Ready to rock your weeknight? These vegan taco bowls are packed with black beans, golden brown sweet potatoes, diced onions, avocado and mango and then topped with an irresistible creamy cilantro lime sauce. Prepare them in advance and serve on a busy night for a quick and easy delicious Mexican entrée.
I honestly think my family could eat Mexican food for dinner every single night. We're always looking for ways to add our favorite Southwestern flavors into the weekly menu, so it was just a matter of time before these veggie taco bowls entered the picture.
The bowls are filled with plant-based nutrition thanks to the base of black beans, sweet potatoes, brown rice, avocado and fresh mango for a perfect balance of sweet and savory. The fun doesn't stop there though, as you can then add your favorite toppings such as vegan nacho cheese, guacamole, vegan sour cream and salsa fresca (Pico de Gallo).
Because everyone can customize their own taco bowls, these are very kid-friendly and are especially useful on busy school nights. The one constant in our family is that we ALL top our bowls with the creamy cilantro lime sauce (more on that below)!
- Ingredients for the taco bowl
- How to assemble the bowl
- Creamy cilantro lime sauce
- All about sweet potatoes
- All about black beans
- More vegan Mexican recipes
Ingredients for the Taco Bowl
This ingredient list is basically my dinnertime DREAM. It's a well-rounded, colorful cast of characters that come together to make every single bite a party...it's truly a fiesta in a bowl!
- Cooked brown rice - I usually use the frozen kind to keep it easy! You can also make brown rice in the Instant Pot in just a few minutes, or use my Easy Coconut Rice for a fun variety.
- Sweet potatoes - I used a large sweet potato (about 13 ounces), peeled and diced into even cubes. You could also use two smaller sweet potatoes.
- Homemade Taco Seasoning - If you haven't tried this homemade seasoning yet, you are in for a treat! It is a mixture of ground chili powder, ground cumin, salt, maple sugar (or any granulated sugar), garlic powder, onion powder and ground black pepper. I always make a double batch so I have extra on hand.
- Red & green onion - I use both red and green onion for extra color and I dice them small for flavor in every bite.
- Avocado - Every meal is better with avocado on top! This recipe only uses half of an avocado, but if you have a bunch on hand you can use them for guacamole...which would also be delicious on top of these bowls!
- Fresh cilantro - If you're a cilantro lover like me, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro along with the creamy cilantro lime sauce makes this dish SO YUMMY.
- Yellow mango - This is kind of the surprise ingredient! Yellow mango adds a bright splash of summertime to this dish and I LOVE it. Sweet, juicy and pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
- Black beans - Canned black beans work great here and add plant-based protein, fiber, iron and zinc to this dish.
How to Assemble the Bowl
This is the fun part! Assembling the bowl and choosing how much of each filling to use allows you to customize it exactly to your liking.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook the brown rice. Set rice aside covered to keep it warm. I usually use frozen brown rice and microwave it on busy weeknights.
- Roast the sweet potatoes. Add sweet potatoes, olive oil and taco seasoning to a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Toss well to coat the sweet potatoes and roast for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, tossing halfway through. While the sweet potatoes cook, prep your other ingredients.
- Prepare the remaining ingredients. Warm the black beans and dice the red onion, green onion, avocado and mango.
- Assemble the bowl. Start with a base of brown rice and then top the bowl with the roasted sweet potatoes, red onion, green onion, avocado, cilantro, mango and black beans.
- Add the rest of the toppings. Top with the cilantro lime sauce (instructions below), guacamole, vegan sour cream, salsa fresca, plant-based queso or any other fun toppings to make it your own. Enjoy immediately!
Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce (dairy-free)
So many of my favorite meals are topped with a really great sauce! Making your own dressing or drizzle could not be easier, and it's one of the simplest ways to make a homemade meal taste gourmet.
This 5-minute creamy cilantro lime sauce is a huge favorite of mine - so much so that I have a dedicated post with more information about it!
I start with a base of raw, soaked cashews, then add lime, pure maple, vinegar and fresh cilantro for that delightful green color. You can also add jalapeño for some heat! I usually leave it out if my kids are eating this dish, but it's a delicious addition.
