Vegan Walnut Taco Meat

VeganGluten-FreePaleoSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyVegetarianDairy Free

This Vegan Walnut Taco Meat has the best texture and flavor! It is seasoned to perfection and full of nutrients. This easy dish is great for taco night, nachos, or anytime you need a plant-based, pantry-friendly version of taco meat.

Vegan Taco Meat

This Vegan Walnut Taco Meat looks, feels, smells and tastes like the real deal.  This recipe uses one main ingredient (walnuts) plus a simple homemade taco seasoning that gives it an authentic taste. If you’re feeling doubtful that walnuts could actually be good in a taco…just hear me out and give it a try! It’s actually an incredible vegan swap for meat!

Vegan Walnut Taco Meat

To start things off, soak the walnuts in advance to give them a chewy texture…just like meat! After that, I pulse them a couple times in the food processor for the perfect meat-like, crumbly texture.  The walnut crumbles then get sautéed on the stovetop for a couple minutes with homemade taco seasoning. It’s all so easy and so good!  While everything combines on the stove, the walnuts release their toasty flavor and become golden brown.  It is just so delicious and yet so incredibly simple.

Vegan Taco Filling Recipe

Health Benefits of Walnuts

Walnuts are filling and can control blood sugar levels which make them an excellent choice for creating vegan taco meat. Walnuts also contain omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3s could lower your overall risk of heart disease, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition, Omega-3s also reduce joint pain and improve brain function and development.  Walnuts are also a good source of magnesium, which can lower blood pressure!

Walnut Meat Replacement

Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning

I make a quick homemade spice blend that takes this away from “walnuts in a tortilla” and straight into “authentic street taco” territory! The secret is the spice! I would guess that these are all in your spice cabinet already, so let’s make a vegan, gluten-free taco seasoning!

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
Homemade Vegan Taco Seasoning

Now, let’s get to making this incredibly authentic Vegan Walnut Taco Meat!  This dish is dairy-free, egg-free, meat-free, soy-free, peanut-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free and gluten-free.  Plus, it is so easy to make, uses all pantry ingredients and is ready in 10 minutes!

Vegan Meat Recipe

More Mexican Food Recipes

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Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Homemade Vegan Sour Cream
Homemade Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
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Creamy Vegan Garlic Cilantro Lime Sauce
Creamy Black Bean Dip
Mushroom-Walnut Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa
Creamy Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Tostadas
Chunky Strawberry Avocado Salsa
Strawberry Salsa
One-Pan Mexican Quinoa and Black Beans
Watermelon Mint Lime Slushie Margaritas (just add a splash of tequila!)

Walnut Taco Meat

I cannot wait for you to give this recipe a try!  Let’s get cooking!

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Vegan Taco Meat

Vegan Walnut Taco Meat

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 3
  • Cook Time: 7
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan walnut taco meat has the best texture and flavor.  It is seasoned to perfection and full of nutrients from the walnuts.  This easy dish is great for taco night, nachos, or anytime you need a plant-based, pantry-friendly version of taco meat.


  • 2 cups raw unsalted chopped walnuts, soaked*
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt


  1. Soak the walnuts in boiling water for one hour.  Drain, rinse well and add to a 7-cup food processor.  Pulse the walnuts 10-20 times until desired texture is reached.  You don’t want any large chunks but you don’t want to process it so long that it becomes mushy.   I look for a uniform crumbly texture with tiny crumbles.  Set aside.
  2. Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat on your stovetop.  Add oil and the walnut crumbles from the food processor.  Add all the seasonings and stir well to distribute evenly.  Sauté the seasoned crumbled walnuts over medium heat until toasted golden brown, warmed through and fragrant (about 7 minutes).  Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon while sautéing to ensure all sides of the walnut crumbles get evenly toasted.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  3. Enjoy immediately or store leftovers after it has fully cooled to room temperature.  Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to three days.  Reheat leftovers on the stovetop for best results.


You can use walnut halves in this recipe instead of chopped.  I just found it easier to use chopped walnuts.

If serving to children or if you are sensitive to spicy foods you may want to use less chili powder.

Recipe time does not include time for the walnuts to soak.  You can make this dish without soaking but if you do I recommend sautéing the walnuts on the stovetop for longer.  The final result will be good but not as “meat-like.”  The soaking really helps to soften up the walnuts.  You can soak the walnuts in water overnight if desired.  I like to use the quick soak method in the directions using boiling water for one hour.  You can leave them soaking for longer if desired.

  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: vegan taco meat

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  1. Jeanne

    I’ve made this twice and truly love it. So easy and simple yet full of flavor and possibilities!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Yay! Thank you for letting me know, Jeanne! I love it too and I’m so happy to hear you feel the same. I agree it is quite versatile 🙂 Best, Elaine

  2. Lo

    I made it with onions and peppers and it was yum!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi, Lo! Thanks so much! So happy to hear you enjoyed this one. I love that you added some veggies to it too – always a good idea! I bet that was delicious. Best, Elaine


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