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Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat

Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat

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This Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat is spicy, zesty, and simple to make. Once you’ve made it, you’ll be happy it’s around and ready to eat.

This stuff:

  • is health-forward, but you wouldn’t know it—it’s so good!
  • makes a lot, keeps for up to a week in the fridge, and freezes well
  • can be baked in the oven
  • can be cooked on the stove in a non-stick pan
  • is great added raw to a taco salad—right out of the food processor

Eat it with:

  • nachos and Easy Vegan Queso
  • burritos
  • tacos
  • salads
  • bowls
  • layered dips
  • whatever else you like taco meat in

Speaking of nachos, have you seen Nacho Flay’s Instagram?

Spice

If you like medium heat, make this according to the measurements below. If you are wary about spicy food, go light with the chili powder, maybe only add one chipotle in adobo, and skip the cayenne. Once you’ve processed to a crumbled mixture, taste it and add more spice if desired. If you add another chipotle in adobo, try and pulse it quickly so that your crumble doesn’t become a paste. You can mix in more chili powder with a spatula if desired.

Raw, Cooked, or Baked?

The choice is yours. I like them all for different reasons. The most important thing is to avoid drying out or burning the delicious Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat. The first time I made it, I made a small batch and it was a bit dry and burnt around the edges. It was still good, it’s just a lot better when it’s less cooked and only a little browned.

Raw

This is really good raw right out of the food processor. It makes a nice cold taco salad or burrito bowl. It looks a little pale, but it’s still good and you get to skip the whole cooking part.

Cooked

Sometimes I don’t want the oven on heating up my entire wee apartment, but I still want browned, warm taco “meat”. In a large non-stick pan or skillet, toss the “meat” to brown it. If you want your “meat” to get a little saucy, just add a little water.

Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat browned in a pan on the stove
Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat browned in a pan on the stove

This also works great when you’ve frozen your taco “meat” and you want to make dinner quickly.

Baked

Spread the taco “meat” on a greased, parchment paper-lined, or sil-mat lined baking sheet and bake in the oven. I was pleased by how much this didn’t stick to a lightly greased baking sheet if that helps you make a decision.

Let’s Make Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat

Ingredients for Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pulse all ingredients in a 10 cup food processor until the mixture is crumbled and evenly ground.

Try to avoid over-pulsing into a paste. It will still be good even if you over-pulse it.

Transfer to a greased, parchment paper-lined, or sil-mat lined baking sheet.

Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, flipping every 10 – 15 minutes to help it brown evenly.

Flipping the Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat
Flipping the taco “meat”

If making a smaller batch, it will take less time to cook. Be sure to watch to avoid burning or drying out the taco “meat.”

Fully baked taco "meat"
Fully baked taco “meat”

Serve in tacos, nachos, bowls, etc. Store leftovers in the fridge for about a week or freeze for a month.

Eating tacos with Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat
Eating tacos with Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat
Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat
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4.5 from 2 votes

Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat

Easy vegan taco "meat" to be enjoyed on nachos, tacos, burritos, bowls, or however you would like.
Course Basics, Big Salad, Breakfast, Dinner, Game Day, Snack
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, Walnuts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 164kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cauliflower florets, 14 – 16 oz
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted walnuts, 4- 5 oz
  • 2 individual chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice approximately the juice of one lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne for more heat optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pulse all ingredients in a 10 cup food processor until the mixture is crumbled and evenly ground. Try to avoid over-pulsing into a paste. It will still be good even if you over-pulse it.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, flipping every 10 – 15 minutes to help it brown evenly. If making a smaller batch, it will take less time to cook. Be sure to watch to avoid burning or drying out the taco "meat."
  • Serve in tacos, nachos, bowls, etc. Store leftovers in the fridge for about a week or freeze for a month.

Notes

Nutrition Information is approximate. 

Spice

If you like medium heat, make this according to the measurements below. If you are wary about spicy food, go light with the chili powder, maybe only add one chipotle in adobo, and skip the cayenne. Once you’ve processed to a crumbled mixture, taste it and add more spice if desired. If you add another chipotle in adobo, try and pulse it quickly so that your crumble doesn’t become a paste. You can mix in more chili powder with a spatula if desired.

Raw, Cooked, or Baked?

The choice is yours. I like them all for different reasons.

Raw

This is really good raw right out of the food processor. It makes a nice cold taco salad or cold burrito bowl.

Cooked

Sometimes I don’t want the oven on heating up my wee apartment, but I want browned, warm taco “meat”. IIn a large non-stick pan or skillet, toss the “meat” to brown it. If you want your “meat” to get a little saucy, just add a little water.
This also works great when you’ve frozen your taco “meat” and you want to make dinner quickly.

Baked

Spread the taco “meat” on a greased, parchment paper-lined, or sil-mat lined baking sheet and bake in the oven. I was pleased by how much this didn’t stick to a lightly greased baking sheet if that helps you make a decision.
www.planttestkitchen.com

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.

Recipe adapted from Lindsay at Pinch Of Yum.

If you like this recipe you might also enjoy Oven-Baked Sriracha Tofu and Addictive Coconut Bacon Flakes.

Did you make Easy Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat?

How did it go? Did you go with raw, cooked, or baked? Would you make this again? Did you like the spice level or did you change it up? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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