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!
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.
*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.