The taco is creatively empowering in that the only rule in the wide world of tacos is that it has to be served in or on a tortilla. The limitless possibilities of taco madness make these snack-sized scoops perfect for adapting to fit special diets, which is why these vegan taco recipes are just as good or better than their carnivorous counterparts. From the satisfaction of biting into a crunchy hard shell to the easy foldability of a warm, soft tortilla, some might say that tacos are even more versatile than sandwiches.
Tacos aren't just a food item where I live in LA, they're a legitimate lifestyle. You can walk to a taco truck or secret shack from just about any corner of this city, and that's really saying something, because this isn't a terribly walkable place. Vegan tacos are a little tougher to track down. Not impossible, mind you, but certainly more challenging than just opening your door and chasing down the nearest truck with the side panel open, which is why having a few recipes up your sleeve to whip up at home can be very useful.
And you don't have to be a sworn vegan to really enjoy vegan food. Anyone who has ever tried soyrizo or inhaled a quinoa salad can attest to that, and vegan aioli is a thing of beauty. So what are the best vegan foods to fill a tortilla? Well, for starters, all fruits, vegetables, and legumes are vegan, so that's a great place to begin. So grab a lime wedge and get ready to be amazed by these taco creations that involve zero animal products whatsoever.
1. Fried Cactus Tacos With Avocado "Cream" Sauce
Cactus, or nopales as you'll probably see it written on a taco truck menu, is an awesome feature of any Mexican-style meal. This recipe from Munchin with Munchkin is, true to the description, definitely not boring. To take this recipe from vegetarian to vegan, follow the vegan optional instructions and swap out the sour cream and mayo for cashew cream and veganaise.
2. Chipotle Quinoa Sweet Potato Tacos
These tacos are topped with a roasted cranberry pomegranate salsa. Just skip the cheese from this recipe or use Daiya cheese instead of dairy, and enjoy the spicy, savory, tart flavor blast that is this recipe from Half Baked Harvest.
3. Grilled Vegetable And Black Bean Fajita Tacos
These fresh and zingy tacos from Scrumptious Pumpkin have grilled zucchini, onions, bell peppers, and a blast of protein from black beans that will have you nourished and satisfied with minimal dirty dishes.
4. Quinoa Black Bean Tacos With Avocado Sauce
The texture of quinoa cooked with black beans mimics more traditional ground meat taco fillings, and the avocado sauce, which is basically just a simple guacamole, adds a fresh and creamy contrast. Check out the details over at Cookie + Kate.
5. Blackened Tofu Tacos With Avocado Lime Crema
Tofu is a vehicle for whatever flavor you want it to deliver, and blackening is a great way to pack a punch with the protein-packed vegan staple. The avocado crema in this recipe from Making Thyme For Health is also completely vegan.
6. Buffalo Cauliflower & Chickpea Tacos With Vegan Blue Cheese
Almost like a vegan chicken wing salad wrapped in a tortilla, this Making Thyme For Health creation will have your friends and family begging for more. This is also a great way to use extra buffalo cauliflower if you have party leftovers.
7. Mango Habanero Black Bean Tacos
Is there a more appealing combination of food words than mango habanero black bean tacos? Because, if so, I haven't heard it. These spicy and sweet tacos are more salad than meat substitute, and are making me insanely hungry just looking at them. Check out the details at Love And Lemons.
8. Butternut Squash Tacos With Cabbage & Black Bean Slaw
Cookie + Kate slow roasted these butternut squash chunks with a little olive oil and chili powder, and I can almost smell it through the screen. The red cabbage and black bean slaw adds the perfect crunchy and fresh contrast to the soft and savory squash.
9. Veggie Tacos With Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
If you've got some leftover vegetables you need to use, this recipe from Love And Lemons would be a great place to look for inspiration. Use up leftover summer squash, eggplant, avocado, spinach, pepitas, tomatillos, bell peppers, and more with this amazingly healthy and flavorful taco recipe.
10. Jackfruit Taquitos With Avocado Cucumber Salsa
And to finish off this recipe roundup, here is an amazing party trick that I absolutely love. Unripened jackfruit, when cooked properly, essentially turns into carnitas, or pulled pork, or chicken — it really just depends on how you sauce and season it. These taquitos from Fo Reals Life will fool your most vegetable-averse friends (or even picky kids).