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The Best Vegan Tacos – Connoisseurus Veg

These easy and delicious vegan tacos are made with hearty black bean and walnut taco “meat” stuffed into crispy shells and piled with toppings!

Three Vegan Tacos on a plate with skillet in the background.

Earlier this year when I shared my recipe for vegan meatballs I knew I was on to something. I made those balls with a mix of black beans and walnuts. I’ve made many vegan meatballs during the history of this website, but those were the best.

Well guess what else I’ve made lots of? Vegan tacos! And I thought that maybe that magical combination of black beans and walnuts would make a good substitute for ground beef.

I was right! These tacos turned out super satisfying and absolutely delicious. They were also super easy to throw together. THIS is my new go-to vegan taco recipe. Give it a try, and I think it will be yours too!

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Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. Any high heat oil can be substituted, such as corn, avocado, or coconut oil.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Spices. We’re using ground cumin, ancho chile powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Leave out the cayenne if you’re not into heat.
  • Walnuts. We’re using finely chopped, shelled walnuts.
  • Canned black beans. Feel free to substitute black beans that you’ve cooked yourself from dried beans. You’ll need about 2 cups.
  • Canned tomato sauce.
  • Lime juice. Use freshly squeezed juice for the best flavor.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Fresh cilantro. Leave this out or substitute with parsley or scallions if you’re not a fan.
  • Taco shells. I like to use corn tortillas that I’ve briefly crisped in a skillet, but you can use prepared hard shells if you prefer, or even flour tortillas to make vegan soft tacos.
  • Toppings. Use whatever you like here! Try shredded cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, avocado slices, vegan sour cream, vegan queso or store-bought shredded vegan cheese!

How They’re Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet, then add diced onion. Cook the onion for a few minutes, until it starts to soften up and become translucent.
  • Add minced garlic, spices, and finely chopped walnuts to the skillet. Cook everything briefly to toast the nuts and spices. Watch the mixture closely and keep stirring to prevent anything from burning.
Walnuts cooking in a skillet with onions and spices.
  • Add the beans and tomato sauce to the skillet, raise the heat and bring the sauce to a simmer. Let it cook for a few minutes, just to thicken up.
  • Optionally, you can mash up a few of the beans with a fork or the back of a spoon while they simmer. The mashed beans will help thicken the sauce.
Black bean and walnut taco filling simmering in a skillet.
  • Take the skillet off of heat and stir in lime juice and fresh cilantro.
  • Season your vegan taco meat with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust any other seasonings to suit your taste.
Vegan Taco filling in a skillet with wooden spoon.
  • Stuff the filling into shells, along with your favorite taco toppings.
  • Dig in!
Vegan Tacos topped with cabbage, cherry tomatoes, vegan sour cream and cilantro.

Tip: To crisp corn tortillas in a skillet, simply coat the skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. Add a few tortillas, optionally sprinkle them with salt, and let them sit on the hot surface for a few minutes on each side.

Leftovers & Storge

Leftover black bean and walnut vegan taco filling can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 4 days or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these tacos gluten-free?

They are, as long as you use corn tortillas or shells. Flour tortillas are not gluten-free, but there are some vegan gluten-free tortillas out there that have a similar taste and texture to flour tortillas.

Are premade taco shells vegan?

Most premade taco shells are vegan, but always check the ingredients to be safe. Old el Paso brand shells are vegan.

Can this recipe be made without nuts?

Yes! Simply leave them out. They add texture, but the taco filling will still be delicious without them.

Is there a substitute for black beans in this recipe?

Another variety of bean would work just fine. Try pinto beans, kidney beans, or lentils.

More Taco Recipes

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Close up of Three Vegan tacos on a plate.

Vegan Tacos (with Black Bean & Walnut Filling!)

These easy and delicious vegan tacos are made with hearty black bean and walnut taco “meat” stuffed into crispy shells and piled with toppings!

Ingredients

  • 1
    tablespoon
    olive oil
  • 1
    small onion,
    diced
  • 2
    garlic cloves,
    minced
  • 2
    teaspoons
    ground cumin
  • 1
    teaspoon
    ancho chile powder
  • 1
    teaspoon
    paprika
  • Pinch
    cayenne pepper,
    optional
  • ½
    cup
    finely chopped shelled walnuts
  • 1
    (14 ounce or 400 gram) can
    black beans,
    drained and rinsed
  • ½
    cup
    canned tomato sauce
  • 1
    tablespoon
    lime juice
  • 2
    tablespoons
    chopped fresh cilantro
    (packed)
  • Salt & black pepper,
    to taste
  • 6
    taco shells or corn tortillas (see Note)
  • Toppings of choice, such as shredded cabbage, salsa, guacamole, vegan sour cream or vegan cheese

Instructions

  1. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with the oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the onion. Sweat the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it becomes soft and translucent.

  3. Stir in the garlic, cumin, ancho chile powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and walnuts. Sauté everything for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very fragrant.

  4. Stir in the beans and tomato sauce, raise the heat, and bring the sauce to a simmer.

  5. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, until thick, stirring occasionally. Optionally, mash a few of the beans with a fork or the back of a spoon to help thicken the sauce.

  6. Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro.

  7. Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust any other seasonings to suit your taste.

  8. Stuff the filling into shells or tortillas, top with toppings of choice, and serve.

Recipe Notes

If using corn tortillas, I recommend crisping them in a skillet before filling. Oil a large skillet and add a few tortillas at a time. Optionally, sprinkle them with salt. Let the tortillas heat up for a few minutes on each side, until the start to crisp and brown in spots.

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Tacos (with Black Bean & Walnut Filling!)

Amount Per Serving (2 tacos)

Calories 380
Calories from Fat 194

% Daily Value*

Fat 21.6g33%

Saturated Fat 3.6g18%

Sodium 368mg15%

Potassium 418mg12%

Carbohydrates 39.9g13%

Fiber 8.2g33%

Sugar 4.1g5%

Protein 10g20%

Calcium 74mg7%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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