Vegetarian Taco Meat Recipe

We all know that tacos have one heck of a loyal following. In fact, they're so loved that every Tuesday has become an excuse to eat them! Luckily, you don't have to eat meat to get in on the fun. With ingredients like quinoa and cauliflower, you can make taco "meat" that looks (and tastes) like the real thing. You'll also get a generous dose of vitamins, fiber, and protein without sacrificing flavor. Here's how to make vegetarian taco meat at home.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Things You'll Need

  • 3 cups cauliflower florets, chopped 
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable broth 
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa 
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning 
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast 
  • Butter or oil for greasing


  • To make homemade taco seasoning, combine the following ingredients: 2 tablespoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

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Step 1

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small pot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Add the quinoa and cook according to the package's directions.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 2

Meanwhile, pulse the cauliflower and mushrooms in a food processor or high-powered blender. It's OK to leave some chunks because this will add texture to the taco "meat."

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 3

Once the quinoa is fully cooked, remove from the stove.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 4

Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl, along with the olive oil, taco seasoning, and nutritional yeast.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 5

Mix until thoroughly combined.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 6

Spread the mixture on a greased baking sheet, creating an even layer.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 7

Bake for 25 minutes, tossing halfway to avoid burning. The taco "meat" is ready when it turns dark brown.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Arrange tacos as usual. Ingredients like spinach, avocado, and tomato pair well with this recipe. For even more flavor, top things off with freshly chopped cilantro, cheddar cheese, or your favorite salsa.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Remember, this taco "meat" is really easy to customize. For example, if you're not a fan of mushrooms, leave them out or substitute with bell peppers or carrots. Don't be afraid to mix and match your favorite ingredients. The possibilities are deliciously endless!

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)
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