaten since going vegetarian 3 years ago. AND to top it off, it’s raw! I could eat this everyday. I made it into taco salad and I didn’t find it to lack anything without a dressing or salsa. The “meat” is so flavourful that avocado, cherry tomatoes, green onions & lettuce was enough!

  17. Matt White says

    I made this today with Chiplote pepper in Adobe sauce. Wow! Delicious. Very easy to make. I had to add about 5-6TBS of water. Pinned already.

  18. mkpack says

    Super super good! I used dried chiles (rehydrated them beforehand) instead of fresh and it came out spicy but super flavorful. Would def recommend!

  19. Sourdough says

    Made this today and glad I tried it. I enjoyed the texture and flavors immensely, and honestly was inspired by the combination of ingredients, particularly the sundried tomatoes and walnuts.

    However, the three cups of walnuts recommendation makes it a very expensive dish to make, and also not a dish I would make regularly since my body is not used to consuming such a large quantity of nuts in one serving.

    I also added baked squash to balance out the flavors and make the servings less heavy. For the onions and radishes, I soaked them in water to take out the bite.

    I would be pretty interested in trying a combo of the quinoa filling taco recipe with sundried tomatoes wrt cost and digest-ability.

    Thanks for such a fun and creative recipe! My guests loved it and I’m looking forward to writing it down in my personal recipe book.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing! Yes, walnuts can be a little pricey. You could try subbing another cheaper seed of choice, such as sunflower, or a less expensive nut (maybe almond?). You could also add chopped red bell pepper for some of the walnuts to lessen the fat content!

  20. Jaime Tollefson says

    I was really excited about this because as a Vegan, everything is a taco. I wanted to like this dish and while it didn’t taste inherently bad, I just thought it was really labor intensive, and maybe I didn’t grind the walnuts enough, but I thought the crunchy walnut texture was distracting and too… walnutty. Super super filling too, which isn’t bad either but I tend to shove tacos in my face like it’s the last meal I’ll ever eat, so I definitely paid for it later. If you’re not a fan of soy, or have digestive issues with it, this is a good option to make in big batches and perhaps freeze for later. For just one person, I found it outlasted my desire to eat it after the 3 day. Even for a taco lover like me. I didn’t use very spicy peppers either so perhaps a spicier kick might off-set that walnut affront. Also – I forgot that I have issues with sun dried tomatoes giving me acid reflux. Again, I’m not a normal human and you probably won’t eat 10 tacos in a row; so shouldn’t be an issue if you go easy.

  21. Gaby Ader says

    This is so delicious! I followed most of the directions but used sun dried tomatoes in oil and rinsed and patted them dry like recommended. I used half the amount of Cumin because that seemed like too much to me. I don’t really like the taste of smoked paprika so I used regular and then I added a some chipotle in adobo sauce. I did not add any sweetener because I don’t eat sugar. It is expensive to make since it uses so many walnuts and pretty much an entire jar of sundried tomatoes but it makes a lot. We were able to to have it for dinner twice and I just had the last of it in a big taco. It’s so good with vegan sour cream, hot sauce and veges. It also freezes well. I will definitely make this again.

    Thank you,
    Gaby

  22. Lindsay Tramble says

    Amazing recipe!!! I doubled the amount of sun-dried tomatoes because I love their taste and don’t like the taste of walnuts. The result was both spicy and bursting with flavour! I served on hard taco shells and soft tortillas and both were amazing. Leftovers also lasted 3-4 days for a quick and easy lunch.

  23. Jennifer says

    Love, love, love….this is the best “taco meat” I have made yet, and believe me I have tried many due to my love of mexican food. This is a staple that I keep in the fridge. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  24. Jakini Auset MenAb says

    De.li.cious!! I haven’t had walnut meat in 20 years and I didn’t know how much I missed it! However, this mexican flavor is a whole new twist and I loved it. I didn’t have the pepper, so omit it. I added coconut aminos and used granulated garlic and dehydrated onions. I had it as a topper for salad and added avocado, salsa, vegan sour cream and vegan cheese, sauteed asparagus and mushroom. Thanks for a great and quick receipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      So glad you enjoyed it, Jakini! Your modifications and meal sound amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Helene says

    Sounds soo good. I am having a party and making Mexican taco buffet. Will this keep if I make it the day before and store in the fridge? Thanks ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Natasa, we haven’t tried that, but it might work! Probably will end up more crunchy though. Let us know if you give it a try!