- Raw unsalted cashews, soaked
- Maple syrup
- White distilled vinegar
- Jalapeño (optional)
- Blend the ingredients. Add all ingredients except for the cilantro to a blender and blend until perfectly smooth. Add water to thin if needed or blend ¼ cup of crushed ice if warm (instead of the added water) to help chill it before serving.
- Add the cilantro the blender. Pulse a couple times to incorporate the cilantro so no whole leaves remain (or blend fully if desired).
My other favorite cilantro sauces (all vegan):
Taco Bowl: Store leftovers an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Make sure any toppings (i.e., sauces, guacamole, salsa, sour cream) are stored in separate containers.
Cilantro Lime Sauce: Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
All About Sweet Potatoes
Are we all obsessed with sweet potatoes at this point? Pretty much any time I get groceries I grab a few because there are SO MANY delicious ways to use them. Savory and sweet, health food or comfort food, sweet potatoes do it all.
They provide immune-boosting vitamin A and C (check out that orange color!) as well as dietary fiber and potassium.
Let's compare them to russet potatoes: sweet potatoes have a similar calorie content but offer more fiber. One medium sweet potato offers almost 700% of your daily recommend intake of vitamin A, while russets offer none. Also, sweet potatoes offer almost double the amount of vitamin C compared to russets (source).
Below are some of my favorite recipes using sweet potatoes:
All About Black Beans
Plant-based protein is so important for vegans, and black beans are a great way to get protein in your diet! Black beans are considered a legume and part of both the protein and vegetable group (a vegan superstar!). They also provide dietary fiber and important nutrients such as iron and zinc. I also love how they absorb flavors, especially the homemade taco seasoning in this dish.
I hope you make and love this vegan taco bowl! This is one of my favorite weeknight meals as my whole family loves them. They're super easy to customize for each person's preferences, and you can prep both the sweet potatoes and the sauce ahead of time for quick assembly!
More Vegan Mexican Food
- Mexican Veggie Burrito Bowls
- Easy Cowboy Caviar (this one was viral on TikTok!)
- Brown Rice Black Bean Salad with Mango
- Easy Vegan Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas (One-Pan!)
- Vegan Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Sheet Pan Veggie Black Bean Tacos
- Best Vegan 7-Layer Dip (paleo)
- Easy Vegan Tostadas with Refried Beans
Vegan Taco Bowls with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce are a family favorite. Prepare in advance for a quick and easy gourmet weeknight Mexican meal!
Vegan Taco Bowl
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (I usually use frozen to keep it easy)
- 1 large sweet potato (~ 13 ounces), peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons homemade taco seasoning
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup diced green onion
- ½ avocado, diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (large stems removed)
- 1 yellow mango, diced
- ½ cup cooked black beans
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked
- ½ cup water
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 large clove of garlic
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- 1-inch of jalapeño to make it spicy (optional)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the brown rice and set aside covered to keep it warm. I usually use frozen brown rice and microwave it on busy weeknights.
- Add sweet potatoes, olive oil and taco seasoning to a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Toss well to combine and roast for 15 minutes, then toss again and roast another 10-15 minutes until golden brown. While the sweet potatoes cook, prep your other ingredients (dice the red onion, green onion, avocado and mango).
- For the cilantro sauce, add all ingredients to a blender except for the cilantro and blend until perfectly smooth. Add water to thin if needed. If it is warm from blending, add ¼ cup crushed ice and blend briefly (instead of the added water) and it will help chill it just before serving. Add the cilantro and pulse a couple times to incorporate so no whole leaves remain (or you can blend the cilantro fully in if desired).
- Assemble your bowls once the sweet potatoes are finished cooking. Divide cooked brown rice between two bowls and then top each bowl with the roasted sweet potatoes, red onion, green onion, avocado, cilantro, mango, black beans and a generous amount of the dressing. Enjoy immediately.
Store leftovers separate from the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you have leftover cilantro sauce, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 25
- Category: Entree
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: vegan taco bowl