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 Meat
Food 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
4.96 from 91 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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Reader Interactions

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My Rating:




  1. CJ says

    DELICIOUS! After making this for the raw collard wrap burritos, I mixed the leftovers with black beans, mashed sweet potatoes, cilantro and eggs, then formed them into patties and baked them to make veggie burgers, which also taste scrumptious.

  2. Tamara says

    This is soooo good!! I didn’t have any
    habaneros so I used bell pepper and cayenne pepper. I swapped out the sugar for date sugar and added a little extra nutritional yeast. I can’t believe how awesome this recipe is for a non-cook like me. Thank you!!!

  3. Erin says

    The walnut taco meat was everything – so flavorful and delicious. The sundried tomato sauce was the best!!!

    I followed the recipe but also added some tanjin seasoning and taco seasoning.

    I served everything in a soft folded shell with avocado, fresh cliantro, a few dried tomatoes lime juice and red salsa.

    So good!!!!

  4. Jocelyne Z. says

    Amazing!! This was so delicious and easy to make. If you haven’t tried it, you should.

    My husband likes meaty smokey flavors and I do not. I have never liked meat so I tend to stay away from any vegetarian/vegan “meat” recipes, but this one is definitely the exception. To work my way around this, I used regular paprika and half and half smokey sun-dried tomatoes mixed with regular sun-dried tomatoes (both bagged). Perfection!

    Thank you, Minimalist Baker. My 3 year old helped make it. If you have kids, this is a good one to share with them.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, love everything about this, Jocelyne! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! xo

  5. Patricia Nubine says

    This is my first official plant-based only eating day. I found mustard greens at the farmers market and wanted to make a raw vegan wrap. I found your recipe. AHMAZING!!!! I cannot wait to try it tonight. Thank you Minimalist baker for proving that plant based eating can be anything but boring. What a great idea!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad you enjoyed it, Patricia! Love that idea to make a wrap with mustard greens! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  6. Anne-Marie says

    Hi, I am a HUGE fan of your recipes and on a plant based food journey now thrilled to find these amazing options! And just one of these is this taco “meat” which my husband and I tried last week….and devoured as it is so delicious. Our refried beans recipe has taken a back seat from now. Thank you so much Dana for your inspiration, creativity and making plant based eating as exciting and satisfying as and other food!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad to hear you enjoy our recipes, Anne-Marie! Thank you so much for your kind words and lovely review! xo

  7. Laurena says

    My sister made this for me and it was seriously delicious! I am wondering if I could sub out the walnuts for pecans? I have so many pecans at the moment and would like to use them rather then go buy walnuts.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Laurena! We haven’t tried it with pecans, but another reader mentioned doing so with success. Let us know if you try it!

  8. Maclean Nash says

    This “taco meat” is delicious and I love how quickly it comes together!
    My meat loving partner said it was “delicious” and a “great dupe”!
    This will definitely be in our weekly meal rotation.
    Thank you for another great recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks for the lovely review, Maclean! So glad you both enjoyed! xo

  9. Em says

    I’ve made this twice this week, I can’t get enough! Enjoyed over greens topped with a mango guac and wrapped in a lettuce leaf with cilantro, purple cabbage and a squeeze of lime. I used maple syrup to balance the heat. Will definitely make again and again!! Thank you for this raw dish!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yumm – sounds delish! Thanks for the lovely review and sharing how you enjoyed it, Em. xo

  10. Marilyn Williams says

    Crazy good! I like to wrap this up in Romaine lettuce with avocado, red onion and some cashew sour cream!!
    It’s a little expensive, but worth it for a great taco!

  11. Lindsay T says

    I’ve been coming back to this recipe since 2017, 18?! So simple, yet delicious and nutritious and I usually have most of the ingredients already in my fridge and pantry! I woke up craving this recipe so off to Trader Joe’s I go. :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wow, awesome! Thanks for the lovely review, Lindsay. We’re so glad you enjoy it! xo

  12. Danielle says

    This was SO easy and fast to make – and delicious! Looking forward to adding this to my dinner rotation

  13. Lynne says

    I am becoming addicted to this, wrapped with sweet potato inside a collard leaf, like a scrumptious little green burrito. I don’t know why the combination of flavours is so good but it really is.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooh sounds like an amazing combo! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lynne!

  14. Kathy says

    Love this recipe! I’ve made it a couple of times and tonight decided to try it as an enchilada filling. So good!!

  15. Monica says

    Wow! Like so many others here, I really enjoyed this. I made the taco meat according to the recipe but used it with some cooked ingredients (rice & beans) as burrito filling. This may be my regular add-in on family taco/burrito nights!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Monica! Love those serving ideas. Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  16. Ben says

    Great recipe! I scaled it up to 5C and used an entire can of chipotle peppers in adobo since I didn’t have habanero’s or sundried tomatoes on hand.
    Didn’t need to add any water and I used xxx hot chili powder. Amazingly perfectly spicy (for me).

    Thanks for easy recipe!

    I’ll add liquid smoke next time around.

  17. benita says

    i am making this (again) tomorrow. it is amazing and left our previous walnut meat recipe in the dust! we used chipotles in adobo because … well … we had a can. we will likely eat tacos, but i saw a program recently about a greek meat dish called pastitsio and want to try this as a vegan-ized version. thank you, it is delicious!

    • Angel says

      Excellent. Used sun dried tomatoes in oil and blotted them. Next time will halve the recipe but will freeze the rest for now. Had with mini corn tortillas, greens, onion and avocado. And a side of miso glazed carrots.

  18. Lauren Hattory says

    Oh.My.Gosh. THIS RECIPE!! Adios tofu taco meat! This is truly the easiest and yummiest taco meat recipe I found and hello healthy! Thank you thank you for this recipe!

  19. Vannique Roberts says

    I made the walnut meat and OH! MY! GOODNESS! Best veggie meat I HAVE EVER HAD! Even my partner was blown away! I do not like radishes and I was not able to find any ripe avocados or habanero peppers in the store so we decided to use red cabbage, fresh scallions, cilantro, pico de Gallo (Penny’s Salsa)- I also used some in the walnut meat to add some spice instead of the habanero peppers, and iceberg lettuce instead. Life changing!

  20. Rachel says

    Do you actually mean habanero? or do you mean jalapeno? I eat stupid hot food that would kill the average american, and i’m not putting 2 habaneros into 2-ish cups of anything, unless it’s meant to be eaten by the tablespoon or less…

  21. Victoria says

    Thank you! I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I used a regular tomato and red bell pepper. Tastes pretty good! I will definitely try again.

  22. Ellen Morell says

    This is amazing. It is easy to make, fast, and tastes great. This will be one of my go to recipies. It did make six generous servings.
    Thank you for your time creating this recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Ellen! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  23. 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!

  24. 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

  25. 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!

  26. 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

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. 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!

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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!