  26. Maneesha says

    SUCH A DELICIOUS RECIPE! It’s so quick to make, and so healthy with the walnuts – OMEGA! Thanks for a great recipe! Perfect for Taco Tuesdays!

  27. Karla says

    This recipe was delicious!! I’m vegetarian and I love recipes that please vegetarians and non vegetarians alike. I loved it and my sister (non vegetarian) loved it too. The spices were perfect and I loved the consistency. I used adobo peppers because that is what I had on hand and it was perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Chloe says

    Amazing raw tacos! I made these for dinner tonight and they were absolutely delicious! Thanks for this recipe :-)

  29. Lizette Cardona says

    OMG this recipe is so tasty!! I made it with half the amount of sugar and no habaneros (since I can’t handle too much spiciness) and topped with pico de gallo, and added kite hill cream cheese. I will for sure be making this for my family.

    Great job Dana!!!

  30. Allison says

    FANTASTIC! Absolutely fantastic! This is delicious and a really filling addition to a salad. Husband enjoyed the flavour, too. I would love to see you do more RAW VEGAN recipes as this one was epic and I love my raw food.
    P.S ** Every recipe of yours I have tried has been a success, no ‘flops’. We have some favourites, and some maybes, but they always work out, which is great for someone like me who’s not a ‘natural’ with creating meals. Thank you!

  31. Suzanne says

    I’ve seen a few different recipes, but this is the first one I saw with sundried tomatoes (I used a drained jar in oil as that’s what I had on hand. It worked great.) My husband mixed it in with his ground turkey taco meat and really liked it. He snuck some onto the kids’ plates also and we didn’t get any complaints! Oh, I used pecans instead of walnuts, also what I had on hand… great recipe, highly recommend!

  32. Medley says

    We love this recipe! I made this to take camping last summer to make taco bowls. It stored wonderfully in the cooler and was a staple throughout the weekend.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  33. Janell says

    This is amazing!! Plant based and so good you could fool even the most meat-and-potato-only loving folks. Made it for a work cook-off and it was a huge hit!
    Served mine as a nacho appetizer – on a blue corn tortilla chip with a dice of avocado, a cilantro leaf, and a squeeze of lime.
    Thank! You!!

  34. Desiree says

    Wow so many great reviews that it took time to scroll through and read them all. I have made this 3x. We use it on salads. The 2nd time, I used 2 tblsp of curry powder, some cumin, sugar and not the other spices. Indian, Mexican versions were both amazing. I may sub out the sugar for some dates next time and may add more garlic. Very impressed with this simple, delicious recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for lovely review, Desiree. We are so glad you enjoy this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  35. savannah says

    This was so good! I am trying to include more raw meals into my diet— this can be hard when a ton of recipes out there include crazy ingredients that my local grocery store doesn’t carry and also cost an arm and a leg. This recipe was simple ingredients, easy to follow, and so good! This recipe is definitely going to make including raw meals into my diet much easier. I paired this with the collard green burritos- amazing!! Thank you!

  36. Kat says

    This was amazing. I had to make do with tomatoes in oil – I patted them dry but figured it out. It makes quite a bit so I was eating it for days. I’ll definitely make it again!!

  37. bev havlik says

    What a wonderful recipe! I eat mostly fruits/veggies, but sometimes you need something akin to a cooked meal. This is it! My daughter shared this with me and uses lettuce in place of tortillas—made once a week. For my 1st time I used gluten-free tortillas, but will try lettuce next time because it was a little too heavy for me.
    I tweeked it a little—not having smoked paprika or peppers—so used a chipotle and pepper salsa instead. This was so amazing that even my picky, non-vegan husband really liked it! I don’t have many “keepers” but this is one. Thanks!

  38. Jacque Brown says

    Hi, I tried reading all the comments to see if this was already asked but there are a lot of comments. So sorry if I am repeating a already answered question. Are corn tortillas acceptable for a raw vegan? Just asking for a friend. I am a vegan not a raw vegan. Just want to make sure I do not give my friend something she is not going to eat. Thanks in advance! BTW looks yummy can’t wait to give this recipe a whirl!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Technically masa harina isn’t raw because it’s soaked and cooked with an alkaline solution. Plus, in order to form them into tortillas that hold fillings, they need to be cooked. If you’re trying to do truly raw tacos, I’d suggest lettuce wraps!

  39. Mary says

    Made this for a work potluck. There are 3 other vegan/vegetarians in the office but to my happy surprise many people sampled this and they all loved it! They had no idea what the main ingredient was. :) This really is so yummy, and I heated it up gently in a pan to make the tacos warm. Making a big batch today for the week!

  40. Vivien says

    Hello, I am new to the raw vegan life style and I am mainly doing it to get healthy and lose weight, according to my calorie counting app 3 cups of walnuts are a little over 2000 kcal which is too many for me at the moment. I understand that it’s healthy fats and provides good energy however, is there a lower calorie substitute I could use?

  41. Blackwaterlily says

    I’ve had this recipe on my to-do list for a while now, and finally got round to making it last night.
    My tomato mixture didn’t look as creamy as in the picture above, it was maybe a bit too dry. It was gorgeous nonetheless :)

  42. Loves to Eat says

    This is a home run recipe! I have loved every MB recipe I have made but this was the first one that I felt I needed to review. It was super easy, yummy, quick and versatile. My husband is not vegan and he loved it. It will be in our normal rotation and I shared with many friends.
    Great!

  43. Eva Pawlowska says

    This looks great and can’t wait to try it, BUT…. did you know nuts have the highest levels of PHYTIC acid – which leaches out the nutrients in your body! Same deal as sugars and other carbs. That’s why the optimal diet consists of healthy meats, TONS of veggies and fruits, and minimal carbs. Nuts are very healthy don’t get me wrong, but they are meant to be consumed in very small batches. The founder of the American Dental Association found that tribes in Africa that never had cavities or got sick in general ate tiny portions of nuts (whatever they’d find and husk on their hunts), and lots of fruits and veggies. You want to feel like a million bucks and never get a cavity again? Cut out phytic acid.

    When the ‘taco meat’ is comprised of walnuts, I can’t help but think you might be better off with some red meat! I plan to make the recipe as follows and include it alongside the meat, reducing the meat intake as well as the nut. Looks great tho!

    • Lisa says

      In all my raw food books the advice is to soak the nuts overnight and rinse very well. I have a recipe that calls for soaking walnuts overnight and then rinsing and dehydrating them. This releases the phytic acid and the nuts, at least for me are much easier to digest. This particular recipe calls for only a few tablespoons of the walnut mixture wrapped in a red cabbage leaf with salsa, guacamole, lettuce… it’s delicious and the walnut “meat” adds great flavor!

  44. Joanne Adams says

    This is SO flavorful! I used Jalapeno and 50/50 Ancho chili powder & regular chili powder. I finely diced zucchini, carrot, onion, bell pepper and tomato. Mixed it all together and put it in the dehydrator for 1.5 hours. It was amazing for taco salad. Even adding copious amounts of veggies didn’t take away from the flavor. We didn’t even need a dressing for the salads. Thanks for this staple recipe!

  45. chloe says

    I made this, it was so delicious. I used it as a salad topping (with baby romaine, corn, and avocado) and used it again on a baked sweet potato with avocado. It is a tasty and easy protein to have in the fridge!

  46. Virginia says

    This recipe is absolutely delicious!!
    I made it this evening for dinner as filling for corn tortillas, along with sautéed bell peppers, onions and melted vegan cheese, avocado and lime. The smoked paprika really adds a Mexican aroma and taste and the texture is fantastic. I can’t wait to make this for friends, vegan and meat eaters alike. This recipe is a real keeper!

  47. Ida says

    Just made this and my boyfriend and I loved it! He heated it up a bit along with the corn street taco tortillas. He browned the taco mix a bit which was great. I also had butter lettuce so I alternated between tortillas and lettuce wraps. I’ll be making this again and again!

  48. Clare Davies says

    OMG who knew this would be SO DELICIOUS! Not surprised, of course, but I was worried about the 3 cups of walnuts. But, no! It tasted AMAZING! Please try this!

  49. Ellen says

    .Hi Dana,
    Thanks so much for this recipe… for tacos which were absolutely delicious!
    We omitted the peppers, but found they were very flavourful! I have enjoyed making several other recipes and appreciate your efforts and sharing.

  50. Lea C says

    I have been following your recipes for years!! You have the best combinations that always pack lots of flavor. I am a raw vegan and I look for ways to add more protein into my diet. This recipe was perfect. Thanks so much!!

  51. Patricia C says

    Not a huge fan of sun-dried tomatoes so I substituted with a small fresh tomato and it was delish! I incorporated this ‘meat’ in a layered dip and served it warm with tortilla chips. My husband and his friend were blown away. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your recipe subs, Patricia! We are glad your husband and friend enjoyed it :)

  52. Jordan Elise says

    I made this and warmed it up on the stove, and it was sooooo good! (Note: I used a mixture of pecans and cashews, as my sister is allergic to wallnuts) I served mine on corn tortillas with butter lettuce, purple cabbage, avacados, and a simple vegan cheese sauce (basically hummus and salsa), and it was absolutely delicious. I also made taco salad one night with this ‘meat’ and it tasted exactly like beef taco salads my mom made when I was a kid! Huge fan of this recipe;)

    • Steven says

      Are you able to compare the texture of your pecan/cashew version to the walnut version? I made it as-written even though walnuts irritate my mouth (I guess I’m not full-on allergic, but they make my mouth and tongue burn). I was hoping it wouldn’t trigger that, but it did. But it was so delicious! I was a bit sad I couldn’t eat it in quantity.

      • Jordan Elise says

        I recently made the recipe w/ walnuts because that’s all I had on hand, and I think the textures are very similar if not exactly the same!

    • K says

      Can you share your hunmus/salsa vegan cheese receipe? All I’ve found (which are delicious) are with cashews = high fat. Thank you!

      • Jordan Elise says

        This is going to sound really lame, but literally I just mixed a bit of plain Sabra hummus with mild Pace chunky salsa! I had both of those in my fridge already and thought, “hmm that sounds like it could be good,” and it ended up tasting very similar to a crock-pot style cheese dip like with velveeta and rotel? Maybe I’m just crazy. But it worked on the tacos!

  53. Kristi K says

    Holy s$&@! That’s what I thought when I took my first taste test! Wow! That’s spicy, chewy, flavorful, and crazy fast. I didn’t have sun dried tomatoes so I had to throw in some jarred salsa. No matter. Delicious! I’m going to try it with the sun dries tomatoes because i know Minimalist Baker recipes are best followed to a T! Thanks for such good healthy food!

  54. Debbie Bugezia says

    Your site is amazing! I’m vegetarian and looking for new foods to try, but I hate to cook. So this will be on my list to try this weekend. I can use this for dinner or lunch which makes for a great way to get others to see being vegetarian isn’t as bad as the think. I may try this for our next carry in! Thanks!

  55. Loly Mireles says

    I’m making this for dinner tonight, can’t wait, I do have a question though. You say the yeast is optional, but I’d like to know what it is for.

  56. Loly Mireles says

    I’m making this for dinner tonight, can’t wait, I do have a question though. You say the yeast is optional, but I’d like to know what it is for.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Loly! Nutritional yeast provides a nutty, cheesy flavor and is often used to emulate cheese in vegan dishes.

  57. Anne T. says

    This recipe is fantastic! I wouldn’t change a thing! I can’t wait to use this filling in other dishes as well, like pasta with pesto, lasagna…

  58. Holly says

    Hello, Do you think it would be OK to soak the walnuts before I use them in this recipe or would that give it a funky texture? We tend to have some digestive issues if we don’t soak nuts first. I am thinking it might negatively affect the texture but I’m not really sure because I’ve never made something like this with soaked nuts before… I definitely don’t want to ruin 3 cups of organic walnuts and all these ingredients ? Thank you in advance!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      I wouldn’t recommend soaking them as it would change the overall texture of the recipe, Holly!

    • Denise says

      You should be able to soak and then dry the nuts before using. I soak and dehydrate all my nuts and seeds for better digestibility. The nuts’ texture will be just the same after dehydrating them again. They will lose only the bitter aftertaste of the phytic acid, tannin and anti-digestive enzymes.

  59. Genevieve Remark says

    I also gave this to my meat eating boyfriend and he loved it!
    It reminds me a bit of Chorizo. I made it in a corn tortilla with black beans and vegan mayo but really have been wanting to try the vegan sour cream recipe you have!
    So simple and enjoyable thank you Minimalist Baker!

  60. Maggie says

    This recipe is amazing. Super easy and delish! Rich and hearty-my husband and son raved and wanted seconds.

  61. Sarah Jean says

    This is so tasty! Even my omnivorous boyfriend thinks so!

    I subbed the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce for the habanero and it came out beautifully. This recipe is so versatile, we’ve used the leftovers in burrito bowls, burritos, and nachos!

  62. Rebecca says

    This is delicious. The second time I made it, I was feeling lazy and substituted Frontier Organic Co-Op Taco Seasoning, and it was still pretty good. Right now, I’m eating a taco and wondering if soaked sun-dried tomatoes could be used to mimic pulled pork…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your subs, Rebecca! I think that could work, but we haven’t tried it ourselves! If you experiment with it, report back!

    • lisa erwin says

      Absolutely perfect I pair this with a raw coconut tortillas and mock queso sauce as well as some avocado and tomato and a little bit of sriracha oh gosh it was like eating a piece of heaven. Ty

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lisa. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  63. Sarah l says

    I finally tried this “taco meat” dish and it’s absolutely delicious. Seriously, I become a devout vegan all over again! Definitely adding this to rotation of weekly/monthly dishes. Thank you for sharing… the struggle for good plant based food is real, and this site never fails

  64. Laura says

    Just made this and my husband and I both loved it! I am not a skilled person in the kitchen, but this was so easy and came together so quickly! We have been looking for a substitute for soy meat to use in tacos, salads, and other recipes, and this was perfect! My husband said it is his favorite “not meat meat” that we’ve tried ha! Thank you for this great recipe!

  65. Sara Liberatore says

    This was delicious, we omitted the habanero because we didn’t have any on hand. It reminds of us the SunChorizo they have at Sun Cafe in Studio City.

  66. Alissa says

    Hi Dana! Love your site and as I’m transitioning to a vegan diet I visit quite often. I did make this ALL WRONG and it came out so right!!! Two kids at home to keep me plenty distracted had me throw all ingredients into a food processor and pulse. What happened, after I almost cried from “wasting” all those beautiful sun-dried tomatoes, was an amazing rendition of your recipe. I added some cooked brown rice and black beans to the mix afterwards which was hearty and so flavorful that I had to write in! I’ve used it for tacos, added it to spaghetti squash with fire-roasted tomato sauce, and molded it like a veggie burger on a wonderfully soft wholewheat roll. It tastes even better after resting in the fridge for a day to allow all the spices to blend and the sun-dried tomatoes to re-hydrate a bit. I plan to try again according to the directions because yours looks saucy and sounds too good to pass over, but thought you might like the alternative too. Thanks for all your awesome food, looking forward to the next greatest thing, yum!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We are so glad you enjoyed your rendition of the recipe, Alissa! Thank you for sharing your process :D

  67. Carrie says

    Great recipe- approved by my boyfriend who is very much a meat eater. I unfortunately do not have a food processor, so I did it by hand. I am sure it is better with a food processor but mine turned out great even with chopping everything very small by hand.

  68. tinny says

    Smelled so good even while mixing it all up! I am not a vegetarian or a vegan, but after coming to this website from a duckduckgo search for making flax eggs, I poked around a bit, and this looked so tasty, I had to attempt it. Some of my walnuts didn’t chop up very small in the food processor before other portions were turning into a butter, so I stopped the processor and left the walnuts as they were, and continued with the recipe as written, only adding another 1/2 t salt. What can I say, I love salt! Anyway, this was delicious! I put a scoop on a lettuce leaf, added a slice of avocado, squeeze of fresh lime, 2 slices of tomato, and wow, what a treat! Looking forward to trying other recipes here. Thank you for sharing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would recommend using brown sugar in place of coconut sugar, or stevia if avoiding sugar!

  69. Mary Beth says

    Holy crap this is so good! I halved the recipe because I realized I didn’t have enough walnuts and I used one jalapeño pepper since the store was sold out of other types (and I’m not a big spicy person anyway). I had to add more water to the sauce than I expected but it turned out perfect. Thanks, Dana! This will be a staple in my diet now!

  70. chloe says

    Hi! Sorry for the weird question, but this looks so good I have to ask. I have a strange aversion to the texture of nuts. But I love ground up nuts (smooth almond butter, almond paste YUM, blended cashew sauces). Do the walnuts in this stay kind of crunchy? Do they absorb the moisture from the sauce and become softer? Does it have the texture of seasoned taco beef or something else? Thanks to anyone who can answer. ?

    • Alyssa says

      The walnuts because softer and absorb some of the liquid. That being said they still have texture. But are not crunchy like crunchy peanut butter. If you really want to try it I would suggest blending longer until the walnut chunchs are super small and start sticking together. I can’t guarantee anything though!

  71. Dani says

    Wow Dana this is amazing. Another great recipe! I only substituted two medium spicy chillies for the habanero. Thanks again.

  72. Stephanie says

    Made it. Loved it. Kids loved it. Husband loved it. (Pug looked at it longingly from beneath our patio table, but we didn’t share any with him.) Thank you!

  73. Ginger says

    Wow, that was perfect and absolutely delicious!
    Thanks a lot for this recipe! :)
    As always when I cook, I changed it a bit and it was so great! I had to take a lot more dried tomatoes (as they were soft and to get it into a good texture) and loved it!
    Yesterday I had tortilla wraps filled with it (together with guacamole, fresh tomatoes, spring onions) and today I put the rest on my breakfast bread! Yummy! :)

  74. Latisha says

    I was trying to think of some words that would describe me dancing as I chewed this satisfying and delicious recipe but take my word for it, I did a little swerve and hip swirl… um um um. It is everything you described Dana. It was smoky and a little spicy (I didn’t have peppers, I used a scant amount of cayenne). This was another winner. Every one of your recipes has been a winner on my table. Thank you!!

  75. HerbertVore says

    I made this for a taco bowl.

    Brown rice, black bean mixture, your Easy Red Salsa, fresh guac from Happy Pear recipe, red cabbage and fresh spinach. Better than restaurant quality and great colors

  76. Mark says

    Made the recipe tonight. Used 2 chilis in adobo sauce instead of habaneros. Need to grind the walnuts a bit finer than you think as I found the mixture a bit too coarse. I think you can tone down the cumin just a little. It takes longer than 10 minutes to pull this together, but under 30 minutes. This recipe makes a large batch. I had 3 tacos and have enough left for at least 6 more. Great flavors. Could see adding black beans and corn. Garnished with red onion, cilantro, avocado and cherry tomatoes.

  77. Loryn Cervenka says

    Just made this, and used siete cassava tortillas, avocado, and cilantro. Topped off with some hot sauce it was addicting and delicious!! I didn’t have chili powder, so I left that out and used 2 habaneros. Next time I will definitely add the chili powder but it was still SO good! I definitely used less than 1/2 cup per taco because I had 3 of them ????.

  78. Hadass A says

    W O W, It looked good on paper but tasted even better!
    Healthy, delicious and SO easy to make. It is the perfect summertime meal. Definitely a repeater.

  79. Linda says

    I made this for dinner tonight. Followed the recipe as written. My husband and I loved it! So flavorful, and So much much better than meat.
    Thank you for the recipe ❤️

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      If I were to cook it, I’d just sauté it in a pan for a few minutes until slightly browned. Hope that helps!

  80. Megan says

    Very yummy! I didn’t have enough walnuts so I subbed the remaining with almonds (that’s all I had). It was ok, next time, full walnut.

  81. Caren Elkan says

    Hi Dana! Absolutely delicious! My family loved it. I did not use the fresh chili pepper or garlic because my daughter-in-law can’t digest it so I just used the dried spices. I used sun-dried tomatoes that were in olive oil because that is what I had on hand. I drained the tomatoes and dried them with paper towels to get rid of the oil. I also had to add a lot more water to make the sauce. I made a lot of different condiments to go with the tacos,e.g., mango salsa, onion and cilantro salsa, lime wedges, sliced avocados and sautéed veggies. This dish is easy and delicious and I look forward to making it again. BTW, I love your recipes and am thankful I found your site 4 years ago when my husband and I became vegans. You have made cooking healthy flavorful meals so pleasurable and easy for us and I’m sure for many others like us. Thank you!!

  82. angela says

    I made this with adjustments and it was still really good!

    I took out salt, replaced walnuts with cooked black beans, and half’d the whole recipe except the beans (walnut replacement). So spicy!

    • Alexan says

      Angela, cooked black beans is such a smart idea! I randomly have walnuts now, but they can be pricey so that’s a great low cost sub! Thanks for sharing :)

  83. IMS says

    I need to take out the habanero so my kids can eat it too. Should I just omit it?? Or do you have a substitute suggestion? Perfect hot day meal! Thanks!

  84. Patsy says

    I just made a “test batch” so that, if I like it, I can prepare a BIG batch for my nieces wedding reception, a pot-luck taco bar. Well, I don’t just like it, I LOVE it. I do have to remind myself that it IS based on walnuts and so is not low-calorie, but it has the taste and texture and mouthfeel of our beef-based taco seasoning and should please all the vegans and vegetarians on the guest list.

    I used date nectar as my sweetener – just a little bit – and it does indeed balance the heat of the chipotles in adobo sauce (my choice of heat packing pepper). My other tweak was to eliminate the salt altogether. Between the chipotles and the sun-dried tomatoes, there’s more than enough sodium. These should be a huge hit!

    • Patsy says

      ps I meant to write that this dish has the taste and texture and mouthfeel of our usual beef-based taco FILLING (not seasoning). Can’t figure out how to edit my comment.

  85. Persiphone says

    Just made this deliciousness for lunch and it was outstanding! I did heat up the taco walnut mixture for a few minutes on low. I did not have radish on hand so I used bibb lettuce. This recipe is fantastic!

  86. Jessica says

    This. was. delicious. And also so fast and simple. Thank you!

    Even my meat-eating husband loved them.

    Whole Foods was out of the sun-dried tomatoes that come in resealable baggies, so I had to make it with the oil-packed ones. I used less water; the world didn’t end.

    Heads up that this makes a TON. Usually when it’s just the two of us, we/he can come close to finishing off recipes for 4-6 servings. But this is very filling b/c the walnuts are so calorie-dense. (I served it on soft tortillas with some vegan toppings and also both a corn and a regular salad.) We had so much left over that we just threw it all in the freezer. (Not necessarily a bad thing, tho!)

  87. Jennifer says

    I totally realize that this is a raw recipe but… Do you think you could heat this? Would the walnuts get too oily? I am not a fan of uncooked nuts in things like this, but I thought you could quickly sauté in a pan??

  88. K says

    Sounds so yummy!
    What do you think about substituting walnuts with cashews? I’m allergic to walnuts.
    TIA : )

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      K, I’d recommend sunflower or pumpkin seeds or cashews, or even a blend of several nuts and seeds might work! Let us know what you try!

  89. Holly says

    Dana, I hate asking this but I SO WANT TO TRY THIS! Any sub for tomatoes b/c of nightshade allergy? I know they add texture and alot of umami flavor here but I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a good substitute because I think the spices will add so much flavor on their own that the recipe is not depend totally on the tomatoes. Any thoughts?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Holly! I assume that means bell peppers are out, too? Trying to think what else might work here…

      • Holly says

        He can eat bell peppers so maybe I’ll try that! Maybe the fire roasted ones in a jar. Do you think I should change anything else (like more seasoning) to accommodate this change in the recipe? Thanks Dana.

  90. Kara says

    I’ve made this several times (similar but not exact) in the past and can’t wait to try yours. Even the meat eating husband liked it!

  91. Fabiana Izquierdo says

    Hello Dana! Can I use other non spicy peppers to replace the habaneros to avoid the hot part? Thank you.

  92. Emmarie says

    Thanks! Looking forward to trying this. I usually buy Morningstar crumbles to make tacos, sloppy joes, etc., but it’s loaded with salt.

  93. Rena T says

    Anything you recommend as an alternative to walnuts? Maybe sunflower seeds? I’ve seen those in similar recipes. Thanks!

    • Vibha says

      I have tried similar recipes with pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and they turned out great! They should work well with this recipe too. So excited to try it Dana!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Yes, Rena I’d guess sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or cashews, or even a blend of several nuts and seeds might work!

        • lindsey says

          Hi there! Fairly new to your site and am blown away! SO many things I want to make. Thank you for sharing all that you do! This recipe looks genius, what would you think about using lentils instead of walnuts or any other seed or nut?

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Welcome to the site, Lindsey! We’d recommend sunflower or pumpkin seeds or cashews, or even a blend of several nuts and seeds might work! Let us know what you try!

    • sara says

      Cauliflower is a good substitute with some seeds and nuts too. I made it with cauliflower and walnuts, so don’t see why seeds and nuts wouldn’t work.

  94. Ana Alarcon says

    This looks so simple yet sooo yum! I was looking for an alternate to tofu and I think just found a winner!

  95. Alexan says

    I was wondering what to do with all my walnuts… Perfect recipe! I’m looking forward to trying this as I’m trying to go meatless, and LOVE me some Tex-Mex.